Keep Them From Making The Big Ones
Just the other day a friend asked me why his sister allowed herself to remain in an on- again off-again relationship with a grown "male" (not a man) who has no job, constantly asks her for money and openly cheats.
On the surface, it boggles the mind why women put up with bullsh*t just to say they have someone.
We all sit on our friends' couches on Friday nights and say loudly "If it had been me that never would have happened! What is wrong with her?"
But what we tend to forget is that we've all been there.
A few years ago (or weeks) that was us on our friend's couch crying, wondering why a man we love so intently would hurt us like that. And then the philanderer calls, apologizes, sweet talks us enough for us to take them back because the good times were so good or just because he cheated doesn't mean he doesn't love us, etc., etc., etc. *insert excuse here*
I honestly don't know a woman who hasn't been hurt, but eventually the majority of us grow up, realize our self-worth and find a man who treats us like a Queen.
Unfortunately, some women never reach this level of maturation. Sometimes a woman's lot in life is to stay with a man who doesn't respect, love or cherish her until she dies a bitter old woman.
And that breaks my heart.
So why do we do it?
Well, for many reasons.
#1. Sometimes the idea of being alone for the rest of your life is far scarier and hurts worse than being cheated on. (I have experienced both so I can honestly say the pain from both run neck and neck, depending on the day).
#2. Sometimes we don't know any better. We believe all men cheat and it's just our goal to find one who makes us number one (as opposed to the ONLY one).
#3. It's also been drilled into our minds via the media, magazine images and even cartoons that a woman isn't valuable unless a man wants her... and it starts before we even enter kindergarten. Think about all the Disney movies you watched as a young girl: Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty.... movies about women who aren't happy until a man comes to save them.
The only way to stop the cycle is to recognize it and make sure you don't pass it on.
I'll demand respect from the man who wants to be my husband and father of my children so I can lead by example.
If I have a daughter, I'll teach her to love herself first before she loves anyone else; I'll teach her that not everyone out there is good; and I'll share with her all of my past mistakes so she won't give too much of herself to the wrong people.
If I have a son, I'll teach him how to cook, wash his own laundry and clean up after himself (because some men think the job of a wife is to be his maid.) I will also share with him all of my past mistakes - and the pain that came from them - so he won't be one of those men who treats women with disrespect and without any regard for their feelings.
I'll teach both of them that being single is okay, being in a relationship doesn't define who you are and you don't have to "have someone" to feel good about yourself.
And I'll do all of this talking early. I won't wait until after my daughter feels pain to speak up. Everyone makes mistakes, but hopefully talking early will keep them from making the big ones.