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!

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the first flirt

Recently someone called me insecure. I am insecure, most women are about something or at some point in their lives. Heck, I think everyone is at some point. The love of my life left and, through his actions, showed me that he felt that I and our family weren’t good enough for him. I felt rejected. I felt not good enough. I felt less than enough for someone that had pledged his life to me and our family, our daughter.

It’s sad and I’m working through it mentally but I know it’s for the best. He has so many mental and emotional issues to deal with apparently (because who thinks it’s more fun to go through a divorce, destroy a family, hurt a woman, hurt children, than work through a couple of problems that he never even shared that he felt we had), that I’ve come to realize that it’s not my fault he made some really poor choices. I just now have to remind myself constantly that it’s not my fault that he’s a jerk. And I know that my self esteem will rebuild and bounce back after the blow he took to it, it will just take time.

The Flirt.

And then you have days like a couple of weeks ago. Someone flirted with this insecure woman (me). And not just with a silly come-on…with real intention. Like phone calls and text follow up after running into each other, type of flirting.

And it felt so darn amazing!

It felt like I had almost forgotten how to even realize what it was because my soon-to-be-ex will try to flirt with me every now and then and I want to throw up in my mouth a little each time, so I’ve learned to ignore it.

But this…this was fun to hear. To be pursued, even casually, was fun.

I’m not ready for this though…I have soo much to do on my own first. So much to cope with, accept, move through and past; so much to conquer, take on, and achieve…that I don’t have the time or emotional capacity to even consider having someone in my life. So for now, I have another friend on my journey.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.

I found out some interesting news the other day…my soon-to-be-ex, Erik, struck up a friendship with my ex-husband and had this secret friendship the ENTIRE time that my soon-to-be-ex and I were together. Who does that??

It made me nauseous to find out because those were EVEN MORE lies that he told me. Every once in a while, my ex-husband would know something that only Erik could have told him (because I know I wouldn’t have done that) and instead of simply being honest, Erik would lie over and over. Erik even went as far as to completely trash my ex-husband and his character to other people frequently…and then he would go and have a beer with my ex-husband. You can tell a person’s character by these types of things and apparently I found the King of the Liars.

It’s just absurd to think that I would be completely out of place for not wanting my current love to befriend my ex-husband that had done so much damage to my life. But then again, that’s who I’m finding out is what my soon-to-be-ex is all about – leading a double life.

Thanks for the Laugh.

One of the funniest things that I found out that Erik shared with my ex-husband is that he was convinced that if he and I ever split up that I’d go running back to my ex-husband. I laughed harder than I’d laughed in months. My ex-husband and I are in a much better place today than before but there is no way in H E double hockey sticks that I’d ever go running back to him.

Apparently, when Erik said this it was aimed at trying to say that I need a man in my life in order to function. While I will admit that it was a fast turn around, for me, between my ex-husband and Erik, it was because I was completely in love with him. Not because I needed a man.

So while I do love being in love, I have zero desire at this moment to be in love with anyone but my kids, my life and myself. I have too much to do and to add another person right now would take the emotional capacity that I just don’t have.

But I do love a good flirt. So I’m so thankful for my new friend.

If you’re in the middle of a divorce, I promise ‘the flirt’ will happen to you too when you least expect it. Enjoy it.

“Happy girls are the prettiest.” ~Audrey Hepburn

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 viewership!

the power of a word

If I’ve ever talked to you in detail about my blog, one of the things that I’ve told you is that I try to write my posts as much in advance as possible. I may edit it later, a little, based on any new events that have occurred but for the most part I try to have them written in advance so that I’m able to focus on as many other things as possible.

One of the other things that I do, when I have them written in advance, is read them and reread them and mull over whether or not to have them go live. I think through the weight of every word that I type over and over and sometimes I feel that I’ve been too rough on my ex and his family and sometimes I don’t.

My intent behind this blog is to be ‘real’ about what I’m going through, or have gone through, with the hope that something will strike a cord with someone or something will be helpful or motivational.

The thing that really stinks is that I’m sharing a lot of deep, emotional moments that, in reality, are much worse…I’ve just decided not to take it as far as I could.

Putting it all out there

Social media can be your best friend or your #1 enemy. To cope with the garbage that I’m being put through, I’ve decided to be as transparent as possible via social media/my blog. Some may see it as me airing my dirty laundry; some may see it as pathetic; some may see it as a cry for attention; or some may see it as a source of strength because they don’t feel so alone in their journey.

So far, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback, except from my soon-to-be-ex because in his family, you hide the ‘crazy’ which is how his mother has been able to hide all of the faults that these boys have. They aren’t used to this thing called the internet and the freedom of speech. I’ve never once lied about anything in my posts and the posts generally focus on how I’m feeling, which is a very personal thing.

I don’t know how they feel when they read my blog and it probably doesn’t feel good…it probably hurts to read how their actions have caused another person to be in emotional pain. But then again, I’ve blocked them and all of their family from every avenue of social media that I’m on so if they are reading my blog, it means that they are actively seeking out my words…the words that my ex says hurts. If it bothers them, they can just avoid reading it. It’s as simple as that.

The one thing that I’ve done is avoid making fun of physical traits or making false statements about them, knowing that one – it could be challenged in court and two – my kids may read this one day. I want them to see that I was able to pull myself out of a very painful place and was able to replace desperation with confidence and joy. I’m not perfect, I know this, and you may be able to think of one of my particular posts off of the top of your head when you think I didn’t hit this goal, but I’m trying really hard.

Recently though, I was shown the down side to being so public with my feelings. I was told that I was a ‘fat ass’ by someone that makes her living off of training women to get into shape. In addition, I was told that I was pathetic, insecure and a bad mom. And I’ve never met this woman. And this woman is dating my husband, or so I believe (in other words, she hasn’t denied it and he denied he even knew her at first).

Now I have to be honest, I did take a stab. I’m not proud of it. I’ve lost the love of my life. I walked away from a career that paid for everything, including my husband’s life (which she also made fun of). I AM insecure sometimes because I am not where I thought I would be in life. I would like to lose weight. And I would like to have not taken the first shot. But I did and then the ‘crazy’ came out.

What I intended to be as a warning to another mother about the dangers of having a child (that my kids play hockey with) in my ex’s family’s presence and about what she was getting herself into, which I shouldn’t have done, spiraled into a woman that enjoyed body-shaming and ability-shaming another mother that does a darn good job being an awesome mom to three kids. She was so intense with her attacks on me, I had to block her from one social media outlet, so she jumped to another and I had to block her there too. I can’t even read what she wrote because the first two that I read were vicious and she went to a whole new level of bizarre.

This is all while I’m laying next to my daughter that is sick and she kept sitting up listening to the dinging from the notifications on my phone that didn’t stop until after midnight (and it continued even when I ignored it).

I should have kept my mouth shut. I didn’t need to say a word. Yet what ensued could have been enough to push someone over the edge. She was brutal.

The Silver Lining

It dawned on me tonight, that someone that had friend requested me a few weeks ago, was this woman in disguise. She apparently is so enamored with my husband that she friend requested me from an account that was a little fishy to begin with. This person’s request came to me with a request to talk about her tough divorce which pulled on my heart strings. I just wanted to help.

But now, because of the fact that I had to go to every social media outlet that I’m connected to in order to block her, I put two and two together, who this person really was. I’m not sure if I’m disgusted more by her or by him.

The interesting part is that I really haven’t hidden anything from anyone. If you’ve read more than two of my blog posts, you’ve figured out that I’m pretty open with my life and how I’m feeling and if I run into you, you’ll find out that you can ask me anything and it won’t bother me. I don’t think there’s much more to my personal social media than my public social media.

Lesson Learned

Some lessons I’ve learned from this:

* Shut your mouth. The new love in their lives believes every lie that they ever told you and that you believed. There’s no changing their thoughts and they just want to be in love.

* Your ex will repeat every darn mistake he/she ever made with you, unless they’ve done some really amazing soul searching. Just sit back and wait. They may seem ‘in love’ now but you’ll be able to smirk one day when old habits shine through.

* Be careful with your words. For every handful of kind people that you run across on social media, there will always be that one that will hit you to your core. Be prepared for this ahead of time and either have something motivational to read or a friend to contact like I was able to do. Talk yourself through it and rise above it.

* Be prepared that five days out of seven, you’ll feel on top of the world. You’ll feel that you’ve moved past the pain. And then something will trigger a memory that will make you sad, long for the past, or angry. You’ll get through this moment, this memory. Focus on the reasons that you’re glad that your life has taken this new turn. Focus on the terrible things that your ex has done and why you’re glad you don’t have to deal with it anymore. Exercise, sing, dance, call a friend, just don’t sit and stew in it.

* Don’t beat yourself up for not being who other people think you should be or where other people feel you should be in your coping process. Cope cleanly, not quickly. Cope in your time, just make sure that you are putting one foot in front of the other. If you cope too quickly, you may not have enough time to fully process the ‘death of your marriage’.

* If someone makes fun of you or digs deep to try to hurt you, it’s obvious that they have just as many issues that they are working through. In my case, I saw that she was just as insecure as I am when she couldn’t stand not having the last word…she apparently needed to know that she had stung me in order to feel better about herself because of all of the attempts that she made to seek out trying to contact me after I kept shutting her down each time.

This realization makes me sad because she could potentially be in my daughter’s life…someone that thinks its fun to destroy a woman in every obvious soft area – our parenting skills (we’re all paranoid that we’re not doing it right), our appearance, and our careers. It breaks my heart that she’s around women struggling with some of these same issues on a daily basis at the gym she works at – I really hope she’s not destroying them too. But I know that this relationship won’t last either and I have to hold on to that.

And finally, I just want to repeat again…just shut up. Don’t open your mouth and take that dig that you probably have the perfect opportunity to take. It won’t feel good afterward and you never know what the response will be. It’s just not worth it. Weigh out every word that you share unless you want to tell me how wonderful I am – feel free to dish that out. 🙂

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 viewership!

mid-week motivation: 6 things that i’m thankful for this week

My #1 man had a big birthday this week. And I sat, the night before, and boo-hoo’d. Not because it was a reminder that I was getting older and my ‘baby’ wasn’t so much of a baby anymore, but because I’m so incredibly proud of him and feel so fortunate to be his mom.

I also reflected that never in my life could I so clearly say that ‘it takes a village’ to raise kids. I’m surrounded by such incredible people and so much love that I thought I’d pause to take a moment and show some gratitude. I’m hoping that this will give you a mid-week ‘bump’ of encouragement…look outside of what is happening and list out everything that has been amazing, fantastic, or inspiring. You’ll be surprised how big the list is…and you’ll have hope that the next day will be just as amazing as today. Seriously, write down things like, “I didn’t stub my toe again” or “I didn’t lose my cool when the parents in car line cut me off”. Those are things to thank the good lord for – trust me, I’ve been there.

I have a ton of garbage in my life right now that is working its’ way out and I realized that even with all of the garbage (my Irish Idiot) I have TWO TONS of amazing things happening in my life also. So here’s my gratitude list to inspire you:

I’m so Thankful for:

1. The Good Lord.
I’m in no way perfect, but my journey toward having a closer relationship with him starts new each day, and I can honestly say that I feel the daily hug; the daily peace that comes with knowing that even when I’m at my lowest point, that I have someone that won’t judge me, curse at me, loves me regardless of my flaws, and will always be there for me. That is something personal and incredible and I can only hope that each of you reading this will experience this one day.

2. My Kids.
I walked into my kids room tonight and saw beauty…really saw peace, tranquility, love, and perfection. There is nothing like knowing that your kids are safe and sound and together. The love that they share is incredible and I couldn’t have asked for more perfectly imperfect children. They drive me insane some days but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t want anything different than the strong-willed, happy, laughing children that I have been blessed with. My life wasn’t complete until they arrived.

3. My Family.
I don’t know how to put into words what my family has done for me. Whether it’s been to help me fix a toilet roll holder, give me moral support during a tough moment, or help me coordinate the who, what, where, when, how, of the kids athletic and school schedules, they are there…always. And when you get a message on Facebook or a text from a cousin just checking on you, life seems not-so-bad. My life is full because they are in my life. I couldn’t do life without them. They are saints!

4. My Friends.
I’ve said this before but my friends are amazing. Simply perfect. They seem to have a way to coordinate who will text me and who will call and who will invite me out and who will stop by at just the perfect time. And even though I know that this isn’t really what is happening, they really do have just the perfect timing. Whether it’s to text me because they care enough to remember that a particular day represented an emotional memory or they invite me to dinner to spend time with just the girls, my friendships couldn’t possibly be stronger. I’m so lucky to have these people in my life. They are saints too!

5. YOU!
All of you reading my blog give me encouragement. It’s hard for someone to put their emotions, life, and experiences to words, hit the ‘publish’ button and wait…wait for reactions, not knowing what they will be. Some of you may hate that I’m discussing my divorce(s) so publicly, some of you have reached out and shared incredibly personal stories about your relationships, but all of you have encouraged me to keep ‘talking’ about what is happening in my world. Every day that my ‘viewership’ grows, and even if it doesn’t and I only get one view, I am encouraged to write again. Someone out there is validating that what I’m saying resonates with them or is entertaining them, of which either one is one of my goals. Thank you for your feedback, positive and negative…it’s been an incredible journey so far.

6. The guy that flirted with me.
Man, that felt amazing! Totally unexpected and not reciprocated, but man did that feel good. 🙂

Try it!

To help you get over the mid-week hump, take a moment today to write down five things or three or even one thing that you are thankful for. The memories that you’ll relive will be enough to get you through some of the toughest days.

xoxo Staci Beth

karma can be good or bad: friendship part 2

God has an amazing way to remind you how rich your life really is…even when you are broke as HE double hockey sticks.

I’m going to preach again…specifically to those going through divorce…so forgive me if my opinions come across abruptly.

Those of us going through this (divorce) feel bad…we feel bad and don’t want to burden anyone with our ‘drama’. And when we do finally open up, I promise you, we don’t tell you more than 1/3 of what is really going on…until you probe…until you ask questions…and then we open up and are so thankful that you’ve asked the questions because we need someone to open up to but don’t want to be ‘that guy’ so we wait until we think someone really cares about what we are going through, to tell our story.

And we forget…we get so lost in our life story, marriage, children time-sharing, separation, and divorce, that we forget who we were before our ‘drama’ began…who we were and the life we lead before our divorce.

Friends remind us what we are made of

Earlier this week I was reminded. I had lunch with a woman that I admire, that I look up to, that I want to be like, who hired me for my career…who ‘found’ me. And something that struck me big time and I never thought about it before, was that she was surprised that I hadn’t shared this with her before she read it in my blog. When I reflected, I understood. I mean, I’ve known this incredible woman that led me to my life-career, for over 20 years…and I didn’t stop to pick up the phone to call her to tell her what was happening in my life. But I didn’t do it purely because I have her on a pedestal and I thought my pedestal was so much lower…reality check – my pedestal isn’t lower, in her eyes.

Another reality check…she sees me as her friend. Plain and simple. She cares about me, she knows me, she has lived life with me, we’ve unfortunately sat through two friends funerals together, and I overlooked this because I was trying to diminish my drama.

What I failed to realize is that my drama is her drama. She’s invested in me. She’s my friend. She loves me and all that I am. I should have picked up the phone.

My life lesson to those going through this – lean on those that have pushed you to where you are now because they are invested. Whether that is family or friends, look for them, reach out to them, private message them. You’ll be surprised how many are invested in your success – in life, not just career.

‘Friendly’ Advice

I read an article the other day about divorce and the importance of having friends during divorce. The one thing that the article didn’t focus on was actually reaching out ourselves to these friends. The article was all about how to help those that were friends of people going through divorce, and how to recognize the warning signs of when the ‘divorcee’ needed friends/attention. As a matter of fact, I’ve even written a blog post about it called ‘friendship‘.

The difference between my first post and this one is that unfortunately, I had only been through one divorce. That sucks to say. Sucks that I’m going through my second divorce.

The first was my choice, the second is not, so I’ve been on both sides of the table. And I’ve reread my previous posts about what my recommendations were to readers about how to handle things and I’ve followed through…and if I do say so myself – I was kind of spot on. I’ve put into practice the lessons that I learned the hard way and I’m coping with this loss a lot better than the first and the first was my choice. So I’d say that I’m ahead of the curve.

The article, though, that I read the other day, giving advice to the divorcee’s friends, was missing a few things:

* we want to be invited…to anything, especially something that is typically a ‘couples’ thing but if you invite us on our own, we read that as ‘you think we’re cool on our own’ and you want us there
* we are kind of ok with being the 3rd wheel or 5th wheel
* we need to get outside of our own head so please include us
* we promise not to bring up our ex if you don’t want us to…but if you do, that’s all on you. (and in all honesty, we don’t really have a lot to say about our ex so don’t be surprised or shocked if we don’t ‘trash’ them, even though we are thinking about how stupid they have been that day.)

Divorcee’s: Listen Up – Accept the help!

To the divorcee…and this is the more important point…REACH OUT if someone has said, call us if you need ______________ (fill in the blank) then take them up on it. Put on your big girl pants and pick up the phone and text them to tell them that you are going to show up and then don’t back out with a lame excuse. I 100% promise, that there is NO downside to showing up to a party or dinner or get together because you’ll have something else to think about other than the drama you dealt with earlier that day. It gives you the chance to get out of your own head.

You’ll leave feeling loved and having enjoyed yourself. And even if you hated every second of it – what’s the worst thing that can happen from it…you hate it but are thankful that you weren’t sitting at home in silence flipping through your wedding album??

One big feeling that I experienced the first go-around that I’ve learned to accept the second time, is help. Whether that be in someone dropping groceries off at your home unexpectedly or someone paying the check at a restaurant or someone offering you a place to live while you get on your feet or someone to pass along your resume, just accept it. You won’t always be in a tough spot financially. You’ll be able to repay them one day, whether it be with kindness, an outstretched hand, or financially. So accept it – your loved ones wouldn’t offer if they couldn’t do it or didn’t want to do it. Just remember this and pay it forward and pay it back. God will give you the opportunity.

And remember – as much as those going through divorce want karma to bite our soon-to-be-ex’s on the butt and can’t wait for that day…karma will also grace our loved one’s lives too.

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to grab that open hand.

Quick Update:

(And as a little update…the ridge in my bed is almost gone…I just noticed it as I was typing this. It made me smile and I thought I’d share.)