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My husband isn’t my security blanket but…

…his presence makes me feel safer.

Yesterday evening I walked home from work. Just an hour before I exited the building, there had been gang violence outside the studio where I had been teaching yoga. For those of you who plan to use this as an excuse not to get on your mats this week: Gang activity and yoga DO NOT usually go hand in hand. You will be safe in downward facing dog! Anyhow, I had a 6 block walk home — about 3/4 of a mile — and it was dark out. I was nervous. The police had already swept through the neighborhood, but I still wasn’t at ease. So I called Jim. Jim was at home and could not help me, and yet it relaxed me knowing he was on the other end of the phone. As we spoke, I was calmed by a false sense of security. In fact, I might have been in even more danger by making the call. My attention was split and my hands free device was plugged into my ear, impeding my hearing. In my defense, I stuck the ear phones in so my hands would be free in case I needed to punch, scratch, rip, and poke my way free from an attacker.

I wonder how often I rely on the idea of my Big Strong Man, rather than being smart and depending on myself. In all honesty, I more strongly believed I could take care of myself when I was single. The longer I’ve been married, the more likely I am to hope my husband will keep me safe.

Yeah. I’m embarrassed about this. But I feel like admitting the truth will help me re-take control. I’m going to make a commitment to you (and myself): I am going to take a self-defense class. I am my first line of defense. Not Jim.

Your comments

  1. Desiree says:

    I was married for what seemed like a short time but it was just shy of twenty years. We divorced in 2002. He was my best friend and to this day I miss him.

    He was my security in that I always felt safe with him by my side. When we were married we still had three beefy sons at home and even the dog was a male. I was the only one with estrogen flowing through my body.

    Now it’s just me and the dog and I am always alone. I must admit my former husband was my security blanket and although I depended on him for almost everything pertaining to life, I am extremely independent now.

    I had to re-learn everything as though I had lost my legs and had to learn to walk without them. There was lots of pitiful crying at first. I had to learn how to buy tires, work on my car, buy insurance, change a flat tire, learn about how money works, buy tools, and the saddest thing of all, was to learn how to sleep in the bed alone.

    I am thankful for being forced to become independent but I don’t think I will ever get used to cooking for one person and eating alone. I sometimes try to make it more exciting by lighting candles, putting Frank Sinatra on the CD player and pouring a glass of wine but it isn’t the same as having a man in the house and cooking for three Italian sons who ate like locusts.

    I refuse to give up on love and believe I don’t “need” a man but it sure was nice to have one than not have one. Ladies, hold onto your man and never let someone take him from you like I did. I should have fought for him but figured if he could be taken away from me, I didn’t really have him any how right?

    Cold in Colorado

    • admin says:

      hey des — thanks for your comment. while we only know each other online, i was actually surprised to read this. you come across as one of the most independent, free spirits i’ve been lucky enough to ‘meet’ online.

      i totally agree with your last statement. it makes me sad, but i think you’re right.

      hey — would you want to get married again? if that’s too nosy, i’m sorry. i am just curious…


  2. Katie says:

    What is so embarrassing and shameful about feeling more secure having the love, support, reassurance and protection of someone you love?

    I live alone and I get freaked out from time to time. I have a dog, one who without a doubt would attack someone if he feels like I’m in danger (or if they try to take his favorite bone), I’ve taken a self defense class or 2, I have a baseball bat, I am fiercely independent. I still say there’s nothing like the security of having someone who loves you waiting at home. I have on occasion, called friends because I was scared and felt better knowing that the person on the other end would know if something happened. It’s even better if it’s someone I’m in a relationship with.

    Why do women feel shame admitting that a man makes them feel safer? I know we provide support in other ways that make men feel safe and comforted, what’s wrong with admitting that we’re not all 100% badass?

    • admin says:

      Katie, I don’t feel shame necessarily that Jim makes me feel safer…but I am disappointed that I don’t entirely trust that I can defend myself.

      I’m excited by the fact that you’ve taken self-defense classes — how did they impact the way you feel when alone?


  3. cathleen says:

    I will be the first to admit I’m not badass. I’m one of the most afraid people I know. When I have to walk alone at night, I make quick, sharp movements to let any would be jerks out there know that I am INSANE!
    When the man is out of town, I’m convinced someone is going to figure out how to break in and kill me. I’ve been known to set booby traps and leave lights on. Listen, I’ve seen enough Law and Order SVU in my day to know I’m no Olivia…

    • admin says:

      you and your L&O. stop! watch Yo Gabba Gabba instead. it’s equally freaky and disturbing, but should cause as many panic attacks. xoro

  4. tif says:

    just had this fight with my husband like an hour ago. walking home in nyc alone at 11pm from the theater while he went out for a drink. walking home i saw a sign from the police asking about info about the strong-arm robbery with foreced entry less than three days ago ACROSS THE *#E#$##&#&&& street from our sublet. of course, i can’t get our main door to open and i call him and am acting like a maniac. nothing looks better than a petite woman who is trying to get in a door she can’t open late at night, alone. best combo right?! i call him up screaming about not being able to open the bleeping door and i find our he’s already realized what a jerk he was for not walking me home and he’s litearlly RUNNING down the street to get to me. part of me wanted to be okay with coming home late by myself in nyc – and the other part of me wanted to be taken care of. of course i bitched him out for him not walking me home be automatic in his brain. but, after seeing that sign – i prefer to be taken care of and pretend things like this don’t happen. mainly because even though it’s the fancy west village, fancy places STILL have crime. i may be there with you in that class…seriously.

    • admin says:

      tif! i can totally imagine D running down the street in a panic. it makes me a giggle a little. i’m glad everything is fine and that you’ve made it clear that you need him to help you feel comfortable. i wish i had said to J — “COME HERE AND WALK ME HOME!” but instead, i expected him to read my mind. he didn’t xorobyn

  5. Yvonne says:

    It’s funny I’m reading this tonight. I just came back from walking our two little dogs with my husband. I told him I wanted him with me tonight because I wanted to walk in a certain area and I didn’t feel safe going that way alone so late at night. It was 11pm. This is so far from the streets of NYC in a development in a small town in Arizona. The area is dark with no houses close by and a wall separating the homes from this park area. Yet I have walked alone in NYC and Boston and other cities and not felt so afraid. It was too empty for me and I was so glad to have my husband along. I usually plan for attacks with my keys handy to poke in eyes and a flashlight and my cell at the ready. I would hope the dogs would help but they may just be drop kicked by an attacker. Though was so nice to feel safe with my husband along, at the same time I wish I could feel safe by myself and ready for anything. What saddens me is feeling afraid at all. My daughter walks all over Manhattan everyday and lots of nights alone and I’m both proud and afraid for her. I push the fear to the back most of the time. Like I do when I’m out alone walking the dogs here. I hope my guardian angel is listening and is ready for action. That should help a little. One time I was being followed while driving home late one night and I had decided to head for a police station and pull up honking and me screaming when the guy dashed into a parking lot then roared out across my path looking right at me and laughing in a very scary manner but I braked enough not to hit him and he took off. After that I kept picturing these really big linebacker angels in my car with me laughing and having fun and I felt better about driving alone at night. I guess I should to apply that to my walks now too, along with being safety conscious and ready.

    • admin says:

      Yvonne, it goes to show you that we can get the creeps no matter where we live, eh? In many ways, it’s safer in NYC — it’s well-lit, almost always populated, cops everywhere. I grew up in a small town without many street lights…the silence and stillness freaked me out more than the city streets!

      And yikes — what a nutball you saw on our drive that night. Weird. I think some men get a great amount of power by getting a fearful reaction from a woman.


  6. tosin says:

    My guess is that Jim provided what my hubby would have provided me in the same instance – mental distraction and moral support.

    Those six blocks would have felt a million times longer if you didn’t have your conversation to get you home.

    I think you know as well as I do that if the situation came up, you would have defended yourself just fine. And you would have had the good fortune of having Jim on the phone to alert the police!

    Ok fine… I admit I enjoy having my security blanket. But it doesn’t mean I can’t hold my own when I need to. But I’m glad I don’t always need to. It’s like having warm fuzzy slippers that you never wear to prove you can handle cold feet. There’s no point to it. :)

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