Many of us have gone through these, some more than others. I have had my fair share of relationships. I met the guy, fell in love, then fell out of love, broke up, then started all over again. I can count on one hand the amount of “serious” relationships I have had. Fun fact, on average, women will have about 7 relationships, out of which 3 last a year or less and 2 last a year or more before meeting “the one.” Today’s post is about what I learned from previous relationships and how I apply it to my current, and hopefully my last relationship. Let’s dive in, shall we?
Mistakes Are Okay
They totally are. We all make them, daily. I have made so many and I will continue to, until my last day. The trick is to learn from them, not make them again, and not hold onto them. I say “the trick” instead of the secret because let’s face it, it IS tricky!!!!! Going waaayyyy back to the past, dating boyfriend #1, I can tell you one of the many mistakes I made was, I was selfish. I had a tendency of only thinking about myself. I never thought about what he wanted or what his plans were. I was the boss. I joke about that now, but back then, I legit thought I was the boss, about everything. I was spoiled, complained when I didn’t get my way. I had no regard for what he wanted, I didn’t care. It was about me and making me happy. He worked a lot, and I was always annoyed with that. He was trying to make us a future but I was far from mature enough to even grasp that concept. I was impatient. I was immature. I had a lot of growing up to do. That relationship ending was hard, but I made that call. He was ready to settle down, I was far from it. Like I said, I needed to grow up first.
Boyfriend #2 was honestly, probably the most toxic. We went through so many ups and downs, constantly fighting. I was blinded by love full heartedly, and with that, I let him talk to me in the most disrespectful of ways. I allowed him to hurt me. I didn’t see how bad it was until my mother jumped in and made him leave. I was broken, shattered. My first close encounter with a broken heart. I felt lost, like I had no purpose. After wallowing in that for a while, I realized how much happier I had become. I no longer had someone verbally abusing me, making me feel like I was there to be seen, not heard. I learned I needed to use my voice.
Boyfriend #3 came around. I thought I was different with this guy. I was yet again, submissive. I let him control me and plan everything out. I moved away from the family and in with him and my daughter. He was obsessive but I looked passed all that. I focused on being happy, and for the most part, I was. I loved his family, they loved me, but something was missing. It was lack of respect. I slowly started to find myself frustrated. He left for Kuwait and it showed the true colors of who we both really were. Mistakes I made included letting him be insecure and not addressing it. I wasn’t standing up for myself. Where did that voice go that I had so strongly in my first relationship? I needed to find it and quickly. One night while I was working, he called my cell phone over 100 times. I worked graveyard at a casino; I was not answering his calls. He was on the other side of the country and completely paranoid. I learned that night that this was not okay with me, and that relationship ended almost immediately. By the time he came home, after several extensions, I was so over him and the thought of us being together angered me more and more. We were done!
Boyfriend #4 and Husband #1 happened next. I met this guy at work. We had a lot in common. Casually, we started dating. At the beginning, like almost in every relationship, we are happy, excited and eager. Blinded by lust and confusing that with love. Russ was not a bad guy. Nothing like the previous two I dated. He was patient, understanding, his family welcomed me and my daughter with open arms. He liked to travel, be out and about, loved science and history as much as I did. Sounded pretty perfect right? Nope…. You are probably thinking, ya know Lyndsey, no relationship is perfect, right? Yep, I know that!!! I learned over time in this relationship/marriage what I was okay with, what I needed, and what was important to me, and unfortunately, his ideas and mine were not the same. We acted more like roommates than anything. As time went by, the respect faded away and resentment started to gradually build. I learned it is so important to keep that respect. Without it, you have close to nothing. Financially, he made some bad choices and I was the one to clean them up. I was always angry that he never tried hard. Nothing felt important to him and the disconnect between the two of us grew. We could no longer be in the same room with each other without being harsh or rude to one another.
Once we decided we were tired of living that life and separated, both of us were happier, almost instantly. The weight was lifted and we were freed. I learned a lot about what I wanted, what was important to me in a relationship from my marriage. Reflecting back, the Lord was definitely teaching and guiding me to where I am now. Rascal Flats has a song about that… “God Blessed the Broken Road“. I am currently in my newest relationship and I truly hope it is my last one. Looking back at what I have been through, where I went, what I learned, I am ever so confident that my relationship with Aaron can be the one of a lifetime.
The Fresh Air After the Storm
I have learned it is important to communicate, all the time, whether it is good or bad. I still struggle with this, and I am far from perfect, but the effort is there. I found my voice again and I use it, a lot! I am not afraid to tell him when he is upsetting me or messing up on something. I learned to have grace while doing it. I don’t need to be mean to get my point across. I don’t need to yell or scream. Aaron is a talker, if you know him, you know that! He is what I need when it comes to disagreements. He will sit down and talk it out. I have learned that is one of the many keys to success. We can communicate without fighting, but if we get into a fight, we always figure it out. There is no name calling or cussing at each other. A mistake I previously would make was that I always expected my partner to think like me, and after years of failed relationships, I have learned that is not the case!
Aaron is a great guy. Handsome as ever, smart as hell, and all around, he is a great partner. He still has a lot to learn but so do I . I have learned to be more patient. Well, I’m trying to! Because of my past, I learned to take things one step at a time. I’m trying to be more positive. It is hard to do, because I am so used to negativity and disappointment. Aaron gives me confidence, he supports me and all my chaos that follows. With him, I have learned to compromise, but not with the big things. I have learned how to be a good partner to him. We know our love languages and how to speak it to one another. I did not have that in the previous days. I know what I need and I communicate that now. I never had before. If I am unhappy, for the most part, I tell him. I have discovered this pretty awesome concept… “If he doesn’t know there is a problem, how can I expect him to fix it?” Crazy right?. I know, I am late to the game with that one, but better late than never. One problem I am currently working on and is kind of hard for me, is reading into everything. I am in a great relationship and I know that. I have insecurities of my own and I am tackling them..(trying to). This blog helps. I find I often read into things that are not there. Luckily, I use that voice of mine that I found, and tell him when I start to stress about something, and he talks me through it. We trust each other and accept each other’s word.
Relationships in their entirety are hard work. No good relationship is easy. We all have our ups and downs. I have learned most people come with baggage, just like we do, ourselves. We need to find that person that is willing to help us unpack all that baggage and help them unpack theirs. We have to communicate, be trusting, and be their support system. Another thing I learned about relationships is that if you both put in the effort and remind each other you have the same goals and are on the same team, you can make it very far. Don’t compromise the big things that mean so much to you. Don’t settle for less. I did, several times, and it got me frustrated and mad. Go into your relationship with pride, self confidence, know what you want and don’t settle for anything less that that. Above all else, don’t lose your voice.