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.

Vacation From Mom…It Can Never Be Taken.

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I am a mom. I’m always a mom. So even when my kids have their one week vacation a year with their dad, I feel empty. I’m their primary person, so it’s not easy to take that time off and enjoy. It’s full of what if’s.

This time though, there is something up. It started off with a control move by EX’s girlfriend not allowing the kids to read a cute note I had packed for them in their suitcase. Now, it’s that he’s cut off contact between me and them. They were able to message me with their iPods, but now those have been totally off line. I know I should try not to read into that too much, but I also know my kids and just have this sickening, sinking feeling. I feel so out of control. Nothing I do in this situation will help either. If I try and call and he has done that, then I will be the meddling mom. Although he didn’t call on my vacation, he could have – he just never chose to.

I’m torn. I really just want to check in because I miss them a great deal and want to hear their little voices. What do the rest of you do in this situation? Do you call when your kids are away?

11 Things The Girl You Love Deserves

singlemom78:

I absolutely love this…so much I had to share before I put out something else of my own.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

(1) The girl you love deserves you texting back something other than “Ok” when she asks if you want to meet her for dinner after work. Don’t do that. If you want to meet her for dinner after work, you know you feel more than just an “Ok.” You feel a “Yes please,” “Definitely,” or even a “Sure.” It doesn’t take any more time or effort. The girl you love deserves more than an “Ok.”

(2) The girl you love deserves a vacation, but not a vacation that she has to plan. She deserves someone who will plan it for her. She deserves not to think a thing about how you guys are going to get there, what you guys are going to do, and how you guys are going to do it. The girl you love plans practically everything you two do together during your “real…

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Fight For It.

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Few things in life come to us with no obstacles. However, when you find a goal, a person, or a thing in your life that you really want – you have to push for it; ignite your desire to reach whatever it is with passion.

I feel this way about relationships. This was one of the things that ultimately ended my marriage – his lack of desire and lack of show for wanting to keep us and make it work. Again and again, EX would promise change, but never show any initiative to follow through. He never made me feel like I was important enough to fight for. He never showed that his kids were worth that passion, that drive to fix whatever it was that was causing them pain. He just sat back and did nothing.

Nothing.

I think this tends to, at times, be a common trait. I don’t feel that I have it, but I feel that many people around me have it. The fear of really pushing for what you want – so instead, they drop the ball. They don’t communicate. They just hope everything is just going to magically be swept under the carpet and things will move on.

The problem is that things move on, people move on if not properly cared for. Sometimes, that grand gesture of “I value our friendship” or “I need our marriage to work” or “I am committed to making you happy and this relationship work” is vital – or the only moving on will be a distancing of that relationship and a moving on of hearts.

This was a motivating factor in me filing for divorce. When I told EX I was going to an attorney – he said nothing. He didn’t even make the effort to communicate with me. Never did he fight it. This was the clear indicator to me that it was time to move on.

Thinking back, this has always been the indicator to me when it was time to exit a relationship – whether romantic or friendship. I believe in passion. I believe in showing others what they are worth to me. I also believe I deserved that back and when I don’t get it – I simply have to move on or risk feeling like I’m somehow not worthy. I think you need to feel wanted in order to feel in love with another person. EX made me feel not wanted.

Thankfully, I can see all of this now and will never make that mistake again. I am getting out of all relationships where no effort is made on the other person’s part. I am removing everything toxic (as much as possible) as to protect and preserve myself.

I think it’s important for people to realize that just because someone doesn’t love you like you want them to, doesn’t mean they didn’t love you with all that they had…but at the same time, if they can’t love you like you want them to, it doesn’t mean you have to accept that and keep them in your life.

Singlemomdom.

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When pregnant, I always wondered why people felt like that gave them carte blanche to ask questions you would never ask a normal person. Like “how big are you?” and “how much have you gained?” It also felt like just because I was pregnant, people felt like that somehow gave them the right to ignore social norms and personal space – specifically when complete strangers would touch my ballooning tummy. I always thought this all was a unique phenomenon associated with pregnancy. I was wrong.

Since getting divorced, I have had a multitude of awkward moments of people putting their foot in their mouth – for instance asking me if they could view my house, since they just assumed I was going to have to sell it (I still live there), or offering to set me up on a date with their son who has two daughter, just loves kids, but never married “either of those women” that he had them with (those were his mom’s words that spewed out of her mouth with a sourpuss look on her face).

I have found my newest, most favorite question of all. “Do they all have the same dad?”

I get a lot of questions asked about my three beautiful children and how I made them, being that my last name is different than theirs (I opted to take back my maiden name). This zinger came from a younger mom (probably in her late twenties) who noted that my daughter’s last name was different than mine and saw my two sons (which she didn’t know their names), which prompted the question.

I had a rush of answers go through my brain at the moment.

‘No, they don’t have the same father, but since I couldn’t figure out which of the thousands and thousands of guys I slept with could be the dad, I just picked a name and gave it to all of them.’

‘No, but they all have the same uncle.’

‘Actually, I hatched them – no father needed.’

and the one I really wanted to tell her: ‘None of your business.’

People seem to get so hung up on who the parents are or who has been with who, they forget to look at the big picture. Regardless of who the father is (which, by the way, they were all conceived during my one and only marriage with EX), why can’t they just look at all three of my kids, see how wonderful and amazing they are, relish in their intelligence, and just be satisfied in knowing that they are being raised right? Even if they all three did have different dads, that wouldn’t make them less of a joy or blessing on this earth.

It’s hard feeling judged. I know there’s not the stigma with single moms that used to be there, but it’s still hard. It’s difficult enough to go to sporting events or school events and see those happy parents who are still together. I feel envious of that. That was the picture I had in my head, all those years ago, as I walked down the aisle. Instead, I sit through school events with EX usually a seat or two behind me, with his girlfriend of the same name, and feel immensely alone as a parent. I can only imagine that other single moms, regardless of how they became single (unexpected pregnancy out of wedlock, divorce, or even those widowed), feel this same slight pang of envy that we don’t get to share those amazing parenting moments, with the other parent of our child. It’s just not the same when you’re not together anymore. It’s hard knowing that they (the kids) will grow up and not know the same happiness and security I recall having, seeing my parents together.

At the same time, every single time I hear my EX raise his voice to our kids, every time I see him bully them, every time I see the disappointment in their eyes when he chooses himself over them – I know that I made the right choice. When I compare where they were emotionally three years ago to where they are now, I thank God that I had the strength and the courage to take this step for us. That is the grace that gets me through those moments of stupid questions or odd looks.

Just remember to be kind and always think before you speak.

Happy Stuff.

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So, it was brought to my attention, in a way, that maybe I forget to journal the really good stuff and only get out all the bad stuff on here. Looking back, I see that now (which explains why my most recent post was the first in two months)…I need to focus and cherish the good as well. I mean, this is my journal of my life, right? I guess the good stuff is just that – good. I don’t feel like I need to get it out because anyone that sees me in my daily life can see that all is well. I’ve been told I beam. LOL!

Things with EX have been less bumpier. His now live in girlfriend of the same name as me, has seemed to squelch his lingering time when he drops the kids off, so it’s made my life easier actually. I’ve also finally gotten down the rule of – if it’s not about the kids, I need to stop him from speaking. I know that sounds odd and harsh, but it’s where we’re at in our co-parenting. Things seem to go better when we stick to just the fact of the kids and just discussing any issues that come up with them.

My daughter still does not want to spend time with him though and he still doesn’t fight for her. He doesn’t try and repair their relationship, which does make me quite sad. The happy part in this though is that she realizes the relationship with him will never be what she wants and she’s found other family members (namely my dad and my brother) to get this kind of connection with. Although it does kind of suck for her that it’s not from her dad, she’s pretty happy to still have a “dad” in others. I continue to try and encourage her to go, encourage her and tell her how important it is for her to have a relationship with her dad – but it’s hard for a 10 year old to understand that they are the one that has to be the mature one in a relationship and just take it for what it’s worth.

Leaving out the growing pains part of my relationship, that is actually progressing well. We are moving at a snail’s pace – which I think is something we both needed to do. There is no rush for marriage, there is time to really feel out and hone our relationship before making any decisions. Meaningful love cannot be rushed. Time will tell if we can help each other unpack some of the remaining baggage we all come with or if we are just meant to learn a few more lessons and move on our way. More to come in a later blog. I’m still working on this specifically.

My sister-in-law has slowly gotten better with me as well, which is a HUGE relief. She’ll actually speak back to me (most of the time LOL!) and at times, will even engage in a conversation. Baby steps, but it makes me happy.

Work is going well. My dad always told me as a kid (and he still says this at 63) – “love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I feel blessed to have found a career that I feel that way about. Not only does my job afford me to support my family, but it also happens to support my desired lifestyle. I have flexible hours that I can often work around the kids schedules when something comes up, plus I work, live, and kids are all in school in the same small town. My kids feel safe and secure – which is ultimately what every parent wants, right?

I finally feel like the road of life is starting to smooth out again, 2.5 years after my official divorce. I feel confident in my job, confident in who I am and what kind of parent I am as well. I don’t know where that road will take me, but I sure am happy to be behind the wheel.