Have any of you seen the movie, "He's Just Not That Into You"? I watched it last night and there is an eye-opening scene in there that has gotten me thinking and realizing that I was doing the same thing.
In the opening scene, there is a little girl playing in the sandbox and a little boy walks over to her and pushes her down and calls her names. She starts crying to her mother and the mother tells her that he did that because he likes her. The voice-over says that we are programmed from when we are little girls, that if a boy treats us like jerks, he likes us. So we put up with a lot of crap from boys because we -think- he likes us.
I remember in high school, trying to navigate that slippery path of girl likes boy/ boy likes girl stuff and one boy that I really liked used to hurt me. It was popular to try to smack the top of every one's butt with the tip of your fingers, I don't know what it was called, but we'd use the back and tip of your fingers to cause a sting where it landed. It wasn't a butt grabbing thing, but just something we did for fun. I did it and it was done to me, and it would end up in a chase where we'd try to get the person back. Anyway, the one guy I liked, he would do that smacking thing to my breasts. Ow!! I'd chase him a little ways, but damn, that hurt when he did that. But you know what? Instead of telling myself to stay away from him, I continued to like him. How twisted is that?!
Except for that one time, I didn't normally take any crap from boys, but I am guilty of soothing a little girl and telling her that he punched her in the arm because he liked her. Someone told me that when I was a little girl and I am continuing the cycle. No more! I have not yet said that to my own girls, and now I never will.
Andrew and I talk all the time about how we want to raise strong kids and teach them not to take any crap or let anyone walk all over them. We would like them to have self-defense or karate classes. We try to teach them that if someone really loved them, they would never hurt them. I hope that when they are old enough to enter into romances and relationships, that they choose kind-hearted partners and don't fall for the pretty-on-the-outside-jerky-on-on-the-inside kind of people.
There's also a scene in the movie where a girl discovers the guy is married, and her friend tells her that she could still have a chance with him. Like he was married but not to the love of his life, and that -she- could be the love of his life, which was all the encouragement she needed to call him up. Now granted, if the guy was really happy in his marriage, he wouldn't have cheated, but if she wasn't calling him, the temptation wouldn't have been there either. Goes both ways.
My husband and I were both ready to get married when we met. I was tired of looking and getting disappointed with the boys I was dating; Andrew was ready to settle down and spend his life with someone that would love him as much as he loved her. So when we met, we had both already lived our single lives and were ready to go to that next step: marriage. We were friends first, then we dated briefly before we were engaged. We had a long engagement and lived together before we got married. Then we waited a few years before having children, so we felt like we had our "couple time". There was no wishing we could do this or that, no looking back with regrets or wanting to hit the bars and relive our single days. I think we did everything right for us. Might not work for other people, but it was the right way to do things for us.
I can only hope that our kids will have a marriage like ours. I wish for them to find someone that loves them with all their heart, to find that special someone who only wants to make them happy and vice versa. I hope that by example, they'll see how Andrew and I are with each other, that they can look for someone with similar qualities. Andrew is the best person I could have ever picked-- he truly loves me and I feel it, see it, know it. I love him just as much and if there are any arguments between us, it's who loves the other more!
If you haven't seen it, go watch "He's Just Not That Into You". I'm thinking I can watch it one or two more times to see if there are other pearls of wisdom I might have missed.