marriage


Life has been a bit busy and crazy for the past few weeks. I thought about blogging many times and about many things BUT just have not been taking the time. I have 24 more hours with my son home and I have been enjoying every moment we have had together. I also have been doing a lot of reading and self reflection. One of the first guys I dated after my divorce was the most positive person that I have ever met. I asked him how he could always be so positive and he told me that it was because of this book by Tony Robbins that he read.

I have finally been reading this book after almost four years. I will go into it a bit in a later blog but I wanted to share one major thing that I have realized. I am GLAD that I have been alone mostly for the past five years. It has enabled me to grow. It has enabled me to learn who I really am. Time (and this book) have given me the ambition to set goals again. My life had been, for so long, all about our kids, our marriage, his career. Our kids are grown, our marriage is over and his career doesn’t affect me anymore. I have not been focusing on goals for years now. If I had stayed in the relationship with BFF or gotten serious with someone else, my focus would have become on them, their wishes, their lives, etc. This has been a great time of growth for ME and maybe, eventually, I will be able to let someone back in that fits into MY GOALS. I truly love myself and enjoy my own company. I am setting my own goals and have my own dreams now all because I have taken the time to get to know me- post marriage.

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A Woman on the Edge of Time: a son's search for his motherA Woman on the Edge of Time: a son’s search for his mother by Jeremy Gavron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up at a book rescue not knowing much about it but it definitely drew me to it. The speed in which I read it says something. I did not want to put this book down. Hannah was such a strong woman and so ahead of her time. It made me think of being a woman before now. My grandmother was also ahead of her time. I often thought about my mother who was in the same age group as Hannah. Women were expected to be a certain way and women who chose not to had a difficult road. Unfortunately, Hannah ultimately couldn’t handle it and took her life. She left two young boys and a family that never spoke of her again. This is written by the younger of the boys as he tries to understand his mother and her choice. This book also made me proud of my daughters who are in no hurry to marry and have babies. They are living their lives before they go down this path, if they choose that path I sure wish that I had done so. Hannah’s thesis that was later published is The Captive Wife. I wonder how many of us feel the way this book implies. I think Ii will have to find it and read it. I know I can probably relate. I gave up my life for the “dream” and it was a mistake. Now I am alone, poor, and fifty, trying to figure out how to live my dreams. I will make it as I have made it this far. This book is worth the read. It is not anti-man. It is not anti-marriage. It is more about having the strength to follow your dreams. The women back then had so many more obstacles than we do now. It has improved but many are still there due to our gender. We need to continue to change things for our daughters and granddaughter.

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I thought that he had. I thought that the holiday season was ruined for me forever. I used to be one of the crazy holiday loving people that so many people complain about. I would think of the Solstice, Saturnalia, Christmas and just feel bright inside. I loved the music (even the religious ones), the colors, the lights, the cooking, the food, the giving, the receiving, even the crowds. I would wear my Santa hat every day. I felt so alive during the holiday season. The holidays were not always good with the ex-husband. He was a bit of a scrooge and made things more tense than they needed to be but I still loved it every year. That is UNTIL…….

He filed for divorce two weeks after Christmas. We had been having problems for a few years but that Christmas was one of our better ones. He even gave me great gifts. I was sure that things were getting better. I thought that maybe he loved me again. Even our oldest told me that he really loved me and thought things were better for us all.

I felt so betrayed. I felt lied to. I felt that the entire holiday had been a lie. I have not looked forward to it for years.  I have put off the decorating as long as possible. I have dreaded putting  up the tree and seeing the ornaments that remind me of various things in our marriage. I had thought about cancelling my annual party. I went through the motions for my kids but would have been perfectly happy just skipping the celebrations.  I actually have had good Christmases in the past few years but I still dreaded them. BF/ex-boyfriend has been with us for a couple of them.

This year, for some reason, I am more myself. my kiddo/roommate was working today and I brought in the decorations, put on the music and almost finished decorating the house. Last night, I went to Noel Night  in town with my nephew. I am excited for my party. I am excited for the holiday season again. I enjoyed singing the songs while I decorated today. I have my holiday back. I have no idea what changed for me this year but I am happy  about it. This has always been my favorite time of year. I definitely do not have any more money this year, things are not perfect but I can enjoy all the things I love about this time.  I am lucky that all three kids are choosing to spend the holiday with me this year, too. Now I just need snow to make it as perfect as it can be.

As I continue in this world single in my 40s soon to be 50s, I cannot help but wonder about the men  I am meeting and why nothing goes forward with any of them.

One thing is I am not desperate or needy so I am not chasing anyone. They have to put forth the effort or nothing is happening. A year ago, even less than that, it was not that way. I was making first moves, I was texting a guy if I was interested, sometimes too much, probably but now, if I don’t hear from them, I pretty much forget about them or occasionally wonder how they are doing. I do wonder if what I want is too much to ask.

I want a man that is attentive but not clingy.

I want a man that wants to be with me but is not obsessive.

I want a man that is ready for a relationship and is over his last one.

I want a man that has time for a relationship.

Ii want a man that thinks about me a lot but doesn’t need to text or call me every five minutes. I also want to think about him a lot but not feel the need to text him continuously.

I want a man that is comfortable if I don’t respond to a text immediately.

I want a man that I can trust.  I want a man that trusts me.

I want a man that takes care of himself but not one that has to look perfect all the time.

I want a man that thinks I am beautiful with or without doing my hair or makeup but appreciates it when i take the effort to do so. I guarantee when he dresses up and puts in the extra effort, I will appreciate that.

I want a man that can and will put me first (except in front of his children).

If he has children, I want him to be a good dad and have a good relationship with his children.

I want a man that can accept my kids and possibly grow to love them.

I want a man that is not afraid to show his emotions. Crying is NOT a weakness and real men DO cry.

I want a man that loves to be active but also is fine with sitting still and cuddling on the sofa for a night.

I want a man that wants to go out and play sometimes, more than just a movie.

I want a man that appreciates the finer things in life but is not a snob about it.

I want a man that is not embarrassed or concerned about appearances. I live in a double wide. It is a nice double wide on 3 1/2 acres in the Colorado Rockies. My ex-husband was embarrassed that is wasn’t a stick built home. I never understood that. I don’t need to look good to others. I may not live here forever, in fact, I probably won’t but it should not embarrass someone.

I want a man that can be silly but is also a grown up. You can’t be silly all the time.

I want a man that is a hard worker but knows that life is more than chores.

I want a man that is reliable and punctual. I want to be able to count on him to do what he says when. I am like that, I deserve the same.

I want a man that is not afraid too try new things.

I want a man that doesn’t need to be saved or fixed.

I want a gentleman but not a chauvinist.  Hold the doors, walk closer  to the cars on the street, give me flowers but also  be willing to let me be a strong independent woman and not try to control me.

I want a man that will want to know the real me and will let me know him.

I want a man that I can have intelligent conversations with and debate rationally if we disagree with each others views.  We can learn from each other that way.

I want a man that will spoil me from time to time. If he does, I will spoil him, too.

I want a man that will truly listen to and hear me and try to understand me.

I want a man that is willing to work through hard times and knows that love is worth it though not always easy.

I want a man that understands that a relationship will have its ups and downs and that you don’t always like each other but with hard work love can persevere. Love is a choice.

I want a man with intelligence. Formal education is not necessary to be intelligent.

Of course, I want the little things, good hygiene, teeth, job. It would be nice to have a man that likes to read, enjoys wine and beer, concerts, festivals, live music, dancing, football, motorcycles, skiing, hiking and is a nerd but none of those are necessary.

I want a non-religious and a progressive or liberal minded man.

I want a man that I can love that will love me. I want us to grow old together and be that cute old couple.  I guess I am too picky. Maybe not, only time will tell. Does this man exist? I am doubtful.

 

 

You know this in this dating world we are all afraid of getting hurt again. We are all afraid of losing again. Occasionally,  we meet someone that catches our eye and we want to spend more time with them. How do we know when it’s worth taking the risk of exposing our heart to this person? Do we do it with our brains and logic? Do we look at the pros and the cons of the person? Will they be a good step parent? Will they like my dogs? Will my family like them? Will my kids like them? Will I like their family? Will their family like me? Do we just go with the emotions or a combination of both?

When I start having that person be the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing I think of before I go to bed, I realize maybe they are worth the chance. When that person enters my thoughts several times during the day that’s a big sign that they are worth the chance. When I get excited when I see their car or think I see their car, it’s a pretty big sign that I’m crazy about that person. When this person accepts you 100% the way you are. Is that enough to make them worth the risk?  What if they tell you that they don’t feel the same way about you but their actions show otherwise? Should you stick around and see what happens? Should you wait? Should you give up? That is so hard to do when your day is better just by merely being in their presence.

But then the damn brain gets in the way it starts thinking about the logistics of the relationship if it were to go further. If you were to become a long term couple,  where would you live? What about finances? Holidays? Bills? All those couple things….When you start thinking of those things it makes it absolutely terrifying to try to go forward. How would it be to deal with all those things and then you don’t work out? You have to divide everything up again. You get hurt. Your kids, their kids get hurt. You miss their kids. Your kids miss them. YOU miss them. These are all  real fears and concerns. Should we let those fears and concerns let us keep that wall around our hearts to protect us? Are these the reasons we don’t give love a chance? Should we tear down the wall and take a chance? Love has no guarantees and no refunds. Probably more times than not, we get hurt when we try to love and trust so why do we keep trying?

We keep trying because that person makes our lives better. We keep trying because when we have a bad day, the only thing we want is to have that person be with you and hold you. We keep trying because this life can be so much better not alone. Life can be good alone but with a partner, a TRUE partner, is is even better. I am very happy in my life right now. I have a job that I love, great friends, an active social life, a wonderful family but, nights like tonight, I want a partner. I want someone to hold me and tell me things will be okay. I want someone to love me. I am so ready to give him a chance and he is not running so I guess there is a chance. I am ready.

Sometimes I have to wonder about the ex-husband. He seriously believes that I have turned the kids against him when he does things like he did this weekend all the time. He lives about one hour from our son, who is a freshman in college. Our eldest lives about four hours from her brother- five from her dad. My son was in an opera at the school this weekend and the eldest decided to go watch her brothers performance. She contacted her dad and asked if he would like to join her. At first, he said that they would try to go the same night. They meaning him and his girlfriend WFB. They decided to go the night before our daughter.  When she tells me this, she says, of course, he chose her over me again. I am sure she didn’t want to see me. For my new readers, my eldest and WFB have had a rocky start and ex-h always insists that our daughter fix things. WFB even told him he had to choose between her and his family.

I know if I had been in his shoes, which I never would be. I would never choose anyone over my kids but hypothetically, if I were, I would tell new partner that my child lives five hours away and if that person didn’t want to join me n the night with my kid, then I would go without them. He rarely sees our kids. The son sees him because he has to. He can’t stand WFB either but ex-h is convinced that only the eldest has a problem with her. The middle kiddo doesn’t even respond too his phone calls or texts anymore. When I asked her why she threw the phone across the room when he called one day, they told me that they always feel bad about themself after talking to him. They are very upset with the WFB for treating the siblings the way she does.

I actually feel sorry for him. When we were married and for a short time after the divorce, I would try to help ease things with the kids. I eventually decided not to do so for the ones that were over eighteen and now all of them are. I no longer remind them to contact their dad for anything. I did remind them to contact his mother for her birthday. She shouldn’t pay for her son being an idiot. What blows my mind about WFB is that she is a mother. I am very curious about her and his relationships with her kids. I do think that he will regret his choices eventually. She is not good for his relationship with his kids. When our son graduated from high school last year, I made sure to let him know she was welcome at the party. She chose not to come. She has no desire to be part of my kids lives. If he wants to, he is either going to have to get rid of her OR go to things without her. Maybe he will see the light before it is too late. In the mean time, I am here to listen to the kids vent about their dad and they adore my ex-boyfriend and contact him for dad things. The love him and he loves them.

It is funny how some things will trigger me and remind me of how bad things had been. I was at work, walking up 12th Street and there were three cars at the intersection. The first one was turning left onto Main Ave. The traffic on Main doesn’t have a stop sign so it can be a long wait to turn left. The second vehicle was going straight and the third wanted to turn right. This is a small town with relatively little traffic but it has grown a lot over the years. I admit it has not been fun watching it grow over the thirty years I have been here but it goes with the territory. The guy in the third vehicle started screaming and cursing profanities and honking his horn. He couldn’t see that the first vehicle wanted to go left. He was being very impatient and letting himself get super stressed about such a minor thing. When the first car finally was able to turn (maybe ninety seconds), he squealed up to the second car and turned right very quickly and potentially dangerously while revving his engine. I immediately thought to myself how glad I was to not be with someone like that anymore. The ex-husband used to get such horrible road rage. There were times I was afraid that he might even get us shot or hurt. He would flip people off on the highways in the city, cut people off, tailgate on purpose if someone cut us off. You never know when someone might pull a gun. If I said anything to him, he would then yell at me. I was often very nervous in the car with him. The stress and tension in the car was always so bad from that moment on. It was bad for all of our health. Stress increases inflammation which increases pain, diabetes, and so many other health issues. He was slowly killing us all.

I will never put up with that from someone again. It was one of the many ways I was mentally abused and controlled by him. He had a nasty temper that I was afraid to set off. he never physically hurt me but I was scared of him and so were the kids. I wish I could say that he never laid a hand on them. He never beat them but kids should not be scared of their parents.

About the man in this story, I feel bad for him (and the ex). Life is too short to get so upset over such insignificant things. His blood pressure was up, I am sure. His behavior was bad for his health. Luckily, there was no one else in the car and I am sure I was the only one that heard his language. I was the only other one really affected and it made me feel grateful that I no longer have that kind of stress in my life.

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