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arneal

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

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One thing with kids of divorce is they also look for guidance! They will test the boundaries to see which parent will step up to the plate and keep the discipline and and guidance in place no matter what is going on in life!

I say this because I have lived this with my dh. He started being that dad who was being that dad who loved from guilt instead of from being a dad and the heart. He was doing this in front of my kids, allowing "his" kids" to do things that he knew was wrong, but out of guilt he let slide!

There was finally a breaking point, and I demanded a sit down conversation. We discussed if he would have allowed those things under circumstances had he still been married to his ex and parenting with her. His answer was NO, that made him realize it had to STOP asap!

Once the kids knew they had a "normal" home at our house with "normal" rules, everything feel into place. He (dh) even adopted my kids and life was really really good, until he died.

Kids don't come with a manual on how to raise them, but with guilt is definitely not a good one, I know that one from experience....

They need guidance, structure, boundaries, and ADULTS who set the rules, not them!

Best of luck to all of you! 

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Well, I made it -- 50 years old. I have enjoyed sitting in my robe and slippers (I am dressed but chilly), drinking hot tea on this chilly day. One of LHs cousins called at like 5am (I didn't answer the phone) to wish me a happy birthday, one of his other cousins called later to sing to me (she has recorded music and whatnot -- beautiful voice!). I talked to my mom yesterday and she just called a few minutes ago. Friends and colleagues are posting all sorts of wishes on social media, which is how BF saw that it was my day ... I didn't say a word this morning and went about my usual routine (it is still a work day, after all). It took a couple of hours before he hopped on and saw all the posts; he came into my workspace, sheepish like, apologizing and saying he has a shit memory, then wished me a happy birthday.

 

I think one of the hard things for me to get my head around is that people react to pain and loss so differently. I vowed that I would recognize every day I'd been given after suffering multiple losses -- a dad and two husbands for one only child is more than enough. BF on the other hand, who hasn't had very happy celebratory experiences of any kind, doesn't really try to remember ... he said a couple years back that birthdays stop being exciting when a person is 12 years old; he said it with a laugh after I'd made a big deal of wishing him a happy birthday. He just doesn't celebrate. Anything. 

 

I would have done all sorts of weird things for myself, but it's between paydays. I did get a couple of new clothing items. I bought a cake that I was going to throw away (which I never do because I don't like to waste food) because it was nasty to me, but BF said he'd eat it. I went out the next day and bought two slices of chocolate cake; I ate one as soon as I got home (I did give him a fork-full) and ate the other slice after dinner. LOL.

 

It's just felt like a lackluster 'celebration'; I am working (it is Tuesday, after all) and am off tomorrow -- because I have a dentist appointment. When I was at the store (the day I got the gross cake), I also got a cantaloupe; I cut it yesterday and it was yucky as well. The upside is that BF is cooking for me for dinner :)

 

One thing I said to myself in my morning prayers a couple days ago: I am going to be happy, no matter how weird the world around me gets ...

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53 minutes ago, arneal said:

Well, I made it -- 50 years old....Friends and colleagues are posting all sorts of wishes on social media, which is how BF saw that it was my day ... I didn't say a word this morning and went about my usual routine (it is still a work day, after all). It took a couple of hours before he hopped on and saw all the posts; he came into my workspace, sheepish like, apologizing and saying he has a shit memory, then wished me a happy birthday.

 

... BF on the other hand, who hasn't had very happy celebratory experiences of any kind, doesn't really try to remember ... he said a couple years back that birthdays stop being exciting when a person is 12 years old; he said it with a laugh after I'd made a big deal of wishing him a happy birthday. He just doesn't celebrate. Anything....

 

One thing I said to myself in my morning prayers a couple days ago: I am going to be happy, no matter how weird the world around me gets ...

 

 

First of all- congrats on turning 50!!! So nice you got to be sung to- I like to do that for people, though I don’t think anyone would describe my voice as beautiful- maybe heartfelt 😉I’m so glad you made the decision to enjoy yourself no matter what the day might bring you♥️ 

 

I’m sorry if I missed you discussing this earlier in the thread, but have you told him outright just how much birthday celebrations mean to you and clearly explained why that is? Most men (certainly not all) want to make their partner happy- it’s just most of them do tend to need very specific directions in order to make that happen. A friend of mine tells me it’s not romantic or sincere if she has to tell her partner what she wants done and the why and the when. So she ends up often disappointed. Every year my mom expects my dad will remember their anniversary or her birthday, and every year when he (usually) doesn’t she feels hurt.

 

My husband was terrible about remembering dates. And sometimes he felt lost about what to get or do for me. But I’m the kinda girl who likes to give a man a heads-up for any holiday that is important to me. Start mentioning it about a week in advance. Perhaps suggest what I’d like to do to celebrate if he seems at all panicked or stumped. Maybe it isn’t so spontaneous or ‘romantic’, but it sure has kept the disappointments at bay.

 

Cake is my favorite dessert, but since I seem to be attracted to only pie eaters I do try to attend to my own cake needs each year since that is something I have not been able to ‘train’ any of them to give me 😂

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D446B97A-B6B3-41AB-9B70-3BD3E23C334F.jpeg

3A346809-322E-4A57-B3C9-A9571D806ADC.jpegHave a wonderful week!  Let there be cake!  Chill! Whatever you please!  

Edited by tybec
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Thanks Bunny and tybec!

 

BF is in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. He even found a little chocolate cake while he was out. He is very thoughtful, just forgetful. I have said in the past that I adore celebrating these milestones, but you are right -- I don't drop enough hints. Part of my own connection to the spectrum, I suppose, is that I keep calendars for all sorts of special occasions. My female pup turned seven on 10 February; my calendar alarm sounded like three times to remind me 😂. I forget that not everyone does that sort of thing.

 

I am working on adjusting my expectations to account for the fact that no one else lives in my head but me ... not an easy thing to do sometimes!

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Hello all! A quick funny to share. I mentioned my penchant for celebrations ... I nabbed a bunch of candy and a funny card about being each other's Valentine's for the apocalypse and left them for BF to see when he got up on the morning of the 14th. He was nearly speechless; all he could say was 'Aw!' and hug me. He mentioned that he hadn't gotten me anything, being a bit on the low cash flow side. I commented that once he gets the business rolling, he's going to blow up so I'm not worried 😁He firmly agreed and we had a good day. 

 

I have to remind myself that we aren't with people who are just like us and we can't expect them to be. And that's okay. It's actually better than okay because if I was with another me, well let's say that would be near disaster 😂

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Keeping on. 

 

NG is waiting for the custody decision.  It has been two weeks. He has been extremely attentive to me, spending LOTS of time with me and my son.  And talking about the future of us, blending families.  I am listening, like to hear it but also waiting for the outcome of the schedule with his kids. I am being realistic.  I don't think he will up and change things quickly due to the time for adjustment for his kids.  

 

I started a MOM's group of teen boys with ladies from my church, and we met last night.  I am needing a new tribe and hope I will develop some great relationships through this.  I miss my friends I left when I moved. We were tight, and we took girl trips and GNO.  They got me through some difficult times.  So, I know I need more connections.  I am optimistic about this. 

 

Hope your weekend is well! 

 

 

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Good for you, tybec -- I too am involved in church things. It makes me laugh a bit ... last week for example, I had two meetings after service, plus my usual wanderings to the store and to try and visit a man who was someone my LH tried to look out for; since he died, I try to continue looking in on this gentleman, so each week after service, I stop by where he lives. I didn't get home until way after my usual time and BF was like, 'you were gone forever!'. I am out on most Thursday nights too so it's like dude, you gotta fend all for yourself cuz I won't be back until close to 9pm. LOL. I hope that my engagement will inspire him to get over his church hurt and start coming. I think there are some great groups he could be part of as well.

 

Anyway, I discovered a new game so now have one of my own to play in addition to the one I play with him. I showed him the character I made yesterday and now he wants to play it some as well 😅 Just a house-full of big old kids, and that's okay too.

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Tybec - all that sounds good. And I think its GREAT that you have developed another social outlet such that you are not 100% dependent on NG. Ive been reading up on the balance of dating divorced men with kids and its important to have your own life (and own social outlets) as your significant other has other responsibilities. I think that's particularly important when exes, kids, custody battles take a lot of NG's time.

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Thanks CW.

 

Been quiet here.  I enjoyed my MOMs group.  I hope it grows. I have had two lunches in the the last week with "old" friends, and I am so much more at ease.  I need the connections to others, and I had it, but widowhood changed that, too.  But I can work on that,  and I am.  I have bible study weekly, too.  I volunteer weekly for youth at church and monthly for foster care review board in our region.

We are still waiting for the outcome from the custody hearing, a month on FRIDAY.  NG is doing okay with it, as he is reading things to calm him, focus on acceptance, etc.  Bible based and helping him. 

We have had some family interactions, and like your NG's kid CW, his kids are acting out. I have talked to him about my observations, and he admits it is on him.  He has been so afraid of the custody hearing, that his parenting has changed since we started dating. I get it, but he states he knows he has to do something consistent.  I don't know if the kids are aware of the custody hearing from their mother's side.  But, they sure are acting out a lot more.  My only teen son is amazing with them and mature enough to know it is not cool for them to behave like that. I feel good about my son.  He seems to be growing up into a good human being, empathic and logical, too.  He is finishing up his freshman year of HS now!  He and NG get along well, too.  It is an interesting dynamic. But then throw in NG's  two kiddos, and it is a completely changed event.

Met with my fellow wid who is a psychologist twice this month.  She married her HS sweetheart, but had extra challenges in her family  of origin with an addict sister and her LH's juvenile diabetes management.  She is "real" with me. She can call me out on things, and it is okay as I know it is out of concern and love.  AND her training. 😉  She has noted my resistance or barriers to NG and his kids. She has dealt with messiness in her family life with her addict sister, her parents raising grandkids. So,  she has challenged me focusing on the negative instead of the positive of it all.  She isn't wrong. I have cold feet and control issues, and she sees it despite my NG's behavior and kids. Interesting insight for me. I so appreciate her.

Have spring break trip planned!  So excited, and it will be a once in a life time experience. NG and his kids and my son and I traveling together, which is going to be new, too.  So, slow and steady. Working out the challenges. 

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Thanks for updating, tybec:

 

It's been crazy for work for me ... lots going on always at the end of the month plus faculty have been pushing to get students finished in time for spring commencement, which means more to do. I certainly am not complaining as it wasn't that long ago that I didn't have enough to keep me busy on the work front!

 

I think I have a bit of seasonal affective disorder as winter turns to spring. I am easily down at this time of year ... I realize many of the stressful events in life have happened at this point: first husband died in March of 1999, son was born prematurely in March of 1995, LH died in February 2016, BF went through hell with his daughter and moved here last February. It gets heavier as the years go by it seems.

 

I have gotten more involved with our church's employment and prison ministries, which I really enjoy. I am frustrated that I can't get more going in a faster time frame but I am not in charge and am trying very hard to be respectful and stay in my own lane. It gets me out of the house each week during the week, which is nice. 

 

BF is expecting some unexpected finances and has already said we would go out to celebrate. I worry that, with all of 'life' that tends to intervene, that we are falling into a rut. It's hard to go out as for me, bill paying and keeping food for these greedy dogs is certainly more important 😂 BF isn't the spontaneous type and likes routine, but I want to shake it up every now and again ... keep the excitement going, you know? Gotta work on it.

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Yeah got to work on keeping it lively.......it does sound important. I have almost the opposite happening here. My guy is the man with a million ideas...there's no sitting still and we're not just talking getting out on the weekend type plans. He has his eye on different business ideas constantly. He is always looking for the next big idea/opportunity. Since I've known him( 2 and a bit years) he has put together  no less then 6 major business takeover proposals, plus a restructuring of his present business. In the meantime he amuses himself by flipping cars...which is actually not a good financial plan but there might be some maintenance savings?? He's had 5 cars over that time period. It's a whirlwind. I am coming from a background of status quo is my friend. I have worked in the same job , in the same building , lived in the same house for 30  years. 

 

I like being busy but sometimes I just need to step back. Going forward I'm going have to figure out how I can build in my down time while still being together.

 

 

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Oh yes, klim -- 'me' time is vital. I am always in my head and I think since we are both in the house, life would continue like this, with neither of us going outside unless it was to the store LOL. I am grateful like I said for my ministry commitments, which is 'my thing'. He is developing his business, so that is 'his thing', but it is slow going. In the meantime, there's not much room for extra so we don't go to dinner or the movies. We haven't had a date night in a long time (and neither of us called it that). He doesn't seem moved either way, meaning he's not sad or happy that we don't do those things. I think it's just for my own thoughts about keeping things interesting that I want to at least bring it up. I want to be someone that he wants to be around for a long time and I don't think I can do that very well if I'm too boring 😂

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Arneal- bf and I are also on a severe budget when it comes to entertainment. So, when we are feeling stir-crazy, we look for free/cheap activities. Like going to an art exhibit at one of our local museums, or visiting a city garden or nature trail; free concerts/lectures are offered by local colleges or churches or libraries/book stores. Perhaps scout around to see what’s happening in your area and surprise your bf with a night of, say, listening to a visiting concert pianist or a lecture on quantum physics- Shake it up! 

 

klim- I am Tired just reading about your bf😂 One of my best friends is like that- a whirling dervish of ideas and activity that can inspire and energize me, in small doses. But also- I am someone who can find great joy in sitting on my porch doing nothing but watch the wildlife for a couple hours. I definitely need both. (She, however, does not!) 

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I like the lecture idea. We are close enough to a bunch of places that might offer things like that. Thanks, Bunny!

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Was just over on the Online Dating thread -- not sure if you all saw the article LeadFeather shared about recoupling? It made me reflect more on the things I've been reflecting on anyway 😅 I think the thing that is missing for me in the steps the author described is the skittishness; knowing when to say 'Hey -- let's make this permanent' and not stress about doing so. That's where I am now ... BF and I met in 2016, not long after LH died. We now live together (it's already been just over a year) and I am thinking about the long-term; I'd love to put him in my will, hitch up so he doesn't have to pay for health insurance (he's finalizing the paperwork to incorporate his business), but he went through a very ugly divorce and I don't think marriage is something he's interested in on the surface. Honestly, I have no 'need' to remarry, but from a practical standpoint, it makes sense to me. I had a boss a thousand years ago; the wife taught at university and he ran a non-profit. She covered their health insurance and such, while his organization provided a way for some who otherwise probably wouldn't have finished their primary education. BF isn't going to save the world with his business, but I know he could do a lot of good. He has an idea for a fabulous non-profit too that I would get behind and not having to worry about things like being taxed because you don't have the proper health coverage isn't something anyone should have to worry about. Plus, not paying a ton for that would mean he could put more into the house, the business, and philanthropy. Anyway, that's it for today's ramblings ... I am praying for a sign to either spit it all out, that something will spark him to say it, or that it will become rock-hard obvious that I should keep my mouth shut. 

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Arneal, my advice, worth what you pay for it is to spit it out. Share how you feel and tell him what you want. "Put forward your desires as if you had a right to them." Then, work forward from there. I can only speak as me, and not for men in general, but if it were me I would very much want to know what you want in the relationship rather than have to guess because you did not express your desires. Open communication grows trust and trust grows love.

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Thank you, LF -- the article you shared needs to also have a discussion of being chicken 😵😑😅 He knows I have been mentally wrestling with something. And the time change to spring is always tough for me anyway, so the timing here is just ducky. Sigh ...

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You are welcome. Reading your response all the way down to your tagline I have a question you might want to ask yourself as you are decide what you want to do. (Your tagline by the way was very inspirational to me when I first joined this site.) The question is; which would bring you more peace, telling him or not telling him?  

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Aw, glad to know -- I love yours as well; there are minimal words to capture the greatness of Corrie Ten Boom!

 

Hm. That is a wonderful question ... one that I must ponder a bit. I think it was the great philosopher, Bugs Bunny, who once said 'It's the anticipation that gets me'. I am one who would prefer to be given the answer without having to ask the question. Perhaps it is an only child thing, or an INFJ thing, I don't know. Working on it. 

 

Appreciate the question though, truly! 

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Arneal, I think you want more from your relationship, but not willing to rock the boat too much.  I understand that your guy might not think or celebrate events like you do, but to be in a loving, committed relationship, it's realizing that what's important to your partner should be important to you too.  Out of love for that person, you would want to do those things for them that make them happy.  Please make sure you're with him for all the right reasons.  Of course there is give and take and compromise, but make sure you're not accepting crumbs when only a loaf will do.

 

Much love to you.  Really.  This is hard.

 

 

 

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Agreed, SW -- I appreciate the sounding board that we have here. As several of our pack has expressed, when dealing with others who have not been through what we have, it's a learning curve for both. Not to disparage those who have not lost their mates across the Rainbow Bridge, but it's easier to be angry at a former spouse or signif who is now gone through divorce. It's easy to fuss about all the things they did wrong while not taking responsibility for their stuff. When a spouse or signif dies, a person is left with a different set of feelings. There may be anger about the things they did or didn't do; sadness at their simply not being there; stress about how bills will be paid; awe if they left a solid portfolio and took care of major expenses ... or some combination of several of those. To step out of that place and into a new relationship is different than coming to terms with the idea that an ex is now with someone else or is not, or that an ex is a jerk and causing difficulty for any number of reasons. The Come to Jesus conversation is eminent ... as Game of Thrones suggests, winter is here. I'll get to the core of it. Just have to suss out how to do it in a way that is comfortable for me.

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Arneal,  

Not sure of your situation, but don't learn the hard way I am.  I am having to set boundaries that I didn't have due to being too accommodating.  My evolution of the relationship.  And NG is managing it well, but still, I realize it would have been best sooner.  We are working through it all, but it is painful.  Kinda like being the hard teacher that softens versus the easy going teacher that is viewed as mean when boundaries and limits have to be set.  

In fairness,  I didn't know all I needed/wanted, either.  And until it got very serious, I could handle things.  So, as we discuss long term, lots of conversations about what will make this work. We both want a healthy relationship that can withstand the trials we will be given, and the romantic and innocence of life is not there like in our younger years.  I had the hardest time just picking out a Valentine's day card as most just didn't apply or fit!!!  😉

 

Wishing you the best for whatever is on your plate.  I am hopeful and feel good about things in a way I have not.  But truth, honesty, communication, validation, worthiness and hope are all intertwined in our wounded souls to have this happen.  ❤️

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