Sometimes you read a post that literally leaves you reeling. This one did just that: http://fatbottomgirlsaidwhat.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/reminders-2/
These days I live in a nice little bubble with a caring husband, two precocious kids and a great big mind of my own. I like my bubble. It’s rather middle class: the kids prefer humus to dairylea, we read nightly and our idea of a big night out includes our best friends and a few bottles of really good wine.
So exactly what has that got to do with a woman a world away posting about a black eye? It’s a trigger. My bubble consists of a fair bit of selective memory and denial. I am intent on showing my girls what a healthy marital relationship looks like so they grow up expecting their partners to be their friend and to treat them with respect. I will probably not tell them that before their dad I dated an absolute wanker who thought it was totally acceptable to treat me as an object to be bruised at will. I’ll definitely not tell them that them learning Kung Fu from age 4 was highly influenced by my desire for them to be able to beat ten bells out of anyone who dares raise a hand to them.
I don’t like to dwell on former lives. What’s done is done, and we move on. But, if there’s anything that I can say with hindsight is that by being with someone because we were first and foremost friends, we have supported and encouraged each other to grow instead of always trying to belittle the other to look better. I’ve been with LSH for a decade now and we’re still friends (and I’m better at Total War than he is, never let him tell you otherwise). That’s how marriage works – eventually everything gets a bit saggy and wrinkly, but your minds stay sharp(ish) and you can still make each other laugh even if you’re in iron lungs.
Not all men are crap, some are really quite exceptional. But others, well, others need a really long time out in a room with clanky bars and a big guy called Otto with an unhealthy interest in where your soap is.