4. Support. Whenever Needed – Support.

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

I’d like to stress that all of these are written from my point of view, but I would never ask someone to do something for me I wouldn’t do for them. I am a communicator, I do compromise, I work through bumps and don’t give up, and I do unconditionally support people – sometimes setting aside my own issues for the greater good. Everything on my list that I’m looking for in a mate, I feel I posses and bring to the table myself. I’m far from perfect in any of them, but I am willing to work and grow in all of these areas with the right person.

It’s odd that I would reach #4 on my list now, because it is oh so relevant. To recap, here is the #4 quality I am looking for in my next spouse:

  • Support, even when you’re not feeling it. Being able to decide who needs the love and support more and giving them that, even when you’re dealing with issues of your own.

My life growing up was simple. It was easy. I used to often look back and think about what a charmed life I really did have. My family loved me unconditionally, they supported me unconditionally, and they trusted me. Then, just over three years ago, I found out that all that stuff I thought was unconditional, was actually tied to the fact that I had always done what they wanted and what was expected of me.

What I found is that, while they loved me unconditionally because I was their daughter/sister/niece/granddaughter, that doesn’t always translate into respecting me for me – that’s just loving me for a bloodline connection. I found out the hard way that their “unconditional support” was only true in endeavors that they understood. They, aside from my mom, didn’t have a true trust of my character or believe that I would always do the right thing. For that, and all the issues that have come up since then surrounding my divorce and some of their manipulative actions behind it, I will be forever scarred. The way my family reacted hurt much more than my divorce ever did.

Support. I need someone who understands me so deeply, so completely, that they will be able to give me unconditional support. Not support after they know my whole life story or supporting a situation after they know all the details…but support because they understand what a good person I am, what an honest and genuine person I am, and that because of that, I will always do the thing I think it right and just. In return, I promise that I will love them just the same and give them the same unconditional support and trust that they deserve.

I’m totally not saying that if they support me and then think I’m doing wrong, they can’t have a say in it – rather they should never look at me and assume I’m taking a wrong path, like my family did and still somewhat continue to do. It’s more of a “do no harm” when it comes to things.

I also need someone who can prioritize. Everyone needs support in a variety of areas. Myself, I need someone to support me when I have a rough day at work or feel overloaded, I need someone to support me when I’m falling behind at home, and I definitely need someone to support me when I’m dealing with EX and co-parenting. In the scheme of things though, it’s that last one that always trumps everything else. That situation (when issues arise) is my number one stressor that makes me feel the most alone. Typically, when co-parenting issues come up, it pushes my mental limits to the edge and I worry. That worry for my children flows into every other aspect – making work more stressful and home life more difficult to focus on and I fall behind. I need someone who can recognize that and help me get myself back on track.

I’ve already mentioned that my dear, longtime friend PLM is amazing at this, but I also have to say that my other dear friend, HLJ is pretty amazing at it as well. She has called me from time to time with something on her mind that is just eating her up, but as soon as she hears my kids are being messed with, she drops it and helps me out. In turn, I am able to focus and help her through her issue as well. It’s a great balance of give and take – something that I’ve found, so far, women seem to be better than men with.

There are so many times where I’ve been able to prioritize my own issues and feelings as being less important that someone’s – and do it happily for the greater good. However in my relationships, it has occasionally been to my own self destruction that I’ve done that. I’ve worried about an issue that pops up and affects both myself and The Boyfriend, but I’ve set my own feelings aside and focused on him. Unfortunately, I think I’ve taken this a little far and, in the past, my feelings haven’t been considered enough. I haven’t put them out there on a topic or issue between the two of us and rather focused on “fixing” him, without expecting him to work on or for him to take some responsibility in fixing the issue. I’m slowly working on correcting that, but it takes time and understanding…which is where the rare but painful issue comes in. I will tell him that something is really important to me, he will say he gets it, then he will do the complete opposite. (Please take note that I said this is rare, but it does come up.)

For example – Facebook. Facebook is a great way to keep up with friends, but it can also lead to some really inappropriate things being commented/messaged/etc. Because of issues in the past, The Boyfriend and I have a deal – no Facebook after we speak at night (usually past 10pm or if we don’t speak, 10pm is the general time). A few weeks ago, I mentioned to him again that for my comfort level, especially based off of things that have happened in the past in other relationships and with him, I still needed that so I could rest well at night. This is a pretty good compromise for both of us, considering at one point he had offered to remove himself from Facebook completely (which I told him wasn’t necessary, but only because I know it’s a way for him to keep contact with his overseas friends) – so asking for both of us to stay off it late at night shouldn’t be a big deal, because it’s fair. I mentioned it because I had noticed he had started going back on and it was really affecting me – mentally. At the time, he seemed totally fine with it (staying off after 10pm)…but then a few days later was back into the pattern. He blamed it on boredom, which I can understand, but it’s such a simple thing I’m asking him to do that I’m not only doing the same (so it’s fair), it just helps me sleep at night, for a multitude of past and present reasons I won’t go into. So, I asked him again to stop and he said he would.

I’m hoping he will support that need, but considering the recent history, I’m nervous he won’t. Every time we’ve made a compromise and it’s fallen through, it’s taken a bit of my self confidence away. Granted, that’s on me partially – I shouldn’t give anyone that kind of power over me. However, I am more vulnerable with him because in a majority of areas, he does support me, he will compromise with me, so when he doesn’t it simply shakes me to the core.

In relationships, we’re not always going to understand why the other person needs us to support or do something to support them. We can’t really understand unless we’ve been through everything they’ve gone through – either the stuff they’ve gone through with you and maybe you don’t realize how much you’ve hurt them or the stuff they’ve gone through before you. The important thing is being able to realize that what they ask or need in support, if coming from a genuinely honest and true person, they have their reasons and need you to help in whatever capacity you can – even if it seems silly or you don’t understand. If they are good, their reasons aren’t nefarious, and they are a fair compromise – sometimes you just need to do it.

3. Not Seeing Obstacles as Road Blocks.

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Once upon a time, there was this beautiful fairy princess that was kind and pure. In a nearby kingdom, there was this dashing, handsome, and single prince. Magically the forces that be drew them together, overcoming whatever single obstacle stood in their way, and they lived happily ever after.

One of my favorite stories growing up was Sleeping Beauty. She, against all odds and even being cursed, met her prince. To my knowledge, there was never a continuation of the end of the story. A union of two kind, gentle people…and they lived happily ever after. The Prince never lost his job, the princess never suffered postpartum depression, they never fought, their kids all got straight A’s, and hardship, even in the slightest, never struck them.

The part of the story that Disney left out was that when Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip first got together, Phillip had some residual trust issues because when he first met Aurora, she was going by the name Briar Rose. He felt lied to about that and always wondered if she wasn’t aware of who she was or that she was betrothed to him, who else had she met so “innocently” in the woods. When they got married, Aurora had difficulty getting pregnant, as her own mother did in the beginning of the story which starts something to the effect of “After many childless years, King Stefan and Queen Leah happily welcome the birth of their daughter, the Princess Aurora.” They struggled and fought with infertility, finally investing thousands into fertility treatments…which made Aurora a particularly hormonal princess. Phillip then struggled with depression, realizing that he wasn’t giving the kingdom he had now created, combining the two when they had gotten married, the heir to the throne. (On a side note…I think romance is dead, can you tell? LOL!)

Those are the only issues they had because they had both come from the exact same family backgrounds and values. Imagine if Princess Aurora had been a peasant and Prince Phillip royalty – what issues that would have come up then?

There were times in my marriage where I thought ‘isn’t this supposed to be easier?’ Even when yes, they could have been, it doesn’t mean they SHOULD have been. If I had to go back, I would have every argument, tried just as hard, and tried to overcome every single issue in my marriage again, even to have it end still. I gave everything to making that relationship work and, somehow, it still didn’t. So now I can live the rest of my life never wondering if I didn’t try hard enough or work enough on it…because I am 100% confident that I did everything in my power and it just wasn’t enough; just wasn’t meant to be.

I’m not saying that in every single relationship you should compromise yourself or work on something that’s impossible, rather I’m talking about those relationships you are committed to being in that are healthy and, in general, happy ones that you should be in. If you love someone, I mean really love and are committed to them, working through the bumps is what you do when life throws you that curve ball. Life gives you an alcoholic that you didn’t know about, don’t immediately walk away, not if this is a relationship that has some quality worth saving. Now, if he’s a hopeless one that won’t work on the problem with you – you do need to walk away. I think that’s the key in facing issues – if you aren’t facing and working on them as a couple and only one of you is engaged, then it’s time to end the relationship.

I see this in my relationship now with The Boyfriend. We’ve hit a few rocks in the road from time to time. They’ve not stopped me from trying though, I’ve taken them as signs of the things we may be neglecting in our relationship or just difference between the two of us that we need to compromise on. He is always willing to work on them, just some are taking longer than others. Communication is one area that we seem to be improving on. We’ve done that through a few different venues. Number one: He had to learn what being in a relationship with someone who is a communicator is like. He was used to people just glossing over any issues that came up or hurt feelings, and that is just not me. I am an honest person. I care about people enough to be honest with them, even when it’s difficult. He’s getting better with that and taking my honesty for what it is – a sign of how much I care (I care enough to tell him when my feelings are hurt and why) and not criticism. Well…most of the time, at least – he still gets huffy occasionally when he feels like I’m being critical, rather than constructive. ;-) Number two: He is definitely getting better about opening up to me. Granted, sometimes it’s with a great deal of prodding, but he will eventually. Number three: I think we’ve met on the middle with our communication needs. He doesn’t need a great deal of contact through the day and I need that interaction. So, we’ve met in the middle – I’ve scaled back on what I need and he’s increased the amount he gives to me.

One of the other bumps was honesty. I am the absolute worst liar you have ever known. Seriously, I can’t pull off a lie to save my life. I know this about myself, so I tend to be a very honest person. That’s difficult for a lot of people though. I’m not talking about huge lies (like “I didn’t know she was a hooker.” HA HA HA), rather more about the white lies like “I didn’t see that text message” or “I just stayed in last night” when you really go out.  We’ve made some headway on honesty. He is still afraid to be honest with me at times when he’s afraid that I’ll be mad (although, I think eventually he always has come out with it, so far – there’s just been hesitation). This one really bothers me though because I have a fear that if something really bad does happen or if he makes some mistake, he will never come to me out of fear of my reaction. To be honest, I’m not even sure what reaction he is afraid of because I’ve dealt with some pretty huge stuff in my life with and outside of him and handled it with an amazing amount of grace. I think this is the biggest bump we are facing at the time. It’s so easy for him to just gloss over the truth or white lie on stupid, little things, then he uses the excuse of “well, two years ago in this situation you…” which absolutely drives me insane. He has difficulty letting go of the small stuff and a great deal of difficulty in forgiving and forgetting. Not the forgiving part so much, rather the forgetting.

On a very positive note though, the seemingly biggest bump in the road that I think we’re about to overcome is our location(s). Unfortunately, I couldn’t compromise and meet him halfway on the location, but I have done all I can to compromise on the situation around him moving, where he’ll live, and what that will be like when/if he’s here. This was huge for The Boyfriend in particular, who had a huge hang up about moving back to his hometown (which is where I live). I think he finally realized that home isn’t about a location, rather the people you live your life with. The important thing is that we worked through and over that bump TOGETHER. Both of us had to give and take, but I think we’ve found a happy situation that we both feel like we’re coming out ahead in some way.

2. Compromise. Anything Can Work.

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

2. A genuine desire to compromise and find a way to make anything work.

Oh my, this is a huge one. Compromise. Compromise is at the heart of every strong relationship. It’s the huge stepping stone to becoming a long lasting, truly happy couple. Compromise is what starts to happen when it stops being just about you and starts becoming about us. This is not to be confused with losing yourself. Compromise is not about changing to fit exactly what the other person wants, rather finding your identity and keeping it as a “we” instead of just “me”. Some people are unable to compromise – and that was a downfall of EX. He couldn’t see past himself to change for the better for us…because it was too hard for him.

Compromising to meet someone in a relationship can be difficult to navigate. Finding that balance of “you and I” and making a “we” out of it is difficult. I know it can be done though. However, I also appreciate how difficult it can be and know that it will take someone exceedingly special for me to do it with.

Another essential part to compromise is my #1 item: Communication. If open, honest communication doesn’t occur when a couple is trying to find a happy medium, this is where the issues come in. One person starts to feel taken for granted and the other person is totally clueless about it because they never spoke up to them. This inevitably leads to the demise of a relationship, with one person very unhappy and bottled up about it and the other person totally clueless it’s even going on. To compromise, you have to communicate.

1. Communication

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This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.

We talk, text, email, chat, Facebook, Tweet, Blog, and perform various other forms of communication. Some is spoken, some non verbal by body language and facial expressions, and some information is shown by our actions…but does this always get us where we want to be?

No.

The reason? Because we all have different communication styles. The key isn’t necessarily finding someone that communicates exactly like you, rather finding someone who can compromise so the two of you can communicate a.) effectively and b.) in such a manner that fulfills your needs.

I seem to have the most difficulty finding the latter, even with the largest of compromises. I know when people are upset that I have to, sometimes, set my feelings or issues aside for the greater need. If they are in more need than I am, then I should set my stuff aside, temporarily, and support them. I never had that in EX. Every issue was his. Even after years and years of working together (because I realize this stuff doesn’t just magically happen overnight) I was always the giver. I came to him when he had a problem, always setting my own hurt feelings aside. Whenever I had something come up, it was always turned into his issue – never mine.

I fear that this is a typically male trait, rather than just a human trait as I’ve met very few men that know how to temporarily set aside their personal feelings because they realize their spouse or significant other is in more turmoil than they are. However, I have a few female friends that are AMAZING about this. In particular, my friend PLM. I have known PLM for 31 years. We have both had times in our lives that have been bumpy that have coincided and, almost at the flip of a quarter, we’ve always (without ever really talking about it) been able to figure out who needed the focus more – her or me. We’ve always taken care of both eventually, but always been able to prioritize.

Is it too much to ask for this in a heterosexual relationship as well?  Maybe…maybe…

In my next marriage, I will be looking for a certain capability in communication. I know it’s not something that will happen overnight, I know it will take time to cultivate, but I know what the seeds look like and what I need to see in a partner before going on that endeavor. The biggest hurdle to me though is that I am an enabler.

There…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I.AM.AN.ENABLER.

I see myself still doing this in my life and definitely in my relationship with The Boyfriend. Not by his doing, but totally by my choice…and yet I still do it. I enable him miscommunicating with me (sometimes not communicating with me), I enable him to not pay attention to my feelings by myself stating they are not important…and then I wonder why when something is amiss with me, why he doesn’t pick up on it and call me out to find out what’s wrong. It’s easier for him just to ignore it and let it slide by…and I’ve let him do that instead of showing him how a loving relationship is supposed to communicate. Part of the time is it out of sheer exhaustion – I’m too exhausted to take the wheel and I just *hope* he will (which, since he doesn’t get it and falls into that “male trait”, there is no chance he will without a little guidance). The other part is his fear of rejection and just his focus on himself and self preservation, instead of seeing us as a couple and couple preservation.

That’s a hard concept though for someone who has never had a very long term relationship. Communication like I’m talking about doesn’t happen with someone you’ve just met – rather something you build after a few years of trust.

Communication is knowing when to push and knowing when to sit back and wait. It’s also about listening though – and I don’t mean just sitting there quietly (like so many people mistake it for) but listening and asking thoughtful questions to help the other person get through whatever it is they are working though. That’s the part so many people forget is that if all you are doing is sitting there with no questions and no thought – it’s like the person is just blankly telling you a story. People like to be heard, but they need some kind of feedback to know they are really being understood. So often, I think people leave conversations thinking that they are glad the other person listened, because they needed to talk through something, but feeling very much not understood. This leaves you feeling empty and even more alone that you did before.

I spent years in my marriage with someone who was a great listener, but never really understood me. I know I couldn’t handle that and I won’t marry that type of person again.

Sit, Wait, Contemplate.

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The annulment papers have all be sent. It’s quite an ordeal to get all those together. Aside from the questionnaire that pretty much asks about everything from your childhood to your perception of your ex-spouse’s childhood through your life post divorce, you also have to include your legal marriage license and divorce decree, yours and your exes baptismal certificates, all kinds of contact info and three “witnesses”.

EX brought the kids back after his visitation last night and commented “I got your letter from the church” (letting him know I had filed annulment). All I replied was “they said they would notify you” and I continued on with what I was doing. He thankfully dropped it there.

I’m good though. The nice thing about filling out and creating a 20 page document dissecting what all went wrong in your marriage, starting from even the way each of you were brought up, is that it gives you a picture of what life was really like. It was more a history lesson and review of how many things were stacked against us and how only one of us was really willing to work on those things. It’s also started to make me really thing about what I will do different and what I want different when I get married.

Yep, you read that right; singlemom78 finally has an opinion on if she wants to get married again and the answer is finally and confidently YES.

There is a lot of history behind that yes though. A lot of anticipation and a whole lot of self examination that has gone on in the past 3+ years to get there. I have learned the traits of what makes a relationship unsuccessful, so I feel like I know a lot more about what could have made it successful after going through all the steps that made it go sour.

So here is my list. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because I want to blog on each of the points (yes, there is that much to say about each of them).

  1. Communication.
  2. A genuine desire to compromise and find a way to make anything work.
  3. A blindness to obstacles that you encounter as a couple – they are not obstacles, rather stumbling blocks that you help each other up from, then move on and grow from.
  4. Support, even when you’re not feeling it. Being able to decide who needs the love and support more and giving them that, even when you’re dealing with issues of your own.
  5. Compassion and empathy.
  6. Honesty without cruelty.
  7. Equal.
  8. Unconditional (not just love).
  9. Loyalty.
  10. Soul mate.

Sex Starts In The Kitchen.

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I just had a wonderful long weekend vacation with two lovely friends. The three of us had 5 solid days together of catching up and bonding – which was absolutely needed. We are all three moms, work full time, and lead hectic lives. The other two ladies are both married – one for 12 years and the other for 13. Happily, they are so happily married, which is an even better thing to see.

However, both of them shared the same issue in their marriages – lack of intimacy. Both of them voiced a great deal of frustration in this and their spouse’s seemingly lack of interest. One attributed it all to her weight and the other attributed it to just the hectic schedules of family life. Both of them felt like everything else was really great, just disconnected on a physical level.

This made me think back to the time EX and I spent in Pre-Cana classes to prepare for our marriage. This is the Catholic process, kind of like counseling, that you go through before you get married. You meet with a married couple from your church or a surrounding church and discuss all the topics you may not approach before you get married – finances, children, parenting, home life, and your love life is included. I remember so clearly the wife announcing one evening “sex starts in the kitchen”. I giggled, but once she explained herself it totally made sense. She said that if you start in the kitchen, just passing each other grumpily in an exchange for coffee, you go about the rest of your day, not really thinking of the other person. By the end of the day, you get home, make dinner, exchange pleasantries, then go to bed. There is a total emotional and physical disconnect that occurs. She suggested that if you just take a few moments in the morning to actually look at your spouse, maybe kiss them and give them a swift pat on the behind, tell them you love them, you take that interaction into your day and it’s on your mind. Maybe not consciously, but at the very least subconsciously. She said that at the end of the day when you meet back up, your brain thinks about that kiss, making you want another. Your interactions at dinner will be different, and that will carry over to the bedroom.

Having been previously married for 11 years, I can tell you that this is all true. When things were good and we had those little PDA moments, our sex life was always VERY active and absolutely lovely. When those things ended, the emotional and physical stuff started to spiral downwards. Had we been able to “fix” our marriage, it would have taken a lot to fix the physical part as well – having had such a drought.

I’ve learned there’s more. That simple step of starting sex in the kitchen, over your morning OJ, will go a huge way. Physical intimacy isn’t just about a “spark” or that feeling of “I want to jump your body”, it’s about making sure you keep your mind sharp and focused on your lover, so your body follows your mind. It’s not that, in a long term relationship, the fire goes out (like what these ladies were experiencing) it’s that we take for granted that fire is there and we start to neglect it when we should be fanning it.

Why is sex so hot in the beginning of a relationship and marriage? Because it’s all you’re thinking about, all day (well, maybe not all day, but you get my drift). As soon as intimacy becomes an obligation, we take it for granted that the other person will go for it just whenever because that’s what they are supposed to do…and we stop planning it, we stop that anticipation. You can’t take an emotional and physical person for granted like that though, or you end up like these two ladies were complaining about – sex twice a month, if they are lucky.

Sex starts in the kitchen. To love someone, to love their body and mind, you have to think about them and their needs and desires. I can guarantee if you start to think about those on a daily basis, your sex will start in the kitchen as well. Who knows…on a good day it may end there as well. <3

Limbo. I Freaking Hate It.

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I’ve always been a planner. Everything always has a few different perceivable outcomes for me and typically, things have always ended up within those outcomes in my mind – good or bad. In relationships though I’ve found this to be impossible. Divorce was definitely not something I had ever anticipated. Even now in my relationship with The Boyfriend, I find us in limbo.

In September, we will have been together for 3 years. In some regards, it feels like we just met because everything is so fresh and still so wonderful. In other regards, this seems like a lifetime.

It still feels new every time I see him step off that train. I get out of my car to pick him up (we have a long distance relationship and only see each other on the weekends) and my heart literally starts to pitter-patter a little faster. As soon as I spot those handsome brown eyes, I feel this amazing warm grin spread across my face. My palms will sweat, just for a moment, and then we’ll embrace and it’s like two old lovers meeting up once again. When we’re together, things are amazing. I wake up and see him sleeping peacefully and I feel a great calm and love for him as the sun comes in across his face. Even doing normal, household things seems absolutely lovely when he’s around. It’s a feeling I don’t want to end…but it always has to, because he lives 240 miles away from me. When he leaves, it feels like a disconnect; like a plug being pulled out of it’s socket. Sure, we talk on the phone, but it’s just not the same. We live two separate lives and, although we can tell each other about those lives, we can’t really experience them.

It feels like a lifetime every time he or I step on the train to go home – to our separate homes, 240 miles apart. He seems to seamlessly transition back to his single life, in his single world, still keeping tags on me and still attempting to communicate – but it’s not the same. It feels like we’ve been doing the back and forth forever – and not just in a literal way, but in an emotional way as well. We’ve been talking about him moving down for well over a year now – and have taken some slow steps to attain that. At times though, it feels like I’m pushing and he’s pulling and we are getting nowhere. I know we both ultimately want it, it’s just that it is a scary move, for BOTH of us. He feels like it’s all on him because I can’t move because of the kiddos so he is the one to uproot his life. I feel like he doesn’t appreciate that, while I don’t have to give up my home/job/friends, this is a huge step for me – letting another man around my children.

So we’ve been in limbo, which is getting really old for the both of us. We’ve both had our moments where we were ready to just tank it and give up, but we can’t. The connection and relationship there is so strong, that neither of us want to just let this pass by. However, it feels like we’re stuck. I can’t push him forward and he’s not taking the lead – but neither want to let go.

The worst part is the advice. Unless you’ve been in this situation – and I’m not talking just moving in together, I’m talking one of you totally uprooting your life to move in together, you have no clue what you are talking about. Sure, it all seems easy in theory, but then there’s the reality of needing to find someone to rent the space the other person is moving out of and that person finding a totally new job in this economy, and all the work that goes into combining everything and orchestrating it all. It is not as simple as it is so easily envisioned.

Actually, I lied. That’s not the worst part. The worst part is being me and not knowing if something I want so dearly will ever happen.

I Can Only Control Myself and How I React.

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It’s hard for me to see my kids be upset or confused. It’s hard for me to watch them with EX and not step in constantly to help or correct. However, for my own sanity, I have to keep in mind that I can only control myself and my own actions. When it comes to others, I can only control how I react.

I had to email EX again about his language around and toward the kids. What prompted this was a conversation with my 7 year old about tone of voice and how he can’t just yell at me for nothing, then fix it by saying he’s joking. His response to this? It was “kind of like when daddy jokes that he’s going to shove is fist up our a*s when we don’t behave”.

Beg pardon? My eyeballs nearly jumped out of my head. I quickly assured kid3 that when daddy says that, it’s a threat made out of anger, not a joke, but that he would never do it.

After verifying this story with kid1 & kid2, I had to calm down a few days before approaching EX with this. I have confronted him and spoken to him about his language, but I decided that this time – I needed it in writing. I relayed the story to him via email, told him how inappropriate it was and what a horrible example it was setting for them. He immediately called me. The first words out of his mouth were “just to clarify, I said boot, not fist”. I lost my cool. My response to that was something to the effect of I don’t give a f*ck what you said, either way that is crossing the line and TOTALLY inappropriate to say to our children”. Thankfully at this point, because of course I was at work when he called, my assistant just happened to be walking by my office door and quietly closed it.

He wasn’t upset and he wasn’t mad. I just couldn’t believe he was trying to defend himself. The conversation ended with him saying that he understood it was wrong and knew that he needed to get it under control. I also know he never will because this is the very reason we are divorced – his inability to stop doing damage to our family and his inability to change himself for the better of others.

Two days later, when he came to pick up the kids for his twice weekly visitation of 3 hours, he sat down with the kids and me and laid out a new “game plan”. Rule #1 – they now were all three required to come to his house during visitation time (kid1 had only gone on the every other weekend visitations, not the Tuesday/Thursday times, for the past year). Rule #2 – They were all going to sit down and make a list of general rules and consequences so that each of them would know when they broke a rule, what would happen, so he would no longer have to yell so much.

He took no responsibility for his actions and did the whole “I’m sorry, but you make me this way” speech.

Kid1, I think just to prove a point more than anything, still asks him every Tuesday and Thursday “Can I stay with mommy?” Now, the answer is always no.

I am staying remarkably calm through this, partially because I know for my own sanity I need to and partially because I already know how this will play out. The exact same thing and rules were set a year and a half ago when EX’s yelling had gotten out of control and I confronted him and when enough time had passed, he gave up on “the rules” again and started allowing them to skip his weekday visitation as requested.

It’s hard though when kid1 tells me that she wishes her grandpa or her uncle were her dad. I try to keep it lighthearted and tell her that would never work because I’d still be her mom and if her uncle or grandpa were her dad, that would be wrong. She laughs and carries on. Kid1 has the greatest spirit. She is loving, carefree, and spirited. She is also, quite strong…all traits I like to think she’s obtained from me.

As for kid2, I do worry that he seeks his father’s approval (much like EX did from his alcoholic father, but never received) and, at some point, will be very disappointed. Thankfully, he has the most amazing grandpa and Uncle to fill some of that for him.

Kid3 though – it’s still a hard read for me. He is ADHD, so his impulsive behavior is a challenge on the best of days. His emotions are pretty wild, but he is the sweetest kid overall which gives me hope that he’ll ride through the storm as well.

I know this isn’t the most interesting post I’ve written by far, but I think I needed to see all of that and think it out. As of late, it seems I’ve run into a lot of issues where I have to keep in mind that I don’t always have to respond to someone – it is their responsibility to own up and take control for their actions.

The Love You Haven’t Looked For Yet

singlemom78:

This is *so* true. <3 I had to share.

The link doesn’t work…but here is a copy of what was written:

The Love You Haven’t Looked For Yet

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Somewhere, someone is thinking about you. They don’t have a face or a name for you, and they don’t know where you live, but they know what you’re like, and they miss you as if they had you already. They have been through it all — the bad dates, the unanswered texts, the coded messages you have to decipher because no one wants to say how they really feel anymore — and they’re tired. They feel the same way about love as they do after a long day spent walking around the city: worn out, aching, and ready to lie down and close their eyes. When they lie in bed at night, they think about you, without even knowing who you are: The person who is tired, too.

Because you’re tired, aren’t you? You have come so close to real love, real commitment, so many times that it’s almost laughable. You’ve put all of your hope into people who had one foot out the door, and found it powerfully attractive when someone didn’t care about you. You have been chasing people for so long that your whole body is sore. Even if you wanted to, you don’t have the energy to spend another weekend checking your phone every 30 seconds to see if you’ve gotten a text from the one person you want to hear from. You couldn’t spend hours agonizing with friends over “what this could possibly mean” when “this” is a belated, dashed-off Facebook message apologizing for forgetting your party. Everyone knows what that means. It means they don’t care.

And you can’t do it anymore. You can’t be part of the chase, or this weird culture of never wanting to seem vulnerable, even when you’re so vulnerable for someone that you feel you might burst into tears at their name. Where the hunt used to be so thrilling and intoxicating, it now just feels silly. If someone really cared about you — or was worth your time — would you have to spend so much of yourself convincing them to stay?

But this is what we’ve been taught. Love is only real when it hurts, when it drains you, when there is something that you’re unsure about. If it comes too easily, or feels too natural, you’re automatically suspicious of it. There has to be some fight in it, something that feels like cold water against your skin and is constantly pricking you, reminding you that you’re alive and that this is what passion feels like. It’s every romantic comedy where there’s a full thirty minutes of struggle before the brief happy ending — you’ve never seen a story where there wasn’t something painful to go through.

You haven’t looked for it.

You haven’t looked for the “boring” love that feels calm and safe and sure. You’ve written it off as something that you might find when you are older, but not when you are young and crazy and destined to make terrible decisions. You have chosen the life of analyzing texts and flicking through dating profiles and dancing with strangers at bars because you think that it’s the only way that love happens at this age. But there is good love — there is quiet, understated love where everyone says what they feel, and texts are answered on time. There are people who lie awake at night, wondering when they will be able to lie next to someone and not wonder if they’re going to disappear the next morning. There is someone who is ready to get off the merry-go-round of one-night stands and being too afraid to say “I love you.”

And they are thinking about you. Even if they don’t know your name yet.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Somewhere, someone is thinking about you. They don’t have a face or a name for you, and they don’t know where you live, but they know what you’re like, and they miss you as if they had you already. They have been through it all — the bad dates, the unanswered texts, the coded messages you have to decipher because no one wants to say how they really feel anymore — and they’re tired. They feel the same way about love as they do after a long day spent walking around the city: worn out, aching, and ready to lie down and close their eyes. When they lie in bed at night, they think about you, without even knowing who you are: The person who is tired, too.

Because you’re tired, aren’t you? You have come so close to real love, real commitment, so many times that it’s almost…

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Annulment.

I’ve continued on the process of having my marriage annulled in the Catholic church. It has not been an easy process. Once I filled out the questionnaire, I had almost 20 full pages of the deconstruction of my marriage. Yes, you read that right – 20 pages. I’ve spoken a great deal to the annulment advocate assisting me – she is a very sweet and wonderful lady. I think one of the hugely beneficial things to come out of this is knowing for 100% positive, I made the right decision. Even if the church doesn’t see it that way after all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, I am good with my choice and good with God.

However, trust is still a daily struggle. Finding my confidence again in my family and other relationships is a constant uphill battle. I’m afraid of letting people in and letting them stay in. I fear when I see my sister in law whom treated me so badly, I fear how she’ll act toward me – will she be kind or will she all of the sudden stop talking to me again. I yearn for someone just to be a constant in my life where I don’t have to question, where things just flow.

But I think we all know, life isn’t always like that. Life is full of unpredictable moments and people. My EX is a perfect example of that. Nothing he says I can trust. One moment he’s the nice, supportive father and wants to do things with the kids – then the next his yelling the “F-bomb” around them and wanting to push them off onto me as quickly as possible. I just want someone who says what they are and does what they say. Unfortunately, I find that lacking in my life as well. Although, I must admit…some days I’m not sure if I’d know it if that person hit me square in the face.

With my kids on vacation with EX, I have felt this confusion more than ever. First, he was nice and the kids were able to text me as needed. Then there was the whole blow up where his New Girlfriend of the Same Name wouldn’t let my kids open a simple note, so I called him. He made excuses, but then when my youngest wanted to call me a few minutes later – he let him. Then a few hours later, he let him call again when our child asked. I was able to keep contact a few days, then when they went to another destination, they weren’t allowed to. I texted EX and asked if I could call the kids last night, saying that I’d love to tell them goodnight. He responded by saying “Will do. It’s nice to hear from them when they are gone so long.” Which was a dig. He gets mad because the kids never call him after they haven’t seen him for awhile and it makes him mad when they want to call me when they go on vacation. Instead, I took the high road and just responded “Indeed. That’s why I asked.”

I feel so confused and lost. I feel scared to move on again because I don’t want to end up in this situation again. This has been such a horrible experience – and it’s not even the divorce part of it, it’s the aftermath of my family and friends, and the constant hounding from EX. I don’t want to cause anyone pain again or ever go through it. Sometimes I think it would just be easier to avoid it all and stay alone – but I know I don’t want that either. I just want someone to show me that I’m worth it to them. I know I deserve that. I’ve gone the extra effort for so many – I just want someone to do that for me.