Reconnecting

This weekend we went to my cousin’s wedding in a small town about 1.5 hours from where we live.

Mr. J booked the day off work in order to attend the event with me. He doesn’t get many random days to take off in a year, so using one for this was appreciated.

The drive to the wedding was slightly strained. He knew that I was still hurting/angry from the week, added to the fact that having been busy with his children for most of the week, we didn’t talk much. For the last three nights he only came to bed after I was asleep.

So I wanted this weekend to be about US. (Sorry cousin!) I wanted us to get dressed up, to be social, to drink and eat and dance and be surrounded by love.

We’d lost touch last week, in part from our lack of communication, and in part because of how I am feeling overall about our relationship of late.

Ironically, we sat at the ‘unmarried’ table. There were six of us: the couple to our left have been together for six years, but not married. The women across from us (not a couple, but friends who came together), are both not married. One has been with her partner for 16 years, the other, with hers for a whopping 38 years. Never married.

So Mr. J joked (privately to me) that we were the worst at the table. Not only had I been divorced three times (!!!), but he was still married.

Now at this point we had both had a few cocktails and so I believe he meant that as a joke. As in, ‘how scandalous’!!

But having had a cocktail myself, the tone might not have been so playful when I turned to him and said, “trust me, I am well aware of that fact”.  (Actually, that’s not true. I said something else but now, writing this, I can’t quite remember what it was exactly. So that will suffice until I remember what I actually said (if I ever do)).

At that point, I got up and went to get myself another drink at the bar.

I cooled off a little, then went back to the table. Our dinner arrived, we chatted amongst our new friends… and the evening went well. I had fun. I hope Mr. J had fun.

We chatted, listened to music, ate dinner. Drank. Watched the newlyweds in their loving glow.

Then later on in the evening, the dancing started, and Mr. J and I actually had our very first dance. He says he is not much of a dancer, and let me tell you – when it comes to slow dancing, he is very good. He does the basic ‘sway’ – no fancy footwork here – but he makes up for it in the way he held me tight. Secure against him.

As if to say ‘you’re mine, and I’m not letting you go’.

So I can forgive the guy if his fast dance moves make him look like he’s auditioning for the Yoko Ono video ‘Bad Dancer‘. (I wish I was kidding. Sadly, I’m not.)

While our communication issue is still ‘there’, this weekend getaway did help our relationship. It did help us to reconnect. I left the issue at home, and tried to concentrate on US. On being present and enjoying the moment with him. On celebrating my cousin and her new husband – along with everyone else in the room.

This weekend also proved that we don’t have to ‘travel’ to get away. I realized that we’ve gone away twice this year so far, and both times have been really good. This time, for the wedding, as well as one overnight in March to visit my mother.

And I realized that maybe this is the key. Mr. J said he doesn’t like to ‘travel’. Maybe the long distance, and his time away from home is what freaks him out. So I am going to talk to him about a compromise. Instead of long road trips, maybe our thing will be short overnight stays; we could easily leave after he finishes work on a Saturday afternoon, drive somewhere for an overnight, and then come back home the next day. To not go further away than where my mom lives, but still somewhere out of the area. We drive there, check into a hotel, have dinner, then we relax, have some really hot hotel room sex. Then the next morning we check out, explore the area, and then leave to arrive home just after suppertime, giving us enough time to take care of a few things before work the next day. Nothing stressful, nothing rushed.

Just some time away to relax and recharge.

Tomorrow night (his summer hockey begins tonight), I will bring this up with him to see what he thinks. We could do a weekend in July or August to test the waters, and see how he feels about it. We can go forward to get him his passport which would open up a lot more options for us, travel-wise.

But, one step at a time. I’d like to bask in the glow from this weekend and appreciate what we had.

Just a little while longer.

 

Out of the Darkness

Saturday was a bad day for me.

Things are still going strong with Mr. J2.

Honestly.

But Saturday was rough.

At the time I wasn’t sure why; we had just spent a wonderful week together doing all our favourite things – eating, cooking, talking and being together.

Oh, and let’s not forget the amazing sex.

But Saturday morning, as soon as I walked into my condo, I could feel it.

The darkness descended.

I looked around and saw the tea stains on the kitchen floor that hadn’t been cleaned up by The Roommate; I saw the crumbs all over the counter that hadn’t been wiped; I saw the dribble of who-knows-what down along the side of the fridge.

That’s where it began.

To go from such a wonderful happy place to my reality was too much for me to handle that morning.

Not that I am complaining.

I am merely trying to figure out how and why I went from such a happy high to a deep low.

I did my laundry. I cleaned my room. I took out my garbage.

And still the darkness descended.

Talking to Mr. J2 by text didn’t help.

Neither did reading old emails from my father – who passed away in 2009.

Mr. J2 invited me over for dinner and to watch The Boy play hockey since The Ex wouldn’t be at the game. He missed me and I really missed him too, but I declined because I really wasn’t in the right mindset.

I also thought he needed to spend some time with his kids by himself. He misses them so much.

I took a nap in the afternoon and by the evening I had figured out when my brain took that left turn in Albuquerque.

You see… I got ahead of myself.

The Daughter had a band competition that morning. Mr. J2 rushed to get himself ready and pick up The Boy to make it there on time.

We left the house at the same time – me going home and him going to get The Boy.

And I realized… that’s what started it.

I couldn’t go to the concert.

But I wanted to.

Did I know I wanted to? Nope.

Did I ask if I could go? Nope.

Did we talk at all about my going? Nope.

But in my head, I got ahead of the situation. Spending the week with Mr. J2 was too good. Just like a fantasy, and so when we got back to reality – The Ex not having met me and, let’s be honest, I’m really not part of the family – it just hit me suddenly.

And wham. Down came the boom.

What makes me angry and frustrated is that NO ONE did this to me. No one made me feel bad; no one said anything to me to make me feel anything, and no one actually said that I couldn’t go.

I did this to myself.

Well… that and PMS. I am totally going to give PMS partial credit for this one. (I’m just glad I get sad and I don’t turn into the bitch from hell)

But it was all in my head. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be in the crowd watching The Daughter play.

But we aren’t there yet. I know that.

Well, my head knows that. My heart, it seems, didn’t get the message.

I’m better now, though. Some sleep, some junk food, and some time helped me see that I was making things worse than they were. I’m jumping ahead to step 8 when in reality we are only on step 3.

And so we still have a few more steps to go.

Patience has NEVER been my virtue. But in this case, I just have to let it go.

It will happen. I know it will. But not on my schedule. Not on anyone’s schedule.

When the time is right, I will be there, along with the rest of her family, cheering her on.

I hope.

 

Two Months

Today marks two months since my first date with Mr. J2.

On November 19 we met for dinner and the rest is history.

Two months – that’s pretty significant in a lot of ways.

I can honestly say that this is the longest I’ve dated anyone and haven’t found something I didn’t like about them.

What I mean is, this summer I dated Mr. M and it lasted just shy of 8 weeks. He kind of started to lose interest, and when I called him on it, he admitted he didn’t really want to go forward but he also said he didn’t want to stop. So I decided for him.

But even when we were dating there were things I didn’t like about our ‘relationship’. I didn’t like that after 8 weeks we had only had two all-night sleepovers. In fact, at the end, we were pretty much only seeing each other for sex – at least the last two weeks that’s what it felt like.

Plus he wasn’t really into kissing. Not sure if it was just kissing me, or in general. The sex was okay – he was well endowed and quite adventurous – but like most men in his 40s he had some issues in that department. We had a pretty good sex life and did some things outside of the bedroom but ultimately it was just a summer fling.

Previous to that was my ill-fated attachment to Mr. R. We’re still friends, and in fact he will be in town next week and I want him to meet Mr. J2. I’m not sure if that’s because I want Mr. J2 to meet my friends or I want to rub it in slightly to Mr. R – because if you read back my blog to this summer I developed an unhealthy attachment to him, no thanks to his words and his actions. In looking back I am very glad that nothing came of it, that we just had a summer fling, because no matter how well we get along, ultimately we want different things; he wants to live in his cottage on the lake year-round, and I need to work for at least 20 more years before that’s an option for me.

But I digress…

Previous to Mr. M and Mr. R was Mr. K. We dated for two years and I ended things with him a year ago.

Wow. A year already. Time flies.

I knew we were not well suited from the beginning. Sex with him, the few times it happened, was the worst of my entire life. It was worse than the time I lost my virginity.

No shit. It was that bad. We only had sex about 4 times, all within the first three months we were dating. Then there was nothing for two years.

But even in those first two months, I knew we were not well suited. There were times I was disappointed and ended the evening in tears; he didn’t invite me to go with him and his buddy to celebrate Mr. K’s 40th birthday. Instead, I got to take him to dinner then sent him on his way.

(Now I am all for men having their guy time but it was his birthday; if I indeed was his ‘girlfriend’ then I should have been included in the evening as more than a chauffeur. That’s all I am saying)

Many times I was left behind, or had to wait for him, or had to drive him someplace. Even now I joke with Mr. J2 when an email from Mr. K comes in – it invariably is all about him and rarely does he ask how I am doing. Some thing don’t change.

Last night was a rough one for me. For some reason I was in tears for most of the evening, and sleep was fitful at best.

(And not because I watched two more episodes of Making a Murderer)

I started to have doubts. Okay, I am starting to have doubts, maybe that sounds better. And the doubts are not about him, they are about me. Can I do this? Can I be a step-mother again, and live in a house with the ghost of another woman? What if the kids like me now but then they don’t when I’m a regular fixture? I hate not seeing Mr. J2 when he has the kids. I hate not staying over. But I know it’s the way it needs to be for how, because it’s still new. Does the Ex’s man stay over when the kids are with her? Probably not as she still maintains that they are ‘just friends’.

Maybe it’s the prospect of a long cold winter ahead. Maybe it’s the prospect of what could be – but these past few days have found me more aware of the small things that frustrate me in my own life. The roommate who never quite cleans her kitchen mess up properly – leaves crumbs and tea stains on the white counter; her boot mess by the front door as she doesn’t put her wet boots on the carpet, she leaves them on the floor so now there are two nice salt and snow stains on the ceramic. The fact that the roommate has never, ever washed the floors in the three years we’ve lived together. The way that the roommate changes the channel on the tv if I am gone from the couch for more than five minutes. The way she has let a bottle of cooking sauce leak on its side for a week or two on her shelf in the fridge with no effort yet to clean it up or even put it right side up. And let’s not even talk about the way she complains about everything just to complain – last night I actually laid in bed thinking about what it would be like if she moved out. I thought about moving my stuff back into the master bedroom and how nice it would be to have all my space back – to not be forced to watch tv in my bedroom, especially when So You Think You Can Dance or Survivor is on.

Sure, these may seem like small things but they are just a few of the things I notice now, after having spent so much time with Mr. J2. I would especially miss the $600 in rent she pays me, and the $140 utility split we share. But if she left I would be able to cut down on cable and maybe only go to internet, thus saving a ton of money.

But again… I digress.

I know I am making more of this than there is. I know my brain is trying to sabotage me. For the first time in a long time, I am actually happy. Sure, not seeing Mr. J2 for a week is rough – I mean all I think about this week is if Mr. J2 is too busy to miss me and yet I know that’s not true. I know he misses me because he always finds the time to text me, even when it’s late and he is still cleaning or doing laundry to get ready for the next day with the kids. I know that. When he has time, he makes a point to touch base with me, even if it’s something as small as sending me a heart emoji.

So then why am I freaking myself out? Why am I worried about the possibility of moving in with him, when moving in with him is all I can think about now? Last night I panicked thinking about being a step-mom and living in the house he shared with his ex for 15 years. Because the last time I tried to be a happy family with someone it was anything but. And I don’t want that to happen here.

Is it just because we are at the two-month mark and I really can’t see any negative issues in our relationship so I must make some up?

Why must I stress about things for no reason? Who cares what I make for dinner on the weekend; he will love it and eat it because I made it for him. So why am I stressing about whether to make pulled pork or beef stew?

Why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I just let myself be happy? Every night I haven’t slept in his bed, since Friday evening, has been shitty sleep. Not just because I miss him but because I can’t shut my mind off thinking about him.

It’s the middle of January and it’s cold here. Fucking cold. Wear-my-snowpants-to-work cold.

I need something to look forward to. Sure, a winter vacation would be nice but that’s not going to happen. Christmas, as wonderful as it was, is far behind and the winter is stretching out long and cold ahead. Is it just that I need to plan, to organize and to have something to look forward to? And moving in with him, while it’s been discussed but not decided upon yet, is the most logical thing for me to organize?

Or do I just have way too much time on my hands? (This one gets my vote)

What’s that old saying? Idle hands are the Devil’s playground? So I’m lonely and bored without him so I spend all my time thinking of him and imagining us together which is not making me feel any better since all of that is still a ways away.

It’s like I need AA – one day at a time.

If I can just focus and get through one day, and turn my mind off, then I might make it through this winter without going crazy.

Or at least not sleep-deprived.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings, shall we?

You Don’t Get to be Sad

I started to write a Happy 2016 post but I just need to get something off my chest. I will fill you in on all the wonderful things that happened over the holidays, but I need to say this first.

To the ex-Mrs. J2:

You do not get to be sad that your ex-husband has met someone so wonderful that he wants to introduce her to your kids. You had him for almost 20 years; in that time you never appreciated the wonderfully loving and romantic person that he is. Instead, you tried to change him, or make him feel bad for being so loving and romantic. You made him choose between his out-of-town family and you. You destroyed your family and ended a 20-year relationship because you didn’t want to ‘live with’ anyone, and you ‘wanted something new in your life’. You hooked up with a guy you knew before you met your husband while you were still living in the house with him, and even if you say nothing happened between the two of you, he was still the focus of your attention instead of your husband. You introduced him to your kids in August, although clarifying that he’s ‘just a friend’ all the time is fooling no one. Why else would you spend most nights with your kids at his place when you have them? So given all that, all I want to say is Fuck You. You had him for 20 years and threw him away. You didn’t see what a smart, handsome, sexy, funny, amazing man (and father) he is. You selfishly took him for granted. You broke his heart. For six months you pushed him away but also wanted to keep him close by dropping little nuggets, such as telling him you ‘didn’t want to sign the separation agreement”. You wanted new and exciting and to be on your own… but you also wanted to keep your ex close by, wanting him to be pining for you and die miserable and alone. And you know what? He was pining for you. Until he met me. And he loves me. And he wants me to meet his children – your children. And in the next year, we will probably be moving in together. And no – you do not have the right to tell your ex husband that you are ‘glad for him but a little sad too’. You don’t get to be sad. You don’t get to be ‘struggling’ with the fact that the man you tossed away is happy again – and not with you. You lost that right the minute you ended your marriage. Because I love him. And appreciate him. And I see how wonderful and funny and amazing he is. And you know what? That’s your loss. You will never find anyone who will love you the way you want to be loved, because you don’t love yourself. You are a selfish, selfish person, as indicated by the fact you told your ex that you were sad he had met someone important enough to introduce to your kids. Instead of being happy he’s moving on, you choose to burden him with your issues – and let’s be clear, they are YOUR issues. So I am not sorry you are having a difficult time with this fact. You wanted this. You wanted out of a marriage. You got what you wanted, and if it getting what you wanted, no matter the cost doesn’t make you happy? Then I feel sorry for you.

That is all.

You Do My Heart Good

Last night I was texting, as always, with Mr. J2.

I didn’t hear much from him as his daughter had a band concert, but when he could he would update me.

This is what we do.

At 6:55, just before the concert began, Mr. J2 texted me: “waiting… ILFKY”

(I Love Fucking Kissing You – it’s kind of our inside joke).

And it made me smile. It always does. I typed back, “GRIN. :)”… and then without missing a beat added on, “YDMHG”

And then I added, “And I am not sure I am going to tell you what that one is if you can’t figure it out.”

One second later a reply came back: “my heart too”

See, what I sent to him was, You Do My Heart Good.

And damned if he doesn’t.

Insecurities

I met with Mr. J2 for about thirty minutes tonight, after he finished work but before he went home.

I haven’t minded not seeing him this week. I sometimes like being alone. But he’s made a point of keeping in contact with me via text every evening. Until his kids yell at him to get off his phone, that is.

Tonight we sat in a food court and talked. He asked me to have Christmas dinner with him. To cook it with him. I told him that I wasn’t sure about my plans yet, it depends on whether my mom is coming up or not, but regardless of the situation – we will be having Christmas dinner together.

As we sat there, sipping hot chocolate and holding hands, he asked me if I was still nervous about seeing him.

I was nervous. Nervous and excited.

And scared.

The more I see of him the more I like him.

And the more worried I get that the next time I see him, he will look at me and wonder what the hell he’s doing with me.

But it seems all signs point otherwise.

As we were walking down the hallway out to the mall, we talked about his job. He is a city bus driver, so he always has good stories to tell.

We were talking about how some people are so stoic and robotic. I said, “when I rode the bus I was a bus driver’s dream….” I paused to take a breath and he jumped in with, ‘how do you know you’re not a bus driver’s dream?”

I laughed out loud at that one. “Good one,” I said.

Yes, I understood his meaning.

Then we walked outside, and as soon as we hit the pavement, he took my hand. We held hands all the way to his car. Then we had a mini make-out session at his car before we said goodbye.

He’s making it obvious that he likes me.

How do I push past this feeling of insecurity?

It’s not that I think he will go back to his ex-wife – they are separated, not divorced. She wanted it, he didn’t.

On his profile he wrote that he, “wants to date but nothing serious”.

But I think things are getting serious. He wants to take photos of us together to show people.

He wants to spend Christmas day together. New Year’s Eve.

When he got home from our little meeting, he sent me one word text: ILFKY.

(I love fucking kissing you)

Which is our inside joke from Friday night.

After a few more texts, he wrote: “I’m having such a great time with you.”

He just texted me – I had sent him a photo by email of me when I was five. A photo with Santa.

He wrote: “You were such a cutie but I like that you turned into such a hottie :)”

He likes me, doesn’t he? I mean, he is saying everything right. He is doing everything right. We have a lot to talk about. We laugh a lot. We kiss a lot.

So why the insecurities?

There has literally (I use that word a lot) been NOTHING to indicated to me that he is less than interested. The only way he could be more interested is if he was insisting I meet his kids or he asked me to marry him.

(I promise you neither will happen – and one NEVER will)

Am I so damaged that when I meet someone who is obviously interested, but wants nothing from me but to be with me (unlike Mr. D who I still think was looking for me to be an escape) that I always have to think the worst?

It’s because I feel I am dating above my station.

I mean he is the whole package: smart, funny, handsome, fit, witty, polite, sexy in his own nerdy little way…

Is he going to tire of me? Is he going to realize that he could do so much better than me?That he could be playing the field, dating new and likely more exciting women every night? Talking to more interesting and more beautiful women?

Have I been so hurt and jaded in the past that when a nice guy comes along, and obviously wants to be with me, I freak out because I don’t think I am good enough for him?

Dammit, what the hell is wrong with me?

 

 

How Much is Too Much Information?

I like to think that I am an honest person.

If a cashier gives me back too many bills – and I notice – I will tell them and make it right.

I don’t stiff wait staff with tips.

And if you ask me a question, I’ll answer honestly.

Because that’s what I want for myself. If I ask if this dress looks good on me, I want an honest answer, even if the answer is ‘umm… no. Not at all.”

Now that things are progressing with Mr. J2, the ethical question for me is how much information about my past do I share with him?

He knows I was married and that the marriage ended about four years ago. He also knows that my divorce only became final in early October.

But what he doesn’t know is that…. was not my first marriage.

Or my first divorce.

Truth be told… it was my….

Third.

And I am profoundly ashamed of that.

But if he wants to truly get to know me – and I really think he does – then I need to be truthful with him about this.

The first time I got married, at 22, it was for companionship… and out of habit. We had been together for three years, since I was 19… and it was time. I did love him. We were great friends, had a lot of fun together with other friends… it was a good time in my life.

But after three years we realized that’s what we were… friends. And so we split up.

He married again two years later and just celebrated their 15th anniversary. We are still friends on Facebook.

Then, in 1999 I met my soul mate.

I never, ever believed in such a thing before. But I loved him with every fiber of my being. We connected so deeply. We loved all the same things – travel, music, theatre, Broadway musicals, movies…

We were the sickening couple.

A year after meeting we were married in a theater-themed ceremony.

On our fourth anniversary I asked him what we were celebrating, as we hadn’t had sex in three years.

He moved into the spare bedroom, and then six weeks later I came home from a camping trip with a girlfriend and discover a used condom in the trash.

I was devastated. Crushed. Destroyed.

But I picked myself up. I moved out. Got my own place. (Ironically, the same apartment that I moved to after marriage #1 broke up was available again… so I moved to the same unit.)

And six months later met husband #3.

And he was all wrong for me.

He was brash, he was brutish. He was angry. He was controlling.

There were moments when he was sweet and funny and caring. But they were few and far between.

We were not suited. And yet I pushed to get married.

Why? Because I needed to prove to myself that I was worthy. That I was worth someone’s love.

So we got married.

I sold my soul for a wedding ring (which I paid for myself).

He almost destroyed every part of me during our marriage. My soul, my heart.

He destroyed me emotionally. I closed off that happy part of me and was always unhappy. He took every joyous thing that happened to me and turned it so that I instead felt guilty about whatever happiness I had.

He destroyed me financially. I bought a house. We lived in it together, sharing bills. Then he was laid off and decided he didn’t want to work, and then started his own business. He racked up my cards with no thought for how we would pay it back. I sold the house just before I got into arrears with the mortgage.

At one point I had to call in sick to work on a Thursday because I had no gas in my car and no money in my account to pay for gas until I was paid at midnight.

Talk about rock bottom.

And after all that…after I lay in bed night after night crying because I was so unhappy… because I didn’t want the stigma of being divorced three times….

He cheated on me with a woman 13 years his junior. With whom he worked.

He can claim to his dying breath that he didn’t actually cheat, but I will never believe him.

Am I sad the marriage is over? No.

Of everything in my life, my only regret is that I actually married him.

But that’s on me. I did it for the wrong reasons. He was wrong for me. I was wrong for him. It was a bad situation all around. While I wish it had ended on a different note, even on my darkest days of depression, even if I will be single and miserable for the rest of my life… I still thank God that I am not with him anymore.

That, in a nutshell, is my adult relationship history. I’ve dated off and on for the past four years – which Mr. J2 knows about – and did have a two-year relationship during that time as well, that I recently ended in February. Then again been dating off and on since July – and my loyal readers have been with me for all those ups and downs.

So then the question remains… how much of my sordid past do I reveal to Mr. J2?

Does it matter? Or am I making too much of a big deal about it?

To not tell him feels like I’m being dishonest. Yet if I tell him, I run the risk of him thinking that I am flighty and loose with my feelings, and not worthy of his attention.

I haven’t said I love to you anyone since my third husband.

I haven’t been in love with anyone since my second husband.

(Yes, I know what that means.)

For the first time since my second husband, I have met someone who I could very easily fall in love with. I already see that connection. Yes, it sounds fast – I am not saying I am there yet, only that I can see it happening with Mr. J2.

But what if I can’t? What if my fear of the unknown and fear of being hurt prevents me from truly opening myself up to someone in the way that I haven’t in over 15 years?

Too many thoughts for a Tuesday. Maybe I’ll just concentrate on the fact that I am seeing him tonight after work for 15 minutes. He’s got his kids this week so we’re meeting for a hot chocolate before he heads home after work to be Dad.

Right now I am happy to see him, hug him and kiss him.

A good way to spend a Tuesday.