Monday, July 8, 2019

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda!

By: Marcia King-Gamble

With age comes wisdom, or so they say. While it sounds trite, the older I  get, the more I realize that  whomever came up with that saying was exactly on point.

I've had few regrets, but will admit to a  misstep  or two. Mistakes are lessons in life and things we should learn and grow from. I view them as learning points or turning points. That said, looking back, perhaps I would have chosen  a different mate. Though I will admit to having  a lot of fun with my romantic partner growing up.

The signs were all there from the beginning. He appeared to be loving and caring, and some might even perceive him as being on his way up. But the man I thought would make a good life partner never really grew up.

Now get one thing straight, this is not about bashing my ex;  a brilliant man with a lot of potential. This is about straight talk.  We are all ultimately responsible  for the choices we make. At that time he seemed the right one. The red flags were there from the beginning, but when you're younger you ignore them, or  figure with time things will change. 

Funny thing is the vivacious partier can grow up to be an alcoholic. The job hopper who thinks he's smarter than the boss, that no one can criticise, may end up  making poor decisions that affect your life.  Come bill-paying time, when he falls short, he expects you to pick up the slack for expenses you know nothing about.

Then there's the frivolous spender who insists you have designer clothing and purses when you don't even want them.  Some see you as pampered and spoiled. When wisdom kicks in it's a case of not having your  priorities in order.

As you grow older you have a better understanding of yourself, and what's important to you in life. When the telltale signs pop up, you run in the opposite direction.

Sure, if I could turn back the clock, perhaps I would have chosen a more responsible partner. Someone who was more focused, and understood the importance of working toward common goals. I would have chosen someone less needy, and less dependent on me for life planning. And I would definitely have chosen someone less emotionally fragile.

But all in all, given this small regret, my life has turned out well compared to most. I've grown and learned from these  experiences. And now I have a better feel for the  kind of partner who works best with me.

Daily I put it out to the universe that a smart, emotionally strong man will come along. Someone who will come to the table secure in himself, who I can respectfully disagree with, without him becoming angry or out of control. I pray and hope for a planner, and someone who recognizes that adversity can happen in the blink of an eye, and so you save for a rainy day.

I hope for someone not broken by life, and one willing to embrace the ups  and downs that happen. One who sees life as an adventure, and views me as the partner that enhances his life not makes it better.  Had I known what I needed earlier on, my life might have turned out differently. Not necessarily better, but certainly gone  off in a different direction.

The question is would I have grown?

About Marcia King-Gamble
Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, and caring for her animal family.

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Diana McCollum said...

An eye opening blog for sure. Thanks for sharing. I too had my eyes shut when entering into a relationship with my now husband. The first eight years he was a full fledged alcoholic . He quit drinking in 2000, and has never had another drink. That same year he quit smoking.

By the time I realized his problem we were well into our marriage. I'm so thankful he quit both bad habits. We've had a wonderful marriage since. I know it's not always the right thing to stay, but I'm glad I did.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Thanks for sharing Diana. Mine was a wonderful man, but his issues were of the mental kind and if you are unwilling or unable to take your meds, there's not much hope, other than for the other person to Self preserve.

Judith Ashley said...

Marcia, thanks for sharing your story. What I do appreciate the most is that you ended up doing what was best for you and grew as a person. To me, if I learn something about myself and grow into my potential then the experience/relationship was a good one which doesn't translate into I should have stayed in it.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

I'm so with you Judith and so much happier for making that decision to self preserve.

Maggie Lynch said...

I believe your story is a common story for women. For me, I grew up believing 1) it was my job to make/keep my husband happy; and 2) Everything I did was for his benefit first and I tried to make it work for me too. I think many women were trained that way.

As you point out, there are so many choices people make and there is truly nothing you can do to make it work until that person choses differently. Sometimes you are still around when they choose differently. A lot of times they never make that choice. It takes a strong woman, who knows herself and values her own needs to walk away.

I found my guy at 45, after walking away from a 12 year marriage. I had honestly made the decision that I would be happy if I never married again. And I think that helped me be more honest with myself when I did date. And more honest about my needs when I met my DH and when we made a commitment to be together we were both mature enough, and new ourselves well enough to be honest with each other moving forward. Twenty years later it is still working.

Keep writing, keep trying, but most of all keep knowing yourself. It is a strong woman who knows herself, what she wants, and what she has to give to a relationship that makes the right partner come along with that fit.

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Maggie, what a beautiful way you have of putting things. I agree, you have to be happy with yourself to attract what you are looking for. I am so very happy you found it. There is a saying you attract what you put off. Kudos to you!