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joehobo 12-23-2015 07:15 PM

Divorced for the Holiday!
 
I actually thought the Divorce part would be more anti-climatic than it has been. I've been quite happy on my own for the last 8 mths. But... This last week a couple things hit home. The Divorce is final... and I found out via a tangential post on FB that some guy has been sleeping over at my Ex's new house on the off weeks (we are 50/50). OK, this was going to happen sometime, I realize that. Reality bites though. The dope either is stupid (my kids have FB and would see this)... or is asserting dominance.
In either case... it was a bit of a slapback. I thought I had processed the split pretty good. I really am in a better space than the last 3-4 years of her passive aggressive weirdness. The divorce has been textbook perfect (we function very co-operatively and have been truly reasonable about everything... even to the point of co-ording the $$ spend on the kids and balancing $ and gifts with each other this Christmas). I KNOW she could have taken me to the cleaners.. but she didn't.

Yet... her being with another guy is really f*ing with me. I'm out shopping and I cast back to the days (not that long ago) when we functioned strong as a couple and family. Christmas was the best time of year. I still can't tack down where the hell it messed up. I see couples and families out shopping, and I think.. that was us. And now its not.

I'm trying not wallowing in self-pity. I've got a bit of something-something going on myself (IMHO, waaaay better than she ever was).... but I still look at 20 years of history, and I was Happy. I would have done almost anything to fix whatever issues that she had (she never brought them up until well after it was clear she was done and it was unfixable). I still harbour anger that she forced my hand... I was crazy-mad in-love with her, and I was the one that in the end had to say that I wanted a divorce.

So I'm now facing the first Christmas alone in my entire life (kids go to her place on Xmas day). Its not going to sink me... I've got junk planned ( going to Star Wars on Xmas day... preparing a nice meal for myself after that.... Santa's bringing a new PS4 and some cool games. And there is wine. Sweet Wine. :)
So I'm going to be busy. Its just going to suck.

arabian 12-23-2015 07:33 PM

Hi Joe - something to think about this year, and many years in the future, is that neither you nor your ex are the same people you were 20 years ago. This little, but significant fact, has helped me face my own divorce (30 yr marriage).

Think about memory of things in the past. We tend to remember significant events in our lives. My ex and I used to lament that, for example, Christmas isn't as meaningful or as good as when we were young. Well when you think about that statement, of course Christmas today isn't going to be as exciting as it was when you're younger (good or bad exciting). Youth and age give us different perspectives on everything in life. You may think fondly of the "good old days out shopping and preparing for Christmas" when, in reality, those days were absolute chaos with cranky kids, stressed-out parents and maxed out credit cards. Ask yourself if you could handle the same amount of uncertainty, that you did 20 years ago, today? Not a chance. You're probably more concerned now about your RRSP's, blood pressure than you are about getting laid 7 times a week.

You are a different person than you were 20 years ago.

Embrace the past and look forward to the future. Enjoy the wine (20 years ago you were probably drinking rye/coke or shooters).

You were happy years ago and you can be happy in the future. Don't fall into a pattern of comparing things from your earlier years to things you newly encounter in the future.

arabian 12-23-2015 07:51 PM

With regards to your comments about your ex having a relationship with someone else:

You and your ex have decided to move on with your lives. Sounds as though your ex is showing a bit of consideration for the kids' feelings in having bf over on the weeks when the children are not around. Often people jump from a marriage into another relationship without any regards to kids feelings. At the start of my separation divorce I had to accept the fact that my ex was banging our long-time employee's wife. This woman still, to this day, emails me any and all communication from my ex to our son.

Hopefully the man that your ex is partnering with is a decent person who treats your children kindly. If your ex is happy with this person then she might be a happier mother for your children to be around. I'd give this man cudos for staying out of your divorce.

joehobo 12-23-2015 08:09 PM

Thanks Arabian :)
'tis true. I know I am a different person. This is my 2nd divorce, the first one was mid-20's and it devastated me (I didn't date for 6 years). This time around.... it is painful, but I know it will pass. This awareness doesn't speed things, but it does dull the pain somewhat.

Given all that has transpired..... I can be thankful for a lot of things. The separation/divorce was low conflict, the kids have adapted, I'm more free than I have been in my whole life.


I always used to think that certain couples I knew had it all figured out... that they had perfected that "secret sauce" that makes it work. Then... I deluded myself into thinking I had it all nailed down.
Truth is: Nobody knows what they are doing.... You've just got to act honestly and open and hope that it works out at some point.

Life really is a freaking roller-coaster isn't it?

Press forward... damn the torpedoes! Who knows what 2016 might bring my way?

arabian 12-23-2015 08:58 PM

Your comments about observations of other couples who "seem to have it all figured out" brings to mind a situation that rocked me hard last year.

On one of those rare occasions when I spoke with my ex last year were talking about who we had seen recently and what they were doing etc. One couple we knew and were very close to at a time (he was my husband's best man at our wedding). I assumed that this couple were prospering and likely enjoying the fruits of their labours and enjoying early retirement without a care in the world. I recall not long after our divorce wistfully thinking that these people "had it made." I had lost touch with them over the years and never sought to reconnect after our divorce, partially out of sheer embarrassment that our marriage had ended so poorly. I was absolutely floored to hear that these two people had gone through a divorce and that the wife (according to what my ex told me that her husband relayed to him) had "drank herself to death." I recall that she had been in a serious MV accident but I never knew her to be a heavy drinker. She had a stellar career and was quite prominent. The two of them had, to me, an idyllic life. I also learned that litigation carried on after wife's death regarding daughter inheriting mother's estate. A terrible tragedy. These were exceptionally nice caring people.

I know many people were very surprised when my ex and I divorced. One never knows what goes on behind closed doors as all is not always as it seems.

stripes 12-23-2015 09:02 PM

I think it's normal to be a bit thrown off course by learning that your ex has met someone else, no matter how much you yourself may have moved on. This person (the ex) was your whole world once upon a time (especially if you had a good marriage that went bad, a distinct from one that was bad from the start), and that leaves a strong emotional imprint, no mature how much you dislike the person now.

I remember finding out that my ex had a new gf (thanks a million, Facebook) when I was stuck in an airport on a layover and surfing FB out of boredom - it really hit me, even though I had absolutely no ambivalence about the end of the marriage. I still had a reaction of "hey, you're not supposed to be snuggling up to other people!" even though I knew it was irrational. Part of this was because I hadn't gotten back into dating myself (it was quite soon after the marriage ended and I knew I wasn't emotionally ready to be close to someone else). (And as it happens, the gf, now his second wife, is someone he met through my work and from the hints other people have dropped, it sounds like the two of them were shagging before we split up).

Fast forward a couple of years and I'm in a happy committed relationship with someone who is stable, grounded, and thinks I'm wonderful. The ex's remarriage no longer affects me at all. The new wife seems to have been a stabilizing influence on the ex, and his erratic behaviour has calmed down somewhat. So it all works out.

Also, just remember when you see all the happy families doing their Christmas shopping, you're seeing a facade. Many of them are miserable, anxious, and unhappy, but keeping up appearances because that's what they believe they have to do at this time of year. If you're on your own, you're in good company.

ele110 12-23-2015 10:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joehobo (Post 202784)
I actually thought the Divorce part would be more anti-climatic than it has been. I've been quite happy on my own for the last 8 mths. But... This last week a couple things hit home. The Divorce is final... and I found out via a tangential post on FB that some guy has been sleeping over at my Ex's new house on the off weeks (we are 50/50). OK, this was going to happen sometime, I realize that. Reality bites though. The dope either is stupid (my kids have FB and would see this)... or is asserting dominance.
In either case... it was a bit of a slapback. I thought I had processed the split pretty good. I really am in a better space than the last 3-4 years of her passive aggressive weirdness. The divorce has been textbook perfect (we function very co-operatively and have been truly reasonable about everything... even to the point of co-ording the $$ spend on the kids and balancing $ and gifts with each other this Christmas). I KNOW she could have taken me to the cleaners.. but she didn't.

Yet... her being with another guy is really f*ing with me. I'm out shopping and I cast back to the days (not that long ago) when we functioned strong as a couple and family. Christmas was the best time of year. I still can't tack down where the hell it messed up. I see couples and families out shopping, and I think.. that was us. And now its not.

I'm trying not wallowing in self-pity. I've got a bit of something-something going on myself (IMHO, waaaay better than she ever was).... but I still look at 20 years of history, and I was Happy. I would have done almost anything to fix whatever issues that she had (she never brought them up until well after it was clear she was done and it was unfixable). I still harbour anger that she forced my hand... I was crazy-mad in-love with her, and I was the one that in the end had to say that I wanted a divorce.

So I'm now facing the first Christmas alone in my entire life (kids go to her place on Xmas day). Its not going to sink me... I've got junk planned ( going to Star Wars on Xmas day... preparing a nice meal for myself after that.... Santa's bringing a new PS4 and some cool games. And there is wine. Sweet Wine. :)
So I'm going to be busy. Its just going to suck.

Yes, it does suck! I can totally relate to how you feel. I went through the same.
Keep yourself and your mind busy with something you like doing, maybe a sport or a hobby. Something that takes you out of the house Do something exciting for yourself. If you feel ready, start dating this could also be very exciting. But keep the kids out of it.
Don't worry about how happy what other couples are doing. Worry about your own happiness. Make it happen. All the best and Merry Christmas.

joehobo 12-24-2015 10:30 AM

Thank-you Arabian/Stripes & ele110,

I know that this, too will pass. My Ex dropped in yesterday to leave some gifts the kids had wrapped and told me that she was dating (although she was not surprised I knew, and seemed a bit embarrassed the dude dropped that info in that way).
In my heart I know that we had issues from the get go (although we made it work very well for almost 20 years). There was a lot that was unspoken, that I will never be able to figure out exactly why it went the way it did.
I've got to build an un-idealized version of her, without demonizing her.

Maybe this dude will make her happy.... and that would make me happy to see that. god knows I did my best and was unable to. Side benefit would be I get to drop SS. Maybe there are some silver linings to look forward too :)

Anyway, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Links17 12-24-2015 12:15 PM

Consider if she wasn't banging somebody else she would have spent more time fighting you. I think having your ex find somebody else might be emotionally distressing to some but really if she wants free time to bang she is going to accept 50/50 and if she has financial support and a guy living with her there is more of an aspect of shame in receiving alimony (and of your girlfriend receiving it).

Merry Christmas enjoy everything you can enjoy while single.

joehobo 12-24-2015 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Links17 (Post 202805)
Consider if she wasn't banging somebody else she would have spent more time fighting you. I think having your ex find somebody else might be emotionally distressing to some but really if she wants free time to bang she is going to accept 50/50 and if she has financial support and a guy living with her there is more of an aspect of shame in receiving alimony (and of your girlfriend receiving it).

Merry Christmas enjoy everything you can enjoy while single.

We've not fought about anything, either during the marriage, or thru the divorce. We text a lot, and although its strictly about co-ording stuff with the kids, its not terse in any way. For Christmas gifts, we made sure we are giving each of the kids about the same amount of things, and exchanged purchases to make sure there was no one-upmanship.

Its very complex, she can be sweet and means well, especially with the children... but there is a layer of narcissism that is rooted in a lousy childhood. I should have given more credence to that. But I didn't see that at the time.
That all said, she accepted a fair and balanced distribution of our marital assets... and a fair proposal for CS+SS that will end. Including a clause that kills SS if she co-habs for more than 90 days.

IDK... maybe she's going to be smarter this time around and stay single for a while... or maybe she just needs a partner to "be whole", lacking any self-awareness to figure out how be happy on her own.

Me... I'm quite happy when I have my kids... and happy when I'm alone. I'd love to find a solid, open, honest relationship some day. But to quote that great Philosopher king George Bush: "Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again!" Round 3, I will be going in with my eyes wide open...

Merry Christmas to all!! And to all a good night!! :)


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