In the 6 ½ years I’ve been divorced, I’ve been in one relationship, and deceived by two others. I will not use their real names, but only the nicknames I have given them, to protect the innocent (insert sarcasm!) The first man was a man that I reconnected with on social media. We first met in Jr. High. I will call him “Rico Suave.” He came into my life when I was the most vulnerable. Thankfully, he lived in another state, so some of the choices were not as disastrous as they could have been had he lived in the same zip code
I was freshly separated from my husband in March and reconnected with “Rico Suave” in July. We spent HOURS on the phone, laughing, catching up, and sharing stories of the past 25+ years. When “Rico” had decided he would come to see me, I was beyond excited. I remember when I saw him at the airport, I actually got weak in the knees. He was here for 8 days and they went by quickly. “Rico” came back for another visit four months later for a long weekend. We stayed at a 5 star hotel, and did some sightseeing. I remember one day in particular that will forever be etched in my mind as one that could have been scripted for a movie. We had a late breakfast, and “Rico” thought it would be a great idea to go for a walk around the city. It was a late January day. The sun was shining, it was a crisp 22* outside. I remember just looking at the architecture of the city and both of us just talking about hopes, plans, and nothing at all. Halfway through our walk, as we were heading back toward the hotel it started to snow. “Rico” was like a little boy who was experiencing snow for the first time. He was mesmerized by it. I would have to say that it was one of the most memorable weekends I’ve had.
“Rico Suave” went home and the fairy tale started to change. When I went back home for a visit, it turned into an outright nightmare. I’ll give you the condensed version. He planned a reunion with our friends that we went to middle school with. His grandiose idea was to make it a trip back home for me to remember. It certainly was a trip I will always remember! He told me not to worry about anything, it was his “gift” to me. Very long story short, the trip ended with me spending a lot of money, and him doing his best to balance me and another woman without either of us knowing about the other. Turned out, she knew more than I did, and glass elevators don’t lie as I watched them go to her hotel room together. This was my first clue that my picker is faulty.Write comment (0 Comments)
Oh, Well, Mine is Different
When we are too close to something, sometimes we can’t see it. Sometimes we don’t want to see it. Sometimes we don’t want to see it so badly we convince ourselves it isn’t there.
As I listen to yet another friend speak through her tears, I am reminded of this very thing. As she shares with me what is going on in her world, and asks me what I think, I am careful to do way more listening than speaking. At this very early stage, that is what we need: to be heard.
She shares with me the “reason” her husband is giving her for leaving and the promises he is making to take care of her and their children. She shares many details and feelings and tears.
When I briefly share a few similarities between my experience and hers, she immediately gets defensive. So I listen some more.
She shares that she doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know what her rights are, doesn’t know how to find answers. I refer her to an attorney for legal advice, or legal aide. She needs to know what she is in for legally. She then shares that her husband has told her not to get an attorney, they don’t need one and they just costs lots of money. Hmmmmm.
She shares that she doesn’t have a job and hasn’t had a job since their oldest child was born; she has no income on her own. When I ask how she will pay for things like rent, groceries, etc., she says her husband assured her he will pay for those things. I take a moment to remind her that he wants out, he will say anything to get her to let him out. Again, I suggest she get legal advice.
I asked her about the kids. Does he want shared parenting time? She says he will want to see the kids, so he will want joint custody. I explain the difference between parenting time and custody. I explain that my ex wanted shared parenting time even though he didn’t spend “his” time with the kids. She gets very defensive, she says well her husband loves his kids, so he would never do that, unlike my ex.
WOW, okay.Write comment (2 Comments)
Where did "I" go?
I definitely hear it more from women than I do from men, but I am sure it happens equally: Why do we lose ourselves within our relationship or marriage? What causes us to give up our independence? What do we think we are gaining?
One answer for me was to keep the peace. Another answer was, it just happened. Another answer was, I thought I had to. And yet the most common answer is that I hadn’t realized I did until it was too late.
When it comes to marriage, two halves do not make a whole. To be successful, you must each be a whole, independent person in order to come together and make a whole relationship successful.
It states in the Bible, Genesis 2:24, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
This verse is referenced over and over again throughout the Bible.
I am sure there are as many interpretations as there are readers. Personally, I do not believe that becoming one flesh means that there is no more man and no more woman, and now only a marriage.Write comment (1 Comment)
Do You Love and Appreciate, Just One Day a Year?
Valentine’s day is upon us once again. So many people look forward to this day each year. But when you have gone through a divorce, it is a very dreaded day. Although untrue, you feel like everyone else in the world is blissfully happy, head over heels in love -- that is, everyone except you.
My friend Laurie is an amazing writer. She recently wrote a post on Valentine’s Day:
Take a moment to read her post. She talks about showing and celebrating our love every day, not just one day a year.
In my previous life, Valentine’s Day was just another day. Oh, a handful of years over the 24 year span of my marriage, I received a card from my husband. Thinking back, I do not recall any gifts. I always wished he would make it special, give me flowers, take me out, tell me he loved me. And now, looking back, would that have changed anything? Really, once a year feeling loved and special makes up for the rest of the year?Write comment (0 Comments)