Online Dating Advice for Women p2: Where I Begin To Rest My Case.

So, interestingly, the amount of women that all of a sudden seem to be flirting or showing interest is surprisingly high.  I’m admitting to perhaps misreading their signals, but the ones I’m referencing are all ensuring that I know they are single at some point in our conversation so I don’t think I’m way off-base here.

I’m not advertising my relationship status other than not wearing a wedding ring, but I’m not hiding it either if/when it comes up in conversation.  It’s an odd feeling and if I’m being completely honest, it makes me feel good.  Especially because these are somewhat attractive women who are showing all of the signals of being attracted to me and wanting to get to know me better.  Some of their questions are surprisingly bold and are inquiries into intimate parts of my previous marriage much faster than I would have expected to have come up.  (I’m not sure how comfortable I am talking about them.  It still seems like I’m sharing more about my X than is proper.  Almost like a breach of trust.  I wonder what that’s all about?)

I’m sure there is a whole host of dynamics that would come into play should I desire any sort of relationship other than as an acquaintance, and I can’t help but have my mind wander briefly down than that path as we converse.  They all seem normal, intelligent, non-trainwreck women.  However, I also get a feeling they are somewhat lonely and desperate.  Perhaps I’m misinterpreting confidence or some other positive emotional aspect of their psyche for desperation, but I just don’t think so.

I think I hit onto something previously when I talked about the probable internal emotional dynamics of single women in their 40’s.  They are faced with the prospect of being single for the rest of their lives and find themselves in competition with women a decade or so younger than they are for the same small pool of GM and it scares them into a reality check.  Or rather, it should scare them into a reality check.  Their primary currency was their beauty and access to sex.  At forty their beauty is fading and I am making a big leap here (beware, completely unproven theory ahead) and going to guess that they are going to be much more liberal with their usage of their sexuality in order to land a man.  I say this for several reasons:

  1. I’m thinking that the ratio based on the number of available GM/Women is grossly skewed in that there are far more women than GM.  Every woman can offer sex but not every available man is a relationship material GM, ergo, the GM will have many more women available to him than women will have GM available to her.
  2. There is an assumption that she has matured and is much more comfortable with her sexuality.  It’s highly unlikely to find a virgin in the late 30’s or 40’s (If you are still holding out for the right man and for marriage then I commend you.  It’s honorable and wonderful but I’m wondering if your standards aren’t just a bit too high?  Think about it.) and although there is supposed to be some emotional attachment and discernment into who you sleep with, it’s assumed to not be as big a deal as when you were closer to having kept your maidenhood.
  3. It’s still your primary bait in your effort to snag a mate.  It’s basically the only thing that a man can’t get for himself (you know what I mean, don’t nitpick my words.)    It’s worked for you in the past so why wouldn’t it work in the future?

For me, and it’s admittedly a new development but, it feels as if I have the power in the relationship dynamics.  I don’t think I can quite articulate it better than it feels as if I get to make all the decisions from here on out.  I am the prize so now I get to make the rules.  I can be very particular about who I spend my valuable time and resources on.  So, perhaps my opinion is self-reinforcing but my belief that early twenty-something women have the power by virtue of having a pussy and forty-something men (good and decent men specifically,) have the power simply by being relationship material seems to be validated.

Solely for research purposes (ok, not totally true…I’m browsing but with no intention to buy,) I wandered on back to a popular on-line dating site and again, it appears some of my hypothesis’ are validated.

As an example, I present exhibit A.  She’s thirty-nine and based on her picture is a high 6/10 at best.  Here is her unedited (other than location,) summary with my comments after:

Okkkkay. Born in xxxxxx before it was cool. Live in xxxxxx. I’m a hairstylist- I love to make people look good!! I’m a Mommy to 2 little spoiled-brat furbebes. I love men who love to cook, shop, dance & lipsync. I recently started liking sports. I wish I could act. I love an outgoing fun-ny guy. ..who likes to give massages, go to antique shows- binge netflix, takes pride in his appearance..Must dig my chihuahuas!

  • Overall grammatic style is that of someone who posts frequently on social media.  Already there are concerns about inflated self-worth and entitlement.
  • So, she’s a hairstylist which means she makes about $40-45k at the extreme top end of her pay grade with very minimal opportunity for increase.  This also means she works an irregular schedule that includes many nights and weekends (my X is an extremely talented hair stylist, so I know more about hair and make-up than any straight man should.)
  • She likely doesn’t have kids as exhibited by a lack of mentioning them as well as the way she refers to her pets.  Which makes me wonder if it was by her choice or the fact that nobody would make a family with her?  As in, she wasn’t ever wife material to someone?
  •  The cutesy and novel spelling of “furbaby,” suggests that she is way off her rocker in regards to putting those animals on pedestals.  Definitely has a serious case of what I am now coining as Barren Womb Syndrome (BWS.)  I.E. An unfulfilled maternal drive has caused her to lose her mind.
  • She wants men who do the things she wants to do.  It seems like she expects it.  She still thinks that her beauty and her pussy is going to drive men crazy so that they are at her beck and call.  She doesn’t have to do anything other than allow them to entertain her or throw them a token lay every now and then.  Which, of course, they should just shut-up and be thankful for.
  • She doesn’t provide any description of what she brings to the table or why any sane man would choose to be with her.  What does she have to offer other than an expectation that her needs be met by men?
  • All in all, although there are always going to be men who will do anything to get laid, she’s absolutely the type to piss and moan about how there aren’t any GM out there anymore.  When in reality any GM is going to look at all of the options that appear to be available and leave her to wallow in her entitlement and selfishness.


Exhibit B:  35 years old and never married.  No kids referenced and based on the picture it doesn’t appear that she has any.  Attractive with a nice figure but nothing physically remarkable to make her stand out from all of the other attractive women out there.  Plus, the picture is of her in full make-up and a little black cocktail dress with ample cleavage so, there is certainly some false advertising.  Also, and although I commend her for trying to put her best foot forward, any knowledgeable man is going to know that this is not her normal look.  (Or at least, I hope its not her normal look because that would bring about a whole other level of pain in the ass high maintenance.)  My take on her picture is that its also a signal that she is likely not interested in a humble man with a humble job.  The way she presents herself and given her age I get the impression that she’s still waiting for that McDreamy or McSteamy to swoop in and save her.

Her unedited summary and my analysis:

I have a great sense of humor and would like to meet a gentlemen who know’s how to treat a lady! I’m open for just about anything!

  • Although she thinks she has a great sense of humor, what else does she have to offer?  I’m sorry ladies, but by and large you aren’t particularly funny to men.
  • I am assuming part of treating a lady is doting on her and spending money on her?  To be thirty-five, attractive, and never-married tells me that she either spent much of her dating life spending time with the wrong type of man or she has the false sense of entitlement when it comes to the qualities that her man *must* have.  Alternative option is that the drama she brings to the table turned any GM off that she did manage to date or enter into a relationship with.
  • The accumulation of details surrounding her combined with her last sentence tells me that she isn’t done “having fun,” yet.  Which means that she has probably slept around.  Which, as a GM, does not make me want to “wife her up.”
  • Last but not least, my opinion is that she has probably “friend-zoned,” a decent number of GM.  Which, in her case, is where all the GM have gone.

I wish to add a couple more points of advice for women out there:

  1. Stop using the damn filter to hide your face and eyes.  I want to know what you look like and what I’m going to be seeing as I look over my coffee cup in the morning.  The first dozen times I saw that stuff it was amusing.  Now, it’s boring.
  2. Make sure you smile.  I’ve been bitched at and seen the look of disappointment on a womans face when I’ve let her down (fairly or not,) enough in my life that I don’t need to already know what your pissed off face looks like.  I’ve spent the past few years walking on eggshells due to a poor temper, I’m not going to do it anymore.  If you’re lucky I’ll tell you to “Fuck Off,” but I’m more likely to just ignore you and walk away, never to return.  Which means you’d have missed your shot at an available (eventually,) GM.  As an added bonus I get to see your teeth and you look more attractive.
  3. At least make an effort to look attractive.  Certainly, your attitude may be “if he doesn’t appreciate me for me then screw him.”  It’s absolutely logical and I get it.  I feel the same way.  However, the initial decision to even possibly consider finding out more about you is solely based on your appearance.  Going back to an economic principal here, I know that the qualities I possess are going to be in high demand in the relationship market.  I can avoid to be choosy about who gets my attention.  Disregard me here at your peril and if you do then I hope you’re prepared to spend a lot of time alone or in the company of the type of you guy you should likely be avoiding rather than attracting.

Last, I realize I’m deviating from exploring the depths of my soul as I try and put my life back together post-divorce.  The reality is, today I feel like I’m in a pretty good place with it all.  I have yet to not be “OK,” with my decision.  I suspect its because it took me so long to reach this point and all of the agonizing over this decision is over.  Or at least, I selfishly hope it’s over.

The X and I are, by and large, getting along smashingly.  As expected, she’s having periods of time where she realizes how much she fucked herself on this.  When/if she hits the dating market it’s possibly going to be worse.  I feel a little bad for her about that.  I also still feel bad for her that she’s losing the life that she “loves.” (her words.)  I still feel bad for my kids and grandkid that they’re going to be going through some pain.  Those feelings I don’t like.  Those feelings aren’t something I’m hiding from, its just that they aren’t painfully overwhelming as of late.  I’m sure those will come back with a vengeance once our lives are completely seperate.

As it regards to the X though, I have a hard time feeling too awfully bad for her since she made the choice (consciously or not,) to act the way she chose to act.  As I’ve said, you can’t treat your husband (or wife,) poorly for very long and not expect it to have an effect on your marriage.

I never cheated.  I never spent money discussing it with her.  I didn’t have secret addictions or things I refused to share.  I am a great Dad although in hindsight there’s things I could have done better, but I tried.  I worked my ass off and sacrificed in an effort to provide for my family.  By all accounts, I’m in the top 10% of earners for my geographic region ($150k a year when the median income is $52k,) and I’m not a workaholic either.  Overall I tried to be as emotionally supportive and compassionate as I could.  I’m emotionally stable and dependable.  I’m intelligent and not prone to laziness.  I’m handy and like to cook.  Although I have no issues with household chores, in full disclosure I could have been better with this.  I am physically affectionate and attentive and quite proficient both in the sack and at backrubs.  I am or was liberal in my efforts to remind her that I loved her (including saying the words,) and greeted her every day with a kiss, hug, and genuine desire to find out about her day.  I frequently complimented her because I knew she struggled with self-esteem and…well…because she actually was beautiful and smart and I was proud of how hard she worked at things.  I don’t get jealous and actually encouraged her to go and have fun with her friends.  I’m masculine and not in danger of being “too nice,” or a pushover in anyway.  I’m still in somewhat good shape and there are no doubts of my ability to protect those I love.  But wait there’s more….I’m willing to consider that I may be blissfully ignorant due to sheer arrogance, but I am pretty damn sure I know what I bring to the table as it regards to a male/female relationship.  I also believe that I am first round draft pick when it comes to what women my age (or younger, ha!) are looking for in a partner.  Again, I’m willing to consider that I’m ignorantly arrogant (arrogantly ignorant?) with a skewed self-image.  I don’t think that’s the case, but I’m willing to consider it.

Something I read on-line somewhere sort-of sticks in my mind.  The gist of it was that a woman was bitching about her husband for something that was relatively trivial.  As in, he wasn’t especially open with his feelings and he didn’t want to go to the theater with her sort of trivial (I don’t know if this was it, but the shallowness of her complaint resonated some.)  It was bothering her enough that she was considering divorcing him even though they had kids.  She admitted that he loved his family, worked hard for them, and wasn’t afraid to pitch-in around the house with cooking/cleaning/etc.  He also tried to make her feel special but it wasn’t often enough compared to what she wanted.  The response from several women in the comments was a mixture of condemnation and amazement.

To the point that one commenter said something along the lines of “Your husband is honest, hardworking, loving, and genuinely cares for you and you’re going to divorce him over XXXXx?!?  Are you crazy or selfish or both?  Let me know when you’re done with him I’d like to take him off your hands.”

So that’s where I’m at now.  My X is done with me (or I suspect more precisely I’m done with giving her a shot at me,) and now I focus on being the best me I can be.  I have the power.  I’m not Piggy but I do have the Conch.  Which is why I know I’m not going to end up worried about spending the rest of my life alone.





An Empty Vessel

I don’t know if it was intentional. I suspect it was.

The metal and glass lay on the dining room table. Not prominently displayed but where it was certain to be found. The joy, the love, and the promise of undiscovered adventure it once contained was missing. Vanished without a trace. Gone forever.

Perhaps it was a message.

Perhaps it was as a warning.

Perhaps it was her begging me to say the right words to soothe and comfort her. Words that would begin to allow her to forgive and to love again.

To me, it was just an empty picture frame that someone had purchased from a clearance shelf.

Back when I used to know her.

Newsflash: Soon To Be Ex-Wives Can Be Difficult

It’s quite frustrating that I am willing to go halfsies on everything. I mean, literally, everything. Actually, I’m willing to give more than I even that and more than I am required to because I have a vested interest in her being successful. I look at it this way: if she’s doing well then my kids will be doing well.

We have also been friends with each other for most of our lives, so until or unless she really pushes it I only want good things for her. Not that I anticipate wanting bad things but if she pushes it I’ll eventually stop caring what happens to her on a personal level. The opposite of love isn’t hatred, it’s apathy.

The problem is that she’s starting to push it. As I said, from a divorce standpoint the easy thing is the “stuff.” What we have vs. what we owe. I’m not too worried about that since I started with nothing and can do it again. Not that I want to but I’m not afraid of work.

The hard part is how the parenting time (i.e. custody,) gets broken down. The two Cavekids still at the house are both teenagers so it’s not like we’re looking at a ton of time for them in the home before they are off to College.

Yet, the X seems to think that they should live with her exclusively and that I can see them….well, she refused to actually give an example of when I can see them other than at their activities. So, maybe for a few minutes to a couple hours a week after games or something?

Uhm….no. That’s not how it works.

It’s taken a long time for me to begin to see her for what she really was. Not all of the ways I’m damaged because of her are clear to me yet. Granted, not all of the ways I’m damaged irregardless of her are completely clear either but I’m a work in progress. Along with this, not all of the ways that she is damaged are clear either.

What I have noticed over the past while is that she has some sort of wierd Emotional Oedipus/Attachment Disorder thing going on with our kids. I’ve tried to do a bit of research to identify it but I’m not having a ton of luck. However, there’s definitely something there. I don’t know what it is or what to call it but there’s a problem. She obviously can’t see it and wouldn’t listen to me even if I could articulate it but it’s there.

My point here isn’t to bash her. It’s to express my frustration at how this is going to play out. (This is one of the things she “can’t stand,” about me is that I make “presumptions,” on how things will play out. I don’t think I’m making presumptions I just think I’m taking the information available and wargaming the situation out until its logical conclusion. She may hate it but damned if I’m not right more than I’m wrong.)

In the long run, I want to be able to look myself in the mirror and tell myself that I was the best Dad I could possibly be. That I thought long and hard about what was the best thing to do for my kids and I fought for that. Regardless of the financial cost. Even if she hates my guts for what I did (it’s likely she will,) I can’t control her emotions or thoughts. Never could. Besides, I firmly and deeply believe that she has unresolved and undiagnosed emotional issues that make her incapable of seeing or identifying the ways her behavior was damaging to us.

I don’t think she did it on purpose. I think she just couldn’t help herself.

Well, I can’t help her either. Nor do I really care enough to try. That doesn’t bode well.

Really? Should I Be “Less Nice,” To Others??

Although I find myself driving without music or a podcast on lately (I find I need that time to work through “stuff,”) I happened to be listening to the radio on the way in to work today. It seemed like every song that was playing got under my skin for a different reason. I don’t typically listen to the radio and I remembered why.

Now, I’m not musically inclined but I do know there are overarching themes that transcend most genre’s. Love, heartbreak, relationships, Drinking, etc.

It got me into another of my contemplative moods so that was all the excuse I needed to turn that garbage off and resume my quiet commute. I came to some conclusions and returned to some previous ones that I had made. Specifically, and in spite of my failed marriage, I was a pretty darn good husband and partner. Definitely not as I was led to believe.

I also don’t give two shits or a damn about what she says about me to whomever will listen. I’m going to sally forth and try and become a better man than I was yesterday. Drips and drabs, I’ll get there.

As I said, I’m finding as I’m emotionally unwinding that I wasn’t near as bad as what she led me to believe I was. I’m not just talking about the very basic things that a Father and Husband does for his family (provider, protector, guidance counselor, designated listener, handy-man, etc.) I’m talking about all of the things that I deferred or agreed to because it was what she wanted.

Perhaps I was, factually, “too nice,” and agreeable. I can think of a million different ways that we went where she wanted, did things the way she wanted, when and how she wanted. I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time because I wanted to make her happy. Because that’s what you do in a relationship…you have to occasionally sacrifice your preferences to accommodate your partners, right?

The end result of all of these times that I ceded ground to her was that I think she was fully and completely in control of our relationship.

Which is somewhat astonishing to me because knew I always reserved veto powers. (Granted, I very infrequently exercised them, but when I did then it was final.) Also, because her requests weren’t really that big of a deal and as an isolated incident certainly wouldn’t be. It’s just that each little request combined with a gazillion others that I agreed to caused me to not have an equal say in my life. I didn’t realize that until this morning.

Now, add to this another recent realization that she was and remains extremely spiteful and nasty if she doesn’t get her way and I can now see how I find myself in the situation I am in.

Begin segue: (An example of petty spitefulness: To save money she has been making the children’s lunches. The ingredients are already out but do you think she bothers or even offers to make mine as well? Nope. How about whether or not she lets me know that she has the food out? Still nope.

Yes, I know it’s a small thing and somewhat silly but I feel as if it’s indicative. Also, I know that I’m fully capable of making my own lunch and I frequently do. But it’s the principle of the thing. It just feels extremely petty and spiteful. Especially since we’re still stuck living together for the time-being and I ensure that I make enough for her to eat if I’m cooking for the family. I even take her preferences into account still. I fail to see the difference between me taking the time to make a meal that includes her and her making a lunch for me to eat…while earning money that she lives off from. Don’t even get me started on her general lack of cooking the bacon that I bring home. I already know all the excuses. I no longer care about them. Gratitude….look it up.)

Segue over.

So, what do I do with this newfound realization? I’m not sure yet.

This is something I’ll have to figure out though because I am by nature very agreeable as it regards to a relationship. I want to make my partner happy and bring joy to their life. I also want to do the things I am able to do to make their lives easier…making coffee or breakfast in the morning, asking if I can pick up something from the store on the way home, that sort of thing. General thoughtfulness and outward displays of affection if I was forced to give it a title. Things I would and do appreciate, if I’m being honest.

Here’s where I think the paradox lies: If, by my choosing to do these things I end up losing control over my decisions out of an expectation by the “other,” that they’ll get what they want then I’m going to have to change going forward. Especially because it appears that my good-nature was taken for granted. Most especially because I am discovering that some of the “failures,” in my marriage were actually quite unreasonable demands that were placed upon me by my X.

It seems counter-intuitive at first…don’t be so nice to someone you care about. But, I think there may be something there. If my efforts are ignored/expected/unappreciated then perhaps I’m doing too much and too often. Especially if I’m going way out of my way to be considerate or meet her wants/needs and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of reciprocation.

I guess I have a few more quiet truck rides in my future as I think about this.

Change Is In The Air

It’s been a short absence for me but that’s because of the “Back-To-School,” flurry of activities. Schedules are hectic, money is flying out the door, youngest son just started driving (no more taking him to hockey or lacrosse practices,) and it’s almost hunting season.

Life is good.

No, really, it’s good.

As long as you take the time to appreciate the big and small things in life. It’s too easy to find yourself in a spiral of cynicism.

-I’m a grown-ass man but I’ll wander off the beaten path to sniff a flower.

-I’ve been hiking quite a bit as I can find the time and I got caught in a rain-shower not too long ago. All I did was point my face towards the sky and enjoy it as I kept on going. (full disclosure: no real other options, I wasn’t going to be able to hide from it.

-Beer league hockey starts this month for me and pre-season hockey games have already started for youngest son.

-Speaking of youngest son, he managed to make the very high level Lacrosse team he wanted. Colleges are still starting to unofficially snoop around for him and I guess we’re taking trips to the east coast for tournaments next year. May have to head through Canada to get there though, should cut at least a couple hours each way.

-The remodel (more like complete rebuild,) of a friends eighty year old hunting cabin is near complete. That’s going to pay dividends come November. Point of order: Our previous way to clean up from being disgustingly filthy at the end of the day…..bathing naked in the lake…is beginning to become a bit too painful due to temperatures. Alternative plans must be made.

-The reprieves from newly PMSing daughter are becoming longer and longer. At times, it’s almost like I know who this girl is again. This has been a new one for me since…well…I was never pre-menstrual. Nor was I ever a thirteen year old girl. But I still feel like I’ve known her for her whole life, so I guess she can stay.

-Grandson has finally started calling me something other than “Dad.” Now….I’m happily his “Wuampa.”

Yep, we’re starting to turn this Franchise around over here. Think I’ll have two fingers worth of whiskey tonight and enjoy the evening.

A Letter I’d Never Send

To my X and for for no reason other than I’m feeling privately spiteful:

Like you told me I needed to do, I’m owning my shit. What neither of us knew was that I’ve been trying to do that for a while now.

It’s too bad that you literally fought to keep your blinders on during the times when I tried to discuss our problems. You did this while complaining about how I never tried to discuss our problems.

I’m tired of that game. I don’t think I want to play anymore.

It’s too bad for you that a byproduct of owning my shit and figuring myself out is that along the way I’ve started figuring you out too. I see you for what you are. I see you for what you could be. I also see your behavior for what it is and how it’s keeping you from being that which you could be. I see that it’s going to be painful for you when you finally figure it out. That is, if you ever can begin to figure it out.

You blew it. You were right about me in some ways but you were also completely wrong in so many others. You never saw me for me but instead for all of the ways I never met your ridiculous expectations.

I’m tired of that game. I don’t think I want to play anymore.

As independent and strong as you think you are, you are only fooling yourself now. I believed that you were a strong and independent woman because I believed you when you said it. The reality is that you felt independent and strong because you were unable to see all of the ways I was there to support you and to catch you when you fell. You’re going to be in denial about it but eventually, you’ll see the truth. It’s impossible to avoid. It will hurt. Try not to do anything too destructive or long lasting when you begin to understand. I’m also hoping, for your sake, that you embrace that pain so that you can grow. Don’t just put a salve over it or try to cover it up because that leads only to continued misery down the road. That’s the sort of thing your Brother does and look at where it’s leading him.

I hope you know and believe that I did try as hard and as much as I knew how. At this point for me to stay would be to purposefully try submit to you. To become something I’d not. It could never work for long and you would have no reason to respect me. I’d have no reason to respect myself.

We made our choices, you and I. They have consequences.

I don’t understand why you refuse to trust the fact that I’m not planning on screwing you over during our divorce. I’ve given you no reason to believe otherwise and you’d think after twenty years I could get the benefit of the doubt on that one. But, perhaps that is just another symptom of our problems. What I said and what I’ve done (or not done,) are irrelevant compared to what you have concocted in your mind as the truth.

I’m tired of that game. I don’t think I want to play anymore.

I don’t understand why you don’t have more control over your anger. You don’t understand how harmful it is to those around you. Or, my favorite is the times where you are irrationally angry and when it’s brought to your attention, you decide that what I’m really saying is “I want you to be more irrationally angry and then we’re all going to be held hostage by your anger for a while because we can’t leave without you and you can’t control yourself enough to leave.”

Yeah, that game sucks. You can play that shit by yourself. I’m taking my ball(s,) and going home.


That Guy you thought was so terrible.

A Ray of Light

I know I sound like I’m struggling with my decision to divorce.

Which is probably because I am.

I’m not struggling in the aspect that I don’t know what would be best for me, personally. That’s easy.

It’s just that this doesn’t just affect me and in spite of the mountain of venomous words and accusations thrown my way by my X, I still care very deeply for her. My decision is still new enough that I don’t think that my caring for her is unhealthy. I think it’s that we aren’t fully uncoupled yet and I mean that in the most literal and figurative sense of the word. So, I am forced into near proximity and to interact with her on a daily and somewhat intimate basis (no longer sexually though, to be clear.)

What I’m mostly struggling with is how this is going to affect the cave kids and what impact this is going to have on us in relation to each other.

My youngest two are fourteen (G,) and sixteen (B,) and at that age where our lives are very hectic with sports/school/random teenage stuff, but one of my favorite parts of the day is being able to spend some time each night talking with them. I know it probably annoys them (she more than he,) that I want to spend a few minutes just chatting with them about their day or about school or about….whatever, really. But I appreciate being about to talk to them face to face and without distraction. I’m able to read between the lines on what they’re saying based off body language.

I know that it isn’t going to be this way forever. Eventually they’ll move out and become the grown-up versions of themselves. I’m both looking forward to that day and dreading it at the same time. Because I’ll miss them. Because I’ll worry about them. Because I’m actually emotionally squishy like that.

The hard part in this is that they’re both likely to choose to “live,” (teenagers tend to just reside places once they have their drivers license as opposed to “living,” there,) with their Mother once she and I separate so I’m going to lose the personal daily interaction sooner than it would otherwise be.

I get it, they’re very close with his Mother. For essentially all of their lives she was a SAHM. Regardless of her character flaws, it’s been their normal that Mom was always there. She’s been a constant presence for them while there were times that I’d be gone. Whether it was for weeks at a time during business trips or for months when I had to work very long hours (80-100,) just to keep a roof over their heads, the fact remains that she was physically there for them every day while I was not. (I’d be remiss to not mention that she was there too during my last military deployment while I was gone for essentially 16 months. I did what I had to do and so did she.)

But, and this is important, I did the best I could. Without trying to share any blame whether earned or unearned. I certainly did the best I knew how. I think I’m a much better Dad now than I was a few years ago and I’m working towards being the best Dad I can be. Which is why I’m not uncomfortable with however this shakes out. But I am sad for my kids.

I’m sad because they are essentially going to have to choose between their parents. It’s not how it’s supposed to be and it’s not what I wanted for them. Adding to this pain is that even though it’s not a competition it hurts to know that between the two of us, they’re likely to pick her. (Now, this discussion on the likelihood is based off what she had already told me. With all of the unstated accusations and smugness of tone that she could muster.)

My kids are very intuitive and my X has a hard time controlling her decibel level when she’s emotional (translation: sometimes, I really wish she would just shut the fuck up or at least possess the self-control to wait until we could have a more private venue to air grievances..and then stop yelling at me.) Add to this her lack of patience (when she decides it’s time to do something then she does it, any opposition on my part is seen as a declaration of war,) and it’s no surprise that I both can’t/won’t take her shit anymore and that my kids are aware of what’s coming.

So, because she still doesn’t have a job yet the timetable for her to find another place to live is essentially unknown. Which means my kids are living their lives with Damocles sword poised above them. Also, not what I wanted for them.

…….I suspect though that she may be in for a rude awakening. Now that I’m mostly disentangled from her emotionally, I’m able to see things much clearer than I could previously. I’m extremely disinclined to have any sort of emotional reaction to her….outbursts. I can see it enough to recognize it for what it is. The interesting thing is that because I’m not swept up in the storm I can see that my children are waking up to how inappropriate some of her behavior is.

This is not to imply that I’m actively or consciously attempting to win over my children at her expense. I would never do that to her or to them. Parents who do that are shitty.

I’m simply trying to figure myself out and be the best Dad I can be. That’s it. If her behavior affects them, that’s on my X. It’s not because I did anything to intentionally sway their opinion against their Mother other than the times I would have to intercede on their behalf. How they react to her and what they observe from her is going to be completely her responsibility. Ultimately, I’m worried about them and I’m worried about me. She’s no longer a running concern of mine other than she has an effect upon our children.

Which brings us back to how I’m struggling. But also how I’m continuing to get better.

There are a few things I’ve decided for myself: I won’t submit to the tyranny of her emotions. I won’t be the designated villain so that she can be the designated victim. I won’t allow myself to continue to feel neglected and unappreciated. I can’t live any longer feeling dead inside.

-I’m not a machine. I am alive. I’m not emotionally cold or stunted. What I am was protective of myself because I don’t trust her enough to allow myself to be vulnerable. Although the endstate feels the same, there is an enormous difference

-I have value. I already knew this as I don’t really suffer from low self-esteem but it is interesting how her neglect made me feel as if I’m not worth being valued.

-I am actually a happy person. Once the weight of my response to her emotional baggage is off, I have recently discovered opportunities where I found myself actually being joyful. This is not something I’m used to saying and not something that I would normally think about myself.

-I’m not all of the things she accused me of being. Granted, I may be some of those things but so far I feel as if she’s been wrong far more than she’s right.

-My expectations for how this all shakes out need to be adjusted. My choice to live my life as the best me can and should include joy. Not necessarily because of the circumstances but in spite of them. Life is hard. The consequences we face for our choices in life are hard. But there should be joy. Life is good and it’s better than the alternative.

So, I’ll continue to muddle through this the best that I can. I’m sure that I’ll come back to my blog a blabbering mess in the near future. But for now, I can say that this post is a good one for me. I feel lighter. I feel like my thinking and vision are clearer. I’m not so anxious about the future. It will be what it will be and I’ll try and handle what comes at me with grace and dignity. Oh, and Joy. I don’t want to live my life without Joy anymore.

P.S. To be clear and because it amuses me to say it, I just want to clarify that I don’t currently know anyone named Joy. So, living with Joy is something that I both do and don’t want to do. For some people, it’s something they do do. (Doo-Doo, ha!)

P.P.S. My oldest son told me last week that he’s noticed some changes in me over the last couple of months. Just in the way that my mood seemed to be lighter and I didn’t hardly seem stressed or upset anymore. That was encouraging and made me feel good. So, there’s that.

Emerging from mid-life invisibility

I really can appreciate her writing style and candor. I think she writes about things that most wives can relate to if they are at this stage in their lives. I think most husbands (or ex-husbands,) can relate as well even if only because they are married to these women.

Writer of Words, etc

Years ago something apparently insignificant happened to me. Since I’ve been thinking about it on and off for years, perhaps it wasn’t so insignificant after all.

I have some thoughts.

I am, after all, a writer and this is a blog and I like to hurl words about my thoughts out into the internet. 🙂

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Are Women My Age Really That Desperate?

So, my soon to be ex-brother-in-law is getting divorced as well. I can’t get into the myriad of ways that he’s emotionally screwed up because I’d develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from this post alone. Suffice to say that he’s very similar to my STB ex-father-in-law (RIP,) in that he simply cannot be alone. I guess he’s also very charming when he wants to be (I don’t see it, but I’m not a woman, either.) However, the bloom comes off the rose quickly once he is in a committed relationship in that he’s an emotional child, easily angered, just plain mean, etc. Again, I won’t delve deeply into it, but suffice to say that although my X has her moments, she’s far less helpless and…well…childish…than her brother is or her Dad was.

He’s almost completely unable to do anything by himself. As in, he won’t go to the grocery store alone. He’ll call his wife from the basement while he’s sitting on the couch for meaningless or trivial things. It’s both amazing and horrifying to watch at the same time.

He has an ex-wife that he shares a child with (we’ll call her #1.) They met in High School and managed to eke out a rocky relationship for about seventeen-eighteen years. An absolute shit-show of a marriage which inevitably ended. While he was still living with #1 but getting divorced he met and started dating what would become wife #2. In his defense, he wasn’t sneaky about his relationship with #2. I didn’t agree with it for a littany of reasons but at least he was very above-board on what was going on, so I can’t fault him for this. As far as #2, I wasn’t impressed by the judgement or the character of #2 because of the fact that she would begin dating a man who was not only very recently getting divorced but was still living with his wife.

As for him, well forget about dealing with things emotionally, expending any time dealing with the part you had to play in your divorce, self-discovery, etc. He did none of it. What could go wrong?

About ten months after beginning to date Wife #2 (and only a few months after his divorce was finalized,) they got engaged and about six months later they are married.

As you can imagine, almost immediately they started having problems. Fast forward to now and I found last month they are already filed for divorce. They’ve been married just over two years. Now, #2 never particularly liked me I don’t think and if I’m honest, although I really did try, I can’t say that I necessarily liked her either. We tolerated each other mostly. Recently we ended up spending some significant time together while my Father-In-Law was dying and I got to hear far more about how things were from her side of the story, so there is a little bit of a change of perspective. However, the questions on her character still linger due to the details on how she started her relationship with my BIL.

Oddly, it seems that #1 and #2 become somewhat of friends. #1 would be invited over for events, they all hung out socially, its just weird. As a matter of fact, #1 actually lived with them for a couple of weeks in-between apartments. They’re a bunch of crazy people, I don’t get any of it.

Well, now that the paperwork is filed for the divorce, my BIL already has another woman that he’s…in some sort of relationship with that’s trending towards romantic. For simplicity we’ll call her #3 even though they aren’t yet a thing. For now, I guess they are not quite dating but spending exclusive “friend,” time together, so make of that what you will. Again, to his credit, #2 is aware of #3. I’m not approving, mind you, but I am acknowledging and giving credit to him for being honest. He’s also still living with #2 until the house sells and they can go their separate ways.

Again, forget any type of introspection or self-improvement on my BIL’s perspective. It’s sad, really. Because I already know what’s going to be the end result.

Through an odd turn of events I took one of the cave kids to an event last night and ran into my BIL who was there with #3. Also, to make this a full on situation where you ask “What kinda weird shit is going on?,” we also ran into #1 and #2 who were attending and who had driven to the event together. Trust me when I say that I couldn’t get away fast enough from all of them after extending the proper social courtesies.

Lets add to the fuckery that’s transpiring by putting in this interesting tidbit. I’m well-aware that #1 wants to fuck me. She’s made it blatantly and at times inapproriately clear to me in the past that she wants this to happen. But last night, #2 seemed to allude to it in just the brief time we were talking by ourselves. There are certainly times when I’m ignorant about peoples true meaning and intentions, but I can tell you that this isn’t one of them. I’m still shaking my head about this as I type.

Which somewhat brings me the long way around to my question: Are women in my age range (late 30’s to early 40’s,) that desperate? Keep in mind, these women (#’s 1,2,3) aren’t drop dead gorgeous. They are solid 5’s or 6’s on a 1-10 scale. Essentially, they’re the somewhat well-kept middle class soccer-mom types. So, we’re not talking that hardened look that lower class or working class women eventually get. These are normal women you’d see at the grocery store who pay attention to whether or not they have coupons for an item.

In trying to answer this question I looked at some common factors these three women seem to share: They’re all mid-late thirties in age and relatively plain looking. You wouldn’t see them and think “dang, she’s gorgeous,” but you aren’t going to crack on them about being ugly when you’re out of earshot. They aren’t particularly intelligent but also not particularly dumb. They are or appear to be somewhat successful in their careers. They’ve already been divorced at least once. To my knowledge none of them are addicts. I suspect they all have low self-esteem or self-worth (well, I know #1 and #2 suffer from this,) They all have children. They’ve all been attracted to my BIL.

I think it’s the last three factors that are key to answering this. I think most single women with children want a male figure in their children’s lives. They want a “Daddy,” for their children. This may be on a subconscious level but I find it hard to believe that this isn’t the case. I suspect this applies even if the child’s actual father is in the picture and doing all the things he’s supposed to do to the best of his abilities.

[The rationale being that the new “man,” in her life is obviously preferable to her as a mate than the old one. Ergo, he’d be at least a good influence on the survivability of her offspring than her previous one. (I find that it’s often the case where we should start with subconscious biological factors and move outwards for explanations. We’re just animals after all.)]

I think more importantly than the child aspect, at least for this small sample size, is that these women all have low self-esteem. The proof is in the pudding in that they were all attracted to my BIL who, although charming (I am told,) isn’t what you would describe as the most physically attractive guy in the world. He’s also, obviously, got a track record in previous relationships and is still technically married. Yet, these women keep falling for him. (More concerning to me is that they are making themselves available to me sexually afterwards. It’s just a fucked up situation that I don’t think I could imagine if I tried.)

The answer to the question about women being desperate is probably very simple. Some are and some aren’t. Which is scary for me because it raises other questions:

-Are there a lot of single women but especially single Mom’s who are willing to jump on board any ship because they want to feel special?

-Are these types of low self-esteem women so desperate to try and find themselves a “Good Man,” that they are willing to poach one from some other woman as soon as divorce papers are filed but before the ink is dry?

-Assuming it’s that competitive for women could the same be said for men too?

-When these women lose their mates (like #1 and #2,) are these women willing to immediately offer up sex to another perceived high-quality man in an attempt to lure him in as a mate?

-(As a random thought, how fast will my X be on her back underneath someone else once we are divorced?)

-What am I doing wrong if #1 and #2 are both offering me sex? (Another random thought, what am I doing right that #1 and #2 are offering sex?) Is it because they are looking for some sort of relationship beyond that? Are they that lonely? What gives here? I’m so confused and feel….dirty….and I haven’t even done anything wrong.

-What in the ever-loving Fuck is going on out in the world of singles?

-Lastly, and I apologize for this, how in the heck am I going shorten some of these posts? It’s near impossible for me to stay on target and not segue randomly. I’ll bet it’s difficult to read my stuff sometimes. For those few who do end up reading my stuff, sorry. I’m raw and unpolished. Perhaps its more insightful this way. Likely it’s just garbage though.

Can Men Be Bitchy?

On my morning commute I was trying to figure out what it actually was that she brought to the table. I struggled to find very much. I even tried to check myself and say: “OK, Ogg, you’re being awfully hard on her right now. Take a moment and calm down and go back to it.” Except that, I came to the same damn conclusions.

While we were married and trying to make it work I was willing to overlook an awful lot of things because I know that is the sort of thing that you do when you’re a husband. I grew up thinking that’s what you did when you are a man. You suffer stoically and in silence.

In full disclosure I’m still somewhat hard on myself in that I still want to try and justify her behavior to myself. I also still haven’t gotten over the habit of just dealing with things in silence. The hard part about this is that if/when I bring these issues up I’ll get the explosive anger response from her. When it happens, because I’m such a dope and somehow still a bit mesmerized by her I’ll likely not stick to my guns as much as I should. I’m a work in progress.

Holy smokes…I sound like a pussy. I never thought of myself as one before, but could I be? At least in regards to her? When I start looking at things in a disaffected manner and when it’s black and white, it looks like I am moving up the sissy-boy scale. Add to this that I’m a little afraid of her anger (afraid isn’t exactly the right word, but there’s a tiny bit of that there as well,) and I guess that I am somewhat of a pussy when it comes to her. I certainly shy away from the hard conversations but why? Fear of disappointing her? Unwillingness to deal with her anger response? Knowing that it’s going to be several days of rejection from her? Hmmmm, definitely some unprocessed issues right there. (Importantly though, I think, is that I now have identified them somewhat as opposed to just feeling them and not knowing what they were.)

Going back to what it was she brings to the table, I couldn’t think of very much other than she keeps a tidy house and does laundry. Sure, she’ll run errands and half-ass the grocery shopping but that’s what a maid or a housekeeper would do. What did/do I really get out of my marriage?

-Intellectual stimulation and deep conversations were a non-starter. She isn’t all that intelligent and doesn’t have the drive or desire to learn.

-Dinner is rarely cooked. If it is then it’s more half-assing it. I don’t remember when I’ve actually come home from work to something made from scratch where there was effort involved. I’m not just saying that either. I honestly don’t remember the last time. Spring? Early Summer at the latest? As a matter of fact, I think the last dozen or so meals that were prepared for my family (her opening a box and firing up the oven doesn’t count. Besides, it’s trash not food that’s being consumed.) were done by me. I don’t care about having to cook, I actually enjoy it. It’s the principal though. If I’m busting my ass at work and then I come home at 6 or 7 o’clock and I still have to make dinner…wtf?

-After I told her it was over this last time, she won’t screw me. That’s a topic worthy of a long post right there. Suffice to say, I know how boorish it sounds saying it like that. Don’t care.

-There’s important financial paperwork that needs to be completed. Once it’s done there are likely thousands of dollars that will be coming our way. Do you think she’s done it? Hell no. I’m going to end up doing it because it’s: (her words,) “too confusing.”

-She wants to be able to live her life and her lifestyle, regardless of the situation. As in: only work part time (that’s when she FINALLY gets a job….we’ll see if she keeps it.) Be able to go and do anything and everything that she wants for herself and for the kids. As if I’m going to continue to subsidize her bullshit indefinitely. I’m sure I will, ultimately, be doing it because the courts are…well…the courts but that’s not the point. I had no issue with taking care of her while things were ok(ish,) between us. I was happy about the fact that I could provide for us all. Well, at least I did the 97% of the providing. Her little bit of money that she brought in was helpful. Either way, she refuses to get going on finding a job and making some real money. I say this because what little she brought in has dried up and there are some significant expenses that are rapidly coming our way. For all intents and purposes, we’re broke right now. But she doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it.

-I can’t afford to divorce her ass because I don’t have the money for the retainer. Could this be why she isn’t getting a job? If so, what a great gig for her. She doesn’t have to do jack-shit but still gets her life subsidized. Unfortunately, she also managed to put us into some relatively serious debt over the years (because I wanted to make her happy, I didn’t say “No!” near enough so I need to own part of this.) This debt isn’t anything that’s unmanageable and I’m trying like hell to pay it off. I’m going to simply have to put my foot down on this and tell her how it’s going to be. I’m not going to be held hostage for financial reasons. I can’t be. It’ll blow up eventually or rather I’ll blow up eventually and that won’t be good for anyone.

-Other than the children we have very few shared interests. More to the point, she has really no interests that she’s developed for herself.

-Her days are wasted. She’s up sometime between 10am-1pm. Does….whatever…and it’s half-assed there too because it’s rushed because she didn’t plan ahead enough or her alarm didn’t go off or she has a headache or what the fuck ever reason she has for not doing something. Then, she’s busy running errands or the kids at and through dinnertime and around 9pm or so begins household things…laundry, cleaning, etc. A couple hours of that and then she settles in to watch television until 2-3am when she finally decides to get into bed to sleep. Que the complaining about how she couldn’t sleep the night before at least 3-4 times per week.

Hmmm, I’m trying to reread this through the lens of someone who hasn’t ever met us. It seems like it’s pretty damning. That’s not to say that she doesn’t have her good points because she does. She just sucks at being my partner in our relationship.

The question I keep coming back to is: “What am I getting out of this?”

I mean, I’ve made up my mind that it needs to end but it’s so very hard still for me to admit it. I still wish it could magically all work out for the children. That part is still going to hurt when the time comes. I don’t think there’s any way to escape it. Add to this that a divorce is a violation of how I feel from a religious standpoint and I still struggle. If I’m still angry at times with her does that mean I’m not over her yet? I don’t love her anymore. Or at least, I don’t love her romantically. I don’t see any spark in her eye when she looks at me, so I’m fairly certain she no longer loves me romantically. If she feels anything for me, it seems like it’s loathing or disgust. Which, again, pisses me off because it causes me to think: “Bitch, I am doing all of the heavy lifting here. What the hell am I getting out of this?”

I’m not sure if these feelings are normal. I’ve never been divorced before. Hell, it’s been almost a full twenty years since I’ve dated/broke-up with someone else. I think they’re somewhat normal…I think. I’m sure it’s part of the process and that I could read any number of vapid, interchangeable blog posts regarding this.

As I sit here right now, I want her gone. I want her out. I want to get on with rebuilding my life without her. I want to get on with living my life without her. The problem is that doesn’t mean I’m not still sad for how her life is ending up. I cared about her and still don’t want anything bad to happen to her. Going back to that magic wand, if she suddenly rushed into my arms and became the wife and partner I need her to be, I’d fold like a paper sack. I’m not strong enough when I’m near her. (WTF is up with that, anyway? I just don’t understand that about myself…yet.)

But she can’t do that. She won’t do that. She can’t shut the fuck up and listen or truly see what it is I’m trying to say. She isn’t capable of getting out of her own way. So I have to stop caring. I have to get over her. I have to do this, but damn….just….damn. It’ll all be better when we aren’t living together, it has to be.

Why I Am Divorcing Her Pt. 1

**I think this is going to be a multi-part section because it may be too long for just one post but also because I am sure that I will find deeper aspects than what I am going to address now. I also know that these are not all of the reasons I am divorcing, just some of the ones that come to mind.**

As I was listening to music (Chris Stapleton specifically,) on the way in to work this morning I found myself to the lyrics more than usual. Because it was one of his solo country albums and because stereotypes have a way of working themselves out, it had several songs about heartbreak and how he was shattered from a failed relationship that was all his fault.

I realized, however, that I disagreed completely with the song. It wasn’t all my fault at all. Which made me wonder what I am going to say when the news goes public that the X and I are divorcing and friends, family, and acquaintances ask me the inevitable question: “What happened?”

I’m not intending on bad-mouthing or spilling the beans on all of the ways in which she contributed to our divorce. I owe her that, regardless of how she handles herself post-divorce. She didn’t do anything heinous enough for me to hate her or, if I’m being honest, even to dislike her. I can confidently say that I like my ex-wife. I don’t like being in a relationship with her for a number of reasons to be addressed below and I certainly don’t carry any feelings of romantic love for her but as a whole, I do like her.

Even if I didn’t like her. If our divorce was too acrimonious (we ain’t done yet,) for us to get along personally, I owe it to my children to not prejudice others opinions in a negative way towards their Mother. Now, had she been an unfaithful lying whore or abusive to our children then I’m guessing I’d sing a different tune and she would deserve all of the invective that came her way. This is simply not the case, however.

So what would I say??? The simple answer is that I’m not sure yet.

I suspect that a singular “We tried to make it work for a number of years but just couldn’t,” will suffice. It’s accurate(ish,) enough to be serviceable. But it doesn’t feel quite right. Maybe a “We ended up becoming just Parents instead of Partners,” but that gives me the feeling that I’m painting us as victims of circumstance instead of a couple that wasn’t ever able to get out of their own way when it came to making a go of it.

“I got tired of dealing with her anger,” isn’t accurate and doesn’t allow for my contribu…..waitaminute…. There were many times when her anger was completely and totally unjustified. Or, disproportional to the situation (in my estimation.) Certainly, there were times when she was justified in being angry. An example being when I wasn’t being completely honest with her, but that also didn’t just happen in a vaccuum. I take full and complete responsibility for the times I wasn’t completely truthful. However, most of the situations that I can think of were the result of me avoiding her wrath.

It’s one of those situations where I am one hundred percent at fault for not being honest. If that’s all someone wants to focus on then I am the bad guy and her anger was justified. That doesn’t get to the “why,” of things. When something negative happens, it’s important to get to the “how,” and “why,” and not just the “what.” It goes back to the designated victim vs. designated villain. Except it’s not that simple.

I find I’m going astray here and this is one of those parts where I’m not done figuring out how mind-fucked I am. I know that the dishonesty was wrong. But am I shifting the blame by bringing in the circumstances for how it would come to be? Am I not “owning my shit,” as she claims……?

(3 minute contemplative pause)

No, I am owning my shit here. I’m certain of it. Her refusal to look at the causality of some of our problems and look solely at my deficiencies is both a defense mechanism on her part as well as a way to ensure that she came out on top in the argument. I’m not laying the blame for my actions at her feet. I’m the one who chose to do them. I’m the one who was in control of myself. It was I that spoke those words. I didn’t have to, but I did. My responsibility begins and ends there. She was responsible for her part in the previous interactions. She was responsible for her behavior. She was in control (debatable,) of herself. She was the one who spoke those words. She didn’t have to, but she did. Her responsibility begins and ends there. Except, she isn’t owning her shit. She’s rightfully hammering me for my contributions towards these problems while intentionally or unintentionally not addressing hers.

(Again, I struggle with the mind-fucking because the question on whether or not I’m still not taking responsibility from her keeps percolating my thought process.)

At this point I don’t think I can trust as valid anything that comes from her mouth in regards to this type of thing. I used to believe much of what we said because “women are more fluent and in touch with feelings and emotions,” said every blasted self-help or relationship book ever written. Which, I believe as a general rule is right, but one size does not fit all.

I took a very roundabout way to get here, but if I had to give an open and honest reason to someone for why I initiated divorce, what would I say?

-I’d say that I was starved for intimacy and my emotional and physical needs were neglected in a way that built so much resentment I was unable to fight through it.

-That I was placed into a no-win situation where I was being hammered for not communicating and being vulnerable and yet most of the time when I made myself vulnerable it backfired and invariably caused me pain.

-My contributions towards our relationship and our family were either taken for granted and/or not acknowledged/appreciated.

-I wasn’t often aware of it until too late but there was apparently a constant struggle for control. Over things like what television programs to watch or even how to get to a destination when we were travelling.

-She was ignorant of her hypocricy. As much as she would blast me for not following through on things (I don’t have a great memory and I’m guilty of sometimes procrastinating until I end up forgetting about it,) there are many, many times where she did the same and unlike her, I didn’t get angry at the other person for it.

-She has a terrible temper and is unable to control her mouth or her actions when she gets extremely angry. After twenty years of me telling her that I didn’t appreciate being sworn at or called names, she still does it when she gets angry. Still slams doors, still makes irrational decisions because she’s angry. I finally had to realize that her doing that wasn’t beyond her control, it was due to a lack of respect for my feelings. Something that was simply not acceptable.

-Other than our children, we didn’t really have anything in common anymore.

-I frequently felt as if the things that were important to me that I wanted to share with her weren’t important to her. An example might be a 12 second video or audio that I thought she might find interesting. I don’t now how many times she got irritated because I wanted to show her something and she was doing the dishes or taking out the trash or even watching TV. I know factually that unless something was absolutely urgent, I would invariably stop what I was doing and listen to her no matter how I felt about the importance of what she was saying. Similarly were things like backrubs. I don’t think I can recall a time that I have ever once turned her down when she asked me for a backrub. It didn’t matter if I was already asleep, I’d happily do my best until I lost consciousness. I can think of many times where she told me she was too XXXX for that. Is that selfish? Inconsiderate? Am I overreacting? Fuck you mind fuck.

-I very, very rarely felt like I was important to her. It always felt like I was on the back burner behind the kids and whatever else that was going on in her world. I can think of very few times when I felt like I was her priority and most of them were after I returned from a long absence (military deployments, work trips, etc.) or after a couple of surgeries. I guess this piggy-backs onto neglect or something but somehow it feels different.