Each year I like to write a Valentine's Day message to address the pain that our women go through on this day. For those of you who don't receive my newsletter, I am reprinting it for you. If you would like to be on my newsletter list, just let me know by sending me an email at Bonkaye@aol.com.
IN THE AFTERMATH OF VALENTINE’S DAY
Each year this issue of my newsletter comes out on the heels of Valentine’s Day, the ultimate annual reminder of how hard you can keep trying to make crumbs into a cake that never quite seem to “gel” together.
It’s impossible to escape the reminders that loom largely in your face--or in the case of all of those heart balloons--over your head. You can turn off the television and radio to avoid the Hallmark commercials, but as soon as you walk into the market, the first five rows of display tables are filled with hearts of chocolate and bouquets of roses.
To many of our women, this is a painful holiday. For those still in a marriage, your husband sometimes does his “husbandly” Valentine duty of bringing home a card with little xxxxx’s and oooo’s or expressing his appreciation of you by giving you a box of candy--even though he keeps telling you how “unappealing” you are to him because of your weight. On this sacred day, he lets that comment pass as he shoves the chocolates at you encouraging you to enjoy them as a way of saying, “Don’t expect more.” Yep, some sweets for the sweet. It doesn’t mean he’s going to make love to you or make your feel beautiful—but hey, crumbs are still crumbs. By the way, on a personal note—how many crumbs does it take to make a cake? How about a slice of cake? I haven’t figured that one out yet.
For those women whose marriages have ended this year, your first Valentine’s Day is usually the worst—which is the good news. In the future, you will feel better once your emotions sort out the reality from the fiction in your marriage. At least those moments of frustrations of wondering why your husband couldn’t love you the way you needed to be loved on that special day of romance for couples will be better understood. The other bonus is that you won’t have to feel frustrated and once again disappointed after making the day such a special one only to end up with his recurring headache, toothache, backache, or inability to “perform” due to….oh yeah—stress.
One of the ways that I keep trying to hit home with our ladies is to make Valentine’s Day a new tradition of loving YOU. Unless you can learn to love yourself, trust me, it will be impossible to love someone else—at least in a healthy way. I know that may sound funny, but trust me—it’s true.
When I was younger, I had a distorted image of what marriage was about. I believed that if you loved someone with all your heart and soul, you would live happily ever after forever and ever. Amen. I guess that meant that I had to work hard every day waking up and figuring out what I could do to have my husband keep loving me the way I loved him. Sadly, many of us from the baby boomer generation were socialized that way not realizing that marriage needed to be a two way street. Do whatever it takes to make your man happy. Those were the messages we kept hearing over and over again.
We found ourselves in marriages that weren’t fulfilling because no matter how hard we worked, we were running in circles. It was sort of like running around that Valentine heart. You’d move up the curve of one side but within a short amount of time you’d come sliding down the other side. Then you try climbing that slope again only to be bounced back down. In other words, even if you get to the top, don’t plan to stay there very long. And the climb down—or rather the fall—is a long and slippery one for sure.
And yes—we got tired—oh so tired—of the excuses leading to the accusations:
Valentine’s Day is for young people
Valentine’s Day is for young lovers
Valentine’s Day is for newly weds
Which all translate into one real meaning of what your gay husband is thinking--
Why are you always trying to think of a reason to have sex?
Here’s the funny thing—as much as you are dreading Valentine’s Day, so is your gay husband. Remember that song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Paul Simon? You know the one that says, “Get off the bus, Gus. Make a new plan, Stan. No need to be coy, Roy.” Yep, for your gay husband, it’s 50 Ways to Say No to Your Wife. It could include lyrics like:
“I’ve got a new pain, Jane. I have too much stress, Bess. You’re much too large, Marge. I need some air, Clair. My tooth does hurt, Gert. There’s a pain in my head, Peg.”
Yep, I bet I could rewrite that song in a flash. Sadly, so could all of you.
So, to my weary women warriors fighting that hopeless battle, gather your strength for the fight ahead of learning to love yourself most of all. You see, I’ve learned in life and through enough hard knocks and lessons that when you love yourself first, you’ll never be disappointed. Why? Because you won’t depend on others to love you in a way that can be disappointing and defeating. Even when you are disappointed, you love yourself enough to analyze the situation and do something meaningful for you. You don’t personalize the rejection—you realize YOU are not the problem—your partner is.
Remember, if you don’t learn how to love yourself, you’ll be doomed to repeat your legacy over and over again. It may not be with a gay man, but it will be with some man who isn’t worthy of your time or attention. Don’t forget—there are lots of unsavory predators out there in the straight world. Some of you have told me all about them—well, actually I found my own collection of them for a number of years as well!
If you need ways to build up your self-esteem or to feel better about yourself, write to me at Bonkaye@aol.com. I will send you ideas and suggestions. Most of them won’t be mine because people far more original than me thought them up, but at least I found them and I’ll share them with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day to my ladies and men. Better days are ahead! Promise!