The other day one of my best friends (who doesn't read this blog) emailed me and asked if I was back with Mike yet. "You don't have a good history of ridding yourself of problematic men," she wrote. "As a matter of observation, I would say you are magnetized to them."
Um, just how am I supposed to react to that?
I suppose I could start by asking, who the fuck isn't problematic? By the time we're 50, most of us have a shitload of baggage and personal idiosyncrasies that would drive anyone up the wall. It's not like when we were in college and were pretty much a lump of clay yet to be molded.
We all sit somewhere on the "problematic" scale and granted, some of us weigh in a lot more heavily than others. Bastard Husband was/still is a drinker and that was definitely a problem in our marriage. In comparison, Mike's a lightweight. He's a certifiable genius, but that brilliance can be a freakin' curse when it comes to day-to-day life skills. Add young children into the mix, plus the fact that I'm a self-diagnosed "Highly Sensitive Person" (a.k.a. "Pain in the Fucking Ass") and we have a perfect storm.
Those of us in our 40s, 50s, and beyond have decades of experiences under our belts that form the basis of who we are and how we look at life. As a result, the older we get, the more we're set in our ways. We know what works for us and what doesn't. In effect, and especially for a picky-ass person like me, the window of relationship opportunity is open just a crack. It gets harder to find someone who has the winning combination of personal characteristics, professional accomplishments, logistics (such as availability and geographic location), and chemistry that we look for in a partner.
So when I find someone I really dig and fall in love with, yes, I will leave no stone unturned to see if somehow we can make this work. If you read my book you know I would have done anything to save my marriage to B.H.; I call it a love story for a reason. And I can't tell you how many times I've hit the wall of frustration with Mike only to go back with him, believing there has to be some way to keep this together.
I don't often get defensive, mostly because I don't give a crap what people think, but I find my friend's remarks insulting. I continue to be amazed at what people, I'm gonna say married people, will say to us single folks. I swear, someday my eyeballs will need to be surgically removed from my cerebellum.
So single folks, tell me about the crazy shit you hear. And for those of you living in wedded bliss, here's the link to a post I wrote a while back on what you should never say to single people. Please, I beg of you, read this!
And for the record, Bastard Husband is a professor with a Ph.D. and Mike's a computer wiz and successful businessman who was able to retire at 38. That's the caliber of men I'm magnetized to.