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We Only Fall In Love With 3 People In Our Lifetime, Each For Different Reasons

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I have often heard that people fall in love only three times in our lives, and each person serves a different purpose.

THE FIRST LOVE 

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Often our first is when we are young, in high school even. It’s the idealistic love—the one that seems like the fairytales we read as children. This is the love that appeals to what we should be doing for society’s sake—and probably our families. We enter into it with the belief that this will be our only love and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel quite right, or if we find ourselves having to swallow down our personal truths to make it work because deep down we believe that this is what love is supposed to be. Because in this type of love, how others view us is more important than how we actually feel.

THE SECOND LOVE

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The second is supposed to be our hard love—the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved. This is the kind of love that hurts, whether through lies, pain or manipulation. We think we are making different choices than our first, but in reality we are still making choices out of the need to learn lessons—but we hang on. Our second love can become a cycle, oftentimes one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before.

THE THIRD LOVE

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And the third is the love we never see coming. The one that usually looks all wrong for us and that destroys any lingering ideals we clung to about what love is supposed to be. This is the love that comes so easy it doesn’t seem possible. It’s the kind where the connection can’t be explained and knocks us off our feet because we never planned for it.

**READ THE FULL ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON ELEPHANT JOURNAL **

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The Face Of A Strong Woman

It’s easy for people to act as if our lives are perfect on social media sites, as  many of us tend to broadcast mainly only the positives going on in our lives, while keeping the negative things hidden, giving people the notion that we lead picture perfect lives. Because I usually am one of the people who post funny, positive things on my social media page and try my best to have a happy-go-lucky attitude in life, I think people assume I float through life like Mary Poppins, with not a care in the world.

If only they knew how far from the truth that is. I remember a co-worker once saying I must not have had a hard life or experienced anything bad because I told her I don’t really care to listen to the Blues. “Wait until you start experiencing some things, then you’ll understand that style of music,” she told me. I could only laugh at her assumption that because I don’t care for a certain style of music, that my life is all peaches and cream. “Trust me, I’ve experienced more pain that you’ll ever know,” I told her.

So, I decided to show people the woman behind the mask of sunshine and happiness- the side of me that I let people see on a daily basis, while hiding other aspects of my life from the world by smiling to keep from crying, laughing and joking to keep from breaking down, and trying to uplift myself and others to keep from going into that dark hole of loneliness and depression with a slideshow video.

 

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Mom’s Stop Treating Your Teenage Son Like Your Man

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Yesterday, I experienced one of a mother’s worst nightmares when my 18 year old son, who’s a senior in high school, and I got into an argument because he thought there was nothing wrong with him having high school girls sleep over at my house, IN HIS BEDROOM. I was asleep when I heard him come home around 1 a.m. Not only was he coming in at an hour that was inappropriate, he had two of his female classmates with him. I listened to him and these girls talking in his bedroom, they were in and out of the bathroom- which is across the hall from my bedroom- and before I could get out of bed and say something to him about it, they all left. His phone is off because he hasn’t paid his phone bill- something he has always done- so I couldn’t call him. I assumed he was spending the night somewhere and would come back home later that day.

I dosed back off to sleep, but at around 3 a.m. I heard him coming in again. Now, my work day usually starts at 4 a.m. because I have to be at work at 5:30 a.m., and sometimes my internal alarm clock wakes me up early. But this time, it was my teenage son and at least two girls who’d interrupted my sleep, once again. I laid in my bed, debating whether or not I was going to get up and go off on him at that moment, or wait until his company left and then do it. I knew that he would have sworn up and down that I’d embarrassed him in front of his friends, even though that’s exactly what he deserved to have happen. For an entire hour, I laid there and listened to them in the living room talking, laughing, eating chips, because I could hear the cracking of the chip bags. I listened to the microwave buttons being pushed. But what finally made me go break up his little party was when I smelled either cigarette smoke, or the smoke from those vaping liquids that my son told me he uses.

I was highly pissed off, because I don’t smoke and he knows I don’t allow it in my house. I let him know that his actions were highly inappropriate, not to mention disrespectful, and I told him those girls had to go…NOW! And how did my son react? By cussing and fussing at me back that he’d done nothing wrong by having those girls at my house. His excuse was that they’d all gone to a party, one of the girls had gotten so drunk that she couldn’t drive home, and him- acting as their taxi driver even though one of the girls had followed him to my house in her own car- and being the considerate friend that he is, decided not to drive her home, but instead to allow her to sleep at my house in his bed until the next morning. I THINK ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

Now, instead of admitting that he was very wrong for disrespecting my home in the middle of the night, he became argumentative- yelling, screaming, and cursing at me, as I yelled at him. In his extreme anger, he even punched a big hole in his bedroom door. In that moment, I needed him to leave. I couldn’t believe that my son that I’ve raised and bent over backwards for 18 years was speaking to me the way he was. He wouldn’t leave and he continued hovering above me, almost like he wanted to hit me, so I grabbed my keys and I left. When I got back, he’d packed all of his things and left. And as far as I’m concerned, he can stay gone, because when a child thinks he/she is grown enough to disrespect their parents. it’s probably best.

Thinking back on the situation, I realize some mistakes that I, as a single mom, have made which may have contributed to this whole situation. When a woman is raising her children alone, we tend to make them our entire world. Most women- especially single moms- rarely take out any time for ourselves. We devote every waking moment to making sure our kids have everything they want and need. And some women tend to fill the empty void of not having a man in our lives with our teenage sons. No, I’m not talking about in an incestuous way by sleeping with him, but we tend to dote on them, wait on them hand and foot, refer to them as the man of the house. I’ve even seen some women on social media referring to her son as “her king.” We use them in Facebook and Instagram hashtags as #ManCrushMonday. These are some of the ways that we allow our son’s to be a stand in for the man/bf/husband that we don’t have.

The problem with this is that eventually the son actually starts to think he’s your man. As a mother, we’ve allowed him to get away with things we know deep down we shouldn’t, had grown-up conversations with him, acted like his friend more than his mother. We don’t set rules and boundaries for him and before you realize it, he starts to think that he is no longer a child. Instead, he develops the notion that he’s the adult that you have put him in a position of being. So, when he decides to misbehave or act out and you now have to discipline him as your child, he’s not having it. In his mind, he’s grown. He feels he can come and go as he pleases, have girls in his room if he wants to, drink/smoke in the house if he wants…because you’ve told him he’s the man of the house. And as the man of the house, he does whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

Stop calling your son “your king” A king is a ruler, someone who’s in charge of the people around him. Your teenage son, while he might very well be the only man in your home if you’re single or divorced, is not and should not be in charge of you or the house. Because when you try to assert your authority over the “king” who feels he’s the man in position of power, he’s not going to back down and let you take back control of his kingdom.

This is one of the many mistakes that single mom’s make, which can have negative consequences in the long run. I’ve overcompensated for my son a lot in the past as a mom, first because his biological father has never tried to be his father and is not involved in his life now, and then when I divorced the man that he did consider his father figure. My son took my divorce hard, and I’ve often blamed myself for his unhappiness because my relationships failed, even though I know that I was being manipulated, controlled, verbally, mentally, and emotionally abused by these men, until I simply couldn’t stay with them anymore.

By me doing these things, I’ve essentially given my son the green light to act out, and he has done so by disrespecting me and my house, and having the notion that he can come and go as he pleases. By trying to fill the void of not having a dad in his life, I’ve let him slide many times on things I shouldn’t have. I brushed it off the first time he talked back to me years ago, blaming his attitude on my divorce and on the fact that leaving my husband was hard for him. I let him stay out later than any teenager should have. I’ve excused a lot of bad behavior, all in the name of making things easier for him after my divorce. On the other hand, I don’t miss an opportunity to praise him on Facebook and bragging on him constantly, because while he does do dumb things at times, he is a good kid for the most part, and I am proud of him as a mom. But what I haven’t done was make him be held accountable when he’s wrong.

By me doing these things, I’ve essentially given him the green light to continue acting out, disrespecting me and my house, and having the notion that he can come and go as he pleases.

There is nothing wrong with loving your son unconditionally and/or bragging on him from time to time, or even telling the world how much you love him. But mom’s need to realize that our son’s are NOT a replacement for a boyfriend, fiance, husband, or a significant other. He is your child, not your man. Stop giving him that label. Stop calling your son “your king” A king is a ruler…someone who’s in charge of the people around him.

Your teenage son- while he might very well be the only man in your home if you’re single or divorced- is not and should not be in charge of you or the house. Because when you try to assert your authority over the “king” who feels he’s the man in position of power, he’s not going to back down and let you take back control of his kingdom when you are put in a position of now having to be a parent and discipline him for any reason. You become a person that he thinks he controls. He will refuse to acknowledge you as superior to him. In his mind, it’s the other way around. You have made him think that he controls the home and everything in it, including you.

Being a parent is a hard job and unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a manual or a handbook. At the end of the day, no matter how much our children mean to us, we have to let them know that we are in control. It’s okay to want to be your kid’s friend, but being a parent needs to come first. Rules and boundaries need to be established so that they know that you love them, but as the parent, they need to respect you and your rules. Take time for yourself. Stop making everything about your kids, especially our son’s. Love your son, but don’t use him as a replacement for a man.