Dear Future Husband,
Probably by now I’m not the person I was while writing this, because my current husband recently left me and our three boys for a woman half his age in recent months. I’m hoping by the time you’re reading this I’m a complete and whole person, have had tons of therapy, and am bringing no baggage into our future marriage. While the divorce finalization is on the horizon, this has taught me many, many things already that I think you should know. Consider this your cheat sheet for stealing my heart and the heart of my boys.
First, it won’t bother me if you’ve been divorced already or have children of your own, as long as you were not the cheating spouse. I’ve already been cheated on, and I truly believe that to fully be in love with someone you have to trust and respect them. If you’ve already cheated, I already don’t respect you.
In retrospect I realize now that I’m not 100% sure that I ever loved my husband, since he started lying to me before we were married. He left a drug and alcohol addiction behind (or so I thought) because he professed his undying love for me and his willingness to leave all that behind. However, I realize now that no one can heal a true addict. They have to seek healing for themselves, and unfortunately, I truly thought I was the “savior” in this case. I’ve learned that being a “mother” to someone doesn’t mean you are in love with them.
Please know you don’t have to be perfect, as my boys and I are not perfect (far from it). We will accept you with all your imperfections, but know that we have ours as well. We are actually a ton of fun at times, and want someone who likes to have fun as well. It would actually be really nice to have someone who enjoys doing anything besides sitting on the couch and watching television most of the time.
If you have any addictions, please note that I have no future plans of trying to change you. Now, depending on your addictions, we may or may not have a future together. For the protection of my boys, I don’t feel it’s safe for them for me to marry anyone with a drug or alcohol addiction because of how it changes behavior. However, there are some minor addictions that would not affect our future, since I don’t feel that anyone is perfect (say, a whipped cream or blueberry addiction perhaps), ahem……*cough*….. or an addiction even to gaming, as long as you can keep it in check. Please just try to be as complete and whole of a person as possible, and I will do the same for you, because I really feel that is what makes couples be able to stay together.
On the topic of pornography addiction, I just can’t….After twenty years of being compared to other women, constantly having to compete with younger and prettier, if you don’t love me for me, then keep moving. While I’m going to try not to let myself go or become a ridiculous slob (I’m sure my ex would say I had plenty of disgusting habits like chewing with my mouth open while talking, constantly having blueberry skins between my teeth, or dressing frumpy at bedtime), I am going to make a better effort this time of checking my teeth in the mirror, covering my mouth, and keeping anything gross in check. However, I just can’t deal with playing second fiddle to fantasies anymore. I will never spend my time chasing after you, controlling you, hoping you will love only me, or begging you to leave these other women, because we won’t be together if this is your issue.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that my definition of love and yours must be somewhat close. I see love as commitment, honesty, keeping your word, and loving me and my kids even during the ugly times. It means being able to work through problems without wanting to turn to something or someone else. It means you are aware that there are going to be tough times and you are ok with working through those. It means that I see your faults (and you see mine) and that the love we have for each other is more important than constantly thinking about those faults. We both have to see the glass as half full, or we’re never going to make it.
One area I will never compromise on again is sex. It has to be good, and we have to be compatible in this area. I don’t care if you can maintain an erection 24/7, have abs of steel, or are the best looking guy ever, you must care about my needs too. Look me in the eyes and talk to me during sex. I will make the world go round for you, if you will just take time to make sure I’m happy and my needs are met. Don’t tell me to hurry up, expect me to have sex with no foreplay, or constantly worry about the size of your penis. I need someone who has a kind and loving heart and gets a hard on because I’m turned on, not because you looked at pictures of other women before you came into the bedroom. Fuck that. I’m done with that. (Sorry to all my church going friends, but yes, I’m a Christian that cusses, and I’m sorry, but I can’t be anything but brutally honest here).
Major bonus for you if you are a “cuddler.” I know tons of women that hate this, and tons that love it. I’m in the love it category, and the more physical touch and PDA you provide, the happier I will be, which will in turn affect your happiness. If that isn’t your love language, then I truly believe God has someone else planned for you. I don’t have to have flowers, gifts, or even have you stroke my ego, but if you hug me, put your arm around me, or kiss me on the forehead, I’m totally, 100% yours.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T….. I realize now this is more than a song. I also think what makes women respect men varies somewhat between women. However, for me, I definitely think you have to be honest, loyal, and hold a decent job. Don’t tell me you went to the park and slept because you got fired again. Don’t come home with another pink slip because you didn’t do your job correctly. Please grow the fuck up and be a man. Hold a job, work hard, and provide for your family, and I will continue to do the same as well. Nothing is sexier than a guy who can work hard and provide for his family and keep his penis in his pants while doing so.
My boys….. I’ll try to write this without tears, but my boys are my life. My oldest is adopted from a foreign country, and while I don’t see any major issues from this in his life right now, I need you to understand that those times may come. If he wants to drop everything and get on a plane to Guatemala to meet his birth family, I need you to be right there to either go with us, or support me in taking him. If he has issues because the man he thought would always be there for him left, tell him you’re never going to leave him (as I have told him every single day since his dad left).
He’s a pre-teen right now, so yes, he’s uber annoying. If he isn’t constantly “dabbing” then he’s making some other weird, freakish noise or constantly “Snapchatting” several girls at once. He’s moody, self-conscious, but he wants you to be there. You may not think he’s watching you, or cares what you do, but he is completely watching you, and he sees everything you do.
My middle son…..He’s not quite four, and just wants you to be his best friend. Spend an hour playing games with him, taking him outside to play, or to the park, and he will be in heaven. He doesn’t like to share me at bedtime just yet, so be patient with him. He’s also lost someone he loved very much, and weekly visits just don’t constitute the day-in-day-out needs that a Father provides. You don’t have to be a replacement to his father, just be someone who can stand in the gap. Every child wants love and attention from someone in their life. Someone who will love them despite their imperfections. Don’t we all want that?!
My youngest is now six months. He’s not a newborn, but he’s not crawling yet. Right now my heart breaks because he will never know his father living in the same house. My prayer for him is that he will have some memories someday of a father figure living in the same house with him. While I don’t know all of his imperfections just yet, I know that there are times already when he cries off and on all night from an ear infection and side affects to the antibiotics. He can’t tell me why he’s crying, but he can slash the biggest smile and will love you no matter what if you just smile and talk to him.
Patience and anger….I’m not the most patient person, and I have been known to have a temper. However, I’ve started realizing that ugly people bring out the ugly in others. I’ve started surrounding myself with patient, kind people, and guess what?! I’ve become more patient and less angry. Anger just breeds more anger, and I realize now that I’m better off with someone who is gifted in these two areas. <3
Marriage…. I absolutely love being a wife. I love being in a committed relationship. I’ve always been that way, and have never “played the field” so to speak. I love the intimacy that marriage brings. Even though I had a rough, unhappy marriage, there were times I truly was happy. I loved being able to tell people I was a wife and mom. Because I was raised by a single mom, I have always wanted my boys to be part of a home with a mom and a dad. So while I may act like I’m not sure about marriage, please know I’m 100% sure I want to be married, I just may not be sure I want to be married to you yet.
Please be patient with me as I sort this out, and know that I’d be totally okay with a long engagement as we get to know each other even more than the average couple. However, there will come a point where I may start feeling like either you don’t really love me, or want the responsibilities that come with marriage and parenting if you don’t ask or don’t talk about marriage. If I had a crystal ball and knew you wouldn’t be perfect, but knew all of these things I’ve written about mattered to you too, I’d marry you tomorrow. Of course I want to be married again. I took my first set of vows very seriously, never disobeyed them, and meant for better or for worse. My hope the second time around is to find someone who can take their vows seriously and keep them…. for better, for worse, and for keeps.