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arneal

Starting to Tread the Deeper Waters ... between budding and fully committed ...

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Julester   Your NYE does sound much different than what you're accustomed to.  And that would be sad, to have expectations and have a letdown.  Holidays can be filled with emotions, can't they?  We're used to our traditions, and what may seem unimportant to somebody might mean a lot to somebody else.   Some of our family traditions took a back seat this Christmas, for whatever reason - and I was a bit sad about it too.

 

tybec  Sorry to hear that the holidays with NG were derailed.  "I moved to make NYE plans with a friend and her family out of town.  I needed to be with folks that knew me and my LH and son and loved us."  This makes me incredibly sad - of course there are those that love and appreciate you, NG should be one that naturally does this too.  This IS a big deal, and you're moving forward with what is right - calling him out on his inattention to you and your needs.  It's not surprising that you got sick - a lot of stress and emotions to deal with there. There are plenty of us that balance work, children, aging parents and other issues, along with working together on a happy and successful relationship.  I truly hope that he steps up and makes the effort to once and for all show his dedication to you.

 

arneal   Hmmm - comfy sounds like a good thing, wonder what's brewing?  Do you think the New Year will bring a deeper commitment from him?  It's interesting that I don't have a desire to live with NG yet - perfectly content to keep things as they are.  And at almost 2 years together. I'm not sure if this will change.  NG mentioned that maybe it's HIM that I don't want to live with, but maybe I'd be willing to co-habitate with somebody else.  I don't know - and if he desires more of a commitment from me, than I'm not giving him what he wants.  This year continues to unfold .....

Edited by trying2breathe
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We had a discussion on it. We took the kids out for authentic Japanese ramen over the weekend before they go back to school and I explained that sometimes I can't talk right away about issues or feeling I might be experiencing. He mentioned that I tend to shut down a bit and become less sharing but I let him know to please not to take offense. Sometimes, I need time to understand and work through these things in my head. I can't always verbalized what I'm feeling but I told him not to worry and I'd talk about it when I would be ready. I think he's worried it's him or something he's done but I find that like in this NYE situation, I did something different and my inner reaction became sad. What I chose to do that day wasn't wrong and I didn't have s terrible night. I think my brain was calibrated for an all nighter and looking for more and it didn't happen that way. 

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Maybe you all can find balance next NYE, Jules. I can't remember the last all-nighter I had for that day lol. LH and I rarely spent NYE together while he was performing and after his health started to decline, we always turned in early ... I don't think I have it in me to be up all night anymore. BF and I turned in around 11pm our time but said happy new year at about 10 since it had already gone the new year on the east coast lol.

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Hey all!

Thanks for sharing. It is helpful to see all the responses and different ways folks are going.

 

NG and I had a heart to heart.  I let him know we needed to end it if I am not his "person." and he can live without me, seeing me, talking to me especially over significant times like holidays.  He was disappointed with the holidays and stated he knows this is not okay.  He has thought about how to rectify it all. He feels the only way is to live under the same roof. We will have dated 3 years soon, and I am to the point of move forward or let go. I am not wanting to do this arrangement anymore.  So, we are talking intentional of plans for this year.  There are real life things he cannot control, and I think he realized this. And he has to make a choice to live with that and move forward in his life. With me.  But it is unsatisfactory the way it is. I also think he has considered my thoughts about how he is role modeling dating, treating a woman to his boys.  It is not natural to have the partner there but cater to the children always.  Something shifted in him as I pointed out how he treated me at the beginning and how he has changed.  He admits the custody hearing always has him thinking about what could be brought up in court, but there has to be a line.  He has been separated almost 7 years, divorced 5. Did his ex really think he would not recouple when their children were 2 and 4 when she left him?  Just more reality of all this.  I sent him an article about blending families that was real, with the challenges and ways to work through it all as others do. He stated it was "heavy" as he lived it as a child himself, too.  So, treading the waters deeply.    

The responses here help. I appreciate them even if they are hard to read sometimes.  

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OOps, I was redundant. Attempted to edit but too late.

 

Made plans for next weekend.  Get-a-way with NG. Much needed.  And it is my LH's death date. Will go to cemetery, and NG will wait in vehicle. My son does not want to go.  My son often does not choose to, and that is okay.  

Making intentional plans for this year.  NG coming over more often and something switched?  He is tired of the two homes, too. Bedtimes for his kids, routines, etc. keep us apart with the kids. So, see what happens in the future planning.

 

I appreciate you all helping me stay strong.  I was loved well and long. I was fortunate to have a wonderful marriage, imperfect, but loving and stable, more functional than dysfunctional.  I deserve that again or I can be healthy and strong on my own.  Keeping on.

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Not enough heart emojis for your posts, tybec, so here's a few:

💗💗💗💗💗

 

So glad you were able to have that conversation with your BF. You certainly deserve a great new thing! Tell him we said so 😁

 

Hope your get-away is wonderful for both of you and it's nice that he is going to be there with you as you visit the cemetery. 

 

Writing that reminded me that, even though I've only been back east once since LH died, I had no desire to visit where he is buried. He was cremated and his ashes were put at his parents' burial site; his mom is the only one with a headstone. He had wanted to get one for his dad and we didn't do it before he got sick and then died. I haven't had the energy to pay for one more thing related to his death, to be frank. I feel guilty even thinking it. I feel like I should pay for headstones but then feel like his grown daughter should pitch in there somewhere ... Since I can't come to a good place with any of that, I haven't done anything. It's always looming though ...

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Arneal, I am sorry about the unpleasant feelings regarding your LH's remains and such.  I can see where that would be hard.

 

My LH was a veteran and a beautiful veteran's cemetery is where we lived as we lived close (and he worked) at a huge Army Fort.  He has a headstone provided then. He was still cremated, and we spread his ashes there at the scattering garden provided for this, and we had an informal ceremony to do so 4 months after his death.  It was more meaningful to me as his death was a car accident and such a shock, I was in autopilot that whole 4 days of the services/visitation. A blur, truly. 

I think we  all have to do what we can do. My mother passed in 2017 and was cremated. My brother agreed to take her to the burial place where my father and her have a joint monument.  He still has not done it.  But he will when it is time.   It is a family plot in the middle of nowhere where none of us live or will go to except for this.  She knew we were not gong to tend to their graves.  I think my husband's untimely death made her think differently about all that.  

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Thanks, tybec -- I think it's just one of those things. He was really sick, no one knew how sick, so we were on our own. He dies, no one is still around. The hazard of having a small family ...

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Well my dh is still with me! We got a double urn and I promised to keep him with me until I go, so my daughter will put us somewhere , I hope... I think before I part this planet I will buy a plot somewhere for us to be put, and that is where this double urn ( looks like a big brass box that gets inscribed on each side where we are put) will go...

I guess I believe we really don't care once we are gone, but perhaps those who are left behind do.

Tybec , I'm with arneal that I'm glad you and your ng had some convo's and things are getting worked on. Happy for you :) 

arneal, sometimes it doesn't matter the size of the family. I'm from a big family, and they alllll disappeared when my dh died. As if I killed him or my sadness was to much for them. It's been 12 yrs in 3 weeks and haven't heard from them in over 9 years, so sometimes it is what it is. Can't say they were all that growing up either, sigh..... (8 kids in my family , I'm #7)

Anywho, we have to do what we have to do to survive this big ol world here, best to all of you out there :)

 

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Thanks, sudnly for that perspective. We all deal with death differently, for sure.

 

I am hoping to have someone dump my ashes in the Atlantic Ocean after I go ... not sure who that would be and like you said, once I'm gone I won't know what's what anyway ...

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Sunday is 7 yrs. My mind is anxious, my sleep disturbed. I have exercised, eaten healthy, gone to bed timely and the last of the lasts still pops up every night about 3 am.  I am going away for the weekend with my NG.  He knows the weekend date.  I am not sure my plan was best.  Waiting for the time when my heart and brain will settle down this time of year. NG asks why I am not sleeping.  I guess that is a real difference in divorce and death.  He is now happy to not be with his ex.  I never had an "ex."  

I am reading up on remarriage and blending families and sending him links to things.  He is ready now. Says to go and pick out a ring.  This will end the time apart that seems to cause so much conflict or uncertainty.  Lots going on.  Just breathe.

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Happy to share I slept through the past two nights. The anticipation is just the worst for me. I posted a short statement on FB as I have always posted something in memory for my LH.  Since I am with NG, I don't go into great detail, but I feel the need to remember LH as he mattered.  And LH mattered to others, too.  NG handles it well.

 

NG and I are talking about the next step.  I have told him to hold off until the custody hearing in Feb.  Something switched in him.  I guess the reality of choices and that if we continue as is, it is not satisfactory for either of us and certainly not teaching our minor kids what we want to about relationships/commitments, etc.  We really are at the point. Continue or not.  And so we are planning.  I can do a lot when I feel secure in a relationship. And I have learned a lot about marriage and what a next one can look like. Leave the bad and go with the good stuff.  Hope the 3 day weekend is well for  you. 😄

Edited by tybec
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Hi, tybec -- I am online because I am working ... not arduously, but still 😅 online teaching can get out of hand with the grading if I don't check in, especially across long weekends. Students tend to do more on weekends, particularly if they are working, so there it is.

 

Things are plugging along here. BF is inching closer to the end of his educational program for his business venture. We haven't had any sort of planning conversation but as the start-of-year teachings at my church are all about goal-setting and planning, I am sneaking up on it. I will be gone for a week coming soon but before I go, there will be three weeknights of church service so I will change our usual routine. Before I go, I hope to give him some food for thought so we can work together to figure out what's next. 

 

Hope everyone is doing great!

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Anticipation of the anniversary days is the worst for me - the past few years the actual day has been better than the days leading up to it.  Glad that you got some rest and that NG handles it well, tybec.  It must be difficult for our SOs to know what to do during those tough times - NG usually wants to back away and give me space and that's usually the last thing that I want from him.   How was the weekend away?   Next step sounds good, and hope the planning leads to some real life changes for you both. 

 

Wasn't a vacation weekend for me as Monday was a regular work day for both of us.   Work is busier than ever and I'm stressed - it's good to spend time most nights with NG to hash out our days, a soft place to land in a hectic world right now.  No talk of the future and I'm okay with this.  I feel secure in our relationship and will let things play out as they may.

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I wanted to share something. I made a Star Wars quilt for NG for Christmas but wasn't able to finish it until like last week. I had brought it over to his house and he was so excited and happy. I'm a crafter and I show affection by making and doing things for others. So a few days later he got his kids and his son asked him, "why would she go to so much trouble to make this for you?" 

 

It honestly really made me sad. I would say this shows what kind of marriage he had. Had his ex never do anything nice or thoughtful for him? Father's Day? Birthday? Christmas? It's obvious to me that if his son can't understand this that he never helped or saw his mother do anything for his dad. His son is 9 already. I just hope he can learn his dad has value and deserves nice things. 

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Julester -- thank you for sharing and that makes me sad to read as well. It never ceases to amaze me how uncaring some people are in relationships where they claim to love the other person ...

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Julester, you know better the situation but the other read on his son's comment is that the son hasn't realized how real/big your relationship is with his dad. Perhaps it was a" why does my dad's friend do for him what only people that are really close to each other do?" Like I said just another interpretation.

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Definitely hard to properly analyze what runs through a 9 year old boy’s thought process! I appreciate any perspective! 

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Julester3,

 

I read your post about the gift and thought similar feelings, but then took a step back after KLIM  responded.  Yup, a 9 yr. old wouldn't get it probably.

 

My NG has kids, 8 1/2 and 11.  And because he keeps us so apart due to the custody hearing coming up, I bet they do not think about their dad and me being serious.  He takes his time with them so sacred, we have gone weeks without laying eyes on each other. And he spends all attention on them, so they don't go back to their mother, and it is brought in court that he spends all his time with his kids with his girlfriend and her kid.  You may not have this concern. We are talking about the unnaturalness of this, and now we are talking engagement, so he needs to prepare them for I am important and vital so that is not a shock.  He skypes nightly with them, and they used to ask where he was when he was at my house.  I have noticed if he says he is at my house, they are ready to stop skype.  He has quit mentioning he is at my house often, though he is.  The kids may not want to know he is with me and my son, as they are not, so that reality of being serious is avoided. 

Kids are naturally egocentric, so it makes sense he would not understand the seriousness of your relationship. Good luck.

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Oh, the weekend last week went well .  Snow and ice so didn't go to cemetery.  But did have a new experience.  Dinner yacht eagle spotting tour.  Drinks and warmth and looking at eagles is pretty cool.  Stayed at a lodge.  Then this week, went to see Metallica.  NG has had tickets for 10 months. Ok, I have seen lots of concerts over the years, but would not have picked this one.  It was a good experience, but still not my fav. But he did go to the symphony with me over Christmas to see Handel's Messiah.  My fill on both those types of musical experiences for a while 😉.

Has his kids this weekend. So, see if anything changes when he is with them.  Custody hearing less than 2 weeks.  Hanging on.

 

College and school folks. You are on GO! until the next break!  

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Auughh - all the issues of trying to blend with kids (widowed and divorced). I don't mind things not being perfect but I wish someone wrote a clear roadmap on how to handle all the trials and tribulations of it, especially with young kids. My NG used to lie to his son about being at my house (as they talk every night they aren't together) and honestly I didn't think that was right. So its ok for my son to feel bad (he heard him lying to his son one day) but not his son? How is that equitable? Is lying to your son ok? He doesn't (usually) do this anymore.  Julester's comment that NG's son made about the quilt is interesting - its so hard to read into a young person's mind and fully understand how they are processing their loss (via divorce) and their parent dating again. (PS - making the quilt is such a sweet and lovely gesture and Im glad his kids saw/recognized that).  My NG's son (who is 8 yrs old) often seems to be warm towards me (and he likes my son) and then he switches into this really difficult child (if he doesnt get his way) and sends us death stares, wont let my son come near his Dad and keeps mentioning his mum (how he would prefer to be with her).  I can take it sometimes and other times I just need to take space to get myself away from it (since NG doesn't really openly stand up for me in these situations). Do we just have to put up with this given we are dealing with young children?

Edited by Captains wife
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My late husband was a child of divorce, from an early age. He told me many stories about being a total brat to his mom’s boyfriends and husbands. He resented them and wanted his parents back together, despite the fact that they fought all the time. He was disrespectful and reminded these men they weren’t his dad. I’m guessing that children of divorce have additional feelings of needing control, and divorced parents are probably busy dealing with feelings of guilt and failure which clouds their parenting skills. In other words: A Nightmare To Deal With. 

 

Honestly, while coping with death is immensely painful, it seems a lot more cut and dried. The children of widowed parents seem extra thoughtful and empathetic, whereas the divorced children seem...unsettled and resentful. What’s that saying? The children who need the most love will ask for it in the most unloving ways.... something like that. 

 

I’ve read about successfully blended families, but it does seem to require family therapy- because who can sort all these shitty feelings out without professional outside the relationship help?! You all have my best most positive thoughts and deepest respect for taking these things on! 

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Thank you Bunny! Yes- what you wrote resonated. I consider my son’s loss more intense yet he is super empathetic, more respectful and reasonable vs son of divorced parents. I do feel NG’s parenting is clouded by guilt. So interesting as I don’t let grief cloud my parenting. What a weird dichotomy. 

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LH was a child of divorce at a young age and he was not a holy terror. His parents were honest and amicable (always in front of him). It just didn’t work out is what they told him. He didn’t get the whole story but got bits and pieces and perspective as he got older. This is what made him secure that he had 2 loving parents above all. The only thing that didn’t help was when MIL didn’t want to give up LH for holidays and pouted, they humored her, even when LH got older and he was able to start making his own choices where to go and what to do. If he was to go to his dad’s and his mom wanted him, he went with his mom and his dad would be lucky if he even saw him. IMO it would have been better and fair to stick to the agreement to the t and not bend. It really set up a lot of issues once we got married. She expected for us to accommodate her needs regardless of his dad or my own family. By the teenage years, he knew of his mother’s bipolar manic depression as the issue of the break of his parent’s marriage. He understood that his dad made sure to be there in case she ever had bad episodes. He never knew the exact stories. I got those after LH passed away and it’s like a Lifetime movie. 

 

His mother got main custody while his dad got every weekend during the school year, alternating holidays, more chunks of time in summer. His mom started dating first when he was in kindergarten. His dad dated more actively when he was in middle school because he traveled a lot for work. Ironically MIL dated the same guy for many years and even moved in with him when LH was in high school. They got married one month before our wedding. We found out because my brother is a deputy sheriff at the courthouse they got married at. He saw them and they went alone. My FIL married his GF when we were in college. 

 

Sorry this got long! Honesty and not fighting can make a better secure child overall. I would say this was why we were so honest with one another and open. We were very upfront about expectations, personal beliefs, and goals. It was important to LH and he intended to have a single long marriage to me, not to die at 40. We had a good 15 years as husband and wife. We dated for 5 years, engaged for 2. 22 years is a good time to be with a person. I wish for more but I understand it was what I was meant to have and I’m grateful! 

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My kids, after losing their Dad, are compassionate and encouraging about my relationship with NG.  In contrast to NG's adult daughters - kids of divorce x 2 - who were not supportive of us.   At times I thought of not continuing on with him because of his daughters' behavior.  It's not just the little kids that act out.  I'm thinking that NG's daughters believe that our relationship is another one that is destined to fail.   His daughters don't live close, we see them during holidays and vacation only.  I mentioned to NG before Christmas that I wasn't looking forward to our families spending time together.  What's especially frustrating is that I thought that young adults would be a bit more understanding about their Dad moving on.  NG talked with his daughters before they arrived, explained that we are a couple and the relationship is important to him.  I did see a difference from them, thankfully.  It's not perfect but I'll take it.  Baby steps.

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