Divorce

Since Getting a Divorce This Is What I Know For Sure

Before going through my divorce, I knew one absolute truth and that was we will all die. There’s no way to escape that. Everything else was really a big crap shoot.

As I approach my official one year anniversary of my divorce and my year of soul searching I have come to realize a few things I definitely know for sure about myself and relationships.

It’s been a rough and rocky road, but I can honestly say that even though I’m not exactly where I want to be emotionally, I am so much closer than I was a year ago. I can tell that the hard work I’ve been putting in is paying off. Improving yourself mentally is just as tough as preparing your body for a marathon. You must work at it and work hard every single day to see the rewards. I am finally starting to see those rewards.

During this last year I had to take a step back and take note about the men I had chosen throughout my life and I began to see a pattern.

Maya Angelou so wisely stated “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Looking back I always saw a few red flags in the beginning of all of my relationships but naively thought that either he would change once we got serious or I thought that those red flags wouldn’t bother me later on down the line. I thought that it was something I could deal with. No one’s perfect, right?  Well, I was wrong on both accounts. When you see someone lying and stretching the truth to everyone else, but think he’s not going to lie to you, you’ll be sadly mistaken. When you marry someone who’s been married 2 other times and he tells you that both women left him, take note. There was a big reason why those women left him. Now I know. He is a cheating, micro managing, penny pinching douche bag. That’s why they left. That’s why I left. Lesson learned.

When your gut tells you something is not right then something is not right. This is something I would bet my life on.   Not once in my 43 years have I gotten that gut feeling for no reason. I have ignored that feeling on more than one occasion and it bit me in the ass. My now ex-husband had a year and a half long affair. I started to get weird gut feelings a month or two after he started this affair. I ignored it because I never ever thought he was the type of person to do such a thing. I should have listened. Sometimes we know things before we want to believe we know things. I swear to God that I will never ever ignore that feeling again.

I also learned very recently that it is me and me alone that controls how I feel.  Whether I’m happy, sad, mad, jealous, etc. it’s my reaction that will determine my emotion.  I have wasted so much of my energy letting the negative behavior of my ex get to me. I finally realized that what he did and continues to do is his issue. He’s the one who has to lay his head on his pillow every night knowing what he did. I do the same knowing that I tried my best and continue to only focus on the good.

And there is so much good. I have learned that had I not started being grateful for what I do have even at my lowest of lows, I could never have made it as far as I have. Instead of wallowing in my pity and woes I make it a point each and every day to think of at least 5 things I’m grateful for. I usually start with the same two every day; I woke up and I have my health.  Honestly, I don’t understand how the people who are always negative, bitching and complaining all the time can make it. Life is really hard at times, but you have to see the silver lining. You just have to in order to make it to the other side taking away some life lesson that it was supposed to teach you.

It’s been a long and winding road to get where I am today, but I have no doubt that I’m where I am supposed to be.

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Divorce, Life

Is Single Life Really The New Boogy Man?

I’ve come to a realization that I am a rarity within my female gender.

I don’t feel like I need a relationship, a man, a warm body to “complete” me or to make me feel happier about myself.  Lately I have come across a multitude of women who choose to either stay in very dysfunctional relationships or jump into one relationship to the next because they are so damn scared of being alone.

This really, really pisses me off! Why do so many amazing, beautiful, talented women feel that in order to be whole that they must be partnered up to do so? Does having a warm body next to you really makes you feel that much better even if that warm body drinks too much, verbally abuses you, lies to you and cheats on you?  Why would anyone in their right mind choose this relationship over the “dreaded” single life?

I know that love is complicated and that both men and women are complex individuals, but why does it seem that I am the minority as I try to work on myself alone, without that warm body?

I need to find out why in the past I have always picked the dysfunctional men who have drinking problems, sex addictions, and the men who feel that habitual lying is a part of life and is ok to do on a daily basis.

As I step back and look at my past relationships I can see a pattern, and it’s not good.

I admit that I am very fortunate to have a tribe of many friends and family that love me and have been there for me whenever I have needed them. Especially during this past year of transition from family of 4 to breadwinner divorced single mom. Which by the way scares me to death to know that it’s me and only me that is responsible to raise my child and give her the life that is better than the one I had growing up. One of my biggest fears is that the day she turns 18 her first phone call with be to a therapist because I screwed up so badly during the prior 18 years.

I guess this is one of the reasons I’m choosing to remain single for the imminent future. I need to be a whole, self-aware, self-secure woman in order to raise a young daughter who grows up to feel whole, self-aware and self-secure.

What makes me so sad is that many of these women who choose to remain in dysfunctional relationships are modeling what relationships look like to their children. This then starts the whole dysfunctional process all over again with a new generation.

What is the answer? How can I help my fellow sisters realize that being single isn’t a bad thing? Why is being alone so scary? Do these women despise themselves so much that being alone reminds them of how much work they have to do in order to get where they know they need to be?

This process I’m in of self-discovery is not easy. There are days that I want to lay in bed, pull the covers over my face and stay there for weeks on end. But, I can’t. I have to face life and my inner demons head on in order to find peace within myself.  I am doing this work not only for me, but for the love of my life; my daughter. I want her to know that she doesn’t need a handsome prince to come save her when life breaks her down. What she needs is herself. That is all she will ever need. And maybe her mom.

Dating, Divorce, Life

Do they all really let us down sometimes?

When I was in Jr. High many years ago, my friend and I made up a little acronym- G.A.S. and it stood for “Guys are Shit” and our slogan was “They all let you down sometime.” We even had a man haters “club.” I was proudly the president of said club and my friend was fine being nominated as Vice President. What’s funny about this is that I can barely remember what I did last weekend, but I remember this part of my childhood as if it happened yesterday.

I’ve always loved love. I am a sucker for any romantic comedy and I always love when the outcast geeky girl ends up with the hot, popular jock. Think Molly Ringwald in the classic 80’s movie “Pretty in Pink.”  I had many daydreams as a geeky pre-teen that the amazing popular boy would fall madly in love with me and we would be sitting on my dining room table in front of a birthday cake getting ready to make out. Think the other 80’s classic “Sixteen Candles.” Pretty much every girl who grew up in the 80’s wanted to date Jake Ryan.

What I find sad is that in my 40’s I’m ready to return to my old position of President of the  man hater’s club and I find myself reverting back to that saying I made up when I was barely a teenager. In the last year my life I have been witness to the following:

  • A husband who had an affair with a woman he met on Ashlemadison.com. This woman would come to my house on a regular basis for a year and a half while I was at work and have sex with my husband in my bed. I was completely blindsided because I would have bet anyone that my husband would never cheat on me. I never ever thought he was the type. Lesson Learned.
  • One of my best friend’s long term boyfriend of 5 plus years cheated on her with someone young enough to be his daughter (she’s legal age, but barely) AND has proof that he also likes to give blow jobs to men who are living as women.
  • A new friend I met through my daughter’s school friend has been with her partner for 13 years and he has cheated on her the past 2 years off and on with the same woman. This man can’t decide who he loves and is stringing both women along. He treats my friend like shit, verbally abusing her and drinking all day long as she pays all the bills. It’s actually quite pathetic.
  • I joined a private online support group for divorced moms and I had to leave the group within a week because all of the stories were so depressing. A woman who was married for 30 years was left out of a blue for a man. More than one woman was married for 20+ yeas and their husbands pretty much woke up one day and decided they didn’t want to be married any longer. Another woman was 7 months pregnant when she found out about her husband’s affair. The list goes on and on.
  • A guy I briefly dated about 9 months ago who I met online still has his profile up and is now lying about his age. I realize this seems mild compared to infidelity and betrayal, but I can’t stand liars, especially since I was married to one for 8 years.

 

What the fuck has happened to good old fashion honesty?

I was miserable in my marriage and would dream about having an affair all the time, but I just couldn’t do it because the guilt would have been too much. If my ex and I would have decided to cut our losses a few years ago, we could have remained friends and co parented our daughter in harmony. But now, I hate his guts and can barely look at him. Sometimes I can’t.

Why can’t we all just be honest when a relationship isn’t working? Breaking up is going to hurt no matter how it happens, but it can soften the blow a little if you keep betrayal out of it.

Remember the saying “He’s just not that into you” made popular from one of my favorite shows, “Sex and the City?” Can’t we make this universal and just end it with “You know what, it was fun I did love you at one point, but you know what I’m just not that into you anymore and I feel the urge to sleep with someone else, but I have integrity so I want to tell you first.”

Am I living in a fantasy world to think this can actually happen?

As I sit here stewing on my Jr. High revelation from 30 years ago I realize that I may have been onto something. Maybe they do just let us all down sometime.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not going to hold my breath.