As a divorced woman, I never feel qualified to give anyone advice on how to make their marriage work. Yet as a divorced woman, I can probably tell you what NOT to do. We'll even start before getting married. Let's go back to the dating process. I want to first of all, give a disclaimer. At the time the events that I am going to share occurred, I was a VERY emotionally unhealthy woman. That being said, let's travel back in time.
August 1997. I was living in my first apartment. I had been living with my NC dad and finally was able to move Melissa and I into our own place. It was so exciting for me. It was not a really nice apartment, but it was clean and Melissa had her own room for the first time in her life.
Anyway, I had a boyfriend whom I had decided was not right for me, and I was going to dump him. My best friend lived in the apartment building next door. She convinced me to break off my date with my boyfriend and go out with her and one of her guy friends. Heck, I didn't want to go out with said boyfriend anyway. I reluctantly agreed to go with them. I told my friend that I was not dressing up, that I was getting tired of constantly dressing up to go out. We had been going out most weekends for months.
Our destination was a comedy club. My friend's guy friend was meeting some of his friends there. Little did we realize that this was supposed to be a "guys night out" and we were crashing it. We arrived and had a few drinks. I confess to having a good buzz. I remember sitting there and noticing this good looking guy, but he was SO LOUD. I remember wishing that he would be quiet. He was getting on my nerves. As a matter of fact, he almost got us kicked out of that place. He was so obnoxious! We left the comedy club and went to another club.
Lesson #1: Never underestimate the power of first impressions, even if you do have a buzz.
At the next club, my friends decided to do a little match making. It was the oldest trick in the book, but my young, naive self fell for it. My friend sits down and points to the loud, obnoxious guy from before. I look at him and notice that he is pretty hot. My friend tells me he is interested. The next thing I know he is at my table and him and I are talking. I don't even remember what we talked about. Soon afterwards, we all decided to leave and head back to my place. There were four of us, so I felt comfortable with this. We get back to my place and the hot guy goes into my bedroom and falls asleep in my bed! My two other friends were sleeping in Melissa's room that night, so I had NO PLACE to sleep. (It was a really small apartment). I didn't even have a full length sofa, all I had was a love seat and I WAS not about to sleep on that thing in my own house. The hot guy was snoring really loudly so I didn't feel in any danger. I decided to sleep in my bed.
I got in bed and pressed my body up against the wall as far away from him as I could get. After all, he might be hot but I didn't even know him. I did have some morals.
The next morning he asked me out. I could not believe that this really hot guy wanted to date me.
Lesson #2 If you have self esteem issues, don't date! Really, do what you need to do to feel good about yourself. If you have poor self esteem, this can open a door for you to be mistreated by someone you are dating. You will likely tolerate being mistreated because of your poor self esteem. The "I don't deserve any better" or the "I wont find any better" mentality comes into play here.
We made plans for our date. The night of the date I anxiously got ready and waited for him to pick me up. I waited, and waited, and waited. He never showed up. He didn't call either. I was disappointed, but not really surprised. After all, what would someone like him want with someone like me anyway. The next day, he sent me roses at work. He apologized for standing me up and we made plans for another date. I don't even remember what his excuse was, but I can tell you that it was bull whatever it was.
Lesson # 3 Really pay attention to behavior patterns early on in dating. Things like being stood up can really give you insight to a person's character. What I should have taken from this was that he might not be a reliable or honest person.
I was willing to look the other way about our broken date and we began dating. Melissa took an immediate liking to him. We spent time together most every day. I immediately spilled my guts about my childhood and all that I had been through. He had been through some things as a child also. This should have been a HUGE red flag for me just as it should have been a huge red flag for him.
Lesson # 4 Pay attention to the kind of relationship a person has with their family. This will also tell you a lot about a person. This lesson is null and void if the family is a bunch of nuts and/or freaks. After all, you can't expect someone to have a close relationships with family members who are nutty or freaky. That's just not fair.
Let's take me for example. Yes I had a rough childhood, but as an adult I maintain close connections to my family and I have healed from everything that happened. If you can tell a person still has many unresolved issues, you might want to think twice about dating them. I will very honestly point out that at the time I started dating my ex-husband, I did not have close connections to my family, and I was in no way, shape or form "healed" from my childhood. In fact, I was still pretty bitter about everything. OK, OK, it was worse than that, I was a walking, talking time bomb ready to explode at any given time and was prepared to take down any who stood in my way.
We had been dating for a few weeks when I witnessed him having a very strong disagreement with his brother in law. When I met him, he was living with his sister and her husband. He had recently moved to NC and didn't have his own place yet. After seeing this altercation, me being the incredibly stupid young fool that I was, told him he could come stay with me. Yes, I did apparently fall out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. Every. Single.One.
In my next post, I will be revealing what happens when you fall out of the stupid tree and let a guy move in with you who you have only known for several weeks. I think you have probably heard all you can handle for one posting.