Ugh! I know I’ve shared here before that I doubt I’ll ever even find someone to date again, much less fall in love with. I definitely won’t be remarrying or living with someone. So here is my dilemma.
I read on Chump Lady recently one of the readers saying marriage is a trap. Chump Lady replied (and I’m going to quote her verbatim because I thought what she said was quite profound): I don’t think marriage is a “trap.” It’s a wonderful blessing when you’ve got a good one. Most of the bad marriages you find here were never marriages to begin with. I wouldn’t even describe them as “bad marriages” — they were cons.
Hmmmm…. I’m not sure I would call what I had for twenty plus years a con per se. Unequal, unbalanced, not a partnership… sure. Nonetheless, her words did give me pause. Not so much to actually give remarriage a try but relationships in general.
I’ll be honest. I don’t think I have the best picker out there. You could look back at my boyfriends and realistically ask me, “What the hell were you thinking?” I’m also fairly certain that the lack of boyfriend for five years directly led to me rushing into things with Cousinfucker. Furthermore, if I had not gotten engaged so quickly to Cousinfucker I probably wouldn’t have married him either. Then again, that’s the whole purpose of love bombing. Get them committed so they don’t see the real person.
Anyway, in addition to Chump Lady chiming in with her views on marriage and what a blessing it is I also think about another reader from her forum. This person had a disastrous marriage with a cheater that cheated underground for fifteen or twenty years after she caught him the first time. His goal upon walking out the door was to make it impossible for her to trust another man ever again. He actually told her that. Her philosophy was that she didn’t want to have this be the last chapter in her story. She wanted to find love and experience it. Bravo to you, brave reader!
I’m not that brave. Remarriage and living together are definitely out. I will never put myself into that kind of jeopardy again. I lose everything if I do either of those things and then once again I am at the mercy of whatever man I’m with. No thank you! I would love to say: I will not let Cousinfucker be the end of my love story. I will not let him be the final chapter.
The unfortunate truth is I think he is. I’m done. If I couldn’t trust him after twenty-one years together what chance do I have that someone else isn’t going to fuck me over? They don’t come with signs or warning labels. Why would I ever think that someone who had only invested a year or two or five in our relationship would ever be faithful or not up and leave me? I was fooled so completely by him that I don’t think I will ever trust myself to pick another companion. The picker is broken. And I just don’t think I’m into dating again.
I will admit that my experience with dating ends in my mid-twenties back when I was still relatively thin, child free, mostly baggage free, and well, young. I wonder who on earth is going to be interested in me now. I don’t look like a model. I have rolls and flab and stretch marks. I have wrinkles. I’m in the middle of a divorce. I have two kids that need me. I have no job and am living on spousal support and child support. I’m not sure what part of that screams, “Wow! I’m a catch!” To be fair I know I’m not hideously ugly. I’ve also been blessed with youthful looks. And while I’m no longer thin I won’t be appearing on “My 600 Pound Life” anytime soon either.
I don’t think I ever want to envision a future with someone again and have that particular rug pulled out from underneath me. I thought I was living in my forever home. I thought my kids would come back here on college breaks and for holidays even once they were married. I thought we would welcome our grandchildren to this house. They would be swimming in our pool for years to come. I thought this is where we would spend holidays with our children and our grandchildren.
I don’t want my finances wrapped up with someone else. My retirement was his retirement. Now I’m fucked. I’m seriously and honestly fucked. I don’t want a house that I have to leave when he decides he’s done with me and no longer wants me. Of course I’m also never going to live with a man again so there’s that. Even if spousal support wasn’t part of the equation I still wouldn’t do it. I don’t want to believe I’m at one socioeconomic level and have him leave and now I go back to nothing. I don’t want my kids thinking that their lives are going to be one way- cars and college and weddings and Sweet 16 parties and awesome Christmas gifts- only to have to completely overhaul that when the man walks out the door. I don’t ever want to make plans- any kind of plans- travel, home remodeling, retirement, anything- only to have him bail on me.
Cousinfucker has done a lot of damage. I have no problem admitting that. Maybe that was his intention. I have people who tell me I’m going to be so much better off without him but honestly I have a really hard time believing I’m going to look back a year from now, two years from now, maybe even five years from now, and saying, “Oh thank God I got out of that marriage when I did! I’m soooo much happier now.”
Where am I going with this, you might be asking? Glad you asked. I had lunch with a longtime friend the other day. She thinks I should put my profile up on one of the dating sites. She thinks it would be good for me. As she put it: You have spent so much time talking yourself into why you aren’t a catch. I think it would be good for you to see that there are people out there who are interested.
I promised her I would think about it. I am thinking about it right this moment. I have a few reservations.
The first one is obvious to me. What kind of a man wants to get involved in any way, shape or form with a woman who is merely separated from her husband? What kind of a drama llama is he? I am 99% certain I would not get involved with a man who was merely separated from his wife so I have a real problem asking a man to get involved with me even superficially when I’m in the same situation. My mom points out that at least the guy can be certain we’re separated and it’s not some bullshit line seeing as how he’s moved out of the house and is living in another state completely! I will give her that one. I am definitely not feeding anyone a line.
Secondly, I feel like a hypocrite. Before I became embroiled in my own divorce mess I always thought I would never date until I was officially divorced. I couldn’t understand why people would rush to get involved with someone new when they were just getting out of a relationship. Hell, not just a relationship, but a marriage! To a certain extent I do still feel that way. I spent twenty-one years with Cousinfucker. I’m not sure I’m doing anyone a favor by getting involved so quickly after this marriage has blown up. I realize that not every date will lead to everlasting love but I do wonder about how emotionally available I would even be with all of this going on.
Here’s a third reservation. What if no one likes my profile? That would be a bummer! More heartache on top of what I’m already going through. It’s not enough that my husband of two decades cheats on me and leaves me for his cousin; no, I get to find out that I’m not appealing to any male out there! That alone is enough to make me hesitate.
I also need to contend with the fact that this is pretty much how I met Cousinfucker. Oh, it was long enough ago that I didn’t do the actual online dating. No, I ran an ad in the personals. We see how well that worked out for me. But, to be fair, I’m not a wing nut so perhaps not everyone doing online dating is like Cousinfucker.
What else? I keep hearing about how so many disordered personalities use online dating to find their “victims”. Women over on Chump Lady who confide they found their husband’s online profile on Christian Mingle, match.com, and the like. Ugh! Good news is I think I can spot a married man pretty quickly. And again, I’m not a nefarious sort of person so maybe there is hope.
You also have to be careful how you word things on your online profile. I can’t really come right out and say: I don’t ever want to get married again. I’m not even looking to move in with someone ever again. First of all, that’s really putting the cart before the horse, but secondly, it’s like a neon light saying, “I just want to hook up!” But I don’t. I’m not opposed to a relationship; hell, sometimes I think it would even be nice to have someone by my side while I’m going through this, like Cousinfucker has.
There are even moments when I worry about finding someone I really like knowing I’m planning on moving in about two years. Of course, my friend who is encouraging this tells me something like this, “You could be dead in two years! No one knows. You could get hit by a bus. Live a little.”
I guess what it all boils down to is this: I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what’s out there. I’m afraid no one will want me. I’m afraid of being rejected yet again. I’m afraid of being alone for the rest of my life. I’m afraid of being with yet another someone who takes me for granted and doesn’t treat me the way I should be treated. I’m afraid of being a bitch to someone who doesn’t deserve it because I’m making him pay for Cousinfucker’s sins. I’m afraid of losing myself to someone else, putting all of my needs aside for him. I’m afraid of never having a satisfying relationship. I’m afraid I’ll find someone that I really like and he won’t really like me. I’m afraid of introducing my kids to someone and them getting attached and then him moving on. I’m afraid of my kids never having a healthy male role model, or knowing what a father should do. I’m afraid that my kids will never know what a healthy relationship looks like and that they’ll repeat my mistakes. I’m afraid of moving too fast, and I’m afraid of never moving on.
Fortunately for me since Cousinfucker moved us to the middle of nowhere I’m fairly certain that if I ever do decide to try online dating any guy who might see it will probably be a good hour away so it’s not like I’m going to be faced with this problem anytime soon. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before the average age in this town seems to be about 85 so I don’t think I’m going to run into anyone naturally. I’ve tried looking into meetup.com just to meet some new people and there is very little available. I’ve looked into volunteering and again, very little available. I thought perhaps volunteering through the schools might be possible but that was a dead end as well. I swear, I sometimes think Cousinfucker thought, “Hmmm, I’m a miserable, unhappy person who is never content with life. It’s not fair that Sam has chosen to make the best of any situation. It’s not fair that even though her life is not perfect she has chosen to be happy and to look for joy in other areas of her life. What can I do to make Sam as miserable as me? I know! I’ll rip her life apart, move her to the middle of nowhere, and then I’ll leave her for my whore of a cousin and move out of state! If I can’t be happy in my life then I’m going to make sure everyone else is just as miserable as me! And as an added bonus, once I make everyone else miserable with my piss poor choices, I’m going to make sure that I give everyone around me some sob story about my pitiful life so they’ll all tell me how I deserve to be happy. Then I’ll go off fucking my gold digging, bad check writing, frequent flier jailbird, white trash slut of a cousin, playing daddy to four kids that aren’t my own, and working side by side with my bestest buddy in the whole wide world! Everyone will tell me that I deserve this happiness and my family can suck it! It’s my turn to be happy and their turn to be miserable. Ha!”
Cousinfucker is an asshole and I’m still pondering this online (or any kind!) dating thing.