Your Relationship is Over; Don’t Replace it With a New One

One of the HUGE differences about Jack and I; he jumps; I hold back. In the marriage it drove him nuts that I would have to think about something. It would frustrated me to no end. In his mind I couldn’t make a decision. I can also be impulsive, but most of the time I hold back, access the situation then react.

When Jack left and I found out he had been with another for the past few months, I was devastated. I didn’t want our marriage to end. I found a strength in me I never thought I had. I was that woman that would never take back a husband who cheated, so these were new emotions for me. I believed in our marriage. He kept telling me it was over, he was done. I still held on.

Around six months after he left, I got to thinking, Why the hell should he have all the fun? Every time we talked I would try to get him to come back home, or even let’s start over fresh….something. He wanted none of it. His mind was made up. When Jack jumped, he jumped. Why the hell am I sitting at home waiting? I did that all through the marriage. I was so used to him not being there, my life went on without so much as a hiccup. So I went out on dates, when the kids weren’t home. Part of me was feeling lonely, I had felt so lonely in the marriage for so long. Part of me was wanting him to see me out having fun with another guy. I’m only human people; don’t judge. Well feel free to judge it’s your right. You still can’t take away my rights for my feelings.

I learned a valuable lesson in the dating. The pain was still there. And as much as I told myself I didn’t care that I was still married to Jack, because he was out doing whatever. I realized how strong my morals, values and integrity are. After several dates and still NOT feeling any better about any of them. The fact was Jack may have been over me, and he may have been able to sleep good at night with all he had done; I stopped. It was the first time since I had met Jack (at 18), that I didn’t have to jump. My feelings were despite the marriage was over, we are still married.

Not only was there the morals of it. I also realized, I didn’t want a relationship again. My dates(and they knew I was married, they were divorced and I was totally upfront and honest with who I went out with that the marriage was over but we were not divorced), were in a different place than I was totally. I would sit and listen to them when we would go out to dinner and they were looking for a replacement. Their marriages all ended for different reasons but they weren’t out finding themselves they were finding a way to continue life how they had been used to. I am sitting across the dinner table thinking, why I am not feeling anything? They are talking about what they like and how they are finding themselves for the first time. I am thinking, I have known who the hell I have been. It’s also funny how I am sitting across from them and we are talking about the exes for a brief moment (cause I will ask what happened between you and your ex if we go out on a date), I heard she didn’t understand him, she cheated on him, he cheated on her (I exited that one REAL quick), she had absolutely no interests and he had all these interests (it was funny upon my own investigation I found out that she loved painting, she did crafts, she even went hunting with him and did things with him that he liked.)…yup that date didn’t go so well when I told that guy MY opinion on that one. There were a couple I went out on with for more than one date, but in the end I just cut it off completely and said I’m not doing this to MYSELF.

I cannot stress enough the importance of staying single once you have come out of a relationship (short term, long term or marriage). You need that time for yourself. Even all of you jumpers out there you need people like me to tell you to sit down and relax stop jumping. There is a time to jump and there is a time to sit the hell down and think about what you are doing not just for now, but long term.

Today after over 2 years since Jack has left, I am still very happy single. As I have said in previous post I am not against relationship, I am not against marriage, I am happy in my life. Personally, and I have all ready told Jack this several times, I don’t see how jumping from one marriage to another relationship ever works. Jack might have gotten it right this time. I am not in competition with Jack. I no longer have to keep up with Jack. This is my life and this is my happiness. I was happy in my marriage; the marriage needed work but I was happy. He wasn’t willing to do the work because his thoughts were relationships shouldn’t require work they should just happen naturally. He got ticked when I told him flat out, they will work for a little while but they won’t last. “You don’t know that. You don’t know shit.” My famous response, “You’re right!” Time will tell on that one. For his sake, I hope I am wrong. What he did and how he did it might be right for him and they may have a long lasting relationship.

Driving into another relationship, dating has never been right for me. So why start now because Jack’s doing it.? My mother always had a saying, “if all your friends jumped off the wharf would you?” I would look at her, “depends, we talking about at high tide or low tide?” High tides jumping off the wharf would be fun; low tide I’d end up in a body bag. I have always looked before leaping, even if it’s just for a few seconds. I wanted my mother to know that even though my friends and I were doing things, she raised me right to look before leaping. If something didn’t feel right to me, I didn’t do it.

As independent as I was, the truth of the matter was I went from mom to Jack. I was 18 when I met Jack. Like I said there was no hiccup when Jack left. Despite that I went from my mother to Jack, I didn’t have to learn to get by without Jack. Some in a relationship they have no clue how to do banking, finances, the cost of living, how to cut grass, what to do with a toilet leak, the stress of having the kids all the time. I had all ready lived it. The only thing I had to get used to was the difference in paychecks. That was stressful because Jack left me high and dry. His words were “maybe now you will learn.” The only thing I have learned from Jack is he is a coward and not a real man. A real man regardless of what had transpired would have ensured that his children were taken care of and not left it all on me. Instead Jack made up his mind he was no longer going to be used by me. Two years since he has left I have virtually done it on my own.

Seeing what Jack was doing, again validated (I keep getting validated even though no one else sees it, that’s not the point. I see it), I wasn’t going to do that to my children. He put his needs, wants, desires and his girlfriend first over his children. He can say all the negative he wants to about me, I have never in the 15 years, I have been blessed with these kids put my needs over theirs. Jack has walked from one marriage and he’s going for another, but now he has taken on 3 more children. Sorry buddy but you have got a hell of a lot to learn if you think that relationships should just happen and it should come naturally. Like I said I could be all wrong, I truly hope for both of them I am. Why do I say both? I know Jack, he goes full throttle on things, then when he is done he just walks away. I hope for her sake that the two of them will be able to make it. I know she loves him. I loved him for all the same reasons she does. That is a double edged sword. It may come back to bite her. If Jack hasn’t resolved whatever is going on with him, he will make the exact same mistakes he did with the previous two marriages he has been in. For her and her 3 children I hope he is man enough to not make the same mistakes. The fact that both of them cheated on their marriages says a lot to me about the personalities of both of them. Jack picks certain woman. He likes the independent female. I see how his first wife and I and even the fiancée are very much alike. While we are three different women, we are very independent. I think out of the 3, I was the softest, because as much as I would stand up and tell him when I thought he was wrong or didn’t agree with him, I backed down and compromised. I should have never backed down on certain things.

That’s what I had the opportunity to analyze and think about being on my own without the hindrance of someone influencing this process. It’s easy to sit and talk about with friends and with a new relationship all the things that you now realize , all the mistakes you personally made in the marriage and also his mistakes. I would talk with my friends about this after sitting in my thinking spot (front porch or back deck) and then go to them and give my opinion or the realization I came up with in that thought and reflection. I am still the same person as their friend before Jack, after Jack they see I have done a lot of self growth that Jack hindered. I am a not a new person. I’m an improved person. Doesn’t mean I am great, doesn’t mean I am perfect, I am still going to make mistakes. It also doesn’t mean I am better than Jack or his fiancée. Having the time to myself, I have allowed myself to be stronger. If a relationship does happen for me down the road, there will be things I will not tolerate. Most of all that person who does get into a relationship with me will have to understand and accept the person I am. It won’t be my way or the highway. I have come too far personally to fall back into a relationship or marriage like Jack and I had.

It is easy to get into the throws of a relationship. It’s familiar. Despite you may find the newness of a relationship, or you may find that the person you have gotten into a relationship is much different than your previous partner it’s easy to fall into the same familiar.

For example: This is regardless of your gender as well. Your previous partner was not as outgoing as you were. You think it’s great that the person you are now seeing is as outgoing as you. There are pros and cons to it. You find that your new partner enjoys doing the same things, and that’s enjoyable. Again pros and cons to it. In the previous marriage you may have been used to just going, the outgoing partner may have done things with you that you enjoyed but it wasn’t all the time. What happens when two people are so used to going all the time now come into a relationship. Someone is gonna have to sacrifice to be there for the kids (if there are kids involved). It might even get boring that these two individuals share all the same interests and likes because there’s no longer than individual time, either one of them had.

The same goes for that partner who may not have gotten the romance, the caring compassion, support etc with the previous partner. You may find that you now have a partner that is all those things and likes to give it all the time because that’s who they are. They even might not be outgoing like your partner.

When it comes to relationships there has to be strengths and weaknesses in both. In a relationship I don’t want someone like me and my personality. Just because I wanted my husband to be just a lil romantic doesn’t mean I want it all the time. There were things my husband was very good at and I was not so good at. And whether he wants to believe it or not…I was good at certain things he was not good at. As much as you will hear me complain about all his always on the go, there were many of times I was always on the go with him. Him and I like the same things, I am just different where I don’t want to do it all the time. I think that was good for us. I wanted to go camping with him and the kids. I loved that he enjoyed doing the things he enjoyed. However, it was the excessiveness of it all, that got frustrating. Go be with your friends, just don’t do it all the time. I love you despite you are not this romantic person, just do it a little. I loved Jack because I loved Jack. I didn’t want him to change. I just wanted him to notice that just a little is all someone needs. Do I still love Jack? I loved him the way he was when I was married to him. I don’t love the person he has shown me in the past two years. I loved that we were able to laugh at tiling the kitchen floor together. He didn’t do all the work with the tiling. He cut (I would have gladly cut cause I love some power tools), I placed the spacers, he spread and I placed the tiles. THAT was partnership. I recall the BEST anniversary present I got from my husband. 1999 (2 year anniversary), he had to be away for two months while taking the Gunney’s Course in Okinawa. It was the most special and most romantic thing he ever did for me. I am writing this and the tears are flowing, just like they did that day I found it. He didn’t say a word he just called me up and said he knew he was gone for our anniversary, he didn’t have much time to plan. While on the phone he had me go to the note he had placed before he left. Jack and I were BOTH not perfect in emotional parts of the marriage. He was sorry he had to be away for our anniversary. . He had hidden the gift in a different area (I had to climb on the stool to reach it) it was a picture of the two of us climbing Mt. Fuji in 1998 just 6 months after we arrived in Japan with our family. That was the last ( first and last time) we as husband and wife went anywhere withput our son (at the time) and then our children. That picture of the two of us together, was the MOST romantic, from “his” heart gift he could have ever given me. Still crying at the thought of that day him and I were on the phone together and he had made it like a treasure hunt. He could have given me the world, all the diamonds, all the money and that out of 13.5 years of marriage was the best anniversary gift he had ever given. I didn’t need a bouquet of flowers, or a fancy dinner at some restaurant that was what I wanted from him; from the heart for what felt right for him.

For our 13th wedding anniversary I also remember what “we” bought. We were together when we bought it. We went to Barnes and Noble, we found ourselves in the journal area. He just said which one do you want. It wasn’t the monetary value of it, they were leather journals at 40.00 a pop. My first reaction was I wasn’t buying one, looking at the price tag. If he wanted one that was ok, but we couldn’t be spending this money we were in financial shit ruins and as much as I loved to write in my journal I couldn’t justify spending 40.00 on a journal. He convinced me to buy one. We weren’t leaving until I picked one out. He was even asking me which one I thought he should pick out for himself. All these years of me writing in a journal almost every single day at the 13 year mark he took interest in a journal. I looked at them all and I suggested (not told him he should get it) one that had license plates. It was him to a tee. He smiled and said “you were thinking the same thing I was thinking.“ Without thought I said “I know you and I love you.” Why was that journal so special to me? He showed me that even though he was not a writer, he knew I loved to write. Writing was not his thing. The 2nd and the 13th wedding anniversary presents I will always remember. The 13th one is also a little hard because it was that very journal I found out that he was in love with another woman. I also remember what I told him when we came up on our 13th years. Something is brewing. I do not know if him and the other woman were together when I said it. I said just off the cuff, without thought, I felt our 13th year together was going to be a rocky one. He thought I was crazy when I said it. He even looked at me when I blurted it out. This year was going to be hard. I do know that on our anniversary night she was texting him. I also know she too enjoys writing. I know longer think about it now but when I found out about them, when I looked back through the phone records I always wondered, was it the fact of him giving me that gift because it was from the heart, or was it the fact that she too enjoyed writing. I don’t know I don’t care, it was the perfect gift he could have given to me. Honestly, off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you what the other years gifts were. Year 2 and Year 13 were the ones that meant the most to me.

Despite the fact that yes those memories brought me to tears, that’s life. That’s real. You can still move on and cherish those memories from your ex. I can rant and rave about ALL the things that ticked me off during the marriage. I can tell you the most hurtful moments in my life in that marriage. The one that sticks out the most when my mother was dying of cancer. The affair he had…didn’t hurt as much as what he displayed during the time my mother was sick, when she died and the however long it took “me” to get stronger from that.

Jack is not in a position anymore to tell me how to think, feel and react. They are all mine. Over him? Yes I am. Doesn’t mean the love, and concern for him fades completely.

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Letting Go; Moving On; And Loving Every

The Moving on Part:

For me the moving on part, is being happy, being a mother, being who I am. Truly there is no difference than before, I just don’t have Jack telling me and judging me. My role as a mother is different now. For years I had to hear Jack tell me how I didn’t spend time with the children. I didn’t do things with the children. Which is what brought me to write “The Special Times.” I did and I still do things with them, just not what he felt was quality time with them.

Right now money is still tight. The improvising I have had to do for the “quality time” has not been easy. While Jack is taking them to White Water, here and there and doing this, that and the other with them. I financially cannot. There is plenty to do around here that is free or close to free, but it’s a drive. When you are barely able to pay for the gas that gets you back and forth to work. Getting out and going with the kids to a park or even taking them to their friends house, I literally watch the gas needle go down. 1/8 of a tank makes or breaks me at this point. To a kid I can see how dad’s house would be more fun. I am not going to lie that it hasn’t been frustrating and down right stressful that I have to tell my kids “no we can’t do that.” The reality is the kids don’t see or even understand what it costs just to provide the bare minimum for them.

We spend a lot of time at home. Spending quality time together. Their friends come over. The kids and I will play games sometimes. I watch my son play video games or try to play a video game with him. I’ve never been a video game person, they just don’t grab me like they do some people. My son plays street hockey in the driveway and I watch him and his friends play it. He’s a sports buff and I have never been one for sports, but he loves me to watch all the awesome stuff he can do. The last time I was on roller skates (September) resulted in one heck of a sprained ankle, the kids get nervous if I even talk about skates. I am just now getting into physical therapy for the sprain because I haven’t had the money for the co pay, Jack’s insurance would have sent me probably about 1.5 hours away, and the job I used to be at, if I missed time; I didn’t get paid. With my new job, I have awesome insurance and sick time earned. Four to six weeks my ankle should be good as new. The simple things haven’t been easy with the ankle; climbing up on a stool to get something, playing out in the yard with the kids rough or even terrain I had to be careful. Before the sprain my friend and I were doing the Insanity work out and I was starting back with running. I haven’t been able to do any of that since the sprain. It ticks me off. Now that I am in a place where I can get it taken care of and I am doing it.

Moving on is not always an epiphany. I’m not this new person because Jack left me. I am still me. The epiphany for me is realizing that Jack didn’t love the person I was; because I wasn’t like him. I didn’t do things like him, I didn’t think like him, I wasn’t a mother, wife or person he thought I should have been. I still have the same friends I did when Jack left, but I realized the conversations didn’t get on a personal level as far as the marriage. I didn’t talk about the personal stuff going on in the marriage. Jack didn’t want me to. My friends and I had plenty of conversation. Then I realized once Jack left and I am telling them what took place in the marriage over the years they were looking at me saying “that’s not right. I can’t believe you lived like that.” As long as I have known my friends whether they were childhood friends, friends since moving here or new friends they have all said the exact same thing. I would even throw myself under the bus, “but I didn’t keep the house clean, I didn’t get over moms death quick enough, I was always moody, I wasn’t always patient with the kids or him, I was depressed.” etc. I’ve lost count of people who have said they would have left him a long time ago, and that it was no surprise I was the way I was because of him. They would have been the same way if their spouse treated them the way he did. Talking about it with friends didn’t give me the epiphany. Being outside of it did. Hearing my friends opinions on it, validated my feelings. They weren’t wrong. They were only wrong because Jack told me they were wrong. I can’t blame Jack for all of it, because I was the one who allowed him to do that to me. As strong and independent as I was, he found a weak spot in me.

I analyze, that’s who I am. The thinker. It drove Jack bonkers. He made instantaneous decisions for the right now. Instantaneous decisions are in all aspects of his life. What have I learned from it? There are times when a person needs to be able to make quick decisions. In his occupation as a Marine and now as a cop, hesitation could mean the difference in coming home to his family in a coffin or coming home at the end of shift to see his family. I got that, I still get that. The frustrating part he couldn’t turn off that Marine mode or cop mode. Now outside of it I see what a hypocrite he is. It’s easier for him to put someone else down thansit and evaluate his own faults. Here are some examples of the analyzing I have done.

Jack told me I would always need to be in a relationship. My thought process: I wasn’t the one who left and walked right into another relationship.

Jack told the woman he was seeing “I feel like a school boy again.” My thought process: Why the hell does a 44 year old man want to feel like a school boy again? I WANT TO FEEL LIKE A WOMAN…not a teenager in puppy love. As a woman I want to feel appreciated, supported, have an emotional connection; not just a physical with my partner, loved, cherished, admired, communication and all those stupid emotions. In reading his words to his lover I saw how selfish he was. It was all about him and his feelings. He never stopped to think for once there was someone else in the relationship who wasn’t getting what she needed. It’s a two way street people. Don’t tell me; show me. The day we had our fight and he left…13.5 years and everything we had been through; I was still loving him. I still loved him a year after he left.

He was so busy focusing on the woman he didn’t have; he didn’t see the woman he did have. I knew I wasn’t perfect, I knew he wasn’t perfect. Jack also accused me of the same thing. In the analyzing of the relationship I realize now he may have loved me, but he was never in love with me. I loved him and I was also in love with him. There is a difference in loving someone and being in love with them. A HUGE difference.

I actually had to get up and walk away just now; the tears came flowing and here they come again as I write. He wasn’t in love with me. If he had been he would have tried to give me what I needed in the relationship. The memories of the 13.5 years I was married to him I recall looking into his eyes and I see now, that I never saw in his eyes that he was in love with me. I didn’t see it when I looked in his eyes all those years, now remembering the look, it gives me chills, his eyes were empty. It hurts because why did he stay for all those years. I asked him when he said he was done 7-8 years prior in the marriage. He said he had hope it would all work out. Hope? He had “hoped” it would all work out, but he was telling me “just do it.” He got onto me when I said I got tired of being the one to initiate the emotional, the connection, communication and finally I just “waited” and he is frickin’ “hoping,” the marriage is going to magically change. It might seem selfish; I no longer care; he cheated me long before he physically cheated on me.

The years that I had to hear from him what would make him happy in the marriage and I did it. I did it because I loved him, was in love with him and it was important to him. He took notice that it would last for awhile and then it would taper off. At the end when he walked out, when I pointed out to him I did the things he asked, and his response was, it should have continued. “Just do it” It was then I pointed out to him he too should have just done it. I shouldn’t of had to spend many nights alone while he was off with his buddies, I shouldn’t of had to sleep alone for a majority of the nights in our marriage. And I damn sure should not have felt like I was alone while my mother was dying and 1500 miles away and worrying about her and made to feel something like was wrong with me. I should not have had to ASK to be held by him while I am tried to hold it all together so no one sees me hurting. I refused to ask, I had asked for so many years, I got tired of asking. If we were sitting on the couch together on opposite sides and I wanted to snuggle, I just curled up beside him and put my head on his chest and wrapped his arm around me….I just did it. If he was in the kitchen or somewhere else in the house, I would just come up to him and wrap my arms around his neck and kiss him….I just did it. Not because I had to, not because it was an obligation because I was married to him. I just did it because…I loved him, respected him, in love with him and I wanted him to FEEL that through it all and after 13 years of marriage he still made my heart skip a beat, my eyes would still light up. That is what being in love is. It’s going through everything; good, bad and ugly and still feeling it.

This is where I have moved on. For some who read this it might not seem I have moved on because I am writing about it two years after the fact. The reason I write about it and even talk about it is because it might help someone else. I don’t even look at the years we were married as a waste. There were some awesome times, there were memories. That’s the past. Moving on is seeing the mistakes that were made in the marriage. If he had honestly been in love with me we would still be together. That’s not to say he’s wrong I am right or even vice versa.

I personally don’t believe that starting a new relationship or jumping into a relationship, when the two people can’t even fix the current marriages they are in is solving anything. New relationships don’t breed new people. It’s obvious him and I have a difference of opinion. I’ve said all I needed to say to both of them and more than what they wanted to hear. If they are happy together, good for them. I am happy as well.

Moving on is being happy and loving every moment of it.

Letting Go; Moving On; And Loving Every Minute of it

The Letting Go Part:

I cannot say when the “letting go” will happen or even how it happens. It just does, when you are ready. Everyone is different with the healing process. I will say this however, if the healing process takes longer than 2 years consider talking to a counselor. It is not shameful; it is not even weakness.

For me personally I think the letting go took a little longer, because of the situation. Jack and I are still married! So all the crap he has done, from the moment he left me the sentence always ends….we are still married. The kids around the girlfriend, days, weeks after he left….we are still married. Him moving in with the girlfriend and her 3 kids…we are still married. I don’t care that it is 2012 and our society takes marriage as a joke by having 55 hour marriages or 6 month marriages.

The letting go for me has taken place. Is it perfect? Is it in full affect? No I am only human . It’s the best it’s is going to get at this moment. Most of the letting go is for me, to maintain sanity; but a majority of it is also for my children. Despite the fact my children were the reason I would get so ticked at Jack’s actions and stand up for them. The kids do not need to see their parent with another partner while they are still married to the other parent. That’s not the example parents should be showing their children. I don’t care if it’s Jack, a man or woman I am still going to have the same opinion on it. I’m not a perfect parent. No one ever is a perfect parent. I also realized after talking with a great friend that I’ve been trying to save face for Jack, for the sake of his kids. It’s not my responsibility. It’s also not my responsibility to throw him under the bus either. It’s very hard to do both, but if I don’t just let it all go, I will lose my ever loving mind and my kids will end up getting hurt.

When did I know the letting go was taking place? The weekend that my son and I went on our over night camping trip. That Friday I picked him up at Jack and the girlfriends house. The girlfriend was out in the yard making her presence known. My daughter came running up to me while I sat in my car on the other side of the street waiting for my son. My daughter and I were talking and out of the corner of my eye I saw the girlfriend give my son a big hug. I didn’t care. There was NO feeling what so ever. I have no doubt the girlfriend loves my children. In the mere nano seconds I did notice, I saw it was a genuine hug. (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take notice cause I am a women….we notice and see everything).

Jack came over to the car handed me the 500.00 for this month that he has graciously given to help financially with the children, said he would drop our daughter off after work on that Sunday around 6. I just asked who was watching her while he worked and he said “she is,” with his eyes darting over to the girlfriend. I didn’t respond…I did roll my eyes though I am sure and didn’t say a darned word. My only response was that I would call him once my son and I came out of the mountains. Long gone are the days of me rushing to accommodate him. This was time for my son and I; I was not rushing back on account of Jack.

I am not sure if he was waiting for a fight. Before, the fact that she was watching my kids would have caused a fight. His words before, would have come on like a heart attack before. What can’t do it yourself big boy? Nope not this time. As much as I would have taken my daughter with us; my son and I needed this time together, without little sister. It might be catty but at this point my thoughts are, she wanted Jack bad enough, she gets the whole deal. That is not to say I am going to use her or even Jack for that matter. But there will come times when I may need to go out of town or want to take my son or my daughter; not both to something and Jack will be the first one I call to take care of the other one. When that does happen, I am sure I will get flack and be judged by them and I am not going to have any sympathy or feelings of guilt because for 13.5 years while married to Jack I never knew what a break was, or all the stuff he got to do in those years of marriage and I ended up taking care of the kids. Kick it on in the driveway buddy. So that weekend…I did let go. Like I said it’s not perfect.

Here’s what I have learned about the letting go part. Maybe some will not agree with me but it’s like the forgiveness and forgetting. We can forgive someone for what they have done to us; but we don’t ever forget the hurt that they have caused. Even when we stop hurting, we do not forget what was done. I recall sitting in church shortly after Jack and I separated and the sermon was about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the other person who has hurt you or done wrong. Forgiveness is for that person who has been hurt to help them heal. I do not believe in the saying “Forgive and forget.” I seriously doubt a family member who has forgiven a murderer for taking their loved one away is going to “forget” that their loved one was taken away from them. I have forgiven and let go of things people have done in the past to me; but I haven’t forgotten.

Learning What Marriage Is….and Isn’t

Have you ever looked at your ex, soon to be ex or whatever it might be that you might want to call it and wonder, “why the hell did I marry you?” Then it hits me…I was 19 stupid and believed every word he said. I am sure he’s pondered the very same question a time or two with me. It is what it is.

Jack (I call him Jack because I think it’s funny), was close to 30 when he met me; I was 18. We met online…he started the lie of how we met on a skiing trip. He didn’t want to deal with the questions and the snubs from others of how we met online.

It was fast; I knew it. I was young and dumb–I will admit it. He came to see me in Jan 1997 and by Feb 2, 1997 I was flying down to see him. My mother was flipping out. No…flip out isn’t the right word. Mama bear? Raging lunatic? Mama Raging Lunatic Bear. Yup that’s it. Me, trying to spread my wings, “he loves me.” Her and I were down each other throats. Why do we as children think our parents are idiots? And they haven’t experienced life? In true fashion and like many children before me have done–I didn’t heed my mother’s advice.

I was only going for 2 weeks. How bad could it be? Well, two weeks later I ended up staying. Jack proposed to me while having sex Feb 12, 1997. Okay OKAY I know ….now; you don’t marry the man that does this. That wasn’t in the YM magazine. March 4th….found out I was pregnant; two days after my 19th birthday.

It’s hard to not look at hind sight. You truly see things a whole lot clearer. Jack would say that I live in a fairy tale world. Honey, that was no fairy tale.

I look back at how young I was when I married him. Would I have made the same decision I did back then when I was so young and with little life experience? No I wouldn’t.  There’s only one thing I won’t ever regret that came from the marriage; the children.  We all say that though don’t we?

And as surprising as it may be. I do not even regret the marriage.  Sometimes the paths we choose need to have some negative in them. Every life experience has a fork in the road. And yes sometimes we take the wrong path. However, if we are paying attention when we realize the pathway was wrong; we also notice there are other pathways.

I didn’t realize I was on the wrong pathway while married to Jack. I knew our path wasn’t perfect, but what marriage pathway is? It honestly took me, being away from him to realize; he wasn’t the one for me.

For so many years I thought it was me; because he told me it was.  While most people that know me will say I am shy. I think one of the things they would also say about me is. She does not sit down and be quiet. I would stand up to Jack and voice my opinions, my concerns.  It wasn’t that my concerns and my opinions went unheard. He heard them every time I said them, yelled them or showed them. The problem Jack didn’t care. There was only one person that Jack cared about and that was himself.

In the two years since he has left I have learned a lot since he’s been gone. He would obviously not agree with what I have come up with about the marriage and about the relationship. One of the best things I have done since he has left is TALK. He stated early on in the marriage he didn’t want our personal life talked about when I would go to friends houses. Not that I went out a lot; but now that statement makes me wonder. Why? Then when I started talking about it once he left; I realized why. Men and woman both said to me that how he treated me was wrong. In the beginning I would make excuses for Jack. But I didn’t keep the housecleaned, I was always moody, I was this…I did that. My friends would look at me and say “it doesn’t matter. Why were you doing those things?”

The problem; the fall of our marriage didn’t happen overnight. When Jack left I looked back at 13.5 years of marriage. It honestly started right from the beginning but I was too blind….too in love to see. Jack had to control everything. He was so calculating at it that he would make it sound logical.  And in the beginning it was the simplest of things. He was able to change your mind because in the beginning it made sense to some degree. Of course he made promises.

The biggest example right at the beginning. Our wedding. We had talked about a wedding in June. Then when I became pregnant we had to get married right away even though I said we didn’t have to. His logic was the military would not pay for my care if we were not married. My solution was I go back to Canada. That wasn’t satisfactory to him. He “wanted” me and the baby in North Carolina with him. Then he pointed out the relationship was so new we didn’t need to start a long distance relationship with a child. I wasn’t wanting this huge elaborate wedding. I wanted a wedding dress, our closest friends and a small wedding. Instead because of his logic I sacrificed what I wanted….to make him happy. And also based on the promise from him of when we renewed our vows in 5 years we would have that small wedding.

When it comes to any relationship you will make sacrifices. There is not one person out there that can say they have not made a sacrifice of their own happiness for someone. Whether that be a spouse, a parent/family member, a  best friend.  You will put their happiness over yours.  At what cost? I sacrificed a lot and when he left I honestly can’t tell you who I was more mad at him or me. Him for being such a heartless jerk. Or me for allowing him have that much hold on me. I loved him; Lord knows I loved him. I look back at our marriage and I cringe at what I sacrificed to try to make him happy. They were not material things. My sacrifices  were my family, my friends, my values, my morals, my views, my thoughts, my dreams and even my heritage.  There is no relationship in this world that one should sacrifice any of these.

They say people change as they get older. I do believe this is true. The person I was at 19 is not the person I am at 34. Family has always been important to me; something that really wasn’t of great importance to Jack right from the beginning. Jack and I in the beginning had a “we are better than you attitude” We didn’t need our family. I made myself belief that I didn’t need the people that I left behind. I was better than them; look at me. I have a husband, I have a child. We are doing what we want to do.

I see the turning point for me it took place when I was 28 years old. When my mother died of fourth stage breast cancer in 2006. That’s when reality sunk in. I was 28 years old and as I am packing feverishly because my mother was rushed to the hospital within hours of her first chemo treatment. My husband looks at me and says you have to take the two year old with you. Because I can’t get off of work.  You look at him like he has 3 heads. You can’t call your work and tell them your mother in law has been rushed to the hospital and your wife has to go home? Then you get the it affects more than just “you” by him calling and asking his boss to switch him to days for a couple of weeks while his wife goes home to take care of her dying mother. I was being selfish.  Pardon me I thought it was a county police department that had 200 plus on the payroll; not Jack’s police department of one.

When you sit in that hospital room watching your mother die ever so slowly; you have a lot of time to think. Yes, all the coulda, shoulda, woulda’s come into your thought process. I could have come home more; we could have come home more. In the 9-10 years we had been married at this point “we” had only gone to my home town once, as a family. How many times did we go to his family’s where ever they were? Too many to count. I should have; we could have. We didn’t. Why? Because Jack’s logic was my home was too far. As I am sitting in the hospital room I am counting how many times my mother came to visit us…too many to count. She did it without gripe. And Jack would say it was easier for her to come see us as a single person than it was for “all of us” going to see her. I believed this logic for so long.

When I shared my feelings about this to Jack. He looked at me like I was crazy. He couldn’t understand why I was depressed after mom died. He told me early on I had to get over the death of my mother and move on. “Life goes on even when people die.”

I look back at the time mom was sick and when she died. I didn’t even see it then, but as much as I miss my mom; her death opened my eyes; but not right away.  I honestly didn’t see it until about a few months ago. Jack and I have been separated since June 13, 2010.

You really find out who your friends are and who truly loves you in troubling times. I loved Jack I didn’t want my marriage to end. It’s not that I never told him. Quit putting your family on the back burner; quit putting me on the back burner. He would always turn it around on me. It was always me that had the problem; not him.

Jack ended our marriage June 13, 2010. I remember as if it were yesterday. He was done, he couldn’t do this anymore. I looked at him and said “there’s the door; don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.” He looked at me as if I had slapped him in the face and told me he wasn’t expecting that response from me. “What were you expecting? Me to fall at your feet and beg you not to leave because I can’t live without you? If you think that is the kind of woman I am after 13 and a half years of marriage you don’t know me at all.” He left hours later and that’s when I found out the real reason he was leaving. He was having an affair with a female police officer that he worked with.

Just one more thing that confirmed who Jack was and how little he has respect for anyone. He told me he was tired of being the epicenter of the family. “You have to be here Jack to be the epicenter.” I could tell he didn’t like the fact I pointed that out. Again he turned it around on me that I was being yet again selfish and how could I say that he was never here. How could I say he wasn’t a good husband? It was actually pretty damn easy, after all it was the truth. Again he turned it around and said I wasn’t a good wife, mother or person. I was always going to need a man in my life to take care of me. I laughed, “I’m not the one leaving from here and going straight to the girlfriend now am I?”

For many people who have a relationship that ends, there are things that one has to get used to. I realized really quick I didn’t have to because I had lived that way for years. I was used to sleeping in the bed alone. It had been that way for about 12 years now. It had definitely been that way since he joined the police department in 2005 and worked nights for the past 5 years of our marriage. Some people have to get used to other things that the person does around the house, that’s no longer there. For women it might be someone not there to do the yard work; or for husband it’s might be getting used to cooking; whatever the case maybe…..I didn’t have to get used to any of that. There was only one thing that I had to get used to and that was going from dual income to single income. (I will get into this in another blog entry).

His epicenter remark was really falling to pieces in my opinion. It took less than two weeks after he left for me to realize for all he claimed he did, it was me that did it. I live in a dream world though. I was still responsible for the bills, the housework, the yard work, taking kids here and there, groceries, taking care of the kids when they were sick, taking them to the doctor, doing this doing that. I was used to not having the help.  I asked for it; but I never got it from Jack. I didn’t have to learn to be alone; I had all ready been alone.

In the almost two years I have been single…but still married to Jack, while he’s living with his fiancée and her 3 kids :D, I have learned a lot. In the beginning when he left I fought for our marriage. I fought for him. I believed in us. I believed that with work, in time all those wounds of everything that happened, would heal.  I didn’t want a divorce. Despite all the heartache and the hurtful words he said; I still loved Jack. This time last year I was still loving him. I didn’t want to stay married because of our kids. I didn’t want to stay married to him so he would pay for the rest of his life for the wrongs he had done. I told him we could do it. It would take work on both our parts. He looked at me and said “relationships shouldn’t take work they should just come natural.” and the ever famous, “I know me and I would never forgive someone having an affair. If I can’t do it, neither can you.”

As hard as it was; I gave up on Jack. When I gave up on Jack I realized I didn’t want a person like that in my life anymore. Jack is going to do whatever Jack is going to do. As Jack said all those years ago; “I do things to excess. I over do it. When I am done with it; I just walk away.” He was talking about sports and all his hobbies he had; but it applies to his relationships too.

I know now what I will and will not tolerate in any future relationships. At this point in my life; I don’t want a relationship. I am happy with it just being the kids and I.  I am happy being me. I am happy being an independent female. It’s not easy being a single mom. Jack would say I am not a single mom…he’s all ready told me, I am not a single mom. I don’t see anyone else around here doing it.

I can be who I want to be; not what someone else wants me to be; or think I should be. I might be a single mother; but I am far from alone. I have my children whose faces light up every day when I come home from work and not only rush to tell me about their day they ask me “mama how was your day?” I am a mom first and foremost. I have an amazing group of friends. I have made amazing friends from this journey. I have amazing amazing family. Most of all; I still have me, my self respect and my dignity.