My parents divorced when I was young, and then they remarried, only to divorce again shortly after. For a lot of people, the family is where you first learn to love. As a child you learn to love and be loved by watching your parents. I always felt that I missed out on some of those lessons since my parents weren’t together. As I’ve grown older that has brought many challenges for me.
Trusting men in general is one. I was not taught how to completely trust a man, or anyone for that matter. From a young age I figured that if I couldn’t trust the people I was supposed to be able to trust (my own family), how could I trust anyone else?
Love is also a challenge. I knew how to love my family and learned how to love my children from watching the powerful women in my family who did so much to be strong for us, but with men it was a different story. I felt that I didn’t even know how to love a man. I felt that loving a man would only cause pain.
But I still wanted love and needed love, so I had sex too young and went from partner to partner in search of it.
Marriage also scares me. I’ve written before about how I watched a lot of divorces happen in my extended family, and how that made me afraid of getting married. I told people that it was just a piece of paper. But I said that because I was afraid of commitment and afraid of divorce, not because I really believed it. I only want to get married once and stay married. I want to be able to get married and not be worrying that my “what ifs” will ruin it somehow.
It’s time to break the cycle. It’s time to escape the hold that growing up in a broken home has on me. I don’t want to be afraid anymore.
This is one of the reasons why I’m grateful for I Believe in Love–because I don’t talk to a lot of people about these topics. Yet I do think there are many people like me who want to break this vicious cycle of divorce and lack of trust for our generation and ones to come. In my next piece, fellow iBiL contributor Alysse will draw on her own experience to answer some of my biggest questions about this. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or questions, comment below!