Redefining My Ideal Life

I’ve always pictured myself with a beautiful man about my age with a body that proved he worked hard to keep it up. This ideal man would be such a charmer that everyone I knew who met him would compliment me on what a catch I managed to reel in. I imagined him without children. He’d want so very much for me to carry his and we would raise and rear them together. I pictured that ours would be the traditional family unit. We’d live in a beautiful house that had a sizeable front yard and a backyard big enough to keep a swing set and monkey bars and anything else our children would want added to their playground. That was my ideal life.

It was in the summer of 2016 when I started to realize that that may not have been the life meant for me (“My Inner Battle” 7.22.16). In retrospect, I believe now that I was in desperate denial when I started my search for a husband (“The Husband Project” 3.30.16)– rushing the process just so that I could have something I felt I deserved. But what I didn’t take into consideration was the idea that my ideal life was not going to be some modern day fairytale. I now know that marrying someone quickly just to start a family would not necessarily equal happiness. I’m glad I let go of my husband search and continued my search for love. But again, I think I was short sighted— still only looking for that “perfect” man. What I met were men who didn’t really want to settle down or have more kids, and one who didn’t even live in this state. I tried telling myself that maybe they would change their minds or come to see how perfect I could be as a mate. Deep down, however, I knew that again, I was trying to create a fantasy out of reality.

Then, suddenly my gentleman was presented to me in a most unexpected way (“An Unexpected Interest” 7.8.17). Yes, there were feelings of doubt and uncertainty but I wanted to trust the situation. You’ll recall that a major concern of mine was his age. And he didn’t come in the physical package I’d always envisioned but that didn’t matter because I found him attractive anyway. That was important to me.

He told me from the beginning he didn’t want kids yet I told him from the beginning that I did. Why are we still together then? Well, we’ve kept the lines of communication open with conversations about what we were willing or not willing to settle for. We’ve come to respect each other for that.

Right now I’m pursuing my wish to have a child and he has made the decision to stand by me in full support.

When I first started this blog, I questioned why I was not yet married to the love of my life, living in a beautiful house with our beautiful children. That was my ideal life. Now I understand and accept that perhaps I wasn’t meant to live that life.

My ideal life has become getting to know myself through my search for love. It’s become recognizing when a good thing has come into my world. My ideal life is understanding that I can most certainly have everything that I’d ever wanted when it comes to having my own family. Yet I now realize that that ideal life may come in a different package and through unconventional ways…and I am so ready to accept that.

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A New Adventure

The past few weeks have indeed been challenging with several factors as the cause. The amount of stress I’ve been dealing with has certainly been exacerbated by my lack of sleep. Juggling my time between my teacher-related duties and my gentleman, I haven’t had much time to really think about anything else but my desire to have a child.

Yes, I am still seeing him who has since made it clear to me that to have a child would make him greatly uncomfortable. A quiet sadness filled the air when he finally told me and upon his gentle coaxing, I refused to share my thoughts with him. It was too painful. I have grown fond of him- in fact, the word love enters my mind when I think of him. To know that he does not wish to take this journey with me— although he’s shown me in other ways his deep affection for me— is heartbreaking.

His decision has nothing to do with whether or not I will stay with him. He seems to have no intention of letting me go. And I decided that I want him to stay in my life in the role he currently occupies. But I also later told him that with or without him, I am pursuing my wish to have a child. He figured as much, he admitted.

I have to say that my initial hope was to go through this process in a much less expensive way. Previously, thoughts of IVF and fertility treatments and hormone therapy were issues I had not even considered. They are now things I will have to start looking into. Thus, my journey begins down a route I had not expected. I have to follow my desire, allowing myself to explore what can possibly be a new adventure in pursuit of my dream.

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Thoughts running through my mind. Chaotic thoughts that prevent me from taking the next logical step. He admitted that he is unsure; that his path is not clear right now. He is not saying no; he is not saying yes. Yet, he realizes that “it’s either have this child with Cathy or lose her.” Thoughts of having a child is not something he entertained at this age so he’s feeling very cautious- he doesn’t want to make any mistakes.

I’m not angry- because there is no solution in anger. There is no peace in anger. What I am is disappointed. Disappointed in a man I thought would be there for me. There is also understanding. I understand his position. I must respect his thoughts and his feelings, for they have never changed. It is rare that a man will change his life’s blueprint for a woman, no matter how much he cares for her. But there is no anger.

Am I too understanding? Well, I have to understand that this is something he is not 100% on board with. I don’t want to bring a child into this world with the knowledge that she wasn’t 100% wanted to begin with. I want this child of mine to know unconditional love from anyone she is in contact with in her early years. Let her own experiences as a growing being teach her what she does and does not like in this world. But entering the world should be a pleasant and loving experience for her so I don’t want her in an atmosphere of uncertainty. I am certain I want to bring her forth into the world. My partner must be too. If not, then God will give me the strength and the perseverance to do this on my own.

I am not angry. But I am starting to know peace and with that, I shall form my own solutions.

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An important Decision

Our conversation about my wanting a child and my gentleman not seeing himself with one at this stage in his life kept replaying in my mind. My thoughts were consumed with the fact that I had to now make a very important decision- whether to stay with this man or keep it moving. But I had already grown attached to him and found myself not wanting him out of my life.

We saw each other a few days later and had a lovely visit, resuming our normal banter and playfulness. However, every now and then, I would say something that emphasized my need to be with someone who wanted what I wanted. As I left him the next morning, he asked, “Are you breaking up with me?” I couldn’t answer that question- I wasn’t ready to. Instead I said something like, “Well, does it make sense for us to stay together when we want different things?” But somewhere between my question and my leaving his apartment, he believed that I did break up with him. I learned this through our next exchange via text. We had a chuckle over the misunderstanding but the thought weighed heavily upon both of us- so much so that it actually did feel like our brief relationship was very much coming to an end.

The following evening, he invited me to the movies in a quite natural way- considering the big topic that loomed over us. And quite naturally, I accepted. Yes, I was very hesitant. Why were we doing this to ourselves- holding onto feelings and keeping an attachment that would very soon have to be severed? Despite my hesitation, I found myself unable to say no.

Our time together felt very much like a date between two people who liked each other but were still at a very new and awkward stage in their relationship. Talk of my wanting a child never made it to the surface. It seemed to have simply hung in the air somewhere above and around us, quietly reminding us why our conversation was so strained that night.

A few days later, my gentleman and I discussed my desire to have a child. I explained to him that because I’ve never experienced that which my body was designed to do, I didn’t feel like a complete woman. He admitted that he had been thinking about it and he amazingly put himself into the equation. As he harbored thoughts of what we’d already shared between us, he asked himself, “What if this is as good as it gets?” He didn’t want to lose me because of this thing that had seemed to come between us. He was willing, he said, to get his sperm tested. I didn’t want him to get into any situation he didn’t want just for me yet he assured me that if he did this, it would be because he wanted it. I became  very emotional.

Later, I texted him, thanking him for talking to me about my desire to have a baby and for considering himself in a situation he previously didn’t even want. All for me. I emphasized to him that no matter what happened, I wanted him to know how very touched I was by his offer. I ended my text to him, saying “You mean so much to me.”

His response was so sweet, thanking me for the kind words. He wrote that he appreciated me and what I wanted. He expressed his gratefulness to be even a small part of my process. After telling me just how awesome he thought I was, he closed his text, saying “And you mean so much to me as well.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was extremely touched. How could I let him go?

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A Frank Discussion

We were coming to the end of our dinner one evening when my gentleman mentioned that he wanted us to have a frank and adult discussion about where our relationship was going. He’d been in relationships before where he and his significant others never talked about the direction of their relationship and he didn’t want to make the same mistake with me.

He expressed that he was starting to have tender feelings toward me. Sometimes, he confessed, he felt that he was the only one between us that felt such ‘tenderness’. In other words, he felt that I was guarded and that I was not letting him in. I have to admit: his saying that did not make me feel good. I was, in fact, guarding my heart, attempting to protect my feelings against a possible negative response from finally confronting him about my wish to have a child. So right then and there, I made the decision to tell him my “secret”, the only thing I found myself previously unable to talk to him about before.

Upon mentioning to him my wish to have a child and to be with someone who wants that with me, he maintained his position about why he did not want children. At his age, he wanted to enjoy his life with travel and his music, among other things. I listened. Who was I to judge him? He felt like that part of his life (having children) had passed him by. I certainly didn’t want to pressure him but I had to let him know how much I had always wanted this for myself.

We were both emotional as we lifted ourselves from the dinner table and sat together on his couch. Knowing what this revelation meant for us, we held each other in an embrace, not wishing to- and almost unable to let go.

I told him that for a woman to stay in a relationship that she knows won’t provide her with what she wants is pointless and an unfortunate waste of her time. I needed to find someone who wanted the same thing. He held me tighter saying, “We don’t have to make a decision now, do we?” And I felt the same way. I realized then that I didn’t want to end things with him. At all. But I had to think realistically. Could I stay with him and not have my baby? I would grow to resent him. What if he were to change his mind for me (which I certainly didn’t expect)? Would he grow to resent me?

Now, faced with the threat of terminating our relationship, I suddenly realized how much this man actually meant to me. I realized then why this was one of the most important relationships I’d ever been in. He is the first man that I’ve ever felt so comfortable with in ALL areas of my life. I literally could talk to him about anything and feel no judgement from him- just an understanding followed by an intelligent conversation, mixed in with some humor that always left me feeling good about myself, about him, and about us as a couple. How could I let that go to find someone who may or may not exist for me in the near future?

That night, he drove me home, expressing that he was glad we had our conversation and that it made him feel closer to me. I felt a deeper connection to him as well. But what good was it going to do for us if the very conversation that brought us closer was the one that proved we should be apart?

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