The Dark Prince made his first appearance in my life at the end of July 2011. At the time, I was a Special Education Teacher, and as such, the end of summer was my high season - high stress, high priority, high needs, high anxiety, high anticipation. It’s a real mess going back to school. So, why not add dating to the mix? I nobly had been attempting online dating, and I had adapted the Dan Savage campsite rule for my situation; “Leave ‘em better than you found ‘em.” For me, this meant if a man took the time to contact me, not just wink at me or whatever obnoxious term was applied to gutless flirting, I would take equal time and reply whether I was interested or not. I felt an obligation of decency with these men. Doesn’t it pay to be polite? I mean, karmically, I should have been rolling in it eagerly awaiting the rewards of my polite good deeds. If these exchanges were happening in person, I would never sit through a conversation mute. Well, I probably would never sit through a conversation mute, but I’m really not comfortable using the word never.
If you have never attempted online dating, it is much like taking on another job. It quickly becomes an obsession and turns compulsive tendencies into out-and-out disabilities. You have to manage who has viewed your profile, how many times you are viewed, whom you find interesting, whom you have contacted, who hasn’t responded, what your responses say, and in sum, it plays into any and all insecurities that landed you online dating in the first place.
I was managing four different men. Typically, I’m attracted to smart, funny, artistic, liberal, big personalities. Present errors in grammar and spelling, I would proceed to behead these suitors like Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts, dumping their words unceremoniously in the trash. Likewise was the fate of the intrepid man who tried to talk to me if his religious, political or personal interests did not jibe with my own. In my attempt for true love, this time around I was broadening my palate. I was trying to be be more open and accepting of men I normally would dismiss. Maybe I needed something different than what I thought I wanted. Why? I don’t know. I was a mess.
I had convinced myself there didn’t exist a man capable of loving me the way I wanted to be loved. And really, why should there be? I had no idea of what I wanted or even what that love would look like. I was so detached from myself, all I knew for sure was that I was in my late 30s, never married, childless and living in the Midwest, and that was one too many criteria in the “You May Need to Be Settling If...” column. Somehow I thought that by venturing out of my comfort zone, I would find something appealing. What I had liked in the past had not worked out, and I was entering this search with the determination of Sisyphus. Why didn’t I remember how that story played out?
Emily Brown was a single woman in her mid-30s living in the Midwest when a Dark Prince found her online dating profile. Fearing it was now or never, she relented to his persistent persuasion and immediately began ignoring the instinctual pulls telling her something wasn't right. Their tawdry relationship centered around guilt, shame and withholding served up by the Dark Prince until Emily put her foot down. Well, actually, she put her foot in his backpack. And that showed her all she needed to know.
Emily shares the painful discovery of how the man she loved was sharing his life with other women, how she went on to befriend her "Sisterwife," and how she found herself again. “Stories from the Sisterwives” is the remarkable true story of heartbreak, friendship, love and triumph over the darkness.
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Genre - Memoir
Rating – R
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