How Do I Love a Man? Am I Even Worth Loving?

My grandmother who raised me always instilled into my mind to hate all men. She would literally tell me all the time that men are horrible and to never trust a man. She actually said the words,” We hate men don’t we honey”? I never had a male figure in my life besides the many boyfriends that my grandma would bring over. Not the men that would mow our lawn,or do honey Do’s around the house for whatever payment. No one.

She told me that when my Uncle Billy was born she was mad. She was so mad that she had a boy because boys are nothing but trouble. She said that Billy was always a handful and so she kicked him out by the time he was 16 years old, maybe before. (He was murdered in the streets eventually.)The only man that she truly ever loved was my great-grandfather, her daddy, Buster Eskridge.

So naturally when I started dating I had a hard time trusting, I had jealousy issues, and I had the “hate men” mentality because according to my grandmother I was above them. She did tell me in subtle ways that I can get men to do anything I want them to do, if…

 I’ll never forget the time that I was pregnant with both of my boys, she would tell me,”I sure hope it’s not a boy they’re so much trouble.” And each time I had to tell her that I was pregnant with a boy there was never a congratulations, there was never a hug, it was never excitement, there was only a scowl on her face and no words were said. When I had all three of my children over to her house she would only pay attention to my daughter and she would always leave the boys out of fun or play time, and she would basically ignore them, and not let them come into her bedroom. They were also not allowed to have anything to drink either.  She would never babysit the boys for me but she would always babysit my daughter. She said boys were just too mischievious.

I had to raise three children on my own and that meant raising two boys on my own. I love my boys so much and I would do anything for them and I especially wanted to show my grandmother that she was wrong about boys because these were precious little lives. I probably went the polar opposite direction of the way I was raised and I would smother my kids with love hugs and kisses all the time and I do mean ALL the time. But I will say they never thought they weren’t loved from me.

I never knew how to love a man properly. Maybe it’s because I was never loved by a man, the way a little girl should be. I always ended up making bad decisions in my relationships, or always demanded way too much. When I met my children’s father, it was the same way with our relationship. He knew how demanding I was and still put up with it, because he fell in love with me. We quickly got pregnant right out of high school and had a little girl. I didn’t trust him, as Ross from Friend’s would say, “We were on a break” and he was with another girl.  I would get angry at him for the littlest things that he would do because I was bitter and hurt. I know that it takes two to make a relationship work however, I was not grateful for his hard work, I was not grateful for the things that he bought us, I was insecure in our love, bitter, and unforgiving. I wasn’t grateful for anything actually, it was never good enough to make up for the time he was with Jenny. I drove him away from me more and more everyday

I will say that things turned in our relationship when I would get really angry. He was going to bars, strip clubs, and doing drugs. I would lash out at him and I would slap him across the face or I would get in his face a lot, especially when he had been drinking. At this point the physical violence started. At first it was me who was hitting on him because I was angry, SO SO ANGRY!!! Why did he feel the need to see other women naked? Why did he stay out all night? Why did I find a strippers phone numbers in his pockets!? 

 Then the tables turned and then he started hitting me. He would either hit me in self-defense or he would hit me when he was drunk. One night while making love, right after our 3rd child, my body still recovery after having three children back to back, he got off of me and said, “You’re disgusting, loose weight.” I can never remember feeling so deeply hurt or ashamed of what I looked like. Not only was I disgusting to my husband, but now only strippers and pornography satisfied his lust for the perfect woman. I would never be enough. Our relationship turned very unhealthy and very violent, in front of our children. Im not going to tell you about the beatings and the horror in this blog, he has changed but, the things he said and did to me, will always remain. Only God has removed the sting. 

So I poured all my love to my children. Loving my daughter, loving my boys, and loving God are the only true love’s I’ve ever had in my life and it seems that sometimes I sabotage those relationships as well. But my children are gracious, loving, and forgiving when I am human. Besides my Aunt Debbie and Aunt Charlotte (whom I will dedicate a story to later) The first real love I experienced was my three babies. 

Now, I have Christian families around me, couples that love each other so much, and they teach me how to respect men by showing me how much they respect their husbands and I’m learning slowly but surely that love and respect go both ways. A man cherishes his wife. I’ve never been cherished in my life besides God. I have not been in a serious relationship since my divorce 12 years ago because I have this fear that I’m just going to screw something else up, I won’t be good enough, and I’ll have another man abandon me in my life. I have this huge fear of abandonment from men because that’s all I’ve ever known. My father abandoned me, my husband abandoned me, and every guy I’ve dated has never stuck around long enough to even get to know me.

So how do I learn to love a man when the only men that I know want to only have sex and no relationship? I almost don’t even know how to behave any more on a date. I feel like I’m 15 again and that I have no idea what to say or do besides strip down my clothing to get attention. Am I not worth the love of a man? Why can’t I be cherished in earth? Because if I’m not worth the love of a man then how will I ever know how to love a man?

So the only romantic figure I have in my life right now is God. He romances me, He talks to me, He provides everything that I need, and makes me feel so loved and so wanted and so needed. He is my wall and my protector. My friends, The Voth’s, in Tulsa, have taught me that men are to be walls for God’s girls. My standards for men have raised so much over the last few years, and my strength in God has raised so much in the last few years! It took me a long time to trust God with my heart.  I joke with my girlfriends and tell them that the man for me will have to get out of the boat and walk on water. Oh man I just realized I’m expecting too much again LOL. So I’m left right now thinking that I’m just going to be single the rest of my life so that I don’t hurt anybody and I don’t get abandoned. I’m okay right now being with just God, and I’m content; but I don’t know how I will feel tomorrow, next year, or 10 years from now. All I know is for right now at this very moment I’m single, I’m learning how to love men, I’m learning to accept how God sees me, I am beautiful, I am smart, I have a purpose, because I’m here on purpose and I’m content……

Thank you Pastor/Professor Jeff Voth and the entire Voth family, for showing me what it means for a man to protect a woman. I’ll never be the same. Their logo is above. If your a man, and want to know how to become that wall for your family, please get the book, “Cavetime” by Jeff Voth. Amazon, Kindle, bookstores… Just get it and watch your whole life change, watch your marriage change, and your inner strength as a man change!!! Love you Voth’s. All of you. Here is a link to Cavetime!

 

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