Friday, February 15, 2013

On Life After Divorce....& Dating

So here's the deal.....

....some days you win and some days you lose. Divorce was a big fat loss. Marriage was in a lot of ways a big fast loss. Sure there were some great moments in there...and I'm not going to lie, the thing I'm not over, even still, is this idea of what should/could have been between the ex and I...and I'm not sure if I'll ever truly let go of and/or get over that. Hypothetically, the ex and I want the same type of things, we want each other in a partner, but man our practice techniques of living out our "theory" just doesn't add up. Now after divorce, am I happier at this stage? Yes. Most definitely. Sure I still have moments most days were I get a lil bummed still, a song makes my heart ache for a few, I just plain miss his companionship, or something reminds me of him. But I'm definitely happier functioning solo again. My life is truly my own again. The dogs are mine, the ex removed his final things from the home this week, his address change finally was processed, my taxes are filed, 99.99% of all accounts are separated, and at this point communication only has to ensue if we both want it to. The only joint things left are a Costco membership and a loan on the truck (of which he is paying), plus the mutual friends that we share.

Do I still feel like I got short-changed? 100%. I don't know that my marriage was ever what had been promised to me once we were a few months in...and especially once I'd relocated over halfway across the nation. Lies were caught, tears ensued, and I don't think that this gal's trust ever truly was recreated...and after years of feeling second-rate, catching more half-truths, and realizing I might never be able to break into his heart, the icing finally melted, the cake cracked, and the separation only showed me that I would never be able to be his "it." But folks, that's what happens when you're a romantic dreamer who believes that you can run off with the "right one" after just a couple doesn't always turn out the way you were sold. But I learned a lot in the process...about life, about love, about areas where I could also really use some improvements. And interestingly as much as I feel that getting married how I did was probably one of two of the biggest mistakes I ever made (thus far at least and ironically #2 was part of the initial separation), I don't know that I regret the time that we spent together.

I also know I wasn't easy to be married to either and I lost sight of myself while I floundered alone in Louisiana. And as much as I do someday hope the ex and I can truly be friends...right now I think we just continue to bring each other down 90% of the time. As much as we both care about the other, we both are somewhat egotistical, manipulative, and selfish...and do a great job of letting the other know which of their faults we see in existence...and that's not healthy for either of us. It's going to be a long time coming before I stop hearing negative commentary in my head....and I'm sure he feels the same way about my voice in his head as well. Sigh....interesting that the one person you most want to give and know your love....sometimes brings out the worst in you. Hence, our divorce is a very good thing.

Looking back, the divorce should have happened much, much sooner, although as much as other Christians might fight me on this, I still feel like there was a reason we passed that time together, a reason we both were sent to Louisiana, a reason we lived through aspects of the military together, that God had us get married, but that He also blessed our divorce. If God's all about love and wanting to have His people work to glorify His name.....then I can assure you that Tall D and I were not doing His work while we were together.

A few random things upon reflection:
---the divorce has taught me that anything that I thought I wouldn't be able to do....I CAN do it. At this point, I've come to realize that one's mind is stronger than one might think...and that almost everything is truly mind over matter.
---forgiveness is hard....self-forgiveness is even harder.
---ironically, it seems that whatever one says they won't do, life has a funny way of turning that state into a "will" do.
---as much as I felt incredibly supported by individuals in my life...sometimes there were moments when I just couldn't bring myself to tell someone else that I really just needed them to come, to where I was, in that exact moment. (Call it pride even in the midst of despair.) Even though on occasion I'd send out an inquiry text to see what someone was doing and if they'd be able to connect---in reality, and in honesty, some of those texts were moments of major defeat. When I really just needed someone to pack up from work or to drive the miles, and to come to where I was in a pile of mess and tears crumbled on the back deck or the floor. There were weeks of loneliness but there were some days when it was just a black pit of despair. And as draining as it is to be around someone else suffering in a bout of depression, there were days when another body in my home or in the guest bed would have made a world of difference, even if they just sat there while I wracked myself with tears...or refused to let the tears fall in the presence of another. These are things I write, not because I harbor any resentments, but because I want to remember for the future in case any of my other friends go through this....I want to know that she might not be able to share that she's fallen apart and just needs someone/anyone to hold on to....
---and with that....second note to self for the future....when she is in the midst of divorce, order her a pizza...and have it delivered. If you can't bring yourself to cook, you just might be tempted by a pizza delivery....and have enough left over for breakfast with coffee to boot!

And this all brings me to where I am right now currently with this whole dating process. I'm not looking to pair up right now, so sometimes I feel like I'm being misleading when I go on a new date. But it's been nice meeting new people...and as I'd hoped, have to answer questions and in the process of explaining find MY voice again (and not the thoughts, views, and decisions of the ex.) But I'm not going to lie, I don't think that I'll ever leave a first date feeling the same way I did when the ex and I were originally "courting," and I've come to accept that as being okay. The second time around, in fact, I don't want a whirlwind. I want stability, laughter, gentleness, support, mutual acceptance, heart, and sure some mutual interests and view of the world would be nice. In a lot of regards, I want the same type of things that I wanted when I first met the ex, although the list is less and slightly altered. These days I don't want a challenge....I'm exhausted. These days I just want a friend....who could eventually also progress to a potential more. But the problem that I'm finding is a) when you're heart (and therefore a big part of you) is shut-down cause you're not ready to connect (and you're jaded on top of it), then "chemistry" tends to be lacking and b) I feel like most the guys that are out there are looking for relationship potential or "the one" (of which I no longer believe). The other big irony of the moment is that once I opened myself up to the idea of initially dating, then options appeared from other unexpected ways. In all honesty, I don't know what will happen with this. I might pull back into my hibernating shell. I know I need more time to heal....and that's part of the reason I'm starting to look at relocating....but that's for another blog post, maybe tomorrow....

PS I do have to say though, there are lots of seemingly "good guys" out there....


  1. There is such a difference in your posts now compared to the Nov/Dec time frame. There is definitely a perceptible shift towards acceptance which is so important. And I knew you'd get to this place where you have some time and distance from things which usually results in gaining some perspective. I am glad you are having fun with the dating process in the mean time. It is really hard to open your heart again after a big heart break. I have trouble with that even after break ups! It just takes awhile for the scarring of my heart to sort of fade and for me to open myself up again.

  2. Blaming yourself for a failed marriage will do you no good. It takes two to tango, remember? Accept the reality and move on with your life. Forgive yourself first because that’s the only reason you’ll be able to forgive the other person with all your heart. And through that, you’ll find peace within yourself. :)