Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Demise of a Marriage, PartII....

I always wanted to be a wife and a mother. Growing up, I never said I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, I wanted to be a mommy and a wife. I like taking care of people and I love family. I chose a hard road. I got pregnant when I was 20 years old with a man I had known for a month. My X turned out to be a wonderful person, I got very lucky, but the road was hard.

Bump in the road #1 - he was divorced and had a child from that marriage that he paid a shit-load of child support for but wasn't allowed to see. We moved in together right away and started planning to get married a month after the baby was due. We worked so well together as a team and he got along with my parents fabulously. They treated him like another son.

Bump in the road #2 - when I was 5 months pregnant with our first son, we found out my X had a 3 year old son in his home town. The woman had told him she had an abortion, but never did. She never planned on contacting him, but she was on welfare and they told her she would lose her benefits if they couldn't find the father. There was a year of court papers and paternity tests before we found out for sure it was his son. And then they hit us with $13,000 in back child support. He tried to sign over his parental rights, but the court wouldn't let him because the mother was still on welfare. The DA felt badly for him and offered a deal where we paid 1 lump sum of $6500 and they would forgive the rest of the arrears and we would just have to pay monthly. We ate our humble pie and went to my parents to borrow the money. They agreed, which relieved some of the stress, but here we were paying child support for 2 children we never saw and we now had our own child. I ended up getting a part-time job to offset the child support we paid. We were able to resolve all of the issues, but that wasn't until about 6 years into the marriage.

Bump in the road #3 - my X's career was in the entertainment industry! For those of you who don't know, it is probably the most unstable career on the planet. Over the course of our marriage he lost his job no less then 6 times. Now, none of these times were ever his fault, it was always budge cuts, or a change in the market, or a format flip. It was hard to be mad at him cause it really wasn't his fault, but he did choose to stay in the industry. In between good jobs, he would work odd jobs, but he always worked. The instability still constantly threw our family into crisis mode. It always felt like an uncomfortable roller coaster I couldn't get off.

The last straw - the final career move was out of state. This required leaving the area I had lived in all my life, all my friends, and all my family. But being the good wife and backbone of my family, we packed up and moved. A year later he was let go from that job. I was done! I had just finished my degree and started working myself. I couldn't handle the instability anymore. I had been the only glue holding the family together for 8 years and I was exhausted. My X was raised that if he simply went to work, he was fulfilling his duties. That wasn't enough for me. Everytime the bottom dropped out he would withdraw and I had to pick up the pieces, devise a plan, and execute it behind the scenes. It was exhausting!

When I decided to move forward with the divorce after a year and a half of separation, I met with a lawyer who was a cousin of a friend. I liked her a lot and we talked about what had happened and how my X and I live near each other and get along great. She asked the question I think a lot of people were wondering...."If you guys like each other so much, why are you divorcing?" And the answer is....we make a great team, we make great co-parents, I like him as a person and I think he's a fantastic father, but we don't make good married people. We never really had the passion, the fire that I think is necessary to sustain a long term marriage. I don't know why, we just didn't. And then you add all the pressures and obstacles that we faced and each one chipped away at whatever bond we did have until nothing was left. I know that we will continue to be good friends. Even through the process of the divorce, we don't fight and we always keep the kids first. I know it probably won't always be easy, but I respect him and I just want him to be happy and I believe he feels the same way about me.

**The Long of it**

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Demise of a Marriage

I married for the first time when I was 20 years old. I had stars in my eyes and even though, our courtship had been rough I believed that love and the strength of a good woman could make any marriage work. To be fair, there were times in our marriage that we were happy and we were friends, but there were other times that he would get upset because my mom called or because I hadn't cleaned the house just as he liked. He would get mad and say ugly things to me. But out of naivety, I thought it would get better. After the birth of our son, we went for counseling. A few sessions and some promises from ex and the councilor told us there was nothing more he could do and that we would be fine. We weren't fine! We continued to argue and the verbal abuse continued. Because we were good friends and because we had some sense of happiness, we decided to have our second child.

Our daughter was born in to a happy and loving home. However, something changed after her birth. Suddenly, the ex became very distant. He no longer wanted to spend time with me or our children. He was very unhappy and was rarely home. His job was in the entertainment field and there were always "work" related events for him to attend in clubs and bars until very early morning hours. He stopped coming home some nights. I began finding strange messages on his phone and catching him in lies. I suspected that he was having an affair, but he denied it. He was drinking heavily and admitted to having done drugs a few times. He also told me that I had never made him happy and that he wasn't sure if he had ever loved me. I tried not to let it effect me and I remained devoted to him.

Finally, when our daughter was a year and a half old ex was fired from a job for sexual harassment and having a relationship with a female coworker. He finally admitted to me that this was his second affair and the the first one had gone on for over a year.

After all of this, my first reaction was to try to work through the problems again and save the marriage, then I realized that there was no marriage to save. I no longer trusted him, believed him or even liked him. He wasn't the same person I had married. I filed for divorce three weeks later.

--The Short of It

4 Hour Guilt Trip....

I've been separated for a year and a half but only started the divorce 2 months ago. In my state, divorcing parents are required to take a parenting class to obtain a divorce. A four hour, mind numbing, long ass class full of bitter men and women hating the world. I swear you could taste the bad vibe in the air. It was awkward for me because I have had a very amicable separation and divorce. My X and I live very close to each other, talk daily, and share the kids 50/50. A long story for another post.

After 12 hours to reflect, here are my observations:

*There's not much this man told me that I hadn't read a hundred times in books and articles.

*My kid is a lot more angry then I thought he was.....get therapy, ASAP.

*There are a lot of angry people in the world....and they frequently marry each other.

*If, while taking notes, you write "divorse" you don't deserve to get one!

*I'm a pretty sly text messager.

*I really don't want to listen to an 80-year-old man talk about us being "sexual beings."

*I have probably irrevocably damaged my children for life and now they have a 75% chance of getting divorced themselves.

*I am not allowed to get into another relationship for 2-3 years or it will go horribly wrong.

*If I do ever get married again there's a 60% chance I'll get divorced again....that'll make the 2-3 year wait for another relationship REAL EASY!!

Feel free to take any of my pearls of wisdom and use them in your own life! By the way, I paid $40 for this wisdom!!

**The Long of it**

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Act your age

I work with a lady who is in her late 40's. Julie has 2 daughters who are in their early twenties, and she has a very close single-parent relationship with them. But, Julie is OLD. I don't mean by way of age, but at some point Julie has resigned herself to being grandmotherly. She wears long dresses, with no shape, that look like they are from the early 90's. Visiting Julie's house is like visiting a grandma, lots of doilies, she collects bells and has various nik-naks everywhere. Everything about Julie is old!

On the other-hand, my ex-mother-in-law, whom I adore, is in her 50's and is far younger and hipper than I ever dreamed of being. Jane wears the newest clothing styles, she decorates her house in a trendy manner and she is tuned in with technology, and entertainment news. Everything about Jane is young!

What is the difference? Why do some women chose to age themselves prematurely? Honestly, watching Julie makes me worry about falling in to a rut. I don't want to lose touch with everything modern. I worry that it is slowly happening though. Already, I prefer music that is just a little bit old instead of the latest stuff. Already, I refuse to buy the latest fashions, rationalizing that they won't stick around and it isn't the frugal choice. I have never seen an episode of Hanna Montana! Oh no, I even have doilies in my house!

I've always planned to age the way Jane has, planned to stay connected with my kid's generation. Maybe the effort is futile, I wasn't even the most hip kid when I was a teenager myself. While, I want to look appropriate and not end up being a 50 year old who looks like I'm trying to be 20, I also don't want to be a 50 year old who is trying to be 70.

Are these choices we make or is it something that is intrinsic in our personality? How do we strike the balance? How do we age gracefully?

--The Short of It

Monday, August 25, 2008

How did I get here....

As a child, you are always told you have your whole life in front of you. You can be whatever you want to be and do whatever you want to do. You have so many things to look forward to. As you enter adolescences, you realize the things you like to do and the things you are good at. This begins to narrow the field of opportunities. Young adulthood is full of figuring out exactly who you are as you start to make choices that will effect the rest of your life, except, for most of us, we never realize how much it will. As I approach the big 3-0 in a couple months, the point at which I consider myself a full fledged adult, I can't help but feel like "How did I get here?"

How did I get to be a single mom of 2, working at a job I don't particularly like, not ready to date, not ready to be alone, and generally completely lost. I can't even fathom some of the choices I made to get to this point, but they sure sounded like good ideas at the time. I've always just tried the best I could with what I had, but somehow that doesn't seem good enough anymore. I'm gonna need to get some psychic ability to get through the next 30 years or I'm toast.

Don't get me wrong, I like who I am and I understand that I wouldn't be that person if I had not been through everything I have. But I always wonder what would have happened if I had taken a slightly different path at crucial points in my life. Should I have chosen to raise my son alone when I found out I was pregnant out of wedlock at the age of 20? Should I have said no to the moving out of state for an unstable job? Should I have persevered in the career I really wanted? Should I now, as I stand at a crossroads in my life, chose to return to the place where it all started and try to start over?

I've tried to hone my psychic ability, but I don't think it's working, so I guess I'm going to have to continue to do the best I can with what I know. Starting over is never easy, but it does allow you to change your path and choose something different. I'm choosing something different, something that can be better for me and better for my boys. I'm choosing to take them home, where people love and care for them. It's not the easy choice, but most hard things are worth the work. As long as I continue to keep the future in view and forgive myself for past mistakes, I can't go wrong.

**The Long of it**


I love my children. Please don't misinterpret what I am about to say, please don't turn me into CPS for not loving them. I do love them, more than I ever imagined possible, but there are days when I really detest motherhood.

It all started when I was pregnant. I HATED being pregnant. Oh, sure there were the moments when I realized that it was the one time in my life that it was ok to be fat, and I did enjoy some of the attention that you get when you are cute and pregnant (yes, I did just call myself cute). But I hated being sick, I hated being kept awake by kicking and I hated sharing my body. My first pregnancy was riddled with guilt about not being pregnant and glowing. I felt sad that I wasn't loving the experience the way other women do.

When the babies were born I quickly realized that I also wasn't fond of breastfeeding. It didn't particularly make me feel any closer to them or bonded with them. I didn't feel so wonderful because they were dependant on me. I continued to breastfeed because that was the best choice for their health, but I longed for the day when I would regain some autonomy.

Right about now, you are probably thinking that you are reading the words of a woman who shouldn't have had kids and who never should have made the choice twice. It may sound that way, but my kids do fill me with joy and overwhelming emotion. Their welfare is my number one priority and has always come before my needs.

Now, my kids are 4 and 6 years old. We have been through many adjustments together. Since, my divorce I have often felt like it is "me and my kids against the world." We cling to each other. But there are days still that I feel like I did when I was pregnant and breastfeeding. There are days when I want to throw my hands in the air and say "I give up,This is too hard." When I had children, I thought I would be married to their dad forever. I never thought that my dream of a perfect family would be ripped out from beneath me. That I would be the ONLY person in this world who so clearly has their best interests in mind every moment of the day. Sometimes, I long for my autonomy back, sometimes I dream about not having them so dependant on me.

My new husband is wonderful with my kids. They absolutely adore him and they see him as a father figure, and their dad is still very involved in their lives. I'm not all alone, like some women are. But there is no one else to diffuse the situation when they get mad and say "I hate you!" Last week my six year old got really mad for the first time, he told me he hated me and then proceeded to tell me how much better his dad is and that he just wants to live with his dad. It stung. It shook me, no matter how much logic is telling me that he was just testing the water. It still made me feel that all of my hard work, sacrifice and love is being wasted.

I look at other mom's who just radiate motherhood. Who are patient and soft and loving. Moms who play with their kids and seem to enjoy every aspect of motherhood. I look at them and I feel inadequate. I wonder why my experience is so filled with struggles and battles of will. I wish that I was a lover of all things motherhood. I wish I glowed when I was pregnant, that I felt so wonderful when breastfeeding and that I truely could "enjoy" all of the stages as they mature. Many days, I feel like I'm just putting one foot in front of the other, taking motherhood one step at a time and waiting for the rest at the end. I'm tired and I yell too much.

Just when I think I can't take another moment of this challenging job they do something so edearing, so tender that they melt my heart. They melt my heart just like their sweet baby sounds and their newborn smell melted my heart when I was hating breastfeeding. My heart melts and I am girded up to shoulder the next challenge of motherhood, one foot in front of the other.

--The Short of It

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Three weeks free....

I wasn't sure that I wanted to blog about this because it is a sensitive situation and I don't want to sound harsh or heartless, but I think it might be a situation other people have dealt with and I was curious to explore the issue. The Short of it played matchmaker a few months ago. She gave my email address to a guy she worked with. He seemed perfect on paper! He has a great job, and beyond that, a great career. He is in his late thirties, never been married, with no kids. She always felt he was very polite and really seemed to have his life together. We exchanged emails for a few weeks and I really liked everything he had to say. He seemed to have the right answers without even meaning to. He was very open and honest and so was I....I was probably too honest, I tend to have that problem. After a few weeks we started talking on the phone. The conversations were often, long, and in depth. I really started to like him. At this point, there were a couple red flags. First, he seemed to drink a little more then I did and he wasn't very nice when he drank. But, I'm no prude and excused the unkindness because of the alcohol. Second, he had a "crazy ex-girlfriend"....this always disturbs me because there are 2 sides to every story.

After about a month of talking on the phone, I made the drive (7 hours mind you) to stay at The Short of it's house and spend some time with Mr. X. We talked on the phone during my long drive, but this did not go well. He had been drinking and was kinda being mean! He said I was "fussy and uptight" and some other things that I have blocked out because I was so angry. No one had ever talked to me that way and I wasn't having any part of it. When I got to The Short of it's house, I called him and left a message saying this wasn't going to work and I didn't want to see him. A few hours later, after I was asleep, he called and text several times saying how sorry he was and that he didn't mean to offend me. The next day, The Short of it's husband talked to him and he seemed really remorseful so I decided to talk to him. It was really hard and I really felt like I should be out on this guy, but he looked so good on paper and he was so willing to do anything to make it better. So, after a long talk with The Short of it we decided that the best thing was for Mr. X to come to dinner at her house. He quickly agreed and we had a nice evening together and even went for a drive after dinner. I was back in.....and more then ever I really liked this guy.

I went home and we continued to talk on the phone. It was difficult because I was so far away and some things about him irritated me, but he still looked so good on paper that I pushed through all of that. Also, at this point, there were more red flags. I had shared with him some issues I had with post-partum depression and my Grandmother being Bipolar. This is when he informed me he had been diagnosed Bipolar. I know what you might be screaming!! But it's not that easy. I didn't see it, he seemed so normal. And there are differing degrees of mental illness and who was I to judge, I had been through post-partum depression, TWICE! So, I pushed on.

He decided to fly out to visit me and we went to stay at a nice resort. I think this was the beginning of the end. First, he didn't like that I could be there and we could just be quiet. He wanted us to always be talking. He also didn't sleep at night. He would get up at 3am and be up for the day. He drank A LOT.....from the time he got there to the time he left, it was constant. At one point, someone knocked at the door and he flipped out about people "bugging us," complete with 4 letter words and stomping around. Later, we went to walk around the mall and he had a full on panic attack about being around a lot of people. I felt bad for him, but something was clearly wrong.

After his departure, paranoia and crazy speculation ensued. If I did not answer my phone or call him back right away he thought I was dead, got a DUI, or was having sex with another guy! What?!?! Huh?!?! It didn't make sense. The next week he went to the doctor and was re-diagnosed Bipolar and put on meds. I was happy that he was getting help, but I felt stuck. I didn't want to be mean or kick him while he was down, but I was for sure out. I tried to remain friendly, but a barrage of texts and phone calls at 2am a few weeks later pushed me over the edge!

Here was my dilemma...I was out because he is Bipolar. Is that bad, mean, wrong?? He knew the horrible, life scarring issues I had with my Grandmother being Bipolar.....could he really expect me to put myself, not to mention my children, in that type of situation? Well, I know he did....but would anyone else? I had children to think about and this was no minor case of Bipolar. Why would I choose that life? But I felt like I was discriminating against someone with a disability! That's not nice or politically correct. If he had a brain tumor, would that make him undateable? He's sick, he has an it ok to choose not to get on the crazy train?? It's been 3 weeks now with no contact....a part of me is immensely relieved, but another part of me has so many questions.

**The Long of it**

P.S. I knew I did the right thing when I found out last week that his doctor made him take a month off of work and he has stage 2 liver damage!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Whining in public...

We recently received a comment on our blog asking if we started this blog "just to whine in public." Being the reasonable, thoughtful people we are, The Short of it and I took a step back to contemplate this comment. First of all, if you read our profile, you can see that this is the exact reason why we started this blog. We needed an outlet to vent our feelings and frustrations, beyond our daily phone calls to each other. We wanted a place to talk about the things that happen in our lives. Writing can be very cathartic and therapeutic and allows us to release some steam. Most of the things we blog about aren't things we can vent to our husbands, children, co-workers, or even our friends. We're not allowed to whine to our children how bad it sucks to be a step parent or how disheartening it is to be in the dating world. We can't point out to our friends and family members the things that drive us crazy about them. It's not polite and it's not good manners. Instead, we write about them in this anonymous blog!:)

Secondly, we have found a lot of solace in reading other's blogs. We can see that we are not alone in our struggles and we actually take stock in other people's experiences and advice. We, in turn, hope that maybe people who read our blog will know they are not alone. We struggle with the same things every human being does and there is some kind of hope in knowing that sometimes, our lives aren't so bad. In addition, being anonymous allows us to talk about things that may be taboo in a nice, family blog....the things people won't talk about around the dinner table. This is the place where we can call a spade a spade and we believe that most people appreciate the honesty.

So, yes we may whine and we admit it. But we're allowed to because this is the only place on the entire planet where it is acceptable. We will not apologize for the things we blog about and if this offends your delicate sensibilities then I am sure there is another fluffy, life is great blog out there for you to read.

**The Long of it**

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Refined Tastes

My husband and I got married in Vegas. It was very, very small and very perfect. Actually, nothing about the day went perfectly smooth, but that didn't bother us. My youngest cried throughout our ceremony, not a tearful emotional cry, but a two year old tantrum cry. My step-daughter was tired and mad at the world (in her six year old way). But none of these things bothered us in the least. We look back on it as perfect. After the ceremony our immediate family and some of my closest friends were asked to join us for a no-host dinner at a Vegas buffet.

When I mentioned the plans to my mom she became worried about her boyfriend L. She feared that this man who is used to fine dining and no less than four star hotels might be repulsed by the dining fare at a Vegas buffet. I told her I was sorry if this was going to cause a problem, but this would be most comfortable choice for the majority of guests in attendance. She said that they would figure it out. The day of the wedding arrived and another word about L's discomfort was never mentioned.

We went to the buffet and L looked a little confused. My mom rushed around trying to make him comfortable and searching the buffet (while the rest of us were eating like happy plump little pigs) for anything that might suit L.

Finally, L was able to find choices that were pleasing to his upper-class taste buds. At the end of the long table sat L, with a plate of sauerkraut, refried beans, beets and tomato slices. He enjoyed all of this with a glass of red wine. Yes, L definitely has refined tastes...

--The Short of It

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The second time around

Sometimes I wonder if this second time around relationship thing is even worth it. My husband and I married shortly after the ends of our first marriage. We both have fairly young children. We love each other very much... but is love enough.

Is love enough to overcome the trials of step-parenting, demands made by ex spouses and the division of loyalty? This whole thing has me tired! I thought it was tough trying to juggle a spouse and demanding parents in my first marriage, but now the second time around there are so many more forces working on us. There are so many different parties with their hands in our affairs.

My husbands ex-wife wants more child support. She wants more child support because she has decided that she wants to be a stay at home mom, therefore my husband needs to pay more. She is able bodied, young, capable of working. Even relocated the kids to another state under the guise of getting a better job. Then two years later, changed her mind and has decided she doesn't want to work anymore. So, now with her non-existent income and less visitation for my husband because of the increased distance, it looks like the courts will award her more child support.

In a discussion about this today, my husband informed me that this will cause us a financial strain because I insisted on buying a house a year and a half ago. And that is just the down side to owning. Excuse me! Somehow our financial strain is going to be my fault. Let me give just a little more background info... I work full time, I bring home more than half of our family's income. With my income alone I could comfortably afford 1/2 of our mortgage, my car payment and all of the expenses for my own children. We also bought a house a year and a half ago because our neighbor in our rental was an ex-con that was dangerous and any other rentals that we looked at would cost as much as buying. Yet somehow, even with those factors at play our financial hardships will be MY FAULT?!?!

Now mind you, I do not in any way blame my husband for this. I blame a greedy ex. His comments came to the surface when I made a comment about it not being fair that I will have to work more overtime when child support goes up so that we can afford the difference. It would do no good for him to earn any more money, because the more he earns, the more she will want to take.

It seems that no matter what, I am the bad guy here. I didn't take his kids away. I'm not demanding half his income. Yet somehow I'm to blame here.

My husband made many choices long before I came in to the picture. Decisions that put balls in motion to create our current situation. I came along late in the game and just said, "Hey, I love you and I'd like us to have a nice life together!" And now I realize that saying that makes me demanding in his eyes and has caused all of our future problems.

Am I just destined to be the evil step-mother and a pushy and demanding wife?

Other step-mothers/second wives out there... are these problems normal? How do you overcome issues like this? How do I stand up for myself and say that I will not allow myself to be the whipping post everytime something goes wrong?

--The Short of It

Monday, August 18, 2008

Working mom....

I don't normally get bent out of shape about what other people say in this crazy blogging world. I understand that everyone has their own opinion and they have a right to express themselves. But today, I read a blog about being a "working mom" that I just can't keep quiet about! The blog was from a mom of a six month old baby, who works at a church. Apparently, she's allowed to take her child to work with her occasionally and when she does not, the child stays with family members. She loves her job but misses nursing her baby and making dinner for her husband. I'm sorry, I understand we women gotta stick together and all, but I call BULL SHIT!!

I am a single, working mom. I work 40+ hours a week, at a job I don't particularly like so that I can keep a roof over our head and food on the table. My children go to public school and after school day care with people who's first names I can scarcely remember. I am single, with no social life to speak of. And I flat out don't eat half the time! I have no family here and most of my friends are flakes. I'm constantly exhausted, defeated, and depressed because I feel like a bad parent and a general failure at life and I'm going to be alone forever! I spend everyday just doing the best I can.

I just feel like you can't call yourself a "working mom" if what you are is a glorified volunteer, who brings your child to work, who has a husband and a support system, who whines about not being able to make homemade pizza! I understand it's hard to leave your child with anyone, but before you complain about your situation, you should consider that other people have a hard, if not harder time and would kill to have what you have. I am not exempt from this. I look at women who work 2 jobs they absolutely hate, who's children's fathers are not even around, who's family is not supportive at all and I know that I have it easier then them. And that is why I never would have even considered posting this blog if it hadn't been for the woman who complained about not being able to make her husband lunch or have a garden!

Come on women! Let's consider that there is a world outside of your cushy suburban lives and maybe you don't have it so bad. Maybe there are women who struggle longer and harder then you and we should not make them feel like less of a person, less of a mother, and less of a successful human being then you!

**The Long of it**

Friday, August 15, 2008

Missing the Good Times

I read a post on Jezebel yesterday. She referenced a very interesting article on msnbc titled, When the train never leaves the station. This kind of got me thinking about the importance of sex in a relationship/marriage. How often is often enough, how often is too often and what are good "excuses" for not having sex.

When I was in college I heard it said that if you put an M&M in a jar every time you have sex the first year of your marriage/relationship and then take an M&M out ever time you do the deed for the subsequent years, you will never empty your jar. This translates to, enjoy it the first year, because it's goin' away baby! If that is the case, it makes sense that the divorce rate is so high, maybe we are all desiring a chance to start a relationship and enjoy the part where you are filling the jar.

How can a marriage survive without sex? I have heard about people who don't have sex on their wedding night, which seems strange enough, but people who go years... I just can't comprehend that. Is it just me or is it a necessary part of feeling loved, desired and connected? Honestly, I kind of enjoy the little bit of control that sex gives me in a relationship. I don't really know if I would want to be in a relationship if it weren't for sex. Yeah, yeah, companionship is great and all that, but if that is all I wanted I'd just have a roommate. Or even better, if I was only looking for companionship, I'd just live with The Long of It. But no, I enjoy good sex, good sex with a man that is. And obviously, I'm not in to the random partner thing. In fact T was the only man I've ever slept with that I wasn't married to.

When thinking about this concept of sexless marriages that is so foreign to me, I questioned two things. First, how can they survive and second, what causes this. Is it possible that there are people who just don't need sex? I can understand having some hang ups about feeling comfortable. But I have to wonder if you have these hang ups in the relationship then are you maybe in the wrong relationship? I believe a good amount of sex is 2 to 3 times per week. I think that is realistic. I think everyone has different needs, but I want to feel close to my husband a few times a week. And really, I want the fun. These people in marriages without sex are honestly missing out on the fun stuff. Perhaps some of it comes from a profound laziness. I know that when I go periods without sex with my husband it is really just because I'm feeling tired and lazy, then when we get back at it I regret the lazy period.

From someone who thinks that sex is so much fun, my advice if you aren't getting any... go get some help... go get laid!

-The Short of It

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lies in Marriage

How much honesty is REALLY necessary in a marriage? I have been married for a couple of years now and I still think about the fact that I wasn't completely honest with my husband during our courtship. Actually, there was just one lie that I told him that I haven't completely fessed up to, or fessed up to at all.

Let me explain:
When my first marriage ended, I was a little devastated. My first husband had been extremely unfaithful and my confidence was very shaken. Almost immediately, there were a couple of men that I worked with that began flirting with me. It felt great. The first guy (who was very good looking) really only amounted to a couple of make-out sessions and nothing more. The second guy (who was definitely no Fabio) was someone that I worked very closely with. As a matter of fact he was a member of my department. T had just recently been divorced. He was 31, and slightly balding with a tummy pooch, but he was a really good, kind person. We started talking. He invited me over for drinks and I got drunk on Tequila, much to his amusement. That night he cleaned up my puke and put me to bed in his bed while he slept on the floor. Definitely a gentlemen. One thing led to another, probably mostly my initiative and we started sleeping together. I believe he fell in love with me, but for me it was just a self-esteem boost. T started getting a little too attached and before I knew it I was feeling smothered. I ended the relationship.

A short time after my relationship with T, two things happened. First, I met my husband and almost instantly knew that the relationship with him was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Second, T was promoted at work and became my boss. I didn't tell T about my new love for quite a while, didn't even tell him we were getting married until the Friday before the wedding. When I did finally tell him, he was very supportive and expressed a strong desire for my happiness.

But the real issue comes with my husband. He is not a jealous man by any means. He knew early on that I had a casual relationship with T, and was only mildly bothered by it. Of course, I did lie though. When we were first dating my husband asked me if I had slept with T. I Lied! I told him I hadn't. He asked me if that was a lie and I lied again. He took me at my word and the matter dropped there. I went on to work under the management of T for two years and there was never an issue, no one was uncomfortable.

Over two years later, I still think about that one lie I told during our courtship. I wonder if this is a terrible flaw that I have created in our relationship. Obviously, no good would come of fessing up now. I know that my husband had partners that we haven't discussed, there is no need to. But I don't believe he has flat out lied about any of them. T did happen well before I knew my husband, does he need to know my entire past before him? Does this one lie mean that our relationship is built on an unstable foundation?

-The Short of It

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Single White Female

I really thought that at 30 years old I would know a lot about a lot of things. Unfortunately, one of those things is not dating! I was married young and am now divorced with 2 kids and contemplating entering the dating world again. Mind you, I've been separated for almost 2 years so it's not as if I just left my husband yesterday. And still, dating terrifies me! I dated before I married, if you can call a string of one night stands dating, and I thought I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do and what to look out for. Apparently, I was dead wrong!

Ten years later, the world of the single woman has completely changed. It used to be that you went to a bar, a random bookstore, a coffee shop ran into an interesting man and BOOM!! dating began. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I've been to bars, book stores, and coffee shops....there are no men there! At least not any single, half way attractive, semi-employed, possibly interesting men. There are couples at these places. Kissing, hugging, snuggling couples....blissfully happy and off the market! I've been fixed up one disaster! So, where does a single woman go to meet a man....

This past weekend I was at my cousins wedding. I'm thinking, I've heard the old wives tails about people meeting at weddings....not so much! Everyone was with someone and by the way, I had a date, I actually had 2 dates.....yeah, they were both shorter then 5 feet and they call me "mom." It seems as if everything is geared toward couples! I swear I was the only singleton was depressing!

This realization brought me to a very interesting conversation with my other cousin's new bride (insert gaging motion!). They met on one of those dating websites. This got me I gonna have to resort to internet dating just to meet a halfway normal guy? I'm not sure I'm up to that! How does some computer equation quantify a connection? How do I look at a picture and a profile and decide this is someone I wanna spend time with?

Online dating....Yes? No? Thoughts...

**The Long of it**

Corporate America Sucks

I work for a very, very large corporation. I swear they own a piece of everything and you see their name and commercials everywhere. Anyway, when I first started working here there were a few perks. There was the free gym membership, the free feminine hygiene products in the bathroom and the free coffee, tea, mocha, hot chocolate machine in the breakroom. Yeah, these aren't huge, but they were something. They were more than I had at other places that I worked.
Slowly, over the last four years, perks have disappeared. The gym membership was replaced by a graded "track" out in the middle of the fields. The drink machine was replaced by just a coffee pot in the kitchen and even the feminine hygiene products are now the cheap 1950's style ones. Basically, all of the good stuff is gone in 4 short years time. My little corner of corporate America stinks!

Then the other day someone sent me pictures of the work environment at Google. And now I'm completely preoccupied with jealousy!

- The Short of It

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dear "The Short of it,"

I know that things are super sucky right now and just when you think things are looking up the bottom drops out again and you're back to square one. And you know me, I'm not normally "the glass is half full" type of person, but you've been through so much worse. From the depths of complete despair, alone and estranged from the people who loved were able to fight your way back and regain your strength and power. You single handedly picked yourself up and put yourself back together. You learned that you were so much better then the way people treat you and that you have so much to offer that you wouldn't let evil people hold you down any longer. To forgive and to be forgiven when you were wronged.

I have always envied your strength. Your ability to be completely crushed and to get back up again and be determined to love again. And also forgiving yourself when you didn't feel like you were doing enough and being able to let the guilt melt away and see yourself for who you truly are. And all the time, doing it with so much dignity and always holding your head high. I think of you when I can't get out of bed in the morning and I think I just don't want to go on anymore because you are an inspiration to me. To move on, to love again, to strive for the family I've always wanted, to expect more and never settle for less.

I love you. I wish we had been born sisters, except then I don't think I would appreciate you the way I do. And I wouldn't change anything we have been through together cause it's made us smarter, stronger, grounded, and closer. It's bound to get harder, but nothing can be as bad as that one time we got caught at Marie Calendars!:)

Love Always,
**The Long of it**

Hmmm, Hmmm

My dad is 13 years older than my mom. They always said that it worked for them. That is until 3 years ago when they divorced, after almost 30 years of marriage. My mom cited irreconcilable differences. She told me they were just too different and that she didn't want to spend her retirement only being a nurse to an old man. Granted, nursing wasn't her main "excuse," but it was up there on her list. After the divorce she started dating. She dated a couple of men close to her own age and a couple of older men. You probably could have seen the shock on my face when one day she told me that she had fallen in love again. L was apparently everything she had ever looked for in a man, the yin to her yang, if you will. He is wealthy and educated. Supposedly, everything that my dad is not.

I don't think I was prepared for what I would meet the day I met L. He is 5 years older than my dad and deaf. He gets very confused. I have nothing against the man, but when my mom asked if I liked him it was nearly impossible to answer. How can I know if I like a man that is so hard of hearing I can barely carry on a conversation with him? He wears hearing aids, but I think they must not help. He also has one very annoying habit. About every two minutes he makes an audible "hmmm" noise. Just repeating the noise quietly to himself. Someone please SMACK me if I do that when I get old! I know I will smack my husband if he does it! Honestly, doesn't my mom hear this? Doesn't it drive her crazy? Is she blinded to these things because he is wealthy? Doesn't she see that she traded her "old" set of problems for an even "older" set?

I hate to believe it, but I think that maybe the money and the lifestyle he can provide makes this not so annoying to her. Or maybe after living with him for a year now, she no longer hears it. Maybe it is like people who live by train tracks, and eventually cease to hear the passing trains. Oh God, this man is a train wreck!

This is just an introduction to L, believe me, I have many more stories to share about this interesting man.

-The Short of it

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

You might be an alcoholic if....

*You finish someone else's drink at 8am that has been sitting for 12 hours just because it's the only alcohol you can get your hands on

*You get up in the middle of the night to have a beer, just to calm your nerves

*You have to stop on the way home from work to buy a 6 pack because you have had a bad day

*You polish off a bottle of wine all alone, in one evening

*You are a hasher and you take your 6 month old baby along with you

*You go to the doctor for a completely unrelated issue and they tell you that you have stage 2 liver damage

*You are told by the same doctor that you need to quit drinking to be able to take the amount of meds that are necessary to make you normal

*You add any type of alcohol to a beverage that should NOT contain, sunny delight, kool aid, red bull

*You sometimes carry alcohol in a water bottle

*You only exercise the next day so that you can sweat the alcohol out

We'll be adding to this list as more ridiculous situations arise.....

Monday, August 4, 2008

To Whom it May Concern....

Dear Checker at the grocery store by my house,

I was gonna start with an apology, but I don't think you deserve one. Yes, I was talking on my cell phone while in the check out lane and I'm not sorry about it. I have a very busy life and many things must me multi tasked!! I understand this is irritating for you, but we really don't need to have any interaction. It's not as if you have ever been overwhelmingly concerned about customer service before. I know this cause I see you often. You may not remember me, but I remember you....and not fondly.

I don't need your help while putting my groceries on the counter. And you don't need my help to scan said items. I have waited for the total and swiped my card. I have put in my pin number and said I don't want cash back. You have given me my receipt and I have said "Thank You". Enough said. So next time don't roll your eyes at the bagger boy and don't tap your fingers on the counter cause I'm not wasting your time. Just check my groceries, put them in a bag, and I'd like it with a smile....even if I am on the phone ignoring you.

So, have a good day you unhappy checker and the next time you're caught "multitasking", I hope you'll remember me.....and I hope you know, every single solitary time I am in that store, and I see you checking, I will intentionally get on my phone and get in your line!

Yours Truly,
**The Long of it**

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friends with benefits??

Being thrust back into the dating world after 7 years of marriage is like being a piece of bread dropped in a duck pond.....sick or swim, eat or be eaten!! I married young and hadn't dated too much before I took the plunge, so I'm at even more of a disadvantage then the average 30-something divorcee with 2 kids. Don't get me wrong, I consider myself hip and all.....I know what "friends with benefits" are, but it's one thing to know what it is and another to try to execute it.

Obviously, being straight out of a marriage, I'm not looking to get into some kind of lock-it-down, love-u-forever arrangement. Naturally, the "friends with benefits" appealed to me. So, i looked around, kept my eyes open for a potential candidate. This, in itself, was very difficult. How do you pick....who qualifies? And you'd be surprised how many guys aren't really down for this type of "relationship". Something about a guy turning down free sex with no strings attached seemed completely foreign to me.

So, finally a candidate. We'll call him "D". He was a co-worker, a little younger, totally hot.....and definitely a player!! For sure, he would be down. We talked at work.....and out of work, but never seemed to end up at the same place at the same time. We were friends and got along good. This went on for months. Then finally we ended up at the same party one night. This was it....I was gonna get this "friends with benefits" off the proverbial ground! And we did, drunk of course, but completely his initiation. (I know you'd like the nitty-gritty details, but it's not gonna happen.) D was very sweet and kind and stayed the night and we cuddled in the morning. Part of me expected for him to disappear completely, cause that's what guys do after a drunken hook up....they panic and disappear. But D didn't. We continued to talk on the phone and at work and see each other occasionally.

It took me a while to figure out that we weren't exactly "friends with benefits". We were friends....who hung out and talked a lot....but the benefits were lacking. I began to become self conscious. Oh God, what had I done that was so horrifying that the "benefits" were now off the table? He had seemed to enjoy our time and I didn't think I was that fact, I had references....i was good, damn it!! So, what had happened??

It took me some time of getting to know him to figure it out, but I think I finally put my finger on it. Guys are scared!! They're scared of women. D had a string of drunken hook ups that he remained friends with but without the extras. His theory was that if he let these women get too close to him he would be held to some type of relationship he didn't want. And no amount of convincing from me would sway him that I wouldn't want to marry him in 3 months. I know some girls are like that, but I'm not....I swear! Yes, you're cute and yes, you're nice but you are not marriage material!

We're still friends and talk often and the "benefits" are definitely off the table. I think I'm relieved about that. If he's gonna freak out about something that isn't gonna happen and flatter himself that I would actually want something more, then I don't want the drama. I think I'm giving up on "friends with benefits". I don't think I actually know someone where that ended good. Oh well, nothing gained nothing lost.

**The Long of it**

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Croc of Crap

I hate Crocs! Who decided that these are real shoes?
Let me start with a couple of disclaimers... First, if you are a nurse, by all means I understand you wearing Crocs. Second, if you use them for gardening or walking along river bottoms, I think Crocs may be a fine choice. However, for all of the rest of the population wearing these horrendous shoes I have to ask, What in Heaven's Name are you thinking?
These shoes are ugly. They are not a fashion statement. I saw a well intentioned woman wearing them in church, this is not appropriate, these do not qualify as Sunday Best. These shoes are slovenly and they look like colorful tires, not footwear.
I confess, in the early nineties I made my mistakes. As a Jr. High student I wore socks and Birkenstocks as well as socks and Tevas. Oh, the horror of it. But, for the love of Pete! I learned my lesson. I repented of my ways. I grew up and bought some appropriate foot fashions. These ugly things have creeped in to society everywhere. Children, Grandmothers and last week I saw a man in my office wearing them.
Please America, I beg you! Please, keep these contraptions at your back door to wear in the garden. Keep them where they belong!
--The Short of it