Love and Money.

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It’s funny how when you say those two words together, love and money, people conjure up many different things. It can be ideas of combining lives and finances, to those that only associate love with how much money someone has. For me, it’s the former of the two.

Roi is an excellent communicator, which I truly cherish about him. He and I are on the same page with that in many ways. He’s also a planner like I am and likes to discuss things way ahead of time, so there aren’t any surprises when things do eventually come up.

A few weeks ago, during one of our many conversations, we approached the subject on our feelings of moving in with someone and also how finances are handled then. I have absolutely no experience on this front, being that I graduated college, then moved into my parents house for a few weeks before I was married, and have only lived with someone I was married to.

So after a great deal of thought, here is what I have come up with:

Love and life together are a commitment. I think you can have love without building a life together, which is what I had in my last relationship with VDO–a lot of love without the ability to build a life together or the level of commitment required to do so. You can’t have love and life together though unless there is a commitment. I genuinely feel like I’m heading down that path with Roi, that there is a great deal of love and a commitment and desire to build a life together.

So, here was my final conclusion. While I don’t think I want to live with someone before commitment, I do feel like engagement is enough of a commitment for me now. My other thought on this are my kids’ perceptions. Being that I still have young kids at home, I want to make sure I am a good role model for them on sex, love, and relationships. I don’t want to bring someone into my life or my kids’ lives, without them (my kids) understanding the depth of that relationship. I don’t think they will necessarily understand that, without seeing that outward commitment.

Financially, I think that money should stay apart until two become one, that is until marriage. I have friends that have kept their finances separate somehow after that, but it seems they are always fighting with their significant others about money anyway.

So there are my random thoughts for the day. All is fairly calm and well. :)

Here We Go Again. But Not.

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I’m just amazed how different things are this time around. Most of the men I had met were the same old same old. They wanted to play games or only wanted things on their terms, they didn’t want to communicate or really invest the time it takes to growing something new from scratch – they just wanted to jump in to the physical part without investing emotionally.

While I’m still cautious, this is quite different with Roi. I feel safe. Like I’m safe to leave my heart vulnerable. There’s no hidden agenda, he doesn’t ignore when I want to talk to him, rather he encourages and always has time for me. So, after three months of knowing him (and weeks of my kids asking over and over again) he’s going to meet them this weekend. So it’s like starting down that path. Here we go again…

…But it’s not. That’s the biggest thing. It’s not like it was again because things are different this time. We are on the same page, right from the moment we met. I don’t know what’s next, but I am in awe of the path ahead. I have a feeling this was worth wait and going through all I’ve gone through. Even if it’s not forever, it’s going to be a very happy (and fulfilling) time.

 

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now that I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” -Gilda Radner

New Year. New Cheer.

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Last New Year’s “celebration” was not the best. VDO had just done something stupid (I can’t even recall what but I’m sure it was something that involved another woman or alcohol or something along those lines) and we were starting to constantly fight because he wasn’t truly committed to me and I was ready to continue our lives. Silly-illy me. If only I had known what was ahead of me, I’d have not stressed so much, I’d have celebrated more, and I’d have enjoyed bringing in the new year, knowing it was going to bring me so much more direction.

2015 brought the beginning of my MBA journey, with an acceptance into a program, which I started this past Summer. It also brought me a great deal of insight, using the lessons I had learned the very painful way, but obviously it was the way God had planned.

I’m starting out 2016 with a great deal of hope and love in my heart. I’m also spending it with someone I’m very excited to have entered my life, who has made me feel very cherished and safe (Roi). In addition, the MBA program is going quite well and I imagine that will keep going in that direction as well. My kids are all doing really well, at school and at home.

I often wonder, with so many blessings, what could possibly fill my heart more?

I’m off here until next year. I’m sure I’ll have some lovely stories to share.

Perfect Moment In Time.

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Operation go slow is in full swing. Roi stopped by last Saturday, after dropping his son off at the airport. We stayed up until 3am, just talking about anything and everything again, gazing into each others eyes (which sounds ridiculous when you say it, but is amazing in reality to feel so comfortable with someone you can just study their face for a few moments in silence), then went to bed – in separate rooms. The physical attraction there is *so* strong, it’s very hard to fight. However we’ve both agreed that this is something very different between us and we want to do things right, take things slow, and do it all in the right order. So…date 4 we finally held hands. Date 5…here’s the rest of the story…

I awakened and climbed out of my daughter’s bed (my kiddos weren’t home, so it was easy to find an open bed and I wanted Roi to have mine – I said because it was the biggest in the house, but it was really because I wanted my sheets to smell like him) and peeked into my room. He was waking up, so I just came in and sat down on the bed. We just sat there a bit, talking…and then I laid down next to him and he engulfed me in a bear hug. We were there for probably an hour like that, me in his arms, just tracing his face, ears, and jawline and he tracing the small of my back (we were both fully clothed). He happened to glance down at me at one point while I was speaking and as soon as the last word fell off my lips, his lips replaced them with a sweet kiss. Electricity. We stayed in bed for at least another two hours after that, just caressing and cuddling (with a few kisses here and there). That moment was the most pure and precious moment I think I’ve ever experienced, thus far in my 37 years.

Sister-In-Law Strikes Again.

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Ah, the infamous SIL (sister-in-law). Just to recap, when I got divorced, she turned on me. I guess she figured my pain wasn’t quite enough, so she did everything to make my life as awkward as possible. She even went so far as to make anyone that dated me as uncomfortable as possible. I’m still not sure why (and neither is her husband, my brother, or any of the rest of my family).

I swear, it’s like she has some kind of sensor that tells her “oh wait, Singlemom78 is getting just a little too happy and things are starting to go her way – I need to be nefarious and meddle again.”

This time, it was agreeing to let EX to watch her kids overnight while she attends a retirement party for our office administrator, that I am planning and had asked EX to keep the kids – thinking I was doing a nice thing for him, even though my kids really didn’t want the extra time with him. Of course, that wasn’t enough for EX. My brother even tried to justify it, but finally I just told him “It’s a situation I think I’ve been pretty clear in asking you to steer clear of – I’m just asking you to please respect that.” All he answered was “okay”.

Cue silent treatment…again. Not from my brother, who is clearly working hard to maintain his relationship with me and keep things normal. Rather from the SIL. Not that this should come as a shock, since she spent just over 3 years following my divorce, giving me the silent treatment. LOL!

The thing is, it’s different this time. Last time I was so miserable with everything, her anger and hatred engulfed me. This time, I have my feet on the ground and everything else is going so well – plus I am happy, genuinely happy, that I am just letting it slide off me easier.

That is, unless their kids still stay the night at EX’s house. If that goes on (because I did end up telling him I wouldn’t be needing him for that night so our kids won’t be there), I will be extracting her from my life because she is clearly going to be a toxic stronghold that I need to break.

Passion and Chemistry.

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I think I’ve always mistaken that intense, physical feeling as Chemistry, without taking into account that you also need that “click” that intellectually and emotionally happens (along with the burning desire).

Operation “go slow” is still in full swing with Roi (that’s what I’m going to call him for now). We are both in vulnerable places with a history of past relationship mistakes, but able to communicate together with our hearts open, which is really amazing. Yesterday’s date was nothing short of fabulous. We went for a walk (it was incredibly nice outside for the time of year and our normal climate), we went to the movies (In the Heart of the Sea is really good, by the way), he wanted to see some photos of mine, and we made dinner and talked.

I feel like this is a man who truly wants to know my mind before he delves into my body (unlike a few of the others I went out with prior to him, who aren’t even worthy of a mention). He is passionate and strong. He’s motivated and inquisitive. He’s an amazing combination of soulful and protective. I find myself scanning every little detail of his face while he talks, just to make sure I’m not missing anything he may be feeling or thinking. I can feel his eyes on me, doing the same, and he doesn’t miss a thing about me.

Yet, it’s still a bit frightening. There are no warning signs with this one…at all, which is totally foreign to me. There is nothing I feel like I have to be reserved about or hold back on. He’s not been afraid to tell me anything I’ve asked and I’ve had no issues answering anything he’s asked of me. He doesn’t take the small things I do for granted, rather rejoices in the fact that I’ve noticed to do the small things. It sounds corny, but I feel like I’ve unearthed a treasure these past two months. Can a relationship really be like this? Even in my “best” times with VDO, I always had a voice in my head, knowing he was doing me wrong in one way or another – whether it be with the way he would communicate with other women without respect for me, his continual drinking issues, or the way he would pick out something about me that would annoy him and constantly harp on me, breaking me down. Even with EX, I think there was a part of me that was always worried he’d turn into his alcoholic, poor parenting father (which he did).

I’ve been reading back through this blog and seeing how upset and unhappy I was in my marriage and last relationship. How could I have missed that? Was I so desperate at the time not to be alone that I would have (and did) accept anything? I should have ended my marriage much earlier than I did. I should have ended my relationship after NOLA.

Had I done that though, I may not have appreciated what I have in front of me now.

Date 4. All Day Tomorrow. :)

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How do you not smile at that? That feeling you get when you know you’re someone’s reason to smile (and honestly, they are yours).

It’s amazing how one person can change your view on what you deserve. It’s nice not to have to constantly justify someone’s behavior to yourself and actually have someone who treats you so well, the only thing you have to find justification for is what in the world did you do to deserve it. It’s also amazing to now know the difference. My eyes are opened.

So, that’s how I feel right now. Cherished.

Have a great weekend!!!  XOXO

Oh My.

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Almost a month after our first coffee date (see Dating. And Stuff.), we’ve managed to have two more official dates since then (and countless texts).

This is different. Good different. Very good.

It came up in conversation, as so many things do when you’re getting to know someone, that both of us are somewhat newly out of very long term relationships. Mine was close to 4 years and his was just over 3 years. We’ve both been single a few months. He said he thinks one of his faults in seeking new relationships is that everything happens so fast, he says he feels like he probably pushes through all the beginning stuff, just to get to a different place. I told him that I completely understood that and that actually, that’s a fear of mine as well, and most of the men I had met weren’t respectful of that. We both agreed that there seems to be some amazing chemistry between us and that we want to take our time to really explore that.

Want to know what will kick your hormones into overdrive instantly? Agree with someone that you are attracted to that you want to take things slow. It’s like overnight my body went from “wait and see” to “I can’t wait to see”. However, the logical part of my brain knows what it wants and that’s just to go slow. I don’t get in the position I’ve been in so many times, being more committed to someone who ends up not deserving me, because I wanted to rush things.

So he’s survived the 3rd date. That’s the longest most of the men I meet can make the cut. Either they realize they are in over their head with a woman like me (ha ha ha) or they start to get creepy to me and I’m done. Not this one though. I can tell he’s not intimated by me and we’re able to playfully “spar” with each other. It all just feels so nice…and right.

I like the fact that he has the same optimistic outlook that I have. I love that he asks me about my day and genuinely cares. My job is not the most thrilling to others (accounting) but he asks what I’m working on, then actually follows up with questions. When I commented this to him (how much I appreciated it) he replied “Well, I’m interested in what you do. A job takes up a lot of hours in our lives, which in turn has a sizable impact on our lives and knowing how you spend those hours and what you do is part of knowing you.” He’s incredibly intelligent and interesting, he’s genuinely interested in what I’m saying, and I absolutely love listening to him and his viewpoints on life or stories.

Not for one second in the past 2 months have I questioned his motives either. I’ve never questioned if he’s been up to something that I wouldn’t like or was just feeding me a line.

It’s scary. I find myself wanting to ask him what’s wrong with him because there is no way possible he is this great. The thing is, at the same time, I don’t feel like I have to ask him.

Looks like I am going to have to come up with a nickname for him, since it kind of looks like I’ll be blogging more about this one.

Yours, Mine, and Our Time.

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My ex-husband is very stuck on this concept of “his time” with the kids. If they contact me, it gets him in a irked. If I go to a game or event that one of the kids are in (and I get there before him, which means he always sits far away from me…when I get there after him, I cut the problem out entirely and just sit near him and newly Wife of the Same Name) and one of them wants to sit next to me, he throws a fit and tries to tell them no because it’s his weekend. Even if I just ask them if they had a good weekend and did they do anything fun, he accuses me of “interrogating” them.

An example – a few nights ago during one of his 5-8 visitations, our daughter texted me that they weren’t going to be going to an event that our boys were involved in. I told her thanks for letting me know, so I didn’t show up and end up being the only parent with no kids there. So I mentioned to EX that I wish he’d have let me know they weren’t going, even though I was going to go late, I could have had my mom pick them up since she was going to the same place. My daughter came home after this and was upset because her dad and Wife of the Same Name decided to lecture her about letting me know the whereabouts of MY OWN KIDS. They told her that it was her dad’s time and that they were the adults there and should be allowed to have that time. She tried telling them that she told me so I wouldn’t show up to the activity and not find the kids, but they didn’t listen.

90% of the time anymore, I try to stay out of issues that occur when they are at their dad’s. I’ve found that when I try to do what I think is the right thing and let him know when there are issues, it makes his paranoia worse and he becomes obsessed with keeping our kids’ lives with him, secret. I’ve tried explaining to him that the only part I want to know is anything that affects them or me, but he doesn’t seem to get that concept. Instead, when I told him that our daughter came home, feeling that she had been wrongly lectured when all she wanted to do was let me know they weren’t going to be somewhere I was supposed to meet up with them, he responded this:

“Lectured may be a strong way of putting it. She was reminded that she is not the parent and it is not her place to inform you on every move I’m making when it is my time with my children.”

His children. His. That went through my heart like a stake. Wasn’t this the man that I was in a relationship with for 16 years? I had three children with him…and now they are his. He spends less than 20% of their time with them…and now they are his.

The thing is, I would welcome him to join in their lives a little more. If they want to contact him or he them during the other 80% of their time, MY time, I am more than happy to have that happen…but it never does.

The last time I checked, it was his and my life that separated, not the kids. They go back and forth, but that is their life. They live that with both of us and, although he and I are separate, that’s their continuous life. I just don’t know how to get that through to him.

Dating. And Stuff.

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I’ve apparently acquired some additional trust issues from my last go around in a relationship. Extreme mistrust of anything anyone I date says. I have a lurking fear that they are misrepresenting themselves, in the same manner I felt VDO (Ex-boyfriend) misrepresented himself throughout our relationship. I question anything and everything, looking for verification. It’s sad that someone who professed to love me so much could do so much lying to me. It’s even more sad that I knowingly stayed a part of it for so long. I stayed with someone who hated themselves so much, they couldn’t even be true and faithful in heart to someone who had so much to give them. I’d have given him anything and indeed, he took so much for granted from me.

I met up with someone who seems pretty great, from what I can tell. We met over a random Words With Friends game, of all places, just through idle chat. He’s absolutely adorable in person, seems to be very motivated and a hard worker (a huge change from my prior relationship), he’s respectful, he goes to church, and even has the appearance of that “bad boy” look, without actually being a bad guy. However, I question it at every turn and not because of anything he’s done. We’ve messaged pretty consistently through the past month (10/8). When I finally hinted that I was comfortable enough to meet up with this, well essentially a stranger, he suggested we meet up for coffee – totally giving me an out if I wanted and also keeping me comfortable by keeping it at a very public place. We were there for almost an hour and a half. Chemistry. Immediate chemistry. There was no air of desperation, no concern about how far we’d get, just spark…a definite click, that I’d felt via text, but it was much more noticeable in person. Oh, I want this. Oh how I want this to be real. He says what he is and what he believes with no feelings of deception. For the first time in a long time, it feels like a man with no hidden agenda.

Then the part of me that VDO clearly violated and bruised throughout entire relationship, my trust, jumps into overdrive. Although there is no indication that I shouldn’t trust, it feels like a part of me never will. I know I need to let that go. I need to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and not just assume that because I was foolish enough to stay in a relationship with someone who repeatedly manipulated me, who emotionally cheated on me, and who took me for granted, used my resources, then left…doesn’t mean everyone will.

My life is out of my hands and being led by a higher power. I just have to trust in that. Well, that and karma is a bitch for those who behave poorly.