One of the things Cousinfucker wrote to me in a text shortly after I discovered his extracurricular activities was that we weren’t good together. Being apart would somehow make me whole and we were better off finding new partners.
Yes, thank you for being such a prince. Hey, quick question. If you were so damned concerned about us *both* ending up with new partners why didn’t you let me go first? Or at least let me know we were at that point in our marriage where we were dating other people? I don’t think it’s fair that you got engaged before you even let me know we were seeing other people.
This is the part about divorce and dating that I despise. Everyone tells me I’ll find someone else, or that eventually I’ll date again. His family has that whole, “You deserve to be happy,” bullshit going on. I’m sure they have all convinced themselves that everything will work out just swell once we’re divorced and happily paired up with someone new. But here’s the thing: I don’t think divorce is about going out and finding yourself someone new. Divorce is about ending a relationship, a marriage. It’s not supposed to be about finding your happiness or switching out one spouse for another.
My husband cheated. That’s what ended our relationship. It may not have been the best relationship ever; it may not have been anything that the majority of people would have wanted for themselves. It was, however, mine. When I found out what was going on and made the decision to consult an attorney I wasn’t thinking, “Wow! Now I get a chance to date that cute guy I saw at the supermarket!” No, I was thinking more along the lines of, “Oh my God- we just bought this house! How are we going to sell it? We will lose our asses on this! We spent thousands on new furniture. For what? We just bought a new car; we deliberately took out the longest loan with the smallest payments with the plan of paying it off in large chunks with his annual bonus. Now what am I going to do? We cashed in stock and used savings to put a pool in our backyard. Why would you install a pool when you’re just going to leave me and force us out of this house? What the hell am I going to do? What’s going to happen to the kids? Are we going to have to move and leave all of this behind? My daughter loves it here! How can I uproot her again?” See? Nothing about a new hunky boyfriend. Those thoughts were closely followed by several other questions. “How could you be so stupid? How could you have been so blind? How could you possibly have trusted him to the point where you let yourself be completely financially dependent on him? How is it possible you were with him for over 20 years and didn’t foresee him betraying you so horribly? Why on earth did you ever forgive him for the initial emotional affair? How did you not know he was lying to you? Why were you so stupid as to move across the country for him, taking away everything your kids loved, knowing the whore would be closer?” Those were the things I was thinking.
While I don’t take responsibility for Cousinfucker having an affair I know there are things I need to work on before I ever even think about getting involved with someone again. Things like speaking up, not taking any shit, and figuring out how I made such a colossal mistake in marrying him.
Seriously! I put my faith in someone and I was so wrong to trust him. I wasted twenty years of my life, probably my best years, on him. How can I ever trust myself again? I thought I picked someone that was the complete opposite of my father. I thought I picked someone who would be loyal and faithful. I was with him for over twenty years and he discarded me like yesterday’s trash. How do I know I won’t choose someone like that again? I can’t imagine going through this again twenty years from now. Or ten. Or five. Or one.
I look at Jezebel and imagine the advice she has given CF. I believe I have recounted many times how she never leaves until she has a new husband lined up. How do you learn anything that way? It’s apparent she doesn’t learn anything because after cheating on her first husband and blowing up her marriage for Husband #2, she turned around and did the exact same thing to Husband #2. Husband #1 wasn’t a strong enough personality for her; he gave in to her too much. She needed someone with a strong personality, someone who could match her and wouldn’t cater to her. She didn’t communicate well with Husband #1 but she and Husband #2 texted and talked all the time. They were very best friends. They did everything together. Until they didn’t. Once the bloom was off that rose Jezebel didn’t try to fertilize that rosebush. Oh no! She found yet another husband. Now Husband #3 is her soul mate, her very best friend. Sorry, folks, but I’m taking bets that this marriage won’t last much past the ten year mark. She’ll get tired of the lifestyle she has created and decide she wants something else and/or Husband #3 will finally be exhausted catering to her every whim and making sure she feels like the most special woman on the whole wide planet.
I don’t write this because I want people to blow sunshine up my ass and tell me I’ll find someone, or I’ll improve my picker, or that one bad marriage shouldn’t ruin men for me. I am dead serious when I say I have no desire to date. The thought makes me nauseous and sends me into a panic. I haven’t had sex in over a year and I can honestly say I don’t miss it. Even the idea of it isn’t appealing to me. Honestly, it probably has more to do with my own body issues than anything else. I was thinner and curvy with no stretch marks or belly the last time I dated. Now it’s a whole new ballgame and I don’t want to play. I have looked at some seriously good looking men (mostly on the TV or movie screen) and I think, “Mmm, he looks yummy.” Then I try to imagine being intimate with him and I just can’t do it. I start thinking, “Hmmm, that’s awkward. This all seems a little ridiculous. Plus, he’s going to see my flab. Who wants to look at that crap?”
Maybe it is all due to him. I don’t mean to be cruel but he never really rocked my world. And I got so used to doing everything by myself that I don’t really need a partner. Re-reading this makes that sound bad! I don’t mean masturbation! I’m talking about social activities when I say I got used to doing everything by myself. This hasn’t been a year long situation, or even a five year long situation. This is something that has gone on for probably a good fifteen or sixteen years. He rarely helped with the kids. I don’t remember him ever taking any of the dogs out for a walk whenever we didn’t have a fenced in backyard (hence the infamous, “How do you get the dog to poop in the bag?” comment). I remember Pastor Fake offering to help me with a diaper bag and me declining because, as I explained, “I don’t want to get used to having help and then have to go back to doing it all on my own.”
Overall, I think it’s just pointless. Not that he’s paying me anything right now, but should I move in with or marry someone he gets out of paying spousal support. We’ve already established that I’m not a good judge of character. The guy I was married to for two decades tossed me aside in favor of his cousin so what assurance do I have that this fictitious new guy won’t do the exact same thing? Well, maybe not with his cousin… Only now this time not only am I getting a divorce but also I’ve lost my spousal support and I’m now living in a state that doesn’t award it.
This ends up circling back around to that whole “not speaking up” and “taking too much of his shit.” If this relationship ends in divorce (or simply moving out in the case we simply lived together) I’ve lost this new love and I’ve lost the security (hahahaha) of my spousal support. This means I’m going to be much more likely to put up with more shit from someone because I will be more dependent on him. Which leads me to yet another point in why I don’t want to date.
I refuse to ever be financially dependent upon another man again. I will never let someone else’s standard of living become mine if I can’t keep that up on my own. Seriously, most married people combine their incomes. If one spouse is making $50k and the other spouse is making $100K they live on $150k. Even if they make equal amounts- $50k and $50k- they generally combine their incomes and become a $100k income family. Nope! Never again. I’m looking at just over $20k for myself. I’m not combining my income with some high earner (or even a low earner!) and readjusting my life again. I don’t want to remarry and move into a charming new home, maybe have a boat and a summer cottage (hey, why not dream big, right?) and then lose it all once again when he decides he’d like to go off and fuck someone else. I’ve already had to sell off all my furniture and household possessions and leave my home. I have no desire to ever have to do that again, and the best way to prevent that is to just not put myself in that situation. I don’t want to remarry and be able to buy my kids whatever they want and need, be able to get manicures and pedicures, be able to take vacations, and then have that ripped away when he decides he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I also don’t see someone making good money saying, “Oh, you want to live in a shack, Sam, so that you are confident you can make the mortgage if I leave? Sure! Oh, we’re going to live a life of poverty so that you don’t get used to living a nice lifestyle again only to have it yanked out from under you? Sounds great. Very reasonable!” No, if I move in with/marry someone who is making good money I’m sure he’d like to live like he’s making good money, not like he, too, gave up the best years of his income earning potential to follow someone around the country and raise her children. So that won’t work.
I realize not all men are cheaters. But I’m also wise enough to know that I can’t tell the cheaters apart from the non-cheaters. Remember, I thought I married someone who would be loyal and honorable, someone who would never cheat on me. This was a guy who supposedly read encyclopedias on the weekend. This was a guy whose mother and sister thought he would never get married because he was so antisocial.
If you look at previous relationships you’ll find cheaters permeate my history and when they weren’t cheating on me they were emotionally abusing me. I do not have a good track record. I’m not sure age has improved my picker any. If anything I think it has screwed it up even more.
I know I keep skipping over just dating and hop right on over to remarriage or moving in together. I’m really getting ahead of myself and yet I still associate dating with marriage. Honestly though, are there a lot of men out there that would like a long-term monogamous relationship that won’t result in marriage or living together? I’m very curious about this. I tend to think not, but perhaps a lot of men would find this ideal. I don’t know. I don’t date so I haven’t asked. But, if you want to put marriage on the back burner and talk casual dating I have a few problems with that, too.
First, I have no desire to deal with the rejection. This is huge for me. Obviously I’m no longer young and perky. I have kids. I have no job (or perhaps will one day have a very low paying job). You kiss a lot of frogs, and truth be told, sometimes you marry one! Oh! Besides all of that the fact is CF is apparently blissfully happy with Harley, fake breakdown notwithstanding. It would kill me to constantly be rejected while he lives out his little fantasy life with Harley the Whore. I remember Rock Star telling me, “Mom, if you ever left Dad he would be alone for the rest of his life.” Oh sweet child, if only that were so. No, it’s your mama that’s going to be alone for the rest of her life while your dad basks in his new relationship.
Second, I don’t want to worry about kissing someone at the end of a date. What do you do nowadays? Do you shake hands, give each other a hug, give a peck on the cheek? Seriously! It’s been years since I’ve dated. I don’t know what goes on now.
I have no desire to play games. I don’t wish to make small talk. I don’t want to explain my life story to someone who I may or may not ever see again. I do not need a person with a penis to accompany me to dinner, or to the movies, or anywhere really. I have friends. I can go with them.
Plus, dating at this age is weird. I’m 47; I’d like to think I look younger than I am. My daughter tells me I do but she may be blowing smoke up my ass to get stuff. It seems like so many men my age look so much older. I have heard that men my age also want to date women that are younger. I don’t want to date men in their 60s. I’m sure they’re delightful and that when I’m 60 I’ll think 60 year old men are an absolute catch. But right now? No, not looking for someone 15-20 years older. I’m also thinking that in my current state (not thin, no job, 2 teenagers) I’m not going to be attracting the men in their 20s and 30s. I wouldn’t want them anyway because I’m done raising children but it’s not even an option for me.
Then we have the issue of kids. I realize this is an issue only if things get serious, but my guideline is along the lines of: If this would be a deal breaker in a serious relationship then there’s no point in even going out with this guy. Look at me acting like I have guidelines and actually date! That’s so cute. Because I don’t date. I don’t intend to ever date. But if I did, do I date a guy who has kids or not?
If you’re playing the odds chances are the majority of men around my age are going to have kids. If they don’t, would they even want to be around mine? I would think that if you choose to remain child free you wouldn’t want to date a woman with kids. I have heard of it happening though.
If kids aren’t a deal breaker then the question becomes, do you date a man whose kids are younger, older, or the same age as your own?
If his are older, maybe he doesn’t want to date someone with kids that are younger because he doesn’t want to have to deal with any of those issues. Sorry, I can’t meet you tonight. I have to pick up a kid. Oops, school function tonight! Raising kids is time consuming. I think it’s very possible that once a person has done it once they’re pretty much done. They would prefer a partner who is as free as they are. They probably want someone who can travel with them, take off for the weekend with them, go out on a minute’s notice.
If they’re the same age maybe the kids won’t get along. If the unthinkable happens and I move in with someone maybe he’ll parent one way and I’ll parent another and he’ll think I’m doing it wrong and expect me to conform to his way. And since I’ve given up spousal support (hahahaha, oh don’t make me laugh!) maybe I’ll be a pushover and cave. Then my children will hate me. Maybe he really is doing it all kinds of wrong and his kids annoy me beyond belief. That would be horrible. Not just for me, though. For the kids, too. Maybe his kids would just outright hate me for no reason. Or my kids could hate him for no reason. To be fair, that could happen with kids of any age.
What if they’re younger? As you know I watch a lot of ID TV, and I’ve read a lot of debates on parenting/step-parents forums. I don’t mean to generalize but it seems like frequently when men remarry or get a serious girlfriend they tend to hand over the parenting tasks to the new woman. Note: Men, don’t do this. Do not sell yourselves short. You can do this. You don’t need a woman to take care of your kids. You can do it all on your own; you do not need a vagina to be an effective parent. I’ve seen my brother do this. I’ve seen other men in real life do this. A lot of men on ID TV do this. I like kids. I enjoy being around them. I think they’re funny and interesting. I’ll play games with them. I’ll take them to the movies and to the play areas and out shopping. I’ll let them paint my nails and tell me stories and do my hair and feed me food they’ve fixed for me. I’ll even watch their cartoons with them (I’m seriously out of date with the current cartoon characters). With that said I’m so glad I no longer have to help make Valentine boxes for kids, or make cupcakes for class parties, or volunteer to be room mom. I’m done with most of the grunt work. I don’t need to supervise showers anymore. Well, I do have a fourteen year old boy so I still have to make suggestions over the weekend. If I don’t feel like cooking they can fend for themselves. I can take them to see something other than Rated G movies. One of them can even almost drive! I’m more than happy to help out if a fantastic man caught my eye and tricked me into falling in love with him but I do not wish to start all over. I think it’s very easy to get sucked into it. You fall in love and you want to help and before you know it you’re helping with homework and doing all the laundry. I’m Exhibit A over here putting frozen pizzas in the oven for the helpless man child and assembling his tacos for him and serving them to him. I can definitely see myself doing it all once again.
Honestly, I really don’t want anyone seeing me naked! Yep, back to that.
I don’t want to have to deal with anyone else adjusting to my idiosyncrasies. I like to belch. I usually don’t do that in front of strangers. To be honest I didn’t even belch that often in front of CF. I find I am constantly farting and many times it comes from out of nowhere. Sometimes I pick my nose or scratch my ass. I can share that with most of you because you have no clue who I am! For my IRL life friends, I apologize; however, you know I don’t do any of that around you! Except maybe scratching my ass if it really really itches! Even then I try to hide behind something before I dig in. I have a serious ear wax fetish that some people may find weird. Let me be clear- it does not turn me on. I simply have an obsessive need to clean it out! I talk to my dogs and talk back to myself as them. We have some really nice conversations. I fluctuate between being a total slob and being anal retentive when it comes to cleaning. I sing songs about everything and at random times. I have to fast forward on the scary parts of shows and then go back and watch once I know what’s going to happen. I snort when I laugh a lot of the time. I snore (which wouldn’t affect anyone unless we were sharing a bed and because of all of CF’s endless complaints about it I’m paranoid and convinced no other man is ever going to want to sleep in the same bed with me IF I ever decided to have sex again). There are quite a few more but I’m not going to list everything. Suffice to say, there is a lot of me to deal with and I just don’t feel like bringing someone else up to speed.
Besides, who says the pinnacle of recovering from a divorce is finding someone else? Why is that seen as success? Maybe the real success story is the person who thrived after divorce as a self-supporting single person with varied interests. Here’s to hoping that’s me. Especially that self-supporting part.