What Are You Waiting For?

I didn’t admit it until now, as I read a great love story. Even though it had a tragic ending, he loved her with all his heart and she him. She was loved back.

I spent over 47 years with a man who was not capable of loving me back, but I didn’t know it. Kept trying to fix it, to make it work, but narcissism breaks their heart, makes it unable to hold love, to feel love. They can revel in possessing you for a while, but they can’t love you. Not truly.

I didn’t know about narcissism, about the backlash of his childhood abuse, of the genetic threads of this disorder that made it impossible for him to love me back.

I did leave…finally. I’ve redefined my life. I enjoy being single. Most days I smile and am grateful for my friends and family. I’m grateful for them at this moment, but I’m so very sad to realize I stayed so long I may have missed the chance to be truly loved in this lifetime.

I know…many will say it isn’t over. I may stumble across the love of my life yet, but they don’t know that I stopped looking for love. In five days I’ll be seventy. A young, active, alert, vibrant seventy, but my age still lands me in an age specific dating pool. If I date younger…I’m shorting both my lover and myself, because in ten years I’ll be eighty, unable to defy the signs that I aged into my jackpot years.

Those of us fortunate to reach our eighties and beyond must let go of being sensual, of turning heads, of hearing someone say, “nice ass”. We’re beyond that, but wow…it’s hard to let that go.

I fear I’m moving into those decades as an ‘older woman’ who waited too long…so long I will never be loved like the women in romance novels or movies whose man values her more than himself, will protect and love her with all he has.

Nope. I don’t look up or look back at men I pass these days, because men in my age appropriate dating pool, the ones that still glance at me as I walk away, want a companion who needs time, patience and persistence to fulfill their waning, but ever present desires.

Without passion, devotion and love, this becomes a job. An expected performance. Any wonder I seek the fun, laughter and ease of going out with girlfriends? Have I outgrown my yearning for love, for a man who too has aged, who is no longer able to physically fulfill or protect me? I don’t need him to provide for me…and these days, the perks are not enough to lure me into the game again.

I’m sad and sorry I waited so long to leave.

This will pass. I’ll muster my resources and again be grateful for my health, my family, friends and the life I enjoy. I’ll be glad I moved into the last trimester of my life with my independence. I did stand up…finally, and it felt good. Still feels good. I’m proud of myself, but…

Sometimes it’s okay to rip off the scabs and be brutally honest. New skin heals old wounds. I am grateful that I’m out, away from the drama, rejection, his tempers and contempt. I don’t regret leaving…not for a second.

I just wish I hadn’t waited quite so long.

If you’re struggling in a narcissistic relationship, do you keep hoping it will change? Does venturing out on your own frighten you more than staying and maintaining the status quo? Are you taking care of yourself emotionally and physically or are you circling the drain, clinging to the edge for dear life?

Whatever your situation, I encourage you to answer these questions with brutal honesty…in fairness to yourself.

What are you waiting for?

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