Tag Archives: Relationships

Slowing it down…

1 Nov

A friend from high school contacted me via Facebook. I had been posting my divorce progress on there – so he sent me a nice message about how impressed he was that I was able to keep my divorce so amicable.

We chatted back and forth and he suggested we meet for a drink. Now, I’m all about drinks after work, so count me in! After all, he was someone I knew from high school, recently separated, and I figured he just wanted to find out more about the process of separation, divorce, and how to avoid throttling your ex.

Let’s call him High School Guy or HS Guy.

HS Guy met me at my favorite bar and let me just say, he is extremely charismatic in person. Tall, good looking, big smile. He has presence.

Small talk over martini’s turned into “do you remember” over martini’s which turned what-to-expect-when-you-leave-your-spouse over martini’s and before we knew it, there was a kiss.

By the time I made the 5-minute trip home, there was a text message from him saying how nice it was to see me. By the time I woke up the next day, another text wishing me a good morning. And that’s pretty much how things started with HS Guy.

I told him I was just getting out of one relationship and not looking for a new one. That while I am open to dating him, I want nothing serious and will consider dating other men as well. And given his recent separation, he shouldn’t even be thinking about starting something with me. He agreed. Sorta. I’m pretty sure he didn’t like me being so honest about seeing other people, but he was understanding. And we did agree to take it slow.

The thing about getting attention from the opposite sex is that it’s very intoxicating. It’s like a drug and you crave your next fix. It allows you to be distracted from the problems in your life, escaping into a fantasy world of sorts. Imagining life is now better and brighter because you’ve heard from someone.

We saw each other a couple weeks later for another drink and continued to get to know each other through daily phone calls and multiple text messages. A couple weeks after that, we met for lunch.

The daily calls and text messages would continue, but no more making plans to see one another. On the one hand, going s l o w l y was smart, but on the other, the continued attention made me feel we were in a relationship I wasn’t sure I was comfortable being in.

He’d share the happenings of his day, and I would keep him posted on my daily shenanigans. He’d share concerns he had with his small children, and I’d listen and offer advice (being childless, I mostly used common sense.)

And while we weren’t physically seeing one another, I made it clear that I would not become involved with a married man. Because, while he may have been living apart from his family, his family home is where I suspected his heart truly was.

In essence, we had moved into the friend zone. So when it was time for him to take some much needed time off, he promised he’d decide what he should do (does he go home, or move forward…) While he was gone, he continued to send messages and pictures of the island he was on.

The time away was good for him. He came back feeling rested and clearer-headed. But he also recognized that despite what he wants, his children are his number one priority and he wasn’t really ready to get involved with me. I thought about being just friends, but once you put the idea of starting something new with someone, going backward just doesn’t feel genuine. Instead, we agreed that when he is ready to move forward, to give me a call.

HS Guy is a great guy. I wish him well and I walked away from that friendship knowing we are both better people for having been in each other’s lives for the past couple months.

Each relationship we have, whether all-encompassing, or light-hearted, tells us something about ourselves. So what did this tell me about me? That it’s okay to hit the pause button. After all, I’m in no rush.

Slow it down

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My voice within…

25 Sep

About a week ago, after several days of not eating properly, I decided to make dinner. I felt somewhat up to it. Lately, food has just been ‘meh’ for me. So I grilled myself a piece of fish and made a salad. It was tasty, but I wasn’t very hungry. But Sparky was, so I shared.

Afterward, he was restless, and who could blame him. I was being quite the mole over those past two weeks. So we left the condo for yet another mini-walk around the block.

He knows the route – out the door, to the left, down the walkway… A couple doors down, he starts to bark. Embarrassed, I apologize to the neighbor for my little “Barky”, but it wasn’t actually my neighbor, it was in fact, my ex-boyfriend, Rock. I double-take. Then, as only I can do, when faced with incredible stress, start to laugh. Not full on belly laughs, just nervous giggles. First, I was looking glamorous in my lounge pants, no makeup, hair in a bun. Second, I had major facial bruises from some novcane shots in my upper and lower jaws. And third, the shock of seeing him had me a bit freaked out.

Me: through giggles still “Why are you here?”

Rock: (Seriously, I have no idea what he said at that point). His eyes widened when he saw my face and through my final giggles, assured him it wasn’t what he thought.

All I really know is this. He looked haunted. Sad. Way too thin. He wanted answers about what changed in our relationship. I honestly didn’t know what to say. I invited him inside so we could talk – he reluctantly agreed. I offered him a drink, but he only wanted water. It felt very polite, yet impossibly awkward. I tried to explain what had been going on in my head, but even to me, it made little sense.

It doesn’t matter what our conversation was; there would be no answers that would help him. He believes I’m once again in a pattern with men. His insight is that I became bored with the hubby and rather than talk about what was wrong and working on fixing it, I simply left. And I’ve done that again with him. And apparently worse is that he doesn’t think I even know what I’m doing.

It made me stop and think. Am I really repeating the same pattern over and over? Will I change? Have I changed? I know I am complicated – I own that. And I know I’m a mess inside. I guess I’m a bit like a set of Matyroshka dolls these days, hiding many versions of myself within. Take the time to get me to open up, you’ll find another puzzle inside to solve. Point is: It’s my turn to figure me out. Plain and simple.

I know what I don’t know. But I know what I know as well. And my hope is this: my inner selves have their shit together. Each facet of me knows what we need and want. Soon, we all will.

And the little one inside… she knows what she’s doing. I trust her. She’s not just my core, she’s my soul. She is whispering to the others, reminding us what and who we are. I like her.

My inner voice is tatted and has angel wings to guide her journey...

My inner voice is tatted and has angel wings to guide her journey…

My voice within…

Don’t cry
Your tears will dry, you’ll soon be free to fly

When there’s no one else, look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within
Then you’ll find the strength that will guide your way
You’ll learn to begin to trust the voice within

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.

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.

———————————————————————–

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.

With puffy eyes…

13 Aug

Wake up. Exercise. Shower. Cry. Work. Eat. Drink. Cry. Sleep.

Repeat.

18 days ago, my love affair with Rock ended.

Since then, I’ve been trying to cope with this loss. There are moments where I’m completely focused and on my game at work and then there are days like today, where I wake up and start crying in my coffee, feeling lonely and grieving hard. It’s 11:00a and I am so sad today I cannot read my email. I’ve decided to give up, give in to my despair, and go home to my lonely condo.

My  assistant is the best and I am so lucky to have her. She’s rescheduling my day, which is incredibly difficult to do and she’s even going to monitor my emails for critical items requiring my attention. Her name is Venus and she is an absolute goddess. Thank Goddess for her.

I know it won’t always be like this.  I take comfort in the fact that I will start to feel better soon. Maybe I’ll have something to smile about later today, or possibly tomorrow. Or the next day.

My best friend gave me some touch stones over the weekend. Courage, Healing Heart, and Love. Right now, I’m clutching Courage to my aching chest and hoping it won’t fail me again. It’s incredibly difficult to be courageous and start over. She promises me that one day, my heart will heal and I will feel love again.

Today however, I’m just taking it minute by minute. With puffy eyes, a red nose and running mascara.

One year ago…

15 Jun

One year ago, I packed a bag for a weekend. I didn’t know I’d never go back.

One year ago, I officially ran away from home.

From my life. From my husband. From our life. The one that I no longer felt was mine.

After telling the hubby that I didn’t want to be married anymore, we both talked about how we’d get through this. When we came back from Cabo I told him I would be sleeping in the guest room, but that we should continue to work out together in the mornings in our home gym and eat dinner together. More than anything, I craved my space. Since we had a cabin to escape to, he suggested I go there on the weekends so I’d have this space.

I was feeling claustrophobic by this point. I couldn’t breathe. The stress was so heavy and I was so conflicted.

You know, despite everything, this man, my hubby, trying to cope with everything I dumped on him, was doing his very best to give me what he thought I needed. Space. Time apart.

One year ago, I said goodbye to him in the morning as I left. No goodbye kiss. No hug.

Earlier this year, our marriage marked year 25. Yes, 25 years of marriage. Much of it unbelievably happy. This man can make me laugh and was always proud to have me on his arm. Our love and commitment was envied by everyone who knew us, the couple. Somewhere along the way, I don’t know what happened. I just changed. And this change took me away from wanting to be in that life. That life I built with him. The one that grew our business and built our homes and wealth.

One year ago, I walked away and didn’t look back.

Today is a poignant day for me.

I saw him this morning. I picked up the butterball, Sparky, for the weekend. He was still home. There was not a stitch of awkwardness. He showed me his inflamed arm (some sort of kinky infection I imagine *wink*) and we talked about his recent sky diving adventure with his girlfriend and her kids. It was, in fact, two friends quickly catching up.

I don’t know if he knows what today signifies. On our wedding anniversary this year, he texted me “do you know what today is?”. So maybe he does.

One year ago, it all ended. Or imploded. However you want to look at it.

The book of “Steve and Lisa, The Couple” is finished. The sequel, “Steve and Lisa, Friends” is just beginning. Over the past year, we’ve had quite the journey, and each chapter has shown that we continue to move forward, in different and opposite ways, yet still completely connected.

I wouldn’t change this for the world. I love him. Maybe not in the same way that married people need to be in love, but this man has and will mean everything to me for a long time to come. I actually think that my running away was the best thing for both of us. It’s allowed him to find happiness again.

One year ago, I hated myself for hurting him.

And now, one year later, we start anew. This is – the most serendipitous experience.