Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘divorce’

A Success Story, part 4

Continued from Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Part 4: Baby makes 3, and 4, and the Mistress makes 5

I was willing to deal on my own. I told him to get lost, because I didn’t want myself, or the baby to get too attached just to have him leave later. He told me no. He told me it was his baby too, and he was going to be there to raise it. He loved me, and we could work this out, let’s go ahead and move up the wedding and save everyone the embarrassment. I didn’t know what to do, and told him that. A couple months later, my parents found out I was pregnant. They weren’t mad, at this point, but, all they said was “I guess we’ll move the wedding up.” I felt like I couldn’t say I didn’t actually want to marry him, especially since they were handling this incredibly well, for them. I am not a hugely romantic person, I didn’t believe in soul mates, I figured, as long as we both worked at it, we could have a happy marriage together. We got married, and everyone could save face, and again, Punkie is a success story, happily married with a baby on the way at 18, like God intended. When we closed on a house before my 19th birthday, there was even more celebration about how successful their parenting was, because Punkie is living the American Dream. I told them recently, I never wanted to marry Joe, I only did it because they said I had to. Because they said I should have thought of that before I slept with him. Because I remembered them berating other people for not forcing their pregnant teens to marry the father, because that was the consequence of having sex before marriage. So, I accepted my fate. My mother said “oh, we didn’t mean any of that. We didn’t make you marry him.” True, no one held a gun to my head. I guess I never learned to tell when their demands, lessons, etc were meaningful and when they were just talk.

I had grown up and married my father. When Joe would punch holes in the wall, and blame me, I knew just what to do. When he’d throw things at me, I remembered, this was how a loving family acted. There was nothing to talk about, because, it was a given, like saying the sky is blue. Pointless, because, everyone knows, right? When he decided to keep me away from church, it was familiar, and when he eventually took away my access to our car and our money, I stayed quiet, because, I was going to be happily married, even if I was dying inside. Immediately after having our first son, my mother got pregnant again, and relished the comments about how adorable it was that we were pregnant almost together. Laughed and encouraged comments about how I better get busy if I planned to keep up. A while later, I conceived our second son, and shortly after, she got pregnant again too. I still think she wasn’t ready to give up the attention. The only thing in her life people knew was she had a bunch of kids, with weird names, and now, was pregnant at the same time as her daughter. I don’t think she could stand to not be the center of attention. It was humiliating. I said I was done after 2, I wasn’t going to become them, and I wasn’t going to be a joke. I only had my two boys.

Over time, my husband got worse. I was alone, and isolated, with post partum depression and 2 babies. He began cheating. And, I had no social network, no support system. I cried a lot for two years. I tried to go to the church, where I was told that he said he wasn’t cheating and I needed to trust him. The reason he was always home late was because I was such a nag. So, I shut up, and tried to “nice” him into not cheating. Instead, he cheated more, and began abusing me. Pushing, shoving…once, he threw me off the porch, cracking my tailbone. Once, he tried to run me over, while I held our sons hand. The final straw was the night I caught him sending naked pictures to a woman. I lunged for his phone, he threw me down and strangled me until I blacked out. Why did I put up with this? Because, this was what I knew. Because, I kept being “saved” only to be put in a worse situation. Because, my biological father left my mom when he found out about me, and my dad swooped in to “save” me, and I better be thankful he was willing to accept me. Then, Joe came in to save me from dad. While his abuse was ramping up, I was reminded, continuously, that if I left, I’d have to go back to them. I was told I was worthless, all his anger was my fault, nobody would want me. I was told how I drove my biological father away, just by existing, and was such a crappy person, I not only drove one, but two men into abusing me. That nice girls, good girls, didn’t get hurt like I did, because they never made anyone hurt them.

I had no money, no car, no job. I was 21 but had no high school friends to call, because I was never allowed friends. I had no family, because  our relationship had been destroyed. One night, I called my parents for help, I cried and begged. Joe said if they came over, he’d have them arrested for trespassing, and my father’s exact words were “you aren’t worth going to jail for.” Eventually, I called the police, and they took Joe away. He and I have not been a couple since that night. Can you guess what I did? You know who is perfectly willing to befriend pretty, naive, hurt, scared, 22 yr olds? Men. In fact, my insanely low self esteem, and non-existent support system made me the perfect target. I was looking for friends, for help, for somebody to say I wasn’t worthless, I hadn’t been used up like a piece of gum, I wasn’t undesirable, I wasn’t “used”.  I was getting my first real taste of being on my own, and had no idea what to do. I slept around, I got a job at a bar where I spent most my time drunk, I had various relationships that were based on everything but love.

Such A Stressful Week

Where do I even begin?

Last week, my brother woke up to find his wife, her 3 kids, their furniture, and all their food was gone. She is leaving him because he doesn’t clean or help the kids with their homework. Ok, I’m not saying my brother is perfect, but, what do you expect when you, a 30 yr old mother of 3, marries a 19 yr old? I mean, really? He’ll grow up.

The wife talked to my aunt and it turned into this big bash Punkie thing, because I got a divorce and nobody cared, but, now she wants one and everyone is saying she shouldn’t. And, apparently the wife said “And, I know all about Punkie.”

Now, I was told about this. I assumed she meant (from other parts of the conversation) that she knew that after I caught my husband cheating, I didn’t leave, but, I quite openly had a boyfriend. Well, while i’m not proud of it, I don’t care that anybody knows, I never hid it. Maybe if I can’t be a good influence, I can at least be an example of what not to do.

My mother assumed she meant that my dad is not my biological dad. So, she calls me in a panic to tell me that now people might find out. I told her I couldn’t care less. I never understood why it was a secret anyway. Well, apparently my parents talked and decided to tell my siblings about this. And, tell all of us that my dad was married before.

Ok, I’ve always known my dad wasn’t my biological father. And, when they told me my dad had been married before I basically said “Yeah, no shit.” I’ve put together pieces over the years. That was my entire reaction.

The sister I don’t like has been throwing a huge tantrum about this, and how she is so ashamed and embarrassed, then she demanded to know my biological father’s name. No, just, no. It is none of her damn business. I’ve never even asked. Then, I have one sister my parents haven’t told yet, and the evil sister demanded to be there when the other sister was told “for moral support”. Ummm…I’ was told when I was 4 with no support at all and been fine for 20+ years. This sister just wants her nose in everyone else’s business. She doesn’t even like me, so, she can stop acting like this ruined some bond or something. Then, she got my other brother all worked up as well.

So, she has turned my brother’s divorce and my birth into being all about her.

And, that is what I am not handling well. Not at all. I feel, like, my privacy has been invaded. Like I am some how “less than”. I feel bad for my parents and her reaction. I am mad that all I hear about is how she is handling it, no one has asked how I am doing. I don’t know if this changes anything for any of them, and so, now I just wait, I guess. I don’t know, I don’t know what the right thing to do here is.

It’s bringing up huge abandonment issues that I have. My biological father disappeared after my mom told him about me.

My adopted father was abusive for years.

My ex husband left me and the kids, because I asked him to take out the trash.

Noah’s dad left as soon as I told him I was pregnant.

I have a long string of ex-boyfriends.

I’m not handling this well. I was happy burying the issue for decades.

Then, my ex calls me to ask why I let the kids be such brats. They are sarcastic, and he threatens to punish them, but, his punishments are too harsh. And you know, he can fucking suck it up for the SEVEN DAYS he has had them this year.

And, an innocent question led to the discussion of future children for Husband and I, I’ve always told him I was done, but, if he wanted more, then we’d discuss it, and I could probably be persuaded. well, he made a comment, that made me say “Never mind, that option is off the table.” which led to lots of tears for both of us.

Then, evil sister called my husband just not to tell him my dad might be having a stroke or a heart attack. And, of course evil sister is there at the hospital, because, where else would she be except in everybody else’s business? She didn’t even call me, she called my husband and had him tell me. (I left, dad is fine, they aren’t sure what happened.)

My brother’s divorce is freaking me out as well, just a reminder that it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do, if my husband wants to leave, he just can. And, there is nothing I can do about it.

And, to top it all off, I’m 4 weeks away from graduating. School is getting more difficult, I’m taking 5 classes. This week, I have 3 papers due, 22 discussion board posts, 4 quizzes and one test. That’s for ONE WEEK.

The damn scale still isn’t moving. I did have to buy new underwear today, so, I guess that is progress, and, I ran a mile for the first time ever. But, the scale still says “fat”.

And, I think I am PMSing.

The good news is, in the past, I would have spent a lot of time drunk last week. Now, I ran. So…progress.

I can’t even explain how I am feeling. Can you be numb and stressed at the same time? I’m having a hard time even crying. I’m looking for a fight, but, I don’t trust anyone enough to fight with them except the husband, and he doesn’t ever fight. He kept telling me I could cry this weekend, and, I just couldn’t. Not really, I kept saying “i’m fine”, and, well, I’m not.

 

 

For the Good of the Kids

My semester ends Wednesday. One more math test. I have fought and struggled. Last night I took the final math quiz 4 times. There were almost 100 questions on it. I took it over and over until I ran out of time. I’m getting a B overall. If I can just pass this last test. Then, one more semester.

Today I would like to say, if I never hear the words “best for the kids” again, it will be too soon.

It’s the “cuz God” argument all over again.

The moment you say something is best for the kids, or because God said, you have shut down the conversation. You have made anyone who disagrees with you a bad person, because they don’t care about “the good of the kids”.

I see it ALL the time on the infidelity board I am a member of. People go on and on and on about how whatever they want is for the good of the kids. “I want to put my kid in soccer, it’s what’s best for the kids. But, my ex won’t drive him to practice!” Somebody says “Then you drive him.” and all of a sudden it is “NO! I will NOT drive him. My ex is a parent too, and he doesn’t just get to run off into the sunset, and I’m not doing it all on my own, and he can waste his own gas, let his whore see  how much works kids really are!”

Ummm…what happened to “best for the kids”?

The best advice I can give someone going through a divorce, or trying to raise kids while divorced is this:

Your spouse is dead. That person you loved and trusted, who could never hurt you? Completely dead. You are now single, and unfortunately the only babysitter you can find at times, while free, is a person who looks oddly like your ex. There is no past to discuss with this stranger.

I know, you are sitting there thinking “I’m just supposed to let them get away with the things they did to me?” No, you are supposed to know that, they will never see that they did anything to you. When you go nuts, they will feel justified in all the things they did. His new gf and he will giggle over his crazy ex and how you deserved all he did. And really…if it is REALLY all about the kids, then, why complain about picking them up from soccer? Why are you concerned about punishing your ex?

I get blasted by my friends fairly often because I am willing to pick up the kids on Sundays around my ex’s work schedule. And, I shouldn’t do that, I should stick to the schedule, he’s just making me do whatever he wants, he needs to see there are consequences for the things he has done, I am not supposed to just drop everything so he doesn’t have to find a babysitter.

Again, I thought it was all about best for the kids. And, isn’t it best that they come home when their dad has to go to work? Or is it better for them to stay with whoever he’s sleeping with this week, and constant changing rules? Best for the kids says they can come home, where their things are, where they are comfortable, where they are with people who love them.

Do what you want, but quit pretending it is all “for the kids”.

Bad influences

This song came on the radio the other day, when my oldest informed me that he loved that song. I said, I liked it to, and I hoped they were watching the right people and learning the right things. My younger one piped up and said “Yeah mommy, we are. We are learning from Brad that you have to take care of your family. That you have to do a good job in school and get a good job. That you work hard and you can buy the things you want. And you don’t have to yell and scream all the time!” I asked the 8 yr old what he learned and he told me “We learned from daddy, that sometimes you will get fired for making one little mistake so why even bother trying to do a good job. And if you are in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy, then you need to leave it and find a girl who will make you happy.” I should say here that their dad was fired from 10 jobs within 2 years. He had at least 4 girlfriends I know about while we still lived together, and in the 5 yrs he’s been gone, he’s lived with 5 different women, but moved 15 times. (At least)

I was mad. I told them, as calmly as I could that first of all, almost nobody gets fired for “one little mistake” and that if you are doing something you need to do your best, if you mess up you need to take responsibility for it and man up and take the consequence, and learn from it. I also told them that a relationship wouldn’t make them happy, if they loved a girl only for how happy she made them, then it was for the wrong reasons. That you can’t count on someone else making you happy, because people aren’t perfect, they will not always make you happy. I told them if they were dating a girl and found that she wasn’t right for them, then they should end the relationship, but, they shouldn’t live with every girl they meet, and if they are married, then it is their responsibility to go to their wife and say “we have a problem, will you help me fix it?” Not just replace the woman and think it was all better.

You know, I can accept most the unfairness of divorce. I can accept he doesn’t pay child support, and I deal with the fact he ignores the court order to provide them with health insurance. I have even come to terms with the fact he abused me, but the court still decided he was ok to have unsupervised visitation. However, I’m really struggling with the fact he is allowed to warp their minds with his bullshit. He is allowed to do these things that have lasting impact and I am allowed to do nothing to stop it. If they boys had a babysitter that taught them this garbage, or a teacher, everyone would support me changing that. But, he’s their dad, so, whatever he says is cool?

This is the same man who tried to take the kids from me based on the fact he THOUGHT the religion we were didn’t allow Christmas and he’s not ok with that, so, I shouldn’t have them. But I have to stand by silently while he tells them they don’t even have to try to do a good job at work? This is the same man who tried to take the kids from me on the basis of I didn’t feed them enough hamburger. Yes, I am serious. Nevermind the fact that for the last FIVE YEARS he has lived with women who already have kids and only a 2 bedroom apartment, or gotten his own one bedroom apartments. For FIVE YEARS our children have not had a bedroom or a bed when they visit their dad. Right now they sleep on an air mattress on the floor. You know who bought the air mattress? ME!

What I really want to tell the kids is the truth. I want to point out how stupid his advice is. He is THIRTY YEARS OLD. Why can he not manage to get his own place? Why can he not provide our kids with beds? He told them he’s buying another truck, so he will have two, one from driving every day and one for off roading. But he can’t buy them a freakin’ bed. Why can’t a 30 yr old keep a job? Why can’t he manage a relationship? I want to point out, that following Brad’s example = good job, money, 2 nice cars, 2 project cars, lots of travel, lots of fun things, a nice, new house, dinner out when you feel like it, museum memberships, good relationship, etc. Ex’s example=Sleeping on women’s couches until  you can convince them to have sex with you, then you are “in a relationship”, cars that leave you stranded all the time, being too broke for McDonalds. A long string of “true love” failed relationships, lots of yelling and fighting, being homeless, lots of run ins with the law, “vacations” that consist of driving an hour to the beach for the day then coming home. Oh, and not taking care of your children, so, you go to court for that as well.

I really hope they are both smart enough to realize Brad’s example is the one to follow.But, I still hate that ex is allowed to be such a bad influence and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. I can’t even talk to him, because he truly believes what he says. He believes I have been the source of all his problems for the last 10 yrs. Even though, he’s been gone for 5, and if I’m such a bad person, then how come I’m coming out ahead. I don’t impact his life anymore at all, so, shouldn’t he start crawling out of the hole I supposedly pushed him in? 5 yrs should be enough time for a start.

I am a gold digger and a 5 letter word that rhymes with stitch.

Wait, you mean this isn’t how it works?

I just thought you should know…according to a guy I haven’t spoken to in years, and before that, I only spoke with online long enough to know I don’t want to go out sometime.

It’s apparently a two post day.

I logged on to check my e-mail this morning, and an IM popped up. It was someone I had met on a dating site years ago, and, I hadn’t blocked him, though I also hadn’t started the conversation. I never do. He asked how I was, and I said I was great, planning my wedding. My usual response to the guys I met that way. It’s a not so subtle way to let them know I’m not open to being hit on or anything. It usually works well. If they can be polite, I chat. If they want to be jerks or disrespect my relationship, they get blocked.

So, the guy says “cool, have your prenup all ready?”

I said “lol, no, I have nothing, and if we divorce and he wants the blender, he can have it.”

The guy then says “then he’s an idiot for not having one. Marriage is a trap for men, you’ll leave for some imagined slight and take him for everything he’s got, and still demand child support.”

I said “well, you know, he has my history to go with. In my last divorce, I wanted my kids, my clothes and my car.”

He replied back with “oh, YOUR kids. I bet he has to pay you child support too. That should be done away with, it isn’t for the kids, it is for the mom.”

I said “yes, well, I was living large on that $10/week I got. While I paid $60 for soccer, which he comes to, but doesn’t help pay for.”

He said “So, now I suppose you’ll just have him arrested while still demanding child support and alimony”

I said “I wish I could have him arrested, but $10 for two kids ‘shows he is trying’ and this state doesn’t do alimony.”

So, this guy continued on and on and on…laws favor women, any man who  get married is a fool, I’m completely wrong about divorce laws (you know, the person studying law, and just got a divorce probably knows less than the mechanic who’s never been married, right?) That he hopes for this guys sake I don’t go after him for CS when we get divorced, and we will because obviously I am a gold digging, unreasonable, bitch.

I told him, he can relax about Aussie, because we won’t be having kids together, if he wants to go, he is free to never have anything to do with me again.

So…here we go…

Most states are going to 50/50 custody, no matter what.

Most states have or are doing away with alimony.

People don’t get arrested for not paying child support, they get a slap on the wrist and told to do better.

Mothers are held to a higher standard then fathers. I had CPS called on me, BY MY EX, because my kids shared a room. Meanwhile, ELEVEN people were living in his one bedroom apartment, and as long as the kids weren’t in danger, it was no big deal.

This man tried to run me over, while I held my sons hand, and he still gets visitation. He strangled me until I blacked out, and because he took anger management classes, he still gets to see the kids.

He comes to the soccer games, that I paid for the kids to play. He lost their cleats during visitation, which I had to replace, then HE sold the “lost” ones in a garage sale. He doesn’t feed them before I pick them up, no matter what time that is, but, demands I feed them before he picks them up, because otherwise, there is  no time and they will be hungry. But, he tried to take custody from me, on the basis of I don’t feed them enough hamburger.

We agreed I’d be a stay at home mom, and when he left, I was shit out of luck.

He let a woman, who had just gotten out of jail for battery of a child under 14, babysit, and I couldn’t say a damn thing about it. It was his time with them.

He wrecked his motorcycle 3 times last summer and still took our son on rides, and I couldn’t do anything about it.

I’m glad the law favors me though.

This is the guy who gave me sole custody, so he could pay less in child support. That is how important the kids are to him. But, I’m the gold digger who wants them more, which will cost more money, but took less money for the privilege.

And then, this dumbass tells me, I am the idiot who wanted kids with the loser, I have no one to blame but myself and I deserve it for all my bad choices. (He got blocked, then started in from other e-mail addresses). You know…funny thing…I know. I know I made bad choices. I know I didn’t listen to myself when I should have. I wanted to call off the wedding, I told him that…two weeks later I found out I was pregnant, and our parents began putting tons of pressure on to get married. I told him to leave us, and he wouldn’t. I was an 18 yr old, who always had to do what my parents said, who had absolutely no life experience, who was scared and really did think it would be best for the baby, though I wasn’t too happy about it. But, I’m not a romantic person, I don’t believe in “the one” and I think it’s possible to have several soul mates (though I knew he wasn’t mine) so, I naively thought, as long as we both tried, we could make it work, and I married him anyway. The thing was, he used to be a really nice guy. I didn’t marry an asshole, I didn’t marry a wife beater, I didn’t marry a cheater. I married a guy who hadn’t grown up yet, and I take responsibility for that. I will take responsibility for having kids as well, but, that is it. It isn’t my fault who he turned in to, it isn’t my fault how he chose to handle it, it isn’t my fault he hasn’t chosen to grow up yet. It isn’t my fault he cheated, and it isn’t my fault he got abusive, and it isn’t my fault he won’t take care of the kids or be reasonable…right?

And you know what, that does scare me…I already married one nice guy and look where that got me. What if Brad changes? Is it my fault then too? I’m older now…I know more…I don’t think I’d put up with as much, but, that hasn’t been tested yet.We’re responsible grown ups…but…what if he changes his mind? Joe never gave me a reason…so, how can I stop it from happening again? I know…like I said, we’re older now, we’ve moved slowly, at two and a half yrs in with Joe we were married and expecting our second baby. Aussie and I aren’t even technically engaged yet, so, I hope that by taking more time to make sure he was right for me that will help, but I know it is no guarantee.

You know what…I think marriage is serious, if there is no abuse or infidelity, to damn bad, you made a promise, you signed a contract…fix whatever need fixed.

I think, if you cheat, you should lose rights. You are showing out right, you are not concerned about what is best for your kids. I think custody hearings should consider whose fault it is the marriage is over.

I think no fault divorce is a pile of shit.  If you can PROVE your spouse cheated, if you can prove he took vacation time to screw somebody else rather than spend time with his family, if you can prove she used the grocery money on a hotel room for her and her boss, then that should play into divorce, into custody, into spousal support. Why should anyone take marriage seriously anymore, there is no consequence for being a lying asshole? The “winner” is not the moral one, is not the one who tried to keep their family together, it is the person with a better lawyer.

Families are just as broken as our legal system, but nobody wants to fix it. It’s too hard, it’s no fun, what if it backfires? It’s too complicated…maybe the medical community should come up with a pill for it.

It’s finally over

I never thought I’d be so happy to see this.

I intend to keep the person, journaling type stuff off of here, usually. But today, I think I just need to get this out.

I got married in May of 2003, my then husband started cheating in 2006, that I know of, though I have reason to believe it was before that. I found out about the cheating in 2007, I found out about new women in 2008, and the physical abuse started then too. He was arrested August 29, 2008. We haven’t lived together since. I had filed for divorce, but, with how erratic his behavior had become, I really did want a lawyer to make sure I had covered everything. A lawyer was out of the question, I couldn’t even figure out how to have heat in our house. Sadly, that stayed with me, I now have a lovely house with more blankets/mittens/hats than I care to count, because I’m so afraid of a repeat of that. I know it is illogical, but, I still buy more.

Anyway, that isn’t the point. I tried to move on, I did what I had to do when I had to do it. I had to go to school more than I needed a divorce. I had to get a car more than I needed a divorce. I had to have a place to live more than I needed a divorce. So, it got put on the back burner, the old divorce filing was thrown out, and I moved on with my life, still married to this man.

I finally got to a point where I could refile. First he was mad at me because I got a lawyer, then he was mad because child support was raised. Then he decided that he wanted full custody because I go to a “foreign church” and don’t let the kids have Christmas or hamburgers. I go to a 7th Day Adventist church, tell the Visa card I don’t let the kids have Christmas! And, the boys dad came for a 4th of July party at my house, one where we were grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, and the kids were eating them!  He bad mouthed me, he slandered me, he’s told the kids I stole $1700 from him. I didn’t, because he was so far behind in child support, I got his tax return.

But, I kept moving towards the goal of divorce, and on March 30, 2012, my divorce became final. I found out this morning. I have sole custody of my kids, and he has a lowered child support obligation. So, I suppose everyone wins.

I know many people who have been divorced, they’ve all told me that it didn’t matter how long we’d been separated, I’d be sad today.

Today, I feel…scared. Scared that there was some mess up, and I will find out soon we aren’t really divorced.

I feel happy and excited. I’m no longer legally tied to him. There is no way his mistakes can now come back to haunt me.

Today I feel, off balance, I’ve been saying for so long “When I get a divorce…” and, I can never say that again. It feels so unreal.

Today I feel was, anticlimactic. Shouldn’t there have been fireworks and confetti or something? But, no, I simply walked in to the court house alone, asked if the judge signed the paperwork, was told yes, walked out to my car, stopped for an orange soda, and went home. I’ve been waiting for years for this, and it changed absolutely nothing.

Today I feel in shock, like I’m watching somebody else’s life. It hasn’t sank in yet.

Today I feel, slightly sad. Today the man I promised forever too became just someone I used to know. I’ve always said, my Joe died that night, the night I found out about the affairs, he was replaced with an entirely different person, and today I threw my handful of dirt on his coffin. And that was kind of hard to be honest. And, it was never that I wanted that person back, I always knew, somehow, there was no hope for reconciliation, that the man I loved had died, and I had no interest in his replacement.

It’s an odd feeling really. I mean, I did love Joe, but, the man I divorced today was not at all the man I married. The rare twinge of nostalgia I have, the rare moments I miss are equal to missing my grandpa giving me cookies. I know he’s gone, I know he’s happier now, and, I wouldn’t wish him back for anything. I couldn’t take him back anymore than I could raise my grandfather from the dead.

Today I feel, some sense of failure. The insecure 21 yr old is still here under the woman who learned so many lessons, and wonders what I did wrong. I also feel some failure because I did mean it when I married him. I meant my vows. However, it took two to keep that promise. I couldn’t do this by myself, no matter how hard I tried.

However, today I also feel empowered and hopeful. I have learned a lot. I have changed a lot. I did have time to work on those flaws from years ago, and become a better person, a person more equipt to deal with the ups and downs in my current relationship. I’ve become someone who is comfortable being me, but not so comfortable I can’t change when a flaw is pointed out, but, also someone who can recognize if it truly is a flaw being pointed out, or if it is someone trying to tear me down. I’m feeling hopeful because I am young and I get a second chance to try to be happy and to learn from the mistakes in the past.

I am hopeful because I am in a relationship, and I know I have the capacity to love with my whole heart and forgive far more than I ever thought I would need to. And, I think, at times, one person in a relationship needs to be the bigger person to keep moving forward. The key is probably taking turns. I am confident, I found someone this time who is willing to love me completely and unconditionally, and I will do the same for him, and if I technically made a horrible marriage last almost a decade, what will we be able to do with a good relationship?!

And finally, I feel relieved. I probably feel that most of all, my life is no longer in a holding pattern while I wait for a divorce, while I wait for him to make a new threat to change some term of the divorce. I am free of him, and I feel like a huge weight is off my shoulders. There is no going back now, if he is a jerk to me, we can’t suddenly become remarried, he can’t undo this for me. And that is a really nice feeling.

I’m waiting, expecting, a huge breakdown and lots of tears, but I honestly don’t think it’s coming. Now, I just need to wash my hands of the dirt I buried my marriage with, and move on to tomorrow, and I can’t wait.

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