Did Your Standards Change?

One of the things that I realized as I got older was that my standards changed when it came to men. When I was younger I really didn’t know what I wanted. I mainly dated men who were rough necks or blue collared workers. There was nothing wrong with it, it was who I was attracted too. They didn’t have to go to college, they just had to have other attributes that made it worth my time.

If you know what I mean.

However, that wasn’t who I ended up marrying, which is weird. I married my ex who had a graduate degree and who had attended great schools. We just clicked. I had assumed it was what God wanted, but I think it was probably just chemistry. We liked and then loved each other and got married. God fell by the wayside for most of our relationship and marriage.

We weren’t focused on God.

When our marriage ended and I was in my late thirties entering the dating realm it was overwhelming. Things had changed. I had changed. I had a child now. I didn’t have the luxury of just wasting my time on random ones.

I had to decide what I wanted. I knew that I didn’t hate the institution of marriage. I knew that I wanted to get remarried someday (at least 5 years away) but I really wanted to get to know someone. What was I going to do differently? Did their education level matter? Their past?

Yes. I didn’t care if a man was a blue collared worker or an IBM executive as long as he wasn’t broke. You had to afford to date me. I wasn’t supporting a man. Money mattered.

His past mattered. I wanted to know if you’ve ever been unfaithful to a girlfriend or wife. Why did your last relationship end? Are you a serial cheater? Cheated one time? Why did you cheat? What responsibility do you accept in the breaking up of your relationship if any? Were you ever in jail? Why were you in jail. A man’s past mattered.

I actually had men reach out to me who had just got out of jail and wanted to date me. Really? Not that I’m judging you for serving your time (okay maybe a little), but I have a son and that is not the message that I wanted to send my son. Get your life, build your empire and date other women. That doesn’t include me.

My standards changed. I was a mother. I was over 40. I had been married so there was no need to rush down the aisle as someone’s wife. I wasn’t having any more children so there was no biological clock ticking away waiting for me to give birth. Whew! Thank God.

But, in changing my standards I had to realize that I wasn’t the same woman in her early 20’s. I had grown up. My needs were different. My dating profile was different. I had to be okay with that.

And I was.

I was specific when it came to dating. I needed you to have stability and a healthy relationship. I wasn’t dating broke men. I wasn’t dating ex-cons. I wasn’t dating men with baby mama (or ex wife) drama. I wasn’t dating men with insecurity issues.

I made my list and dated accordingly. Looks are not at the top of my list, primarily because I determine who I’m attracted too. If you’re sexy as hell to me, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.

My standards had changed because I had changed. I grew up and realized what I valued was someone that embodied those values. Mr. C may not be like the men of my past, but it doesn’t matter.

Why?

Because I’m living the life I want with the man that I love. We have a healthy and respectful relationship that is allowing me to grow in ways that I never could have imagined. In this space we created, my standards allowed me to find someone that makes me feel safe.

 

Have your standards changed from when you first started dating? Do you have a specific type that you date? What are your dating no-no’s.

 

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

My IVF Journey: Dying Each Day

My cousin wasn’t getting better. I was getting worse. I was feeling like a failure in all aspects of my marriage. I went to the doctor’s and you know how that conversation turned out. I was officially depressed.

Between work and trying to keep the mask of superficiality on my face, I was really going through it. Work became an integral part of my life. I needed to have something to latch on too. Something that felt real.

But it was a farce and continued to be so for many months. Until our anniversary. That night we laughed in an uneasy form, but decided to give our marriage another go. We decided to recommit and focus on us and having a baby.

I was scared as hell. I couldn’t go through this again. The pain. The disappointment. The fear of having no baby.

But, I prayed. I wanted to give my husband a baby more than life itself. The thought of being a mom was one of my deepest fears. I struggled with insecurities about parenthood. What kind of mother would I be? Would my child love me? Would my child like me?

These thoughts were real for me. Parenthood was scary as hell. So, I jumped off that cliff and closed my eyes and flew.

Back through the IVF cycle. The pills, the shots, the bruising, the mood swings. The anger was real bad this time. Those drugs had me saying stuff to my husband that I never thought possible. One day I told him “Will you shut the hell up? The sound of your voice is making my ears bleed?” He didn’t respond.

I was upset. I cried later. He consoled me and said “It’s the medications. I understand.” I didn’t. It was hell on my body. My hair was shedding like a damn cat. I felt as though I was losing it.

The day of my egg retrieval, I woke up and he was right there smiling. I heard a doctor tell the woman next to me that they had retrieved 23 eggs. My husband grabbed my hand. We both wondered would we be so lucky.

A beautiful Indian doctor walked in. She indicated that they had retrieved 11 eggs. I cried. That wasn’t enough. Here we go again.

She asked me “What’s wrong?” I told her “I overheard the woman in the next cot had 23 eggs retrieved. I wasn’t going to ever have a baby and I hated this process.” She looked at me and said “Ms. Thomas, not to give anyone’s medical information away, but the woman in the next room has a medical condition where she is producing more eggs than normal. She said 11 is a good number and it only takes one. I need you to remember that it only takes one to have a healthy baby.”

My husband squeezed my hand and said “See, we did good.” I closed my eyes. I was tired. I couldn’t take another round of defeat.

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

The Art of Being A Wife Tour

Sorry for the post that wasn’t. I’ve had a busy week and haven’t been able to catch up on a lot of your posts. Please know that I will be doing that over the next few days including this weekend. However, I wanted to tell you about this awesome session that I attended last Saturday. It was called The Art of Being a Wife Tour.

The tour was designed to get women to think of the following questions:

Do I have what it takes to be a great wife?

How do I bring sexy back to my bedroom?

How can I get “me” back after losing her in my marriage?

Am I the only one going through in my marriage?

Can I stay even when the thrill is obviously gone?

As someone who plans to be a wife to Mr. C one day, I wanted to go and check it out. Plus, I knew Tanya Barnett. She wrote the book Being A Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew Before I Said “I Do” that I reviewed. I had read the book, but I wanted to know more.

The Women

I had never met Dominique Clarke, but I am glad I did. They were incredible leaders in helping us to really dig dip into things that affect us. Dominique is a matchmaker who has been married for 8 years and she’s only 30. What? How awesome is that?

I couldn’t imagine being married at 22, but she’s making it work. She shares her tips for dating, relationships and marriage with you. She has a book entitled She’s Valuable (But Does She Know It?) that I purchased and started to read. I’ll do a book review on this later.

Tanya Barnett is an entrepreneur, author, mom, wife, radio host and many other titles. She shares her testimony about her relationship struggles in her marriage and what she had to do to fix herself. She tells you how God told her that her marriage was her ministry.

How many of us think of marriage as our ministry? But, it really is. That was an amazing nugget to take away. Her book is amazing and a must read.

What It Wasn’t

It wasn’t a male bashing session. It was a session to help us women figure out what we can work on within ourselves. That in itself was different because we always want to turn it into a male bashing session or point the other finger to our partners when we get around other women.

We aren’t accountable for our own actions. There was none of that. It was all love and respect. It was really getting to what you desire for yourself and your partner so you can strengthen your relationships. I had a ball.

What I Wish

What did I wish they had? A workbook with some excerpts and tips from their own book that they could share. It was a lot of women and we couldn’t get through everything, but have us do the work and talk about what we expect to get out of this. Have us work on ourselves at home.

What I Want You To Know

I learned some things. I learned from the women around me at my table and I was able to share some wisdom as a divorced woman. This was an excellent opportunity for sister bonding and empowerment. Self-improvement always is and will be one of my top priorities in my life.

Highlight

The next stop is in Raleigh, North Carolina. If you are in the area, please go check out this awesome tour. There are only a few tickets remaining. I was also fortunate to give a testimonial. Check it out:

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Motivational Monday Moment – 7.17.17

My Motivational Monday Moment is about finding your tribe. Find people that you can collaborate and grow with. People that will inspire you. People that have shared experiences and will motivate you.

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Sometimes your tribe isn’t your best friends or your family and you know what? That’s okay. We all have different life experiences. Your best friend may be happily married and you are going through a painful divorce so your experiences may be different. It’s okay to collaborate with people that may have shared experiences.

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As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that my tribe is all over the place and in different spaces. I’ve learned so much from people that I’m always amazed at why I couldn’t find these people sooner. I wonder “Where have you been all my life? ” 

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I’ve discovered so many things in this last year that collaboration has been both essential and rewarding. From groups on co-parenting, blogging, being a mommy, to female entrepreneurs and survivors of abuse. It’s a lot. Sometimes it is overwhelming. But, I am growing and learning. This allows me to contribute when I can and just observe when I can’t.

Finding your tribe is about finding people that resonate with you. You have a shared experience or feel the need to connect on common interests. This is essential for any one and everyone who believes in growth. For example, when I was younger, my tribe became consumed with married couples. I was a young married woman and my tribe was slowly shifting to couples that were married.

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There was both good and bad in that. The good was that it allowed me to have couple experiences and keep my marriage happy. Seriously, how many men want their women hanging out with single women at clubs or lounges? What about married women? Do you want your husband hanging out with his single guy friends at the bars? There was an opportunity to meet collectively as married women and know that our husbands were cool with that.

Your tribe shifts. It is supposed too. My tribe is continually evolving based on where I’m at in different points of my life. I like that. It doesn’t mean that I find no value in my friends or I’m cleaning out my closet of my closest relationships. Nope, it means that I’m joining and learning from people that have shared experiences. People that can offer both guidance and support for my life circumstances.

You can be a part of many tribes as your life evolves. It’s part of life. That’s okay. You are growing and there are many different facets to who you are and where you are at different points in your life. Don’t limit yourself. Be a part of as many or as few tribes as you want to be.

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So, my Motivational Monday Moment is a battle cry for you to go out and find your tribe and grow. Be strong in whatever endeavors you undertake knowing that you are a part of a collective that wants to see you succeed. Know that when you share you are sharing your experiences to help others. Each one must teach one.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: Fertility Window

We were hurting. I was hurting and probably caused a lot of the pain. I didn’t want to discuss the failure of our first IVF attempt. I was embarrassed. Something must have been wrong on my end. Why couldn’t the eggs latch onto my uterine lining?

I felt alone and frustrated. Feelings of inadequacy constantly flooded my mind. I threw myself into work. I was travelling a lot. Meetings. It was good. The anniversary dinner was a starting point towards talking and acting like a couple. But, a couple of days later I was given the news that no woman in her prime wants to hear. Especially at the age of 32.

I was having my annual check-up and my ob/gyn wanted me to get up and have a talk. She explained that my fertility window was limiting. I had to make a choice if I wanted to have children. My fibroids had returned and I didn’t have as much time as I thought I would to have children. I thought I had more time than 5 months since my first failed attempt at IVF. I told her that we had tried IVF and that it had failed. She asked where did we go for treatment. I told her. She said she knew the practice.

“Who is your doctor?” she asked. “Dr. S” I replied. “I know him” she said. “He’s a great doctor. What did he say?” she inquired. “He told me to try it again. He said that he knows he can get me pregnant” I sighed. I didn’t want to be having this conversation again. Not with someone else. It didn’t work. I get it. I wasn’t meant to have children.

I had begun to accept that fact. “Well, if he said he can do it then he can do it. You should try it again” she said. Just like that. Final. I listened and stuttered “We’re in a bad place. We’ve been married 5 years and I don’t know if we’ll make it.” She listened. “Okay, just know that you can’t wait forever.” I shook my head in understanding and got dressed.

I had never felt so alone.

I headed to the car. On the drive home I kept replaying her conversation in my mind. I never wanted children so why the hell was this stressing me out? Was it our marriage holding on by a thread or was it the fact that at that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a mother?

That was it.

I wanted to be a mother. If not with my husband, then someone else. I wanted a baby. I was going to have a baby. I wasn’t going to stay in this perpetual middle zone relationship wondering if he or I should pull the plug on it. Someone needed to make a decision and it needed to happen now. Definitely before my fertility window closed. No more excuses. It was time to woman up!

-To be continued-

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

My IVF Journey: The 5th Year

We had been married for almost five years. They were both beautiful and brutal years. Our marriage was being tested. He was being tested. We were being tested.

I didn’t know how I felt about having children. We had a lot of problems and I didn’t know if bringing a baby into the situation would be a blessing or a curse. I knew that he wanted kids. He wanted them now. He wanted them the minute we got married. I pushed back. I needed time. I quoted statistics “Most marriages end in divorce and many more end before the five year mark.” I wanted to wait.

He agreed. Reluctantly probably, but he agreed.

July 13, 2007

We were in a bad place. It had been five months since our first failed attempt at IVF. I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t have a baby. I was in a perpetual state of just existing. I felt alone in my marriage. No one could understand the pain I felt knowing that it didn’t work.  I carried the burden of feeling like I was somehow incomplete.

It was my anniversary. I woke up wondering how long before we would be pulling the plug on this farce of a marriage. We were like roommates. Sleeping in the same house in the same bed and not touching. No hugging. No hand holding. No intimacy. I felt more alone than I ever had being single. I was living with a complete stranger.

Pleasantries were exchanged. We were both off today. It was our custom to take off work every time our anniversary fell on a work day. I got up and headed to the shower. I had to go. I got dressed and said good-bye.

There was no mention of anything special occurring on this day. I had made no plans. I just wondered when we were going to end it. Was today the day? I drove to take my mom to the dentist. She was getting her four wisdom teeth pulled and couldn’t drive home. No problem. I’m the oldest. I was already off.

After the dental procedure, I got my mom home and left for home. Not quite sure why I was headed home. It was my anniversary and I felt unloved. This void between us was like a mountain that couldn’t be crossed. I decided to call him from the car. “Hello” he answered. “Hi, are we doing anything special tonight? It’s our anniversary. Trying to figure out my day” I said. “I didn’t think you wanted to do anything. You just got up and left” he said. “I took my mom to the dentist. She got her four wisdom teeth extracted” I responded. “Oh, okay. Yeah, we can go to dinner. I’ll make reservations” he said.

Dinner sucked. The restaurant was in a beautiful location, but the meal was uneventful and not very tasty. We laughed and said that it was the worst meal we’d ever had, but tried to make the best of it. There were glimpses of hope in our strained conversations, hearty laughs, but mainly there was the distinct presence of pain. Too much pain.

To be continued

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Commit

“Today I commit my life to you. For better or worse, I vow to honor you and love you with all that I have and with all that I am.”

I sat there listening to that sentence over and over. We were more than this. I thought there was a deeper level of connection. How could I have been so wrong?

When I met Cameron 10 years ago, I had just committed to living a new life. I was in graduate school working on my MBA at Georgetown University. I had lived a life well beyond my years. I was a survivor.

Our dating life was surreal. Perfect with the right amount of friction and issues to remind us that we are only human. We dated for 3 years. Laughing, dancing and traveling allowed us to grow closer. I never shared much of my past with Cameron.

He knew that I had a traumatic life, but not to the point that I could ever talk about. He said he understood. He didn’t want to pressure me. He just wanted to love.

And he did. Everywhere. I was the envy of all my friends.

I had happiness. I had security. I had love.

What more could I ask for or ever need? Nothing. Which is why I was surprised when Cameron asked me to marry him after 3 years. I mean I said yes, but was shocked because I never imagined getting married. I was happy with the way things were, but being his wife meant that I could enjoy a legal sort of bliss.

Our wedding was perfect. The beautiful island of Capri. The sun, the sand and his family and friends made it perfect. We would honor our commitment with a beautiful destination wedding. I love Cameron.

My dress was perfect. Just enough sex appeal to keep him wanting, but beautiful and feminine to not be embarrassed when we had children. Heaven. I was in heaven.

I was also drunk from the sun and wine. I stumbled to the bathroom at the venue. The women’s had a line. I didn’t care. I pushed the door to the men’s room opened. I was horrified at what I saw.

My eyes wouldn’t register. What is this? I must be dreaming.

The sounds of guttural sex were both familiar and real. I pushed open the stall. I saw the man that I loved and just married screwing my maid of honor.

I began to scream. “Whore! Slut! Asshole!” My blood was boiling as I began swinging at both people. I was going to commit murder.

 

This post was inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt was commit.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.