Archive for the ‘ Divorce ’ Category

Spring and Other New Beginnings

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We have had some beautiful days lately here in the Pacific Northwest. My only complaint is that there have been too few of them!  I do love spring and all the crazy, fickle weather that comes with it. I always know summer is just around the corner. There are flowers blooming, baby birds and ducks frequenting the pond and the end of the school year is in sight.

Spring is like a blossoming love.  There are lots of firsts already shared and new experiences on the horizon. A significant first for R and I recently was him him meeting my kids. We decided to plan something fun and he suggested an afternoon of kayaking, followed by a BBQ at his house. When I mentioned the plan to my kids, they informed me that they are deathly afraid of the water. What?  Since when? 

“Is it by a waterfall?”  Uh, no.

“Are there rapids?”  Uh, no.

Who knew?  Anyway, we decided to just ride his ATV around and then BBQ. My parents are visiting so of course they came, too. I had planned on going first with 3 of my kids and my folks coming shortly after me with my oldest child. We made a quick stop at the store and as we were getting in the car to leave my oldest called and said they were at his house already!  So much for that idea. Another plan out the window. At least that was 3 introductions I didn’t have to do!  We had a fun time riding the ATV and a lot of yummy food.  There was interaction, no fighting, full tummies and I managed to escape the day without my mother embarrassing me! All was good. The day was a success. Everyone left to head home as some had homework and another had “plans” and I stayed to help clean up. Cleaning up after my family is a big job!  After all the clean up we just collapsed on the sofa. Whew!  Just enough energy left for a little loving. Dessert is always my favorite part of the meal.

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The Fairytale

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There has been much ado this week about the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It was televised live, which meant it was on at 2 am our time. Needless to say I haven’t seen it. I would of loved to see but didn’t think to record it. I can recall when his mother princess Diana and Prince Charles were married. I can’t remember what year it was but it seems like a long time ago!

Unfortunately, fresher in my mind is the night she died in the auto accident while being chased by the paparazzi. What a tragedy. Two boys left without a mother. At the time of her death she was divorced from Prince Charles.  She had been seeing Dodi Fayed who was with her that night and, also, killed. Divorce, fairly rampant among us commoners, has now even plagued the royal family. I thought Princess Diana’s life was the real fairytale that girls dream of. It turned out that Princess Diana was human just like the rest of us and subject to all of the human faults that contribute to the erosion of the very thing we hold dearest to our heart. Love. The stressors that impacted her marriage are likely not the same that impacted mine but likely had a similar negative effect on her marriage. None of us expects our own fairytale to eventually wither and die. We go in to marriage expecting it to last a lifetime. I don’t think it is wrong to have that expectation.  Because mine didn’t last a lifetime I must have had to create a life based on the reality that’s on my plate today. I never thought I’d say I was happy about my divorce but I can say today that I like my life. The past few years of my marriage I was very unhappy and felt like I was living with someone who hated me. I gave it all I could and knew how to do. I prayed for what felt like a lifetime.

Today, though, I am a happy person again. I have met a wonderful man that I love a whole lot. For me, my fairytale is just beginning.

Blessings.

The Fight

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My oldest daughter and I had an enormous fight the other night. I am at a loss for any creative way to tell the story so I will just jump right in.

I began by asking her why she wasn’t in school on a particular  day she was supposed to be. What started as a discussion about why she wasn’t in school escalated into a fight about my dating. Additionally, she was upset about an unrelated thing I had done. I was more upset than I can remember being in a very long time. I feel like I do pretty good job not speaking  negatively about her father or the situation, but not in that atmoment. I just let out more than I should of. Her basic point was that she didn’t like my dating.  She said she doesn’t want anyone (whoever im dating) at our house and she didn’t want to meet them. I was at a loss for the right words. So instead I probably said a lot of things I shouldn’t have. I really don’t need to repeat the actual words we used. Im sure you could imagine pretty easily what hurtful and selfish things we each said.

As awful the argument was, there were some key points I gleaned from that night.

First, is that she is still hurting so badly from our divorce.

She has always been and still longs to be a daddy’s girl.

She is as hard on me as I am on her.

A couple of days later we talked again. We were calm and out of the heat of the moment. She said it is hard on her to go from just our family that she’s known for 17 years to it being something totally different. She does want me to be happy. She realizes that in a few short years that all of the kids will be grown up and gone (maybe!)  I told her for me it was the realization that life is too short to wallow in sadness and regret over the past. None of us never knows if its our last day on this earth. I want to strive to be happy and, of course, keep my eyes on God. The prize of eternity is the main focus of my life.

After the fight I thought things were hopeless. I didn’t think she would bend at all or even consider accepting someone else in my life. I am thankful we are at a place where she is open to my new beau. She realizes I may get married some day again. We are both trying and working on our relationship. I am so glad for that.

Dating a Married Man

I will start this out by saying that I feel strongly that dating a married man is morally and ethically very wrong. I even feel things short of “dating” are also inappropriate and I would not be party to any such relationship. So last night a I was over at my guy friends house. We met on okCupid and live quite close each other, making short visits easy. He was telling me a little about his situation (I.e. His ex, divorce, etc). As I was trying to get perspective on all he was telling me, I asked him when his divorce was final. I thought I had sensed that it was within the past year or maybe even 6 months.

“In 4 or 5 days.”

“What?”

“I think it’ll be done in 4 or 5 days.”

“You are kidding right?”

“No. I mean I consider myself divorced. I consider it done already.”

Though I am strongly opposed to dating or even flirting with a married man, I seem to have found myself sleeping with one. A line from my lifes theme song is playing all the while in my head. “How did I get here?”

I’m sure I repeated ‘you are kidding me’ more times than I can accurately recall.

“Oh great” I finally say.

“So not only am I in a FWB arrangement (also known as sleeping with someone you just met) but its with someone who is still married!”

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this. I mean couldn’t or wouldn’t I always know if someone is married? Clearly not! I do feel better knowing that they are effectively divorced in the critical aspects. They do not reside together, or have sex. He pays child support.

I’m not sure what I should learn from this situation besides maybe actually asking the question “are you married?” I understood the status of “single” to mean just that. Single. Not married. I’ll add sleeping with a married man to the growing list of things I thought I’d never do.

Eek.

Friends With Benefits

Is it possible to be just “friends with benefits?” Like with most questions in the relationship category, there’s never just one simple answer. I don’t know the answer to this for myself so I certainly can’t begin to offer any enlightened commentary on its possibility.

I mentioned in my previous post that I was venturing out into the world of post-divorce dating. I probably cannot count the number of times over the past several years that I’ve said or thought I’d never be doing or saying a particular thing. On-line dating. This would be another to add to that list! Never in a million years would I have thought… Maybe I am in constant denial about what’s ahead in my life at any given time. Not sure. I am currently signed up with match.com and okcupid.com. I have to say that okcupid is way more fun than match! Its even somewhat entertaining. Ok so the short version is that I’ve met someone who initially inquired about whether I was interested in meeting. I was surprised….ok shocked, because he is 9 years younger than me. What in the world would he want with me? He lives fairly close to me and I guess this was part of his motivation. So I sort of declined saying he was a bit young for me. He replied asking if I would be interested in a fwb arrangement. I have always said that I do appreciate direct! The time and person I guess were right for me so I launched into this fwb thing with him. It hasn’t been very long. A week. Wow. It feels longer. Just over this week I have grown very fond of him. I enjoy getting his messages. Many are sexual in nature and some are not. We talk about other stuff too. Our time together has been brief and that’s probably underestimating! I want to spend more time with him. Talk to him more. Get to know him more. I know he’s holding back because he’s not ready for a relationship. So my question to everyone is…is it possible to be friends with benefits only? I think part of the issue for me is that we weren’t friends first. We were more like strangers with benefits. My heart feels fragile and that it could be easily broken. Its not quite like it used to be! I’m not asking him for a relationship. I’m certainly not ready for that! I am asking for more of him though. I want to know him better, to be friends.

Is it possible? Please share your experiences and thoughts on FWB.
Thanks Michele

Love Possible

I haven’t actually seen the movie “Love Actually” but thought a play on the title was fitting for my post today.

Imagine a divorced female, in her 40’s, full custody of 4 teens and enough debt for a lifetime. The burning question being “Is love after divorce possible?”

Its more than whether I can I find those feelings again, but if I did, could it ever work!? Could it ever fit in the new version of my life? Its just so much more complicated now.

Without advance planning, I joined Match.com. I never thought I would join such a service but one day I just got to thinking that at least it would give me something to do! Maybe I’d meet someone to go to a movie or dinner with. I have the same friends as before and they are for the most part married. So I was on Match for 1 or 2 days when I I responded to one of the e-mails sent to me by an interested guy. the short version of the story is that I have met someone that I am very interested in. We’ve been e-mailing and now IMing daily. We often talk for an hour or more and usually more than once a day. We’ve talked about all kinds of things. Our kids, work, interests, music our life tragedies. We’ve even expressed sexual desire. Can you desire someone you haven’t met in person? Normally I would say no but I know different.

He away on business for another week or two and then he will return to his home in Northern California. Over the course of little over a weeks time we are both falling hard. He thinks he loves me. I am trying to remain skeptical of what could become of this, I mean how could he love me? He doesn’t even really know me. I can’t deny similar feelings for him, though. I’m not sure its love. How could I have these feelings for someone I haven’t even met? I can’t get him off my mind. The feelings are amazing. I can’t remember ever feeling like this. It feels so teenager like. He will be back in 1-2 weeks and I can hardly wait. Its like 2 people who know each other reuniting after a separation.

One thing I do know. It feels good to feel good again.

Whos That Guy?

I spent much of a recent weekend at a basketball tournament my girls were playing in. I started out tired because I worked Friday night. I got home, showered, ate and we were on our way. The day was filled with watching basketball and quick trips to the store for food or other essentials. We were running late and got there just before it started. I hadn’t been seated very long when I noticed a friend of the girls walk into the gym. I was very surprised to see her as she lives out of town but happened to be here for the holiday weekend. My girls posted on Facebook when their game was and the friend saw it. She decided to come watch. How nice is that?! Well being that she’s only 12, she needed someone to bring her. So the friend, her dad and sister decided to surprise my girls and came to watch one of their games. A dad walking in a gym with his two young daughters is not an uncommon thing to see. Being a little bashful, though, or maybe its just what I noticed, but as I looked up it was the dad who smiled and waved at us. Certainly not a scandalous move, though, mind you my ex is sitting next to us. I think he knows of the girls, but probably wouldn’t remember them. I’m sure he wouldn’t remember their dad. They walk across the gym with a large Christmas gift bag in hand and sit down next to us.

“Merry Christmas!”. they say.

I was a little shocked. Speechless. I’m sure it showed on my face. They totally surprised us and came with a giant gift in hand!

“Oh its something from the church,” they say as they hand us the gift. Their grandparents, my good friends, go to my church and sent the gift along to give to us.

I happen to catch the look on my ex’s face and am surprised again. I am not a mind reader but I’m pretty sure I know what was going through his mind at that moment.

The look said “what is going on here or who is that guy?”.

I don’t think it took long before he put it together or my older daughter told him it was the girls friend. I am pretty sure for a brief moment I caught a glimpse of actual emotion. Anger. Jealousy. Those are the only two emotions I’ve seen in a long time. He is an expert at not showing emotion, turning off all feeling. “Stoic east coast type” he muttered during one of our few discussions after I found out he wanted a divorce. “Oh brother” was my thought at the time. Today, though, he let down his guard for a brief second. I could be imagining things, but I don’t think so. I know him too well. He was not a jealous person when we were married but I do know his angry look. It was ever so brief that had I not looked at him at that moment I would of missed it.

So during the game the dad chatted with me the entire game. It was a quiet chat, so not everyone could hear what was being said. We were focused on the game and conversation was kind of secondary. He never said anything to my ex. I’m not sure he knew he was there or even knows who he is. I never introduced the dad or kids to my ex either. I think my older daughter told him who they were.

I have thought about this interaction a lot since then and am still surprised at his reaction. He has not shown any emotion during our divorce and has refused to discuss just about anything I’ve tried to talk to him about. He never really even said he wanted the divorce (not sober anyway); I found out he wanted a divorce when I found the paperwork he had filed in his car. He would barely talk about it or discuss any of the settlement details. He still won’t talk about anything difficult. He says he will talk to me about something and never does. We still have some financial issues together and I have come to the realization that he won’t ever talk to me. He is unwilling. He is incapable. How did he get like this? He wasn’t this extreme the 20 years we were married. It seems like once things got to a place where he felt he could no longer cope (or stuff it inside) he just is refuses to deal with anything. He’s been unemployed for 2+ years now and I know his efforts at becoming employable have been minimal. what happened to the man I knew?

The glimpse into his soul that I caught this weekend let me know that there is still some life left in him. I have accepted his decision to end our marriage so its not that I think he’ll come running home. I have worried about him a lot over the past 2 years. His drinking has really consumed him and the denial of this is a demon I’m not sure he’ll ever recognize.

I will continue to pray for him. For our kids and for family. I will pray for continued guidance on this journey.