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!
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all i want for christmas is my divorce

I have a unique perspective with this divorce because I’ve been through this before. While I’m on the other side of the table this time, and never wanted this divorce and even took a cheating husband back, I still know what is involved emotionally, financially and legally through this process. I absolutely HATE that I know all of this, but this is my reality.

My husband is making very poor choices through this divorce process and is being ill-advised, and where ever that advice is coming from, this process has been made doubly difficult because of it, simply because he won’t just stand behind his own feelings and he relies too often on everyone else’s opinions.

Whereas you would think that I would be the one making things challenging, he is the one that can’t turn anything in on time (literally months behind me) and continues to fight agreeing to a timesharing agreement for my daughter all because he refuses to not drink for four days per month.

I just don’t get it.

You would think that he was the one fighting the divorce rather than the one that started this process based on the issues that he is drawing into this. He was the one that cheated, he was the one that left bruises, he was the one that ran away, he was the one that filed for divorce.

With that said, I’ve written an open-ended letter to my soon-to-be-ex, not necessarily hoping that he’ll read it, but rather that others that are going through a divorce or considering divorce, won’t make the same mistakes that he is making.

Dear You-Know-Who,

I loved you with everything that I had. I even loved you after I found out that you had ‘fallen deeply in love’ with a woman that has no issue joining in to ruin a family and even after you did things to me that I have yet to be able to utter to another soul. I should have seen your character in choosing such a person to be with, but I didn’t, because I was blinded by my love for you.

Now though, I have seen another side, a nasty, disgusting side that saddens me.

I can’t believe that I ever fell for you. If I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have stayed very long. How you only care about money and how much everyone else can give to you without you having to work hard for it, is sad and I really hope that our daughter learns her work ethic from me and not your family. Trying to find a shortcut does nothing but prolong the inevitable of having to really work hard for what you have.

Which brings me to the point of this letter.

You were the one that wanted this divorce…do you remember? Do you remember me asking for more counseling and you laughing at me? Do you remember being so cold and heartless? I remember every word you said, every action you took, every heartless thing you’ve done.

After some of the things that you’ve chosen to do, say or participate in, I’ve lost all respect for you, and to me, that is so much worse than if I only hated you.

I just want you to stand on your own two feet…to follow through with the things that we talk about when it’s just us talking. But then your family, throws their bad advice in the mix and you back out of what you had previously agreed to – and the things that we had agreed upon were in the best interests of our daughter and it would have ended this bitterness so much faster.

For some reason, you can’t see how selfish your family is being. They don’t want the best for you – they want the best for them.

Stand up for what YOU know is right…stand up for what YOU think is worth it…stand up for what YOU know will end this battle. Stop letting others influence your decisions. YOU are the only one that has to live with me in your life for at least the next 16 years. YOU are the only one that can stop the madness. YOU are the only one that can lead this to a calm resolution because YOU are the one that started this process.

Your family only wants you for themselves – all for what you can do for them, the things you can fix, the business that you started that they can take over and tell you how to run, to share the daughter that we are raising. And you fail to see that they are so selfish that they continue to feed your delusions of right and wrong, so that you can maintain the ‘victim’ mentality, when you were the one that made all of these poor decisions.

And now…now you want the courts to feel sorry for you too. You’ve painted such a sad picture of your life and financial outlook yet we both know that I’ll be able to poke tons of holes through all of it.

I have advice for you and I hope you listen, because I’ve been through this before. You seem to be using a ton of energy on things that don’t matter. Every decision that you make needs to be something that you want, not that someone else is advising you that you should want. The anger that you expend each time that you don’t hear what you want to hear isn’t worth it and in the end will be for nothing.

Zero-Emotion Divorce: Thanks Florida.

The divorce process in Florida has become so clinical that you really need to have every T crossed and every I dotted if you want to claim something that I paid for four years ago (aka my vehicle, amongst other things), should be half yours. I recommend that you really ask yourself if it’s worth it to argue that the things that I paid for prior to our marriage should be yours.

If you notice, I skipped all of that nonsense, because it’s not worth it. I just want out of this marriage at this point, with each of us getting what we walked in with, splitting the marital assets, and what we decide is financially fair considering I left a 17-year career to support you less than 12 months before you walked out on me, and I just want to know that my daughter will be safe when she is with you.

And that’s it. If we could come to a conclusion on those things, it could be over. It’s all I want for Christmas.

You were the one that wanted out but you’re fighting so much for stuff that I paid for…is that all I was to you – a dollar sign? You’re very unlikely to win so the fact that you are fighting so hard for ‘things’ is beyond me. Use this energy for building your business instead of going after things that you’ve never had the right to claim as yours.

Work with me to end this, not against me. It seems that your pride is getting in the way and you are letting others influence your decisions instead of just standing on your own two feet and making a decision that will end this quickly and in the best interest of our daughter.

You’re wanting to battle over the most ridiculous things…harder than fighting for your daughter or building your business/finding a job that would provide you with a schedule that would allow you to spend more time with her. But instead you want to do everything you can to try to hurt me. Well, in case you didn’t know, you’ve already achieved that…you can stop trying now because you are now irrelevant to my life.

I’ve moved on with my life and just want this done. Clear your head and really ask yourself if this battle, that you are creating, is really worth it. Will it do anything but prolong what you’ve wanted all along? Will it do anything to build our relationship as adults that are trying to raise a daughter together? Will you be setting an example that you’ll be proud of your daughter watching?

More advice is just to do what’s right from the beginning. It will cost A LOT less and end A LOT sooner, if you can put aside your emotion, pride and greed and seek out a resolution instead of causing more issues each week.

The reason that I can offer all of this advice is because I’ve been in your shoes before. Although, I wasn’t fighting to take money from the man that I was divorcing. I wasn’t lying about my income or assets that I had. In the end, my ex and I came to an agreement on both our ‘stuff’ and our parenting plan because we both just put aside our anger and we put it all out there and came to an agreement that best suited the boys and settled the issues with our ‘stuff’.

And if I had done that sooner, the divorce decree could have been signed sooner.

Pride gets in the way so often, but, you can make the choice to set it aside and realize that divorce is a horrible thing and no one will get exactly what they want but there has to be some kind of resolution. If both parties can be honest and calm and make decisions that are ethical and fair, the process can fly by much faster and MUCH cheaper.

So with that said, you may take my advice, and you may not, but just know I’ve done this before and I can offer advice based on what I did wrong so that both of us can walk away sooner from this disaster of a marriage.

Clear your head, have a cup of coffee instead of a beer and then get to work asking yourself, ‘is it really worth it to fight for the shell of a Jeep in the garage that she paid for?”.  Life really can be that simple as soon as you realize that ‘stuff’ doesn’t matter, only souls, and our daughters’ is magical and pure and doesn’t need to be put through all of the ‘garbage’.

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!

if nothing else, be nice

Don’t tell my ex-husband, but I owe him a huge apology. I was mean, I was persistent, and I was the one that wanted the divorce. I made the decision to divorce because of some poor decisions that he had made and I then was bitter about the fact that I felt I had been backed into a corner, forced to make a decision to keep my kids safe, but yet at the same time, made to completely uproot and change their lives.

So I was mad that I had to divorce him. And I made sure that he knew that I wasn’t going to just be simply cordial with him during each of our interactions. I was upset that he had changed my future, changed their future, made me the bad guy.

Yet, by the time I had made the decision to divorce, I had already come to grips with it and with what my future had to hold.

He hadn’t.

And that’s what I should apologize for. Because I expected him to ‘grieve’ the loss of our marriage as well as accept his mistakes at the same time and all within months.

I’ve now been on the other side.

The only difference is that I’ve done nothing to cause divorce #2. I was even told by my soon-to-be-ex that I was an amazing wife and I did nothing to deserve the divorce.

Yet, he still seems to be mad at me, all of the time, for things not just having to deal with my little redhead; or at least he treats me as though this divorce is all my fault and the consequences of his uttering “I want a divorce” all fall on me.

He has no idea what leaving our family has done to the kids and the fun memories that they had. For example, the other night, we were leaving hockey practice and we started talking about things that were fun that happened during our day. My #2 little man then took it one step further and said that one of his favorite days was when I took him down a big water slide and Erik took my little man #1 down a big water slide and how much fun he had and how he thought that was the best day ever and he wanted to do that again soon.

The sting that I felt from that memory and the fact that it was his favorite memory caused me to have to choke back tears.

…This is reality. This is divorce. This is what I didn’t want but Erik did because he thinks that the grass is greener on the other side…(aka the mommy-side, the McDonnell side).

Yet, the lack of compassion that he has shown for any of the kids, let alone me is astounding.

I don’t get it. I at least cared about what the boys were feeling after I made the decision to divorce their dad. In fact, the boys and I grew closer than ever. Yet, Erik has barely made the choice to ask specific questions about how the boys were dealing with the divorce and what new things the little redhead was accomplishing, let alone actually talk to the kids about the divorce or express empathy or sympathy or any kind of emotion to show that he cares about what they are going through.

Part of me thinks that it’s guilt that he can’t deal with but then again, what human being with REAL human emotions can watch two little boys struggle with ‘desertion’ by someone that they love and not feel anything. I’m probably hoping for something that is completely unrealistic but I am saddened more and more every time I have to talk to Erik. He makes me realize that, unfortunately, the divorce may be the best thing that could happen to me.

So, with that said, I have some advice for those that may be the one making the decision to divorce, that should, hopefully, help you understand the pain that the other person is going through.

11 Things to remember if you are the person filing for divorce:

1. Your spouse never thought that this would actually happen.

The big “D” word had been thrown around during arguments but the day after showed that the issue had been resolved. Everyone always apologized for ‘taking it there’ after the big “D” word had been thrown out.

And because the word ‘divorce’ had been thrown around before, it really won’t sink in that you are serious until the day that your spouse is served. Your spouse will think that you just need to cool off and clear your head. So expect a breakdown the day that they are served with divorce papers.

2. They loved you with all of their hearts…and still do.

Don’t toy with it. Don’t feed their egos. Don’t be friends.

Just walk away…like you ‘say’ you really want to do.

Don’t hurt them more than you’ve already done.

3. They really want to hate you but can’t.

If you said, today, that you wanted to fix the marriage, you would have just handed them the biggest Christmas present ever…until they realize that you were just patronizing them into prolonging the divorce process. Only commit to the reconciliation process if you really want it. We don’t want to ‘fake it till we make it’ at this point.

Be understanding if they go from being ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ in a matter of minutes. They are having a hard time knowing how to read you now. They thought they could before but they figured out quickly that they didn’t really understand who you were because they never thought that you would put another woman ahead of them or actually file for divorce.

4. They still can’t grasp why they weren’t good enough.

We internalize why the marriage failed and we are likely to place blame on ourselves.

We fill our days, nights, and free time with ways that will make us feel like we aren’t insane for ____XYZ____ reason because the second that our time frees up, we start running through every scenario to try to figure out where everything went wrong.

The only thing that you could do to help the situation, for this, is to attempt counseling – not to reconcile – but to help them understand why you won’t put any effort into repairing your marriage and that it’s not necessarily anything that they have done (I know that sometimes it is), but that it’s something that YOU can’t deal with or work through.

5. Try empathy and softness, before you decide to be irritated that they ‘can’t move on’ within 6 weeks.

Try to understand their point of view and where they may be coming from, more than where you think they should be in life. They are in so much emotional pain and every time you get mad at them for still being in love with you is one more form of rejection and the knife is dug even deeper.

Be kind in your words, gentle in your actions, and patient with the time they need to cope with the end of something they thought would last the rest of their life because of the vows that you made.

6. Be gentle – they are hurt and want to hurt back sometimes. To them, you’ve already hurt back – you are divorcing them.

Using the term ‘hurt’ honestly doesn’t even describe how they’re feeling. They are feeling rejected and destroyed by the one person that they thought would always protect them and never let another soul hurt them. And the person that was supposed to protect them and be their support system is the one that has hurt them more than anyone else ever could.

A natural reaction is to strike back. Refer to #5 when this happens. Try to diffuse the situation with kind words or words of gentleness instead of biting back. You made this choice – you’ve already done the hurting…stop hurting them even more.

7. Remember – you wanted this divorce…not us. Should you really want the bedroom set, fix the marriage or walk away and buy a new bed.

We didn’t want to have to divide our belongings. We thought that everything we had would be ours, together, until the day we died. The memories are the priceless artifacts – not ‘things’ and when you fight for these types of things, we get confused. Why would you want something that was so intimate to our marriage, our relationship, to us??

You chose the divorce – the kind thing to do would be to let us choose the ‘stuff’.

8. Don’t flirt with us.

It’s confusing and then the rejection cycle happens all over again when we confront you about it and you deny that you flirted.

Don’t send funny texts; don’t call to reminisce with us; don’t hug us; don’t ask us to dinner to talk through the divorce; don’t share things about what is new in your personal life or with your family.

We are trying our best to cut our feelings off and when you flirt with us, it opens Pandora’s box and then we have to work even harder to shut the box afterward.

9. Have an understanding that it will kill them emotionally to see you with another person.

If they seem strong, just know that it’s killing them inside – so be gentle. Consider preparing them before they witness the relationship up-close-and-personal. Don’t expect them to like the other person and be ready to hear everything that is wrong with the ‘new girl’.

The perfect relationships that you see on TV between 1st wife and the new girlfriend are rare – it likely won’t be like that. Maybe consider avoiding the situation altogether for a while until things are calm between the two of you and then introduce the new girlfriend/boyfriend.

10. Every time you want to sing the blues about how tough your life is because you have a job and have to ‘pay for everything’ just know that your soon-to-be-ex absolutely hates asking you for help.

The last person that they want to contact is you but they don’t know what to do because you were the person that was supposed to be their support system for the rest of their lives and now that’s gone and they have nothing, including the income that you promised that you’d provide; all ripped out from under them because of a selfish decision on your part.

Don’t throw salt in the open wound by complaining about things that we wished we had.

11. Know that when you shut us off, we will be ‘found’ by someone else.

We WILL find someone better than you, much better. Someone nicer, someone more loving, someone better looking, someone smarter, someone with a better job, someone that isn’t you – that won’t hurt us…because you’ve taught us valuable lessons about relationships and how to define love.

Don’t become bitter when this happens. It’s likely that, unless we really did something to cause the divorce (which isn’t the case for me), you will repeat your relationship mistakes over and over and will end up alone much longer than us. Don’t take it out on us when this happens.

We wanted to work it out, we wanted to help you figure out your issues, we didn’t want the divorce. So it really makes us mad when you get upset when we find someone better suited for us. This was YOUR decision, NOT ours…get over yourself.

In the end, the biggest thing to remember is to be patient with us. We are trying to get to the point where none of this hurts anymore and a place of aSELRES_42c6c6dd-895e-4fcc-9361-4bfc8c49d3d2SELRES_351b38eb-f9d2-4f9b-a5e8-879205c2505bSELRES_351b38eb-f9d2-4f9b-a5e8-879205c2505bSELRES_42c6c6dd-895e-4fcc-9361-4bfc8c49d3d2cceptance, but it’s going to take a little while because we didn’t want our life to turn out like this.

If nothing else, just be nice.

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i have 4 diapers…

…and 24 pull-ups left.

My choice is either to buy more diapers or potty train a 23 month old and my daughter is ready to potty train and it will be one less drain on my bank account so, ‘why not?’.

I know she’s ready, but I’m not sure if I am. She’s my baby and I know she’s my last and I don’t know if I’m ready to call her my ‘big girl’ yet. She’s everyone’s baby…my boys especially. This little girl is so spoiled and I don’t stop the love or the spoiling.

Tonight in Target we bought new ‘big girl Minnie Mouse panties’ (her fav is Minnie Mouse) and as we walked through the store a little boy, about 12 months younger than her, called her a baby. She was mad! She didn’t like it! I even tried to say, “Well, aren’t you Mom Mom’s (me) baby?” and her defiant answer was, “NO”!!

So then I asked if she was a big girl and was ready to sit on the potty (Men – forgive me – I know you’re ready to hit the “x” but don’t yet) and she said no, she didn’t want to be a big girl. She told me “baby” and pointed at herself. I was sooooo tempted to let my little girl continue to think that she was my baby but all that would have done is stunt her growth, mentally and physically.

Not her fault.

As much as I hate the torment that her father has chosen to put her through mentally because he has ‘ducked’ out of his marriage without trying to put any effort into it, it’s not her fault. I just have to protect her from the harm that his lifestyle may bring her.

My little lady is so much stronger than I could ever wish to be. And she doesn’t even know how strong she is or will have to be in the future. I sit and tear up sometimes just watching how care free she is because she has no clue how much her father and his family don’t want to play an active, healthy, role in her life. They only play an active role when they are ready to or choose to or have time to or have money to.

For example, it’s normal that her father will get mad at me for something and then will pull the “I want to see my daughter” card. So I say, ok, as long as she isn’t around your felon brothers (still on probation until 2022) or mother (who has her own issues), then I’m cool with it.

Control.

Then he always responds with, “you can’t control who she’s around when she’s with me” which basically, confirms all of my fears – that she’ll be around his entire dysfunctional family that drinks a lot, excluding the one brother that isn’t dysfunctional (because he wants nothing to do with them). So, then I say that I’m uncomfortable with it, and then I become the ‘witch’…because he can’t possibly take care of himself and live on his own or take care of his daughter on his own, right? That’s too much to ask, right? He gets to be a bachelor and live like he’s 23 again, with a felon roommate/brother (that has a conviction that includes aggravated assault with a weapon) (and not just a conviction – he was in prison for 6 years) right? I should have NO say who my 23 month old daughter is around, considering how much her entire fathers’ family treats women like garbage.

False.

He’s a dad now. He needs to act like it. He just doesn’t know how. Good luck to him.

Thank goodness I have an amazing attorney.

My confidence level has come from so many places but one of them (not the main one) is that I found an attorney, at the last minute, that didn’t make me feel like I was being overly dramatic, or needy, or anything but jilted and wronged. She believed me. She felt my pain. She is going to work to get the most for me that I can possibly get, under laws written strategically for the protection of fathers.

Whether it was an act or not, I told my attorney exactly how I felt, how every other male attorney made me feel like I was ‘every other jilted wife’ and why I felt as though I needed to fight my hardest to win what was rightly mine, even after only seven months of marriage. And she agreed, she believed me, she got it, she understood…she took my case.

My soon-to-be-ex made soooo many mistakes including possibly opening up his girlfriend, Bethany D., for a lawsuit herself, that all I can say right now is to take your time…think through your choices…make sure you really want to do this (…or if other people are influencing your decisions.)

Dating a divorcee’.

Ending a marriage isn’t as easy as walking away. If you decide to date a divorcee and they’ve told you that they were the one that walked away after seven months, without question, without remorse, …you should be the one questioning things. Don’t hesitate to think, “this man is almost 40 and he can’t keep his marriage together more than seven months?? He must have issues.” And if you think these things, I promise you will be on-target.

Luckily, I’ve begun to move on. I wasn’t the one that inflicted the pain this time (or the last) so my conscience is clean. I will smile with a big smile and know that I’ve been true to my kids…that I tried everything. I wasn’t the one that bailed or chose another ‘thing’ over my marriage.

I will know that I was the one that taught my daughter so many important life lessons including how to live without diapers. That I told my soon-to-be-ex that these big life events were happening in her life and he offered zero support.

I did it.

She did it.

We did it. (or at least this week we will do it!)

Girl power!

divorced mom guilt

Divorce, when you have children, includes a HUMONGOUS side of guilt. Especially, if you are the one that decides to divorce.

Everyone experiences it differently – some deal with it by buying everything that the kids want; some take them to every event that the kids want to go to; some ‘fight’ figuratively to be the one that is loved the most; and some fight to be the one that is the ‘most fun’. There’s no right way to deal with it unfortunately because in reality – all of it is wrong. If we excelled at this thing that we called life and marriage, we wouldn’t be divorcing and causing this pain to children that have no control over what we put them through.

Early Choices…first moments of guilt

My boys dealt with divorce when they were still in preschool. Not many can say that. There are some that make the choice to end a marriage as early as I did but the majority don’t make that choice until the kids are roughly in middle school because it just takes that long to make the decision. I’ve found all kinds of statistics online – many say that if a marriage will end in divorce, eight to twelve years is the average mark, and with many marriages not starting until people are in their late twenties or early thirties, a good majority of marriages end when the kids are in early middle school or late-elementary school.

And this is where, unfortunately, a large portion of my friends are at right now.

And ‘statistic-me’, I’m on divorce number 2 (also known as the last time I will EVER marry someone) and my friends are on number 1. Makes me sound like such a winner, right?? I promise – if you met my ex’s, you would completely understand that I let my heart guide my brain WAAAAYYY too much (aka – I have too much faith in people when I should listen to my brain more than my heart). I gravitate toward ‘big personalities’ BUT ‘big personalities’ also translates into the fact that they love attention on ONE PERSON only…and it ends up not being me or the responsibilities that they committed to.

When my oldest son and I have our ‘talks‘ it’s very common that he will mention, multiple times, that he feels the sting of the divorce because he feels like none of his friends live the same life. He hates feeling like people wonder why his mom has a different last name than him (so now I go by my boys last name at their school) and he feels like there is a spotlight on him because he has/had two dads (dad and stepdad). And he feels alone in the pain. And the guilt that engulfs me when he tells me this, is incredible but somehow I can hold it together to listen to all he has to say.

The one thing that I will say is that my #2 man was young enough, when his dad and I divorced, that the life we lead is ‘normal’ to him. My ‘Big D #2‘ is the first time that he will actually remember what happens, so if nothing else, I will strive to not repeat my mistakes with ‘Big D #1’ so that he isn’t as ‘scarred’ as my ex and I left my oldest.

Then guilt continues when my #2 man constantly asks ‘who are we with tonight’? God love him…he’s only asking because he honestly doesn’t keep track (one – because he’s seven, and two – because he forgets the schedule because we have such a weird co-parenting plan compared to most co-parentors because of my old work schedule).

And then, when they realize that hockey is starting back up again this week and they’ll possibly have to see their stepdad at the rink because he works there, they stress. So much so, that their dad and I have had to tell my scummy-soon-to-be-ex-husband that he’s not allowed to initiate contact with them because of their request, not ours.

And it’s embarrassing for them because no one else understands, at that age, what a divorce is…yet (unfortunately). And I TRULY hope none of their friends family’s have to go through this, ever.

And more guilt…

After I remarried this year, I volunteered to go on a field trip for my oldest son’s class. I was selected, and when my son’s teacher asked him what my last name was, he stumbled…because no one had asked him that question since I had remarried and because he didn’t want people to know or ask questions about why my last name was different than his. So not only was he embarrassed because of his ‘stumble’, he was embarrassed because he thought his classmates would think badly of him because my last name was different than his.

We’ve discussed this in detail and I’ve offered solutions to him and it’s fine now but these are the type of things that run through my head when my almost-ten year old asks me for a glass of apple juice. I know very well that he could take care of this, but then, because I’m ‘Mom’ I think, “he’s gone through so much and I’m standing right here, I can do it.” So I do it…for him and for all of them…because of the divorce guilt.

The guilt never ends…

I wish that I could give you the perfect advice about how to avoid this guilt. Unfortunately, the only advice that I can give is to not get divorced, to work it out. If you choose to divorce (and I’m not judging you for that choice)..but if you choose to divorce, just know that we all feel that ping of guilt and there’s not much you can do to avoid it. In reality though, parenting comes with a side of guilt, every day, for something. All you can do is roll with the punches, not diminish your children’s feelings, acknowledge their feelings, help them cope, and keep moving.

All you can do is choose to make the most sound choices for your kids as possible.