Category Archives: Divorce & Break-Ups

Love, Unrequited

Last night, for the second time since my annulment, I went on a first date.

[this is the outfit I wore]

Leading up to the date, I was less than nervous. Probably because he kept sending me text messages telling me how amazing I was and how much he was looking forward to getting to know me. A normal lady might find this considerate and thoughtful, but it mildly induced my gag reflex.

An hour before the date, however, my suitor redeemed himself by prank calling me. He kept a stoic voice and accused me of already being late before cracking up and saying he’d see me soon. It was admittedly weird, but had me blushing with playful delight.

When the time came, I went to our designated meeting place by the plants in front of Whole Foods and waited for him to arrive. That’s when I spotted him. Not my date – Back Alley Way Lover. Yes, my first first date in Austin had the gall to purchase whatever bananas, eggs, and contraception he needed smack in front of the place I was meeting my new date. Plain rude if you asked me.

Being the dodger that I am, I instantly dropped about 3 feet attempting to duck behind the most robust bunch of thyme. I don’t think it worked, but my date managed to arrive before BAWL finished checking out and we walked away faster than you can say “awkward confrontation.”

[when all else fails, hide behind small foliage]

My first impression of new boy was: I should have worn flats. I know I had a lot to drink when we met, but could my depth perception have been that affected? Or had he possibly been wearing man heels? I mean we are not talking midget stature, but the man could use a lift.

About ten minutes into dinner, I had already decided things weren’t going to work out. He was a really nice guy, but just too outgoing and hyper. Look, buddy – that’s my job. There can only be one spotlight hog in a relationship, and it’s going to be the girl who blogs about her dates for attention.

That’s when he started rummaging in his pocket. “I almost forgot, I have something for you,” he said. “I couldn’t get you flowers because I knew we’d be walking around, but I know you like to cook so I got you these tomato seeds. Maybe you can give me one if you ever get around to planting them.”

[the actual tomato seeds. they can grow like our love.]

Oh Lord, I thought. This letting him down thing is going to be much more difficult than I thought.

I spent the rest of dinner sitting on my hands to prevent him from reaching for one. I don’t think he read the body language correctly. He didn’t want to end the night and I felt like a bitch telling him I was ready to go home, so we went down the street for a drink and some live music.

“I’m really glad I’m on this date with you,” he confessed.

“Thank you.” I replied.

“Aren’t you supposed to be glad, too?” he said with a wounded face, tomato seeds in hand.

Well, fuck. I’ve been caught.

Apparently that didn’t matter because he brushed off my faux pas in stride and went to get us drinks. Meanwhile, I crafted my exit strategy. Potential text messages with a firm, yet gentle let-down swirled through my head. And then a brilliant idea came to me.

I will scare him off, I thought. I will hit him with everything I’ve got, he will no longer be interested, and I don’t even have to send a break up message. How am I so fucking smart?

[muahaha, you’ll never want to date me now]

Suddenly, I was excited for his return. I couldn’t wait to share my secrets and go back to doing more interesting things, like folding laundry. It was every first date’s nightmare: not only would I bring up my ex, I would bring up my ex-husband.

I spilled the beans and waited. And then came the kicker.

Surprise! He was married before, too.

And now we’re bonding.

[they call that a backfire, folks.]

Things just went from “he’s way too into me” to “he thinks the fates have brought us together,” and I am in hell. He was so proud of me for how strong and brave I was for having the guts to tell him. We actually had a really nice conversation about our respective breakups and subsequent depression, but there was just still no spark for me.

When he finally walked me home, he gave me a hug goodnight, marveling at what an amazing time he had. Then he pulled me in for hug round two, because much like me, round one was just so special.

How do I let this sweet boy down gently? He even got a haircut just for the date.

Much like his poor little heart will soon be, I am at a loss.

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Why Do Men Cheat?

“D-day” – commonly known as the day the allied troops landed on Normandy beaches, changing the entire course of WWII and the world as we know it. Fittingly, this is the term relationship counselors use to describe the day you find out your spouse has cheated.

On my D-day, I couldn’t make sense of anything. It was as if I had lost all ability to string logic together, and the only thought I was capable of forming was a single word.

Why?

If you want more sex, I am down. If you want variety of women, then buy me a fucking wig and call me Sandra. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, I’ll bake for you damnit. Don’t go down to prostitue candyland, my goodies are of much higher quality.

It plagued me for months, and it plagues some women for years. What in the hell is so wrong with me and my vagina that he needed twelve others to supplement? (Answer: Nothing. Your vagina is fine, and you should be glad that you don’t have thirteen.)

Saturday night, I met a cute boy. We talked intimately for at least ten minutes, and there was great chemistry happening. When he had to leave, he took out his phone. “Did you put your number in there?” he asked.

Something about his phrasing was very off to me. “No. You never asked me to.” I replied.

He said he wouldn’t ask, but he wanted it. I specified that he needed to ask.

Suddenly, his voice began to stutter. “I’m sorry,” he said “I went down a road that I shoudn’t have gone down. You are so beautiful, but I can’t ask for you number. You are amazing and I am so sorry.”

And then he was gone.

What is so wrong with me? I thought for the thousandth time. Being the appropriate level of drunk for an emotional breakdown, I started to cry in the middle of the bar. Then, after a pep talk from my dear friends Amanda and Hunter, it was clear: absolutely nothing was wrong with me. This man was spoken for by another woman.

So why did he risk whatever beautiful woman he has at home and step into this dangerous gray area?

From all of the lame excuses, counseling, and even the infidelity retreat I went to with my ex (romantic getaway, let me tell you), I have pieced together a top three list of why I think this happens. It may not apply to all cases, but there is a hopping bar scene and a cheater’s retreat full of men (and women) who prove me right.

Men cheat because:

…they like variety. A result of pure Darwinism. They are programmed to spread their seed around like fucking pixie dust. It doesn’t make sense to us females because let’s face it – who wants to be pregnant as many times as possible? Only that Duggar lady. No one else.

…they are bored. When porn became commonplace to my unemployed ex-husband, he needed a new hobby to practice while I was at work. Apparently, dating other women barely edged out crocheting. Oh, how I wish it had gone the other way. Think of all the sweaters I could have.

…they can.  “I didn’t think I would get caught.” That is what my ex told me over and over again when I asked him why. Funny how he thought he was smart enough to fool me for the rest of our lives, yet was dumb enough to save the receipt from a hotel room he paid for in cash. Once the gray area is entered, most people think they can get away with cheating. This is because in all truth, they already have. It’s pathetic, it’s terrible, and it’s true.

So how do we stop it? Role play as his third grade teacher? Make him a balloon animal so he doesn’t get bored? Microchip his ass?

As helpful and legitimate as these solutions are, it is my opinion that there is only one way to stop a man from cheating. Find a good one. A really, really good one.

But even if he cheats, know that in all likelihood, he would have cheated on anyone.

It’s not you, it’s him.

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One.

One hello. One goodbye. One ordinary moment is all it takes for the life you once knew to be replaced.

One year ago today, two simple words changed my name, my life, and my heart. Many call your wedding day a happily ever after, but my love and I saw it as the beginning of our adventure together.

March 5, 2011, was unequivocally the happiest day of my life. When I look through the photos, I can still feel my heart swell as it did on that day. I see the pure, untainted love in my eyes and cherish the memory of the girl I see. She loved freely, without judgment or regret. She saw only good in the world and knew that on that day, none could be more blessed than she.

It might be crazy, but when I see that girl in photographs, she seems more like my baby sister than a younger version of myself. A sweet, young girl who knows so very little of the pain I have known. A precious heart who I want to protect.

As my mind flashes four months down the road, that same heart feels the very same break. I want nothing more than to hold her close and show her that no matter what happens, the world will still be a beautiful place again.

In that one ordinary moment where she rummages through the junk drawer, I want to stand beside her. To hold her hand as the receipt from his hotel room catches her eye, and stroke her hair as she quietly starts to cry.

If only I could go back to her, I know I could help her through and tell her that no matter how hopeless life seems, she can rest assured that the universe if unfolding exactly as it should.

Looking at the girl in my wedding photos, I know the pain that she must endure. She will go through the tearful counseling sessions, and live the pain of each moment where she uncovers a new piece of the puzzle. The emails. The photographs. The dating profiles.

I remember how it feels to spend your days staring at the ceiling, sitting in an empty bathtub. To suddenly forget how you came to be lying in the grass on the median, but remember only that you’ve lost everything you were once living for.

While I would love nothing more than to protect her sweet and overflowing heart from the damage that will be incurred, I understand she must brave her own path. Because if she didn’t, I would never be here with you today.

For one fleeting moment, that girl knew all of the joys that life can hold. A precious moment, indeed.

But she must also know that all endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.

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A Letter to Future Ex-Wives

For the last six months, I have been an official member of the ex-wives club. And by that I mean I made my own club, which really just consists of me having a weekly meeting with my good friends ice cream and self-pity.

Divorce ain’t like summer camp, my friends. You don’t get a welcome letter into your new life or a mentor with a high-pitched voice (unless there is something I am being seriously left out of). And you know what? Those things would have actually been very helpful.

I’d love to have my own ex-wives club. It would be like the First Wives Club, only without the horrifying white pant suits and karaoke version of “You Don’t Own Me.”

So for all of the ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, ex-lovers out there –  here is a welcome letter, from me to you.

WELCOME, FRIEND!

I am sorry to snatch you into my club under such terrible circumstances, but glad that you are here.

From this moment on, please expect that everyone you have ever met will act fucking crazy around you. Do not be alarmed. This is normal.

Most of them have heard your news indirectly, and will feel the need to text and let you know they are here for you. Especially if you haven’t spoken for three or more years. During this time, I ask that you refrain from punching any babies or purchasing knives.

You will then experience a brief blackout period lasting anywhere from two to twelve months. You will likely never remember what happened in these months because if you are smart, you will be heavily sedated.

At all stages, be sure to stay away from social media. You don’t need to know that your ex got laser hair removal and a nose job to feel better about himself post-breakup. It will only leave you thinking how you would have rather waxed his chest yourself and performed surgery on his testicles instead of his nose.

Follow these tips, and when you’re ready to stop crying embarrassingly in public, I will be so very glad to meet you and help you scout out new prospects. Assuming, of course, we don’t share similar taste in men.

Until then, do all the venting you want to your diary. Because in all likelihood, your mom stopped listening weeks ago.

Very sincerely yours,

Fellow Ex-Wife

 

**Editor’s Announcement: Go look at my new “Favorite Recipes” tab. I put a lot of hard work into making those damned links work and you guys are going to click them whether you like it or not. Kthanks.

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Sometimes you have to forget what’s gone, appreciate what remains, and look forward to what’s next

-my coathangers, looking beautiful and ready to move downtown-

It is amazing how deeply entwined your life can become with another’s in such a short time. Even more so how long it can take to untangle the mess when your time together ends.

 –from the guestbook at our wedding-

In less than 24 hours, I will be as close to free as I imagine is possible at this point. I’ll take my boxes, all of the china, and our two furbabies to a new home where my ex-husband can’t find us anymore. A place with no memories, no expectations, and no regrets.

-from our favorite photos together-

I will be strong enough to leave behind the artifacts of our life together that I still secretly cherish when no one is around. The love notes I shouldn’t read, the cards I shouldn’t save – they will all stay here with a piece of my life that it’s time to walk away from.

-the letter he wrote me the first night I left him-

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. It’s the first day of yours, too. Remember to cherish what you have rather than dwelling on what you do not. It is never too late to begin again.

The Big Move-On

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