I knew my Captain was my real prince charming when he met my daughter. I had to go pick her up from her great-grandmother’s, and I told him I was going to go get her. I was expecting him to say he’d wait for me to come back, but instead he just went with me — as if I wasn’t telling him that I’d be back, but was telling him it’s time to go get my daughter. (I’m not sure if I adequately explained that.)
Hardly anyone meets my daughter, and even less get to meet my son.
I get asked a lot from my readers about why I stayed with my ex-fiancé for so long; a guy I didn’t love, or why I said yes to his proposal when my heart wasn’t in it… there’s a lot of reasons, I supposed; but one of the main reasons was he was actually a very nice guy to me… only, he wasn’t a very confident person.
He loved appearances. He loved telling people I’m a history teacher, especially since his last serious relationship he was dating a waitress. He was this insecure guy who I gave so much confidence to — (the man was wearing tighties before I made him change to boxers!) And I think he had some sort of Marine complex over being a soldier. I mean, it’s the usual bantering between the two branches, but I always felt he needed to prove to me (and himself?) that he was at the fore-front of a battlefield… only, he wasn’t. So really, how much combat can the guy pretend to have been in, right?
Again, all appearances. It’s like when you see someone living some made-up-life according to Facebook or Instagram. The filters make everyone’s life look a little better; but in reality, it’s all impressions. Impressions that people make to impress others.
I felt bad to even tell him how bad the sex was. I mean, he eventually found out when he saw a text I had sent to another guy saying how freakin’ lame the sex was (that was how we broke up, actually).
When we first started dating, I had to build up his self-esteem by lying and saying I called him “Captain Snapple cap” to my friends — the truth was, I told my girlfriend Emily how terrible the sex was, and we came up with that name because I told her I read the Snapple caps afterwards from boredom.
Confident people love to shine on others to build up their own self confidence too; it feels good to make others feel good about themselves. An apex woman needs an alpha male; two betas can be together, and an alpha male can be with a beta woman; but for an apex woman, only an alpha dog will do.
I knew he wasn’t the one, when after we got engaged the thought of him meeting my brothers (especially my brother John) and my son, gave me anxiety. Oh, don’t get me wrong — he was a very nice guy, and sweet to me, and he’s smart and very accomplished in his own right — but I felt I always had to build him up.
My ex-husband (the Marine) used to rag on my ex-fiancé to me all the time. Of course he had no idea what he looked like or who he was, except when he asked, What does he look like? My ex-husband, to prove my point on an alpha male, one day put my chain-lock (when I asked him to install it) all the way on top of where the door frame was, out of reach unless you were around his height or standing on a chair. Now, he didn’t do this because I’m 5’3″… he did it because he knew my ex-fiancé was 5’6″.
Yet, my Captain actually saw my ex-husband, and vice-versa, one day. We stopped by my ex-husband’s house to bring my daughter home… talk about awkward. One was in the car, the other at his front door, and they were both kind of measuring each other up — it reminded me of when unfamiliar male dogs circle around each other. They were about five yards away from each other, but the testosterone was so thick in the air, you could smell it! Like, what do men even think about when they size each other up like that? — who would win in a fist fight? A measuring contest? Who could dead-lift more weight???
I bring this all up because I remembered feeling like my ex-fiancé could never be a father to my daughter, and I never even wanted him to meet my son. When they say it takes a real man to be a father, that motto is so true — a real man would show the world that he doesn’t mind being a father to someone else’s kid. I knew that when my Captain came with me to get our daughter; he didn’t think I was telling him I’d be back after I picked her up, he thought I meant it was time to pick her up. ♡