Tapati (tapati) wrote,

Fear of Being Alone

The fear of being alone is one of the forces keeping battered women from leaving their husbands. Our society constantly reinforces the notion that we are somehow deficient if we do not have a mate. One would think we were being herded into the Ark. Must pair up, now, and make the ship in time.

I remember being frozen by this fear in my first marriage. I think that attracting a husband allowed me to feel that I had overcome my father's abandonment. Hey, a man wants me! So what if the first man in my life walked away? But if I walked away from him, did it still count? What would it mean if I was alone?

Seeing so many divorces in my family also kept me from wanting to give up too soon. I don't know when I thought was too soon--before I was completely broken and in the hospital?

I am also very stubborn and I wasn't going to give up before I had tried everything I could think of. I wasn't willing to fail at this important endeavor.

So I stuck it out through abuse, through sub-standard housing, through homelessness, poverty, and finally, adultery disguised as "taking a second wife."

I was amazed to find out that when I gave up, admitted this wasn't going to work, and sent the letter that set me free following our separation, that being alone wasn't this scary thing I had made it out to be. Like a lot of things in life, the fear of what might be is worse than the thing itself.

I didn't marry again for another fifteen years. It sounds lonely but my life was full of children, friends, and teachers. I knew that if I wasn't to betray myself again I had to fully develop my own identity and be fulfilled within myself. If I approached another marriage from the point of view that I was empty and needed someone else to fulfill me, it would fail too.

When I was ready, I met the man who truly valued me just as I am. Such a man is not attracted to the desperately lonely woman who wants to take on his life because she lacks her own.

Life with Dave is an adventure where I have learned to accept being nurtured and valued and treasured. These are not things I am used to, and at times I revert to the feeling that I don't deserve to be treated so well. When I do, Dave is here to remind me of all that I bring to him in return.

While my marriage is fulfilling, I remind myself also that no one person can meet all of our needs. I have a full life with friends, my daughter, my grandsons, online communities, and of course the foundation of all, my Goddess.
Tags: bio, dave, writing

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