The second marriage

When I first split up with my husband I made a lot of plans for my life. None of those plans included ever getting married again. I wanted to be a free bird. I didn’t want to be tied down again. I actually planned that in 5 years I would try to adopt or have a baby through ivf so I could start a family on my own.
Maybe that was not my most well thought out plan. Now two years later I feel much differently about marriage then I did when mine ended. I look at it very differently now that I understand what marriage is about. And I had planned to approach my next with much more caution then I had the first.
When I started dating Tim he was what I thought was going to be the person I “got under” in order to get over my ex. But that didn’t work out, and so I began the somewhat out of control spiral that became my revolving bedroom door for the next year.
When Tim moved in. I definitely still had some unresolved feelings. I maybe even let him stay here for all the wrong reasons. I still am not sure what in my mind ever though that letting him move into my house was a good idea. But here we are over a year later and it’s so much more than I ever thought it would be. It’s not perfect, I hate that he smokes weed, I wish he had more of a plan for his life, I wish he was more social and talkative, but in the broad scheme of things he is worlds better then my ex ever was and even though he may not be everything I want in a partner he really tries hard to make up for the things he may lack.
Tonight my mom told me that my dad thinks he is going to propose at Christmas. Tim is really close to my dad so if my dad thinks this will happen he probably knows best. It’s terrifying. It’s not that I don’t love Tim, or that I don’t want to marry him. It’s a lot of me being afraid. I knew he wanted to marry me. I knew his only long term plan he had for his life is to be with me. But I really thought he and I would be together for four more years before this became an option. We’ve only been together a year and I’m not even officially divorced yet. Granted I’ve been separated for two years now but it feels some what inappropriate.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid that history will repeat itself. How do I know that the marriage I had is not how marriage is. How do I know that he doesn’t just want to marry me because he can’t hide the bad parts of himself for much longer and he knows that if we get married I’ll be trapped. Before I married my ex he was great but over night he became a monster. I want to believe that things will be different the second time around but I don’t know how to be sure.
I know what I want for my life. And I know that Tim and I are on our way to having those things together. Is this fear normal? My mom had a similar marriage and divorce, she says feeling this way is normal, but I hate to say it, my parents haven’t had the greatest life together maybe her fears were a warning sign that my dad wasn’t right for her.
I want to do things right this time. And I know I love Tim, and I think he’s right for me. I just don’t know that I’m ready to get married again. My friends and my parents say that just because I say yes doesn’t mean I have to marry him right away, but that feels selfish and there’s no good way to bring up my fears without hurting him which is the opposite of what I want. I don’t want to hurt him or take the idea off the table I just want a couple more years of just being together before we get married. Maybe I’m thinking too much because it wasn’t like a solid this is going to happen thing my dad said. Just his thoughts.

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Working

Lately I have been increasingly paranoid about losing my job. It’s not that I feel like I’m doing anything wrong, but the company is going through a lot of changes and I can’t help but feel like I am going to be one of them. I’m hoping it’s all in my head but it is definitely putting a fire in me to finish my degree.
I’ve spent entirely too much time in my life since high school not having a backup plan and now that my life is finally starting to settle down from the past couple years and be more stable I feel like I need to start coming up with backups. And maybe some backups for my backups.
I’ve always had trouble with school. The weird thing is I’m a great worker but I’m more driven to make money then I am to sit in a class room. Focus is hard for me and the older I get the harder it is. This somewhat spills into my work life but I am usually able to get it under control. I know if I were to lose my job I would be able to go back to the bar until I could find another job but I have come so far since those days that I almost feel like if I were to go back there I may do some back sliding.
I’m finally at a point where I am able to pay my rent, buy my groceries, put gas in my car, put money in savings, and have some money left over. Some weeks are still a struggle but I’m getting there. And slowly but surely I am getting less help from my parents.
I still really want to move but I am not quite at a point where I feel secure enough in my relationship where I am ok with putting someone else’s name on the lease. And I know that if I left here I could not afford a higher rent on my own. I also have the safety net of knowing that as long as I live here if I were to ever lose my job and get behind my landlord wouldn’t just evict me.
I’ve never worked only one job. Ever since high school I’ve always had two. Sometimes every three jobs so that if something happened to one job I had something to fall back on. While I love being able to just come home after work I always felt a little more secure knowing that if I lost this job I would at least make enough money to put gas in my car to look for another job.
I don’t know what sparked this feeling in me. Though sometimes I think that I have a hard time feeling secure in anything ever since I married my ex. I know I can’t blame him for everything that’s wrong in my life. But I never had these constant feelings of insecurity before him. I am still working to cope with the things that have happened. I found a great therapist and I am learning to deal with life without the help of medication which is big for me because living a normal functioning life on psychiatric meds is very difficult for me. I haven’t been on any meds in over a year. And for the most part I feel great. Considering I was hospitalized three years ago yesterday I am doing great without meds. Retrospectively I think what happened three years ago was because I felt that there was only one way to get out of my situation. It was not the way. And I’m glad for that. I wish the person I am now could have met the person I was then and let her know that there is a way out and that life goes on.
My niece was born while I was hospitalized. And I still regret that the most. She will be three this week and every day I am thankful that I am here to watch her grow up and be a part of her life.
Right now I am at my personal best financially emotionally and probably physically. I am working to do things the right way and not the fast way or the easy way. Maybe the reason I am so worried about losing my job is because all of these things are a result of the job that I have. I definately don’t want to sabotage myself.

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Strength

My niece turns two in three weeks. They say you never know what real love is until you experience the love of a child, and this is true. The love I have for that child is what got me through the hardest time of my life. The birth of my niece is what saved my life so this time of year is always bitter sweet for me.
About this time two years ago is when thing with my ex started getting really bad. I became extremely depressed and suicidal. Two days before my sister was induced I was placed in a psychiatric hospital.
During my stay there my husband refused to visit. He even went as far as to tell me that he wasn’t sure he wanted me to come home once I was released because he wasn’t sure if he could handle all of my “issues”. At the time I wasn’t able to recognize the emotional abuse that was going on in our relationship. He used to actually try to convince me that I was the abusive one. Yes I was abusive because I wanted you to get off drugs, clean up after yourself, get a job, and not be sneaking around with your ex girlfriend. I was abusive because I told him how I felt about the things he was doing and he had never been very good at being accountable for his actions.
I missed the birth of my niece, a birth that I had waited a long 9 months for because I was in the hospital. I thank my mom every day for this, because had it not been for her I probably wouldn’t be here to see my nieces second birthday.
Looking back on all of it now it seems so stupid. To almost end my life over a bad relationship. Looking back I should have recognized things for what they really were and not for what he wanted me to believe they were. Everything wasn’t my fault and I was doing everything I could to keep things together, to keep us in a place to live, and to try to make him better.
Of course now I know I could have never made him better. Now I see all the things that went down in our relationship for what they were and sometimes they still get to me. For the most part I have learned to forgive myself for the things I did wrong during my marriage, but none of them actually have anything to do with him or my relationship. I have yet to forgive myself for not being their for my sister when she gave birth to my niece. And I am working in forgiving myself for cutting my friends and family out of my life when they were doing all they could to try to show me what was really happening.
The last few months of the year have been hard ones for the past two years but this year I am looking towards making new and happy memories to replace the sad memories I have surrounding then holidays for the past two years. This used to be my favorite time of year, and I’m determined to make it such again.
I have been trying to get the balls to open my box of Christmas ornaments for three weeks. When my ex and I started dating I made it a point to buy him Christmas tree decorations to commemorate big milestones in our life together. Along with everything else he owned he left these behind. I don’t know what to do with them but I know I don’t want to see them when I decorate my apartment for Christmas this year.
He left a lot of things behind that I had been nice enough to store for him, but it’s been almost a year and now I’m going to need to get them out. Especially since I have invited someone to stay with me for a couple months while they get on their feet (Tim of all people. So we’ll see how that plays out). And honestly I am tired of hiding from his things. It’s like I’m living with his ghost.
I know I’m not the first girl to have gone through what I’ve been through. And I know I’m not the first girl to come out of it strong. But I have to be proud of myself for how far I’ve gone and how strong I’ve become and if I’ve learned anything in this situation it’s that family is everything. And also that a true friend will find out your in the hospital and ask if you need anything and if your response is “Doritos” they will ask if you want original or ranch. The answer is always original.

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Four years ago today was my first date with my ex-husband. It wasn’t much of a date we hung out at his apartment and watched movies. The funny thing was I really hadn’t been interested in him to begin with, he was the manager at my coffee shop, he had intereviewed me in my pajamas the day after I had lost my job. He spent a month trying to get my phone number and another two weeks after that trying to get me to hang out with him.

I remember driving to his apartment it was like 10 oclock at night thinking about how he thought this was going to be a booty call but I wasn’t going to sleep with him. And I didn’t. We just talked, it didn’t take long for me to fall for him. He was much older then I was, smart, seemed to have his life together, and he always smelled like coffee. He made me feel safe.

In these past four years my entire life has changed. I’ve learned so much, grown up so much, changed so much. Everything is different. I would say I have no regrets but that isn’t true, but in the end all of these regrets have brought me to where I am today. I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned because I think its important to know.

Save your money: Seriously, I wish my parents had instilled this in me. Murphys law is real and everything that can go wrong will and does. It also happens that it will also all go wrong when you have absolutely no money in the bank and are living paycheck to paycheck. Make sure when you are moving in somewhere that you are making enough money to support it, put money into savings, and go out with the girls.

Don’t fuck up your credit: Yes credit cards are great, and everyone should have one, but soon you will find yourself with maxed cards no jobs and debt collectors calling. This debt will make it hard to dig yourself out, will make it hard to find a job, and will mean you have no cushion on the day your gas light turns on and your debit card is declined. Get a credit card, use it for emergencys. Seriously, you will thank me.

Live alone: I have lived both alone, with my husband, with male roommates and with female roommates. Ultimately living alone will at some points make you feel lonely, but there is nothing better then coming home to your own space, your own mess, and be able to shut the door on life when it starts to feel like too much. Of course having a roommate can be both great and terrible but living alone allows you to surround yourself with people when you want it and shut your self in when you don’t. If you can afford it I highly suggest it, even if its just for a year.

Get a pet: Seriously, I am fortunate to have two cats and a dog, and they have been my greatest support system. You will never wake up alone, and someone will always be happy to see you when you come home. No matter what a pet will love you, whether your angry, smelly, rich, poor, it is the only constant love in life.

Have a porch and spend time on it every day: Drink your coffee, have a drink, write, read, whatever you do do it outside, the fresh air is good for you.

Be a little promiscuous: Do it with someone you don’t like, someone you don’t care about, it will make you feel sexy and powerful. I’m not talking all the time but do it atleast once. Sometimes that’s what it takes to realize that as much as you try to shut yourself off you do need love.

Its ok to walk away: Whether its family, a friend, a spouse, a boyfriend. Sometimes it just gets to a point where you cant take it anymore, and you don’t have too, Walking away doesn’t make you weak, it means your strong enough to recognize a bad situation that wont change and walk away, sometimes that is the thing that takes the most strength.

Don’t make the dramatic attention seeking girl your best friend: Ultimately her desire for drama will negitavely impact your life, its ok to go out with her every once in a while, but she dosnt need to know your life or your story. She will drag you in and she will drag you down.

A man will not complete you: Sure a man is nice to have, its nice to share your life with someone, its nice to have someone to share your success with, to cook for, to come home too. But the most important part of having a successful relationship is being able to love yourself, complete yourself, and have your own life.

Failure is inevitable and good for you: Atleast the past two years of my life have been a giant fail, but honestly, if I hadn’t been through what I had been through I wouldn’t be where I am. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, failure is not forever and in the end you will come out of it better then ever. Failure is nessary for success and you will never succeed if you spend your entire life being afraid of failing because then you will never try.

Don’t take your friends for granted for a man: We are all those girls who to a point forget our friends and chose our relationship over our friends. Don’t do that, a man can and probably will walk away and you may find yourself alone, but truthfully your true friends will forgive you.

Learn how to forgive: No matter how much someone hurts you, it takes way to much energy to stay angry. Forgive, that doesn’t mean you have to forget, it doesn’t mean the hurt they caused will go away, but forgiveness is the first step to healing. Most importantly forgive yourself, its easy to hate yourself for whats happened but remember that what you did was exactly what you wanted and some day it will be worth it.

Go to college: Seriously, the job market is tough and supporting an apartment on 12 dollars an hour is no easy feat. Even if you don’t want to, go to college the adult you will thank you for it.

Dress up: Every day, even when you feel like shit, even when you don’t feel like it. Ultimately it will make you feel better.

Listen to your hairdresser: even if you don’t like what they say, they are right, remember that, and ultimately you will thank them for it.

Drugs kill people: I don’t mean in the obvious way. Whether its your spouse your best friend, no matter who it is. Once that person becomes an addict that person you know is dead, they may still be breathing but they are gone. You cant save them, loving them will not make it go away, and if you cant learn to walk away they will destroy you as well as themselves. Maybe they don’t mean to do it, but it will happen. You walking away may be the thing to save them and at that point it may be too late. Seriously, be selfish, walk away, the only thing that can change an addict is themselves.

Its ok to love: No matter how hurt you are, no matter how much you say you don’t want it know that its ok to let someone in. I am a long way from this, but someday it will be nessary to let someone in, and I hope that when the time comes I will be able to do that.

Spend time with the girls: no matter what your doing make sure you make time to spend time with the girls, its important in many ways. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from living your life.

Have something to believe in: Whether its god, or shoes, whatever, makesure you believe in something, eventually there will come a day when its all you have, and if you don’t have something to believe in its very sad. No matter how you were raised believe in something.

Important life lessons from the divorced 23 year old

Aside

Healing

There is a big part of me that really wants to find a man who will give me everything my ex husband never did. But in order for me to ever want to get involved with another man ever again he would have to make me his queen. This probably sounds a little crazy but I’m not going to settle for anything less then exactly what I want. On the flip side its very nice to have someone I can call whose at the ready to do whatever I want when ever I want. The added perk, I don’t really like him much. Its like really great hot hate sex when ever i want it. There’s no attachment, he does whatever I want, and I can leave after and not have to worry about having to answer to anyone or anyones feelings. The downside, hes my friends brother.

Is there ever a good time to tell a friend your having hot angry hate sex with their brother? We have known each other a long time and it has never been a happy relationship between the two of us. I’m honestly not even sure how it happened, but its exactly what I need.

I’m at a point right now where I am trying to resow my wild oats. I’m adjusting to living in the single life and learning more and more everyday that I have exactly what I need.I realized last night hanging out of the sunroof of  forester at the drive through at sonic that I really am living the dream. I have a great apartment, great jobs, great friends, great family, the only thing missing is a great man. I don’t know that I believe a great man really exists so for now I will take great sex with a man I don’t really like.

If my bad marriage taught me anything it taught me the importance of maintaining who you are and maintaining your relationships with friends and family.A man can and probably will walk away from you. Your family never will, and when you find the right friends (which took me 20 years) they will never walk away from you either. When you have surrounded your self with the right people in life you have the world. When you have friends and family who love you you have it all. Realizing that I have started to learn how to like myself again. This is something I have struggled with my entire life, there was a point I had almost gotten there, but after everything I’ve been through I lost a lot of that.

I can honestly say at this point in life I am happier then I have ever been. I appreciate more then I ever have and I am learning what is really important in life. I am on my way back to the top after fighting my way through miles of clouded hell. Even if I spend the rest of my life alone I know I will never truly be alone because even without a man in my life I have more love then most people could ever hope to experience in their lives.

I will never again settle for anyone who is less happy to see me then my dog is after a long day at work, I will never settle for anyone who will not strive to be a part of my life and to be liked by my friends and family. No one is perfect, I never claim to be and I don’t expect perfection. But I am happy with where I am, and I like myself, and I like my life. I don’t think a lot of people can say that. I still have a long way to go but I have come a long way from where I was.

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