When I was 15, my parents divorced. As a teenage girl, I was given the choice to continue living with my mother and continue going to the same school I had always gone with the same friends OR I could live with my dad - which meant moving to Chicago - which meant a new school and all new friends. I'm sure you can imagine which choice I made.
Two days after Christmas, 2 weeks before my 16th birthday, my dad and my younger brother - who was my best friend - packed up a moving truck and left. Life as I had known it was over. The two most important men in my life were gone. I was devastated.
Fortunately, I still had friends and school. While I made very self-destructive choices as a teenager, I was smart enough to never get caught or to ever get in to any real trouble. Then, the August after I graduated high school, my heart was once again torn out. I remember the phone call clearly. The Minnesota State Fair had just begun that week. I was getting ready to meet a friend when the phone rang. My best friend Alan had been killed in a freak accident at work. That was it. He was gone.
Losing Al left an irreparable hole in my heart. While I have lost many more people, his death has always been the one that has affected me the most. When I met my husband at the age of 19, Al's death was still a very raw and painful wound. My husband knew my struggles with my dad and brother leaving. He also knew how hard losing Alan was for me. Needless to say, his suicide when I was 23 didn't help my attachment issues.
In the years since his death, I have dated several men. Two have asked me to marry them. I said yes to one. Sadly, that relationship ended before our walk down the aisle. Part of the reason was my fears, the other part was his irrational and insane family. We are still great friends, but losing that relationship also hurt.
I was recently made aware that this week marks the 1 year anniversary of my relationship with The Man. The road has definitely been bumpy and I have been less than a peach. My relationship sabotaging way has reared it's ugly head more than once. I recall on one occasion telling him that I wanted to break up, to which he responded, "No you don't. You're just scared." He was right and he continues to be each time I panic.
We've decided that when his lease ends in February, he will move into my home and we will live together. With the exception of the 5 male roommates I had in college, my husband is the only man I've ever lived with. While I think this is a good step, I'm scared as hell. I've never let my guard down enough to allow a man 100% full access 24/7. While cohabitation goes outside of my Christian value system, I know that I am not emotionally prepared to take the step to marriage.
I don't view cohabitation as the "easy way out", I just know myself well enough to know that extra step will send me on a self-sabotaging rampage. So I'm taking it one baby-step at a time.
Still, there are many things about living together that scare the bejeezus out of me. For instance, am I really up to sharing my bed every night? And how do we decide whose stuff we will keep and whose stuff will be redistributed? Where do couples that live together go to get away from each other? Do I need to leave the comfort of my own home to get some breathing room? How do you share housework? I don't want to have unreasonable expectations, but does living together mean that I may soon have someone to fold and put away laundry for me? And speaking of laundry, where the heck is he going to put his clothes? My closet and dresser are F-U-L-L. Do I need to purge?
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