Too many thoughts, too little time.

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Dealing with the Problem

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I got a gift card to a Christian bookstore for Christmas. I have a Bible I really like. I have a cover I really like. I don’t need a cross necklace or a shirt that seems to be about the video game Halo at first glance, and then upon reading you find out is actually a Bible verse. I don’t listen to much Christian music. I found some artwork I kind of liked, but, Brad is going through a “if you are Christian, you shouldn’t have to advertise it!” thing right now, and wrinkled his nose, and especially since I didn’t love the paintings, I left them there. But, I found these mugs. They were cute. And, they were the size I like for my morning coffee. And, they were heavy. Not the kind that burn your hands when you microwave them. So, this is what I bought.

Now, speaking of loving my husband, I thought I’d update after my last post. Brad really was driving me nuts when I wrote that. But, how to deal? So, I had a nice long talk with myself. I think I avoid being put in the crazy bin over these one-sided conversation because they are reasonable. Was he really doing anything wrong? No, he was not. Was he a jerk? No. Was I really mad at him or was he a safe place to direct some anger? Crap…maybe he doesn’t deserve this. But then, I’d try to find other things to be mad at him about. So, he’d deserve it.

And, I decided to stop it. If I loved him, which I do. And, if I wanted to have a happy marriage, which I do, then I couldn’t go around looking for trouble. I decided while I was still very frustrated with him, and being very vocal about how frustrated I was, that I was being kind of a jerk, and I had told him plenty that was wrong, but little that was right. He went back to work, and I started writing him e-mails. One a day. Sometimes I started in the morning and added to it throughout the day, sometimes it was rushed in the few minutes before we talked on the phone at night. But, he got an e-mail everyday telling him sometimes specific I loved or appreciated about him.

He’s home now for the holidays, so, the e-mails stopped. But, I am not as annoyed or as short-tempered this time. And, instead of looking for problems, I’ve actually been taking note of little things to tell him I love, to keep up the e-mails once in awhile. It seems to have helped, and I’m enjoying doing it. And, the temptations from November seem to be gone. I’m pretty excited about it.

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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.

It’s No Big Deal…Or Is It?

Brad and I have a sort of rule in our relationship. The phrase “It’s no big deal” isn’t allowed. I’m sure when I first told him I hated that phrase, he thought it was, well, no big deal. But, it was/is a big deal to me.

“It’s no big deal” is dismissive. It shuts down coversation. It puts the upset person on the defensive All things that I’ve never heard as being conductive to a good relationship. It is not really a good answer for anything.

If Brad comes to me and says “I am really upset that you did XYZ.” and my immediate response is “I don’t see what the big deal is”, than what is the harm in me giving in and taking care of the problem the way he would like. If I go to him and say “I’m tired of you always picking where we eat for dinner. I feel like you don’t care what I want.” he has two choices, 1. Listen to me, think about why he never lets me pick what’s for dinner, try to understand that it makes me feel bad, and be more careful next time to make sure he at least gets my opinion. Or, 2. He can say “it’s just dinner, it’s no big deal.” which doesn’t fix the problem, makes me feel worse, makes me upset and start trying to defend myself, reenforces the idea that my feelings and opinions don’t matter. If it is really, truely, not any big deal, than why can’t he let me pick sometimes? This is not an issue we have had, and it is obviously oversimplified, but it makes my point.

Could this backfire? Could this be bad? I suppose, in a relationship where one person is controlling or manipulative, it could be. Someone who was controlling could claim EVERYTTHING is a big deal, or they could demand their spouse have no friends at all, because it was a big deal to them. I  can see this not working for them, but, I certainly hope, the person being controlled would be able to explain why it is a big deal to have friends. Obvviously, not everything will work for everyone, but, it’s been a good rule of thumb for us. This is an issue that has been on my mind, partially because after I explained a situation to Brad, he told me what a good rule he thought it was.

I recently saw a former friend post 4 facebook stauses in a row…all talking about her friend, and he is just a friend and his wife is a psycho jealous old woman and their friendship is “no big deal” and she can just get over it.

Really? If it is no big deal, if there isn’t anything there, if ALL they do is discuss the old days in high school, and his wife is seriously upset about it, then, why can’t this woman drop it? Obviously it is a big deal to the wife. If it is no big deal for former friend, than what is the big deal with leaving the guy alone? Former friend continued on, trying to get all her friends to comment, and boy, did they. Things like “whatever, that’s so stupid”, “men and women can be friends!”, “jealous bitch”, “what, doesn’t she trust her own husband?”, and “maybe if she wasn’t so controlling she wouldn’t be worried he was out looking”.

Funny thing about marriage, nobody knows completely what is going on except the people in it. So, maybe the wife doesn’t trust her husband, and maybe she has a good reason. Maybe she knows her husband can’t be just friends. Maybe she is “controlling” because he’s shown with any freedom, that he will do something wrong.

I just wanted so badly to reply “If it’s no big deal, than get out of their relationship and their problems.” I didn’t, but, I feel more and more like I am the odd one out. I would not be comfortable knowing I was causing issues in the marriage of someone I considered “a very good friend”.

I realize banning the phrase “it’s no big deal” might be a bit much. But, if you find yourself tempted to say it, please think about it. Is it really no big deal? Then why can’t you do something else? Are you saying it to be dismissive of the other person? Because you know you don’t really have a good reason to continue, or because you know they’ve made a valid point? Are you putting them on the defensive because you know you don’t really have a defense? If it does matter to you, then please, explain, talk, reason, negotiate, compromise, but please don’t use “it’s no big deal” as a polite “shut up”.

You Must Choose a Side, and Everyone Else is Evil

Of course!

I am about done with facebook.

Or maybe I will just go on some big unfriending spree.

And, no, no one has done anything personally offensive to me, but, jeesh, the way people talk to each other. I have quite a few liberal friends, who post political stuff. Which is fine, I don’t mind seeing it. I may not agree with all of it, but, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. I have a lot of conservative friends, who post a lot of political stuff. I feel the same way about it.

What bothers me is the people who post garbage for the Lord. What bothers me is the gross generalizations made. A woman recently posted a quote from Roseanne Barr, about how anyone who eats at Chik-FilA should get cancer. Ok. that is a horrible thing to say. So anyway, the “friend” who posted said “Oh of course, what else can you expect from a liberal?” Really? I consider myself to lean more towards liberal than conservative, I would never say that! A family member recently posted an email she received from another family member. Which opened up to a lot of comments, and it was about Chik-Fil-A, and how they were so in the right for their stance on gay marriage. Another person replied “So, I am supposed to let God condemn these people to hell for not believing in him? Sorry for caring about your souls people!”

Right, I must have missed the part where all good Christians followed the Bible to a T, and didn’t have any private issues they were dealing with. I think people are much more likely to care about you worrying about their souls, when you worry about them first. I think they might be more likely to listen to you, if you worried more about how they felt, rather than what they did with their genitals. You know, if I honestly told people the whole story behind mine and Aussie’s relationship, they would probably be shocked, and upset. But, we got to get married so, we’re good people now.  Really?

Speaking of our relationship and generalizations, I’m a member of another board, and a few people have mentioned situations like ours, and they are quickly shot down with criticisms. With name calling. With being told how there is no way in hell it will ever work out. Meanwhile, I post something and I am told a hundred times how adorable we are, how I found a good man, how we’re a great couple. Oddly enough, if someone were to post “I met this great guy at a church get together, and he joined my family and I for a picnic. He asked me out, we’ve seen each other several times now, he is really sweet.” This would be the story that gets “awww, that’s amazing, sounds great!” It is also the beginning if the story to my first marriage, and that ended horribly.

Stop making assumptions people!*

All Conservatives are not people who think God allows dead soldiers because of America’s stance on gays.

All liberals are not trying to steal your money to give to lazy people.

All “good guys” aren’t going to give you happily ever after.

All guys who just want a f**k buddy aren’t married liars who will give you aids.

All people who homeschool are not anti-social nuts.

All people who go to public school do not leave uneducated.

All “traditional” families aren’t looking down on others.

All “different” families aren’t trying to destroy yours.

All wives who are ok with their husbands being in charge aren’t abused.

All feminists don’t hate men.

All gay people aren’t trying to convert you.

All men aren’t child molesters.

All poor people are not lazy and stupid.

All rich people aren’t greedy and mean.

All Christians aren’t kind.

All Atheists are not immoral.

All foreigners aren’t here illegally.

All natural born Americans aren’t gun toting, flag waving, NASCAR fans.

All fat people aren’t sitting on the couch all day eating Twinkies while watching soap operas.

All skinny people don’t need a hamburger.

Just stop with the assumptions and the generalizations. You might learn something.

*Please do not mistake any of my generalizations for things I believe. I don’t, but, I have heard ALL these things.

Don’t Miss Your Life

I can expense this, right?

There is a song rising up the country charts right now, called Don’t Miss Your Life and the lyrics to the song talk about a man on a flight out west, working on his laptop. An older man starts talking to him, and they commiserate  about life on the road. About how they’ve missed ball games, and a baby being born, anniversaries, and going out to dinner for good grades. The song ends with the younger man deciding he will just get off the plane when they land and he will get a turn around flight and go home because he doesn’t want to miss his life.

I hate that song. I also hate shows where they romanticize these kind of jobs. I don’t know about all companies, but I know darn well, if Aussie got out to California, turned around and came back to go out to dinner with us, when he was supposed to be working, his job would be in jeopardy. And yes, he misses soccer practice, and is supposed to be working on birthdays and some holidays. But, oddly enough, birthdays come the same time each year, as do anniversaries. At the beginning of the year, take vacation if you are that concerned about it. Good grade dinners do not have to be done immediately. You say “Oh, good job honey, lets call dad and see what time we can go out Friday night. You get to pick where!” Not only am I trying to juggle a regular life with his crazy work schedule, I’m trying to juggle a family life, when 2 members of our family our gone every other weekend. We’ve moved entire holidays before. I think Easter was 2 weeks early this year. And you know who cared? Nobody. Independence Day was kept on the right day this year, but, for everyone to get to be there and make the kids happy,  my new husband and I invited my ex husband and the woman he left me for. But, the important thing to my husband and I was that him, the boys and I got to spend the day together. What was important to the kids was that their 4 “parents” got to be there, along with their pseudo-step sisters. What was important for my ex was to see the kids. Nobody had to “miss their life”.

The options are not miss your life or quit your job. The solution is to think outside the box. I realize, I have it easier than many people. If I caller my parents right now and said “Please ignore my birthday, we’ve moved it two weeks forward”, they would and they would be understanding about it.  But, my kids are pretty happy about the fact they get three birthdays a year. One little one, on their actual birthday, lunch with mommy, a little present, maybe cake at grandma’s. Then a big birthday when Aussie gets home from work. Then one with their dad.

And, like I said, movies where they romanticize this I hate as well. You know the ones, his alarm goes off, and she rolls over to hold him, he tries to pry himself away, saying he has a flight to catch, and she pouts. He kisses her, and then cut to the scene 3 hours later, where they are still in bed and he has to rearrange his flights. It doesn’t work like that. Yes, I want to pout when he has to leave on Monday morning, but, there are consequences for him when he tries to put a flight he never took on his expense report. There are consequences for missing that 8am Tuesday morning meeting because you missed your 8am Monday morning flight.

I think having priorities is good. I think your family should come first, but every time I hear that song I think to myself “good job, now you can make that celebration dinner, but how are you going to pay for it when you get fired?”

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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