I suck at relationships. I always have. I probably always will. I've only been in a couple of long-term relationships in my life, and none of them have worked out. Partly because of me, partly because of the woman involved, and partly due to the demands of the Army. Especially when I was moving on an average of every 10 months, for quite awhile. Add in deployments, field problems of 30 - 45 days, all the duty time, and its hard sometimes.
The one thing I've found out is that long distance relationships don't work. It amazes me that people try to do it, but I just don't get it. I'm not talking about married guys deployed to a war zone, or going to Korea for a year. Those are commitments that are much deeper. I never got that far into a relationship for those kind of feelings to matter.
The reasons why relations start are exactly the reason they don't work long distance. If its sex, you can't do that. So you'll find it somewhere else. Or not, and the frustration mounts, and it only becomes about the sex when you're together. Why travel 3000 miles to get laid, when its at the nearest bar. If its for companionship, you don't get that on a phone call once a week. If its for money, eventually one of you will do something that screws it up. So they don't work.
So what would happen in my case is, something always happened. I've met a lot of great women. Probably more than my fair share of them. I would have been happy marrying any one of a dozen of them. But it always seemed to happen right as I was getting ready to leave for another country. To me, 2 months of dating isn't enough time to build a relationship that will involve separation.
Sidenote*** I did work with one guy who made it work somehow. He got out of training, went home for the weekend, got married to his highschool sweetheart, and left on Monday for Korea. He spent a year over there, came home for a weekend, and reported to duty at our company. He wanted to save money for a place to live and get her to where we were as soon as possible, so he saved his leave. Common thing. He arrived in the states on Friday, arrived at our unit on Monday, and on Wednesday, he deployed to Saudi Arabia with us for 8 months. Last I heard, they were still together. But I don't how. That must be what true love is.
As I said, I would always end up leaving, or the woman would end up leaving. Or, like the girl Michelle I knew, who chased after me for a year, and I wasn't smart enough to release she was the right one, because I was chasing some other girl. Who I dumped when I found out she was out banging other guys while I was gone. Or the two women I met who were perfect. I really thought I had something going with both of them, but it wasn't to be. They both decided to go back to their husbands. The fact that they both told me they were divorced, and not separated probably makes them less than perfect. For some reason, married women have always chased after me. Its a double-edged sword, however. Sex, with no complications. Woo hoo!!!!! Angry husbands with guns. Not so woo hoo.
Another good reason why I suck at relationships, and probably the best, is because of my family. We are so dysfunctional we make the Bundy's look like the Brady Bunch. Two parents who never loved each other. Thank god for the 50's and "doing the right thing". Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. And they had 3 more kids on top of it. And when you're a kid and you realize you are an inconvenience in your parent's life, it makes you think about the future. When they finally got divorced, we were actually happy, because then we didn't have to deal with the arguing and fighting.
In my extended family, of 8 aunts and uncles and 27 cousins, there are 7 that haven't either been divorced or married someone who had previously been divorced. I'm a child of the 70's, but it wasn't always good, the new way. So growing up, marriage wasn't something that worked. In my family, if you weren't divorced, you were going to be. I have lots of great examples of the "perfect marriage" to choose from. So one of the main reasons I never worried about relationships and trying to build was, "why?" It doesn't work. It will all end up badly. I don't want to do that.
Which is also a lot of denial. There have been women I should have had long relationships with, or married, but I always talked myself out of it. I convinced myself she wasn't the right one, or it just wouldn't work. I can blame my family, and the Army, or anyone else that I want. They didn't make it easy. In fact, at times it was damn near impossible. But in the end, its still on me. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, slap yourself around, and get on with life. Making excuses is not the way to go through life.
We all have the ability to be better than what we were taught. That's what makes us intelligent beings. That's why I have a hard time labeling addiction a disease. It takes away personal responsibility. If we can always blame someone or something else, then it can't be our fault. But until we can admit its our fault, we'll never get over it.
I've met the perfect woman. Three times. Could've, should've, would've, its still on me, regardless of the reason. And even if I know all of this now, as opposed to pretending I didn't know it for 20 years, I'll still suck at relationships. But one thing I know. Somewhere out there is a woman who'll convince me otherwise.
And I'll probably screw it up.
Or maybe I won't.