Loving Relationships

Firstly, have to apologise it’s been over a week since my last post. I have about five half-finished posts in my draft folder (including two Wicked Wednesday submissions) , where I have started and not had chance to finish. My excuse is that I am living between two places and only one of them has reliable internet, and while I can use free wifi while out and about most free wifi doesn’t allow me to access any of the blogs (including mine) that I need to access due to the ‘adult content’. Very frustrating. Posts are going to be a bit sporadic for a few weeks until I am settled and sorted but hopefully it won’t be too long before I am back in full swing.

A slightly different post for you today.

My memories of my parents’ relationship are fairly fuzzy, I was only 11 when my Mum became ill and my memory of my childhood is patchy at best, it’s almost like a photo album. I have some very clear mental pictures but the parts in between are cloudy and confused. I’m sure they had rough times just like any relationship does, but what I remember most is how good they were together. The strength and depth of their love for each other, as well as their mutual respect and friendship, was obvious to anyone who saw them together. They were true soul mates; something even my completely atheist and unromantic Dad admitted freely. He once told me (after I was grown up but before he met my stepmum) that what he and my mum had is rare, they had their fair share of arguments but if she hadn’t died they would have been together forever.   Their relationship taught me that when you’re with someone every decision you make should take the other person into consideration. Not necessarily that you should change what you’re doing but that you should think of the impact not just on you but on that other person as well. They should be a factor in any decision you make. Neither my Mum or my Dad ever didn’t do anything they wanted to do but they both made the other part of their decision. They showed me that you can be in a relationship and still be independent, partnership is not about giving up who you are, but allowing someone else to be part of that. My Mum was independent and strong, she knew her own mind and wasn’t afraid to tell my Dad exactly what she thought, and my Dad knew he could tell her what he was thinking without it being a problem.

His relationship with my stepmum (who he met when I was 19) was very different to the way he was with my Mum. Not just because of how different she and my Mum are but because she just wasn’t my Dad’s soul mate. I know that sounds harsh, and I am not saying my Dad didn’t love her, because he did but from my point of view their relationship was on much less equal footing. She had previously been married to men who were very controlling; she wasn’t allowed to wear trousers by her last husband! And my Dad was about as far from that as you could get; he encouraged her to wear whatever she wanted to wear, to speak up, and to stand up for herself when her friends were trying to browbeat her into doing something she didn’t want to do. This relationship wasn’t as much about equality or mutual anything; they didn’t share a bank account or have the household bills in joint names. She insisted my Dad pay the bills and she gave him ‘board’ every month, her ‘share’ wasn’t even half the bills, not even when she was working and he wasn’t. However this seemed to work for them and my Dad appeared happy enough so I kept my peace. The only part of their relationship that ever wound me up, and it was something my Dad brought up, because I would never have pointed it out to him, was the fact that in my Dad’s world his first priority was his kids, followed by his wife, but in my stepmum’s world it was her Church, her kids, everything else, herself and then my Dad. I’m not saying she didn’t love him but she never seemed to consider him in any of the decisions she made, I suppose as long as he was paying the bills and cleaning the house it didn’t matter if she spent time and energy on him.  That really does sound harsh and mean, and I wouldn’t have ever told her that, especially because it killed me that my Dad knew it.

In both relationships my Dad was the same; fun, loving, respectful and totally devoted to the other person. That’s what I look for, it’s the standard he set and I won’t settle for anything less. I want the type of relationship my parents had, I want to be with someone who lives and breathes for me, and vice versa.  I’m not saying I want to be the only thing in each other’s lives, because I’m pretty independent and that would drive me nuts but I do want someone whose first thought on waking and last thought before falling asleep is me. I want someone who knows all my flaws and still says I love you, a guy who’ll go an hour out of his way to see me for 20 minutes, who’ll embarrass himself just to make me smile, who’ll wipe away my tears and give me a hug when I’m crying even though he knows I’m crying at a book/film/song/advert. I want a guy who I would’ve been proud to introduce to my Dad (he never met any of my previous boyfriends which tells you all you need to know about them really), someone who my Dad would think was good enough for his baby.

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