I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. It's not just some cliche saying, it's true, but it's obviously true. Everything in life has a reason, a purpose... whether we understand what it is or not. I'm finally beginning to understand the reason why so many of my relationships have failed. It's called co-dependency and I've had it for a long time, I just never knew it. I always feel like it's my job to "fix" someone when they start to show their true colors after the honeymoon phase of the relationship wears off and reality sets in. With my last relationship, I was so incredibly determined to make it work that I was totally blind to the fact that my son was being abused right under my nose and I didn't see it. I was so incredibly focused on fixing the problems with that relationship that I didn't realize that a much bigger, much worse thing was happening to one of my children. Never again will I allow that to happen. I was so consumed by helping someone that didn't want to help themselves that I didn't realize that my son was the one who really needed my focus and my attention and my help. I will probably never forgive myself for not seeing it earlier on. But after I prayed and prayed for God to give me the answer, he finally helped me to wake up and see that relationship for what it really was and it ended very poorly. I'm still recovering from the shock of it all, but I'm taking it one day at a time. My grieving is not over the loss of the relationship. I actually feel quite relieved and more calm now that it's over. No more worrying or checking up to make sure he's not being dishonest anymore. That in itself is invaluable and has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. My grieving is for my children. I'm sad that my son had to endure what he did because of my inability to devote more attention to him. I'm sad that my oldest daughter has no idea why he can't live with us anymore and has had to watch another Dad leave her. I'm sad that my youngest daughter, his own flesh and blood, will also have to grow up with a father who will undoubtedly disappoint her time and time again. And the hardest thing for a mother to do is watch her children suffer and not be able to do anything about it. So I vow to do everything in my power to make sure that they suffer as little as possible from yet another bad relationship decision on my part. Because of this, I've decided to stop dating for at least a year, maybe longer, until I can figure out what I want for myself and how to respect myself enough to not let these kind of men into my life anymore who are just going to use and abuse me for all I'm worth. I have a sincere problem seeing my own self-worth, but I'm working on that one day at a time. I know I cannot fully appreciate and love another person until I can learn to love myself first. And I pretty much hate myself most days, so this is gonna take a lot of work. But I am ready. I'm going to leave that past where it is and where it will stay. Tomorrow is a new day and another chance and I'm not gonna waste it this time.