I lived with a man for almost three years without the benefit of marriage. With what result? I can honestly say that, emotionally and psychologically, they were the worst three decades of my life.
We went into our connection with the identical idea that most men and women appear to have now, which is, ‘Once bitten, twice shy,’ too, ‘You do not understand a person until you’ve lived with him.’ So if things did not work out, I felt it would be easier to break the connection than to go through divorce courts.
Insecurity Causes Problems
But it’s those thoughts that cause problems. How do you feel safe never knowing if the other person will still be with you this time next year, or another month?
A de facto relationship has such a temporary sound to it. There’s always the fear that someone else will come along and the connection can just as easily be shifted to this one.
Yes, there is always tension. You can’t ever relax, because you’re always on guard against doing or saying something which may drive the other person away. And anxiety is felt, because an argument will almost always end with one of you using emotional blackmail and saying, ‘I’m leaving.’
That expression de facto was my biggest problem. I would desperately need to explain I was not really an immoral person, that I wasn’t the kind who flitted from man to man. But, clearly, I was immoral, whether it was only with a single man or with a few, and my conscience gave me quite a struggle.
The psychological problems started also. They were shown in depression, feelings of unworthiness and, finally, of self-destruction. Even now, five years after this relationship ended, I feel so ashamed and unclean that I wish to blank out the memories of my mind forever. But I can not, because, as the Creator says, ‘we reap what we sow.’ I have a daily reminder in the form of my little boy who was the consequence of that previous union.
I believed that I could protect both him and my two kids from my first marriage against any bias. On the surface it seems as if I have been married twice. But it only serves to make me feel dishonest every time I am called by that name.
Looking back, I realize that I did much more than damage my own standing. I put my three children in a position that left them open to attack by other kids at school, all due to the morals of their mother, that, of course, they could not deny. It must have made them ashamed too.