|BWS Stories - "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"...Marriage|
"First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"...Marriage - Surviving the Fairy Tale
Carole Davis lives with her husband and three children in Texas. She is a former teacher, a published poet, and freelance greeting card writer. Reading, writing, and tap dancing are her passions.
Surviving the Fairy Tale It's amazing how long it took for me to wake up and realize some important truths about life. My parents own happy home provided the most wonderful upbringing a child could ask for, but little in preparation for the "real world" situation I would find myself in. At almost 20, I married my handsome high school sweetheart, because I was in love with the idea of love, engagement rings, weddings, and my "prince" carrying me off into the sunset. I gave up the college I loved, being a cheerleader there, the social club opportunities, my treasured friends, and a Christian education at a school which was absolutely ideal for me. I have regretted the decision to leave ever since.
My so-called prince wanted me to come back home and get married, or he was done seeing me on occasional weekends. He threatened to break up with me and date other people, though somehow managing to deceive me into thinking it was just because he loved me and wanted me to come home so we could get married . In truth, he was simply masking his own wants, and cared nothing about what I wanted. It had to do with control. Being a naïve, pleaser-type young woman, very forthright in manner, I never dreamed anyone could be so self-motivated and maneuvering.
I never listened or gave any credibility to the gnawing feeling I began to have inside my gut. It told me that though I thought I loved my fiancé, my attraction for him had waned. Someday I would realize that his treatment of me was the cause. I felt myself wanting to go out with other young men, but shuffled those desires under the rug, trying to keep the fairy tale at the forefront of my mind. After the wedding, it wouldn't matter. Perhaps some of my desires would be fulfilled in marriage. This however, was not the case. I didn't know what to do with my feelings, but I knew I was a good girl. Indeed he was never the man I needed, but all he cared was that I was what he wanted, at least at the time.
I was still just a girl, wanting to please the handsome prince so badly, that I let him treat me like I wasn't as important as he was, for over 9 years. I just followed the road wherever it lead, because I was already on it. I didn't believe in divorce. It just didn't factor in to a life with my supposed prince. Over time, I acquired more experience in life (and perhaps more sense), brought on by a real job and my first child. The newly mature bread winner and mother knew we needed marriage counseling.
When we attended counseling together, the man asked me why I had been letting this "greasy, slimy pig" treat me the way he did, letting him "slip-slide around in life," continuing the pattern of injustice his parents had set, by letting him think he was some hero to be idolized. It wasn't completely my husband's fault for his constant put downs of me. He had been treated like a spoiled "movie-star" by everyone his entire life, because he was successful in sports and nice looking. However, once grown, people are supposed to be responsible adults, and follow the "pretty is as pretty does" rule. As narcissistic as my husband was, he never believed any problems in the marriage were related to him. He ended up being no "prince," but an alcoholic and a cheat, that I gave up so much of my young life for.
I'm proud to say that I quickly took the counselor's lead, and my son and I began life anew, treating myself with the respect I long deserved. My son became my rock in life. I enjoyed the time we spent together, as we got through the difficult situation the divorce presented. I have never regretted leaving the marriage, and my son and I both know the decision was the best one for both of us.
After several years of being single again, I remarried and had two more children. My firstborn has been a wonderful example to his younger brother and sister. Sometimes, I think all the bad times I went through, was so I could bring this delightful boy into the world... and I'd gladly do it all again. He has been such a treasure to so many already, that I feel God's plan was just unfolding beyond my ability to comprehend at the time.
Life is not like Snow White's fairy tale. Not everyone will find their Prince Charming and live happily ever after. Some find more than one. Others settle for things they want most: a home and family, a spouse that will be true. Some keep up the search for a soul mate -- one who makes every day sparkle and breathes life and passion into the simplest of situations. Perhaps there is no perfect match for everyone. Whether there is or not, we all need to get on with living life in a healthy manner, taking good care of ourselves, and sticking to the standards that we each have, in order to live happily.
Today, I have gained an inner strength, one I lean on during difficult times. Life has not been perfect, and I occasionally have some of the typical "what if" questions that other people have. I know that I am a worthwhile person, a star in my own right, and while I walk my own path, I always listen to my gut instinct. I have surpassed the bullying, and survived the "fairytaleitis."