marriage


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.

I was in seventh grade when I first had a man show me that promises about love aren’t always kept. I was devastated to find out that my parents had been having problems, including him moving out for most of sixth grade, due to another woman. My sister was the one that had told me all this after she saw my dad with the other woman when she was with some of her friends. Understandably, she was very angry at our dad. She told me because she was so angry with him and, I think, wanted me to be too. If I remember correctly, she was angry at our mom for giving our dad another chance. I was hoping they would work things out. I couldn’t believe that my dad would do that to my mother.

As time went on, I have had a few men cheat on me and friends cheat on their partners or be cheated on by their partners. Unfortunately, it is so difficult to trust when you see so many that are not trustworthy. I want to love and trust someday again.

I did eventually find someone that I loved and trusted and I married him. Eventually, I quit trusting him as all the signs of him cheating were there by the time we split. I am not 100% sure he cheated but would be surprised to find out that he didn’t.

How do you learn to trust relationships? I do not want to be one of those women that suspects cheating at every turn but I also don’t want to be so stupidly naive again. I hope to meet someone at some time that I can love and trust. I just need to learn how to trust.

This day has always been such a difficult day. Before I was married, it seemed I was always alone during this holiday. When you are single, this is a day to remind you how alone you really are. When you are in a relationship, it can be good or bad, depending on the relationship and your partner’s attitude towards the holiday. My ex-husband was not a romantic man at all. He would give me a card from time to time. I think he gave me flowers a couple of times in our marriage. He told me he didn’t give flowers since his mother didn’t like getting flowers. I love getting flowers and let him know that very early in our relationship. I got to where I hated Valentine’s Day. I even got to where I dreaded our anniversary and my birthday (which I love normally) because I always felt neglected. He was a man that never seemed to appreciate anything that I gave him. It was difficult to give him gifts so I got to the point that I dreaded trying to give him anything. One of our last Valentine’s Days together, he came home, threw a single rose on the table as he walked by and told me “Here is your VD flower.” Such a romantic gesture. I just sank inside. Four years ago, I spent the day in divorce court. I couldn’t believe they did that on Valentine’s Day. I was a mess. That has definitely made the holiday more difficult.

Since the divorce, I have been trying so hard to get over the emotional damage from my marriage. My first Valentine’s Day after the divorce, I went skiing with a guy I had gone out with a few times. He made reservations at the restaurant at the top of the mountain to surprise me. He knew my history and he was so romantic that day and definitely made it easier. The next year, I was with the ex-boyfriend getting ready to go on a cruise. Last year, I was dating R. I don’t think we did anything special but this holiday has been better the past few years. Here it is again, around the corner and I am single as can be. I have been feeling a bit down about men and love and seeing all the ads for the local specials. I actually signed up for speed dating that night.

This afternoon, I received a message from A asking for a date for dinner on Monday. I said yes and that would be nice. He told me that since he had to work on Tuesday, it would be our Valentine’s Day date. I was very surprised. He does not know my history so it makes it extra special. I am confused though by his actions. One week, I feel he isn’t interested and the next, he does this. I think he is a very sweet man. I wonder how he actually feels about me. At least, I will have a nice dinner with a good looking man for Valentine’s Day and the speed dating the actual night should be interesting.

 

I truly believe that to an extent loving someone is a choice. I know there were a couple of times in my marriage that I made the choice to continue loving or try to love the husband again. I know when my eldest was 2 (she is almost 26 now) I was ready to leave him. We had been in Illinois for a year and things were not going well. We were dirt poor and struggled so much financially. He has been gaining weight like crazy. We had bought our first house. I loved out neighbors and home but his commute was about three hours a day. His parents lived four hours away and they expected us to come “home” every three day weekend. Our daughter would get car sick anytime she was in the car for over thirty minutes and I could tell when we got there that they had no desire to see me. I would be lucky if there were even a dozen things said to me all weekend.  My father in law and I had NOTHING in common. He is a male chauvinistic pig that treats his wife like crap and I knew that my mother in law didn’t approve of me. I was raised Catholic and was an atheist. I was a city girl and never fit in. They also lived in a town of about 700 people so there was nothing to do. I would sit there in the house, feeling unwelcome, every time we went.  I eventually told my husband to go on my drill weekends so they would have time with him and our eldest and not feel like they had to fake it with me.

The husband and I kept drifting apart. He was exhausted from working all the time. I was exhausted from being a full time single mom basically since when he would get home it was almost bed time for the kiddo.  We were struggling financially on top of everything else. I was lonely. Except for our next door neighbor, I was lonely as hell and I couldn’t stand Illinois. It was too freakin hot in the summer and you didn’t leave your house in the winter. I was used to Colorado where there was so much to do. There was no place to hike and all the things to do in the Chicago area took money. I was miserable but he was mostly happy. He was near his mom and several of his siblings. I had no one except for my Army buddies. I so looked forward to drill weekends I actually had a couple of guys in my unit that I could have had relationships with, if I hadn’t been one to keep my promises.

On our daughter’s second birthday, my mother and his parents all came out to visit. That weekend almost destroyed our marriage. Our daughter was real ill. I tried to hard to make his mother part of the family. I even tried to let her have time alone with my daughter while my mom and I went out together. She took everything I did wrong and went and told my husband that I was being awful to her. She lied to him about things and he believed her. He believed that I made fun of her for being fat. He believed other things she said. I truly, to this day, feel like she was trying to break us up. I spent the next nine months planning on leaving him. We were coming to Colorado the following Christmas and I was going to stay with our kid and not go back to Illinois. I had made plans to get away from what was going on. In that several months, I debated leaving and in the beginning, hated seeing him when he came home daily. We were in such a bad place but I ended up deciding to try and fix things for all of us, especially for our kid. I made a conscious effort to fall for him again. I started looking for the good and ignoring the bad. Eventually, I was in love with him again.

When we first meet someone and fall in love we only see the good. We get butterflies when we think  of the person. We get excited to see them. As we get to know someone, we start to see the other side. We fall out of love when we quit seeing that the good out weighs the bad. I told my ex-husband that if he chose to, he could love me again. He was so focused on the negative, that he forgot the positive in our relationship. At one time, we enjoyed each other. We had fun together. We loved each other. When he started focusing on only the bad, he fell out of love. I truly think that if he had chosen to focus on those things, he could have loved me again.

I see the same thing with ex-bf. He loved me but there was one area that was a mess. I truly believe that was the reason that he had to let me go and quit loving me. I couldn’t fix this one thing so he had to let me go. He even admitted that he was hoping he could find the woman that could fix this issue for him.

I think R cannot love anyone because he is so dedicated to being a great dad. The mom can’t stay here. She keeps going from relationship to relationship so R is the stability in the boys life. He knows that he needs to be a dad first and that is why he cannot find love. He almost admitted this to me recently. He told me that maybe he needed to wait until the boy was grown before he could have real relationship.

How much of loving someone is a choice and how much is not? I believe that a lot of it is intellectual. We rule someone out based on so many things. What makes is truly be in love with someone? I would love to hear your opinions on this.

 

 

 

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