Benign

The word every person wants to hear after hearing the word ‘biopsy’.

We leave for vacation with the kids tomorrow, I was so glad to get the call this morning alerting me to my results. Now I don’t have to worry about coming back to town for a doctor’s appointment mid-week.

I can go to the cottage. Relax. Eat. Drink. Kayak to my heart’s content without wondering or worrying.

I can breathe.

Let vacation begin!

50/50

One week ago I had a breast biopsy done.

I’m still waiting on the results. It could be 7-10 business days to get them to my doctor, and then I will have to make an appointment to see her to actually get the results.

I’m pretty sure that it’s going to turn out to be nothing. But then again I am sure every woman in my position says the same thing.

But right now, at this moment while waiting for my results… it’s not nothing.

In reality, I have a 50/50 chance of having cancer.

Until I get the results, it could go either way. There is no way to predict it. I feel okay normally but the lump they found was really small. I am a non-smoker, in general good health, with not much family history of cancer.

So I know, the chances are quite good that it’s just a cyst.

But the not knowing makes it difficult. The waiting. So until my doctor says the words ‘benign’, I have a 50% chance of being diagnosed with cancer.

Mr. J has been awesome through this ordeal.He’s been through it before – his mother died of cancer when she was just 56; and it started with breast cancer. She beat it, then had liver cancer two years later which she did not survive.

I haven’t told many people about this. I don’t see the point. My best friend knows, my co-worker knows, and that’s it. Mr. J talked to his father about it because he’s been through it. I would think it weird if Mr. J hadn’t reached out to his father about this. Even though he puts on a brave front, I know he’s worried.

But he was very good to me before and after the procedure.  He took care of me, and no one has done that for me in a long time. I’ve always been the strong one. Always been the one to take care of others. So it’s been nice to have someone who wants to take care of me.

The hard part is letting him. But I’m learning how.

Tick tock, tick tock… the clock is counting down. We are now day 4 post procedure. I do hope to have results by this Friday (day 8) as on Saturday we are supposed to go to the cottage for a week, but you never know what can happen. We’re trying to work out contingency plans but right now we are just taking each day as it comes.

May the odds be ever in my favor.

Much Ado About Nothing

The last few weeks were rough between Mr. J and I, and that never happens.

His concussion head has been going up and down in the 15 months since he was concussed, and so sometimes we’ll have a long period of good discussions, and then bam! Concussion brain hits, and he cannot function. He can keep up with routine – work, eat, sleep, etc. – but any discussions or small talk just… disappears.

It was the end of his week with his kids. The weeks with them always leave him a little frazzled.

I should have known better.

But I asked him how things were going with the divorce, as he and The Ex had had some discussion around it. Mostly her wanting to know why the rush, she can’t pay, and then finally a ‘you want it, you pay for it – that’s how it works’.

So a week or so had passed and I asked how things were progressing. Apparently The Ex has a document that’s required (I doubt it’s the right one so we’ll see if I am right about it) and Mr. J was supposed to get it from her.

So after not discussing it for the week, I asked him, “so, can I ask what’s going on with your divorce?”

He replied, “no.”

To say this did not go over well with me would be the understatement of the year.

I went upstairs and we didn’t talk for a bit. Then he came up and tried to talk but he really didn’t have a clue as to why I was so upset. I talked. He listened. And as usual, he was unable to return the discussion.

The following day, Saturday, I met him for lunch in our usual spot. After he had eaten and we was getting ready to go back to work I told him, ‘we are not a family. The three of you [meaning him and his children] are a family. The FOUR of you [included his wife] are a family. But WE? Are not.”

He chewed on that for a while, then later in the week I could see him getting better. I could see that he was able to concentrate a little more. And a full week later, we were able to actually talk about what happened. I had told him in our discussions that I will not stay with him if he continues to be married. I did say it in a much better way – it was not an ultimatum by any means. I told him that it’s not that I am looking to get married – I just don’t like the idea that he is still technically married to his wife. I feel it cheapens our relationship.

So we had some good discussions on Friday and Saturday nights, and again on Sunday. The children arrived back from an extended stay with Mom on Monday, and so I fully expect Mr. J to begin his downturn soon. Usually after a week spent dealing with teenagers, he begins to experience the after effects of his concussion again.

As we were walking last night, we talked as we normally do, and he got around to telling me that The Ex had dropped off the papers he asked her for.

He also said that she is looking for cheaper alternatives for the divorce. His lawyer originally quoted him $1600 which I told him was too high; the firm I used charges a flat fee for simple uncontested divorces. Mr. J went back to the firm and told them that and they agreed to lower it to $1200, which is reasonable. But The Ex says she has no money and cannot afford to pay for her half. She is insisting that it can be done for cheaper, and included the option of doing it without an attorney. She said, “but since you want it, you would have to do the paperwork and the filing with the court.”

So. Follow along: The Ex wanted out of the marriage so three years ago told him that she was ‘done”. They limped along, staying in the same house until she moved out year later.  She wanted to end the marriage but felt that it was fine for them to continue to be legally married. Now Mr. J wants to end that. She gets mad, says if he wants it he has to pay for it – which he is fine with, although had the situation been reversed, he would have offered to pay half. So even though he said he would pay for it himself, she is insisting that she has ‘no money’ and can’t afford $600 for half the cost (which he hasn’t asked for) and is pushing to find a cheaper alternative than using lawyers. All the while insisting that Mr. J must do it all since he’s the one who wants it to become official.

Do the words Control Freak ring any bells?

Holy shitballs, Batman. I seriously cannot believe this. No wonder she feels so much stress all the time – she is trying to control things that she should not be controlling. The only thing she has to do in this process is sign her name on the forms when she receives them. That’s it. Oh, and send them back by mail, let’s not forget that. Once Mr. J files the papers with the lawyer the entire process should take about three months. All the financial and custody issues are done,  so it should be simple.

But I guarantee she will make this difficult for Mr. J. I am going to try really hard to trust him, and work on communicating better with him so he feels he can continue to talk about the process with me. All I really want to know is that everything is in the hands of the lawyer. Then I know that it’s going to happen, that it will be moving forward – and I won’t worry and stress that it won’t actually happen.

Because it is going to happen.

 

 

It’s Been A Long Time

I’m doubtful that I have any followers left because I have been MIA for so long.

So for that, dear readers – I apologize.

In reality, I haven’t had the need to blog for a long time. Usually, my posts were about funny things that happened in my world of dating, but then I met Mr. J and things progressed to the point that I stopped dating – well, other men, that is.

We moved in together back in September and things have been going well for the most part. Mr. J and the kids and I seemed to get into a decent routine. I took on my share of household chores, especially in the kitchen and meal planning areas, which have given Mr. J a “better quality of life”. (His words)

We have had our ups and downs, as any couple would have. Kid issues, for the most part, have been few and far between, thank God. Definitely more issues with the Daughter but that’s normal, I think in any family.

But for the past few weeks, I’ve felt something I haven’t felt in a long time. The fatigue. The ambivalence.

The depression is back and has reared its ugly head.

And I can’t seem to shake it off.

Mr. J has asked if something is wrong, and I don’t know how to talk to him about it. Because the issue is with him this time, and I know I can’t change him. I can’t change the situation or make him do something he isn’t wanting to do and then that sets off the cycle.

I don’t know how to wrap by brain around it and talk to him about it in a way that is open and not accusatory or hurtful or full of blame.

Maybe if I come back to my way of writing it out, the solution – such as it is – will come to be.

But I know the bottom line is that I cannot change him. I am not a teenager, I know that you can’t change people – and you can’t change how they feel.

It started off a few months ago, after we had been living together for a few months. It happened so slowly I never really picked up on it – I was just happy and in love.

But then it occurred to me – Mr J is not fully engaged in our relationship.

We talked about it, and while he didn’t say yes or no to it, I know it to be true. He’s scared. While it’s all fun and games to live with someone, he is still holding out a part of himself from me, from our relationship. Deep down I think he is scared of being hurt like he was by his wife when she ended their marriage, so while he says he loves me – and I believe he does love me – he holds back just a part of that to protect himself.

A few months ago Mr J bought a new minivan. His first. Even though his kids are in their teens and will be out of the house in five years, he thought a bigger vehicle was necessary. And it was – with hockey equipment and with his family living out-of-town, it’s good to have a nice roomy vehicle for travel.

So I ‘bought’ his car from him. I sold my 2006 car and ditched my insurance. To save money on taxes, we agreed on a sale price for his vehicle and I am paying him monthly for the car but it is still registered to him. Since I no longer have a car in my name, I am now under his insurance as ‘other driver’ and will pay him for that.

This is all good. I get a newer, well-maintained car with really low payments and low interest (he calculated it at .99% which he got for his van). A much better deal than I would get anywhere else.

When he emailed the insurance agent she asked him what our relationship was.

He replied : “house mate”.

Swoon! Such a romantic.

And this began the issue. We had discussions, tears (on my part – and on his) and I was so hurt. I know I am not his wife. But I also know that he put me in his Will – he has left the house to me, and as well I am a potential guardian for his children as both of his brothers live out-of-town and the kids may want to stay where they are should something happen to their parents (this is only in the slight chance that Mom has passed as well obviously). It’s a moot point as it will never happen but the gesture was nice.

I know he was not being hurtful when he called me his ‘house mate’. His reasoning made sense at the time – but it just goes to add to the issue of his not being 100% committed to us and to our relationship.

He wanted us to sign a Cohabitation Agreement before we moved in together. To each protect our assets going in. Such as his house, his RRSPs, our pensions, etc. I know what splitting with his wife cost them both financially, so he wanted us each to be protected.

I totally agreed. I drafted it up. Got it ready for signatures.

And still it sits, in a folder on his desk, unsigned. Six months later.

So does that mean he thinks we will go the distance and therefore will never need to worry about dividing assets?

Or that he trusts that should something happen and we do break up, I won’t go after him for a share of the house?

Or, that we aren’t really in a serious relationship so why bother signing it?

After six months of living together I had hoped that we would be starting to build something together. We didn’t start off like most other couples; I moved into his space. He made some room for me and my meager possessions.

But we missed out on what I consider something important: the starting off new together.

We didn’t go house hunting together. We didn’t look at rentals and decide what we liked or didn’t like. We didn’t look to see where we could put furniture or buy new dishes or decide what colour to pain the walls. There is nothing of mine in the house – at least nothing more than a couple of end tables.

Six months later nothing in his house has changed, except he lost some space in his closet.

I’ve mentioned how I hate his downstairs sofa set and he agreed it was time to look for a new one to replace the one that was upstairs before the wife left. We talked about what we like, what we don’t like in furniture… and he said we should go out and shop for something.

That was over a month ago and we have yet to hit a furniture store.

We went to his niece’s Confirmation on Sunday in his hometown. I helped him pick out a cross pendant that was a lovely gift. I offered to pay part of the cost.

He said as Godfather, it was his responsibility to pay for a gift.

His daughter has asked both parents for some pretty expensive birthday gifts (her birthday is at the end on June). I offered to split on one of them with Mr. J.

He declined, saying it was within his budget to get that gift for her.

Is he being nice? Is he wanting to shield me from spending money on his family? I don’t know, because all I see is he is doing everything he can to keep me separate when it counts. Does that make sense?

I pay half the mortgage, and half of the utilities, even though every second week there are three of him (him and two kids) and one of me. I buy groceries on the week when it’s just us, he buys them when the kids are there.

When we tally up the bills at the end of the month, he tells me how much I owe him. I write him a check. And this is all done at the same time that he tallies up the expenses with his wife.  Then they figure out who owes what and transfers into their joint account.

We don’t share anything financial. Not a  credit card, not even a tiny free savings account for household stuff. We don’t discuss money, unless it’s him telling me how much I owe him for the month.

But then we are just housemates, right? Housemates don’t share things like that. I’ve already been thinking about next year, come tax time. Because of the way it works we might have to file our taxes together and that might affect us negatively. Unless of course he claims me as a renter and claims the rent I have been paying him. I’m not on any bills and so there really is nothing to say that I am NOT just a renter.

And at times, that’s exactly how I feel. It’s just another way to keep our relationship from being ‘real’.

But the biggest issue for me right now, the one that I cannot talk to him about and that has been stressing and upsetting me for weeks, is the fact that he and his wife are still married.

They have, on paper, been separated since Dec 31, 2014. Physically since July 2015. I have been living with him for six months; we are pretty sure the wife bought a house with her boyfriend, but we have not had confirmation of this. (We heard in January that the boyfriend had bought a house in the suburb where we live. Conveniently just a few blocks from us and still within walking distance of the school. He moved in April, and we assume she will move with the kids in July, but we are just speculating at this point.)

If Mr. J was so happy living with me… would he not want to file for divorce and officially end his marriage to his wife?

And you can see how I cannot bring that up to him. It’s not because I want to marry him – that isn’t the issue here. The issue is why he still wants to stay married to her.

And sadly, I know what he would say if I was to bring this up to him. He would say something to the effect of: “well, she wanted to leave so if she wants a divorce, she can ask for it.”

Sure. Makes sense. Until you realize that what you are in fact NOT saying is that if she wants the divorce she can ask for it but I don’t want it so I’m happy to leave it as is.

Which means he is happy still being married to her. He doesn’t want to be divorced and have that label attached. Regardless of the fact that he is in a happy relationship (at least I hope it’s happy), being divorced is a label he’s probably not anxious to wear.

And so he remains married. Likely until such time as the wife decides to end it. Because if it’s one thing I’ve seen in the past 18 months, he is content to let his wife make the decisions and he just deals with the results. But again this is just my observation.

But all these little factors, together, are constantly going around and around in my head. If he really loved me and wanted to be with me, he’d file for divorce, right? He’s pushing me away and avoiding anything that we would do together – buying furniture, paying for gifts together… but yet is content to be married to one woman and living with another. Which technically makes me a mistress.

What really capped it off was summer vacation time. He is extremely limited in his options for time off in the summer and I respect that. I however am forced to take a certain week off that this year does not coincide with his time with his children.

I had been asking him about the days he planned to take – if any – and he told me he had already booked them off. But he didn’t let me know when they were.

He said he did tell me but my memory is like a steel trap. However I gave him the benefit of the doubt in this. He says he did – fine. It doesn’t matter. So he confirmed the days he requested are in the week before my forced holiday, during the week he has his children.

An obvious, and good choice. When we were discussing it I said I would have to request the time off. And he said he wanted me to take the time off but ‘didn’t want to assume (or presume, I can’t remember which) and that he has to communicate better with me’.

My first thought is: why would he presume (or assume) that I would NOT take the same vacation time as him? Isn’t that what couples do? And then I wonder, what would he have presumed if his wife was still living with him? Would it not be presumed that she would take that time as well for them to spend it as a family?

We also talked briefly about taking a vacation together in the fall, when it’s easier for him to get time off. He also mentioned that he might consider it being just the two of us, actually going away together. We talked about taking a road trip to North Carolina, which I would be all for.

However I am highly doubtful that he would take that time and not spend it with his kids, whom he sees only half time now, by no choice of his own. So how can he in good conscience take a week away when he could potentially be spending it with them, seeing them before and after school each day?

But also then the issue of communication comes in – on the weeks when he does not have his kids, he sends them messages every few days, to let them know he is thinking about them. They usually go without a response, but he’s okay with that.

And so if we go on vacation, away for a week or so together, can he go that long without communicating with his wife, who finds reasons several times a day to message him about what I think are totally non-essential issues. If we go on vacation, I would really appreciate it if his time would be focused on me, and on us, and what we are seeing/doing, and not having to stop every five minutes so he can check his texts from her. We were shopping last week for the Confirmation gift and she kept messaging him while we were out, and he made a point to stop every time and check every one. His response to it was, ‘I should make sure that it’s not important in case one of the kids was bitten by a dog.” I responded, “if that were to happen again, I’m pretty sure she would call you – which is what she did when it happened and she was already on the way to the emergency room.” (True story.)

But it doesn’t matter. She messages him – he jumps to check it. It’s like a Pavlovian response. And I know I have no control over it. I cannot control what – or how frequently – she messages him, just as I cannot control him jumping to check and respond. But if we are on vacation, away from home and away from normal life I would hope that he could set all that down and just focus on us – but I really am not convinced he is ready for that, the same as he is not ready to be divorced.

He said to me last week that I improved his life – or some such thing. I took a moment and then asked how. How did I improve his life?

His response was that he now had a ‘better quality of life’ with me in it. That because I took over some of the household chores like cooking and meal planning, it gives him more time with his children and less stress on his life.

So, essentially, by being a cook, I improved his life. Wow. #relationshipgoals right there. (I’m being sarcastic). But you can see my point: instead of saying that he loves spending time with me, or that he laughs more with me or any other way he could actually compliment ME, he instead chose to say that it’s because of something that anyone he could hire could do just as well.

Nice.

Just one more way that we seem to have this divide between us, and I don’t know what to do about it – or how to bring this up since it’s quite a large issue, and one very close and personal for him.

I’ve written, edited, re-edited this thing a bazillion times (true story) and I know I am still leaving little points out. But the bottom line is that after two-plus hours of writing, and re-writing, I am still no closer to having an idea of how to figure this out, or how to move forward.

Or am I just making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill?

Maybe I should just pull up my big girl panties and just suck it up already.

 

 

Hey Jealousy

I made a startling revelation on the way to work today.

I know, right? Sometimes I do my best thinking when I am sitting in my car stuck in traffic.

(What is it about Tuesday Traffic? Always the worst day of the week for me)

I’ve been living with Mr. J and the kids for a couple of weeks now.

Officially.

Un-officially, it’s been longer than that.

And while it is not without its issues – it’s been going great.

Until there’s a lot of talk about The Ex. And her feelings. And her issues.

Sigh.

It frustrates me to no end when I hear that she has once again told Mr. J that she is ‘having a rough time’, or that she is ‘struggling’.

I want to know if she also tells him that she’s fantastic. Or that she had two orgasms last night. I mean, if you are going to share this stuff, why always share the struggle and not the good right?

Yes, that is totally not going to happen, but you see my point. She tells Mr. J when she’s having a rough time but neglects to tell him when she’s happy, or excited about something not related to the kids.

In other words, she continually reminds him that her life is so hard. She struggles so. Please pay attention to me. (I’m totally putting words into her mouth here. But this is how I see it from my point of view.)

And so this morning of course on my drive to work my mind wandered, as it usually does. But this time it wandered to thoughts about The Ex. And why I have such strong feelings about the situation when it’s really none of my business.

Well it’s not really none of my business. I realized that there is always a part of me that is scared that things will change for Mr. J, and he will realize he’s not really happy with me and that he wants to get back with The Ex. That even though he thought I was what he wanted, what he really wants is to have his family back together again. And that all the pain of the last two years was worth their working out whatever issues they had.

I worry that when she tells him she is struggling that he will break down and give her what she wants – his sympathy. Which will in turn open up old wounds and before you know it – he is missing her.

I know, I know… it’s not likely to happen. The Ex is the one who left.  I think Mr. J will always have unresolved feelings for her because things didn’t end for him because he stopped loving her – it wasn’t his choice to end things. So of course he will be conflicted at times, especially given their long history together.

A history that I cannot compete with. 11 months is nothing compared to 20+ years and two children together.

And then it hit me – I have to stop competing.

I thought back to my past relationships/marriages and made the realization that I was ALWAYS jealous of the ex. No matter how long they had been apart, the jealousy was always there.

Always.

So the problem really isn’t with them, it’s with me.

I am the problem.

I have such low self-esteem that I am always putting my hackles up with the exes. It’s like I am predisposed to hating them because they came before me, and therefore are better than I am.

(Better at what, I wonder? Love? Sex? Marriage? Relationships? Parenting? Being a human being?)

Which I know isn’t the case. No matter how their relationships ended… they did end. And yes, in my last three big relationships, there were children involved. Meaning the ex always had a presence in our relationship.

But that stops now.

I am now aware of it. I see myself repeating the pattern, and I’ll be damned if I am going to do it again.

To be honest? She is not worth my effort.

I don’t wish ill of her of course. I would never wish that.

But that blind jealousy I feel whenever she texts Mr. J, or whenever he brings her up has got to stop.

Because if it doesn’t, it’s just going to eat at me and turn me into the person I became in the past – which I really don’t want to happen. I don’t want to be that same old person.

Mr. J makes me want to be a better person.

Because I am the one he loves.

I am the one he is living with.

She might be his past… but I am his future.

And he is worth it.

The Letter

(Two posts in one day – another small miracle! What can I say? A lot of stuff has been going on lately!)

Last weekend when Mr. J was making room for my shit in his bedroom, he started going through his own shit to better configure his closet.

And he came across a letter.

It was a letter from The Ex. Well, not really a letter – it was more like a litany of complaints.

He gave it to me to read. And I was so upset after I finished reading it – it was short, about half a page long – I had to go downstairs to give him a hug.

I only read it once. I didn’t memorize it, nor do I have an eidetic memory.

But reading it once was enough to remember what she wrote to him. In this letter she wrote that she didn’t like how he never talked about how he was feeling. That she felt that she shouldn’t have to write things down for him. (Maybe so he could read it later and process it on his own rather than having you yell at him?) So she did. She wrote that she:

*didn’t like that the house was always a disaster;

*thought that they had no family life;

*didn’t like how much beer he drank;

*didn’t like how much he slept – she thought that if he slept as much as he did then he must be depressed;

And ended it by saying she was “about ready to pack it in”.

I don’t know how long ago she wrote it. It was not dated. Nor was it signed.

But as soon as I read it I wiped a tear from my eye and went downstairs to find Mr J., who was rifling through a box, organizing stuff.

I pulled him into a sweaty hug and said what I always say to him.

“I will always have your back”.

I also said, “I know you sleep a lot because you work shitty shifts. If sleeping means you can stay up until the kids go to bed and still have sex with me, then nap away.”

I also said, “I will help you clean the house so that we both have more time to do things together, and with the kids.”

And ended it with, “I love you so much”.

He hugged me tight, and kissed my neck. He didn’t speak. But what this letter did, for me anyway, was to show me how to do things the right way. If we get to a point where we aren’t communicating and we do have to resort to writing things down, I want to make sure that I do it in a constructive way. I want to write:

“I worry about how much beer you drink. If you are feeling stressed, let’s talk about it. And thank you for doing it when we are alone and not the week we have the kids living with us.”

“I hate that the house is always a disaster. Let’s make a plan to do cleaning every Sunday morning after breakfast. The more we work together, the faster it gets done.”

“I hate that your job wears you out so much that you have to spend so much time sleeping. I know how rough it is on your body and I hate seeing you exhausted. I know you want to be available and energetic to spend time with the kids at night.”

“We have no family life. So maybe we should agree that Friday nights with the kids are movie nights. Let’s all get into our PJs, put down our electronic devices, crawl into the king size bed and all watch a movie together.”

“I love you so much and I will always have your back.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that working together to find a solution is better than laying blame and complaining.

And while the letter was likely written in anger and frustration… she did make good on her threat to pack it in.

And it has shown to be a great example of what not to do in order to be respectful to the person you love most in the world.

Am I wrong?

 

 

 

 

Everyone Struggles With Something

It’s true. We all struggle emotionally with any number of issues at any number of times during our lifetime.

The key is how we deal with these struggles.

Me? I talk to myself about it. Or I write about it.

Others may drink to forget. Or talk to friends. Or their significant others.

Or a professional.

It’s not uncommon these days. People have all kinds of stressors. Work. Kids. Relationships.

Lately I’ve had a few moments that have been tough, but not anything I can’t handle. My biggest stress right now is the upcoming move in with Mr. J and the kids – even though it’s still two months away.I have random thoughts in my head throughout the day about it.

About:

how the kids will react.

how Mom/The Ex will react. (Not that I really care about what she thinks but she can react badly and then put all of her feelings and insecurities about it onto Mr. J, which then becomes another stressor in his life. See what I mean?)

what our family routine will be.

how right now, at this moment, I feel lost because I am between two worlds: my roommate has started to take over the condo we’re in because I am really not there much. She’s started to spread her things and do things her own way because in October the unit truly becomes hers. But yet I am not living with Mr. J yet, so his house is not my home yet. I am starting to feel unsure of my place.

how I feel about having my storage stuff in the basement where Mom’s storage stuff still resides.

how I can change things just enough so that it doesn’t seem like I am a replacement.

how I feel about Mom/The Ex telling Mr. J that the reason she hasn’t been taking much of her stuff out of the basement is because she ‘is struggling’.

how I feel about her texting him a photo of a Gin & Tonic and asking, ‘how come I didn’t know about these years ago?”

(So… does that mean your life with Mr. J would have been better if you had been drinking GT’s all along? You would not have left him?)

I mean really… what the fuck does that even mean?

Is it meant to fuck with Mr. J’s head? Because of course that’s what it did. Just one more way to put herself into his life, and into his head.

But I have to let go of the stress I feel when she texts Mr. J about non-urgent child issues – and not let it impact our relationship. I have to trust him to deal with it in the best way he knows how. And I also have to understand that he cannot control what she texts him – or how often.

He can only control his replies and reactions to those messages.

So I have to hope that if we continue with open communication we can talk about these issues. That we can talk about my anxiety over moving in and my fear that as the days get closer and the texts from his past keep coming that he won’t stop and think that perhaps he is rushing into this. That perhaps the love and affection and respect and sex and companionship we have might not be quite enough for him to fully commit.

Because even though they have been separated physically for over a year (and longer on paper), neither has moved towards the discussion of divorce. (At least I think. I could be wrong.)

And that my friends, is my biggest fear. Because until the paperwork is signed, nothing is official. Nothing is really over. Even if it is just a piece of paper.

(I didn’t say it was a rational fear.)

Last week Mr. J had to go in for a CT scan. I went with him as a ride and just in case he needed someone there.

As the intake clerk updated his information, he put me down as his emergency contact. A new name. A new phone number.

And then the nurse asked what our relationship was.

“Married? Common-law?” she asked, ready to fill in the blank.

“Friends” replied Mr. J.

Ouch.

But the truth is…. that’s what we are.

We are not married. We are not technically living together yet. And, even when we are, are we really going to combine our lives enough to be considered ‘common-law’? (I like to think so but…)

Given those options… I guess the correct answer really was ‘friends’.

Lately Mr J has been ‘off’… which is why we were in for a CT scan in the first place.

So I’ve tried to not add to his stress. I mean – he deals with his work stress, the stress of having two teenagers half-time instead of full-time, the stress of finances and household issues, the stress of his Ex…

Given his state right now the last thing I want to do is to add anything to that.

I’m not running away.

I’m not angry.

I’m figuring it out. And if I do need to really talk to him about it – I will.

I just want him to get better and have my old Mr. J back.

But in the meantime, I will just keep going forward. I will keep thinking about our relationship going forward. I will make lists and plan for the move and not think about anything but how happy Mr. J makes me feel, and how excited I am to move in with him and his children.

Because you can’t go back. You can only go forward.

I recently read a great book and this quote really hit home:

“Look, what happened with your husband changed you forever, just like what happened with my brother changed me,” he says, and this time, I really listen, because it feels different from the advice I’ve gotten before. “So you can’t compare the present with the past, not really, because you’re a different person that you were back then. You have to look forward, at the things you want, not back at the things you once had.”

And I want a life with Mr. J. With everything that comes along with it.