How I Am Breaking The Marriage Patterns After Divorce – Lesson 3 – Deal With Reality

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Lesson One – Stick To The Facts

Lesson Two – Letting Go Of His Family Obligations

Lesson Three – Deal with Reality

My EX and I now spar through email.  We don’t talk on the phone and I don’t see me calling him or vice versa unless it’s an emergency with the kids or the death of a family member.  I’m fine with that because during the years we were separated, I would occasionally reach out via phone and after a bit, he would relax and we would speak nicely, but since the divorce, there’s an ugly coldness that I don’t wish to deal with anymore.

Because he blames me which I find interesting.  Wouldn’t you?  He left, but he blames me for the divorce, even though when he stated he didn’t want to do this anymore and when I asked if we could go to a counselor to mend the marriage, he refused.  Now that he’s got a new relationship, you’d think he’d be happy.  What the heck?

Do you want to know why?  It has nothing to do with me.  He’s not pining away for me anymore.  Nope!  In my humble opinion…

It’s simply because he’s not dealt with the reality of the divorce.

When you leave a marriage, you leave relationships.  When you don’t see your kids often, you miss out on the ordinary routine, special times and most importantly the bond of family.  I think when he left, he was happy to be just him and only responsible for himself.  In turn, I was left with the sadness, left with most of the responsibility of the kids and so the kids and I bonded – we made our own family without him!  And as time moved on, we got even closer in ways I could have never imagined and for which I’m ever grateful.

Because he walked away, he’s not a part of that bonding.  The kids have bonded together as well and so they don’t need him quite as much.  He’s turned a blind eye to how life has changed, because he doesn’t want to see it.  It’s sad really.   Now that he wants to hang out with them, they’re not really interested since he wasn’t around when they were hurting.  He and his family acted like nothing had changed in their lives when he left.  It’s funny how people react in these cases.  So my theory is that he realizes that we’ve all moved on without him and even though he doesn’t want me anymore, he’s still caught up in that cycle of blame and I’m over it.

I don’t blame him for leaving anymore.  I can’t be bothered.  I am now embracing my new life.  I don’t care really care what he does, as long as he pays on time.  His emails are full of excuses and blame game tactics.  Like I said in the first lesson, he’s trying to rile me up into the old patterns and I’m through with them.  I’ve moved on and it’s obvious that he hasn’t.  There’s a huge sense of peace within me when I read his angry emails which I never had before now.  I see how he’s grasping at points that are null and void because the divorce agreement is in place officially.  He’s blaming me because he didn’t know certain facts that were plainly in the divorce agreement which he signed, but apparently didn’t read.

I know what it is – which is the same replay from when we were married.  He concentrates on one point (like a dog with a bone) and can’t let go of it.  It blinds him to the whole picture or in this case, the whole divorce document.  Being fixated on one point allows you to not see the full scope and blinds you to reality.  So now in his emails, he’s blaming me for his financial situation as it is today.  But really, he needs to take a good hard look and take responsibility for his choices and for himself.

Our divorce agreement wasn’t pretty for either of us.  Neither of us got what we wanted which traditionally I’ve been told means that it’s fair.  I’m not whining about my situation.  I’m not happy with my finances, but this is my reality and I’m dealing with it.  He’s still caught up and spinning with what’s reality because he never looked at the whole scenario as it was presented.

I knew what I was getting in the end.  It didn’t make me happy, but it is what it is and I will budget and deal with the uncomfortable situation as best I can.  I have to because this is now my life.  I don’t have the money I used to have anymore.  Ok.  I will get used to this new way of life.  I have no choice.  I know I am resilient.  I will be grateful for what I have and I will do my best with what’s given to me.

That’s the fact.  That’s the truth.  I’m dealing with my reality.

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How I Am Breaking The Marriage Patterns After Divorce – Lesson 2 – Letting Go Of His Family Obligations

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Lesson One – Stick To The Facts

Lesson Two – Letting Go of His Family Obligations

My friends are appalled that I receive my EX’s mail, as he requested it be forwarded to me since he’s moved to another state.  It’s probably laziness on his part, but I’m not insulted.  I am willing to throw in and help him when he needs it.  Anyway, the advantage is for me to know what’s going on as we transition through the divorce.  I open his mail because it’s coming here.  I need to weed through the junk mail and then let him know the important bills/mail that come for him.  Although I have not forwarded any of his mail to him as I’m not spending my money for postage.  Luckily for me, I pass it along to his family and let them deal with it.

I’ve broken the tradition of being his secretary as well.  Laughingly, in a good humored way, I told him that to his face.  His face was surprised, but by the manner in which I said it, he knew I was teasing him but I also was serious.  It registered finally to him that I’m not taking charge of his stuff like I did when we were married.  I’ve dropped that sandbag with glee.  Sure, I’ll open your mail and pass it along, but I’m not keeping up with whether you are paying your bills on time or filling out necessary forms.

Another big change is that I do not remind the kids of his family’s birthdays.  He made it clear years ago that I was not to gift his family anymore.  There was a definitive split there and he has not reached out to any of my family, nor me, on any holidays, birthdays, etc.  I still, because of who I authentically am, send a card to his family on such occasions, but I also told them all what he’s declared.

So when we had a few recent birthdays, I took care of things in a new way.  I texted and sent cards on the special occasions to his family members, but I didn’t remind the kids.  It was hurtful to the family members that the kids didn’t reach out to them, but it was a direct reflection on my EX and not on me.  I know that one individual in particular was appalled by my not reminding the kids, but that’s part of the restructuring in the divorce.  His family is his responsibility and not mine.  If he wanted the kids to reach out to his family on their special days, then that’s on him, not on me.  In the meantime, I did as I have done for years, I texted and I sent a card from me and left the kids out of it.  I must say it’s freeing to not be tied to the secretarial duties anymore.  Because I don’t remind him of his family members’ special days and it shows.

There’s a little part of me who is happy that they now see how disconnected he truly is.  For years, I tried to explain what I was dealing with, but nobody listened.  Instead of telling, now I let his inactions show and maybe they will get the message loud and clear.  I don’t think they will like it, but it’s not my problem anymore.

Funny thing is that I am still in contact with much of his family through phone calls, texts and cards.  It’s all in how we finesse the relationship and I have taken the high road to keep us all comfortable even when I have been hurt by their actions.  I don’t do it as a martyr.  Instead, I allow them to have their lives and I live mine.  But for over 20 years of marriage, we were a family who had a lot of love between us.  Just because he’s disconnected, doesn’t mean that his family and I can’t be nice to one another.  After all, it’s for the kids that I do it.  For the kids and for all of us.

There’s a peace within that comes with being kind.  That’s all I offer – take it or leave it.  I am me, above all, authentically me, embracing life’s changes.

 

 

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How I Am Breaking The Marriage Patterns After Divorce – Lesson 1 – Stick to the Facts

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I don’t know about you, but in my marriage, we had slipped into a pattern and routine of my EX being the boss and me being the subordinate one.  It happened gradually over time as I found it was easier to just let him have his way and to not start a fight.  Let me be clear though –  my EX wasn’t a bad guy.  In happier times I think we had a good marriage and he was a good husband/father.  Stress and whatever else happened with him eroded away our communication skills until there was nothing left.  What started out as an equality in the marriage somehow eroded to me scurrying to please him and him being angry by my scurrying because he didn’t want to be pleased.  I just wanted peace no matter what – because he was stressed and he was the breadwinner.  His parents had that 1950’s marriage that in the end, I was trying to emulate to keep peace.  But I’m nothing like a 1950’s wife and I never started out that way, but I ended up desperately trying to do everything for him to make him happy and instead made us both more miserable.  After awhile, when I felt like I was doing it all and getting no response, no appreciation, I stopped doing for him at all.  Unintentionally or intentionally, I quit reaching for connections because I felt like I had no tether to him.  I  resented scurrying (which was my own decision to scurry) and yet I continued to scurry in hopes that doing x (insert whatever) would make him realize that I was trying to make him happy and maybe, just maybe, he’d make an effort too.  Let’s face it, it wasn’t a good dynamic for either of us and divorce, now in hindsight, was the only way we could reset the relationship for the better.  At least, that’s what I dare to hope.  The jury is still out on this point though.

I think in his head, that pattern of me pleasing him and being subordinate was to remain throughout the divorce process.  But when I began to transform, it exacerbated his irritability with me.  No longer was I content to be the last to know (reality check  – I was NEVER CONTENT to be the last to know, but that’s how it was towards the end of our marriage).  I began to free myself from his confined thinking of me.  We were separated for a long time and when I filed for divorce it threw him for a loop as he thought he was going to be in charge and in control.  That was the start of his eye-opening madness.

Let me be honest, I didn’t file for divorce for spite.  I did it for me.  I needed to take control over my life.  He had already informed me that he had gotten a lawyer so I knew things were going to progress to divorce.  As the divorce and the work involved progressed, my ability to produce paperwork on a timely basis helped my confidence.  He may have been the breadwinner, but I was the bill payer etc. and I had a handle on things that he didn’t.  I’m organized.  He’s not.  So it was to my advantage and as it became clear that I knew what I was talking about, his anger waxed and waned.  On one hand, it helped him.  On the other, because I knew so much, he couldn’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes because I had the facts.  And facts speak louder than baloney.

I found peace in just telling the facts and not getting into the emotional part of the divorce.  It was like a brand new me, a brand new way of thinking emerged when I only dealt with the facts because as much as he tried to twist them, the lawyers remained non-plussed with his hissy fits.  Just give us the facts.  Save the whining for someone else, unless you want to pay your divorce lawyer to listen to you.  It was freeing for me.  I talked with my friends when I needed to vent the emotional parts out of my system – which was often I’ll admit!  I learned quickly that it wasn’t worth the money to tell the lawyer all that my STBX (soon-to-be-ex) was doing.  Instead, my friends guided me through the process of getting the frustrations out of my system.  I am so grateful to them for their patience!  I know it was annoying as heck!

I think this has to be a series of posts.  But here’s the gist of today’s lesson – only deal with facts when you’re changing the relationship during and after a divorce.  Stick to the facts and don’t engage no matter what he says to you.  He’s only trying to elicit that emotional roller coaster response in you so that he can return to the old patterns.

You are wise dear girl.  Don’t fall for it.  Facts are facts.  Stick to them and raise the bar for understanding.  I guess that’s Lesson One.

 

 

 

 

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Finding Parts of Myself

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It’s a road of discovery, strewn with some rocks, some detours and some debris.  But it’s my path that I’m on and I’m determined to find all the parts of myself to make me whole again.  Being forced to change my entire life by divorcing after more than 20 years of marriage was not a challenge I was ready for, but then when are we ready for such dramatic changes in our lives?  Certainly few of us shout YAY when faced with a life upheaval like that when it’s not what we wanted.  But it happens all the same and we are left to pick up the pieces and move on.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Yesterday I was wearing a pair of madras pants (similar to the photo example above).  I found them in the back of the closet, put them on and because I loved the colors and it’s summer, I wore them.  Back when I was married, I wouldn’t have worn them as my EX didn’t like that look.  But I had a big smile on my face with the simplicity of wearing them yesterday, knowing that I am my own woman now and I don’t have to please anyone but me.  Maybe this doesn’t seem like such a big thing for you, but by the end of my marriage, I would intentionally wear what I knew he liked, even though he never complimented me when I tried to look nice.  Looking back, I see that simple act was me losing myself, bit by bit and I didn’t even realize it.

Simple pleasures that were previously frowned upon are not stolen moments anymore.  They are enjoyable pieces of peace which I find in my life like precious sea glass on the beach.  Little things I do for me (or choose not to do) are small steps to recovering myself after years of marriage.

What have you done to find parts of yourself?

 

 

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What Happens When Part Of The Soul Disconnects

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I had a reading at a new age metaphysical place.  What was revealed to me was that a small part of my soul had disconnected and was stuck 5 years in the past.  I know it probably sounds incredulous to you, so if this is too spiritual, I understand.  Quite frankly, even though I am a pretty spiritual person myself, it was not what I expected to hear.

But as the reading continued and Reiki accompanied the experience, more was revealed to me which made sense.  In essence, part of my soul hadn’t been able to assimilate all the chaos that was going on in my life at the time.  She was the rose-colored glasses part of me, the ever hopeful, the we can work to fix the marriage, we can move mountains to get him to understand and to remind him of the love we once shared.  She was a special part of my soul who never gave up on the relationship/marriage.

But when he left, the divorce proceedings began and my life changed forever, she couldn’t handle it.  I had little family support during that time in my life.  I am a very compassionate person by nature and I remember physically yearning for someone to hug me and yet, there was nobody who could.  Even though the kids and I hug daily, I couldn’t and wouldn’t expect them to ‘mother me’ as I needed.  With friends, even though they were supportive, I wasn’t comfortable falling to pieces and getting the hug I needed to rebuild myself and to support that little piece of my soul who desperately wanted to be held.  I think if I had found someone to hold me, just for a bit while I cried my eyes out and not worried about burdening them with my despair, that little piece of my soul would have been able to heal and the rest of me could have as well.  But I had to be stoic and keep going even when I was hurting to my core because there was much to do.  You know what that’s like, right?  Being a mom, we just suck it up and keep going.  We can’t fall down into a puddle of mush when there’s a divorce, a move and a closing of a house all within days and nobody else to rely on.  We just do it.

I am happy with my current life situation although it has taken me years to see the gift in the pain I felt.  What was suggested to me during the reading was to mother that disconnected part of my soul, to nurture her, to speak with her and to allow her to realize that it’s all ok now.  What amazes me was after consciously being with the information I received in the reading, I realize that she was the part of me that was missing – that rose-colored glasses, ever hopeful romantic who believes in love, in new beginnings and in accepting what is in life.  I think that after a bit, I will be able to heal her as well and she will meld back into me again and I will feel fully healed and ready to reach out again in a romantic way.

Have you ever had a reading?  What was your experience?  Are you spiritual?  Do you think I’m full of hooey?  Or do you maybe understand my post?  Please share!

 

 

 

 

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I Want A Boyfriend! Why Don’t I Have One?

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Ok, I’m not there yet in my life.  Sure, at some point, I’d like to start dating again, but I need some more me time before I get involved with someone new.  Again, that’s just me, so if you’ve found your new special someone, I applaud you and wish you all the best!  Please let us know how you found him – dating app, friend of a friend, online, knew him before, or even met a stranger at the grocery store?  Oh please share!  We all need to hear of good news after a divorce!

Recently I was listening to a youtube video by a guy Click here to see more about Matthew Hussey who is helping women to find love.  I know a bunch of single and divorced women nowadays.  It seems they have become my tribe, even though my married friends are still very much in the picture.  But those who are without a significant other at the moment are the ones with whom I’m closest right now for a host of reasons.

ANYWAY…the gist of the this particular video was this:  most women aren’t attracted to a man who is pining for a girlfriend/relationship.  The fact is, a man who is in a relationship is no better than one who isn’t.  But at some point, our minds have trained us to think that because he’s in a relationship or recently left one, he’s got his act together more than the guy who isn’t dating someone at this point.  Does that make sense to you?  Do you think that way?

On the flip side, you are not less than for not being in a relationship.  You are not less attractive or less put together.  You are only less attractive to the opposite sex if you come off as acting desperate to be in a relationship.  You know what I mean, don’t you?  Your friend who just wants a boyfriend so badly to take care of her, regardless of who he is – she just wants a relationship so that she’s not alone?  Maybe if she figured out that she was able to take care of herself and be happy alone, men would flock to her more often.  Attraction is met by someone who is happy and has her stuff together.  She’s confident and ready to have an equally fulfilling relationship with a man.  If she’s acting weak and desperately wants to be saved, that’s not attractive.  You wouldn’t be attracted to a man if he acted that way, would you?  Clearly weak is not the same as vulnerable and you know the difference, right?  I’m just saying.  A man who is sensitive is not the same as weak or vice versa.  Yikes, am I digging my hole deeper?

But men do like to feel protective and helpful.  One of Matthew’s videos suggested the following lines:

I could really use your help with something.

I feel so safe and protected with you.

which supposedly ignites that care-taking feeling in a man which they like.  And let’s be honest, we all like to take care of those we like/love.  Also, we like to feel appreciated when we go out of our way to do something nice as well.

Bottom line is this:  Be happy with who you are right now.  Be happy to share your life with someone and he will come because he will find you attractive and vice versa.  Does that make sense?  Because men, like animals can smell fear and desperation.  If you are desperate for a boyfriend, even the most dunce-headed man will know and smell it on you like a bad perfume.  He will either play with your emotions or run like hell.  But neither option is a good one for you.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox for now.  Sorry if I’ve offended you in any way.  I just think sometimes we need a friend to say what’s hard to say.  I’m not speaking to anyone in particular by the way, so don’t think this post is about you.  It’s not.  It’s just a general reminder for those who are feeling this way.

And truth be told, yes, I’ve felt that way too.

 

 

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Are You A Good Girl By This Definition?

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I like Katy Perry’s definition of a good girl because it fits me perfectly.  Would you call yourself a good girl by this definition or do you define good girl differently?

I followed the rules all of my life.  I was a good wife and a good daughter-in-law.  I am a good daughter and a good mom.  I worked hard at my job.  I am a good friend.  I am a good person in general.  Honestly.

But you know what?  This next chapter I think I’m going to bend the rules, just a bit.  Sure, I’ll keep integrity and respect and love in the forefront, but I’m getting tired of not speaking up and not standing up when people are disrespectful.  I stick with the facts with every situation.  Quietly, calmly, I speak up and state the truth.  I am not inclined to fight about any situation.  But there’s a little power in being 50 that allows me to just be me without fanfare, without stumbling, and without second-guessing myself all the time.

There’s a joy in being Authentically 50 and not having to apologize for others’ views of me.  You may like me, or not.  It is your choice.  I’m not bending myself to fit into your chosen box of control nor your choice of how I should live my life.  I will not be treated with disrespect, but instead, I am weaning away from toxic relationships, snippet by snippet.  I am allowing the pressures of ego to fall away and to just enjoy being meMe – with all my love intact – stripped of toxic emotions and toxic people who have surrounded me for decades.  I am letting go of minding of they view me and I am free to be me!  The fact is, I like the me who has evolved to where I am in this moment.  Sure, I have some repairs to still work on in my life and I’m not quite comfortable yet because I know I have more to grow in my thinking.  Recovering myself is a process.  But hey, it’s a great start, don’t you think?

Fifty is fabulous when we let go of the chains that bound us for the first 50 years!  Embracing all that I am, evolving to where I want to be and enjoying the ride!

Do you feel the same way?

May all the good girls unite!

 

 

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