Hypothermia is not cool

Going on seventy-two hours without power back at the cave. Anticipated date of joining the 21st century is another ninety-six hours. Winter is not the preferred season to be without light and heat.

Except there is light and heat in the cave. Because we’ve prepared for this contingency. Well, I’ve prepared for this contingency. This is a glorious opportunity to show the cave kids how much value there is in planning ahead for when life comes roaring in. A chance to teach them some of the skills and tricks that I feel as if I should have done long ago but just never could find the time or opportunity.

Examples: I’ve known for at least 30 years that you can use spaghetti noodles (uncooked of course,) to light candles and oil lamps. How to effectively build and maintain a fire in a wood burning stove for long term burn. How to calculate cranking amps vs. run amps and why that’s important when determining what can be powered up via a generator. They don’t know that we’ll have light and heat the whole time. They’re already wondering where we are going to go for the weekend.

So, we’re going to subsist on food we’ve laid up already. Some of it needs to be eaten anyway. I’m going to teach them some card games, maybe even poker. Because that’s a skill they should know. We’ll play board games and enjoy each other, sequestered away from the world. Honestly, this could be the best thing that could have happened for us. I’m anticipating that I’m going to hate when the power comes back on and we have to rejoin the outside world.

Hopefully it’s memorable and for all the right reasons. I hope it goes well.

If not, we’ll just run up the pirate flag and lay waste to the countryside. If we run out of food, we’ll just eat our neighbors. They’re Commies anyway. There is no downside here.

Sad Songs

I simply don’t think these are of any value when you are trying to rebuild your life.

There is a time to grieve what was lost. I suspect there will be many times in the future that I’m going to allow myself to give in and feel sorry for the situation that I’m in. I think it’s natural. It’s healthy. Only if it’s a temporary allowance, however.

The reality is that I want to grieve for the death of what I thought was my future. I want to grieve for the additional difficulty the Cave Kids are going to have to navigate. (As a parent, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do or endure to keep them safe.) This is going to be excrutiating at times.

But I only want to grieve for a little while. I want to go through this because I feel I have to. I have to face my grief because if I don’t do it now, I’m going to have to pay that piper later. It’s unknown what unnecessary difficulties I am going to experience because of undealt with emotional issues. I don’t want to inadvertently hurt someone else because I was to afraid to face my own demons. Or because I was too ashamed to admit to myself the parts that I had to play in this.

The hardest thing so far is discovering the areas that I was wrong. I say that because, well, I don’t necessarily trust her judgement (she’s broken too, remember?) in this area. Which means that I am feeling my way in the darkness. A stranger in an unfamiliar land. Feelings? Emotions? Yuck.

What to do? How to accomplish this? Somewhere there is a light switch. Or even many switches. That has to be it. There are many small switches that will illuminate certain areas at a time. Every time one is turned on and I discover an area that I was wrong and contributed to the separation should be a reason to celebrate. Because then I’m able to fix it.

But sad songs?!? Next to worthless unless the conditions are set to allow them to be productive. It’s ok, shed the tears if you need to. Let yourself weep. Feel free to be angry and hurt and sad. There’s nothing wrong with it. A man does the things that he wants to do.

But then you need to stop.

Pull yourself together and get back to being strong, living your new life, building eroded relationships, becoming the “you,” that you were supposed to be.

That man is still there, somewhere. He’s just bearing the accumulated weight of the life he has lived. He is strong. He is compassionate. He is fierce when roused but generous and kind otherwise. He chooses his words carefully and honestly. He is not afraid of the consequences because he does what is right and proper. He does not tolerate disrespect but is not arrogant. He feels and is not ashamed to feel.

But he does not listen to sad songs. He shrugs off that which would bring him down. He is straining and struggling to move forward. He is searching for his true self. It is another battle. He is used to fighting the forces that life marshals against him. He will win this one too. His kids are counting on it. He is counting on it. His glorious future is counting on it.

There is no Wonderwoman and there are no Superman(s)

I wonder how much of a disservice that Hollywood movies focusing on relationships (aka Chick Flicks,) are doing to young people.

It gives an impression of oofish men and has these female characters being quirky but ultimately adorable. Guy meets Girl. Girl doesn’t like Guy. Guy persists until Girl likes Guy. Guy and Girl build relationship doing nothing but fun and whimsical/romantic things. Guy screws up and loses Girl. Guy rushes to mass transit station and ultimately gets Girl. The end.

I get it, it seems like in most normal relationships men do the majority of the screwing up. But is that really the case? I feel like there is definite equality when it comes to the minor screw-ups in relationships. Those times where if the other would have just done XXX thing it would have made a world of difference.

I suspect that the major screw-ups (infidelity notwithstanding,) are equally shared within a relationship. The difference being that the category of screw-up is different. What I wish I would have figured out earlier is that once a person repeatedly commits the exact same minor screw ups it will eventually get to the point where each additional event gain exponentially more power.

You want an example? Ok, here’s one: It’s somewhat important to my soon to be ex-wife that I reach out and let her know if I’m going to be late coming home from work. I’m salaried and there are times that I may not be leaving my office until 8pm. Keep in mind that I’m not working that late unless there is something high enough of a priority that it can’t wait until tomorrow.

Which means that I’m focusing on my work and not thinking about her. Often, when I’m working like that she doesn’t even cross my mind. It’s only after I’ve completed my work that I look at the clock and think….”Uh-oh, I’m gonna hear about this one!” Again, the vast majority of time I’m laser focused on my work. I’m not intentionally ignoring her requests. Nor am I doing anything other than my work. (i.e. there isn’t any office hanky-panky or drinks with the guys.) My inability to let her know I was working late was solely because I wasn’t thinking about her and what she wanted. Which she knew because that was the way I made her feel and because I’d tell her. Who knew that telling my wife that I wasn’t thinking about her would have a different effect than if she had told me. I mean, certainly, I would have understood where she was coming from.

The thing is, there were times that I would think about her as I was working but it was always “I’ll be done in just a few minutes. It’ll be fine.” Two hours later she is texting me asking me where I’m at…..”Damn, I did it again.”

One of the rules I try and live by in my work-life is that if something is going to take me less than two minutes, I just do it. Which begs the question: how long does it take to text “Working late, be home asap.” Why didn’t I just set an alarm so that if I was working past 6:15 or so, it would be a reminder to send that text? Seems like a silly thing now, but in the moment I wasn’t able to figure that one out.

What I had done by not letting her know I was going to be home late was to give her a reminder that she wasn’t important to me and that her feelings didn’t matter. My working late didn’t happen daily. It happened maybe three times in a two week period. But it was a pretty consistent reminder that what she cared about didn’t matter to her.

This became another ingredient in the divorce recipe. Her reaction to feeling uncared for caused her to withdraw. Which made me feel uncared for and caused me to withdraw and not extend the effort I could have. Which made her angry. Which pushed me away. Which I would react to and not do a damn thing she wanted me to because “that’ll show her.” You get the picture.

I disagreed with her feelings and so I didn’t consider them to be reasonable or rational. I mean, it’s totally reasonable and rational to understand that I was working late and busting my hump to provide for her and our kids. I was working my ass off so I could get home to her and our children as fast as I could. It’s totally reasonable and rational to think that I was focused solely on my work and not thinking about or remembering how she felt. My arguments in defense of myself were absolutely reasonable and rational. I still think they were well put-together and that they made absolute sense. They’d have stood-up in a court of law they were that reasonable and rational. But it wasn’t about me and how my arguments made sense to me. It was about her and how her arguments made sense to her. But I didn’t know that at the time.

Which is why it’s totally reasonable and rational to see how and why we’re getting divorced.

Men, if you want to stay married.

I recommend that you take the time to read this guy: https://mustbethistalltoride.com

Be warned, some of what he has to say is going to kick you right in the teeth. I’m going to be bold and say that you probably deserve some of it. Actually, if you identify yourself in his work then you deserve every bit of that tooth kicking.

As for my story, after spending time reading through a few posts it felt as if scales had fallen from my eyes. I was finally able to realize in some ways just how blind I had been. How my arrogance and comfortable perch upon my “high horse,” (I still hate that term,) proceeded to give me the justification that I was right and she was wrong. That all of my actions were justified and she was just <insert negative adjective here.>

He recommends and I concur that you start here.

Unfortunately, I didn’t discover his blog until too late. I only discovered it after She had calmly and unemotionally informed me that She wanted a divorce. The way that the news was delivered made even my emotionally stunted lizard brain realize that this time there was going to be trouble.

I can’t remember who said it but I have since heard a truism about women. I’m paraphrasing here but I believe the following to is true in that: “You can never really tell the moment a woman first decides that loves you but there is no mistaking the moment that she decides she doesn’t.”

So, I did the only thing I knew how to do to solve a problem. I began to work my ass off at it. However, in an attempt to not repeat the failures of the past, for the first time ever I listened to her and started working trying to come at problems from a different angle. To my credit, my efforts were noticed and had an effect. I rode the wave of satisfaction on a job being well performed. I was going to fix my marriage.

In my arrogance and ignorance I even told her that I was going to eventually propose marriage to her again and that I was knew she was going to say yes. How presumptuous of me. Even worse, I actually believed it. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was remaining willfully ignorant to other forces at play in our relationship.

The funny (funny hmm; not funny haha,) thing is that in an ironic and cruel twist, it’s my embarkation on this journey of self-discovery that allowed me to identify some of the ways that she was damaged too. Some of the things that had been so frustrating and infuriating about her finally made sense. Although she had told me she no longer loved me and wanted a divorce last August, she remained willing to keep trying one last time. On the whisper of a hope that we could make it work. I’m grateful to her for that.

That hope died on January 26th, 2019 when I made the decision that we needed to call it quits. This time, I’m wanting the divorce.

How did that happen you ask? Welll…I’m not sure when I started really realizing and identifying areas where her behavior and my behavior and a combination of our behavior became harmful to our cave kids. But I finally see it. I am also really starting to see areas where She was damaged as well (this is the part where I try really hard to be careful of my words so as not to fall into the trap of self-righteousness,) and what this causes her to do or say or believe. You want an example? Ok. For example: many of the times that we had fought in the past and I had thought she was just being crazy was actually a response to damage inflicted upon her by her past. She wasn’t crazy at all once you understood where that behavior came from. Specifics? Ok. Specifically: because of the ordeal that was her childhood she has a significant need for control. When she doesn’t have control she lashes out or uses anger in an attempt gain control. It’s not excusable but it’s understandable when you you realize that this is a learned behavior from her childhood. Bear in mind, I’m not excusing it and it’s not a good thing. What’s even worse is that my childhood sucked ass too which caused me to also have a significant need for control. Both of us are willing to fight (we fight differently but it’s still to the death,) for control. As you can guess, this is one of the areas that we struggled with.

She has her shit and I have mine. I’m trying to own mine. Thus far, I haven’t identified where is doing the same. Which means that our kids are put in a never-ending series of battles between She and I. That doesn’t work for me anymore. (What’s scary is that I suspect that I haven’t even come close to discovering all of the ways I screwed up our marriage. I’m guessing that I’m only just dipping my toes into that pool. Eventually I’m going to have to jump in. It’s going to suck, I’m sure of it.)

I’m getting a bit off topic here but it’s my blog and it’s doubtful that anybody is going to read it anyway.

Back to this guy. It’s humbling to admit but he helped me change the course of my life and discover some of the ways that I think I could be a better husband, father, and man.

I wrote him an email approximately last September in order to do a couple things. I wanted to thank him and encourage him for the work he was doing. I also shared a brief synopsis of my situation and how his work was manifesting itself within me. I believed then and I believe now that what he is doing matters. His willingness to share the pain of his experiences is making a difference in families. It’s giving some of them a future.

He was kind and reverent in his response. He told me he was rooting for me. I didn’t know it at the time but I really needed that. I hope he knows how much I appreciated it.

Which brings me to a wish. I wish Husbands and Wives but especially Mom’s and Dad’s could all find a way to get their shit together and have joyful and fulfilling marriages. I know that isn’t the reality. The reality is that marriage continues to be under assault both within and without the marriage itself. From things that happened before and during the time when two people vowed to love each other forever.

To that I say this: We can control ourselves and nothing else so please….Husbands….Dads….Men….own your shit. Be an active participant in your life and figure out where you are falling short. Then fix it. Your family is counting on you.

 

 

Thoughts to Think v1.0

**Some of these are my own thoughts. Some I took from others without giving them credit. That’s plagiarism. Plagiarism is bad m’kay. In the future I will try and be better about giving credit where it’s due. Apologies to those I stole from.**

You are an active and participating Dad.  You love your children and they need you. 50% custody agreed upon before anything else is discussed. Nothing else matters.

EVERYTHING IS A CHOICE!  You are choosing to be and you are choosing to do.  Or not. Either way, you have a choice. 

Even if it’s unfair, you aren’t a victim. 

What she is doing doesn’t matter anymore

Sometimes people use anger as a tool to try and keep or gain power and control.  It’s easy to justify the anger with: “XXX did or didn’t do YYY.”  Don’t be the one to wield anger. The only real power it has is destruction.

If you’re angry is it because there is another emotion that you should feel? 

What she is doing doesn’t matter anymore

She doesn’t owe you anything and there’s a high probability that she is going to do things to hurt you out of an attempt to regain her power.  Don’t fall for it.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  You loved her once, but you don’t anymore.  She loved you once, she doesn’t anymore.

She is or will be someone else’s problem now. 

Is it better to be lonely and in a relationship?  Because then you’re just feeling alone AND betrayed rather than just alone.

If you’re lonely when you’re alone you are in bad company.

What she is doing doesn’t matter anymore

Is this the best “you,” that you can be?  If not, why not?  If not, what are you going to do about it?

Take the time to think about it.

Focus on the task at hand.

What she is doing doesn’t matter anymore

What is best for your Ugg (and your grandson Lugg?)

What is best for Zugg?

What is best for Oggette?

It is somewhat important that she is in a good place (eventually,) but it is up to her to get there. 

What she is doing doesn’t matter anymore.

It’s ok to help but she is not your responsibility any longer.

Her opinion of what you are doing doesn’t matter anymore either. The actual question is: What is your opinion of what you’re doing? 

Are you trying to regain yourself in a healthy way?  Anger, spite, revenge, aren’t healthy emotions. Substances, wasteful past-times, and procrastination aren’t healthy activities.

It’s just stuff.  It’s just money.  What is important is the kids well-being.  You’ll make more money tomorrow.

Regardless of the situation and the circumstances it is not acceptable to bash her. Not to anybody. The view is better and the air cleaner from the high road.

It’s ok to disagree but what she thinks of you doesn’t really matter anymore does it?

Guess what, she doesn’t care about what you think either. It’s going to be frustrating. I guess it’s time to really work on the communication that you struggled with during your marriage because that’s all you have there, brother.

Fear is paralyzing. Identifying that you’re afraid is the first step to movement.

Once More Into the Breach


This is the official start of a new journey. Although I’ve been traveling down this path for quite a while already, I’ve recently given myself permission to take the necessary action.

This is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to admit (I actually think it’s the most difficult thing I’ve had to admit,): My marriage is over. It’s done. It cannot be resurrected. It cannot be fixed. Effective immediately, my wife is no longer my wife (other than in name because of our current legal status,) and I am no longer her husband.

I suspect this blog is going to take many forms as it develops. Primarily I’m using this as a digital journal for several reasons.

-First, I find it is somewhat enlightening and calming to write out my thoughts and feelings.

-Second, I want to create a record of where I was and what I was thinking. I suspect that it will be interesting for the future me to come back and look at where I’ve come from. Although I’m in a good place as I type this, I am accepting of the possibility that I may have to give myself some reminders to gather my strength along the way.

-Third, maybe the things I’ve realized or the things I’m going through could help other people who are experiencing this. Maybe someone will read this and have some insight that could help me. Hell, I’ll be amazed if someone actually finds this and reads it. It doesn’t matter to me though. This is real. This is raw. I will be vulnerable. To the best of my ability I am going to be honest and candid. That said, this blog is primarily for myself. I’m not attempting to publish or be published. I’m not seeking fame or recognition. I’m seeking to survive what promises to be the single most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do (I’ve done and been through some shit, dear friends. More later on this later, I’m sure.) I don’t anticipate making distinctions as to who my audience is. Sometimes it’ll be for a reader and sometimes strictly for myself.

-Last, and I guess this goes into my third point somewhat. (Or maybe completely, who knows.) I don’t feel as if men, truly masculine and manly men like I’d consider myself, allow themselves to get a fair shake when it comes to this. The social, cultural, familial, and economic pressures all create obligation for him. This is a double edged sword in that I think honor, duty, and obligation help create a persona for a man (a man is what he does,) but these obligations and pressures don’t give him an opportunity to discover himself if he’s lost himself along the way. Nor do they put him in a position to heal himself. Not just from the pain of the end of a marriage but also from the hurts and scars he’s bound to discover along the way.

It’s scary to look at yourself honestly. We all know some areas where we are weak. Those hidden secrets and places in our lives that we’d never let anyone know about. What’s even scarier is the thought that there are deeper things lurking beneath the morass of our mind.

I’m sure I’ll give a my background at some point. I’m sure I’ll be spouting stream of consciousness at others. For now…once more into the breach dear friends. Once more into the breach.