I’ve had a fascination with politics since I was four years old. Yes. Four years old. Of course, at age four my insight amounted to watching the NBC coverage of the 1988 Presidential Election, recognizing bushes in front of the White House and then deciding that the Bushes would win the election. It just made poetic sense to my four year old mind.
By age 24 I’d participated in two campaigns. One was successful. The other one was heartbreaking.
I’d also had a meeting for a potential internship in D.C.. And, it was on that visit that I began to doubt my personal involvement in politics entirely.
She was an advisor to a US Senator who advised the US President. She had a background in finance. She was an incredibly smart person. Chic. Seemingly kind too.
But…even as I was already ill-prepared for the meeting out of some subconscious doubt I totally fell apart when she confided in me about the awful truth of living in D.C. in her position of power while also being a single straight woman. “All the men here are obsessed with conquering things. They’re insatiable. And you just know they’ll eventually cheat on you. I honestly don’t think they can help it. They just are never satisfied and everything in life for them is about conquering something new. Some new height. Some new woman.” At least those were her words as best as I can recall…
She cried. We prayed. I left wondering if politics was worth it for me at all. I wasn’t desperate to get married but I didn’t want to keep being hurt. I’d already had two boyfriends cheat. One of whom worked in D.C. as an intern at a think tank actually.
“I just can’t love you.” The one who interned in D.C. said. He could love, but not love me. I was not lovable to him. He could have been kinder about how he said it but he wasn’t. He also had the nerve to add that I needed to be more confident and “just do things”.
So, politics became a barren, cold, lifeless, ugly graveyard to me. It felt like a future of nothing but eventual death through overwork, heartbreak and loneliness. Still, I considered it. We had been told to make our vocation (that was the word used at the college I attended) an important part of our life.
“Don’t go into politics! It’ll destroy you. I’ve seen it happen!” said a man I met on the bus. He was older and felt the need to give me advice. “Get married to a good man and have a family. That’s the happiest you’ll ever be.”
…But…even though my husband has stopped cheating since marriage I can’t say it all turned out.
I found that good man (his decency goes beyond just not being a cheater in marriage to clarify). I had kids. Aside from my kids I doubt it’s been better or worse than anything else I had in mind in terms of happiness. I choose to be a stay-at-home mom because I have kids. If I hadn’t had kids I’d like to have done what I wanted to do… It just seemed impossible to conceive kids with a man I’d want as my children’s father and be involved in politics. To be in D.C with someone who wasn’t “insatiable” so to speak.
But I didn’t know then what I know now. And, my kids make it all worth it. Truly. But…funny how no one had it quite right unless you count the fact that I had two great kids with a decent man. At least I got some part right for them…
Now, to be clear: I don’t want to be with someone who cheats. For someone, such as myself, who’s naturally monogamous it’s misery when someone cheats. Cheating is inherently disrespectful. That being said love is about trust, respect and…that something else. And by that something else I mean so many things… Too many too personal to put in my public blog. However, when the Bible says Christians should be equally yoked I suspect it means more than just to marry another Christian, which was a concept my mother repeated hundreds of times to me growing-up. I know from experience it means an equal amount of love. At least.
An equal amount of love.
How do you tell who loves who more? It’s not something that’s easily delineated. At least not for me. But it’s something that is obvious as life is lived. At least it has been to me.
Like I wrote a short while back, on Valentine’s Day when one sees people holding hands and you wonder why you and your partner can’t just do that but your partner doesn’t wonder. Doesn’t even notice. He holds your hand if you’re scared (which is nice of course) but it’s never that romantic… Or not really anyway. …It’s concerning. “I’m not good at romance.” he says. But you somehow know that’s not true. Intuitively.
You get into a fight and you think it’s about something going on in the relationship, but you can tell eventually that his mind is somewhere else and when you finally find each other it feels like a fight between friends. It feels like he doesn’t really know you as a romantic partner almost at all. He insists otherwise but everything feels so consistently off from that being the truth.
And of course, when someone hits on you in front of him and seems more into you than he does but you stay faithful because…you love him and *shrug*. And yet you aren’t totally sure if he would do the same in return…
Yeah, after ten years it’s obvious who is more in love or has been if you’re curious enough to know. And after trying to make it work over and over and over because you have kids and he’s a good man (he’s never cheated within marriage as far as I know)…well…you only “stay” if you’re delusional, you don’t care, you’re of the mindset that God would never forgive you or…I don’t know what else. I’ve not left him physically in the sense of leaving our house because we’re raising kids together. But we are separated. I think that counts as leaving. Especially during a pandemic.
But no…if I ever marry again I’ll be equally yoked, so to speak. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get involved in politics again. And…those are my rambling thoughts for tonight dear readers.
By the way, I’m finishing my first novel.