The End.

by mssinglemama on December 11, 2008

He made a promise.

And he broke it.

I had asked him to make me a promise at the beginning, one well within reason if you knew his entire story. I am not one to ask much of men when we’re together. I believe in personal freedoms and independence. But this was a promise that, when broken, risked our future together – literally.

“If you do it,” I said, “I’ll never see you again. That will be that.”

“Really?” He asked, “Are you serious?”

“Absolutely. You’re not just dating me, you’re dating my son and nothing – nothing - is more important to me than him.”

“I won’t then. I would never risk anything that could keep us apart.”

I believed him. I really, truly did. Not for a second did I think he would risk it all. He was the one who seemed to be completely head over heels. That’s the one thing about this that has me shaking my head in utter confusion and realizing that Mr. Man has a problem… one I can’t fix.

When he told me the next morning – of the broken promise, the breach of trust, the throwing away of everything we had – my hands started shaking. I thought I would drop the phone. Not again. Not him. Not this one. But just like that, a man had broken my heart.

“I can’t believe you did that. Why?” I ask him, my voice cracking into a million pieces.

“I don’t know.”



Should there be room for error? Should I look past this issue of Mr. Man’s, this one thing?

Not when there is a little soul at stake… and yes, I should have figured that out before he met my son. But there are pieces to the puzzle, reasons for things that I just can’t share. So you’ll have to trust me.

I wish I could tell you more – I do – because you deserve to know every detail. But I just can’t.

I believe any one of you would have made the same decision. Having the strength to make the call – to listen to your gut – is the easy part. Living with the fact that yet another man has let you down is not as easy.

But now, just a few days later, I’m feeling fine. Really. And also a tad hopeful. There are a few reasons:

  1. I kept my head on straight, I never really lost control and let my emotions override my sensibilities and responsibilities to my son.
  2. I felt something – something incredible. I also trusted again. He broke that trust, yes… but that was not because of me, it was because of something stronger than me and even stronger than Mr. Man.
  3. I am more worried about Mr. Man right now than my own hurt feelings. But I know he’ll figure this out. If losing me is the reason – well, then – so be it.
  4. The reason (wish again that I could tell you) is as clear as day.
  5. And the fact that I’m not a crying, sobbing, mess of a woman right now tells me I must be doing something right. Maybe I’m an adult now?  Not sure if that makes any sense at all but as a recovering bad boy or man addict that’s a huge feat.

As single moms, we don’t have the misfortune luxury of dating men who can’t quite keep their shit together – 100% of the time. Not when losing it (even for a moment) may risk your child’s heart or health.

And that’s that.

Case closed. The end. Good bye Mr. Man.

For the reason why Mr. Man and I broke up purchase a copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating Sex and Love – now only $8.95. Click here to get your copy.

If you missed the beginning of the Mr. Man story click here for my archives.

[Photo: Morgan Siler Photography; read her blog here]

Related posts:

  1. A kink in the plans…

{ 7 trackbacks }

Pressing Love Questions
December 12, 2008 at 7:35 pm
Seeing clearly.
January 5, 2009 at 11:43 pm
Shadows & Light
February 1, 2009 at 9:48 pm
Clearing the Mr. Man Air & Morgan Siler
April 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Secrets, Secrets
July 16, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Flying
November 6, 2009 at 4:28 am
Would you date yourself? | Ms. Single Mama
August 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie December 11, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Good for you for being so strong! I found it interesting that you are still hopeful. I struggle with that. They say everything happens for a reason. Maybe you learned to have hope and to trust again from this experience.

Reply

MySingleMomLife December 11, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Hugs to incredible, amazing, strong woman, you.

All I can say is…thank goodness that he fell in the beginning…before you and little man were in too far.

Reply

Anna December 11, 2008 at 8:50 pm

I’m so sorry…he seemed so good paper. Good for you for being so strong, and sticking to your convictions when it comes to both you and your son. This single mom stuff? It’s not easy.

Reply

Jonathan December 11, 2008 at 8:56 pm

The girl I most liked in the last 3 years…I had to break it off with her only because I was concerned about some behaviours and my kids seeing them. I totally dug her but she couldn’t/wouldn’t get healthy. I rued the missed opportunity, but I’ve never doubted my decision.

Having children is a stakes-raiser. You are a wonderfully fierce, hard-loving mom and should be commended for looking ahead and sacrificing for Benjamin’s good.

You rule.

Reply

Laura December 11, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Oh no ;( I am sorry!!

It seemed so good and so right!

But well done for not budging on your boundary!!!!

Reply

Dawn December 11, 2008 at 9:23 pm

What a sad story, but when there are no tears…no sobs…I agree with you…then it is the right thing to do.

Reply

T December 11, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Wow girl. But isn’t it good to know that you could feel like that again? That, to me, is to be celebrated.

And feeling hopeful is a good thing! Still… allow yourself some bad days every now and then. You still have some healing to do.

((hugs))

Reply

PT-LawMom December 11, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Ditto T. And I am so proud of you for sticking to your guns, as hard as it is personally. Your son would be, too.

Reply

ModernSingleMomma December 11, 2008 at 11:10 pm

My heart aches for the end of Mr.Man maybe more than yours does! i had visions of all of us living in Lexington. :(

Reply

Heather December 11, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Wow, I am so sorry to hear about The End…been there, too. But more than that, I am in awe of your strength and your convictions to do what’s best for your son and yourself. What a great place to end up, despite all the sadness.
You go, girl!!

Reply

Sheila December 11, 2008 at 11:27 pm

Oh honey, I’m so sorry, but at the same time I am so proud of you. You are such a huge inspiration to me and I really look up to you and admire your integrity.

You’re right, though — we really don’t have room to mess around!

Reply

Roxanne December 12, 2008 at 1:18 am

Ugh. I’m so sorry. And the timing sucks.

But I’m glad you’re not beating yourself up about giving it a shot and trusting him. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to trust a man in that way, and it really does show a lot of strength and integrity that you were able to. I’m just sorry he didn’t live up to it. I truly know how that feels.

Hugs.

Reply

Angie December 12, 2008 at 5:56 am

I’m so sorry to this news but stay strong. You did the right thing by your child and yourself.

HUGS.

Reply

jamie December 12, 2008 at 6:48 am

Stick to your guns, bc he will be begging you back in the future. You said if he does this then it’s the end, and he made a choice! Don’t fall back on your word. I have been through similiar situations and I always gave 2nd, 3rd, 4th well you know a lot of chances. And the same stuff repeated itself. The next man you date hopefully will make the right choices.

Look at the bright side……there are alot of men out there!!! and i’m perfectly content being single until I find my perfect match! : )

Reply

Momma Mac December 12, 2008 at 7:25 am

That sucks. But I’m so proud of you! It’s the reason I refuse to start dating yet, I don’t think I could do what you just did. So yeah, you rock! Even though what happened sucked!

Reply

Random Esquire December 12, 2008 at 7:33 am

Ahhh, I opened up your page and began reading and then scrambled to find the remote control to mute the television. (A true sign of my concentration.)

I’m very, very sorry that he made this choice after reassuring you otherwise. And I’m very impressed with your resolve. You do the term ‘single mom’ a service with your devotion.

-R.

Reply

Wondermom December 12, 2008 at 7:56 am

Good for you for sticking to your convictions and putting your son first. Some people have demons that just won’t let them go…and you’re right…that’s stronger than you or him apparently. Better to find out now than later. Kudos to you for keeping your head on straight. I’m reminding myself lately that you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. So here’s to rainbows!

Reply

Lisa D December 12, 2008 at 8:02 am

I’m sorry Alaina. Good for you for putting yourself & your son first. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other – you are doing an amazing job. Never forget that!

Reply

littlemansmom December 12, 2008 at 8:06 am

Oh angel-baby…..I’m sorry that he broke your heart, but your heart IS strong and it will mend VERY fast. Ultimatley, you need to do what is best for you…

Your littleman WILL be okay, no stress there sweets….

Reply

Single Mom in New England December 12, 2008 at 9:04 am

Total bummer. I’m sorry it turned out that way; I had such high hopes for you. But it sounds like he came into your life for a reason, and you came into his for a reason as well. Sounds like you are thinking clearly and already moving forward. Cheers to 09!

Reply

fraizerbaz December 12, 2008 at 9:52 am

I am so sorry. I know you really cared about him. But kudos to you – you are one tough lady!

Reply

Wyliekat December 12, 2008 at 10:06 am

I realize you’re trying to protect yourself, your child and Mr. Man with this, and I’m not going to jump to any conclusions – but I do think it’s worth pointing out that by not saying what’s going on, and referring to the health and safety of your child as the reason for the breakup, you might be leaving room for way worse connotations than are actually there.

Not encouraging you to tell, just letting you know where my mind (at least) first leapt to.

Reply

solo mama December 12, 2008 at 10:09 am

When we become mother’s a six sense kicks in. It’s something that is beyond our control, but works mystically to our advantage.

I am proud of you…it doesn’t mean we are adults when we make decisions like this one, it means we listen to more than just our own hearts…

He’s out there, and until then enjoy your little man, your family and friends! Merry Christmas :)

Reply

mssinglemama December 12, 2008 at 10:11 am

Wyliekat:

You’re right. Let me say – for the record – this had nothing to do with hard core drugs or violence in any way.

To all of you:

Thank you so much for your encouragement.

Reply

Dawn December 12, 2008 at 10:19 am

The most important men in my life have learned lessons by this method … including my sons. Who’d have known!?

Your son (sun) has everything to gain by learning how to let go.

Honoring you with an egg nog. Brilliant!

Trust.

Reply

Dawn December 12, 2008 at 10:36 am

I just had to make another comment. My mind took me to these words of advice I relied on in heavy times, in the office of a child psychologist. She said I shouldn’t try so hard to shield my children from the scrapes in life. It’s important that you don’t hide in the bathtub to do your crying. You need to cry with your children and let them see that you have tears. You need to tell them why, because they are feeling it. Not only are they feeling it, they are wondering why. And this leaves them one choice, to imagine anything that comes into their mind. So tell, as best you can, from your point of view, why you are sad and what is going on. That makes it so that they don’t have unanswered questions … and they learn so much because of your life how “to be.”

Reply

Star December 12, 2008 at 10:45 am

I spent 6 years believing my significant other’s words that he didn’t know why he couldn’t keep his promise to quit and that he wanted to quit and would try harder…now here I am two kids later filing for divorce and feeling like a sucker for believing him. Now, he will be in my kids lives forever and I don’t have the ability to protect them from his problems or the example that he will set for them. I now need to learn to do what you have done from here on out. When I see signs of addiction, RUN. I need to learn that words mean nothing and only a person’s ACTIONS can be trusted. I am so proud of you for making the right decision. It never gets better. They just lie more, hide things better, and eventually spiral into a horrible place that is unimaginable. It’s better that you can think happily of your sweet romance and think well of him as a person than to get to a place where you are so entangled that your self-image is tied to his addiction and your son is tied to that addiction as well. You are being so strong and it is amazing that you have kept your sense of who you are and can walk away. You don’t need that kind of baggage in your life and you are working hard to ensure that your son will live a life free of addiction and of being a sucker to addiction as well. On to bigger and better things. Thank you for showing me that I can be strong and can make these decisions too. You are a role model to me of what I need to be from here on out and that it can be done. Just remember, you’d rather be where you are now than 6 years down the line in a worse place and wondering how you got there.

Reply

April December 12, 2008 at 11:34 am

Sorry you had to go through this, but look at all you’ve learned about yourself! That’s awesome!

Reply

pisceshanna December 12, 2008 at 11:38 am

Oh man Alaina, what a total heartbreak for you and of course for all of us who care about you so deeply. I agree with feeling joy because who knew you could feel that way about someone again? I have yet to experience that, and it gives me a little hope.

You handled everything so gracefully and with such goddess-like strength.

Thanks for being a role model to all us single moms and to your son.

Reply

k December 12, 2008 at 11:43 am

Wow, I’m so sorry!
I’ve recently been broken up with (a month now…) and have been having a terrible time with it. I’m reading your blog and thinking that you’re so strong… I can get through mine too (granted no kids involved, but almost a year of an amazing relationship where kids were brought up… often…).
We all survive, and it prepares us for not necessarily better… but more.

Reply

cyndi December 12, 2008 at 11:55 am

(((((((huge hugs))))))

I’m so sorry. But good for you for being so strong. I think we’ve all learned the hard way that compromising those deal beakers will get us nowhere. You deserve exactly what you’re looking for, not something that is almost exactly what you want. We all do.

Reply

LB December 12, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I know what you are going through-sad to say but my situation ended too.

You are a great role model and deserve a great man in your life (and Benjamins!!)

{huge hug}

Reply

Katherine (SOLO dot MOM) December 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm

You have to trust your gut on this Alaina, and a broken promise is broken trust (which is hard to earn back).

I am glad you are doing well emotionally and with your heart. We all want to finally meet the one (it only takes one); those of us in this boat of singleparenthood. But it’s good to have your head on straight and know when to break ties before it’s too late.

Reply

Leah December 12, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I’m so sorry that you’re hurting right now, Alaina.

A deal breaker is a deal breaker, and if you laid it all out on the table from the beginning…then you set your boundaries and he crossed the line. I admire you for being so true to what you know is right for you and Benjamin.

With every relationship we grow a little wiser, more certain of what we want and need, what is best for our families, and we are determined not to settle for anyone or anything less.

Reply

Brooke December 12, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I am so sorry to hear the end of your relationship with Mr. Man has come. But congratulations on sticking to what you had told him, and protecting your son.

Sometimes we have to make the hard decisions even though they hurt. I’m proud of you.

Reply

Heidi December 12, 2008 at 2:09 pm

I am so sorry that it ended this way.

This speaks volumes about what a strong woman and mother you are.

Unfortunately, some people cannot keep their demons at bay no matter how high the stakes are.

Reply

Juggle Jane December 12, 2008 at 3:28 pm

::hugs::

A mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do.

Reply

LTP December 12, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Alaina, I’m so terribly sorry. All of these weeks, I’ve resisted commenting on any of your pieces b/c I feared that he might not be the one–and it wasn’t anything that you had written that makes me say that–it’s b/c I gave my heart to someone for nearly two years only to be let down even after I gave and gave and gave. I’m still not there–where you are–able to love, able to trust, able to give….so if there is an upside to this, it must be that you are at least able to do what I am not.

One note of caution i guess…next time around, I would think about holding off introducing Ben to anyone…no matter how great it may seem. As you’ve pointed out, while yes, we need and desire to love and be loved, but when kids come into the equation, it raises the stakes significantly. Of course, look at me!! I waited nearly 4 months, introduced my two to Him and nearly two years later, he disappears from their lives. They still ask about him all the time….what can I say? So maybe it doesn’t make a difference….I don’t know.

Anyway, heal your heart, be proud of yourself for not giving in to whatever it is that he did, and love your boy. Good thoughts coming your way….

Reply

jenn December 12, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Aww. Sorry you have to deal with this. Sounds like you’re handling it well though. You have to do what’s right for you and your son.

Reply

jenn December 12, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I really hate to hear about this, It truly makes my heart hurt, however, can it really be over…..that easy? I know mr. man, and knowing him, I know just how wonderful he is. There are circumstances here that the rest of the readers don’t know, you should forgive him and continue to build your love and your life together.

Reply

mssinglemama December 12, 2008 at 6:18 pm

I know Jenn… it is not easy, at all.

You know the real deal, so you know that it is not easy … it makes my heart hurt too (believe me).

UPDATE!!! To everyone else… I have received e-mails implying that this post makes it sound like Mr. Man actually hurt Benjamin – he did not and would never… what I mean by hurt is by potentially doing something that could break our relationship – Benjamin would then be hurt emotionally by that loss.

Just wanted to clarify.

Reply

Elizabeth December 13, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Once we have children they become our #1 priority. He made a promise to you and he broke it. He knew he would lose you and he did it anyway. I admire you for your strength. You absolutely did the right thing. You and your son deserve better.

He tested you……He failed and it is his loss.

Reply

badmuthablogger December 13, 2008 at 8:35 pm

My mind is boggling at what Mr. Man may or may not have done, but you know, on one level I don’t really care. I don’t even know you, and yet I trust you and trust that you know what you’re doing, where your limits are, and what you need to do to take care of yourself, and your little man. I find your story incredibly inspiring and reassuring. You are a woman in her power. Stay strong, sista, and keep your heart open. Good things come to those who wait.

Reply

julie December 13, 2008 at 9:09 pm

If you can’t trust him, who can you trust?

Yourself, that’s who.

And that’s what you’re doing.

It’s gonna be OK.

Reply

J-Fo December 14, 2008 at 8:27 pm

You are right on, as crummy as it probably feels. We just don’t have the luxury of exposing our kids to people who don’t have their complete shit together. And you are a great mom to recognize and honor this.

Reply

Anonymous December 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm

yes, good for you. now, and before for going for sweet moments. Life is busy and having moments for yourself as an adult are important too.
Really though, would you have listened if anyone had told you? I didn’t either.
To be in control of your life is good. To feel worry for something you had no control over is troublesome but what a better time for this to happen…no strings. Leaves you with a clear concience. Most don’t deserve the trying and painful experiences in our lives. Sometimes tough breaks cause a chain reaction. This man is chasing a feel. Unfortunately it too is much like an addiction. Called co dependant.

Reply

mssinglemama December 14, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Thanks for the hugs everyone…

I’m still fine by the way, a bit shell shocked.

The good thing about being a full-time working and single mom – not much time in the day to really stew about this stuff.

Busy is good.

Reply

Bad Mummy December 15, 2008 at 10:26 pm

If we learn anything from our (now over) marriages it’s what we can and cannot tolerate.

Good for you, as hard as it is.

Reply

Lost in Love December 16, 2008 at 3:47 pm

I am so sorry to hear of this. I will never quite understand what you single mothers feel and go through, but as a single male it saddens that one cannot live up to a promise or a commitment. I don’t know the cicumstances, but realize that you need to think as a family and not as an individual.

Reply

reality biter January 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm

hi mssinglemama, a friend showed me your link and your blog is very inspiring and has urged me to start up my own, being a single mom myself. we need all the insights and encouragement we could get, to make it through life.

this situation only makes you stronger, tc!

Reply

Shiela March 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm

I am sorry to hear of the choice he made and happen to know Mr. Man personally and am aware of the history there. The bad boys are so great when they are good, but damn when they are bad it screws everything up. They just don't know how to keep on track for long periods of time. I haven't talked to either of you for awhile and was wondering how you were doing. Needless to say I am glad you held to your word and as a single mom we know you made the right and only choice. Take CAre

Reply

NotADad April 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

It's supposed to be bad netiquette to revive old threads without a very good reason – but I hope it will be ok here. I do agree somewhat with the person who posted that, by not at least categorizing what great transgression MrMan committed, it's kind of easy to leap to the (quite likely erroneous) conclusion that he did something bad to your kid. Though presumably nothing too bad happened since you'd probably write something (at least obliquely) about that. My guess is you made him promise to not do something that might emotionally compromise your son (like make promises and break them) or maybe to not do anything that might jeopardize his safety, like not leave him unattended or something? Wild guesses. Guessing what women are thinking is a skill we men try to practice but often get wrong. In fact it often seems like we're expected to read your minds anyway, but that's another story.

One observation as a man who a few times has f*cked up and been flatly refused a second chance by prospective females: heavily making a prospective partner/lover promise that they'll never-ever-ever-do-such-and-such, early in a relationship, is a sure fire guarantee that they will do it, at least in my experience. "If you ever sleep with someone else I'll [insert ultimatum here]" – and what happens? – they go and screw your best friend or some old flame, it might mean nothing but it puts you in the position of having to honor your ultimatum.

Honoring ultimatums made out of fear/insecurity/desire to control can be a very bad idea, almost as bad as having made the ultimatum in the first place. The ultimatum places the apparatus in place to eventually sabotage the relationship, and on one level it's inviting someone to go and buck your control. I'm not saying all this is conscious.

Forgiveness and second chances might leave you a lot less lonely. Was what he did it really so terrible that Mr Man could never be forgiven, or deep down underneath were you looking for a reason to push him away? Did he just drink too much and screw up? I know I have. Who hasn't?

Reply

NotADad April 16, 2009 at 8:37 pm

PS: I've been meaning to say – MsSingleMamma (if you read this), you write extremely well, and I'm not easily impressed in that area. If you don't already write for a living (I have a feeling you might be a journalist) you really should consider tackling a writing project (other than this blog, or perhaps arising out of this blog).

Reply

NotADad April 16, 2009 at 8:47 pm

MMmm. Looking further around I see others appeared to have perhaps already posed these questions (about MrMan) in slightly different form. So maybe my post was redundant and ill-advised.

Reply

mssinglemama April 16, 2009 at 9:57 pm

It could be forgiven but not by me. Had to do with legal issues… Had nothing at all to do with Benjamin directly.

And , yes I am a writer.

Tks for the compliment!

Sent from my iPhone

Reply

Leave a Comment