On Thanksgiving morning while perusing Facebook, I stumbled upon a photo of someone that I used to know. He sat at a sweethearts table, done up in a three-piece suit. Beside him sat his beautiful bride, dressed in a cream heart-shaped gown. In that instant, I envisioned myself beside him, taking her place, and thought, What if? Could that have been me?
This set the tone for the rest of my day. The holiday season is often difficult for single gals, myself included. It's a reminder that we are indeed without partner and child. That’s why instead of feeling fully grateful I felt sad. While watching my niece and little cousins play, and couples embracing, a somberness hit me all at once. This stems from loss, pain and regret.
What if I waited for him to make up his mind? What if I gave him a second chance? What if I gave him more time to change? What if’s on top of what if’s…
This is why some women don’t leave their partners. They remain in chaotic partnerships and marriages because of the “what if” and then some. My cousin once said it best. While she angrily packed her husband's clothes in a jumbo garbage bag, she lamented on all she’s invested.
I spent all these years on him, she hollered.
I taught him everything he knows, she claimed.
And the next girl will benefit from all my efforts, my cousin realized.
A day or two later, she reunited with her husband. They’ve been together ever since with less hiccups.
We do teach the men in our lives, don’t we? As I clicked on photo after photo, I wondered whether he danced his first dance the way he danced with me. He lacked rhythm. I taught him to sway a little better. Did he kiss her the way I showed him I wanted to be kissed? Does he express himself because I told him it’s crucial to a healthy relationship? I will never know. But one thing is certain — I taught him some of the things he knows. And the woman beaming beside him in a dazzling gown is benefiting from my efforts.
Can you relate?
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/Joodles.