A Long, Cold, Bitter Post

by

If you have a man…and he’s decent and good and loyal and loving…

I don’t want to hear how awful he is when he DOESN’T do something.

I don’t want to know you wanted flowers for Valentine’s Day instead of just a card.

I don’t want to hear that he leaves the toilet seat up or that he burps his fish.

I. Don’t. Want. To. Hear. It.

I don’t.

When women complain about their husbands or boyfriends I want to scream until my throat bleeds…okay…maybe until their ears bleed.

I want to tell them THEY picked this man to spend their life with. It’s not my problem they picked wrong. So, keep their mouths shut.

I’ve been alone for 10 years. TEN YEARS!

I haven’t so much as been asked out on a date or stolen a kiss or held a hand or had a hug…in 10 years.

I want more than anything to have a loving, Christian man to share my life with.

I wake every day and think about how it seems it will never happen for me.

I think of how I am almost 37 years old and probably won’t ever have children and how my predicament screams “SPINSTER!” so loudly I could wear a T-shirt with the word emblazoned across my chest and no one would bat an eye.

I think of how I’m going to take care of myself when I’m elderly and alone.

I think of always having to do my own taxes, take out my own garbage, mow my own lawn.

I think of how nice it would be to have someone to take care of…someone to exist with.

I think of needing someone to want me.

And then I hear that someone is mad because they didn’t get any damn tulips?

Give me a break.

People are so selfish.

Honestly, I feel when women do that…complain about a spouse or significant other…it’s the epitome of smearing the crap that is my love life in my face. I feel they “fuss” about their man because “it’s cute.” Like they have a man…so they should act like they don’t care and that they are bothered by it. Such behavior absolutely makes my blood boil.

If you are reading this and you have a DH (a term that when I read it pierces my heart with jealousy and longing)…promise me that you won’t complain about him to someone who DOESN’T have a DH.

I know people fight at times (my parents have been together for nearly 40 years…trust me…I’ve seen fights)…and I know that folks get on each others’ nerves.

But for the love of all that’s good and right in the world…be thankful for those fights and all that having a special someone in your life includes.

Be thankful for love.

Be thankful for companionship.

Be thankful even for the old, dirty socks laying on the comforter.

Be thankful that you have those things…because if you didn’t…you might find yourself, one cold February day, watching a pair of hands which seem too old to be your own, fervently type a long, bitter diatribe into a blog post.

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28 Responses to “A Long, Cold, Bitter Post”

  1. leejolem Says:

    Wow Shelley, your post really hit home. I’ve been contemplating lately which is worse– feeling alone in a marriage or actually being alone and not married. Experiencing unrequited love in a marriage or experiencing no love relationship at all. I don’t know for sure, but your words definitely gave me a new perspective, and I thank you for that. Maybe I expect too much from my husband and my marriage. Maybe I’m looking for fulfillment from that relationship, and I should be trying to fill my cup with God’s love.

    All I know for sure is that sometimes it’s tough being a woman, and life can hurt, but I’m glad we have each other to share our sorrows and fears with. I wish I were there to give you a big hug. I wish I knew a great Christian man who lived in Mississippi who would appreciate a beauttiful, creative woman like you, Shelley.

    (((Hugs to Shelley)))) Love, Lee

  2. Libby Says:

    Shelley,

    I am a 41 year old (never married)Christian woman who also dreams of finding Mr Right and having a family. I focused on my career when my my five – year relationship with my best friend and longtime boyfriend disintegrated for reasons I will never understand.

    I cling to the fact that God has a plan for me and my life — things are not as I had hoped they would be and certainly unlike the lives of my best friends who are all married with 3 children each.

    But I have been given many blessings and I continue to pray for my husband that God may have for me.

    It is sad to hear about other women’s problems especially on the Chats. We can never walk in someone else’s shoes. This is from a bonified -“little miss black and white thinking / somewhat judgemental girl”. (I would not have said any of these words even 5 years ago.)

    There are several folks on Gray’s Chat who are really hurting — and are in scary circumstances — I just pray that they will take things one step at a time –they may not have others to vent their fears and frustrations amid the changes that swirl right now.

    I can only attempt to make changes in my own life — so I can be more open to God’s plan and not just”libby’s plan”.

    Shelley — I pray for a special hedge of protection (spiritually, physically, and emotionally) around you and your future husband who will love God and you with all his heart.

    You richly deserve the relationship that you are asking for — and I pray God brings it in His way and His time — which is unfortuanately not on our time table. Believe me I know…

    Take care, friend

  3. Libby Says:

    “Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” Luke 1:45

  4. shelley Says:

    Lee and Libby…thank you so much for your words and prayers.

    I want to clarify one thing, though.

    I certainly don’t want to sound like I’m admonishing women who are genuinely hurting in their relationships. I know their pain is real…and I feel for them deeply.

    My rant was pointly solely at those women who have healthy, solid relationships yet still always find some way to pick apart their partner’s most benign behaviors.

  5. ivoryhut Says:

    One of my mom’s favorite sayings that has stuck with me through all this years is, “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.” It was a powerful image that immediately burned itself into in my little eight-year-old mind and I’ve never forgotten it since.

    Mom also taught me that when we nitpick about other people’s flaws, maybe we should take it as a sign that there are things within our own selves that we know we have to fix but just don’t know how to, or want to. And so we instead try to “fix” the others around us. It never works, because in the end, we’re still broken.

    I, too, tend to tune out when others who are in solid relationships start criticizing petty things about their mates. It makes me very uncomfortable and embarrassed for the mate. The only thing it accomplishes is that I end up thinking less of the complainer.

    A good friend of mine summed it up nicely. He said, “Marriage is not about finding the right person – it’s about being the right person.”

    Shell, you are already the right person. Someday, the right man will find you and he’ll be so glad he waited for that. I just know it.

    Hey, if I were a man and single, I’d fly to Jackson right now. 🙂

    I heart you lots, sister.

  6. shelley Says:

    I heart you, too, Ivory. 😉

    And that saying is one of my folks’ favs from my childhood. Ha.

  7. claire Says:

    Shell – I heart you longtime 🙂 And I’m single at the moment too, so I truly understand….

    But maybe this might cheer you up. I got it in my e-mail today and I about pee’d myself!!

    Ivory – that is now my new favourite saying 🙂

  8. baby duck Says:

    As a mom with a single daughter about your age, I hear you, Shelley. She has the same sentiments about Valentine’s day, since she has never received flowers, candy, or a date. Her Dad calls her to ask her to be his Valentine. Yet she, like you, is a talented, sweet, pretty, funny, smart, hard-working, loving person (and that’s not just mom talking). I can’t figure out why both of you (and Libby) don’t have men lining up on your doorstep, seems to be a no-brainer to me. All I can say is that it’s the single men out there who are missing out.

  9. ivoryhut Says:

    Claire, that was hilarious!! I just had to send it to my brother, because he and I would fit right in with that trio.

    Oh boy oh boy, oh boy …. Danny boy.

  10. Shrewspeaks Says:

    Shelley…
    You know your sentiments are too close to my home!

    We shall raise our single wrists with a beer in NOLA and toast each other!

  11. Holeigh Says:

    Oh, man…transfer your feelings to this 19 year old and you find me in the same situation. Hearing my friends complain about the little things their boyfriends do that make them angry when they should just be happy they have someone to have petty arguments with! I know there are real dysfunctional relationships that need help, but just for once, I wanna be having the petty argument, seeking advice from a friend, haha. Unfortunately, I’ve got zero prospects at the moment…but I am more than willing to spend the time until there are some with you fine girls. 🙂

  12. Squeebee Says:

    Wow, Shelley, I’m not even sure how to respond to this one. What a poignant post, to use texan’s word.

    I SO agree with you about women complaining about their “significant others”. Not only does it grate on the nerves of those who have no significant other, but it is disrespectful to the man in question.

    I was just at a conference last weekend, and one of the speakers was talking about how one of the best things you can do to make a man feel loved is to show respect to him. Talk him up to your friends, and his cup is filled up. If his friends feel you have no respect for him, they lose respect for him in turn.

    Some interesting poll results in this regard (my numbers may be slightly off, but bear with me):

    When polled, 73 % of men would rather be alone and respected than loved and ridiculed.

    This is something that my husband and I have been very careful about. We are both very sensitive, thankfully, so this has not been an issue,

    So, Shelley, sorry for going in such a different direction with this, but thanks for making me think (yet again) with this post.

    Love and hugs to all my single (and not-so-single) MonkBot sistahs!

  13. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Girl. I feel yer pain.

    First: I know there are people in marriages and relationships that have very serious issues. I completely understood that you weren’t coming from that angle…and neither am I. I would choose to be single until the end of time if my alternative choice was to be in a loveless or abusive relationship.

    However: If I hear my newly married friend complain about how her DH forgot to pick up his dry cleaning…or how he left his shoes by the front door…or how he didn’t complete the 87 Honey-Do items she handed him over the weekend ONE MORE TIME….I am going to put her in a closet, lock the door…and go home to him myself!!

    He is sooo loving and patient with her. He is gorgeous and is a good provider. He lets the two dogs and three cats sleep in the bed with them…b/c that’s what she wants. He is good to her parents….WHAT MORE COULD SHE NEED??!!

    Why berate the poor man for not picking up a pair of shoes?? Why not pick them up herself? You know why???? B/c how would he ever learn his lesson?? He needs to know that he is wrong and a horrible person to boot…more importantly, he needs to realize that she is right…and that he is soooo lucky to have her.

    Okay. I’m done now.

    It’s funny. I know I sometimes complain about my buddies. Usually I just don’t think they appreciate me enough. I wonder if it’s the same thing as complaining about a DH or a DBoyfriend…

  14. nolagirl Says:

    Bama – It’ so funny you made a comment about your friend wanting to show her DH that he is wrong.

    On the radio show Bama and I listen to they had author Terrence Real (“The New Rules of Marriage”) and something he said really stuck in my mind.

    He said he tells people: “Do you want to be right or do you want to be married?”

    Wow. So simple, yet so profound!

  15. bamaborntxrbed Says:

    Good point Nola!

    I want to be right. I mean married…I mean I want to be both right and married….

  16. nolagirl Says:

    LOL Yeah, I think that’s something us gals struggle with a lot!

  17. double d Says:

    Listen. We ALL complain. About varying circumstances and situations and people. It’s our human nature.

    Single folks complain about not having somebody.

    Married folks complain about the person they have.

    Both likely have pluses and minuses. While my marriage is FAR from perfect, I have a partner who tries. That is all I can ask. And I sincerely hope that all of you who are looking for THAT, find it.

    As for the knight in shining armor that many people think is out there (no, not any of you)…unless they’re Cinderella incarnate, that just doesn’t exist. I think many women get disillusioned with their “man” because they are expecting perfection when they are less than perfect themselves. Most don’t understand “Give and Take”.

  18. bamabotntxbred Says:

    I’m not looking for a knight in shining armor…I’m looking for a singer/dancer/harmonicerer in shining hair.

  19. leejolem Says:

    “singer/dancer/harmonicerer in shining hair”–too funny. It’s funny cuz when I saw a pic of Taylor wearing khaki shorts, a t-shirt and tennis shoes it looked like my hubby, but he can’t dance or play harmonica (he does sing pretty well). So I found out my 1st huge crush since 7th grade is on my own husband. This totally grossed out Hickschick4soul since she figured out her big crush looks like her dad. Therapy may be required.

  20. nolagirl Says:

    “Therapy may be required.” — Lee

    So, so funny. Hee hee.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    So it’s Jenny Craig or bust!

  22. ruhappytoseeme Says:

    Im so sorry , your writing made me sad, I hope you find the perfect (ok as perfect as one can be lOL) guy so you dont feel this way any more. I know one thing, someone who complains constantly about who they are with may have gotten together with someone because they didnt want to be alone and arent in love, they are just with someone to be with someone. my sister and a few friends of mine can not be alone (even my oldest daughter thinks she can not be alone) so they take the guy they think they love, stay with them for a very long time, some people even forever, and never really know what love is, and these may be the people who complain all the time. Or maybe the person they fell in love with wasnt the person they married (my last marriage, yikes, but im divorced from him) and some people are actually scared of the significant other. Ive been with my fiancee for 4 years and I guess im a bit of a complainer, but it certainly isnt over gifts or the toilet seat, but hes a good guy so I try and think of the good things (like him resembling Taylor wooo lol just kidding we were together way before I set eyes on taylor lol_)
    my heart goes out to everyone who wants a decent relationship, with a good man (or woman) and cant find them, its a tough world somnetimes but love sometimes will sneak up on you and knock you on your butt 😉 hugs and prayers for any lonely person out there, I am thinking of you!

  23. Dr. Bob Says:

    Shelley – good for you on your rant. You sound exasperated – not bitter at all, and with good reason. Sorry it took me so long to get back to this (house wonderfully full of family), but it is one of my pet peeves … something stronger than that … gripe … something … dunno. Anyway.

    I have come to two conclusions. The first is that we live in society that fosters ingratitude and dissatisfaction. If you think about it, we are supposed to be dissatisfied with our cars, houses, jobs, body shape, faces, and every blessed thing else. I am taking a stand to be more grateful for what I have.

    To all of those who want me to despise what I have, I say … ppppfffttth (to quote a friend). I am absolutely grateful for what I have – on so many fronts.

    The second thing that I think is that I am coming to loathe Valentine’s day. I have never liked it – even back in grade school when it was the litmus test for popularity. I remember surreptitiously counting the number of envelopes in the paper bag hanging off the front of my desk and being struck with the realization that I was not popular. I remember one year feeling that distinct sense of relief when I got more than 11. Because the truly unpopular kids were getting three and four. Some did not get any and you felt a sense of sadness and relief – at least that was not you. And there was getting the overly fancy Valentine’s from the boy you did not like. And noticing that you did not get any cards with the little candy hearts. I actually sort of dreaded the holiday when I was a kid. I don’t really like it much more now.

    Valentine’s Day feels like the sham of love rather than the substance. Don’t get me wrong, I think that there is a place for romantic gestures and moments, but like all of the other holidays, it is way too commercial for my taste. “C’mon folks! – Be Romantick!” Sheesh.

    I was talking to my sister and she said that Valentine’s is all about finding that perfect moment – she’s right. It makes you forget all of the little kindnesses and the daily accommodations and look for some big romantic gesture. Women compete to see who has the most romantic partner. “What did you get for Valentine’s?” My reply is that my husband folded the laundry and cleaned up cat barf so I did not have to. Happy Valentine’s day to me!

  24. leejolem Says:

    Dr bob, you are so right about our society fostering ingratitude. It’s as if we are to be embarrassed if we are satisfied with what we have in life. It makes you look weak or something, so you have to complain about it. We’ve taken the American ideal of hard work and striving for a better life to a level of unsatisfied consumerism, and it even bleeds into our personal lives and relationships. The strive for wanting the best has gone over the edge into obsessive perfectionism.

    End of rant.

  25. hopeful hannah Says:

    Shelley, I’ve read here often, but haven’t commented before. I just want to let you know that it can all change overnight, so please don’t give up hope or trying. I understand your frustration and exasperation. I’m 53 and will have been married five years this coming November. (Only because I told him I wasn’t going to be a 50 year old first time bride! 😉 ) Just leave yourself open, enjoy your life and keep praying. Very good things really DO come to those that wait!

  26. shelley Says:

    Hannah…that means a lot. Thank you muchly! 🙂

    (And congrats to you, girl!)

    Glad you’re a monkbot.

  27. Dr. Bob Says:

    Thanks Hannah! Welcome!

  28. Quossum Says:

    I feel the same way when skinny people complain about their weight. Shaddup already! Sheeze.

    James got me a new rotary cutting mat for Valentine’s, so I’m perfectly content. =)

    –Q

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