3.16.2011

I Refuse to be Last in Line





About seven years ago, after my first husband and I divorced, I attended some counseling classes through our local domestic violence shelter. I'm very glad I did; I learned a lot and it was really good for me. But then, something happened that made me stop going.

It was a group therapy meeting, and we were discussing what to look for in a future partner. The leader would write all of our answers on a chalkboard. We went around the circle and gave our input. The leader encouraged us to say absolutely anything that we wanted in our future relationships, from the shallow to the serious. Her own answer was that she had to have a man who knew how to dance. Another answer around the circle was that he had to have a nice butt. Others were more serious.

When she got to me, I answered, "I just want to be a priority, instead of someone to be with when there's nothing better to do."

And the group leader laughed at me, told me that I needed to start attending their relationship classes, and moved on to the next person in the circle, not even writing my answer on the board.

I was embarrassed and hurt. Is is truly too much to want to be a priority in someone's life? I didn't even say the very first priority. I didn't say that his world must revolve around me.

But I didn't want to be the last resort. The one to be with when everyone else was busy. I didn't want to be the one he stumbled home to when the beer was all drank up and the party was over.

I left that class and never went back again. I should have complained about the way I was treated. I didn't deserve that, and neither do any of the women who take her class in the future.

It didn't change my mind, though. I still wouldn't settle for being at the bottom of someone's list, ever again. I knew I wouldn't be happy, so why bother? I'd rather stay single then go through all of that again.

But in the end, I got what I did deserve. I got a man who not only makes me a priority, but his top priority. From the time we met, his world actually did revolve around me. He told me early on, "my only goal is to make you happy". And he works hard to do that even now, almost seven years later.

It's not all sunshine and roses and romance. It's day to day life, with a built in family, exes, stress, money worries, aging parents, you name it. But he is my best friend, and my ROCK. He is always there for me. If he's not working, he is with me. There is nothing that he would choose to do over spending time with me. In fact, he's turned down many offers just to sit at home with me.

So maybe for that counselor, she doesn't feel like she is worth being a priority. But I knew that I was, and now I am.

Today is my sweet husband's birthday.
I hope he knows I love him, as much as I know he loves me.

Pouring My Heart Out with Shell @ Things I Can't Say -
today is the Anniversary Edition!
Come visit!



34 comments:

Lisa B Carter Designs said...

I enjoyed ready your blog this morning and I totaly agree you should not have been treated that way and your answer/feelings should have been taken to heart. I am so happy for you! You found the right person that is making you a priority and putting you on that pedistal like you deserve.
Lisa

myevil3yearold said...

Happy Birthday to Hubby but tell him I said Roll Tide!

blueviolet said...

I thought your answer was intuitive and wonderful. I'm sorry you were made to feel that way, but so glad that you stayed true to that and ultimately found it! :)

Ms.Wasteland said...

I loved your answer. So much better than saying you want someone with a nice butt. I'm glad you found the partner you wanted (and deserve).

Happy Birthday to your husband!

brainella said...

Wow. What a horrible leader -- I don't blame you for never going back. Why would a nice butt be more important than someone who put you first? Marriage isn't about how good you look, it's about how well your treat your partner.

Amy said...

That lady was not only rude, she was wrong. Everyone should want to be a priority and important to the one they're in a relationship with.

Happy Birthday to John!

Brandy@YDK said...

that's so totally awesome. happy birthday to mr. dysfunctional.

VandyJ said...

Happy Birthday to your hubby! Wonderful that you found someone who thinks you're worth making a priority. Being the last resort is no way to live life.

diane rene said...

I love this, Cyndy!

when I was 18 and telling the sperm donor I didn't want to marry him because (well, for a lot of reasons, but most obviously) he cheated on me, my dad told me that my expectations were too high and I was going to die a lonely old woman.

even then I couldn't help but wonder how it was asking too much to want someone to respect me, and our child, enough to remain faithful.

I'm glad I didn't let that fear set in, because my expectations were NOT too high, and I found a man that met them.

Happy Birthday to hubby and congratulations to you both for finding the right one ;)

Rebecca Jo said...

I cant believe someone would LAUGH at that!!! What kind of counseling is THAT? probably a good thing you didnt go back...

what a sweet post... so glad you found someone who holds you so highly in their life! You so deserve it!

Happy Birthday to your man! :)

Tara R. said...

That counselor has a lot to learn. No one wants to be the last priority in any relationship. There were probably other people in your group who felt the same and her reaction to you was dismissive and insulting.

Happy birthday to your sweet husband and wishes for many, many more loving years together for you both.

April said...

You deserve THE BEST...and it sure sounds like you got HIM! Happy Birthday to your sweet hubby!

From Tracie said...

I am so glad that you shook off that counselors statements and didn't settle for less than what you deserve. That is fabulous!

Happy birthday to your sweet husband!

SueMac said...

I agree wholeheartedly with you! We as spouses should never settle for being nothing but toward the top of the list..... that's what a marriage IS for crying out loud. God is the only "thing" that's allowed to come before me..... not even our daughter. Great post!

Shell said...

First of all- I was singing SheDaisy the whole time I was reading your post. Love that song.

And really? How is that not a good thing to want in a relationship? Ridiculous that you were treated like that.

I'm glad that you found someone who makes you a priority!

I tweeted out your post.

Kimberly said...

I found you through PYHO and I'm glad I did! I was in a terrible relationship with my oldest son's father. After that dissolved I had the same mindset - I wanted to be a priority. I didn't want to be a fall back, when nothing or nobody else was around. Luckily for you & me, we found ourselves amazing men!

Congratulations for believing in yourself and knowing what you wanted (and what you didn't want). And Happy Birthday to your wonderful hubby!

Kristin - The Goat said...

I think that being a priority in someones life is at least a step above a nice butt.

Maybe you did need to attend the relationship class, you could have taught them a thing or two :)

Rose Marie B said...

I totally agree with what everyone else has said. Let's take it one step further and be greedy...how about being a top priority AND finding a kind man with a cute butt? hehe I got both and it took me 13 years to find the right one after my first marriage. Great post!

ChiTown Girl said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet husband!

That "counselor" needs a bitch-slap right upside her head!! (Sheesh, can you tell I work in the ghetto? ;-) ) What the HELL kind of thing is that to do to someone you are supposed to be helping?!?! What as assbag!

I'm SO glad you didn't let her stupidity keep you from going after what you KNOW you deserve. And, I'm even more glad that you found it!!!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Well, that was just RUDE! And to think this woman worked at a domestic violence shelter... props on the sensitivity training! I'm so glad you found what you were looking for... I hope I'm that blessed... of course, if I actually started looking that might help...

Not a Perfect Mom said...

I don't think your answer should have been laughed at passed over...what is wrong with that woman? You should be a priority to your spouse and it's the same the other way around...
How sad for her and the others who don't know the truth...what they truly deserve in a relationship...
and hooray for you for finding it!

The Lovely One said...

That's terrible, and I can't believe that someone leading a counseling session would allow you to believe you shouldn't want to be a priority. I'm glad you never went back!

EMM said...

Beautiful post. You are absolutely right- you deserve to be a top priority in your man's life! Good for you for not going back to the class, and for sticking with what you wanted. Stopping by from YBR Mama.

bluecottonmemory said...

Wow! Someone to help heal the hurt, to boost confidence, that would encourage you to reveal your biggest fears - and they just passed on such a important concept: to be a priority (meaning to be valued, important, not forgotten). I would have felt the same way, too.

My parents were divorced. I wanted to become involved in the divorce care ministry of our church - and I did. I was appalled. All it focused on was what I wanted to get away from. It seemed to encourage wallowing in the stench of dysfunction (bad dysfunction, not normal dysfunction). My solution? I wrote my own program! LOL

Congratulations on not letting someone who had no concept of unconditional love diminish your dream. Happy Birthday to your husband.

Can I use this idea for one of my unconditional love rules? I love it: Unconditional Love: Rule #--, Unconditional Love always makes the one they love a priority!

shortmama said...

Im so glad that you got what you deserved!
Happy late birthday to the hubs!

Tammie said...

i love your answer and i think its a much more realistic answer than something trivial like "nice butt". i dont think that therapist was very good at her job.

anyway, this is a great post and i loved it. happy bday to your hubby.

Carolee Sperry said...

You DO deserve to be a priority and congrats for finding someone who treats you like one!

Visiting from The Blogging Buddies

Have a great day!

Carolee
Come on home - mom blog
Working at home advice

Myya said...

I'm late reading... Happy Belated Birthday to the hubs.

I like your answer & GOOD FOR YOU for never going back & sticking to your guns. Everyone deserves to never be last!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh girlie I think that is beautiful and something amazing to want for yourself and deserve!!!

That counselor really needed a reality check to laugh at someone in a group setting that is suppose to be open and nonjudgmental.

HUGS sweets, I'm glad you went but that is unacceptable of what she did.

Katertot said...

I have goosebumps!

Beautiful post!

Alicia said...

Shame on that counselor! I'm so happy you found the man that is giving you what you want and need. Happy Birthday to your hubby!

Matty said...

I always say that a husband doesn't have to be smart. He just has to be wise. Sounds like yours is, and a very happy birthday to him.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I agree with you and that leader was not very nice. Love the picture, your such a cute couple.

Mrs. Tuna said...

I feel you, I know I have never questioned that I am the top of the list for my husband of almost 29 years. As I'm sure he is at the top of mine.