Ignorance is bless but knowledge is power. Unfortunately I am not ignorant, yet very knowledgeable. How do I achieve bliss, how do I release some power. With power comes responsibility, with ignorance comes regret. As much as I would love to be ignorant, my past has given me too much power, too much knowledge. Trust comes from where, the ignorance of what could, would, or did happen. Or does trust come from the knowledge that you can trust honestly even with the knowledge of the past. I choose knowledge over ignorance. Trust through knowledge not through ignorance.
Some people think the generational difference in my marriage may be a challenge. While other’s might think that race may be a factor in my marriage. Or some may believe our economic family backgrounds could be an obstacle in my marriage. But none of these issues are hard for me, or even a thought for me or my husband. I have fun when he tells me I have stuff in common with his mother, since I am older than him, I laugh, I don’t take offense. I don’t even think of being in an interracial marriage, I truly don’t see the color, never have and never will. Having my husband come from a background where poverty, abuse and life struggles are commonplace versus my middle class upbringing, offers us a different point of view of each and of live in general. But when I am married to a man who is broken, who is deep down insecure, who doesn’t know how to overcome life obstacles because of his insufficient emotional development.
I have stayed through cheating, lying, drinking, and verbal abuse, not because I am weak but because I am strong. I am stronger than he is, I have a healthy emotional foundation that does not shake easily. My biggest fault may be that I am unconditionally loyal. My strength within is something I have had to pull on in order to be there for a man that is not strong, he is broken.
For those who love a broken person, you will understand. From the outside, we look weak, we look like we are being walked over or taken advantage of but on the inside, I know this man holds onto me for salvation. He has messed up, he has hurt me, he has lost my trust. I still continue to be his light, his strength, his saving grace. This is loving a broken man.
I am open, I am loving, I am a lover of children…all children, they don’t have to be mine in order for me to love them. I have worked with kids my entire life and they are just drawn to me, not sure why, but they are as I am to them. But when now faced with being a step mom, it’s the first time that love is harder to attain. Most would think my love comes hard because my stepson is a result of an affair, but I know differently. My love was present when he was an infant, when the relationship was pure and undisturbed. I love this child, affair or not, I love him.
As time went on, even through the struggles of watching my husband be a new dad to an infant that was not ours together by birth, my struggles came from a different place. I was raising kind children, sweet kids, empathic young people, but then there was my stepson. His upbringing was a complete opposite of what I had in my household. I was exposing my children to habits, characteristics and lifestyle features that I simply did not display in my household. This was hard for me. Most blended families deal with a degree of this, regarding disciplinary actions, etc. But this was on a core level, the core of who I was raising my children to be, definitely did not line up with my stepson’s upbringing. This was my own personal challenge. One that I will struggle with for many years to come, unfortunately.
Not having any more than two sexual partners in my entire life, I may be old-fashioned. I have only slept with my first husband and then my second husband. Because of this, I can’t begin to fathom the intimate act of infidelity. I have only slept with someone I loved. I did not wait on marriage for sex but I did wait on love. Is this a rare occasion? Am I to take sex lightly simply because the man I love slept with another woman? How do I tell my heart that it meant nothing to him? How do I tell my mind that it’s more normal than not. The connection through the intimacy is something to be cherished and nurtured. I have been intimate with my husband after his affair but it took many years to not cry after, alone in the bathroom, wondering how and why he would connect with another on that level. Now I no longer cry but I hold back my heart. It hurts to do both. I only exchanged one vice for another.
So I already have a six year old step son in my eight year long relationship with my husband, not that hard to do the math. I wear this on my sleeve for everyone to see. We made it through, with rough waves and murky waters, but made it through none the less. When the first fidelity happened, because there was a child produced as a result, everyone had been in the know. Not just me to handle and grieve alone but now my children knew, my friends knew, my first husband and his wife knew, my parents knew and my older brothers knew. Not an easy sell to the family when you explain that you will now become a stepmom after two years into a relationship. But we made it through. Although I felt in my heart that my husband viewed our relationship different now that we were married, I would still asked….would you ever do that to me again now that we are married. His answer was always the same…”I would never do that to you, it’s different now that we’re married”. And so I thought. I trusted, I believed, I thought it was true. Strike two…I suffered in silence. Now with no baby as a result from the affair this time, no one needed to know, not my kids, not my friends, not my parents, definitely not my brothers…only me. Not sure if it was harder or easier to suffer in silence.
I spend my life reassuring, comforting, confirming and providing security. I don’t go anywhere unaccounted for, I don’t have any hours untraceable, I don’t make trips unaccompanied. Where I am is always announced, how I spend each minute tracked, who I go with is planned. Only to make sure I create a security, build trust, relieve any doubt. Constantly reassuring, constantly explaining, constantly building security. Not because I was unfaithful, not because I lied, not because I betrayed, but because he did.
How do you respect a liar? Is he a liar or is he a man that lies? I used to think there was a difference…used to think it mattered if there was a difference. What do you look at, the intent of the lie, the degree of the lie, the longevity of the lie? And does it really matter? Is a white lie better? Isn’t a lie a lie?
As a person who does not make a habit of lying, I find myself unable to respect a liar. I don’t consider myself pious, but actually don’t have reasons to lie. A lie is a weakness in my opinion, an immature defense mechanism that adults use to mask their own weaknesses. I struggle with respecting the liar, I struggle with loving the liar. I struggle with forgiving the liar. Unfortunately the liar comes in the form of my husband.
I love love love kids! I started my family with four…then I had a stepson. This was not something I sign on for right off the bat. When I met my husband, he did not have kids, only I did. Then after a year of infidelity, I suddenly had a stepson. With bumps and bruises along the way, my new marriage had some hurdles, but they all seemed manageable. Staying through the infidelity, the new stepson and now court battle, tested my strength as a woman, as a mother, as a wife. I made it through, what I considered, the hard part, the birth. Watching my husband have a son, born to the woman he cheated on me with was hard. No other word but hard. Now came the work. Loving my husband every time he loved, cuddled, nurtured his newborn son. This was difficult, to say the least. I had envisioned this time with him, watching him with his first born (thinking it would be with me), letting it fill my heart. Now there are so many mixed emotions. I decided to stay, this was now my challenge to get through emotionally. This was hard.
It came early in the morning…the text that made him run out the door…the birth of his first born child…with another woman…a piece of my heart left with him that day. Selfishly, by the Grace of God he missed the actual birth and got there hours later. I would not have survived otherwise. I would have left if he had been there holding the hand of the other woman while she gave birth to his son. It would have been too much for me to bear.
My first four children did not have namesakes except my grandfather’s name for my son. But when I envisioned children with my new man…I wanted to honor him and give him a namesake…a junior…a second. Then he shared his middle name to the other woman who was to bore him his first born son. My heart was once again torn in two. No longer will our child in the future be a namesake, a junior, a second. I will never forget where I was and how I got the news when my boyfriend called to tell me he and “her” had found a name for their child. How much pain should I take? Is this something I can really love him through? Am I open enough? Am I strong enough? Time will tell, so until then I continue to love.