Sunday, September 18, 2016

Coming Full Circle

     I think my ex and I have reached a tentative agreement that will move us to being able to finalize our divorce next month. Our 23rd wedding anniversary is in November and I really didn't want to reach that date and have us still be in limbo. I am giving up a few things but it's worth it to finally just be done.
     I am sitting here thinking about how we began. We met and "fell in love" in a two week period when he asked me to marry him and we married less than 6 mos. later.
     I was remembering a conversation we had before I realized that he was an alcoholic. We were discussing deal breakers in a relationship, he had none. I had just one.

     I remember telling him that if he ever cheated on me that I would not be able to forgive him, I felt very strongly about that sacred trust between a man and a woman who are intimate. He told me that he would be able to forgive me. I remember telling him that I wouldn't respect him if he did. He grew up with a mother who cheated often on his dad and her 2nd husband after that. Our childhood differences were vast.
    Fast forward 21 years and I discovered he cheated on me. I set aside my moral compass, to forgive and try to forget. I felt like such a hypocrite and it was hard to look my children in the eye knowing that they knew how I valued trust and integrity.
    The forgiving was hard but doable. The forgetting was a whole other story. A year of trying but when the anniversary of discovering his ultimate lie, among many lies through out our marriage, I filed for divorce. It's almost like I should have known all those years ago how we would end.

Full circle.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“What… does a woman want?”

 That was a question posed by my soon to be ex-husband on Social Media. It was interesting to see what others said in response to him. One female friend said all they really want is to be taken shopping for sexy lingerie, good sex and their attention. Nothing wrong I suppose with that, we all love to have attention showered on us but when you are talking about a relationship those are superficial things that won't sustain a relationship for very long, will it?

     I was told very recently by my ex that I was delusional if I really think there is someone, in my case another man, who has the same values as I do. See, what I have always wanted from my spouse is for him to have integrity, to be honest with me and not degrade me by lying to me with what he calls acceptable "white lies" or looking at other women.

     Honesty is one of the most core foundations and if you don't have that between intimate partners or a spouse then you don't have a strong foundation for when things get tough. Life does happen, but if you can't trust your spouse with the most basic things then the big things blow you apart.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reap what you sow!

I may have been the one to file but in no way did I ever wish for my marriage of 22 years to come to this. I hurt tremendously. I am quickly going from having any sense of love for the "other" to having nothing but contempt and dare I even utter it, "hate". Within two weeks of him moving out he has gone from loving me and begging for another chance, swearing that he has changed and I should just believe in him for the millionth time to within 8 days sleeping with another woman and moving in with her. I had no doubt that this would happen but I had hoped that he would be "better" than that. Now our children are along for the ride as he moves in with her and expects them to spend his parenting time with her, when they have barely adjusted to the fact that their parents are split up and Dad has moved out.

Reap what you sow!

Words uttered to me by the "other" because in his mind I cast him aside because I wasn't ready to put "us" back together and needed time to believe in him again, to trust in him and grow in love with him again. I needed time and space but he needed sex and companionship and couldn't wait. The more he pushed me for it the more I pushed away. He cheated on me before and this feels like that again. The "other" said it was my fault, "reap what you sowed". Backatchya, sweetheart. You have jumped from one relationship that wasn't completely done with emotionally to the bed of another. Do not expect your children to respect your choices or accept them. They will forgive in time and so will I, but I won't ever forget your lack of respect or compassion for the family you had, nor will they.

Reap what you sow!
I will sow seeds of joy, love and stability for our children. I intend to grow strength, courage and a family. I will reap those rewards in time because at the end of it all, my children will know the difference and my sacrifices for them. That my "throwing away" our marriage was actually my grabbing a life line to be a better mom and the strong woman that they will appreciate having in their life.

I believe in "Slow and steady, wins the race." I am in no rush to find someone else. I need time to heal from the damage that you did from your years of drinking and irresponsibility. The years of degradation and disrespect by obsessing over your stupid games and pornography more than me and your children. Years of feeling alone and sad because you wouldn't participate with your family on trips, holidays or just because. The years of nothing but lies. You wanted me to just trust you, that you changed for good. I heard it so many times before and you lied each time. Karma is coming back to you...not sure when or how, but it will. I have absolute TRUST in that.

Letting go of my dream that someday you would just rise up and be the man I needed you to be. I deserved better, I deserved all of you and I will find that with someone else who wants it, too. First, I will learn to love myself again because I deserve it!

I will heal.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Starting again?

I feel like Francesca from the movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun". I feel like that "empty shell person" who stands at a crossroads where I have to decide will I go right or left or will I just pop a squat on that dusty road, unable to budge because of fear and indecision. If only I could find myself in Italy, living a new life. Of course, I was given THIS life and I must write my own story.  Tomorrow, the other is moving out. I am equally excited and terrified. I am ready to move forward on my own path, right or left, it is my journey but there is that doubt that creeps in that second guesses my abilities to manage on my own financially and emotionally. I can't really admit it to anyone, after-all...didn't I ask for this? Did I not think through everything before I walked into the consultation with my lawyer or even better, before I signed the paperwork and had it filed for the dissolution of my marriage of 22 years?

So I sit here, watching my favorite chick flick. Drawing empowerment and inspiration. The first piece of advice she gives when moving into a new home is to take one room at a time and making it your own. I find that ironic because that was the same advice I found in an article for moving forward with separation and divorce. My first order of business will be to clean our master bedroom from top to bottom. Pack up the things that I don't want for donation or garbage. Scour the master bath, clean the carpet and move my bed into a spot that has never been occupied or associated as where "we slept". I found some cute things at different shops that I can decorate with and of course, I need to find the perfect bedding set with fluffy pillows that will welcome me into comfort after a long night at work or give me a place to relax with a good book and a glass of wine. A room of my own where I don't have to pick up the other's things from the floor or kick them out of the path to the shower where he drops his drawers on a daily basis. A "safe space" that oozes with love, comfort and empowerment that I can draw strength from as I start over.

I can see my the future that I want for myself, I am just unclear about how I will make that happen. I know the steps I need to take but I have never traveled alone. I suppose the key is knowing that I am not completely on my own. I have an abundant source of support from new and old friends who offer love and support as I put one foot in front of the other. There are so many dreams that I have unfulfilled and I want to have faith that I can achieve them. I loved the other for more than half my life and I still do love him on some level just not in the way that I believe I should. I am afraid that I will be alone for the rest of my life and I wonder if I will be okay with it. It's not that I need a partner to compete me or bring a purpose into my life, but it would be nice to have someone that I can have a nurturing and passion filled relationship with adventure, love and laughter. Is that even possible? Is that kind of relationship a fairy tale? Right now, I am not even looking. My goal right now is to get myself healthy..mind, body and soul so that if I am lucky enough to "smash" into something wonderful I will be ready to embrace it and find love again.
"Unthinkably good things can happen even late in the game. It's such a surprise." -Francesca

Saturday, June 4, 2016

It's Over.

     They say divorce is one of the hardest things you will ever go through, if you are one of the unlucky ones (depending on how you look at it), aside from death, famine, war. I have had moments where I have to truly agree. Some days it is a breeze but only because I am in to fooling myself, denial. Other days it is just hard and I catch myself wanting to cry or be angry.

     The day I met with the lawyer my decision was made. I was done, it was over for me. I told my other a week later that he needed to get a lawyer and that he would be served. It shouldn't have been a surprise. I had told him through out the course of our marriage, after endlessly begging him to get help for his addiction and distractions that took him from his family...from me, I told him that one day, when I would have had enough, he won't know when, but when it comes it will be "game over".

    That day came April 8th, 2016.

    I am a planner who doesn't like surprises. His reaction was going to be the unknown variable to an extent. My past experiences, when uttering the words separation or divorce, usually led him down the path of anger, depression and suicidal thoughts. His slipping down that rabbit hole usually yanked me back. I had learned after the first time I had to put him in for mental health treatment at a hospital because he told me that he had tried unsuccessfully. My therapist then told me it was manipulation and I knew it was but I had 4 young kids to care for and I felt all alone. I was in crisis-mode trying to fix it all and keep it together for their sake, for mine.

     This time I was prepared and he did what I expected and I did my best to love him through it. He went a step further that resulted in me feeling very uneasy and scared. My short experience working as a volunteer at a Domestic Violence Shelter came into play and the warning signs started to flag for me. Accusations that I was unfaithful started to come. First, I just laughed but then he started to say it to the kids and to others. This was becoming crazy. He began following me, checking up on me. I wasn't the one to cheat on our marriage. It was a case of the, "pot calling the kettle black!" I began to check my rear view mirror, being aware of my surroundings, keeping my phone and keys on me. These are safety planning things I learned through my domestic violence training and suddenly, I was becoming one of those women.

     We have gone through a lot in the past month and a half since that time. After removing myself and the kids for a couple of days he got himself help through a therapist and medication. Sanity has returned. We are still living in the same house for the moment, 6 more days. I think he is finally accepting it. He recently asked me, point blank, if there was any hope. It was one of those moments that you ask yourself, "Do I trust him to handle it or do I avert to avoid the unknown reaction." I couldn't lie. Honesty is a huge thing for me and his lack of trusting me with honesty led to the demise of our marriage.

I turned to him and simply said, "At this time and in this moment, I do not see us reconciling."

He took a deep breath and let it out and said, "Okay."

Moving forward.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

     Life is messy. Just when I think I have the answers and I am ready to move forward, Life yanks me backwards and says, "Not so fast!" My life journey has been pulling me into other directions than I expected at this point in my life. I went back to college and I am working on getting a degree in Social Work. In that process, I found courage to question my life more and realize that I don't have to accept it just because it's easier than forging a new path. In that process, I renewed my relationship with God, it's not perfect but it's okay. I am redefining me, with His help, and the help of my church family who have been supportive and loving to both myself and my children.

     On April 8th, 2016, I filed for divorce from my significant other of whom I have spent more than half of my life with. The father of my children and the man I wanted to believe was my soulmate. Life happened. Mistakes were made, trust was broken. I wish I had a magic wand to wave and put it all back together better than it was. Once trust is broken, repeatedly, it is really difficult to get it back. Every time a spouse omits the truth they are saying they don't trust the other with their heart nor do they respect their significant other. It chips away at the foundation you have tried to build until it just crumbles apart.


    Finding Grace at a time of chaos.

     That will be my prayer as I go through this messy part of life. Untangling, my life from his, while trying to co-parent and remain friends. Grace, that there is no right or wrong way to feel as we go through the stages of separation/divorce. It's okay for me to feel the way I do and I do not owe the other a solid explanation to make it "better". I do owe it to my kids to model integrity in the process and to be loving because when it is all said and done, we are their parents for life and they need us to be the adults in this process no matter how hurt we may feel.

     It's messy and it's okay, I just need to give myself the space to go through each of the emotions and take life day by day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hello, blog!

It's been a long time, I nearly forgot you. So sorry for the neglect and I can't promise I will be faithfully blogging now. Life has begun to change again and I have so much to share and be excited about but too overwhelmed to really put it into words. I will be back again soon, I just wanted to pop in and say, "Hello".