I love the advice you give, and I’ve read the summary of your past but I would like to know about your last relationship. You said that he cheated and so you left and now you’re in love and happy. I’m with someone that keeps cheating on me. What happened to you and how did you leave? I want to leave him but I’m so scared to be alone.
I dated Mike (not his name) for 7 years off and on. (the off and on should have been my first clue that we were toxic) I met him months after my mother had passed away and I was an absolute mess. I was grieving and numbing myself with alcohol and drugs and men that I shouldn’t have given a second glance to. He was gorgeous and funny and smart and I didn’t ask any of the important questions. I slept with him too soon and before I knew it I was in love. Looking back now, I can see clearly how I wound up with him. I attracted what I needed and what I was at the time. I was a party chick hiding my pain and he was a party dude hiding his real life. Months in I learned he had a baby mama (i hate even writing that term) that he lived with. And that his phone number was not actually a private number but one he blocked purposefully. But he was charming and I believed his (ridiculous) explanations. It took me a long time to realize he never took me anywhere but always came to my house. I was too deep in grief to even notice for a while. I liked the company. It gave me someone to cook for. And I was usually stoned so leaving the house never seemed like a good idea anyway 🙂 By the time, I started asking “real” questions and the grief fog started lifting I was too far in. I loved him and so I forgave him for everything. And when she left him and took their son and moved out of state(another sign I should have paid attention to) I thought he was finally ready.
For 7 years we would repeat the pattern. I would realize that I wasn’t getting what I deserved. I’m a woman and so my gut told me he was cheating, though I never caught him. I knew I should move on. So I would dump him and then a few weeks later, fueled by wine and bad judgment, I would reach out again.
Everything is clearer in hindsight. But the truth is, I was happy. I was comfortable with our drama. I thought the fighting, and the crying signified passion and true love. I can convince myself of anything and every time I took him back I convinced myself that NOW he would realize how special I was and would treat me as such. Ladies… you will NEVER have to convince the right man of your worth. You SHOULD never convince anyone of your worth! But I didn’t love myself enough to realize that.
As time went on, I lost my father and I felt completely alone. “Mike” became like family. He was always there for a good time, a good distraction. He became the “fog” I hid behind. And as his reward I took care of everything. I paid for dinners and vacations. I cooked and gave gifts. I helped him with work and gave advice on life. I was his fixer. Anything that could go wrong in his life, by his own doing, did. It’s like a black cloud of irresponsibility followed him and I was more than happy to clean up his mess. I am sad to write this now, because it seems like a different woman. I can see now how dysfunctional this all was.
Fast forward to the decision to move to Miami together. My gut told me every single day that he wasn’t ready. I was literally throwing up on a daily basis. Your intuition is never wrong! And my body was physically showing me. I knew he wasn’t ready for real commitment. I knew that who he wanted to be and who he was were two very different people. But I ignored every sign. I packed my home. I left a great job. I said goodbye to my friends and my family and off I went. 6 weeks after we moved, the day I returned from a quick weekend out of town, I found a used condom in his car. The car I had helped him buy.
I won’t lie, I became every version of a woman scorned you can imagine. I threw things, I hit him. I cried. I threatened to ruin his things. I slept with him. (wtf) I drank every single day. And then a switch flipped! Who the HELL did this man think he was?? I am beautiful and intelligent. I have a degree and am driven. I am a great friend. I am generous and loving. I’m funny. I cook. I clean. I’m a fucking unicorn!! 🙂 I knew that if he could cheat on me when we had no kids together, no mortgage, no “real” life stressors and I looked as good as I did lol then he would cheat on me always. Why did I feel so bad about myself that I would let a man do this to me?? And so I kicked him out. I had no friends. No job. I had emptied my savings account to move us to Miami. I had zero idea how I was going to survive. BUT I had self respect. I had my mother’s voice telling me I was going to be okay. I had my gut screaming that there was something better waiting if I chose ME this time.
It wasn’t easy. I was alone. I was broke. He and I spent months fighting over text and deluding ourselves that maybe we could be friends. Looking back, I think he thought I would get over it. That this was just another day in our pattern. But I was different now. The Universe had made it impossible for me to stay. I had concrete evidence this time that he didn’t respect me or us. And I had been through too much in my life to settle for bullshit.
So I laid on the couch for a month crying and then I dragged myself to a shower and made the decision to move forward. I went to an arts and crafts store and I decided to make a vision board. The truth was, I was in my dream city. I was living in the nicest apartment I had ever lived in. There are ocean views! I had my dog and my cat and I had the love and support from friends and family back home. So I sat and I created a vision board of how I wanted to see my life turn out. I started to do things that I loved, that I had let go of because it didn’t fit into “our” life. I read books, and I went back to meditating daily. I did Yoga and drank tea and took walks and then I got a part time job answering phones in a hair salon. I had no experience and never wanted to be a receptionist but I needed the money. Turns out I met a group of women, and though I left the salon 6 months later, they have become amazing friends. I went back to school and became a Certified Life Coach so that I could help people who are caring for someone with Cancer get through it all. I started teaching Yoga in local studios and wound up meeting a fantastic doctor that brought me on as her lead Yoga therapist in her new center. Now I teach professional athletes, and on beaches, and I meet people I never would have thought I could. I started this blog! And because of you all, I am able to follow my passion for writing and helping others. I am now doing everything I put down on that board.
I hated “Mike” for a long time after our split. But now? I thank God for him. He taught me everything I will never stand for again. Our drama brought me to Miami and for the first time since losing my parents, I feel like I have found a home. Our relationship taught me to trust my gut, to trust myself and most of all it taught me how to love myself. Some time ago, I was introduced to the man that I know is my forever. And I know that in order to have attracted this type of man, I had to become the woman he would be attracted to. I wanted loving, and protective and generous and loyal and honest and stable. I wanted authentic. And so I had to become all of those things as well. “Mike” led me to him and so I thank him.
Your gut is telling you to leave, which is why you are writing to me. Trust that. Trust yourself. Love yourself enough to walk away from the bullshit. Or if you are anything like me, than leave and learn how to love yourself later. But walk away on faith. Believe that there is something better waiting for you. Because I PROMISE you, there is. It won’t be easy and there will be days of doubt but it WILL be worth it. YOU are worth it.
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