Category Archives: Relationships

Teaching People How To Treat You

Teaching people how to treat you….

If you have any friends worth their salt, you have heard the phrase “you deserve better than that.” But here is my question, when it was said, did you believe it? Did you believe it on a soul level? And if you did, what did you do about it?

In my life, I have been terrible at believing I deserve the bad things that have happened. There were disturbing things that happened to me in childhood that I always felt I somehow invited. There was the high school boyfriend who cheated on me and I believed that I somehow neglected him into the action. The same boyfriend who was jealous and controlling and I thought that was somehow okay. Looking at it through eyes that are very removed from the situation, it is easy to see that people who cheat, often project. 

There were bosses who didn’t see my worth. I see now they were so concerned with their own worth, they did not know how to mold and develop their employees. There were friends who saw me as a different person than I am. I thought I deserved it because I did make some mistakes (because I’m human). There was an ex-husband who did not treat me like a woman, but rather someone to take care of him. I thought, I made the choice to marry him, and that’s that. I made my bed, and now I live in it. 

But here’s the truth; I had some responsibility in all of those things. Truly. It just wasn’t the way I saw it at the time. With that high school boyfriend, I should have refused to be treated that way. I should have told him to deal with his own feelings of guilt and stop projecting on me, or we were finished. In the workplace, I should have been more confident in my abilities and more forceful with my ideas. And if I couldn’t be in that company, I should have been willing to leave for other opportunities. With friends, it is difficult because the easiest thing to do is walk away, which is essentially what I did. But I should have let them know why and how I saw the things they were doing and saying behind my back and their attitudes toward me. Maybe then I could have ended things with cleaner conscience. 

The marriage is harder. I thought I was clear about how I wouldn’t be treated. There were several times I refused to be treated certain ways. In the beginning of our relationship, he got jealous for no reason and I told him that it was his problem and he was going to have to get it figured out, and he did. And he never threw another jealous fit again in 17 years. I stood up for myself when he told me to shut up, and he never did it again. But I don’t think I told him what I needed enough, but it is also possible he just wasn’t capable, and sometimes we have to be smart enough to know that too, and to accept that and walk away.  

But when you find the people you know you want in your life, you have to be willing to teach them what you need and what you will not put up with. You have to be willing to say, when I act like this, I need a little extra patience. You need to be able to say, I will not be spoken to like that, I don’t deserve it. But most importantly, you really have to believe that you deserve it. It boils down to you really having to believe you are WORTH it. And you are. 

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

Please Text More Than “Hi”

I wish someone would explain the meaning of the “hi” text.  I do not understand the constant texting but never asking someone out on a date.  If you are interested in me, then ask me out or ask me to do something.  I would like someone who would get to the point and be honest.  I feel that a lot of the men that I have corresponded with are interested in just texting.  Yep, here we go another pen pal.  And I am sure this goes both ways, that girls waste time and just send “hi” texts also.

I am probably going to write about more what not to do than what to do.

You text me short texts every morning that consist of “hi” or “this day sucks”  but why can’t you say “good morning” or “how is your day?” Anything that would show some interest in the person you are texting.  Girls want to feel like they are important to you or that you care, or possibly show some interest.  I do not think anyone wants to start their day with a debbie downer text from someone that they barely know.  Some days I feel like I’m trying to cheer up Eeyore.

I have just spent the morning yelling at my kids about getting in the car before school or fought with them over what color pants to wear or that they can not eat Doritos for breakfast, so getting a good morning text on my way to work can be a complete game changer for my day.   I love “good morning” texts.  Honestly, a good morning text will probably get you a date with me.

Or there is the every other day “hi” from someone.  You don’t want to seem too needy or desperate  so I get just a “hi” every few days.  And nothing else.  I honestly do not even know how to respond to those texts.  I ask questions back for example, “ do you have any plans this weekend” and I get “not much” in response.  I know we are not all super chatty but you need to put a little effort into it.  Something to get the conversation going…

For example its basic…might be kinda nerdy but it gets the conversation going…

Man-How was your day?

Woman–Good, The weather today is beautiful. I am going to go for a hike after work

Man-Really, that sounds perfect.  Where do you like to hike?

Woman-I love to hike at the state park near my house. It’s so relaxing in the evening.

Man-I know. I have started to get back into hiking and running.  Would you like to go hiking next week one night?

Simple conversation that could lead to a date…

I do not know who invented the “hi” text but it has got to be the most confusing text to send to a girl.

And if you are going to send a “hi” text, can you please follow up with something like “whatcha doing, did you make it to work, how was your workout”, or anything that shows you have interest in them.  Something that they have told you in the last few days that you can ask about.

If you have to store a “notes section” in your phone with things to remember about that person, then do it.  There are many reminder apps these days, just pick one. And if you ask about my day and I tell you about it, then have text me back and start a conversation over it.  Don’t just not respond.

Here is the truth..I get “hi” texts and  “ good nights” texts, which turn into nothing. I eventually get bored and don’t respond.  Say what you mean and just ask.  Don’t spend weeks or months sending short ‘hi” texts because that does not turn into a conversation or definitely not a relationship.

I love when I get something that includes a bit of something we had discussed earlier.  I love that I told you my kids had swimming lessons 3 days ago and you remembered and asked about it.  Maybe you just looked back at our messages, but I don’t care because you put some effort into the text.   Maybe you know I get up every morning to work out, so you text me at 7 am each morning to see how my workout was.

Those are the things that girls want…  If you like her or want it to go somewhere, then show some interest in her life…

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Learning To Navigate The Steps

When I say steps, I don’t mean the kind you walk up, though this is an uphill climb too. I mean the kind that result from a new marriage. 

My kids gained a step-mother  in May of this year. They also gained a step-sister who lives with them when they are with their father and his new family, which is 50 percent of the time. 

I will not lie and tell you that this was hard for my children in the beginning, it was hard for me. It was hard for me because I was jealous. It was hard to watch him move on. It was hard because where my ex and I had communicated well before, even to the point that you could say we were friends, the communication was cut off. On their side of things, I could not definitively tell you the motivation for that. However, I will concede that it must be difficult being a new spouse and forming a new family when there are extra catalysts for discord. 

I wanted to be friends with my ex and his new wife and if we could not be that, I wanted to at least be friendly. This was never allowed. It was seen as an attack on their relationship when I bought a Father’s Day present for my children to give their father. Virtually every time I contacted them I got knots in my stomach because I knew it would be met with nastiness or ignored completely. It was painfully obvious that he was not able (allowed or otherwise) to respond to simple text messages about the children, without consulting her first. I understand being partners very well, and I think if the roles were reversed I would tell my husband about it, but I would not ask what I was allowed to say or do. The thought of asking permission makes my skin crawl. Though trying to see things through my partner’s eyes does not.

I have struggled and agonized over how to handle this situation. I ask myself over and over when contacting them if it is 100% necessary. I ask myself what is in the best interest of my children. I have gone so far as to consider going back to court to attempt to gain primary custody, though that is never what I wanted. I want my children to have a relationship with their father, a great one even. What I do not want is for them to have to play telephone between their father and me. That is not fair to them. It is not fair to them for people to not act like adults. My ex or myself. 

I am still learning. I am dodging minefields some days and not giving it another thought on others. But, the truth of the matter is that this is a real, raw, and nitty gritty part of divorce. I will keep doing what I feel is in the best interest of my children, and I will take it a day at a time. I will swallow my feelings and my pride to be what they need. And I hope if I am met with the situation my ex is in, I am stronger for my kids than he has been.

Stronger Than Yesterday, 

Alice

Tug Of War With Friends During Divorce

You have lived the last 10 or so years with the same group of friends.. you have spent numerous girls weekends, movie nights, and couple vacations together.. and then divorce hits and it seems like it all vanishes.. the people you thought would be your support have vanished…  The ones you spent sharing your last 10 years with are gone. 

No one can prepare themselves for the process of divorce. As much as you want to prepare, you can not until you are going through it.  And when it’s time to tell your friends about your divorce, you hope they will continue to stick with you. In many cases, they may not.  They may not understand your decision or it may break up the couple dates..or adult vacations…or cabin weekends. They might leave you when you probably needed them the most.  And sometimes it could be for the most selfish reasons. 

Maybe they had questions and you just couldn’t answer them. Maybe they feel hurt because you didn’t prepare them for your divorce. Maybe they continued to ask you to do girls night, but you didn’t feel comfortable attending anymore…

My neighbor unfriended me due to my divorce because I was moving out of the neighborhood and I wasn’t going to live next to her anymore.  That’s the honest truth. And those are the friends that you just let go…. The ones that do can not show you any support and they put their own selfishness ahead of your decisions.  

You may ask yourself over and over again what happened…How can this decision about your life make your friends disappear… the truth is many times your friends do not know what to do to help you or make it better for you.  They might not know how to support you. Other times, they might not agree with your decision and as much as you want them too, they just can’t. They do not understand what you are going through in your life. They have a hard time relating to what you are experiencing.  Or they might not want this to disrupt their life…. They want the friendship to remain the same. As the friend, you might need to forgive many times during their divorce process due to the amount of stress or emotion that they are experiencing.   

And the other side is.. your friends may feel hurt because you couldn’t talk to them about your divorce. Or they do not know how to talk to you anymore. They feel that they can not relate. Or they continue to ask you to join them for girls night, but you just couldn’t do it.  

Many times through my divorce,  I did not want to talk about anything relating to my divorce.  As the friend of someone going through a divorce, I would say just be there for them.  They might not even know what they want. Their life is changing and it is a scary process.  You do not need to agree with them, but just listen to them and be a great support for them. They might distance themselves because they are working through a lot of emotions and changes. Give them time and space, if they ask for it.  Just be patient. 

I have made my circle tighter. I gave my time to the friends that stuck with me, when at times I was probably not the most fun to be around The ones that supported me by doing anything, a walk, a drink, a movie, a good cry, or a just a laugh.. the ones that listened to my endless rants.  The ones that just asked if I needed anything and when I said I didn’t’, they still showed up. The ones that I trusted.  

And in the end, there might need to be forgiveness on both sides,  and maybe some friendships will diminish, and maybe new friendships will start to grow…

 

Snarky 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

I Celebrated My Divorce

I celebrated my divorce. 

I have no shame in that. 

Not only did I celebrate it, I announced it on social media. I took a selfie slapped a clever caption including my reclaimed maiden named and posted it to all four of my social media accounts!

So I celebrated. I dressed up for court, put on a little too much make-up, and curled my hair. Not to shove it in the face of my ex but for me. To show myself  I had my life together and I was moving forward. I walked into the courthouse side by side with my ex, and I had the memory pop up of us going to pick up our marriage license just a few years prior and I will admit it caused a lump in my throat. We sat and we waited to be called and I realized I was excited. I was ready to close this chapter and open myself up to a new one. Im allowed to celebrate a milestone in my life even if that milestone is leaving a toxic marriage. 

I was tired of hiding in shame. It took months of therapy to get where I am in the rubble of what was left post separation and I have no shame in the way I chose to clean up the mess that was my life. There was a time in my life I never would of confirmed the rumors and I would’ve  hid the fact I was divorced, but I’m growing and I’m learning that there is no shame in doing what is best for you and especially what is best for your children. 

So I celebrated. I had dinner with close friends and enjoyed a margarita. I changed my last name on my social media accounts and in my phone, but the most important thing I did all day was high five my ex after court. We did it. We had finally come to an agreement. We both went into the divorce with no lawyers and decided to work it out among ourselves how this was going to go, and it wasn’t easy feelings were hurt along the way but at the end of the day we realized in the middle of this war we were raging on each other was an innocent little boy who just wanted his parents to get along. So we did. We met and we discussed everything at length and settled on all issues, and we walked out of the courthouse together and laughed and high fived. 

~Serendipity

Why Do We Need Our Friends?

Growing up I had my friends.. I did everything with the same people throughout my high school years. Sleepovers, football games, decorating yards with rolls of toilet paper each weekend….  In college it continued.. I was never overly popular, but I had my true friends.  It  has continued through my life…

I now watch my teenage daughter, now almost fifteen now  sit and laugh with her friends.  It is 5 pm on a Friday and its USA theme and the football game… her and her friend are frantically searching around the house for USA apparel and face paint. I just laugh… I love listening to the laughter and shrieking.  The many Friday nights, I am awaken out of a deep sleep by the sound of popcorn popping at 1 am.  They spend hours face-timing each other on their new school clothes and the outfits they are going to wear for the next week.   All of these things I love that she is experiencing….

I did not realize how important my friends were until I was well into my forties.  Its crazy how you meet those people in high school or college or at your kids soccer games and these are the people going to trust with everything in your life.  The friends you can’t get thru a day without.  They understand you more than most people in your life.

These are the friends that show up at 2 pm with a six  pack, just for fun.  (Yes, we live in Wisconsin and we drink beer)

Not until my divorce did I ever ask for help.  My friends never knew when I was suffering or drowning in life.. and then It changed.  I was the friend that held it together for everything.  Then I realized to survive through my divorce, I needed to ask for help.   Through my marriage, I handled everything from parenting to finances to vacations..I handled it all.  The summer of my divorce I was a mess.. I was happy one minute and crying the next.  I remember going to a country concert drinking two gingers and crying thru all of the fun.  One of my not so great moments.. but without those friends I would have not survived.

My friends would drag me out of the house and listen to me talk endlessly about the process of going through a divorce.  All of the nitty gritty details of the financial details, custody, splitting of your favorite memories, or how much you miss your kids.  They would ask me to go for a hike or walk many nights just because they knew I needed it.  I am a pretty independent person, so showing my friends that I needed help was very hard for me.  I know years later that I’m so grateful for them.  To many people am sure I looked like I had it together, but the truth is I needed my friends. I needed them to be my sound board. I needed to them to give me advice and encouragement to get through my divorce.

They push you…. My friends push me to do the things that I think I can not.. maybe it starts in the high school by asking your crush out and then continues later in life..now it’s  pushing you to try dating again age 45. They push you out of you comfort zone and get you to believe in yourself.  They help you text a guy back at age 45 and wait frantically for his response.  I would not have accomplished half the things I have done since my divorce without them.

They comfort you…Most of the time my friends are the first place I turn when I’m feeling lonely from missing my kids, when I’m stressed over fighting with my ex, or when just can’t concentrate on anything. These girls are the ones that can pull me out of my funk.  Having friends that you can trust and confide in has got me through most of my last 5 years.  We all have those nights or days that we just feel like crying.. sometimes it’s for no reason at all.  The moments when you burst into tears and maybe have no idea why… You need those people in your life to get you through it.  The days you wake up and feel like a bloated whale for no reason and you text your friends with crying emojis and they tell you how beautiful and funny you are…

They will be honest with you….The good friends will be straight with you. They will not just agree with your opinions and thoughts, they will tell you when you are being a little crazy…I’m a laid back person and i like to trust many people. I was very inexperienced and naive when I went thru my divorce, I did not have a lot of divorced friends and I thought I could trust my ex and I could be vague in our decree. Fast forward 5 years, my friends now tell me when I’m being to vulnerable with my ex. They tell me when I need to stand up for myself and get it documented. They will remind me of what has happened in the past and how to protect myself.  I need those friends in my life.  They always have my back.   They will also be the ones that see things differently and tell me when to get my head out of my ass.

Why do we need our friends?  We need them to get thru life.. mine have helped me with so many decisions.  The are the ones that push us when we need it.  It takes me a long time to get comfortable with people, so I cherish the friends that I can be myself with and tell them everything… these are the friends that we need.  These are the ones I love…

 

Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

The Hardest Time Of The Year

The Hardest Time Of The Year.

The countdown til the guy in the red suit is officially arrives is on.  It also means I must start planning on how I will spend my Christmas alone. I am working. As much as I can. It means tense emails and texts about where my daughter will be and with who.

Some of which has been dictated by a  judge and lawyers who don’t know us.

Some of the decisions I have caved to, to avoid a fight with my daughter’s Dad.

After almost nine years of this- at my daughter’s Grandpa’s urging I asked G what she wanted.

She is twelve. I feel like in the midst of thinking I was doing the right thing I did a lot of the wrong things over the years. She missed out. I should have fought harder for her to have more of a Christmas, instead of being so afraid of her Dad.

So … like I said, I asked her.

My girl is a diplomat. I think a lot of kids of divorced parents are. She insisted she hasn’t felt slighted, she enjoys Christmas but she has not waffled from what she wants either.

This year she wants Christmas Day at both our houses. I know I can manage it, but her Dad will put up a fight. He will have dates and times and examples. He will make threats. He will make this hard on me.

I will take it for my kiddo, and stand my ground. This time of year isn’t about me.

It’s about her. Like it is everyday all year long.

When I told her I would figure it out for her because it’s what she wanted, she smiled and grabbed my hand. Said” thanks Mom”, and gave me her twelve year old smirky smile that I live for.

That will be my  present over the next few weeks.

Being a Mom is tough. Being a Mom during the holidays can be downright bananas. It’s hard. But at the end of the day we have these amazing incredible humans who love us.

I am wishing you all so much joy and happiness over the next few weeks and into the next year.

<3 Caprise

Sometimes The Grass Is Greener

Lately I have heard several people say that “the grass isn’t always greener.” Some have implied that it is never greener, in fact. I know plenty of instances when this is true. We all know the anecdotes or have personal friends who have been involved in an affair. Affairs are most often great examples of this. Most who break up a marriage or long term relationship to be with someone else end up regretting the decision, or at the very least the way it came about. This is not at all to negate the byproduct relationship, maybe it is awesome, but sometimes the factors involved in breaking up the first relationship overshadow the love in the second. Examples of this are issues with children. They could be resentment, acting out, angst in general, astronomical child support, and honestly plain old logistics. If there are no kids involved it could just be alimony, separation of monetary and physical possessions, internal wounds on all three sides, and distrust and jealousy in the new relationship because of how it came about. With all of those things taken into account, it certainly does not sound greener. And when applied to these circumstances, I would argue that at least eighty percent of relationships broken up by a third party meet the criteria of the grass not being greener.

However, my experience is different. When I chose to end my 16 year marriage (17 by the time the divorce was final), it was not for a third party. It was to ensure there never was a third party. It was so that I would not be a cheater. It was so that I could avoid all of the things listed above. My thought process that I would not have to deal with some of those things was flawed, but I digress.

My marriage did not break up because we “fell out of love.” I firmly do not believe that to be a reason for divorce. If you do, I am not trying to offend, but that is not part of my belief system. I believe in the concept of limerence as outlined by Dorothy Tennov in 1979. Limerence can be summed up as the feeling of being “in love.” She proposes that the longest shelf life of limerence in people who have requited cohabitational love is two years. That is the maximum. I believe that. I also believe Joanne Woodward, who by the way was married to Paul Newman (who was smoking hot), her quote was, “Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” Another line from one of my favorite underrated movies, which coincidentally covers this same topic is from The Story of Us, it is spoken by Rob Reiner’s character, “Love is just lust in disguise, and lust fades, so you damn well better be with someone who can stand you.” I say all that to say, I was once possibly “in love” with my ex-husband. That feeling faded, and we were never able to get it back, but it was well within the beginning of our marriage, and was not at all the cause of our divorce.

People confuse limerence with actual love. I know I have a time or twelve. However, they are completely different things. What we see in fairy tales and romance novels, that is limerence. What we see in nursing homes or nurseries, that is love. This will sound cheesy, but the story The Notebook is a good example of both. When they were kids, they experienced limerence. When Noah built that house for Allie, it was arguably a work of love. There is some gray area about forbidden love when it comes to limerence, meaning it can elongate it. But when he returned to the nursing home every day to read their story to her over and over again, he was being self sacrificing, showing real love and devotion.

I cared for my ex. I truly did, but it was not limerence and it was not self sacrificing love. I did not love him with a fraction of what I felt for my children. I cared for him, but we were not partners. Love really had nothing to do with why our marriage ended. What my marriage had was a fundamental incompatibility that neither of us knew we had at the beginning.

We got married young. I had just turned nineteen. We had dated for exactly four months, lived together for probably three. As you sit there and shake your head, read that again, I was nineteen, enough said. And listen, if you are reading this and you got married young and you have made it work, I commend that. But you either put in some hellacious work, or you were very compatible. At that point in my life all I wanted was a return to the family life I left when I left home at seventeen. Psychologically, I was probably not ready to leave home at that point. I point that out just to say that I was not in a place I should have been making lifelong decisions. People tried to talk me out of it. Of course they did, as they should have. I used to tell people that your mindset when you got married was not the problem, but rather it was your mindset when you decided to get divorced that was the problem. That statement is not categorically untrue, but it is a very blanket statement and it shows my age in that it was very black and white. It is true that there are some things we enjoyed in common, unfortunately the things we did not share outweighed those.

When I made the decision to end my marriage, I felt like a failure. I know that is a sentiment many of you know well. I had such overwhelming guilt. It did not help that I was the only one who wanted the divorce. I found myself on the floor crying and praying so many times. The irony is that inside my marriage I never cried. I never cried though I was deeply wounded, I just did not realize it. The pain manifested in other ways. I was truly a failure then, honestly. The failing did not happen in the leaving.

So back to the topic at hand, “the grass is not always greener,” is an expression I have become intolerant of. I always took this to mean that it wasn’t greener in another relationship. I never considered that it could mean in being alone. Honestly, when people say it to me, I think they most often mean in another relationship. And you know what, my grass is greener now, alone. My daughter has told me that I never seemed as happy as I do now when I was married. My friends are telling me that I seem relaxed and happy. I was so afraid that I was a person incapable of happiness. It turns out, I just was not capable of being happy in that situation.

So, now I water my grass the way I know it needs it. I fertilize it with the right kind of fertilizer for that particular grass. I have learned how to do this through trial and error, and sometimes it is more error than anything, but I came out the other side. It took time, but my lawn is the healthiest it has ever been. And bonus, I proved some people wrong in the process.

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice

Why Are Doritos Enough?

Why are Doritos enough? Being content without being in a relationship.Soon after my divorce, I dated quite a bit and then I was in a serious relationship,for over a year and a half.  Which I know I have wrote about in some of my previous blogs….

Fast forward a couple years, why am I NOT serious about dating now? Why am I content spending nights eating Doritos and watching Netflix.  I hear all the time, why don’t you have a boyfriend.  I get asked about my dating and why I’m not in a relationship… Maybe because I just want to do other things and I am content.   Back off Debra…

Kids…

I share 50/50 custody with my children.  My children are in their prime years.. they are 15,12, and 9.  And they are heavily involved in sports, activities, church friends, etc. I complain a lot about them because my nights and days are spent driving them everywhere. However, I know that these are the years I will never get back. I love my time with them and I cherish it.  We spend our time just hanging out and having fun. I have realized that this point in my life, I do not want to change the dynamic of our family and life. They feel comfortable and safe at our home.

Time to myself…

After my children leave for their dads, I have learned that I love to have time to myself.  I need that time to decompress after the crazies have left.. I love to have a night to myself to go for a walk or hike. I am not being selfish, but I love that time. I know I have mentioned this before on how my house can go from a crazy madhouse to deathly quiet. Anyone that has shared custody with kids can probably relate to this analogy. I am a huge advocate for how important making time for yourself is in life.

Not enough time to commit…

I feel that with the demands of my children, I would not be able to give the amount of time dedicated to being  in a relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it.  I know that right now, I can not dedicate the time needed for a relationship.  I have been in a relationship and it was very hard to divide the time between my children, boyfriend, and everyday life. I was overwhelmed much of the time.  I just couldn’t get it all done and I had no time for myself.  Many times I was so stressed and crabby, I was mad at everyone.   There were times in the past when I knew I picked my relationship over my kids. Or I would drag them along to activities that they had no interest in, just to see my boyfriend.

Since that relationship, I have taken a lot of time to understand why it didn’t work.  Relationships require a lot of commitment.  They require hard work and making them a priority. I know that I would not be able to make a relationship a priority right now in my life.

In the past, I seem to attract men that are really looking for a serious relationship.  Even after, I am very honest with what I was looking for in dating and the amount of time that  I can commit. I get overwhelmed by the constant texting and not being able to respond. Yes, I know all the quotes about “if you really want to, you will make time”.  I have heard it all, but its not at the top of my list.  I do understand that thinking however, when I’m with my children, I do not feel like taking time away from them to be texting possible dates.   And from some of my past dating experiences, some of the guys that I have met think that all my free time should be spent with them.  This is even after one or two dates.  That is not true.

Priorities…

Right now, I have many areas in my life that I want to make more of a priority. I enjoy writing my blogs and gaining more experience. This is something that I have taught myself through research, podcasts, and social media.  I am learning new things all the time that I want to learn about.  I think I was in an unsatisfied marriage for over 13 years and the last 5 years I have learning all over again what I enjoy.  Until I can accomplish these goals or priorities, then a relationship will not be a priority.

I’m Actually Content…

I guess what it comes down to is my life, is that I’m very content and comfortable right now.  I look at how much I have changed and grown in the last 5 years.   I’m comfortable with not having my children 100% of the time. That was a huge obstacle for me. I am content hanging out by myself. I am comfortable saying no to a date..  well unless he was really cute.

There is no magical answer to when is the best time to enter in a relationship.. it’s all up to you and what you want out of it.  As I have adjusted to being divorced, I have learned there is no rush in anything. And there is no problem in waiting or saying it’s not a priority right now.  So just tell your family and friends to back off….

Snarky

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com/blog

Beware The Men Or Women Behaving Badly

Beware The Men or Women Behaving Badly

You can’t fix a Psychopath.

You can’t fix a Sociopath.

You can’t fix a Narcissist.

But you can fix yourself.

-K. Masters

 

Let me start this by saying that I am not a doctor. Nothing I am about to say has anything to do with actual clinical diagnoses. I can only tell my story (and of course just my side) and let you decide for yourself and gain whatever insight you can.

I dated this guy. We will call him S. He was someone from my past who I needed to date in order to either live happily ever after with or move on from. I could not seriously consider dating someone else having the “what if” question always swirling around in my brain. I knew it would not be fair to that other person. I fancied S as the love of my life, the one who got away. And supposedly he felt the same way.

I reached out to him when I was very angry with my ex-husband, about a month before my divorce was final. S had been divorced twice and I felt that he had probably gone through the deep anger I was feeling. So one night, a couple of glasses of wine in, I texted him. I had not spoken to him in a long time. I remember he had called me in March (I did not answer or return the call) and I was reaching out in December. He texted me back and was supportive and kind, if not somewhat standoffish.

He did not remain standoffish for long. Soon we were texting regularly. That lasted for probably a month and then we started talking on the phone. That lasted for another month until my divorce was final. Then we made plans to see each other. He lived within driving distance, but not every day driving distance. One thing to point out is that I am and have always been close to his family. Over the years, I have tried to avoid being at his parents’ when he was there, but our paths crossed a few times. So, my children know his mom and sister and nephews, though they had never met him.

I will admit that I liked the distance a little. I had been single less than a year and a half. I was still finding my bearings. I was still establishing a routine with my kids, and my daughter was going through issues with her father, so I was trying to be her rock. My ex and I share 50/50 custody, so that proved to be difficult at times. But S turned into my rock, the person I turned to when I needed someone. And he liked it that way. He needed to be needed. In fact, in the beginning, he would lament that I was too independent. I remember him pouting when I told him it was important to me to be able to stand on my own without a man. I know now that he did not like that because independence hinders control. The distance was not a positive to me because I was trying to date anyone else, I was not. In fact, we broke up in April and I have not had another boyfriend.

Besides the distance, my job required me to travel for work quite a bit. Often on the weeks I did not have the kids, I was on the road. At first, that was fine. He liked my schedule and flexibility, but soon he wanted me to stay in my hotel room in the evenings. He did not want me to go out with coworkers for dinner or drinks. He was particularly leery of one of my male coworkers who had been a good friend of mine for a long time. The truth of the matter for me is that if I wanted to be with someone else, I would have been. I wanted to be with only him. But he got in my head. I tried to be respectful of his wishes. I isolated myself even more than I already did naturally. And I should not have. The more I gave in, the less it was enough. I told him I would stop speaking to my friend, and unless it was work related, I did. I really jeopardized my friendship, but this man was supposed to be the one, so I thought I was protecting my relationship. I wanted him to be comfortable.

I ignored red flags, or explained them away:

  1. Every woman he has ever been with was at fault somehow for their breakup. And there were some nasty breakups in there.
  2. He projected his behavior onto me. Because he would cheat, he accused me of doing it.
  3. He had a drug problem. But that was not his fault either.
  4. He was very charming, very charming. But he could turn ice cold.
  5. And when he did turn ice cold it was always somehow my fault.
  6. When I was with him, I found myself vying for his time. I always went to him.
  7. He was very sexually depraved.
  8. He was intensely focused on his looks and attention from others.
  9. He was loved by acquaintances, and avoided by those closest to him.

The funny thing is that he eventually broke up with me. But he didn’t end it cleanly. He wanted me to chase after him. He accused me of cheating on him with the friend I had cut out of my life. He told me to find evidence that I didn’t or it was over. He called me names, belittled me, screamed and yelled, and made me feel very small. Outwardly, I did not run to him, but I texted him. I wrote him letters, and I took his calls. I let him keep me on the hook, when in reality I did nothing to deserve that.

He eventually killed my feelings for him when I lost my job. I reached out to him, I missed having a rock, and he chose that time to tell me he was seeing someone new. It was designed to kick me while I was down, but if you asked him if it was, he would turn that around to his somehow being the victim.

This is the part where I may lose you, but bear with me. A couple of months after we broke up, I watched that Netflix movie about Ted Bundy, you know the one with that cutie Zac Efron. It was so eerie watching it. So many of the behaviors S exhibited I saw staring back at me on the screen. At that point I reached out to one of his ex-wives and learned some very disturbing things. I will not write them here, but suffice it to say the reason for that is because they are very very serious allegations. However, she gave me details that I know to be true. And I know them to be true, because he exhibited the same behaviors with me.

Let me tell you what I had to do to fix me, as the quote suggests.

  1. I had to block all avenues of communication.
  2. I had to remind myself daily of the bad things, and maybe more than daily.
  3. I had to seek counseling.
  4. I had to remember who I was, not who he said I was.
  5. I had to remember what I deserved.
  6. I had to take my power back.
  7. And lastly, I had to remember that I was not alone. I read somewhere that 1 in 10 people have a personality disorder as classified by the quote at the beginning. That is significant.

Be careful, be confident. Do not let someone get inside your head unless you know they have your best interest at heart.

Stronger Than Yesterday,

Alice