I had a good one a few nights ago. It started innocently enough. Becky and I were doing what we do regularly, chatting on Skype while using voice and video. The topics were also the usual. The fact that I'd like her to live alone for a few months, for example. Becky has never, EVER lived alone. This is something that I deem important. People should always have a taste of that semi-lonely existence when it's self-imposed, this way they are prepared for it should it come later on in life without warning.
This led me to start thinking about my own college years, specifically the time in which Perlin was a part of my romantic life. I started to remember all the times in which she was left alone to do what she pleased. I'm not one to desire enslaving the woman I love, keeping her under constant scrutiny and never allowing her the freedom to chase those things that she wants for herself. But Perlin was pursued by another guy, and her heart decided to head back to its old habits and chase him in return. I could see my relationship with her coming undone, and fought against it as much as possible. In the end, there was no saving the love that I thought I had.
Of course, years of reflection made me come to realize that I wasn't in love with Perlin, but "in lust." But you can't tell that to a man who was addicted to the endorphins produced by so many "rolls in the hay." I lost my mind and did things that were more along the lines of someone infinitely more cruel than that which is my normal nature. I mean, I was a funny guy with an offbeat sense of humor. I moved instantly into nastiness, using words to cause the most harm among my friends. What's more, my bout with a severely broken heart pushed me to make my first serious attempt at suicide.
I didn't like that guy. I didn't like the person that I became during that bit of heartache. I didn't like the person I became during ANY of those incidents in which I was recovering from a broken heart.
So there I am, imagining Becky living alone, making new friends in her various classes. I'm also imagining that guy who's a few years older than her, educating himself so he can enter a field of employment that will earn him decent money. And it's a field of employment that he likes. That she likes. So they hit it off in simple conversation. He's like me in many ways. Loving, caring, honest...but lonely. Before I know it, Becky is off with new "friends" in a "study group" almost every evening. I think it's on the up-n-up, but later I find out that it's far less than innocent. And before I can process what's happening, my girlfriend is asking me to be on my way in a place where I have few, if any, acquaintances.
This is my imagination at it's worst. There is no real evidence that anything like this would happen. Becky has been entirely faithful to me. And she's promised me multiple times that nothing I imagine would ever happen.
Experience has taught me otherwise. People can say many things, but until they prove themselves with actions, all they have are are words.
Look, I love Becky. I am blessed to have found her and get her into my life. But I've had so many bad experiences that I've come to expect the very worst from EVERYONE. Even when I get the best, I expect the worst to come along at some time to help destroy another chunk of my life. And that scares me silly.
Because I am open and honest with Becky, I shared this monumental fear. Her response was a rather casual, "Well, I'll just have to prove to you that I'm not like everyone else."
Really, what proof do I need beyond what I've already received? At the start of our relationship, I went through my usual routine of advertising that which I believe makes me a poor catch. I'm never going to have a regular job. My income will always be a very small check from the government each month. My health will either remain status quo or decline. And when offered the chance to run, Becky insisted on staying. In fact, she stayed just when others in the past have fled from me. In and of itself, that act makes her different from the other women I'd attempted to have relationships with.
Last night, I pushed myself toward an improved outlook on our relationship. My internet connection died, and so we were forced to chat on the phone. I brought up several aspects of our "planned" future for discussion. I specifically focused on the children we'd like to have. These were some of the ideas that we discussed...
When the kids misbehave, there WILL be punishments. If they deserve to be spanked, so be it. There's a huge difference between a spanking and a beating. Our kids will never be abused, but they will not get away with things like talking back to their parents or disobeying the rules of the house. We will also not live in fear of overreacting witnesses. If our kids get out of line, they will receive the punishment they deserve without delay. (I added that last bit just now, but Becky would probably agree.)
When the kids get home from school, they get an hour to decompress. Have a snack, relax, unwind...The school day will be much like a work day in their little lives. Then comes the question of whether they want to do homework immediately and have the entire night free, or do they want to wait to do it after dinner. This becomes a lesson to the kids about time management. Whatever the case may be, homework will be done. And if I ever find out that they lied about not having any homework...See the above paragraph.
Throughout our lives with children, I want to establish a "family night" for each week. It's a night when we bust out the board game of choice and sit around playing and having fun. I don't necessarily want it to be a night where we go out and spend money on an activity that doesn't allow us to interact face-to-face. My greatest desire is to establish family bonds stronger than what I have with my current relations, and to maintain those bonds. "Candyland" can easily give way to other games that are more complicated as our kids grow up.
Off the subject of kids, I told Becky that when I move in with her, I'm going to want a night when I have her to myself. It doesn't matter what we do that night, as long as it doesn't involve work or school for her. The reason I stressed this is because of a young woman on GitP who seems to be making herself crazy with an extremely busy schedule. Becky confessed that she'll probably want to try and tackle everything at once, which will only lead to her burning out rapidly. But be it Friday or Saturday night, her time is mine. And she will have fun, dangit!
Back on the subject of kids, we pondered how to answer the dreaded question, "Where did the world come from?" Despite our religious differences, Becky and I are closer to being agnostic. As I often say, "I would have more faith in G-d if I had His mailing address." For this reason, as of right now, we'll stick to the science, while also fostering a belief that there may very well be a higher power somewhere in the universe that's helped things along.
Becky also raised an excellent question. "How would you respond to any of our kids who want to join the military?" My response was that I would have no objections, provided they knew EXACTLY what they were getting into. Most specifically, if they don't follow orders, the punishments they received while growing up will seem like good times.
So...I'm trying. These grand fears that have been drilled into me from many romances gone bad shouldn't casting a pall on the love I've found. The best I can do is make an effort to embrace what I have, and allow Becky to continue to prove she's not like the other women from my past.
Oh...By the way, I'll be seeing my sweet, beautiful Becky in exactly seven weeks. That time can't pass fast enough.