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I'm Beth. I'm married to my best friend, and he's pretty awesome. We have two equally awesome kids, Gavin and Sophie.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Protect yourself

What I want to say in this post is something that is extremely important to me and on my heart, so of course I don't have any clue how I want to say it or how to organize my thoughts.  I have never pretended I'm a talented writer and I don't think of myself as the most intelligent marble in the deck (hehe), so try to slog along through my stuttering and rambling thoughts and maybe you'll get the message. 
This I suppose would mostly be to the younguns out there.  Actually I have my 'big girl' nieces in mind, and I guess they really aren't little kids anymore, as the oldest two are in college and so really are adults.  I don't really know if I like that quite yet, but that's how it is. 
Everybody makes mistakes in life.  Its how it always has been, always will be, there's no way around it.  You will never be perfect.  (I know, it hit me hard too.)  The best you can hope is to learn from your mistakes.  Its okay to make mistakes, just learn from them and move on.  Wouldn't it be awesome, though, if you could sometimes avoid your own mistakes and learn from someone elses'?  Especially to avoid pain and heartache.  Especially to avoid a lifetime of it. 
I won't pretend to know what its like to be a 'kid' today.  I didn't appreciate it when adults pretended they knew everything I was going through when I was a teenager.  Life has continually gotten harder, kids learn things younger and younger, and I've been out of high school now for 10 years, so it is undoubtedly different than when I was there.  However, on the flip side, I've *only* been out of high school for 10 years, so some things remain the same. :) 
I remember the talks/discussions/lectures/videos/conferences about sex pretty well.  They always tried to drill it into us that you are giving away pieces of your heart that you may not miss at the time, but later in life will come back to get ya.  I've heard it illustrated many, many different ways, and if you're like how I was, you can see what they mean but think "whatever".  Those things were far removed from me at the time, so I couldn't really UNDERSTAND. 
I'm married now, and I have a wonderful husband and we have a beautiful daughter.  I also have a stepson.  I love him with all my heart, he is just as much a part of my family as my husband and daughter are, but I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't tell you that the history involved in his coming to be did not affect my life every. single. day.  Not just my life, but Ernie's life, Sophie's life, and Gavin's life.  Not just us, in our immediate family, but our parents, and siblings, and nieces and nephews. 
When you are young, it is quite easy to think that whomever you are dating at the time is The One.  You cannot imagine feeling any more for anyone else, ever.  Except what if you do?!  I am so far from the person I was when I was 16...or 18...or 22.  And while there are people like my brother and sister in law who married their high school sweetheart and have a successful marriage, that isn't the norm anymore.  Chances are, you are going to get your heart broken.  You are going to date and breakup and date and breakup and learn from life until you find the person who truly IS The One.  Do you want to have to deal with that person who is The One actually being The Fifth?  Or The Tenth?  Or even The Second one?  Do you want to have to deal with them missing out on one part, or three parts, or many, many parts of your heart that someone or multiple someones have taken?  If you could really think about it, really sit and let that sink into your heart, you wouldn't want that.  Or if that doesn't really get you, think about yourself.  I gotta be honest and say that thinking about this future spouse that I didn't know didn't always really hit me either.  What if you find the person you're going to marry and while they definitely love you, too, and you are meant to be together, in their past they didn't have you in mind.  They gave away big parts of themself to someone else.  What will that do to you? How will that affect you? 
Now you can think all you want that you are mature enough to handle that just fine.  But I don't buy that.  The thoughts that hit me about the past are surprising to me at times and come out of nowhere.  I can't control it, and I definitely can't change it.  Because mistakes you make with your heart and with intimate relationships are permanent.  You can learn from them, sure, but you can NOT change what has already happened.  You can't have a do-over, you can't reverse it.  It is part of you and part of your life, from now on. 
(it is at this point, that some big paragraph I typed disappears.  I will try to recreate it...I can't promise it will be as good.) I will once again be brutally honest and say that when I thought about my future when I was younger, I never imagined it would be this way.  I never thought my husband and I would have to involve attorneys for every holiday.  I never thought we'd have to coordinate vacations and all plans with someone we don't really want to have to see.  I never thought I'd have to have my husband's ex girlfriend as part of my life, for the rest of my life.   I have to deal with my daughter's heartbroken crying every time her brother leaves.  I have to try to figure out how to explain to her that daddy is daddy to both of them, but I am not bubba's mom.  Its big things, its small things.  Its a daily thing.  Every single day that affects all of us.  I don't even know if I'm getting the gravity of this across even now. 
Lets be serious here.  Experiences I have with my husband, sometimes it pops into my mind that maybe he had this same experience with someone else.  That hurts.  We've been married 4 1/2 years, and it still hurts JUST THE SAME as the first time I felt this hurt.  Would I change being married to my husband? No way.  I truly believe that he is the one God had for me.  But I also believe that we don't always stick to God's plan, so we both screwed it up before we even met each other.  We both have to deal with big hurts stemming from the other's past.  And it sucks the big one. 
Whatever you may think about what you're doing with a significant other right now...if you think its not going to affect you that much, or at all, or it may hurt at first but as you get older and wiser and more mature that it won't affect you anymore YOU ARE WRONG.  Is there a ring on your finger?  No? Then do the right thing.  Wait it out.  Sexual sin doesn't just hurt for a time.  It leaves the deepest scar on you that you can have.  I promise you that.  You will never EVER regret NOT going too far with someone.  But you don't want to be 35 and still paying for what you considered to be no big deal when you're 18.  Please think about what I've said.

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