Basically these were the only two options my husband had when we first started dating just nearly eight months after I lost my other half: love me or leave me.
It was one or the other. Love me or leave me. And nothing in between.
I was broken, but not broken enough to know there was a very likely chance that he was “the one.” I had all the feelings and he checked all the boxes. There was just one catch. Remember the “broken” part?
I felt like a problem (and sometimes still do) and I hate that I felt that way, but it’s true. I was so unbelievably sad, traumatized, and had a long, uncertain road ahead of me. A road I wanted him to be on with me, but at the same time, I didn’t want to “drag” him down it.
I gave him an out (multiple times), but thankfully, he never took it.
To the recent recipient of a lemon: It’s okay to love and to be loved. In fact, it’s more than okay, it’s encouraged. And no matter what relationship you’re grieving (mother, father, sibling, girlfriend, etc.) or no matter what hardship you’re enduring, your newfound love will never replace that relationship or hardship, which is something you clearly know, but the general public might not.
You see, when I first started dating my husband, I had many comments coming at me that basically said, “hey look, she’s happy now!” And just like that, my grief was somehow over with a snap of the fingers. Ha. No. Wrong. So wrong. In fact, they can’t even be compared to one another. They’re separate. Separate people. Separate relationships. Separate love. No comparison.
To the person “signing up” to love the recipient of a lemon: That’s just it. You are signing up for this. If you’re “signing up” just be sure of one thing, make sure you show up. Every single time. No questions and no exceptions.
This should be noted as well. I knew there were outsiders concerned over my newfound love. Wondering if I was replacing one love for another one. As if I was just going to skip over my grief because I fell in love. As noted above, they’re not to be compared. My relationship with my identical twin sister will never in a million years be replaced by anyone. That just doesn’t make sense and is simply impossible.
And a quick comment in regards to my husband, I’m so thankful for him everyday for “signing up” for this and most importantly, showing up.
*Note: Future relationship posts include: tips for both sides of the relationship when one is grieving/has mental health issues/addiction/any hardship.
*Another note: no relationship will ever replace the one you’ve lost. And please don’t say that to a griever. Don’t tell someone who’s just lost a brother or a parent or a sister that at least they have another brother or a sister or children or another parent to love. You get the point. That’s not helpful and just minimizes that person’s loss, which should never be done.