I am sick and tired of hearing about a good guy or a nice guy. We seem to have this thing in our society nowadays where a guy gets praise for being a “good” or “nice” guy. Shouldn’t that be the standard? You’re GONNA be nice and good, the hell?!
Every time I would complain or express disdain for my ex-husband, people would say “but he’s a good guy.” Annnnnddd he should and will be if he’s going to be with me. I feel like this is why so many men slack off and feel they don’t have to work to get/keep you, because we’re smitten over him being nice. I would get random gifts and flowers and everyone on social media would comment about how good that man was, or how sweet and perfect he was. Yes, those were nice gestures and I loved those thoughtful gifts but they don’t replace my other needs- The need for intimacy, long talks, trust, taking initiative and leading the family. Being nice doesn’t supersede my wanting a partner and best friend in my husband.
Now, don’t get me wrong. He was a nice guy. He is a nice guy. I loved that about him. He is very thoughtful and good with gifts. He will always be the first to tell you Happy Birthday soon as midnight strikes. He will feed you until you’re blue in the face. He will make you laugh and his smile is charming. The downside to always being nice is the lack of boundaries. The “I can’t say no” and the people pleasing. When you’re nice to everybody, someone is bound to be upset. In most cases, it was me. He was too friendly with females. Call me insecure, but I want my man to be mean to these chicks! Let them know who has your heart and smile. He was a flirt and it burned me up, especially on social media because it was public for all our followers to see! Aht Aht! I am too possessive for that sh*t! I am like Meg Thee Stallion, “I BET NOT CATCH YOU LOOKIN AT MY N*GGA AND I MEAN IT!” I’m an only child, I have never shared anything in my life and I’m not gonna start with my husband. If he sneezes, don’t say “bless you” to him because he got his blessing right here (ME). Ok, yal catch my drift. The nice stuff was cute only when it applied to me and his family. You don’t have to dog nobody out but put people in their place, establish boundaries, put your foot down!
Now sure enough, my biggest fear came to life. The niceness would go too far. And it did. I found out after the divorce that before we got married, he cheated on me, three times that I know of. Then comes forward a woman stating she’s been around for years and was with him a week before the wedding, amongst other things. Blew up my whole spot. The whole marriage was a lie. We had conversations about each encounter, and he admitted that they all started with flirting that went too far, or someone who was from the past. Nice, right. See, no willpower or boundaries. Just nice, to no end. Shattered my heart into pieces because I never expected that from him. I knew he was a flirt but never in a million years thought that he would act on anything. He said he never felt wanted by me, like I was just with him because we ended up getting pregnant early-on into us talking. Like I just dealt with him because of the circumstance. But sir, after marriage, three kids, helping you get established and sacrificing, you STILL thought this was a hoax? BYYYEEEE. AND even if that is what you thought, why stay with me and propose? I mean, HE asked ME to marry HIM. I did not pressure him, I never asked about a ring, none of that! SO that really makes me angry when I think of it, but again, here comes my empathic brain, “Well he didn’t love himself fully so how could he receive real love from you Brandi?” He is used to toxic love and relationships, (and so was I, accountability) so he was willing to stay with me and not feel fully loved, then to speak up and tell me what he needed from me (as I was too, I didn’t speak up either-Codependency). I must take accountability for the part I played. I will not however, let his actions make me feel less than or like I deserved cheating and infidelity. That’s HIS journey and his stuff. This here, is my stuff though. I already wrote about forgiving myself so I am not going to question how did I end up with a cheater or what signs did I miss because I am not taking blame for his stuff. I am only in control of myself and accountable for Brandi. I will say that my lack of boundaries and standards kept me from speaking up or asking questions when I felt shit wasn’t right, ignoring my intuition. Ignoring my dreams, because I felt it was my past trauma and failed relationships showing up. But nope, I was dreaming about the stuff that was taking place, but still didn’t speak on it. We will ask for a sign and wait for a “signier” sign-wont we? I wanted love so bad that I was willing to dim my light and keep quiet to keep from having confrontation. Whew.
Now what I am going to be accountable for is not having expectations and standards upfront. I’ll admit, when I met him, I was just getting out of a toxic and verbally/emotionally abusive relationship with a narcissist. He was a breath of fresh air. No drama, no yelling, just nice. That is what I needed at the time. Just someone to have fun with and be nice to me, not demand much. I was vulnerable, which is why you should fully heal before moving into a new relationship. So, it worked. We went on dates, got Redbox movies out the machine and laughed a lot. The sex was banging too, so throw that in the mix and its perfect-so it seems. Anyway though, I got pregnant a couple months after knowing him. Oops. I wasn’t sure if the baby was his or my ex’s. My ex-husband was there every step of the way. He expressed early on that he wanted children and a family so he was excited and stated he would like to be there regardless if the baby was his or not. He wanted this bad. That should’ve been a red flag, but it was nice, right? (Research love bombing). Fast forward, the baby, my beautiful baby girl, was his. Thank God. I won’t take that thank god back because my situation would have been ten times worse had she been my ex’s baby. Ok, so after having her, we moved in together and started doing this family thing. Well 5 months after she was born, boom, I’m pregnant again. How nice. Life is really moving for us. Family pics, holidays, birthday parties, I went back to school for my masters. Things are so nice and good. Now as I was growing older and wiser with more life experience, I started to see that some things weren’t how I imagined. I wanted him to be a leader, a little more assertive, a little more vocal, have an opinion about things, initiate and plan goals for our family. He was also quiet by nature and not much of a talker, but he was nice so I overlooked it early on. We were young and just enjoying the fun and laughs, I was still getting to know him so no need for the deep conversations and expectations talk then. But when we started having kids and living together I should have been clear about what I needed from him as a life partner. I did tell him he needed a career, making more money. I was the bread winner at first and finances were starting to be tight with now, 3 children (I had one coming in to the relationship). He did that. Got a career, became breadwinner. He needed a bigger car, and got one. So yes, he was a good guy because he did whatever I suggested or asked of him. Again, I wanted him to take more initiative. Lead me, help me do something. Challenge me. I know that can be hard to do because I am so ambitious and driven, I never really needed a push to do anything but sometimes I want someone to check in with me -see how far I am on my goals, or start a savings or credit challenge to see who can save the most in 6 months. Something, anything! Hell let’s do a meme challenge. I just need to be stimulated. I need something to keep me going and excited. So that is what was missing from having a nice man. All the other things. Nice is good, but it only gets you so far.
There have been so many times I’d thought about being done and ending my marriage because I was so unhappy but there was always someone saying how I should stay because he was a good man who loved me and the kids. Again, shouldn’t he love me and the kids? They’re his damn kids and I’m his wife! Then there was the “if he’s not beating you or cheating you can work this out.” After I found out about the cheating, then there was the “well he’s not beating you, and the cheating was before marriage.” Yeah, okay. Like is that really the only time you should divorce? Why are my happiness and sanity not taken into consideration? I am miserable. I feel lonely. I want adult convos. I want someone to check on my mental wellbeing or lack thereof. I don’t want to feel like I can’t say certain things because you won’t be able to handle the heaviness of it. I want to exhale. I want to fall and know that I’ll be caught, or that there is a parachute somewhere. I want to sit down and do budgets together. I want to talk about the dark sides of our childhood.
I know that marriage is hard. I know there are ups and downs. I know you won’t like your mate every day, every week or every year. I also know that your happiness matters. I know that if you aren’t happy, you can’t be happy in a marriage. I know that people grow up and expectations change. All of these things are okay. There is no right or wrong. You have to do what is best for you. I was not my best self in this marriage, nor was I growing. I felt stuck. I felt lost. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I just knew I was done. This marriage was no longer serving me. I was angry and resentful. Hell I started getting mad at the way he chewed his food. Everything bothered me. My needs weren’t being met. Now granted, I could have and should have communicated these things before I grew resentful. I will admit, I can tell anybody anything but because he was so nice, I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I didn’t want to be mean to the nice guy. I started feeling guilty for having expectations and standards that I felt he couldn’t meet. Sometimes I would dismiss them in my mind and tell myself I was being an ungrateful brat because no man has it all. The niceness was killing me, literally! It was drowning me. He didn’t want to speak up because he didn’t want to lose me. I didn’t want to speak up because I didn’t want to hurt him. Just a freaking disaster. Two codependent people who are putting other’s needs above their own. Unhealthy. So that’s why it ended. It didn’t stand a chance. You have to communicate in marriage. No way around it. The good, the bad, the ugly. It has to be put out there, otherwise resentment seeps through and nobody wins.
So although my marriage ended, I don’t want to look at it as a failure. Yes I could have done things differently, but I am only accountable for the part I played. I learned so much through this experience. I am now putting myself first. I am feeling my emotions and speaking them without fear of being rejected, laughed at or not heard. It is what it is, take it or leave it. I am no longer trying to be something/someone I’m not. I thought speaking up made me a nag or weak. Going forward, I am going to speak my mind in the moment, no more waiting on my friend resentment to show up. I am learning that there are men out there that are nice AND MUCH MORE. No man is perfect, but there are men who are nice and have more to offer, like good intimate conversations. There are nice men with goals. I don’t have to trade one for another. I can have it all. I will have it all, and if I can’t, I’ll be happily single. I won’t settle again just to have a man. Also, through this experience, my ex-husband and I have had a few talks. Weird huh? But yes, now we have talked about our childhoods and things we want for our kids and how we both played a part in the demise of the marriage. So this divorce has brought out some great things. I am learning me, my likes, my wants, my emotions, etc. I am spending time by myself and dating myself. I haven’t been alone in over 10 years, that’s nuts! I am not who I was 10 years ago. I have grown and evolved. I have found my voice and my power. I will continue to do so. And the next time I’m in a loving relationship with a nice guy, he won’t just be nice. He will be great because I will be as well. You are what you attract. In my brokenness, I attracted a mate who too, was broken. I thought I could fix or shape him. That’s not my job, ever. I have to fix myself. Next time around, I will attract wholesome greatness. He will be a reflection of me. Ahhhh, I can’t wait. Ok, I can but you know what I mean!
Ladies, society, men, whoever- stop telling people to settle for nice! Nice is the bare minimum! Go after everything you want sis! You matter! Your sanity matters and your children are watching you! They will do what you do, not what you say. I can’t tell my children to go after everything they deserve when I’m settling for nice. Aht aht. I have to show and prove! Nothing wrong with having standards. When you don’t say what you want, and go after it, you end up accepting whatever you get. Date with intentions! Do everything with intentions, including loving yourself.