Walking through arrivals at Heathrow airport I looked around to see who was waiting for me after my 4am wake up call followed by 14 hours of flying home from beautiful Thailand bringing me back to a very wet and cold London. In my mind I saw him there, holding a massive bouquet of my favourite red roses as an apology for not being in touch whilst I was away. He’s come to pick me up and ask me all about my trip, he’s so perfect and romantic *heart eyes*
In reality there was silence amongst the busy airport terminal. Then the truth hit me like a slap in the face and my stomach twisted. I held back the tears. There was no one here to pick me up at all. There was not even a single message from him on my phone. Well what the fuck was I thinking really? I took a very lonely tube journey home and thought about how silly I was to expect anything less of him.
This may sound like the opening of a novel but this really did happen to me and it’s real life. It’s what happens when you love the wrong man. In your mind they are perfection, they can do no wrong, they are just everything to you. Surely he never meant to cause any hurt? The truth is this: I ignored all the red flags in the beginning, I let the little things slide which turned into the big things, like betrayal, disrespect, trust issues. But there I was still holding out for a miracle, telling myself maybe he will change and go back to that amazing man you first met who was caring, attentive, who fell in love with you or maybe just claimed to because does he even know what love is? And does he really know how to love a woman like you?
A woman who accepted his flaws without question
A woman who opened her heart and let her guard down even when she’d been hurt badly before
A woman who was there through hard times when no one else was
A woman who gave more chances than what he deserved
A woman who just wanted a happy relationship full of good times and memories
A woman who stood by his decisions even when they were the wrong ones
A woman who at times put herself second
And a woman who was, let’s be honest, a bit of a fucking mug
As I write this I realise how far I’ve come and that I was stupid to ever think that anything could change, especially after our daughter was born it was a very lonely time for me and when things started to go badly wrong.
In this 2 years of being a single mother I’ve realised that one of the biggest mistakes that women make is this: sometimes we love a man not just for his actions or what he does for us but we fall in love with his potential. Because at the beginning of a relationship he shows his best side, he wants you and will do whatever it takes to have you, he wants to impress you so you think ‘this is the man for me, he’s the whole package’ etc. You’re thinking this guys amazing, he could be a great partner / husband / father to my child (us women do like to get carried away at times). That’s right babes he COULD be all that! But it doesn’t mean to say that he will! But we convince ourselves – this is definitely the man I want to be with! Then when things start going wrong or you see some behaviours that you think you’re not sure about instead of checking him on his actions you let it slide, you tell yourself ‘oh it’s okay, he doesn’t mean it, he’s a good guy really’. You think about how he’s been so far or how he was in the beginning. This was my exact problem in this relationship. I convinced myself for WAY too long that everything was okay and that he would never hurt me, he does love me and care about me. Sometimes I would lie in bed at night wondering why he couldn’t go back to how he was at the beginning, when we met those 4 and a half years ago, but we were 2 different people then and after he got me to himself I believe in his eyes that was his job done. We had been through some real shit times and some good times (but more shit times if I’m honest) And the truth was that sorry, he isn’t ever going to be that lovely guy again, it was all an act. If he was going to change then he would have changed by now, but he didn’t want to change for me. It was a very hard pill to swallow but sometimes you have to learn the hard way, by yourself, even when everyone else can see through him and knows exactly what he is. And when everyone’s trying to talk some sense into you but you’re wearing your rose tinted glasses.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through because when you have a child with someone you never think about raising that child alone, in a relationship you should be able to work through your issues and be a partnership, supporting each other. Having a child is the best thing you can do and I’m honestly so thankful that I got to have my daughter because she is the best thing that has come out of that relationship no matter what else went on. After I got back from Thailand I had to have a word with myself and deep down I knew it was over between us especially as we had been on and off for about a year. The Christmas that followed I presented him gifts from my trip and received nothing in return, except more empty promises. I’d heard enough. 2017 rolled around and during an argument over WhatsApp involving me sending screenshots as evidence (say no more) he told me he was going through a lot of stress and needed ‘space’ and that was fine with me. After about 92 ‘I’m dones’ I was finally DONE. Finito. And I was now officially a single mother. Truth be told I really didn’t know what to expect for the future but I felt happy to be away from all of the stress and anxiety of wishing for a miracle and the change of a man who had no intentions of changing. Away from wondering if things would get better. Now I knew the truth and could start to move on with my life.
I was free.