There were exactly 154 days between my last two blog posts, yet here we are day’s later with another. It seems what ever funk I found myself in is over.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word relationship in two ways;
Due to my string of bad luck in relationships over the years, I find myself in one commonly referred to as a ‘Clayton’s Relationship’. What is a Clayton’s Relationship? ‘The relationship you are having when you are not having a relationship’….remember the ‘Clayton’s drink adds of some years ago? ‘The drink you have when you’re not having a drink’.
So if the dictionary defines the ‘relationship’ word in two ways then why would it be a crazy idea to separate the two? For my mechanic and single father of two and I this appears to be working currently. How? He goes off to work in the morning, I clean up the house, make sure the kids get ready in time to be picked up by Grandma for school, her and I chat for a brief few moments and then I go about my day, working on my own start up business helping victims of domestic violence. What began as me staying in the spare room to be closer to work has become me assuming the role of Mum through discipline and carrying out duties such as washing, folding and the dishes. He keeps a roof over our heads, food on the table and in true form of any tradesman, my car still needs new tyres and the warning light has been on for a while. For the most part that is as far as it goes. We live separately, he has his long list of bevies and I my own. When it comes to trust though, I would probably say I trust him the most out of any other male in my life when it comes to things such as money or my inner most personal secrets.
Is this the key to a successful relationship? Does the element of sex and feelings added to things such as money and trust in tern lead to issues such as jealousy and ultimately turns disastrous for relationships? Is our self esteem and self worth so wrapped up in that other person and when we feel like that is breeched we then go to what hurts the rest of that other persons life which could be finances for example? Is it the case that he can trust me with money because due to our relationship lacking in the ‘feelings’ and ‘intimacy’ department I don’t feel hurt when he say looks at another woman causing me to want to have him feel pain?
I believe I am what I am and in that being true i’ve always seen life as an ‘evolutionary process’. As I clock up the years and learn more about how the world works I notice the subtle changes in my thought patterns and the way I live my life. So is the moment in time I officially give up on the dream of finding the other part of my soul? By that I mean the person whom I do everything in life with? The one we see on movies where they grow old together?
I am beginning to think that person simply does not exist. Maybe it’s persons rather than person?
There have been a few distinct male influences in my life over the past 33 years, not all of them positive but did leave a lasting impression upon me. There’s my grandfather. The man for whom I could do no wrong. Who dotted on me and aptly referred to me as ‘the impossible princess’. My father. Angry, violent and a massive reason for me choosing similar relationships in my adulthood. They say you always end up with your father and up until I was 30 that was the case. My stepfather. His influence began when I was 7 which unfortunately was too late as my fathers influence had done it’s job. My stepfather was a good man, a good provider and for the most part a good father. He is probably the reason I, once I realised the unhelpful choices I was making for myself, decided to consciously choose a different path. My uncle. Funny, tentative and also another influence of a better man for me. My godfather and another male friend who now play the part of father for me within my life. They are simply kind, sweet and caring males who love me for me. Having daughters of their own whom they treat as ‘young independent women’ even from a young age. Finally my son. He has been the biggest influence on who I am today. I have not always been the person I am today. When he was born I had to consciously made the choice to change. If I wanted him to be with a woman one day that was strong willed, independent, could fend for herself, worked as well as played roll of mother, someone who was kind, understanding, loving, loyal and the list goes on, I had to be that example for him. Just like we often ‘end up with out fathers’ as women the same goes for men. They too in more cases than not ‘end up with their mothers’ and in knowing that I, right from day one had to be that for my son.
So at present I find myself at this point. There would be three men in my life that are currently fulfilling the role of what I previously assumed would be filled by one. There is the mechanic, the ex-soulmate and the kid. Up until as little as two months ago I assumed once the ‘soulmate’ came home we would live happily ever after but then he went and broke my heart. Currently I am finding the arrangement I am in to be working. That is the role of mum/home life with the mechanic. While there is no love or feelings there, I love his children and would treat then and protect them like my own. When it comes to his business, I also want him to thrive because this means he is able to spend more time with the children I help care for so for that to happen, I am honest and want to help that dream come to fruition.
The role that covers the intimacy part, time out away from the ‘family’ and i’d say the feelings part as such is taken up by, ‘The Kid’. We are in what is commonly referred to as a ‘Situationship’, the Urban Dictionary defines it as “a relationship that has no label on it…like a friendship, but more than a friendship, but not quite a relationship.” … Instead, both individuals just continue teetering and tottering on the see-saw that is their undefined relationship for months, sometimes even years. ‘The Kid’ is not the first younger man i’ve dated but he is one that stands out from the rest. Seven years younger but I would say he is probably more mature in ways than most men my age. While a few tweaks could be made, i’m trying to keep that kind of behaviour to a minimum. I am going to let him become his own version of himself and not one moulded by me. Now considering the challenge at hand, the challenge being putting up with me, the fact that he has been able to keep up so far is an accomplishment in itself. I am not like most females, I am a handful to say the least. I am yet to find one the same, although I have found a few close relics, slightly crazier and all slightly older than myself and all still single and asking the same questions as I am. So Kid, I have no real advice for you other than, be open and honest and at the end of the day, just be you. Don’t be afraid to say what you think or how you feel because if you haven’t already noticed i’m not one to hold back. Fair is fair in love and war! You are someone who recently helped me through a dark time, someone who is kind, caring and loving. There is no pressure or big jump into ‘seriousness’ which leaves more space to simply enjoy the time we spend together without the labels and serious shit that seems to be a massive part of ‘defining what we are’. Why is it not ok to just say ‘hey I love you and want the best for you but right now I’m hard work so can we have fun and just enjoy things?’. When I think about it I have failed at 100% of the relationships i’ve been in so my track record is not great. Who’s to say this isn’t what works? I’ve had ‘friends with benefits’ before and that seems a bit more removed than what we are doing right now.
Then there is the ‘ex-soulmate’ who comes home next week. I promised to help him get back on his feet so he comes to stay. He is aware of the current situation I am in so it won’t be a shock. He also knows the reasons why and as far as I can tell and takes responsibility. I know he wants another chance but they say, ‘Don’t give second chances to those who only realised your worth by losing you. They never appreciated it in the first place’ and this would be more of a 7th or 8th chance. I learn from my mistakes but does he?
So what would Confucius say? Well he would say “Wherever you go, go with your heart”. I feel that theory has got me in a lot of trouble in the past. He would also say “There are three methods to gain wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience which is the bitterest.” So upon self reflection of my gained experience I am attempting to understand my limitations in life. Slightly bitter but still funny I think in the end.
I don’t know in the end to be honest. All I know is I haven’t worked out the secret by any means but if I do I will be sure to let everyone know. All I know is that for now this works. I guess that Chinese theology may be the right direction for now. Scarily this one is an even older theory than my recent choice of Plato. Confucius was referred to as the ‘wise man’ in 500 BC. Was there ever a wise woman one wonders?
For now there is at least one with a willingness to find the answers through trial and error.
I am a mother of one, artist and blogger from Australia. I write children’s books and want to introduce awareness education for children in all schools. This is my journey from domestic violence and beyond. Where it will end up is anyone's guess. Share in my story....