Finding Love After Watching It Break In Front Of You

Finding Love After Watching It Break In Front Of You

Confessions of a child of divorce confused on what real love is.
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I know I'm not the only one. My parents divorced when I was almost 11, right before I went to middle school. They sat my brother and me down on the patio in my backyard and I knew it was serious stuff. Being only 10, I thought this serious talk meant we were going to Disney, but both my parents started crying so I was quickly confused. I can't remember what was said exactly, but the word 'divorce' came out and it felt like the poison of a deadly snake.

This became my most embarrassing and well-kept secret from now on, waiting only until we ran as far as we could into the woods, going to my best friend Hannah's house to tell her that my parents wouldn't be living together or married anymore. She seemed terrified when I told her, and we held each other and cried wondering if we would ever find the love we watched in countless movies as we grew up.

Our entire lives, especially as a little girls, we were taught that, when two people fall in love they get married and live happily ever after. But what are you supposed to think when Mommy and Daddy can't stand to be in the same room as each other unless it's court mandated? My parents divorce definitely was not the worst I'm sure, but it absolutely affected my perception of love and, to this day, I am still struggling to define it for myself.

Together, my parents brought two children into the world, things most people would still consider a beautiful miracle, and I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that they had just 'fallen out of love' after all they'd been through. They were married for about fifteen years--that's a really long time, but definitely not what I had in mind when it came to marrying my soulmate one day. Everyone hopes that love will last forever, but after all that I've been through as a child of divorce, I'm not too sure that's true, and I will patiently wait for the person who proves me wrong to come into my life.

"Is love real? Or is this just lust?" I ask myself as I reevaluate the end of my first real relationship. It took me a few bogus relationships in high school, but in my most recent relationship, I really think I had found the closest thing to true love thus far. I still won't ever be really sure but it damn felt like love. A lot of people have their parents or an admirable couple to look up to and aspire to find a love like theirs. My parents weren't in love anymore--they were stuck in a relationship where they had only one thing in common and it was their children. So, they even resented us at times. This made me think--is love real?

My first real love burnt a magnificent bright red for the better part of two years. This taught me that, yes, love is real. We would do just about anything just to be with each other: we supported each other, he knew my fears that I had never told anyone, my childhood dreams and he even loved me enough to consider marriage. Circumstances of both being young and ambitious came along and we thought it would be best to end things before they got too messy.

Although our love for each other still lingers, and actually burns brighter than many people who are still together, I have started to really think about love. Is it made to last? It's been over a year since my love and I ended our relationship, yet the intensity of our feelings has not wavered. Am I being naive? Are we just kidding ourselves? I hope to marry this man one day. It's a bold thing to say for a child of divorce--many won't even consider the thought of marrying at all in their lifetime. I am trying to be hopeful. Being hopeful may destroy me in the end, but as Alfred Lord Tennyson said "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

I will continue to be a hopeful dreamer because the alternative would leave me in a sick, sad state. And if this means heartbreak, well, then that's fine. My father broke my heart ten years ago when he left our family, and I got through it. What makes you think I can't make it through this? I will find love and I will get married. And if it ends in divorce, then so be it, because I know I will have put my all into my love and have no regrets.

Cover Image Credit: www.edsantana.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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7 Life Lessons My Parents Taught Me

Your parents have been there from the start, and have no doubt shaped you into the person you are today

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I'm so grateful for everything that my parents have done for me. Even more so, I'm incredibly grateful for all of the life lessons over the years. At this point, they've taught me way too many life lessons to list here. However, I thought I'd take the time to write down seven of the most important ones!

1. Be Respectful. 

If there is one thing my dad has instilled in me from a young age, it's to always be respectful. I have always been impressed with my dad's ability to stay cool and calm in situations where that's the last thing anyone would expect from him, and he has taught me the importance of maintaining a respectful and mature attitude, even when life gives you the sourest lemons.

2. Be bold. 

My mom is the coolest woman I know, and she has always taken on life the only way she knows how: with unbelievable boldness and fierceness. Being bold means not being afraid to be different or to stand out, and my mom has taught me how badass it is to be the true version of yourself.

3. Be forgiving. 

Arguments and fights are unavoidable parts of life, and ever since I was little, my dad has consistently reminded me of how important it is to pick your battles. Knowing when it's time to pick up the pieces and move on is essential in order to be a forgiving person, not only to yourself but to others as well.

4. Be generous.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be spoiled by my parents. Not only was I lucky enough to go on vacations and get beautiful gifts around my birthday and holidays, but I was especially lucky enough to be spoiled by my parent's love and kindness. Being generous, not only financially, but with your ability to love and respect other people is something I am so thankful my parents have taught me.

5. Work hard. 

Both my mom and dad are incredibly hard-working people. Growing up, there were times where my dad worked 12-hour days, and my mom juggled work, household chores, and taking care of me. Even though their hard work resulted in some sacrifices, they always did what was best for my sister and I. My parents have naturally pushed me to be a hardworking person in all aspects of my life, and I think it's a very admirable quality.

6. Be kind.

My dad is the type of person who will always stop in an intersection to give money to a homeless person, and my mom is the type of woman to never think twice about sacrificing her own needs to help others. Both my parents have shown me, along with the rest of the world, what it means to be kind and selfless, and I can only hope I will one day be as good at it as they are.

7. Stand up for yourself. 

Before I came to college, I often found myself doing what everyone else wanted me to do. I jumped into things quickly, hoping it would please others and make them like me. However, once I got to college, I quickly called my mom on the phone, crying because I regretted some decisions I had made. My mom told me how important it is to stand up for yourself, learn to say no, and only do the things you really want to do. Learning to live your life for you, and not let other people rule your universe is key to being happy, and I'm fortunate that my mom helped me realize this.

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