Stand up– fragile, loving, lonesome humans!



We are such fragile beings, sometimes.

Witness: I broke up with a man who was Clearly not good for me. In fact, I broke up with him many times. But, every time that he wanted to get back together, every time he apologized and promised to do better or make amends, or to care, I relented. I went against my better judgement and gave us another chance.  Or rather, another hundred chances. I so wanted it to work, and we had fun–when we were having fun. Unfortunately, he had addictions (at least three) of which I was initially unaware, and of which he is still apparently unaware.

Worse, his desires always superseded our relationship and certainly me. There was no We, only he. His needs, his wants.

At first I was so happy to be “loved” that I ignored the red flags, but I also had to deal with his conflicting signals. Since those were confusing, I have to be somewhat gentle with myself: what he said and what he did were so different. That is, his words of endearment were wonderful but his actions often contradicted them. He said he loved, but he didn’t show it nearly as well.

As an example–one I’ve mentioned here before– one week he asked me to do several things with him (dinner parties, family functions, watching a football game) and I agreed, yet when I asked him to do just one thing that we had talked of doing for two summers but had not gotten around to doing (I wonder why??) he replied with scorn and derision: how dare I ask something of him that would cause him to miss a couple of hours of one football game?

Wait–last season he had not watched every game, and when we first met he said he was a fan but not a sports fanatic, that he “wasn’t someone who had to watch every game.” Hmmm. Guess that changed.

My take on this, in retrospect, is that he wanted the power in the relationship; he wanted what he wanted. Of course, he forfeited me, which makes me feel horrible. I am worth less than one football game?  Sheesh that stings. I had already gotten up to speed on his sports and his teams so that I could discuss them, though it is not my thing, at all. I had loved him, and I had shown that love.

Aren’t people more important than watching sports on television? He couldn’t miss even part of one game for someone he supposedly cared about? He could have listened to the game as we drove, or caught the second half of a late-afternoon game, but he wasn’t even willing to work it out.

And what about “Bye” weeks or weeks when the game is on a day other than Sunday? Even I know there are a couple of those and I am not all that up on football. In other words, had he cared to check or think about it for even a moment, he would’ve realized there’d be at least a couple of Sundays during the season when he wouldn’t even miss a game. Yes, if he cared. (You can see that I am still hurting and tending to the wounds here, can’t you?)

A friend of mine surmised that I might not be Asking for what I needed in the relationship, so maybe that is why I wasn’t getting it, or why things seemed so unbalanced. For instance, I was hurt that he didn’t offer to pick me up at the airport because it had seemed to me like the loving–or at least reciprocal–thing to do, since I always offered and gave him rides to and from the airport.  Yet, I hadn’t specifically asked him for a ride. Maybe that’s why he so often seemed selfish, thought my friend. He couldn’t actually be that selfish, how could anyone be that selfish? “Guys need you to be direct,” she said. “Don’t make him guess.” So I was more direct. That elicited a complete change of tone from him: his voice became gruff and mean. Was not getting what he wanted threatening, so he was being threatening to me in return? I dunno.

In any case, this little football-first episode was the icing on a crumbling cake. That was that.

The really odd thing now is: I still cry over him. I cry when I miss his company, even though I have others to date. (But see, I don’t want to just date, I want love! I’m not someone who continues dating if I don’t see at least a little smidge of potential for love.) I cry when I wish there was something I could have done to salvage that relationship, and because he didn’t realize that I kept trying, kept going back, because I did love him. I did give us repeated chances even when he hurt me. I cry when I think of him talking of what a wonderful year of self-improvement he had while giving all the credit to others and ignoring the power of love: ours, mine.  I cry because I was so darn hopeful and so loving, all for naught, and because we all want to be loved. Even when it is far from perfect (we are human, after all), a flawed even hurtful relationship can feel better than nothing, at least in retrospect.

Today when I went for a walk, I saw happy couples everywhere. It figures: the whole world seems to be in love and part of a couple, but not me! You know that feeling, if you are single. It is not pleasant. You think: what is wrong with me? Where is my ship and when will it come in, and more importantly, why isn’t my prince on any of the ships I do happen to see? I asked this of myself when I saw an elderly couple walking hand in hand (wouldn’t it be nice to be in love Forever?) and a middle-aged couple on a tandem bike (what a fun way to ride into the sunset). I saw two young women who looked like sisters with two cute guys and the four of them laughing and chatting merrily as they walked down the street. One more guy and I could’ve joined them, I imagined…

But I was happy for all of those people, too. I was happy to know that love is clearly out there.

When I get all wimpy and sad and sappy, I have to pick myself up and wring myself out. Good-bye tears, good-bye sadness. I tell myself: if you had kept hanging on, in that long up-and-down one-sided romance, if you kept on with someone who wanted to be a hedonistic ruler rather than part of a loving and giving couple, then you’d never give yourself a chance of finding true love.

Is a loving and giving relationship truly possible? My eyes say yes. My heart says yes, even though it is bruised. My mind debates with myself constantly but generally thinks all things are possible. My whole being wishes, hopes, and prays.

So we shall see!

Meanwhile, it’s up to me to keep my chin up and a smile in my heart. Someone’s going to like that smile, someday.

~ Lily




19 Comments on “Stand up– fragile, loving, lonesome humans!”

  1. He didn’t even pick you up at the airport? Nobody, but nobody should ever have to arrive at an airport alone, or depart for that matter. Disgrace. Funnily enough, the sports, well, I understand..sorry! But there are always ways around it, like you say, always flowers to give or meals to cook, but really…you made a good decision on the airport thing alone. Nothing justifies that.

    • lily says:

      Well, I am independent and can fend for myself at airports though I think it is so sweet to be greeted. It is also certainly more relaxing to have a ride after a journey instead of facing traffic.

      If I am keeping him company while he watches Fourteen games on television (something I don’t enjoy but am doing because I care) and he can’t even miss part of One game for me, I’m sorry but something seems a bit unbalanced, especially when I attended multiple events of his choosing every week. Plus, he initially told me that he was not someone who had to watch every game and in fact he didn’t watch every game last season. This was the one thing I asked–in over a year!– and it was too much to ask.
      If he had said something like, “If it means that much to you honey to go to ____, then we’ll figure it out,” I probably would have thought, “Aw, he’s making an effort. Let’s try not to miss much of a game, here…”

      Anyway, thank you for your perspective. It would be such a boring place if we all thought the same. Of course, now I feel crummy that I was so distressed because he loved sports more than he loved me. : )

      Have a good week and stop back with your sports-lovin’ perspective now and then! ~ Lily

      • Yes – think its sweet to be greeted – and relaxing – and sure, about independence and fending for ones self..but the sweet and relaxing wins!
        I agree with you about all of course!

        • lily says:

          Ha yes, I’d choose sweet and relaxing any day. : )
          I am wearing a copper bracelet, as I nearly always do. I have a small but beloved collection of them, the first given to me when I was about thirteen years old. I always have warmth, strength, and a reminder of happiness, there at my wrist.
          Be happy,

          ~ Lily

  2. DM says:

    I am rooting for you Lily. you take me back to that season in my life when I was still single. I still remember the vexations I felt. thank you for trusting us with your heart. DM

    • lily says:

      Aw thanks DM. You’re a good sport to put up with my laments and tales of vexations.
      Hope all is well with you, your family, and your Robert Frost fence.
      Have a happy week. Stay warm,

      ~ Lily

  3. free penny press says:

    I have learned many lessons the hard way throughout my life regarding men. I have been the queen and I have been the low man on the totem pole. I came to the conclusion that I will not settle just to have someone by my side (No, i’m not picky just have standards). A few years ago I was in a similar situation as you, desperately seeking love. When I literally stopped looking for it, meaning even thinking about it, he walked into my life. While we may not be a couple now (my choice) I know he loves me and vice versa. He will find you in the unlikeliest of places and you will have forgotten about the past hurt because you will be loved. trust me on this!

    • lily says:

      Thanks, Lynne. I don’t feel desperate, but I do feel longing in my heart. And, I’m not seriously looking, just seriously hoping, I guess we’d say. But yes, sometimes in retrospect the bad starts looking not-so-bad and that is kind of scary. I have to be careful of that. I think that’s a common misstep of nurturing, forgiving, loving people.
      I am happy to trust you, because I hope you are right : ) (Well, that, and that I like you and you seem so very trustworthy : ) Onward! And I can’t wait to hear of your “Onward!” stories from the new hometown, once acquired!

      ~ Lily

  4. What ‘free penny’ says! If you lose that feeling of desperation, Lily, Life and Love will be ‘easy street’!

    • lily says:

      Hmm, I must sound desperate, though I don’t feel that way. As I mentioned to Lynne above, I don’t feel desperate, I feel longing. I am missing love and companionship. But, I am more resigned to wait it out these days. I know that love often comes when we least expect it, and that is how it has often been in my life, too.
      Easy Street– I have never been down that avenue. Must be in Chicago, not here ; ) Of course, as you know I am always stumbling upon things in my walks (or they find me)… maybe that will be next!
      I am so enjoying the vivid crimson and golds of this autumn, and it has been such a pleasure to view your photos of them. Thank you!
      ~ Lily

  5. beachmama777 says:

    Lily–The ONLY thing you did “wrong” in your marriage was to give your love to the wrong guy! When you miss him, what exactly do you miss? I think it’s a good idea to make a pro and con list. What were his pros and what were his cons. I suspect the cons side will be a whole lot longer! Now, look at that list and realize how much better off you are without him.
    We all miss the “fantasy” of the relationship. It’s the reality which broke our hearts. When you see those lovey-dovey couples, you don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors…And, I suspect if you simply wanted ANY guy with whom to walk hand-in-hand, you could’ve found one. The tricky part is to find the RIGHT one.
    HAng in there, sweet friend. There is some guy out there who’d be thrilled to pick you up at ANY airport!!

    • lily says:

      “We all miss the ‘fantasy’ of the relationship. It’s the reality which broke our hearts.” — I love that! That says it, that’s it.
      You have not been here long enough to be privy to all of my little hopes and lamentations, so you also wouldn’t know that this guy was my boyfriend, not my husband. I dated him for over a year, on and off, starting soon after my divorce. The timing probably explains why I was (am?) so hung up on him: I’d had such high hopes after a long lonely (save for my wonderful children) marriage.
      You’re right, too, about the tricky part being to find the right person, not just any. Made me smile about he-who-will-be-thrilled to pick me up at ANY airport! Thanks for making my day!
      As for you– you are sipping your own elixir of encouragement, I do hope! : )

      ~ Lily

  6. janinevasta says:

    Dear Lily. No more tears. Only tears of joy. Again, your passion and open heart and determination, your belief are all things I wish i had but long ago put aside. You’re out there in the game willing, beautiful ,talented, strong, as deep as the ocean. If only He read your beautiful blog…;-) x

    • lily says:

      If only I could take my little satchel of such things and use them to draw the life I wish! But, yes, why not try? That’s what I think. No real harm in being hopeful. Anyway Janine, when we put things aside, we can pick them up again. It is exactly what I am trying to do, pick up the little pieces of myself that I set aside. When I see your beautiful photos and read your thoughts, I know that you have such a beautiful heart, such passion, so some things cannot be far aside, and whatever else you wish… reach out.
      It goes without saying that good mothers are there for their children, with so many gifts of self: time, emotion, care. Not really an impediment, but sometimes a phase.
      Somehow, sometime, I believe that we and some of my other dear readers here will have love. Otherwise, why would we have been made so loving? “For every thing, a purpose under heaven…”

      ~ Lily

  7. It is possible, yes, but one always loves more.

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