For years, my husband begged me to go out with him on Friday and Saturday nights. I resisted; either too tired or didn’t like ‘his’ crowd. I’m not much of a drinker and they are heavy weights – sitting on the sideline sober having meaningless conversation is not my idea of fun. So – my husband went out alone, often. He came home very late, often. He was off the radar, often. Who’s to blame. It really doesn’t matter now.
To date or not to date….?
In an effort to keep myself busy and get positive feedback from men about myself, I joined Match.com. OMG, what an adventure. This is totally new for me as I’ve been OFF THE MARKET for 20 years and COMPLETELY FAITHFUL!
All the winks, like and favorites got my head spinning! Some of it is fun and most downright scary! My single girlfriends have the ‘match-thing’ down to a science, with articles, notes and all. Am I too old for this?
Two crazy things happened that were great lessons for me…
1) my husband responded to my profile and
2) I fell in love in three days (well not really but my heart fluttered…)
I received an email from my husband/ ‘match’ commenting on my European trip last summer and a picture of me in the French Alps. He said the following, “I was in the French Alps last summer too. Amazing – we’re an 88% match! Interesting. Good luck in your search.”
At first, I didn’t realize it was him – his profile was blocked and the picture was a distance shot and fuzzy. Then, I took a screen shot – enlarged it – and gasped! I began to bawl. How cruel. Why would he do that? What was he trying to do or say? Six weeks earlier he left me – why rub this in my face?
My 17 year-old son was sitting next to me when this experience unfolded. He was disgusted. He knew I was on Match, but thought his Dad’s actions were insensitive and rude.
1) I don’t have to tell my son about his dad – he’s learning it for himself.
2) Be prepared for anything on Match; it’s not for the vulnerable and raw.
Which brings me to experience #2.
First…a little bit of background…
For almost 20 years I have accepted and UNACCEPTABLE relationship – called “my marriage”. My core values were invalidated early on; when I became a custodial step-mother to two children (4 and 7 years old) three months after our wedding. We moved, I became a stay-at-home-mom and focused on the family – raising his children as if they were my own. But as a step-mom, I didn’t have the authority or footing to BE the mom…my words and efforts were subjected to scrutiny and overturned or dismissed at every turn.
My core-values around motherhood are unconditional love, support, setting appropriate boundaries and expectations, letting my children fail so they will learn and grow, and providing opportunities for my kids to be independent and solve problems for themselves. My husband does not share these values.
The bottom line is – when HE tried to thwart my parenting efforts; undermine/team up with the kids against me or be ambivalent….I gave up inside. I gave up on my marriage. This was a huge wedge issue that left me feeling alone, introverted and depressed. I allowed this. I was not healthy enough or capable of loving myself enough to nurture ME. My soul was malnourished – my spirit broken. My image of myself was through my husbands eyes – inadequate, unworthy, unimportant – I was just not enough. I wish I had YOUTUBE, TED talks and Brené Brown back then!
On the outside you would NEVER know I felt that was…I built a perfect fačade, filled with ‘the house’, the neighborhood, the décor, the events, the teams and volunteering, the church, the vacations and all the ornaments of a beautiful life. But inside – I was dying. My husband didn’t respect, cherish or protect me in anyway…so I turned OFF emotionally. I went to sleep, figuratively and literally.
Hind sight is 20-20 and that’s tough pill to swallow when I admit, I’ve been unhappy, alone and walking on egg shells for most of my marriage. It’s easy to say – I’ve wasted 20-years of my life – or I gave him the best years of my life. BUT THAT’S JUST NOT TRUE!
I chose to be kinder and gentler with myself – I deserve it.
I have two of the most kinds, beautiful people in the world by my side – my kids. I KNOW they are who they are because of my influence in their lives. We are deeply connected and share unbreakable bonds. My kids had an amazing, story-book childhood, something I did not have growing up. My sole goal in life was to give my children what I didn’t have – peace, stability, love and happiness. I am successful…my dreams came true! (Note the positive affirmation?)
So – 20 years, well invested!
I fell in love in 3 days-
So back to the Match experience – I met a boy! He was totally sweet! His name is Michael! He said the perfect things to me! We had really awesome texts that made my heart sing and churned butterflies in my stomach! I was actually TURNED ON by this man I’d never met – like 50 Shades of Grey turned on! I couldn’t wait to meet him! I wanted to HUG his body and MUG HIS FACE! He was a doll! I fantasized about him throwing me up against a wall and having his way with me. SERIOUSLY! I HAD THE WHOLE SCRIPT WRITTEN!!! I thought I didn’t care about sex – since I haven’t in so long….SURPRISE!!! THE RETURN OF MY LIBIDO! I was right; my sex organ IS between my ears, not between my legs!
I rushed back from an out of town trip with my kids to meet him for our first date…and he cancelled! OMG, I was crushed. LIKE CRYING, CRUSHED. Damn, my heart is fragile!
After review the texts 10-times and replaying the phone calls in my head – I was stumped! I was his dream girl! How could he cancel??? He was sooo in to me! He asked me to hurry home!
I relayed the conversations with my older (and wiser) sister. She later revealed to me the details that I should have left OUT of the conversations… I told him I was on a liver cleanse and couldn’t eat on our date – but I’d watch him eat. GRRR.
Moral of the story – DON’T SHARE TOO MUCH! For over-eager newbies like me – it was an easy mistake. I wanted to bare my soul. Patience KIRBY, PATIENCE~ So as my friend Dane says – NEXT!
Yes, that man really missed out. My first date after 20-years…who knows what would have happened. I hear divorce sex is awesome – I guess he’ll never know (with me).
I’m grateful it didn’t work out. My heart is still fragile and I must care for and love myself…emotionally and (maybe) physically. The joy of sex or being embraced is a high risk proposition for me right now….I’m not really ready. It’s a false positive.
One day at a time, breath, take it slow.
And take out my vibrator!