Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

March 30, 2009

Please....be a little selfish

This morning I was listening to the Russ Parr Morning Show on my way to work, and the People Poll Question was about women who use their children to blackmail and manipulate men. Specifically, it was about a guy who had written in because after 3 years of being broken up, the mother of his daughter stopped letting him visit his child as soon as he started dating again, despite the fact that she'd had numerous boyfriends (whom she'd also brought around the child). This is a subject that incenses me to no end (or as Peter Griffin would say, it really grinds my gears).... women who use their children to manipulate men by means of denying visitation. I think it is the most asinine, childish, short-sighted and stupid thing a woman can do, and if I could smack every woman who's been guilty of this I would..... but then I'd die of arm exhaustion because it happens so often, unfortunately.

(The exception, of course, is if there are LEGITIMATE safety issues involved, and I'm not talking about "I don't know his friends/girlfriend"..... duh, you guys aren't together anymore, you don't share a life anymore, so of course he's going to have people in his life that you don't know, and vice versa. Save it.)

I'm not going to sit up here and say I don't understand the feelings associated with your ex moving on, and not liking the fact that another woman (or man.... baby daddies act up, too) is having a role in your child's life, whether that's because a maybe-not-so-secret desire to be with your ex or just the ego factor (that (s)he's gotten over you and moved on) or whatever irrational reason drives human emotion. I get that. But I draw the line at using your children to lash out at your ex by denying visitation and/or poisoning your child's mind with negativity about his or her other parent.

If you're going to be selfish and self centered, do it the way I do it..... I love my kids, but I love my "me time" as well. Ok, I'm being facetious and extreme here with the "selfish and self centered" characterization, but really..... I feel like it's a win-win when my kids are off spending time with their dad and with each other (remember, Daughter primarily lives with me and Son lives with him, so they're not together all the time anymore). They get to spend good, NECESSARY quality time with their father and each other, and I get a regularly scheduled (and sometimes bonus) break and I know that they are with someone who loves them and cares for them just as much as I do. I can do the things that I want and need to do for myself (I keep a standing nail appointment every other Saturday), I can travel, I don't have to worry about cooking square meals, I can sleep as long as I want, I don't have to chauffeur anyone around all day, and I don't have to entertain anyone or find someone else to entertain them.

Right now my kids are spending the first half of their spring break with their dad, and I thoroughly enjoyed only having to get myself ready this morning and I'm looking forward to a nap after work and not hearing anyone whine about eating veggie burgers (again!) and a cup of yogurt for dinner. This weekend I'm going to Washington DC with my kids, my beau, and we're picking up his son (who lives 3 hours away) on the way and he's going, too. I was a little worried (we both were, actually) that his mother wouldn't let him go because it's not his dad's weekend and because he would be going with me (she'd expressed some attitude about me before, but nothing major), but surprisingly she said yes. But please.... let someone offer me an extra free weekend of babysitting, I'd be all over it.

(I suspect the decision hinged on the fact that she's been busy finishing up her Master's program and needs him out of her hair anyway.... or maybe because now she's boo'd up too, which seems to have upped her cooperation level considerably.... but whatever, I'm looking forward to our Brady Bunch Dating trip.)

Sometimes I worry that I'm a little too un-mom-like for not taking pleasure in being such a martyr to my children by being at their beck and call 25/8, and actually enjoying some time to myself every once in awhile........or perhaps I'm just finding the positive aspect of an unavoidable situation (i.e. the kids can no longer be with both of us at the same time). I tell my Ex that he can take the kids whenever he'd like. I may miss them, but I know they'll be back and I know they're well taken care of. And I know how crucial it is for fathers to be involved in their children's lives. There are enough deadbeat and lackluster dads out there that we as women don't need to discourage the ones who are good, responsible and loving fathers.

So ladies, next time you have that itchy creepy jealousy feeling that makes you want to "show him a thing or two" and not let him see his child.... please, for your child's sake, be a little "selfish".

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March 28, 2009

Organic posts.... good for the soul

So yea, haven't posted in awhile..... I think perhaps because I'm out of the dating game right now so there are fewer adventures to report on. Yet, there are still Adventures in Divorce that go on daily, so I'll try to give a lil recap of the recent events, or at least just write something.

(Ok so yea, I've been drinking just a helluva lot a lil, and it's 3am, and I'm just getting in, and I'm hungry, but there's nothing worthwhile to eat, and so this may just be stream of consciousness which is the MOST fun of all the blog posts, trust.....)

So here's the latest thing going on.... I've planned a trip to Washington DC next weekend with the kids and my beau and his son to go visit my BFF and her beau and his two kids and we're just going to have a grand ole time going to museums and zoos and parks and all that good (free-99) ish. Well, my dear Son asked me if he could go with my Ex-BFF instead...... said she was going to take him to Boston and then to Orlando. My initial reaction was, "let that B take you places on your daddy's time, not mine" (and I didn't phrase it exactly like that.... ok, just left out the B part). Then I find out she just wanted to take HIM and was leaving her own children (ages 9 and 2) at home. WTFF?? (Translation: what the fucking fuck??) What grown ass woman takes an almost 15 year old boy across the country alone??? He said she had to go out there and look for a house (her husband is in Afghanistan... he's a contractor or some ish)..... why do you need to take MY son?? And on MY time??? Let me backtrack..... I had issues with my Ex-BFF when I was married because of her constant need to overstep boundaries. I would come home from work and she would be at my house chillin' with my husband and kids. She would also do things like show up to The Ex's job and go to lunch with him. Not. Cool. And when I would complain that I felt like she was overstepping her boundaries, I was accused of being paranoid/crazy/accusatory and that I was being silly because there was nothing to be concerned about.

Now..... I am a person who is not big into norms and such. But I know there are some things that you just don't do out of respect for others. Becoming tighter with your BFF's spouse than you are with her is one of them. But she, and he, just didn't get it. I thought I was done with all that when I de-friended her and divorced him, but now, once again, my toes are being stepped upon. It's to the point where Son called my MOTHER to complain to her about how I would not let him to with her instead of on the trip I'd planned...... well, she called me today IRATE about this B and said she wanted to call her and give her a piece of her mind, too. Let me also say that my Ex-BFF is not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed..... ok, so she's certified crazy. I would NOT let my child go cross country with her period, let alone solo. I hope that this is the end of it, but I may have to put my foot in some arses if the issue is brought to me again.... both Son's and Ex-BFF's. I'm mad that The Ex isn't seeing the problem with this scenario and isn't backing me up on this (though I haven't talked to him about it)..... he woudn't want our Daughter going cross country solo with a male friend, so why is this any different?? And knowing Ex-BFF's past, there's cause for concern........let's just leave it at that.

Next.... I've noticed that I've gotten really lame since I've been boo'd up. I don't go out like I used to. And it's not that I used to go out to meet people.... I just don't know what it is. Maybe I'm just tired from actually working now. Or maybe its because I'm creeping up on 31. I dunno. So tonight I forced myself to go out to Final Fridays, which was a 27 and over event (27 seems really arbitrary, but whatever) and it was packed. And I didn't like the fact that it was packed. And even though most of the folks in there were in their 30's, some were still dressed as if they were in their 20's. Fail. I also had an Ex Encounter, which was somewhat uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as it used to be, so I guess I'm making progress and moving on. Oh, did I mention I went out solo? Yea, I was THAT determined to break the lame streak. Trust, it was a struggle getting off my beau's couch and driving downtown instead of indulging in sleep.

Speaking of sleep..... I need some. Sorry for the raggedy post. It happens. But it's organic.... gotta love organic. It's good for the soul.

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March 16, 2009

Marriage......what's the point?


Ahhh.... the seasons are changing, the weather is getting warm, newness is abound, which means one thing...... wedding season is upon us. Ok, so it means more than just that one thing (inter alia the one year anniversary of Le Divorce) , but it *is* wedding season. Thus far I've received invitations to attend two weddings and despite the demise of my own marriage, I'm actually looking forward to attending.

Yes, despite my experiences with failed marriage, my first hand witnessing of marital tomfoolery, my Adventures in Divorce, and my previous musings on the subject, I do still have hope and faith in the institution of marriage and see weddings as a celebration of a new life together for two people. My prior post about crying at weddings was written while I was still married and my own marriage was in a sharp nosedive headed straight for the ocean (it was written a little less than a year before my separation) and I was sad because I knew I'd lost what these two individuals on their special day had just found. So, while on that particular day I was mourning, generally I am happy for the couple getting married.

But then there's that part of me that knows that regardless of the degree of perfection that exists on that special day, marriages are anything BUT perfect. Four words..... Fifty. Percent. Failure. Rate. And even amongst the remaining fifty percent, I've seen enough of my share of underhanded tomfoolery to know that those people aren't all together because everything is hunky dory. So, statistically speaking, if 50% of marriages are doomed from the start, and the other 50% are riddled with problems and issues, one may ask themselves..... what's the point?

The point, in the great words of Andre Benjamin, is that everybody needs somebody to love. But marriage isn't just about love, its about building a life together and having someone who is always, no matter what, there for you (in theory anyway). Let's face it.... the free-for-all gets tiring after awhile. Variety and excitement and "freedom" may be fun for a time, but eventually you just want to know that someone is going to be there for you and that you have someone that you can build something with instead of just cruising along parallel with one another. Problems and dysfunction and cheating aside, marriage is a good, worthwhile endeavor.

Marriage is definitely a trade off, though...... you give up the ability to bail whenever you feel like it, the ability to make unilateral decisions that are solely in your best interest (and/or the interest of your kids if you have them).... basically the ability to keep all the marbles to yourself. But at the end of the day, what good is all that if you're lonely? Life is meant to be shared with other people, and sharing means compromising and sacrificing for the greater good. Even when you're in a committed relationship, you're less likely to go all in if you know that the person can just up and leave, no strings attached, at any time. When you're dating, all it takes is to say "it's over, kick rocks, don't call me and I'm not answering your calls" (ok, that's the simplified version) and "I'm taking my TV/couch/bed that I brought with me" (if you happen to be cohabiting). Divorce, on the other hand, takes just a tad bit more effort. Not to mention the whole "covenant before God" thing..... that's kind of important, too.

So what's the point of marriage if the odds of failure and dysfunction are so high...... well, I believe it can and does work for most people, even if it takes some trial and error along the way. Sometimes that first match up isn't a good fit and people got married for the wrong reasons, or thought they could overlook or overcome some problem and it just didn't happen. But if you have two people who are a good match and who are committed to making their marriage work, then there is definitely a point..... a very good point.

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March 9, 2009

Maybe.....

Zen Koan titled “Maybe”.
(A Koan is a story, dialogue, question, or statement in the history and lore of Zen Buddhism.)

A farmer’s horse ran away. His neighbors gathered upon hearing the news and said sympathetically, “That’s such bad luck.”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The horse returned on his own the next morning, and brought seven wild horses with it. “Look how many more horses you have now,” the neighbors exclaimed. “How lucky!”

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next day, the farmer’s son attempted to ride one of the wild horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. “How awful,” the neighbors said. “It looks like your luck has turned for the worse again.”

The farmer simply replied, “Maybe.”

The following day, military officers came to town to conscript young men into the service. Seeing the son’s broken leg, they rejected him. The neighbors gathered round the farmer to tell him how fortunate he was.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

****************

This koan is a perfect illustration of my attitude toward life that has gotten me through everything of the past few years.... my divorce, my job change, and all the upheaval in between. When you're going through a divorce -- or any major life change for that matter -- it's easy to feel like everything is going wrong, you life is destructing before your eyes, and it's tempting to view every setback as the worst thing that could possibly happen.

The reality is that we never know what life has in store for us next, and what events in life are setting us up for the next good (or bad) thing. I can't even describe all of the positive things that have arisen from the negatives in my life over the past 2 years..... people I've met, relationships I've formed, experiences that I've had, opportunities that have arisen. It's important to open up your heart and your mind to the possibilities of life.... THAT is what will help get you through the hard times. So the next time something seemingly bad happens and you're thinking that your life has just taken a turn for the very worse, just stop and think...... maybe.

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Adventures in Divorce: 03/2009 - 04/2009

Adventures in Divorce