two lessons i’ve learned during the ‘big d’ #2

Almost 12 months ago, I found out that my ex was cheating on me and at the time, I felt like the world stopped and wouldn’t start again. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop crying, I couldn’t figure out what to do, I couldn’t see what was really standing in front of me – a pathetic excuse for a man.

Today though, I see this man in a slightly different light. I’m actually thankful that he did what he did. I hate his actions and choices and don’t condone them but I have chosen to forgive him for things he did to me and for how his actions affected my kids. I can’t say that I don’t have moments where I have to talk myself down from huge amounts of anger that I have toward his continued poor choices, but I’ve had to make the decision to let God deal with him and also to make the choice to allow God to grow positive things in my life by just letting a lot of things go. (And please don’t think that it’s easy to do this…I have to make a conscious decision to do this every darn day.)

And what a difference 12 months can make.

life lessons during divorce_for blog post

Lesson #1: I had to grow my little Mommy and Me Gang.

My kids have grown so much, emotionally, in a positive way. I didn’t fully realize the negative impact my soon-to-be-ex really had on them and shame on me for not realizing it. I’ve really beaten myself up over some of the things that they’ve shared with me now, that they felt they just ‘had to deal with’ because they knew I loved their stepdad.

Now though, my little family of four is so solid and I can honestly say that had I been with my ex still, I think my family-unit with my three kids would have suffered even more because they were silently struggling with my ex. Now that he’s gone, I’ve watched my second son really open up to me about everything that he’s feeling because he feels supported and heard; I’ve watched my oldest son learn empathy, sympathy, and how to care for others; and my little lady…well, she’s learning how to drive her brothers insane but that’s what two-year old little sisters are supposed to do.

I’ve learned how to connect with them and we have this weird gang-like mentality – that to get past one of us, you have to get past all of us. And without my ex making his poor choices, I wouldn’t have had that. I didn’t have this before my ex and I got together but I’ve had the last 10-12 months to build that relationship and it’s the most incredible experience. They are fully aware that they come first, before any man in my life, or anything else.

As my best friend told me a looooong time ago, give yourself time, if you’re getting divorced, to build a bond with your kids that is impenetrable. I didn’t…I thought I had, but I didn’t give it enough time before being in a serious relationship and it prevented me from seeing exactly what they were experiencing because we weren’t impenetrable yet and they just wanted me to be happy so they avoided sharing how they were feeling about my ex…sadly, I don’t think that they felt that they had a choice. Today, they know that they get to pull the kill-switch if they have issues with someone that I am dating.

My advice – wait until you are on solid ground with the kiddos before you introduce a serious relationship to the kids. I would even recommend waiting until your relationship is solid with your kids before jumping into a serious relationship yourself.

Lesson #2: Don’t expect your relationships to change until you change your habits.

Basically, if you don’t change anything, you’ll find yourself in the same types of relationships over and over and over…until you change something.

I like to serve others and make them happy. It’s who I am and it makes me happy to know that I was the one that put a smile on someone else’s face. The only problem with that is that I’ve only focused on being the support for someone else I’m in a relationship with instead of making sure that my needs were also being met. In a way – I needed to learn how to serve myself.

About nine months before I found out that my ex had been cheating on me, I left my job, my career, of 17 years so that I could help him with his business and support our household needs while he built his business. While it was the dumbest decision I could have agreed to, in the end I think I may end up thanking him. I’m working my tail off to build my own business so that I can create and maintain the same lifestyle that my kids have always been used to and so that I get to use my brain every day doing the things that I love – being creative and being there for them as their mother and support system.

Had I not left my job, I wouldn’t have been in a situation that forced me out of my comfort zone to create my own little world in which I allowed myself to fully do things my way. I had to make myself become a little selfish and to choose to do things that I’ve always wanted to do but was never given the chance to do because my spouse didn’t want to do them…like make my kids Matzo Ball soup whenever they wanted or choose a restaurant other than Ale House if I was going out to eat for dinner. (It’s the little things that make me happy.)

I’ve really had to self-reflect over and over and truly learn what I’m worth and how strong I really can be and I’ve learned how to serve myself. It may sound extremely selfish but I needed to be forced to do that because otherwise, I likely would end up with another man that took and took and took from me, because I like to serve, without the guy giving back to me or serving me. And I’m not high-maintenance…I promise. I don’t expect much more than thoughtful attention, learning my coffee order, and giving me the time I need to watch any of The Real Housewives.

And then…

…when I least expected it, someone really important entered in my life. And because I was more solid within my own expectations of myself and my behavior, I knew what I was willing to allow into my life and into my kids lives and how much I would allow myself to serve without being served in return.

The beginning of a new relationship is fun and exciting and you want to do everything for that person to not only impress them but to make them happy. My fatal flaw in relationships is that I have always misinterpreted the happiness that I feel, after serving someone, as happiness, that the person I’m with, is returning to me.

The reality is that the happiness that I felt in past relationships, in the beginning, I had created on my own and that’s not healthy. You should be with someone that gives as much as you give.

And with this guy, I have this. Had I not learned to focus on making myself a priority and how to appreciate ‘how I’m wired’, I could easily have gotten lost in a new relationship. I appreciate my quirks now and won’t let myself be in a relationship unless that person appreciates them as well.

Thanks to my ex, I was forced to take a hard look at myself and the personality traits (from the people I was with) that I had been allowing in my life. I wasn’t questioning myself about what I had done wrong in my marriage, because no one should take blame for my divorce except the cheater and abuser, but I was quizzing myself about the type of person I would ever again allow in my life or my kids lives. And I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process.

My advice – reflect upon your past in order to know what behavior contributed to the divorce and then work your tail off in order to not repeat that behavior, whether that is allowing it in your life or determining that it’s your behavior that needs to change.

The key, though, is to give yourself time to make these changes and not to rush things or allow others to tell you what your timeline should be. You’ll know when you are ready for your next step in life.

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take 2: showing my scars

At the start of the new year, I wrote and cried and wrote and cried until I had shared almost every detail of ‘that’ night…the last night that my soon-to-be-ex and I were in the same bed. And it accidentally went live. I received immediate positive feedback and then took it down all within 30 minutes because it was so intimate, to me, that I couldn’t face knowing that everyone would know.

But…

Yesterday my ex thought it would be funny to pour salt into an open wound…he figuratively laughed at the emotional and physical pain that he put me through and did something so childish that it made me completely understand that I was married to someone cruel and with evil intentions. He deserves no respect or even acknowledgement that I once thought he was an amazing man. He’s a bad person with an unpure heart. So unlike the little lady that we created together.

So I’ve decided to take a second shot at exposing my most raw emotions about something that I would never want another woman to ever go through. In my perfect world, I would one day like to speak out about abuse but until then I’ll show my scars so that others may avoid the same pain I went through.

I never want anyone else to feel like I did – ashamed, embarrassed, self-conscious because of the bruises…What someone feels is ok to do to you – harm you physically – is not okay and not your fault. I wish I could have absorbed this earlier than when I finally did. A man that physically attacks a women is not a man – not a normal human being – it’s not ok and they are showing how weak THEY are NOT how weak you are.

So here’s take 2 at this post….

(written in January 2018)

At 37, I’ve realized a few things:

* who my friends really are
* that I need mentors and who they are
* that I screw up…a lot
* that I’m not a perfect mother
* that I’m a great mother and that’s all that matters
* that I can do better than the day before
* and that I am better than who I was before…

So here’s my story…

The night before Father’s Day 2017…I was physically attacked…

by someone that was overly intoxicated…

and I knew the person….

…I was married to him…

…and I still am unfortunately…for just a while longer…until the state of Florida rules on our case…

I’ve started this post so many times but it takes nerves of steel to finish this.

That night…

I left to go grocery shopping. My little men were at their dads house (thank the lord). My little lady had gone down for a late nap and needed to be up about 45 min after I left (I was gone about 2 hours total).

I arrived home, with food, about 2 hours later. My little lady was still in her room…crying out for momma and dada…yet dada hadn’t arrived, even though he had been there the whole time.

At this point, I start to realize how intoxicated my husband and his brother really were. My husband couldn’t even understand why I was upset that my daughter was still in her crib even though I asked him to get her up hours prior.

I get her up, make dinner for everyone, spend time with my daughter, my brother in law goes home, I put my daughter to bed, and then my husband stumbles in and says he’s tired and asks if I would join him in bed as soon as I put our daughter to bed.

…Background…

Two weeks prior I found out that he had cheated on me. My self esteem was low. So very low. So when my husband suggested that I meet him in bed…what do you think that meant to me……

…Back to the story…

Here is the honesty that will likely be taken down shortly after I have the nerve to post it…

I climb into bed…hoping for some love – any kind of love because I felt unloved at the time…and because I’m married and that’s what married people do…except I then fully realize just truly how drunk my husband was…

He wouldn’t wake up so I just lay there…

I start thinking crazy thoughts…what did I do to cause this…why doesn’t he want me in a sexual way…and so many other things…then I thought through his activity that day and night – he was acting so into me until about a day prior and he only recently had been overly involved in his phone, like when I first caught him in his lies about his affair…his phone…

So I grabbed his phone because he was soo intoxicated; his code was easy to crack and then I saw all of it…even the text asking her if she would hide money from me for him.

That’s who I married. Scumbag.

Then the rage in me took over and I had to confront the issue right then.

I woke him up, with his phone in my hand, asked him about the texts, and he lunged at me. I’ve never been lunged at and he had quite the weight on me so he scared me and I ran toward our bathroom. He cornered me while I was hunched over, sitting on the floor, with his phone in my lap, all the while only trying to get his phone from me, and I had it in my lap as I was crunched down trying to avoid whatever was coming my way. His knee went so hard into my lower back that I peed on the floor because of the pressure he put on me.

I fought so hard. So very hard. No one will ever understand. I grabbed his balls and yanked and pulled and yanked some more and it still didn’t stop him. That’s what scared me more than anything in my life. Everything that I had always been taught was to go for the balls…well it didn’t work…he was too numb by the alcohol to stop.

He punched every part of me trying to get to that phone. I was able to get away from him and tried to make it into our ‘toilet room’ but I couldn’t get the door closed before he got there and he had me between the door and the wall and he just kept pressing the door into me and thus into the wall.

All he wanted was that darn phone and it didn’t matter to him how he got it.

And this was all in under a span of probably 10 minutes or less.

My terror…the end of my marriage…the person I knew I had to protect my kids from…

The person that was supposed to be my ‘person’ for the rest of my life just ruined my perception of the perfect guy.

He turned my house upside down…because I had gotten away from him with the phone…

I called his brother to get him to come and pick him up because the other solution was the police…

My husband told me that if I called the police that he would tell them that I had attacked him about the affair and would show them the marks on his arm…

…the marks on his arm were from lifting his brothers truck and putting bigger tires on the truck earlier that day…

…but he didn’t care…he didn’t want to go to jail because he had been there before because of alcohol…

…I was scared out of my mind because I had never been in this position before and my daughter was in the other room…would the police believe him or me?? would they take my daughter?? where would she end up??…

…so I didn’t call the police…stupidest thing I ever didn’t do…

…I let his brother take him out of my house and then the craziest thing happened…

…my soon-to-be-ex-husband called my parents and told them that I needed help…so at ‘too-early o’clock’ my parents show up at my door as I was reeling from just being beaten and left by my husband…

…I talk until I can’t make any more sense…they leave…I lay in bed until my daughter wakes up and then I pack my stuff…two weeks worth…because I had no idea what was happening to my life…

…I showed up to my parents house on fathers day and slept, slept the whole day almost…until I got a phone call from my soon-to-be-ex’s mom apologizing profusely over and over again for her son and his actions…and at the end asking that my relationship with her not end…now that I look back – she only called because she didn’t want to lose the second grandchild that she has because of her sons stupid actions – that she enables. She lost the other relationship for very similar reasons…

…a tiger doesn’t change their stripes…

I even received a text from my soon-to-be-ex’s brother telling me that he feels bad for everything that his brother put me through and then he acknowledged that the kids and I are the victims in the whole thing…

Two weeks later, I seemed to forget the abuse that I suffered at this mans hands….for heaven’s sake – he had me pinned.to.the.ground…why did I need a more clear realization as to who this person was?? But I realize now that I hadn’t been removed from the situation long enough to understand the monster that I am/was married to.

Instead I wanted to try to work through this…what was I thinking?? Why would I put myself through this again? Why would I expose an abusive man to the three people (my children) that I would lay my life down for?

I tried to convince all of us that we should work it out. Thank the lord, my soon-to-be-ex was too selfish and embarrassed to try to work it out. I’m thankful for his stupidity.

Looking back, I can only imagine how my father felt knowing and watching all that was happening to me. I am his first-born…his daughter…his duplicate…yet he never showed his anger in front of me even though I’m sure it was there – he only showed his compassion…because that’s who he is…an amazing man and father. I’m so lucky.

Yet, at the time, I didn’t want to believe that this was the person that I had married, that I had fallen madly in love with. The person that cried during our vows…that promised to love and cherish me forever…this was the same person that left bruises everywhere including on my ass…

I will never forget showering each day in my parents bathroom during that first week…they had this massive bathroom with mirrors everywhere and all I saw was what my husband had done to me. The marks he left. And I cried every day.

I rushed through every shower, every drying-off, just so that I didn’t have to see what my husband had done to me…and then I saw it…the hand print on my ass. I saw multiple fingerprints…I don’t even remember when he left those but all I know is that I was crushed when I realized he had hit every part of me – the front and back.

I was mad, scared, embarrassed, everything. I didn’t want to tell a soul yet I wanted to tell everyone…so I found a balance which was telling my family and six close friends and that’s it. I didn’t trust anyone…I still have struggles with trust and I probably will for a while but the one comfort that I know is that I am in control of who is in my life so while it may take a while, if you gain my trust – you’re probably an amazing friend and will be so for the rest of our lives.

I thought my life was over. My husband was gone. My sons step-dad was gone. My daughters father had basically admitted that he couldn’t be a committed adult for her.

But you know what….

…my life hasn’t been better.

I’m so thankful that my soon-to-be-ex has left. He has chosen someone that thinks it’s fun to cyber stalk me and stalk me around the rink where our kids play hockey, and video tape my children…

Yet with that said – I’ve never been more at peace than I am now. A toxic part of my life is gone and everyone of us can feel it. He recently went on vacation and it was amazing because it was a vacation for me too!-a vacation from hearing from him.

I never realized the toxicity that he was until he left…and life is amazing now and so much better.

I wish him all of the happiness in the world because right now it’s obvious he isn’t in that place and when he’s happy, my life will be easier also. Please pray for me, him, our daughter, and my boys.

BUT WITH ALL OF THAT SAID…

I have an amazing life with amazing people in it. My small circle showed me what love really is in the aftermath that my soon-to-be-ex left. My life is better without my soon-to-be-ex and in fact my relationship with my boys father is better now as well. Coincidence?? I think not.

To summarize my amazing life:

* I don’t need physically and emotionally destructive people in my life.
* I’m overly cautious about any person with a red flag similar to my ex’s…
* I am keeping my ‘circle’ small.
* I have taken huge, positive, steps toward improving the relationships in my life.
* My friends have stepped into my life in huge ways.
* My family has been there in even bigger ways.
* My kids are amazingly funny.
* Their funniness feeds off of each other.
* My boys father really isn’t as bad at I thought…annoying to me, yes…but not harmful.
* My daughter is two and doesn’t know when to speak up about her father’s blood alcohol level – I will always fight to make sure that she’s being taken care of safely.
* My daughter is perfect. My boys are perfect.
* That’s all I need.
* I WILL BE OK.
* I AM BETTER WITHOUT HIM.

Let me say…leaving an abusive relationship is sooooooooo much harder than it seems to those not in the relationship.

Until you have a clean, clear, extensive break – it’s hard to realize and deal with the garbage that the ‘bad guy (person)’ put into the relationship. But once you do…there is a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders and then all you have to do is…

FORGIVE A PERSON THAT ISN’T ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS.

I’m so thankful for who I’ve become, those that have helped me realize and remember who I am, and the strength that I’ve had to find within myself. I hope others can do the same, in their own time.

~Much love to all.

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and readership!

i disappeared for a little

I’m back!

I took a breath, a breather, a break, a whatever you want to call it, without even realizing it, from blogging, after the first of 2018. It wasn’t intentional and I tried with everything that I had in me to finish a post but I just couldn’t. I would almost complete a post and then realize by the end of it that I was rambling and the post wasn’t even worth it because my soon-to-be-ex wasn’t worth the time or energy that I had just put into the post.

I have 24 drafts sitting and waiting to be finished and published but I just haven’t had the energy because I did something at the first of the year that helped me really push past my anger toward my Irish Idiot.

I wrote a blog post that detailed the most horrendous part of my marriage – the part that sealed the deal on the destruction of our marriage. Some of you read it because I scheduled it to go live recently and forgot about it and then chickened out with the amount of transparency that I showed, so I pulled it offline. I may republish it one day but for now it’s sitting in my “published” inbox, marked as private.

It was such a painful moment in my life last year and I thought that I was brave enough to share in the hopes that it might encourage someone, that was going through similar things, to not put up with the same garbage that I had and to move on. Instead, it accomplished something else.

I felt a sense of peace.

With every phase of this divorce, the more and more I keep ‘moving on’ and at the same time I have also realized how ‘unmoved on’ I was in the phase before. And that’s ok. There is no right or wrong way to move through a divorce emotionally. Sometimes, you’ll fly through the first four Stages of Grief only to hit a snag, sit across the table from this person and slide back into the anger stage. Or you’ll see your husband with a woman that offers half of what you determine is your value and you slide into the stage of depression.

Survive. Just survive.

The only goal with divorce, is to simply survive it and don’t feel like you need to meet any certain time table.

My pivotal moment in my divorce was actually putting pen to paper and reliving the night that my marriage ended. Getting it all out there, even to no one, did so much good. I still have moments of complete anger like when I saw him recently and after a brief heated exchange of words between the two of us, I made a note that he was so weak of a human being that he couldn’t even bring himself to apologize to me for what he had done to me and what he had done to the kids. His response reminded me of how much of a loser I was/am really married to…he told me that I should “give him a reason to get him to say sorry.”

I was in awe that he is so detached from reality and morality that he thinks it’s ok to do some of the harmful things he did, expect me not to be upset with him or hurt by him, and then urgently wait on bended knee for an apology that any other human being with any sense of right and wrong would have done months ago. But my special guy feels that I should ‘put him in the mood’ to feel apologetic. Sorry, not going to happen, and now I could care less about the apology because he obviously doesn’t understand the significance of humbling oneself to utter the phrase “I’m sorry” when you do something wrong.

And that’s when I realized just who he really is. I will never get an apology for the hurt and harm he caused. If I expect this then I will be forever angry because it’s something that he can’t mentally do. His mother taught him that when put into a ‘corner’, his defense was to never admit that he is wrong and to run from responsibility because she will always clean up his messes. So he’s never had to say sorry.

I married someone that has no capability to feel; to truly be in love; no ability to seek to cope with the ‘unfun’ times in life or to be mature or to treat someone else with respect or to put someone else’s needs before their own…and I’ve accepted all of this. And because of this, I have so much more peace than I’ve had since this divorce started.

So when I say I’ve started many posts and not had the energy to finish them, it’s because he has become so irrelevant to me and my life now. I don’t care anymore. I’ll never understand but I also know that he’ll never be happy in his life because he can’t do anything that I mentioned earlier.

I know that I would have a miserable existence if I had no capability to feel or feel compassion for others or to never experience love again or not to be able to put someone else’s needs first. It would be awful. And I’m thankful that the toxicity that was in my life is gone.

Sometimes I’m still human though.

I still have my moments of anger…I still have my moments of weakness…I still am not a perfect ex-wife to him…but I do have my dignity again because I know now that he would never have been good enough for me. He wouldn’t have been able to give his all like I had been doing for him. And that’s ok. I will find that person one day.

The day that I started reining my anger in, or in all actuality feeling nothing toward him but annoyance, was the day I realized just how miserable he really is and I don’t want my life to be like that and I’m thankful he didn’t take more of my years than what he did. When I see him, I can see the anger seething out of his pores…what I did to him, I’ll never know, nor do I care because I remained a steadfast faithful wife to him through everything. He has convinced a weak girl to cyber stalk and bully me and that’s ok. Annoying, yes and a little frightening, but I can’t do anything about it unless I want to waste more energy on them that they don’t deserve. If he wants to continue spending that amount of time on me than more power to him…I get it, I am kind of worth it. 🙂

Some Advice

I think that at this moment in my divorce, if I had any advice to give to anyone going through something similar, it would be to stop thinking that they did something wrong and instead focus on who your soon-to-be-ex really is. Strip away what you wanted them to be; strip away what they told you they were or would be; strip away the dreams you had for them/you/the ‘we’ and focus on the person that is left. What do their actions tell you? What are their motivations? What kind of life are they living right now? And for that last question don’t focus on what is on social media…

You know them, or at least you know their faults. Now someone else has to deal with those faults…and between you and I – my ex’s new girlfriend has her hands full because zebras never change their stripes. And it’s the little things that make me smile when I want to get angry because it was so easy for him to move on. Like when he found someone so weak that she agreed to cyber stalk me from the moment that they first started dating. What kind of woman would volunteer for that or agree to chasing me around the hockey rink video recording me and my kids? A crazy one…and that’s what he chose. More power to him. I just know that I will honestly feel bad for him (yet I’ll smile a little) when she goes all crazy on him when he breaks up with her too.

Focus on the true being that your ex is and take comfort that you get to say good riddance.

I still get anxious every time that I see my ex’s name pop up on my phone, but now I wait a while to read whatever the communication is (and that’s if my daughter hasn’t cleared out my notifications), because he doesn’t deserve my immediate attention. He never gave me his so why should I do it for him? There’s nothing telling me that I have to get back to him within a certain time frame so I do it when I’m emotionally ready to respond. I remind myself that I am the one in charge of me – he no longer has any control over me or my life. If he doesn’t like my response, then I’m sorry, not sorry. This is who I am and he gets to deal with that. It is no longer my job to accommodate his moods or temper.

And THAT’S the most freeing feeling I’ve had in a while.

my relationship goals

About five years ago, I gave some advice that I thought was sound…marry for passion – and that’s all someone needed to make a marriage successful.

A friend of mine told me that he was thinking about ‘the future’ with his girlfriend. I had been married for a little over 8 years, at the time, so I thought I knew all about what you should and shouldn’t do…which was basically don’t marry someone because you think you owe it to them because you’ve been with them for a certain amount of time – marry them because you want them desperately…and if you had passion that’s all you needed. (I was sooo wrong!)

I had been missing passion in marriage #1 for different reasons (not necessarily his fault) and so as I divorced my first husband, I thought that if I found that then it would fix the issue I had in marriage #1.

So marriage #2…I married thinking that I was marrying for passion yet what I hadn’t found out yet was that my soon-to-be-husband (at the time) was passionate with a lot of people, not just me. Regardless, looking back I realize that I was looking at one quality in each of my husbands and focusing on just that one trait, putting all hope in that one trait, instead of looking to find someone that was the ‘whole package’.

I’ve had my fair share of issues with both of my ex husbands but the one thing that I will say in defense of #1 is that he tried. He may have had blind spots that just couldn’t be changed but he tried. Even when I told him that I was done, he tried. The issue is that I had been done for months…if not longer. My fault was in waiting so long to tell him that I had issues with him and our marriage. Maybe if I had told him sooner things could have been repaired but even as I ask myself that same thing today, I don’t think that anything would have changed. He is who he is and I am who I am and we weren’t right together. I just wish that we could have figured that out 13 years ago and saved a lot of people a lot of time and headaches…but then I wouldn’t have the two best squirt league hockey players ever. 🙂

My ex husband #2 ran when things were exposed and even to this day, instead of admitting when he’s done things that just aren’t right or sane or kind or normal – he makes things worse. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. He was raised to think that running from responsibilities was normal…that mom and dad and money would fix things…it’s just that the dad with the money isn’t there any longer and the mom didn’t invest her money wisely and instead has flushed it down the drain by supporting three of her four boys without ever getting a cent in return because they can’t keep jobs, take advantage of her and repay nothing.

So as I look to the future and consider who to date and what my next steps will be when I’m ready to even think about a serious relationship, I have some advice for my 24 year old self (the person I was before I was married).

Don’t:

  • Don’t be with someone just because of the passion. If they are passionate with you – maybe they are passionate with everyone?? (keep reading – I’m going to contradict myself soon.)
  • Don’t be with someone for their bank account. Obviously…this can change at the drop of a hat – take 2008 for an example.
  • Don’t be with someone for the ‘hopes’ that you have together. Hope is just that…if it doesn’t come to fruition, you’ll blame them but you should really be blaming yourself for putting your entire relationship on the other person’s shoulders. Marriage is 100%/100%, not 50/50. As long as everyone is contributing fully to the hopes and dreams you’ll probably make big things happen.
  • Don’t be with someone for what you think you can change them into being. Don’t change them…it won’t ever work – no matter how great you think you are at this. You may be able to change them for a short while but they will revert and either hate you for changing them in the first place or hate themselves for letting you do it.
  • Don’t be with someone for the status factor. – This can change fast!! A job can be lost; someone can be voted out of office; someone can sell their business; someone can change their career dreams. And then what’s left…nothing.

Instead…

  • Be with someone for all of it…be with them for who they are today…and nothing more. The person that is standing in front of you is who they will be for the rest of their lives. And you can’t expect them to be any different – that’s not fair to anyone.
  • Be with someone for who you are together. You may be with this person for the rest of your life…if you are better when they are around and visa versa then all is well with the world. BUT if you are better yet you drain them of their fabulousness, then that’s not good. If you are constantly taking and taking from them emotionally, you don’t deserve them. BUT if you return the favor and both of you build each other up…then that’s a different story.
  • Be with someone for passion. I still haven’t changed my stance on this. The only caveat is that the other person needs to be just as passionate (and that’s where I went wrong with my Irish Idiot). And when the passion dies, work your hardest to bring it back to life…this is one thing that can be revived if everyone is trying.
  • Be with someone that pushes you to see yourself the same way that they do and the same way that you saw yourself before ‘your love’ came into the picture. Don’t get your self-esteem from them but get reassurance from them. There’s a big difference. Be you and only you and never apologize. If you have to apologize, then this isn’t your person.
  • Be with the person that stays on your mind (and of course meets all of the above), whenever you have your brain on. You’ll always think about them, you’ll compare them to everyone else, you’ll want to call them during lonely moments, you’ll want to text them after every achievement…don’t ignore this because you think that you can forget them. But…forget them if there is only thing on your mind…..

So to the friend that I gave the advice to five years ago…I hope that your marriage is going well and that you can check off more ‘boxes’ than just passion, as I recommended because I only had a small idea of what I was really talking about. AND two marriages later, I can’t and won’t claim to be an expert…except I can give advice on what didn’t work and what I wish had worked.

What are some of the things that you look for in a ‘significant other’? I’d love to hear your thoughts…especially as I get ready to dive into the dating world again!

Please note that this post and most of the posts on my website/blog may contain affiliate links. Should you decide to click on one of these ads and purchase something through this link, I will get a commission from it (the pricing is no different for you than going directly to their website)(I do not get commissions from sites where you donate money or things). Not all items recommended on this site are affiliate links. I only recommend items that I feel are amazing because I’ve used and tried them. Thank you for your trust and readership!

…so there’s this guy

My divorce has stalled.

It really stinks because I want this over with.

Every time that I think I’m done with this, I realize that I’m not as far along in the ‘grieving’ process as I thought I was.

Or at least until a few weeks ago.

My Irish Idiot has been the one to file for divorce and then decided to stop turning in paperwork and now we’re over two months behind where we should be, because…he’s an idiot. He forgets that he started this process and whereas before I would read into that, now I’m just annoyed.

I’m annoyed at a lot.

He skipped out on seeing his daughter in order to celebrate his girlfriends divorce. He lied and said that he had to work and tried to blame it on something fictional that supposedly I said in order to justify not spending the entire weekend with his daughter. This would have been the third weekend for the two of them to spend together and he missed it.

I can only imagine that this is the tone that he’s setting for the rest of my daughters life.

I will be judged for saying this but I honestly thought it would feel good. I thought I would get some satisfaction from him ditching his daughter on the weekend that he was supposed to have her…when he was supposed to have her and then lied and said he had to work. I thought that proving everything that I said was true would feel good or give me some satisfaction, but the reality is that it hurt more then when he cheated on me, more then when he left the bruises…because he rejected the most beautiful thing in the world – our daughter. He communicated that a ‘fly-by-night’ girl was more important than the cutest little redhead that God ever created.

So, I’m annoyed.

I just want to be done. I want to forget that I thought he was ever good enough for me. I want him to be a grown up and turn his paperwork in to the courts like he should have done over two months ago. Yet, that apparently, is the person that I married, that I’m now divorcing.

And I’ve finally come to grips with it because I’ve finally realized that I married a loser. I’m not the loser, user or abuser – he was.

I married someone that loved the fact that I paid for everything. For him, that was all that I was in the picture for.

When I reviewed his checking account info that he submitted, it hit me how much of a schmuck I was, yet, I’m proud that I was that schmuck. I looked back to the week that we eloped and I realized that he paid for one thing while we were in Canada…he bought Tim Horton’s coffee…that’s it. That’s all this man contributed to the cost of our elopement; that’s all he contributed to our family vacation. I paid for the rest. He sponged off of me.

I’m an idiot.

Wait…am I really an idiot??

No.

I’m not. I’m not an idiot. I’m a person that was so in love with someone that I never cared about money. I cared about memories…about experiences…about our family…about our engagement…about us.

I believed him…that makes me a softy at heart, not an idiot like he claims I am…it simply shows that I was truly in love with a person – with their ‘being’, not their bank account (like he was).

It was eye opening what he was doing behind my back as I reviewed the account information. The good thing for me is that I finally am at a point where I don’t care. I truly am so apathetic to the loser of a man that I was married to, I can’t wait to wash my hands of him. Just say a prayer for the little redhead because he’s already shown that he can’t be counted on to be there for her…he’s already shown that he’ll put his needs before hers, and I never want her to be put through the same hurt that he’s put me through.

And then my family and friends enter the picture. And they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for…all that I already have in my life, even though my ex wants to make me think that I’m not enough for anything more than helping to reduce his child support amount.

Divorce can bring people back into your life that you forgot were in the wings. That sounds super pretentious but what I mean is that sometimes there are people in your past that need to stay in your past, or people that your new love wouldn’t feel comfortable around, or just simply people that you’ve outgrown based on your life choices.

…so there’s this guy…

He has been in my life for many, many years. While he may not have been an active part of my life for the last 15+ years, I always knew that he would have my back, no matter what…no matter who…no matter what the circumstances were – I could call and he would answer and he would show up.

There are very few people in my life, in anyone’s life, that are this amazing. I’m lucky enough to not only have family in-state and out-of-state that are this awesome but also friends that have been through the Big D #1 and the Big D #2 with me…and then there’s this guy.

This guy…A friend that wants nothing from me but for me to see me how he sees me. A friend that tells me how stupid I’ve been and that I need to suck it up because my ex is an idiot and how I shouldn’t stoop to his level. This friend is a guy that gives me more ‘guy advice’ than I could ever ask for. Sometimes I hate hearing it and in other times, I couldn’t be more grateful.

I love my girlfriends. They sympathize with me, they tell me honestly how life will be so much better without my pathetic excuse for an ex, and help remind me how much more wonderful my life is without my ex…and yet they are my ‘girls’.

Girls are nice…close girlfriends will tell you how it is, but they still are gentle when they say it (typically).

Guys (as I’m learning) will tell you how stupid and soft you are being without batting an eye.

And that’s why I’m thankful for this guy.

He’s told me that there’s no need to tell my ex any longer how stupid he is because he should already know it.

He’s told me that I am good enough…that I don’t need to care that my ex is already dating his third girlfriend…that I don’t need to justify anything to this Idiot.

That simply that I just need to be me and move on and realize that he never deserved me and he’s showing it now. Because I’m that awesome…and my ex is an Idiot. His words – not mine.

…and with that said:

Some of you may be saying, well, now she’s doing it again – she’s validating herself through the words of another man – and I get it. I’ve honestly struggled with it myself. I’ve told this guy numerous times that I don’t believe him, that I think that he wants something from me, that I don’t want to be anything more than friends (because I ‘go there’ unnecessarily sometimes), because I think he wants to have a ‘friend’ – a girl that’s there in case someone else doesn’t show up.

…back story:

When the man that you love with all of your heart cheats on you and hurts you, it leaves bruises seen and unseen that you deal with long after it happens. I am still trying everything I can to remind myself that only losers cheat, and only idiots leave bruises, and only morons justify it and claim that they are the victim. Yet, the victim truly does have to pull themselves out of it…for day, weeks, months, and years to come. The emotional damage that one small act can cause can’t always be repaired – it just has to be put ‘away’ and moved past and that can take some time.

When the love of your life has hurt you in a way that no other person ever could, life can be emotionally draining to deal with.

And when you hear repeatedly that “you could never be loved by another man”, and then another man shows self-sacrificing love, it’s hard to actually recognize. When you do, it’s probably too late. I’m just thankful that this guy has been my friend for a long time and I know he’ll be there for a long time after all of this garbage is over.

So this post is partly to announce the last of my regular divorce posts before my site changes slightly to focus on the future, and it is, in fact, in part, due to this guy. This guy that grinned big and wide when I walked into the room the other night and when he introduced me to his friend, he friend said repeatedly how beautiful I was and all my friend did was grin ear-to-ear…this guy that can’t figure out how to introduce me because I won’t let a label land on us…this guy that has friends that boost my ego more than he does…this guy that puts my needs before his…this guy that checks on me each day – multiple times a day – just to make sure that my emotions aren’t a wreck because of my Irish Idiot…this guy is a friend that I don’t ever want to lose.

Keep your friends close and…even closer during divorce, because divorce sucks and the more people that you have in your corner, the faster you will heal.