Monday, March 18, 2013

Emotional Scarring

Think back: I was seeing this guy that I now call my ex-husband. The infatuation was intense, like a drug. Every time we got close, I wanted more. We both wanted to move on to the next part of life, whatever that meant. For him it was children. For me it was love. I didn't want kids. He didn't want marriage. We played a game of chicken, "I'll get married if you'll have kids with me."

Perspective is a funny thing. My ex- described me as insufferable and unstable. I got a glimpse of the other side of that imbalanced commitment. The demand from another person to FEEL something is as hard as demanding for another person to feel something.

I live in this cold place where I've insulated myself from attachment. The phantom pain of a broken marriage and custody arrangements deadens my senses. The wound I carry is slow to heal.

Monday, March 4, 2013

SXSW 2013, Technology Is A Perfect Respite

We, the contributors, do solemnly swear to take a break from the waxing and waning of our personal transformations in the wake of 'waking up from happily ever after' and get our grove on!! We're going to South By Southwest Interactive 2013 baby!

Why SXSW you ask? Well, because the contributors of this blog are FemTechbots (you like that label, huh? Just came up with that:) and we jump on any opportunity we can to expand our knowledge base.

Then there's this:
"What the Internet did for computers, female orgasm can do for human connection."
A panel dedicated to female orgasm as it relates to the nourishment of fundamental human needs and how it can make the world a better place?! Brilliant! Don't worry, we'll be taking extremely detailed notes to share with you! Follow every detail  @ScreamHappily.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Divorce As An Opportunity

Survivable Divorce ©2013
They say there are two events that can occur in a person’s life when the emotional consequences are almost identical, death and divorce. I think it’s almost easier to run through the stages of grieving a death than it is a divorce. When someone dies, there’s no chance of a different outcome. It’s final. When two people divorce–especially after having been married for a number of years and parenting children together–there is a long period of limbo during which you question if you're making the right decision. One wonders, “Divorce may be the right thing for me, but is it for my children? Is it for the person I’ve been married to all these years?” 

I know now why people don’t get divorced. It’s exhausting. It’s scary. It takes a long time. It’s expensive. If you have kids not only do you have to manage your own grieving process, you are responsible for managing theirs as well; how you handle theirs can mean the difference between them growing up to have healthy adult relationships of their own, or a lifetime of disappointing coupling and therapy bills. 

Divorce means being faced with the possibility that you will be alone. Alone. Humans, by nature, don’t like to be alone. I am about as big a loner as they come, and even I have moments of fear that I might get sick or old with no one around to hold my hand. 

Divorce leaves a person exposed to the judgment of others. It’s amazing how many people, all of a sudden, will care about your marital status. Everyone, and their God, will have an opinion as to whether or not a couple should go through with it. They mean well, but the only opinion that counts is that of the couple faced with the decision.  

Divorce (hopefully) forces one into self reflection, which in some cases is scarier than the possibility of spending Christmas alone. With no one around to take up space in the reflection of your bathroom mirror, there’s no one to look at but yourself. Do you like what you see? If you don’t like what you see, are you willing to do the work to change? The work It’s exhausting, it’s scary, it takes a long time, it’s expensive–which get’s me back to why I now know the reason people don’t get divorced. It doesn’t matter if the marriage is ending because of neglect, abuse, infidelity, or just plain's emotional overload. 

The process is the same for everyone, and it’s never an easy decision. A tremendous amount of courage is required–not everyone has it in them–but unlike death, divorce is survivable. Divorce can be a catalyst for personal growth if one chooses for it to be; this is how I choose it to be. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

When Everything Falls on the Floor

My girlfriend came to visit me after my divorce, a sort of divorce party. In the midst of all of my release of frustration and newly minted independence, I realize she's holding back. She's not mad about my increasingly painful stories.

I thought for sure this would be the weekend that would tip her over the edge. She would finally give in and tell me that she's been separated from her husband for six months. She would tell me he's working on a special project to get him financially independent while he's living in a trendy condo she helped him lease. She would tell me that he takes the kids three days so she can work in her studio.

She doesn't say any of this. There's a glow about her. It hits me and I nearly shout it:


She pauses and the sparkles light her face - Yes! She tells me how they've been connecting, how good she feels, and they've been having this great sex.

So I relent. I let her have her happiness, and I give her mine too. We go back to our purpose - celebrating my divorce and now her marriage too.

She texts me the day after she gets home: He admitted he's having an affair. We're getting divorced.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

He Sent Me to the Sex Shop

Not kidding. My therapist told me that if I wanted to... you know... I should hit up the toy store. He said batteries cause us considerably less trouble and distraction than a relationship. Consider it a prosthetic. I was about to say, "What's the fun in that?", but .... there is fun in that. And... I don't have a lot of room for drama, so the idea seemed like a good one. I went to the store, and picked out something pretty with potential function.

The trouble was that I hadn't fully planned the logistics of this day. I stopped at the shop between his office and mine. I tucked it away deep down into my huge tote bag. I couldn't figure out where to carry this kind of an object where it would stay concealed from my coworkers and children. My big purse was surely something I would keep close to me.

[Segway] There's this thing they do in my county. They require divorcing couples with children to attend mediation. There's a preparatory meeting for this. You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse attend with a group of other soon-to-be-divorced couples in a room at the courthouse. They play a video and everything. It's a big singles party.

I'm walking up to the courthouse for my mandatory-mediation-preparation-singles-party. This is my first visit to family court. You have to go through a Compton-looking security scene where all of your items are X-rayed to prevent contraband. They have all of these notices encouraging victims to speak up about protection orders. Safety first.

And, now the county courthouse has an X-ray image of my newly purchased vibrator.

No More Battles...

Some once told me that you don't know how good you feel until you feel better. It's amazing how much energy it takes to fight with your partner, and funny how you don't realize how much you are fighting until you don't have to anymore...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Battling the Silence

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

This actually happened, and I almost cried. The quiet can be deadly.

And so I filled it.

12 wrapped presents
11 meals planned
10 cards signed
9 holiday crafts
8 logs on fire
7 pictures framed
6 projects finished
5 home made stockings
4 mall trips
3 Christmas movies
2 cocktails
1 happy girl

An Online Dating Profile Rough Draft

I love horseback riding and long walks on the beach...kidding. Let's see...I am an art lover, dog lover, kid lover (my own at least). I prefer color over black and white. Texas sized furniture and people who say, "I'll pray for you" bug the bejeezus out of me. I won't read Fifty Shades of Grey because I think it's trash writing, but I will watch Real Housewives of Atlanta because it's trash viewing (I can't tolerate bad writing, but I have no problem DVR'ing reality TV). I like music that tells a story and steer away from love sick ballads. Creativity is my biggest turn on, along with anything Macintosh (I'm a sucker for shiny objects with responsive design). I own my own business: this makes me either really really smart or plain certifiable. I'm probably a little of both, which is something I like to be totally upfront about so that if things don't work out I can't be blamed for not disclosing my propensity for crazy.

I am 100% totally unsure of posting a profile on this site..which is weird since I’m a blogger and put all my shit out there on a weekly basis...but here I am. Not that I'm really even ready to date, I wouldn't remember how to act on one it's been so long. Yes, I was married for several years and ended badly...but damn I heart living sans man. No offense...but y’all are messy. My next relationship should be with someone with OCD, but on the I-can’t-stand-my-closet-to-be-messy end of the spectrum. Someone who has to flick the lights on and off ten times before leaving the room might be a little too much for me to handle. I already have kids, I’m not looking to add to the stress level.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How to Leave a Narcissist

This is the most amazing video and vlogger.

On the Wrong Side of Disagreement

When my husband first asked me for a divorce, he told me I should go sleep at my mom's apartment and just pay his bills. Here's where he was on that request:

1 - He was having an affair.
2 - He was unemployed.
3 - He was staring at his huge stack of debt from three failed businesses, one of which was a bankruptcy his father filed listing him as a creditor.
3 - He would play Nine Inch Nails in my bedroom with all the lights on while I tried to sleep. 
4 - I had to ask him to stop spanking our daughter.
5 - Our son cried to me not to leave him  because he didn't want to go to the park with his dad's lover.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How To Confront A Homewrecker, Part 2

My second opportunity to confront the Homewrecker came about a month after the affair was unearthed and he cried (yes, literally) that he would never speak to her again. At this point, I was resolved to getting a divorce and was spending a lot of energy on getting him used to the idea. I say that because he was spending a lot of his energy on trying to convince me that she meant nothing to him, that he had no interest in being with her...give him another chance...blah, blah, blah. I believed him, which made me feel better. Not because I wanted to try to stay married, but because I felt better imagining that the father of my children wouldn't be such a terrible judge of character as to invite Cinderella's evil stepmother into their lives.

Then came bill paying time! The advantage of being born without a jealous bone in your body is that when you grow up and get married, your spouse will never imagine that you would actually look at things like phone call logs. A man who doesn't expect his wife will check up on him is a man who is lazy about covering his tracks, occasionally making the timeline between when you suspect he might be having an affair and being sure he is much shorter. Here we go again:

"There is nothing going on between us!", you think he'd stop using that line by now, huh?

"Then, what are y'all texting and talking about?"

"You told me you didn't care who I talk to. You told me you don't want to be with me anymore!" 

"Yes, and if you were talking to any girl you met in a bar or whatever I would be fine. But you opened up the lines of communication with the one person who caused so much chaos and pain. You were communicating with her at the same frequency as before. If there is nothing between you, what are y'all talking about?"

"I don't know, I was asking her how divorce works and telling her that I will do anything to get back with you." 

(No, read that right. No need to clean your glasses.)

"Can't you see how supremely inappropriate that is?"

"She's not a bad person. She's worried about you. She asks about the kids, I ask about her kids..."

"She's a terrible person! Don't you see? She doesn't give a shit about me. She's in LOVE with you. She's waiting for you to divorce me so she can make her move. If she cared about me, she would have contacted me immediately. She would have said: What's going on? I'm so sorry, this is all a terrible misunderstanding. There is nothing going on between me and your husband, let me clear this up for you! No.  Her response to me was--well divorce is never an easy two weren't happy anyway. That was the day I sent her the text messages and pictures I found on your phone of the two of you cuddling with each other like a couple of fucking teenagers. The day you came home and told me you ended your friendship with her and spent the rest of the day in bed crying and sleeping. She's made no attempt to contact me except to deflect her liability in all of this. I emailed her again when I found out y'all were speaking again this was her response...

On Sep 27, 2012, at 8:29 PM, LGG<> wrote: Wow

Unbelievable. You guys have been communicating non stop for the past 7 days, phone calls, multimedia text messages. You two have no respect for anyone but yourselves.

From: Mistress <>
To: LGG <>
RE: Wow


I am not sure why you have decided me communicating with him is disrespectful.  We had an issue and we resolved it.  That's it.  

You on the other hand, have already dropped the "married part" from your name and have no issue putting not so cryptic things about the demise of your marriage on Facebook.  I'm just saying.   

Divorce or no divorce, you terminated your relationship.  Who he talks to really shouldn't matter to you anymore. 

I really wish things were different.  You are both good people.  You just don't belong together.  There is no need for trash talking and negativity. 

It just didn't work out.


From: LGG <>
To: Mistress <>
RE: RE Wow

I terminated the relationship because of you, you dumb ass. Everything, my dear, I put on Facebook is carefully thought out and with the intention of people seeing it. I comment on the absurdity of life. You see what you see in my posts because of the part you play in the destruction of my marriage. You, my friend have no right to apply commentary to the "demise of my marriage", considering it was yours and his sexual dysfunction that created the problem. (But as he says it was just oral sex, "we didn't have an affair"...) I can't help but to think back to the story you told me about your trip to Vegas with your then husband, and the attractive man you played handsy or footsy with while your husband sat right next to you. 

You speak of the "issue" the two of you had that you resolved like it was a fight over who has better pizza-- Papa Johns or Domino's. Who he talks to is every bit my business, because I am still his WIFE and the mother of his children. And speaking of children, I am blocking the phone calls from you and your children to his phone. If he wants to live happily ever after with you, he can do it on your dime, not mine.

Keep watching my Facebook page, it's about to get really good! I don't want to give anything away, but the tag function will be coming in very handy:) Technology today has advanced so quickly, don't you think? Especially with those iPhones. Crazy how easy they are to hack into now days.*

I agree with you on one thing though, he and I are good people. You, on the other hand need therapy  .... I'm just sayin'.

*A bluff of course. The only phones I would ever feel comfortable hacking into are my children's or my ex-spouse's...two sets of people who have a history of lying to me about shit.

Is that at the response of a person who gives a shit about me?  There was no attempt at denial of what you guys have been doing. There's no attempt to explain her roll in any of this. She is a predator. The two of you betrayed me to my core, and that's why the sudden revival of phone calls and text messages between you is disturbing to me. You have to look at why you can't stop talking to her. You're in denial about your feelings toward her." 

He continued to deny--probably mostly to himself--that he still had feelings for her. It's hard to convince someone that they are lying to themselves. Lying to yourself is a survival skill actually. You lie to yourself when your fear of change is bigger than what the reality of it would actually be like, but you don't know that when you're in it. At least that's what I keep telling myself anyway.

How to Confront a Homewrecker, a different option

I have this envelope on my desk. It's thick, and I know what's in there, but I've never opened it.


I found a barett in my house - and a receipt for some wine, risotto, and cheese. He told me the barett was mine, and that he was at a buddy's house. I knew then.

The morning after I had the tracking unit installed on my truck, I was nervous he was going to find it. He was so cavalier, he didn't care what he did or who noticed. Or he didn't know how obvious it was. The very first night, he took off for one of these notorious nights where he disappeared.

When he got home, he told me he had been to the gym and to a bar. He fell asleep in the truck because it was such a nice night.

I called my PI first thing in the morning. I was all guns blazing. (Where was he? You know he wasn't at the gym or sleeping in his car.) He told me the address where my vehicle was parked from 10pm until 3am.

My PI followed him for another month while he took my kids with him on play dates with her and her daughters. He followed them to secret meeting points where neighbors wouldn't see my truck at her house. He followed them on an XXX-rated private picnic date.

I didn't ever confront him face to face about it. Maybe he thought I didn't know, or thought I was too weak to do anything about it.

What I did instead was I left him an abridged version of my envelope the day I emptied the house while he was at the zoo with the kids.

When I was safely with my children at my new home after that long day at the zoo, one of the moms in my son's kindergarten class got a knock on her door. Her husband answered. She shouts from the yard, "WHAT? Am I getting sued now?"

Her husband held her protectively as my PI handed her a 3rd matching envelope. A picture of her in a deep embrace with my husband fell on the ground.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How To Confront A Homewrecker, Part 1

I would give anything for a face to face I mean adult discussion with the woman who had such a key role in the break up of my marriage. Predictably, she avoided speaking with me and hid like the coward she is behind email. Poor thing. She had no way of knowing that I express myself so much better in writing...despite my being a notoriously bad proof reader. 

I began with a group text to the happy couple, waited about ten minutes, and then tried to call her. As the phone rang in my ear there was a part of me that hoped she would pick up and say something like, "Omg, I was just about to call you! This is all just a terrible misunderstanding. See, what happened was..." (Btw: two things that I really fucking hate are people over the age of thirty that use text-acronyms out loud, and people who rely solely on Facebook for their news. Both of which she does.) She didn't answer so, I emailed her:

On Sep 27, 2012, at 8:29 PM, LGG<> wrote:

I don't know why I expected you might have the courage to respond to me, but nothing surprises me now. I will be divorcing him, he's yours now. 

From: Mistress <>
To: LGG <>

Respond to what?  I'm sorry to hear about that, divorce is a tough process no matter how much the relationship has dissolved...I don't really think you two were happy together, but I certainly don't want him! I thought I knew him, but apparently I have no idea who he is. You will be much better off without him. I consider you a friend LGG.  I hope one day you will do the same.  

From: LGG <>
To: Mistress <>

That high IQ of yours tricks you into thinking that you can outsmart everyone. You, my friend, were having an emotional affair with my husband, and I'm not convinced that you didn't at some point share a kiss or fuck each other either. He admitted to me that you two decided mutually to break it off because your feelings for each other were getting to be to intense and it wasn't right–one day, literally, after he was trying to convince me that you really should be a bigger part of our lives and be named as the person who gets my kids if I die. Someday you'll come down from that pedestal you've put yourself on and admit to yourself that major boundaries were crossed. I hacked into his phone and I have many messages between the two of you that are clearly between two people who are more than just friends. Here's snapshots of a few, and the picture of the two of you that perhaps you didn't (but I know you did) see that I texted to you since you claim to be unsure of what you were supposed to "respond" to. The French caption says, "Everything has an end". A fool I am not, and a friend to me you never were. Oh, and sorry I ruined your plans for a trip with my husband to the beach and Morocco. Morocco is no place for you, especially under the eye of my mother and sister in law...who would never have accepted you. 

There are so many more supremely inappropriate "love" texts between the two of you, but the nausea I'm overcome with every time I look at them keeps me from sending them all to you. I should have paid more attention to our friend’s questions about the time you spend with my husband, but hind site is 20/20 as they say. I should have honored my instinct a long time ago to throw cold water on the two of you every time I saw you cuddling under my mother's "death blanket" as you called it (another example of your complete lack of empathy or boundaries for another person. Most people with a conscience would hear that and have some reverence for the life that was lost under that blanket, not continue to cuddle with the guy who's wife's mother had died a horrible death there.) And what grown up rough houses the way you two do? Grown ups who want to touch each other do. I hope it was all worth it for you both, all that I worked so hard for. It will never be the same for me, and any trust I had for either of you is gone. Thanks for the memories, cause I need some more really awful ones.

In response to your comment on how I will be better off without him I say: A patronizing tone always has its meaner side. There are those that are not able to pick up on it in the written word as well...I am not one of those people. "Look closely at those who patronize you. Half are unfeeling, half untaught." J.W. Von Goethe (he was a 19th century German poet, but you probably know that, being the genius* that you are.)

*Side Note: The first time I met this chick was when my husband invited her and her kids to dinner at our house. During the pretending-to-care-about-getting-to-know-you portion of the evening, she told me that she was a genius. I laughed assuming she was being witty and she said, “No seriously. I scored like a 140 on the IQ test.”  I’m no genius, but I don’t think it works like that. ‘Like’ is not really used to classify IQ scores. I told her that I scored a 108–someday I hope to work my way up to being diagnostically Average. 

She didn't respond to my RE:RE, but I would have another opportunity to voice myself to her.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What's This Going To Cost Me??

I don't mean the divorce cost. My divorce cost many thousands of unaccounted dollars. The attorneys fees are just one layer. An innumerable amount of divorce costs are sunk in extra winter coats, therapy, miles driven to exchange locations, and happy meal toys because you suddenly feel guilty as if you can only give your children half of a life.

What does dealing with him cost me emotionally? This is how I make decisions on whether to indulge in a negotiation. When he asks for demands something, I think to myself, "what is that going to cost me?"

CASE 1: He wants extra time with our son on his birthday. Well, that seems reasonable. But how far am I willing to go to make this happen for the both of them? I have a party planned, and we have two other children. I could run out just before the party starts, no big deal - so I ask for more details and propose the time and location. He never responds. I guess it wasn't that big of a deal to him either. Cost: Zero.

Case 2: He wants to change the meetup location 35 minutes before we're supposed to meet. Um, ok. Where? Well, ok. That seems like no big deal. Well, the thing is he said TARGET, but what he meant was WALMART. They're across the street from each other. He didn't have his phone on him. And traffic in this location on Friday at 5:30 is insane. I waited in front of that store for 30 minutes before he finally returned my call.
Cost: 45 minutes of the only 2 hours I was going to see my children this weekend.

Case 3: He wants to change the meetup location 1 hour before we're supposed to meet. Um. Ok. No. Well - wait. I want to take the kids to a special event downtown. Yes. I'll meet you. And in return you can meet me downtown. He spent the next hour denying that request and demanding that I do things his way. He didn't show up to pick them at my proposed location, and then he threatened me on the phone if I didn't bring them back. An hour late, I get there. The kids ask him why he didn't pick them up. He told them that their mother lied to them and him. When I interrupt to ask him to address me privately away from the children, he shouts at me, "I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO CONTINUE TO PERPETUATE THESE LIES!" Cost: We'll see.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hiding Behind Beveled Glass Front Doors

I have this neighbor. We have been living across from each other for about four years now. The only thing we have in common is that (unfortunately) our kids like to play with each other. She is a very nice lady, but she is one of those people that is painfully hard to have a conversation with. There are always these painfully long pauses between sentences because either her parents never taught her how to have a conversation, or she and I just aren’t a good match...which seems to be a theme I have adopted lately in my relationships.

Anyway, the other day my kids were playing with their gang unsupervised in our cul-de- sac (well, I’m sure someone was supervising, it just wasn’t me). When it was time for them to come in for dinner I started to open the front door to call them in and...dammit! She’s standing out there! I stood there watching for a minute. I thought maybe she’d go back into her house without seeing me. You know what makes is really hard to hide from your neighbors? A front door made mostly of beveled glass. She looked at my door right when I was about to duck out of view and our eyes locked. Too late to hide! She smiled and waved and in that second I knew that she knew that I was at my door to call my kids in. If I didn’t go out to chat that would be rude. I live in the suburbs. I don’t know why, but there is a wild suburban phenomena that compels one to know their neighbors. I went my whole life without knowing one person I have ever lived next to. I move to a Texas suburb and all of a sudden not only am I on a first name basis with just about every housewife on my street, but I know most of their life stories and they know mine (Well, a lot of it anyway. There are some things your neighbors are better off not knowing about you. Like: if you didn’t kill every plant you’ve ever tried to take care of you’d grow a marijuana plant from a seedling in your backyard. I’m speaking purely hypothetically mind you. I would never try that).

One of the reasons I have been avoiding this woman is that since my husband moved out I haven’t wanted to explain to her why she doesn’t see his car in the driveway anymore. You are probably wondering why I would feel like I had to tell her anything at all. If you are then you probably aren’t a housewife living in a Texas suburb because you would intuitively know that it’s due to the phenomena I mentioned earlier. So, we’re standing there (on our cul-de-sac) and she says to me, “I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I was devastated when you told me you and your husband are separated and you plan on divorcing. You two are such a hip, cool couple. I just can’t believe that you aren’t going to stay married. I want you to know that I’m really praying that you stay together. It would be the best thing for the kids, don’t you think?” No she did not just say that to me. 

I realized then why there is so much awkwardness between us–she and I live on the same street on different planets. The year is 2012 on my planet, it’s 1952 on hers. I couldn’t help but wonder when it was that she found out her husband had cheated on her. Perhaps some of her awkwardness comes from her crushed self esteem. 

I said to her without one ounce of the sarcasm would have if it were someone who was coming from a place of judgement, “I really am touched by your concern. Please, don’t worry. We are all going to get through this and come out the other side stronger for it.” She just looked at me. She said nothing. Then looked at the kids. I don’t know if it were her’s or mine that she was watching, but I seized the moment. I continued, “You know, the kids are going to be fine because when the parents are happy, the kids are happy. Some people think that they have to stay in bad marriages for the sake of their kids. I think that nothing could be worse for a child than to live in a house where there is unspoken anger and hurt. We think we can hide our hurt from our kids, but we can’t. They know, and it is so dangerous because a kid will internalize their mother’s pain. They will try to fix it, and they won’t be able to because they aren’t capable of it. That kind of thing leaves a very negative imprint on a kid’s heart and that is what I am fighting like hell to avoid.”

The funny thing is, since we had that conversation I feel more comfortable around her now. I won’t try to hide from her behind my beveled glass front door anymore, and maybe she’ll be able to stop hiding behind hers too. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Little Men

What do you do when your son tells you that he wants to have dark hair? He says he wants to be as handsome as daddy when he grows up.

Well, I don't know what you're supposed to do. I hugged him. I told him he is handsome and perfect and that I will love him forever. He said he loves me too. He told me I was 'huggable', and then he cradled himself closer to me.

I'm afraid he's going to like his life with his dad better than with me. I'm afraid that his dad is going to take that moment and rob me of the rest of my life with my kids. I'm afraid my son will grow up in the image of his father.

He doesn't remember that I stayed at home with him for 3 1/2 years, breastfeeding for 13 months, and carrying him a full 42-week term. He doesn't remember waking me twice a night for 9 months, but he knows how to crawl into bed next to me without waking me. He doesn't remember the years of songs I sang, but he knows all the lyrics and shouts the funny parts when we drive to school. He doesn't remember the activities, play dates, and crafts, but he looks forward to the weekend because he knows it is going to be fun.

He knows contentment. He knows where he's safe. He'll keep that.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Endorphins Make Me Do It

     Okay. This is perhaps one of the greatest portrayals of a woman scorned I have ever seen. One will go through many states of feeling in the aftermath of an affair brought to light. Some days I feel like rising above my anger and digging around in the "This Is Going To Make Me A Better Person" state.

     And then there are days like today when I feel like, "Fuck this shit! I'm gonna need to rage a little more!" So, I watch Bernadine's over the top moment in the movie Waiting To Exhale to pump myself up again. I hate to admit that I actually set myself up to feel so mad - only because I've decided that I'm a Buddhist this week and that goes against what I am supposed to be about now - but it feels so GOOD going back into that state of rage! It's such an endorphin rush! Man, my days are filled with my seven and five year old's WWIII fights over who is a winner and who is a looser and who's mommy I am - no she's MY mommy, no she's MY mommy!- and calls from the bathroom every half hour to wipe my butt and what am I going to make for dinner and the seven year long nightMAREtime routine - Go to fuck to sleep! - all this is how I spend my weekends. My weekday routine is even more laborious, especially now that one of my kids in first grade this year and all of a sudden I..excuse me...he has homework every night.

So, I will take an endorphin rush anyway I can get it my friend. I press play on this clip and recite it word for word with Bernadine: and when she stands there smoking a cigarette watching her husband's car go up in flames with all his shit in it, I feel like I've been on freestyle ski trip and I sleep like a baby that night.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dear Men...some friendly advice.

Dear Men-Who-Have-Everything-To-Lose,

A little friendly advice, because I care about you as a member of the human race: 
Before you go and do something really stupid like give into that just-attractive-enough girl that gives you the slightest amount of attention remember - IT'S JUST SEX! It's twenty (and if you're really lucky thirty) minutes of your life. It's not worth loosing your family, your career, or your integrity over.  

You. Will. Get. Caught. 

You may not get caught this week, this month, or even this year but eventually your dumb ass will make mistake. 

You will either:
  • Accidentally send the text that was meant for your girlfriend to your wife.
  • Drink one too many beers at a party and brag to the wrong person about that hot piece of tail you landed last weekend.
  • Leave your email client open on your wife's computer.
  • Piss off your mistress (She will eventually get tired of your bullshit promises to leave your wife you dummy).
  • Use the debit card that's linked to your wife's checking account to pay for your date. (You really think she doesn't watch the online banking?)
  • Friend your mistress on Facebook where she'll like all your status updates and comment too often on the dumb shit you post.
  • Say something stupid to your wife like, "Well, you may not want to have sex with me tonight, but there are plenty of girls who do." Oh really?
  • Start wearing cologne when you leave your house in the afternoon to go to the gym or take the kids to playdate. Or even more suspicious: start going to the gym or playdate in the first place.

Please, I implore you: keep your head. (The big one on top of your shoulders. God you're easily distracted man!) There are ways to feel better in your own skin as you get older other than sex. Read a book. Find your passion (I mean a hobby dammit, not Internet porn). Get to know Jesus, or Buddha, or Muhammad, or Joseph Smith for all I care. Do whatever it takes to distract you from your penis, because - I'll say it again - if you do it: YOU. WILL. GET. CAUGHT. 


Monday, November 19, 2012

The 5 Stages Of A Cheater's Grief In The Digital Age

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Stage 4

Stage 5

Generally Stupid

I told my ex the other day, "You're not unique in this you know; even Generals can't keep from acting like fucking idiots. They even have staff to help them get there."

I don't mean to let him off the hook, but I couldn't help but to point this out to him the other day when he broke down in a pile of quivering sobs at my feet. He hates himself. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones because he is owning his mistakes. I'm lucky because I don't have to go months wondering what the truth is - he has come clean. I'm lucky because my humiliation wasn't on a national scale. I wonder if Holly Petraeus has at any point in the last week witnessed the same scene of her husband begging for forgiveness at her feet? I wonder if she has felt any pity for the man she thought she knew; the man who was so capable of humiliating her in such a public way? I imagine she hasn't had a chance to yet. The first few weeks of living life as 'betrayed' is like living in a tunnel of emotion; it's hard when you're in that tunnel to get the perspective you must have to feel pity for the one who has hurt you so deeply. 

I imagine Miss Holly will eventually feel some pity for him, but not before she kicks him in the face while he's sobbing at her feet.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It Isn't You, It's Me.

I have fallen in love with the vision of the man, not the man. I have a habit of doing this. The mind is so kind, amnesia helps us forget all the pain of reality.

I struggle to connect a person to their actions. I always go back for more.

This Thanksgiving marks 10 years since my first ex-husband slept with my then-best-friend.

Really, it must be me. There's too much of a pattern. My high school boyfriend broke up with me and a few months later his new girlfriend delivered their baby. My first ex-husband finally committed his undying love and affection for me after he slept with my best friend, which was unfortunately also after we were married. My second ex-husband and I had a child before our first anniversary. When I caught him cheating that first year, I was already pregnant.

Every walk of life I've met since then is suspect. Just when is it going to be revealed that he is cheating? How invested am I going to allow myself to get before I find this information out?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Status Updates

Dear Google, I'd like to click a button "Add Relationship" and have it be so. Did you write an app? It doesn't complete my profile or describe me.

Thanks anyway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Mean...It's a Yacht

I have this girlfriend. She makes me laugh. She tells me stories about me. She told me this anecdote the other day...

It's like this. You. You're on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You're just out there. You're just looking at the fish. "Hi pretty fish."

I scoff. She continues.

It's a nice a boat - I mean, it's a yacht.

(Ok, I'll take that.)

And you're looking at the water. You see the fish. Lots of fish. And you've got a fishing pole, and you tell them, "Someday, Fish! Someday I'll fish. Not today. Someday."

What about that one guy?

Oh, he's already on the stove in the galley. He's the scampi you asked for last week before you decided you don't eat shellfish. 


And this new guy... He threw himself up on your deck. You aren't ready to fish, so you have to decide to filet him or throw him back.

I totally dig her.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Cave Girl's Gotta Do What A Cave Girl's Gotta Do.

He wants our divorce to be like a Hollywood production. We used to talk about other couples we've heard of who get divorced, find new partners, and stay fantastic friends; spending holidays together and effortlessly creating a friendly atmosphere with their new families. We could have been like those couples if we had mutually decided to end it; but he didn't make that choice. He allowed himself to fall in love with another person and attempted to create a scenario where the three of us were best friends; a family. He chose not to tell me the minute he felt sexual attraction towards her. He chose not only to hide his feelings from me, but to bring her deeper into our circle of trust and made her (and her children) a part of our family's routine. He betrayed me, and it's the betrayal that makes it impossible for me to be friends the way we both imagined we would be if we had come to the decision together to go our separate ways. The way he imagines it should be now; but I will never trust him like I did before. The betrayal has altered how I view him; there is mistrust between us now, and as much as I would like to be able to depend on his friendship I will always be on guard. The truth is, I really hate that. I don't want to feel like that.

What is with with my inability to let go of the defense mode I fall into the minute I walk into the same room as him? I should be able to do this. I've been in and out of therapy since middle school. I'll ask my dad. He'll know how to handle this…he's a therapist. (I know, right? It's as if the Universe took a look at me and said, "That one gets the cheating husband. She'll cruise through it no problem".)

*Pause for hour long phone call with Therapist Daddy.*

I must have some good Karma to have landed a therapist for a dad. Here's what he said:

"You're defense goes up because you've gone into survival mode. You can't avoid it or talk yourself out of it because your response is a product of human's biological evolution."

Ahrr? Light bulb moment.

"You see; when we coupled as cave people, survival depended on loyalty to one another. Can you imagine what happened when cave man cheated on his partner; or even worse, he fell in love with someone other than the mother of his cave children? Cave man leaving cave woman for another cave woman probably would have been the ultimate betrayal in primitive societies. Betrayal could have meant certain death for cave woman and her children without the protection of cave man. 

So, if you believe what the evolutionary psychologists have to say about our perceptions of things like betrayal being programed into our DNA, then you have to believe that betrayal by the man you have children with (and loyalty to) is an impossible event to 'get over' completely. It fundamentally changes the way you perceive your partner." 

Well, I don't know about you but that makes PERFECT sense to me. I now give myself permission to continue rolling up into my armor like an Armadillo when I'm in contact with him. I am Cave Woman. Now, where the hell did I put my club?

Hey yani©2012! I hope you don't mind the talk bubble I added. Sincerely, Little Green Girl. 

The Grey Standard

My therapist has me hooked on this concept of "what happened" versus "what I made up about that".

I believe people are inherently good. I also think we want what we want. And when these two things come into conflict, the mind fuck begins.

The trick is being sane enough in your own inherent goodness, and controlling your impulses. Be patient. It will come around. It always comes around.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Let's roll back. I started seeing this great therapist in January. I've been brutally honest with him, and EEIIIEIIEE does that hurt. I mean, he knows some truths that nobody knows. I asked my then-husband to go with me. I asked him every week. I asked him until he shouted at me one day that he was never going to do that.

Then I left him.

A month later, I reminded him that I was still seeing this therapist. He got mad and refused to go because I also asked his dad and brother to support us and help him decide to go.

Time passed. Court dates came and left.

He sent me communication via attorney that he wanted the children to see a therapist. Oh joy of joys - so did I. My response included my tag line that he could also see a therapist, that I knew a guy. He launched into an outrageous rant.

Segway: I asked him for my son's homework sheet AGAIN (this has been a stupidly hard problem). I've sent emails, asked in person, sent text messages, even called them before leaving the house in the morning to say "hey - remember your coats and homework!"

Somewhere in the requests for homework, he decided he wanted to have a conversation. This guy has worked me for longer than I realize, and he's got good practice at it. He has cheated on me, lied to me, and manipulated me. He has pushed me, ignored me, and raged on me. He has thrown things at me, moved our furniture to the lawn, and yelled obscenities at me in front of our children. He intimidates and spanks our children.

So when he asked if we could have a conversation, I reminded him that he knew where to find me for this. I'm in a place where he can't hurt me any more. I'm with me, and I have a great therapist helping me to learn about emotional boundaries. Things that will protect me from villains like him and conversations like that one. He asked me if he could see my therapist.

He asked me if he could see my therapist under 3 conditions:
(1) It is for him, me, and the kids
(2) Nothing he says will be held against him in Court
(3) That I agree to sit down to a conversation with him and this therapist

There's no magic pill. Therapy hurts. It takes time. You have no idea the outcome. And it doesn't come with preconditions.

A few days later he texted - asking me to talk about something that happened at my son's school. Just chat. As if all of this is a myth. As if I created this situation in my head.

You know what I created? I created the myth of happily ever after. I was addicted to this dream that he could fulfill the role a man. I pretended he respected me. I made up a world where he loved me, and that it was enough. I looked the other way when he was miserable. I enabled his abuse.

My bet is that he has either no intention of seeing this counsellor, or lives under the pretext that if he could just talk to me I would realize that he isn't really as bad as all that. It's fine. I have an attorney too.

Here is what was new for me, the part I learned. I don't have to have the conversation with him. I'm under absolutely no obligation. I never have to talk to him again. I can be and do as I choose. Right now, I choose a glass of wine by the fire and my dog asleep on my feet. I choose not to listen to the babble of a baboon who thinks he is a fine father. We all get to make up things about ourselves.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Custodial Counter Proposal

I know this couple - they are "evolved". She said she was so thankful that she could still share the holidays with her ex. I found out later she was still sleeping with her ex. They still want/get to make each other suffer.

My chief complaint when my husband announced that he wanted out was the custody schedule. My counter proposal to his ridiculous calendar was that he and I both get to have full time custody. I was still in love with the dream that it was possible to stay married for life.

How do you make up a holiday schedule that allows my life to return to normal and does not involve manipulating my ex or spending time with him? Not only do I have to give up half of the week with my children, but now I have to decide which year I get which holiday. I have to wake up every other Christmas alone.

I used to prepare a huge meal on Thanksgiving for 20 people I called my family. It isn't that I won't find a way to spend the day. I'm going to do a charity run in the morning, and then volunteer at my church in the afternoon. It will be so much more rewarding than listening to my brother in law and father in law shout at each other about politics. I even have my Christmas shopping done 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.

We're supposed to be the adults and make it great for the kids, without regard for our own feelings on the matter. The objective is to do what is best for the kids. I'm better at celebrating holidays. Ergo, the kids will have better holidays with me. Done.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Can't Argue With Stupid

How do you co-parent? I feel like this is an amazingly painful buzz word reserved for those lucky humans that woke up, had an enlightened moment over coffee, and divorced "amicably".

Things happen all of the time outside of my control - earthquakes, blizzards, and car accidents. When my children ask for things, I'm not out of control. I'm a parent. Single or married, I can make the sound decision to allow or not allow something that is developmentally appropriate or not.

Allow me some latitude for just a moment...

My ex-husband and I were out to dinner a while back. He said to the waitress, "May I have some water, whenever you get a chance?"

This was crazy to me. She was a waitress. We had been sitting there 20 minutes, and we'd already asked for it twice. Why the additional tag line of "whenever you get a chance?"

He told me he was being nice. I vote that he was patronizing.

Now... I've been discredited for my incredible directness. I believe most situations have a limited number of responses, and flowery language to make the recipient feel good is superfluous. I believe that if I have asked a waitress for water once using "please" and I am expected to pay her for her service that I have adequately filled my duty for the request.

Return back to my present-day situation. My situation is the one where my ex-husband quit working for 2 1/2 years and then had an affair with the parent of one of the other children in our son's class.

My ex-husband's form of communication carries a fashion of grandiosity. If I choose to work with him, I'm rolling over. If I don't, I'm a bitch. Since I'm a bitch if I work with him or not, I choose to not roll over and I choose to speak up for myself.

Here's what happened. My daughter played us. She asked me for shoes with "ups" (high heels). I said she could have them when she was 10 and graduating from the fifth grade. She's 4. The next weekend, the boys tell me that their dad gave her a pair of high heel shoes. She didn't tell me. When she did tell me, she told me carefully and sheepishly. Rather than react to her, I chose to send a note to their father, "Hey guy, we got played. Let's not let this happen again."

I'm sure you know what happened.

He didn't give a shit, and he said I was being a bitch.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hind Sight Lenses

     Hy hind sight lens correction is giving me a headache. Every time I think I have a handle on "it is what it is", a new detail from what I now have titled The Great Love Affair 2012 comes to light and I'm right back clawing my way out of the Swamps of Sadness. Okay. I know that's a little dramatic, but slap a saddle on my back and call me Atrax. 

     When something as traumatic as your husband falling in love with another woman right under your nose happens, you spend a tremendous amount of time analysing hind sight events. Hind sight vision can be a great tool, but I'm beginning to realize (or remember) that if you're not careful, it can set you back in the healing process. I don't know if there is such a thing as having too much information. I don't know where the fill-to line is on the Knowledge is Power measuring cup; it's different for everyone. I do know that at this point mine is spilling over. I may feel differently next week, but this week - and it's only Tuesday - I don't think that I need one more reference note in The Great Love Affair 2012. Knowing more details like so-and-so saw the two of them too close for any one's comfort but their own - much to my own chagrin - doesn't give me the satisfaction it did a week ago. A week ago, I couldn't get enough of the sordid details. Every detail was an affirmation that no, I'm not over reacting by asking him to leave or wanting a divorce. Every detail validated me and made me feel stronger in my decision. But this week, the rage that accompanies details is exhausting. 

The healing process is a tricky one, no matter what the traumatic event. You have to really pay attention to the stages and make sure that the time you spend in each one is the right amount of time for you to heal. Denial, humiliation, rage, grief, disbelief, blame, acceptance of your part to play; these are all invaluable to healing. But, if you spend too much time in any one of them you stay stuck. Stuck is no place to live.