Another woman will know how to love me!

by Shirley Baskett

How often I have heard someone say this! I said it to myself many years ago too. Men just seemed to be as my mother had always said, only after one thing, inhuman, unemotional, strange creatures. They didn’t seem to know how women ticked, and I sure didn’t know how they did either.

Another woman on the other hand, would be a friend, a confident, a companion and could experience deep emotion. Another woman would understand my desire to be cherished, for romance. And they would want this too. It had to be a deeper form of love surely?

When I fell in love with my first girlfriend, I thought I had found my soul-mate. We were two parts of the one being. It was not my fault, I argued to myself, that we were both female. God surely must have made some kind of mistake and put a male soul into my female body. How else could I explain this intense attraction? She was my life, my obsession. While I was with her, I was deliriously happy and wanted to absorb her every moment. I clung like a limpet, thinking that we were destined to live happily ever after glued to each other.

However, it was short lived. Looking back, it must have been suffocating for this woman to have to become my emotional sustenance. She probably recognised a lot quicker than I did that we were not identical,Siamesetwins, born to be attached for life. We were two very different people who had very different needs.

I was prepared to love her, serve her, dote on her and generally idolize her. My dream was to be monogamous forever. She however, was more awakened to sex with woman and her dream included looking for fulfillment in many different women. I was devastated to discover that another woman, would not necessarily love me as I had believed! That she could discard me so easily.

I had naively believed that all men were treacherous, lecherous or self absorbed. I had naively believed that all women were altruistic, kind, nurturing and self-sacrificing.  It was a shock to discover that women could be just as self-absorbed and cruel. But, I went on thinking that only another woman would meet my needs and that surely there was one other out there just like myself, looking for a faithful relationship.

I thank God today that I didn't find this 'perfect woman'. I didn't have any friends in my life at the time who did. I had some that found a long term relationship of sorts where they did love each other, but none looked to be what I had dreamed of when I first started out. Slowly the illusion of 'another woman would know how to love me', died. At that stage, I came back to Jesus, believing that if love with another woman was impossible for me, and relationships with men had not worked out earlier, I would simply forget trying to find love with another human at all. I would live the rest of my life with a relationship with Jesus and that was enough!

However, God had other plans for me, and he brought Pete into my life. It was through our growing relationship that was not built on the usual boy/girl attraction, at least for me, but on our fellowship in our faith, that I began to see that I actually had no reality about what love was in the first place! I had entered all my relationships on a false premise. I was looking for someone to love me. If I thought I had found someone like this, I became like a devouring leech, drawing as much life from that poor victim as I could. Of course I gave love too, but my main drive was to devour happiness and fulfillment from the other person.

If I entered a relationship where someone acted toward me with this same craving, hoping I would pour love into them with every word and action, I would feel suffocated and want to run as fast as I could to escape the grip. It was a doomed pursuit as I had no idea that secure and deep love is about choosing to love in a non possessive, healthy way, with the best interests of the other person foremost. I was yet to learn that no one human can complete you for life. Only God can do this.

I often tell Pete that he is fortunate as he married a far better version of me than anyone else knew. I entered our relationship respecting him as an individual and not looking to him to 'love me and mend my broken emotions, or fill my love deficit'. He and I partner in helping each other find that in Christ. And in doing this, our love has become different and far more solid than in any other relationship I have ever had. Thirty plus years of marriage that has been tried through many fires, has been proven to be maturing.

I am glad that I left the lie that 'only another woman could love me' long behind. I would not swap what I have in my life's companion and husband Pete. And that is probably because, Jesus remains my first love and Pete's too.