Have you ever just wanted what you wanted? It was all you could think about. You schemed, planned, compromised and bargained for it. Finally, it becomes your reality. You have the one thing you think you have always wanted – the marriage, the relationship, the dream job, the friendship, the recognition – we have arrived where we want to be and it feels great! This can be good for people but more times than not, I have seen this fail people miserably. Wanting what I wanted failed me miserably. You fly high for a while and feel great about life – then the reality of what you have done hits you. It is in that moment that you begin to see things for what they are, not for what you want them to be. After all, seeing things for what you wanted them to be got you to this point in the first place.
This blog describes my marriage very well. Please don’t misunderstand me. I think marriage is a good thing and I know many people who are happily married who want to be married. However, looking back, I wanted something so bad that I refused to look at obvious warning signs that I should not marry my late husband. This is the first time I am admitting this to myself and putting it in writing. I wanted what I wanted so bad I ignored the early warning signs of emotional and mental abuse. I ignored obvious signs of severe mental illness. I ignored many things and at the same time, I did not know what I was dealing with either. I was provided three opportunities, three, to halt my marriage plans. I did not heed those warnings. I see this very clearly now. I wanted what I wanted so badly that I married someone I had no business with at all. I wanted to be like everyone else and be married!
I paid for my wants too with 3 years of a bad roller coaster ride. I’m going to be honest. I knew I had a problem before we got engaged and I just marched on like nothing happened. I wanted what I wanted! We will always pay for what we want, one way or another. Did I love this man? Yes I did. Did I know when I married him there might be some problems? Yes but who was worried about that? I had a wedding to plan. I wanted what I wanted! As he got worse in the marriage, I kept thinking he would change. I kept giving him excuses. I wanted what I wanted! I wanted the fairytale wedding to be true. Please do not misunderstand me here – I am not blaming myself for the abuse. I am not blaming myself for anything. What I want my readers to see is this; I made a choice to want what I want despite reality telling me otherwise. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have been involved in an abusive relationship of any kind, let’s admit to ourselves the warning signs were there, we chose to ignore them. We wanted what we wanted and we thought it would change to fit the fantasy we were believing in. I will say that many times the fantasy is encouraged by the abusive partner and others who have no clue what is going on in the relationship. However, I had to ask myself at what point was I just going along with a fantasy so I could have the title of “married” and “happy” when happy I was not and miserable I was very much! Ladies and gentlemen, when we look back, we have to look at ourselves and ask ourselves some tough questions. As I said earlier, we are never to blame for the abuse. We are only responsible for ourselves, not the abuser. In being responsible for ourselves, we are responsible for believing in a fantasy and ignoring the obvious. We are responsible for wanting what we want so bad we are willing to sacrifice our self-worth and our safety when reality is screaming at us to take another look.
I want to stop here and say I also realize the power many abusers weld over men and women. I realize when you are in it, you can’t be self-aware much less reflective. The only thing you are trying to do is survive. I certainly was not self-aware and eventually all I wanted was to be away from him. In fact, I wanted him to disappear or die. Pretty scary right? This is the first time I have put that in writing too. I was not able to reflect on this or anything that happened to me for that matter until I was out from under his control. I don’t expect anyone else to be able to reflect either until they are no longer under the control of an abuser. To heal and grow, we all need a safe place.
My goal is writing today’s blog is to catch people before they commit to someone they know they are having seconds thoughts about and those who are giving them serious, relational, warning signs. What is it that you are wanting? Are you wanting it with the right person? Is wanting what you want interfering with your ability to see things as they truly are? What fantasy relationship are you enabling or upholding? Whose opinion are you concerned with? If you are having second thoughts about a relationship, please ask yourself these questions! Please consider my words! You will save yourself a lot of time, heartache and money. Wanting what I wanted failed me miserably. It will fail you too, only brokenness awaits you on that path. For those of you who have never known what real love is, I ask you to look closer at the person who claims to love you. Do they contradict themselves? Are they kind to you one day and cruel the next? Do they reward and punish you in the same sentence when they speak to you? Do they talk down to you? Do they try to control you or make you do things you don’t want do? If you answered yes to those questions, they do not love you! They want what they want, and that’s you as their slave. If you read nothing else in this blog, read these words – you were not made to be a slave to anyone else!
I ask you to look with eyes that see and listen with ears that hear. When we stop blindly wanting what we want, we can find freedom and safety. We can find ourselves. We can live well in peace.