Tag Archives: divorce

Lost and undone…

7 Sep

I bought a new paperback book today to take with me to the pool. The back cover was interestingly (and very) close to my life story so I felt compelled to buy it. And sitting in the 100 degree heat, with sweat dripping down parts of my body that didn’t object insomuch as they didn’t appreciate the torment, I sat there reading and reading until I realized I was burning.

The story line should sound familiar enough to many women in their mid forties. Married for 20+ years and along comes a stranger. She wasn’t looking or seeking this stranger, but he was there. Providing distraction, attention, and a little more.

Distraction

The main character of this book married young, and over the course of two decades, grew bored and eventually unhappy with her life. She had no right to complain. She has wealth, two beautiful well-adjusted daughters, and a husband. But one who ignores her. Listens but doesn’t hear her.  Their sex life is predictable. They know where to touch each other and for how long. They barely kiss. It leaves her feeling lonely. She craves passion.

She doesn’t know she’s truly unhappy until she’s offered something else. When she takes it, she doesn’t feel guilty. I never cheated on my husband in that way. I’m a huge flirt and it’s gotten me into trouble in the past, hell, still does, but I must admit that having male admiration has always been a welcome thing. Marriage or not. Maybe it’s a validation I want or need.

The book goes into areas that made me uncomfortable though. The constant checking of the email to see if there’s a new message from her lover. The sending of text messages that go unanswered for too long that leave her feeling doubt and insecurity.

This illicit affair comes with huge prices to pay. She cannot share her marital dissatisfaction. She cannot share this new excitement. She must grieve the losses she faces completely alone. Because she cannot be honest with herself yet.

Another thing that absolutely resonated with me is the distraction. The lack of focus. The inability to even read a book. Cannot concentrate at work. In the two years leading to my separation, I couldn’t watch a movie or read a book. I don’t know how I kept my job. I felt like coming out of my skin. In this book, she refers to it as coming undone. I get it.

Why am I calling this post ‘lost and undone’? It’s because that is what it is. Simple and plain. Ugly truth, but truth nonetheless. You look back, and fondly recall moments in your shared life, and recoil against others. You look ahead and fear the sameness that is before you. Big questions arise like “What if I leave?” “How can I leave?” “Will he/she change?” “Have I changed too much?” It’s unnerving when you finally recognize and begin to ask the painful questions.

I haven’t finished the book yet. I suspect I will before the night is over. I predict she will leave her husband, and she will continue her affair with her lover. But unlike real life, I suspect there’s a happy ending out there for her and her lover. If this were real life, eventually the affair will die. She, like me, simply doesn’t know herself anymore. She’s just a lost soul in search of something she didn’t know she didn’t have until it unraveled.

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Moths and flames…

2 Sep

When I filed the final divorce papers, something inside me clicked. It was a very freeing experience; like a physical weight being lifted off my shoulders. I hadn’t even recognized that I was carrying something so heavy around.

This sense of freedom had me a bit undone. It wasn’t just about the ex-hubby however. I started to recognize that my current relationship with Rock wasn’t exactly right anymore.

He subscribes to this blog and I, in no way, want to hurt him. He’d been such a powerful force in my life. I decided I needed to go back to the beginning and ask the hard questions about what it was the drew me so quickly and so completely and what changed for me now.

In the beginning

We met through a mutual friend on Twitter of all places. We struck up an easy rapport via text and discovered we had much in common, from what foods we liked to what we did for a living. Our first phone conversation lasted over 5 hours! When we met in person for the first time, I think I gave it all of 15 seconds before I dove right in and kissed his socks off. The zsa zsa zou was off the freaking charts!

Then things changed

The passion and lust was still there but there were serious problems that lead us to continually break up. I found myself in a horrible pattern of forgiving him, for reasons I will not share here. Each time I took him back, something chipped away at my trust. This lead me to doubt not just him, but me as well. I found myself living in fear that it was only a matter of time before it all imploded again.

Over the early part of the summer, we had several fights that made me question more consciously why it was so easy for me to discard him. I didn’t like that about me but as I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I sometimes fail to see the signs and course correct until it’s too late. I knew I was lost once again, and yet, I didn’t know how to go back or how to go forward.

Rinse or Repeat

I created this blog to explore how my suddenly single (after 23 years of marriage) world would be different. Would I continue to make the same mistakes I had made in my marriage? It turns out, with Rock, I made the same mistakes as when I was married. Knowing something wasn’t as it should be and ignoring or not allowing my feelings to be recognized until it was too late.

Breaking up is hard to do – how cliche, but still true. This man loved me with his whole being. When we broke up, he told me he didn’t believe that I ever really loved him. That he felt I held back. I suppose that is very true. I think I did hold back. And if he is reading this post, I hope he knows how very sorry I am.

Chemistry. Zsa zsa zou, intense attraction. Whatever you want to call it, we had it.

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Dangerous allure

Dangerous allure

Recently, I was talking to someone about this mysterious chemistry that attracts one to another. You might meet someone who is beautiful, approach them and find this immediate attraction that makes you want to rip their clothes off. You then meet another equally beautiful person, strike up a conversation and pffft, nothing. Why is that?

People often refer to this intense attraction with the analogy of a moth being drawn to a flame. Moths are compelled toward the light, even to their own demise. I suppose like moths and flames, we are sometimes drawn to something so over-powering, so all consuming, that we don’t recognize how dangerous it will be.

It’s judgment day…

14 Aug

Although the ex-hubby and I have acquired a lot of property and assets (and debts), we agreed early on about how we would split the goods. And because we’ve been friendly during this whole time, we decided to forego mediators or divorce attorneys. After all, I’m very good at filling out forms, right?! I mean, how hard could it be to check some boxes, document the decisions, and be done with it?

California law mandates that a divorce cannot be final until a minimum of six months and one day has passed. In my mind, that felt like a short amount of time – but also like I had a lot of time! I should have kept a log of how many times I visited the court. How many hours I spent sitting on a hard bench waiting for my number to be called. How many times I had to amend my amended documents.

Now I understand why people hire others to do that shit for them. I’m wicked smart, but oh good gawd, did I make mistakes! This whole process also has also been more of an after thought for me – I agreed to do all of the paperwork and out of respect, I moved the process along as fast as my busy schedule would allow.

So I was surprised by what happened today. Since I filed all the right documents after countless tries, I was eligible to go to the court today and attend a workshop that would help me finish the process. Two hours with someone who would guide me through the right boxes to check – how easy would that be?

Actually, it was very easy – what was hard was sitting in a room hearing the other petitioners feeling joy over their upcoming freedom dates. The facilitator actually filled out a “cheat sheet” for each of us, identifying significant facts, like the date we filed, the date we separated, whether we had agreements or disputes. When I looked down and saw the date she wrote for me, for my judgment date, I choked up. Then I started tearing up. I didn’t have any tissue and there was none around. I mean, I guess they wouldn’t have tissue in this room, because after all, most petitioners are relieved and excited about being ‘free’.

I took my glasses off, carefully, but not surreptitiously, wipes the tears away from my eyes. I refused to look around and see if anyone was looking at me. I didn’t want to spoil their happiness with my sorrow.

I left him.

I chose this.

I didn’t want to be married anymore.

So why was I so upset? I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m still not ready for it to be over. Knowing that my last bond with such a wonderful man will end soon. Sooner than I thought.  And then what? Is he really out of my life? Weird how I’m looking forward to all the aftermath paperwork of title transfers, quit claims, and whatever else is needed to finish the process. Having been married to him for so long, I guess I want to prolong the inevitable.

Tomorrow, we will meet and sign our marital settlement agreement. It’ll be the last time I see him before he is free. I am not ready to think of myself as free, because my ghosts haunt me.

Judgment day is expected to be next Thursday, August 22. Or as I am now thinking of it: D-Day.Happily never after

A thousand words…

30 Jun

With the divorce underway, and decisions on how we’ll split the assets agreed upon, it was time to put the house up for sale.  The ex did all the heavy lifting with getting the house ready, finding the realtor, and putting it up on the market.  In fact, when it sold, he did all the packing and moving.

He let me take whatever I wanted of course, but naturally, I didn’t want the photo albums of our 23 years together.

So when he said “hey there are a lot of cool pics in there, lets get them converted to digital!” I said “okay!”.  But the catch was, I’d have to get them converted, and he’d pay me half. Sounded reasonable…

Until I sat down with the albums and started going through them. I flipped through page after page of pictures of happier times, viewed through my tear filled eyes. I think I got through 5 pages before taking them back to the garage.

For the past year, I’ve kept one photo of he and I framed and hung on my photo wall. It’s of a time when we were last truly happy. We had just bought our vacation home in the mountains and were golfing that afternoon. We were leaving in a few days to go on a three week trip to Spain. Life was grand back then and we felt blessed for what we had and our future together.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I suppose that’s true. Maybe one day, I’ll be ready to hear them again. For now, they need to be left in that dusty corridor of my memory for now.

Happier times - thankful for them...

Happier times – thankful for them, but still…

Untying the knot…

26 Jun

After 23 years of marriage, I filed for divorce this past February. Like all before me who’ve done this, at times I feel in equal measures sad, relieved, inspired and scared.

Image

The process is fucking hard. With each document that needs to be filed, it’s like a part of me is being ripped out and laid on the ground for the world to see what a crumpled mess I am.

Ending the marriage opens the door for someone else to walk in – both ways. While I have someone in my life that is amazing and whom I love, the thought of my soon-to-be-ex husband re-marrying bothers me. For reasons I haven’t quite processed through yet.

I’m prepared for the ongoing roller coaster of emotions to wash over me like a tidal wave. And keep reminding myself that as I start over, I don’t leave the parts of me behind that matter, and that includes the parts from my past that are painful, but I know that I get to take the parts of ME that matter. And that’s the point.

Then she left…

27 Jun

They say it aint over til the fat lady sings. Hell. The fat lady not only sang, she turned around a took a bow. It wasn’t pretty for the record.

Look, all I can tell you is that one minute, I was sorta dancing in my seat the first night in Cabo and the next I told my husband of 23 years “I don’t want to be married anymore.”

Yes. That. Blunt.

Yes. That. Brutal.

Yes. It. Had. Been. Coming. For. Years.

The short story – because I really cannot get into any specific details right now – is that I.LOST.MYSELF.  Lost me in the coupledome. I was no longer identifying with the girl I used to be. My life became all about the couple. Decisions were made together. Everything was done together, from errands and shopping to deciding what to eat and what not to wear. He became the “other half” for real and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

So I did what any other smart, clever, brilliant and successful woman would do. I waited til the first night of our Cabo San Lucas vacation to announce my intention. Oh, did I mention this trip was to celebrate his birthday? Yeah, happy fucking birthday. The first day of vacation was on June 2, 2011. I moved out on June 15, 2011.

This isn’t a picnic. But thank god for big napkins.