My Story

For most of my life, I was never really very good at relationships with men.  I can’t say I got along with my father very well.  I didn’t understand him or feel close to him.  I wanted to have satisfying conversations with him, but they fell short.

In high school, I only observed boys from afar.  I didn’t talk to them much, and felt really embarrassed when I was around them.  They made me nervous.  For relief, I associated mostly with girlfriends, studied a lot and worked on the family farm.  I wasn’t allowed to attend social events or dances at school, so I didn’t date until college.   There, I loved men (and there was a gorgeous sea of them!) and wanted to be around them, but still never felt comfortable.  I didn’t understand them, and couldn’t find my footing. I was really, truly unprepared to be with men, but did the best I could. And I know that this is how many of us navigated (and tried to make sense of) our childhood, high school and college experiences around relationships.

Right out of college, I jumped into my first marriage, and eventually had 3 marriages lasting about 5 years each.  In addition, I had a few significant relationships, one producing my fabulous daughter, and finally I got together with my current partner of 14 years.  

Getting a man never seemed to be a problem for me. However, keeping a man, getting along with a man, or creating a growing, expanding, deepening relationship with a man was (obviously) a complete mystery to me. 

In retrospect, I can see that my pattern was to find a good man and then slowly drain his power away until he became confused, weak, or angry – in any case, take him off his game, his strong suit, his natural confidence.  Then he didn’t like himself, and didn’t like me. 

And guess what? I also didn’t like him and didn’t like me.  Things always ended in a mess.  Then I would simply go find a new man, start over, and hope for the best. 

When I was about 5 years into my current relationship with Eric, it pretty much went to heck in a hand basket, just like all the other relationships.  Finally, we had one of those pivotal, life-changing Sunday morning talks, and Eric said to me, “Are you done with me yet?”

That was a real wake up moment for me.

I decided then and there to change my “sending men down the drain” pattern.  What was I doing to make that happen?  I committed to figuring out how to improve my relationship with Eric in a big way.   

When the student is ready, the teachers appear. And they did. Within one month, things got much better.  Within 3 months I felt hope that I could sustain the positive momentum.  After about 6 months, I thought, “Wow.  This is amazing.  Same guy.  “Different” girl.  And a new life for both of us.” 

Things had turned around.  He was encouraged, and I was elated.  He was back to being the wonderful man he was when we got together.   We were having fun together, learning from each other, growing together – which has continued to this day, many years later.