I Decided – Trixie Post

*Written last week

I made up my mind. I have decided to contact Tony’s wife. I have been reading and reading like crazy so many opinions about do/don’t contact and why.

And I finally decided I am never going to be at peace until she hears the truth. I asked him many months ago, before I had my breakdown, to tell her. He promised he would. This was the only way I could avoid having this obsessive need to tell her myself.

He didn’t.

Here’s my email to her:

Hello Kelly,
I am sorry in advance for the disruption this email will cause.  
I am writing because I had an affair with your husband for approximately 2 years from 6/16 – 4/18.  
I have tried to avoid contacting you, but have realized I needed to do this for myself. We fell in love and when he decided to stay in your marriage, we were both unable to let go for a time and then, ultimately, I was the one who couldn’t let go. I have been suffering a deep depression which led to harming myself.  
I needed to finally stop hoping one day he might change his mind and just give you the facts about Tony.  
It is up to Tony to honestly explain to you what he’s done throughout your marriage, and who knows about it. I can provide any proof you need from me but thought keeping this email to the point was best.   
Madeline

If you are curious what changed my mind it was this website:

https://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2016/10/05/should-i-tell-his-wife/

And a website called Chump Lady.

*written today

I guess I hadn’t decided because something is stopping me from sending it – and believe me that send button has been under my thumb more than once this week.

I’m just sitting on it. Perhaps the feeling will pass. Perhaps it won’t.

I realize there is no gain from this text to his wife. I try to keep mulling over in my head why I feel so strongly about outing him. I know part of it stems from pure rage that he gets to live his life free and clear after 20 years of continued cheating and the wreckage he left of me.

Then I think: who cares.

If I could surgically remove these thoughts and feelings of him I would opt to at this point. I would even go back to Mexico! (Not ever!)

Sticking to my Guns

I know in the past I would ignore things that struck me as “off” when I was dating. My gut would instinctively say “hey take a closer look at that” or “this isn’t quite right” and I would actively ignore those messages in favor of something I preferred to see in the man.

I wasn’t often wrong: at least not about my gut, I made lots of bad decisions though!  Those early signals are generally pretty good and I’m trying my best to be patient and listen to my inner voice when it’s saying “he’s not for you”. So far I’ve been doing well.

I find a man I like and if we start chatting and move to text, I mostly stay off the dating apps. This way I’m not worried about juggling and I remain focused on the one guy. I also realized it builds up the available pool. To do this I pay a tiny bit more for a boost, but I find it to be more effective and relaxing than being on these sites multiple times a day checking for new matches or messages.

Once I move to text, I probably do sound more like an interview than not.  I just want to get to the crux of it – are you serious or not?

So here’s the last few guys that made it to text….but I haven’t yet met:

Tom: it’s been 2 weeks,  Our first conversation was amazing and I liked him.  so much in common.  He travels for work so wasn’t home the first week, but text and called.  Then the last night of his trip he suddenly face times me at midnight and he’s in bed, no shirt.  I could see where it was going so I quickly said “oh you’re tired, lets chat tomorrow” and got off the call.  He texts something about a “dream” from his flight home and I finally said “sorry for the buzz kill, but we haven’t met so I’m uncomfortable with the sexual talk now.”  It just felt like a drag.  I liked him, wanted to meet him, but it never goes anywhere when you start-up with all the sexy stuff before you ever meet.  I don’t know how many times I heard that advice in the beginning and neglected it.  Now, I just don’t care how handsome and perfect on paper you are….I just don’t want to. Meet me in person and let’s see where it goes.  2 weeks of chatting and you haven’t made a date….that’s enough for me.

Spencer: started out lovely, but then also got into the sex talk.  He at least asked me out quickly.  When I went back to look at his photos, I could see a progression of weight gain when I started to piece together the dates (which I asked in conversation).  When I asked for his most recent photo he never answered me again.  I am not fat-shaming.  However, I tried more than once to go out with a very heavy man who I felt a connection with and it didn’t work for me, and I was getting the hint this man was very heavy.  He just disappeared after that.

Patrick: another one that started out great, easy banter.  But, when I asked the “how serious” question he flipped out that all women are treating men like horny 18-year-old boys with no brains in their head since the #metoo movement.  He indicated he preferred women with confidence and insinuated that I must not have any.  He had been clearly trying to “squeeze me in as a third or fourth priority with some random potential dates and I finally sent a clear message “when you have some solid time to make a date, get back to me.”  He replied by asking me if that was a gentle slap.  I don’t have anything else to say to him unless he plans on asking me out.  And by now, I don’t care.

Jack: I liked so much about Jack.  He was so good on paper.  But I suspected I wasn’t going to like him when I met him and I was correct.  He was handsome, well-educated, smart, kind, ambitious, tall, built, you name it.  Good catch.  But, holy cow was he boring.  I couldn’t even laugh at my own jokes he was so dry.  I really liked him, he was a good guy, but there wasn’t even the tiniest of tiny sparks.  I thought a kiss might help until that final moment I leaned in and realized I just didn’t even want to kiss him.

Matthew: maybe not my physical type exactly, but neither was Tony.  Tony reeled me in with laughter and attention.  Matthew has the attention part down pat and I like so much about him already.  Once again, all looks good on paper. I meet him tomorrow for dinner.  Fingers crossed.

 

Because I love to over-analyze everything, I was thinking about what made me so darn attracted to Dan, Bobby or Tony?  None was typical for me.  Bobby had a charming, easy confidence, handsome face but heavy-set.  Tony was cute and also had that charming, easy confidence and had the ability to make me laugh like crazy. Dan physically appealed to me more than Tony, but had the same type of charisma and could be a character.  So, is that the ignition switch for me?  Charming, easy confident men who can make me laugh?  None of them were sexually pushy, all were interested in my desires and how I liked things.  All wanted to please.  None was my “ideal” physical man (even if there was such a creature) but all of them drove me wild in more ways than one.

Chemistry is such an elusive thing….I know its wrong of me to say so, but I am dying to move on to another man to get Tony out of my head.  It’s been 9 months since I’ve seen him and over a month since we spoke about my surgery, 3 months of no contact before that.  This should feel easier than it is.

 

 

 

Dodging a Dating Bullet

A friend of mine, who is also single, told me a few weeks ago, the dating websites were currently hosting a plethora of men….so I turned the apps back on and gave it a shot.

Rob (my 6’4″ date) ghosted me. I saw him in the city mid December, I text him a short note on his wife’s 1 year anniversary, and that was the last I heard from him. It’s too bad but it’s ok. I thought I would hear a holiday greeting, but no. He’s not ready and he’s not for me in any case.  Deleted.

There were, and this is no lie, at least 10 eligible matches that I was able to start speaking to. One by one they each fell to the wayside, but it was definitely more available men than usual! And I have my preferences set to 6′ and above and I still had a ton of matches. Was everyone looking for a NYE date?

It came down to 3-4 men I moved to text with.

Dan, who is so intermittent with his text that I gave up. We may never get started. He wants to schedule a phone call but is inconsistent.

Jack, who started of great but now that we are talking a bit more, I’m beginning to think he’s not for me.  Everything is really good in our chats, he’s clearly interested, but I’m not laughing unless I’m cracking the jokes. I will go on a date with him.

Brian, super promising Texan transplant. His accent reminded me of Bobby and we hit it off quickly. But he turned on a dime ….story ahead.

Brian and I matched on Bumble and he met all my initial criteria – a definite sense of humor, handsome, intelligent and nearby. Our first phone call last close to 2 hours and it was so easy I don’t even recall what we spoke about. But the day of the date things started to get weird.

After speaking to someone for close to 2 hours on the phone, I do expect a good morning text, or at least an early text confirming our date for later in the day. I got neither from Brian. At 4pm – when we had loosely planned to meet between 4-6pm, I got the first text that said he was in meetings til 5 ish. Ok, hall pass on that one – at least he was acknowledging me and I could now jump in shower. By the way, no apology for not texting sooner, just the text that read “in meetings”.

The next text came about 5pm “still stuck” and then once at 645pm “almost done, how are you?” Finally at 715pm or so (I had showered but didn’t dress or put on makeup) I received a text asking me to come to him. Now, all my girlfriends have a rule – first date they come to you, period. So I knew I was breaking dating code if I went to see him. But, I was mostly ready and I did want to meet him. Drinking didn’t matter much, so I agreed.

It only occurred to me upon my arrival the place he selected was the place I met Tony (Bennett). I had a momentary reflection and moved on. It had no impact and I was glad of it. That had all the makings of ruining my night.

We hit it off in person quickly, laughing and conversing quite easily. He was better looking in person and had a gentle mannerism. He wanted to touch my hands and leg and I found him very appealing. The time slipped by. He asked if I would like to go to a different place for another drink and I agreed. We kissed a little on the short walk over and he held my hand. He also said he wanted to absolutely see me again. Everything was going well.

On reflection, this is why I should stop first dates from going to long. When I connect with someone, it’s pretty obvious and fast – but it over accelerates the attraction and moves us forward too fast. Had I ended the date then, I’m sure I would have seen Brian again. But it didn’t even cross my mind.

We went to the second bar and he asked some sexual questions. Not too probing but I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in talking about it much on our first date. That’s when he started to ask me to come back home with him, even if it meant just to sleep. If I had been drinking more I would have said yes. I didn’t. I said a clear no and that I wanted to go home. He was also exhausted and a little drunk.

As we walked out of the bar, he headed in the opposite direction of my car and I pulled him back indicating my car was the other way. He pulled me forward and motioned across the street indicating his home was around the block. We stood still.

I think I was evaluating if I would go or not. Either way, in my head, I needed to get to my car first. He saw my confusion as refusal to listen to him and began to get angry, telling me I didn’t need my car. But I was processing that even if I went with him I wanted my car. Before I could get through my own head, I felt him drop my hand in frustration and watched his face change. At that point I made the comment “did you want me to come back with you or not?” And his reply was “now I’m thinking I don’t” and with that, I turned around and walked towards my car. I never looked over my shoulder.

His face had gotten ugly angry and in the briefest second I got uncomfortable. By the time I got to my car a couple blocks away I had started to cry. So many reasons for the tears surfaced: I was scared and anxious, sad, confused and lonely.

I think I did the right thing, there was a meanness to him at the end that I couldn’t identify until that last moment. The type of mean that could have ended up hurting me (not intentionally) because he wanted what he wanted and wasn’t listening to me. Maybe my cues are off, maybe I’m misleading. But he was no gentleman ultimately.

Good chemistry matches are hard to come by, so I was sorry it happened this way but I do think I dodged bigger damage ahead with Brian.

Thank you, next.

P.S. Do you know the way my addled brain works, I am actually sorry it turned out that way because he had so much promise.  Argh.

The Conversation with Tony

Post Tony deleting me on Facebook, we communicated a little by text.  He put me back on Facebook when he realized he upset me.  Then he text me again, the next morning.

I engaged after I spoke to my therapist.

There was nothing that was going to change my mind to speak to him.  It had been months – at least since June or July – we had been on the phone.  I’m pretty certain the last conversation would have been in anger.

I have no desire to recap the conversation but I told him about Mexico.  I cried a little when I told him what brought me to Mexico.  He thinks he could have stopped me.  That’s a big fat, no – because he wasn’t leaving his wife – so he’s giving himself too much credit.

I wanted to ask so many things  I wanted to talk about so many things. I wanted validation.  I wanted to apologize for my bad behavior – not so much because he deserves an apology from me as much as I needed to forgive myself for the way I behaved.

For acting crazy and addicted.  .

I got just enough validation that he did believe for a while, enough validation to escape with my sanity intact and be able to delete him again and move forward without falling into the Tony hole again.

I left feeling sad and I said I missed him.  He quickly said we cannot go back to communicating.  I agree with him.

Hanging up the phone without an “I love you” at the end was actually horrible and made me cry.  But, I am ok.  It took a little time to marinate and process, but I am ok.  I didn’t dwell very long.

I deleted photos I had lingering on the phone and came across the last piece of the puzzle I needed.  Validation in the form of the first time he acknowledged he wanted to be with me and what it wold cost him. I didn’t include the whole text string as it’s just for me, but here’s a piece.

That’s it, the last of Tony for a long while.

He will forever be my emotional bar – and he set it so high.  Just like Bobby set the sexual bar so high.

I am going to need to learnt to pole vault I suppose.

Football Party with 6’4″ (part 2)

Driving home from the Elks club, we discussed Rob coming into my home before heading out.

We both collapsed onto the couch and got physical pretty quickly.  Ugh, as much as I wanted him to keep exploring, I was going to have to explain the bandages on my belly.  I wear a 4″x6″ white adhesive bandage right over the worst part of the wound.  The wound is almost closed, but I have a “pool” for lack of a better description, where the abdomen closed.  Its pretty ugly, but the bandage (besides providing necessary cleanliness and protection) covers the worst looking part and you can’t feel the dip because the wound holds the gauze inside and the bandage lies on top, relatively smoothly.

Believe me, this is ugly and when the bandages can come off, I may choose to keep them on, just for vanity sake.

I pause our intimacy and sit up to explain the wound (I have previously told him abut the surgeries, very generally).  He seems concerned, but only says “you are ok now, right?” to which I reply “yes.” and ask if he would be more comfortable in the bed.  He follows me to my room and we undress completely.

I’m happy to know my body is functioning after all this depression and apathy as well as the new drugs.  He’s happy to slowly please me, but of course I notice, he isn’t getting hard.  At all.

Ok, so here’s what I know: Wife died less than a year ago, love of his life, hasn’t had sex for 3 years and never cheated on her.  I’m the first since.

I know this is sensitive, so I ask him if there is something else I can do differently to help.  He says he doesn’t want to worry about it and overthink it, its all so new to him, and he tells me I feel so good and he loves touching and holding me.   He doesn’t stop kissing me or indicating anything less than pleasure, but by now my mind is racing.  This is different than regular ED – I don’t think I felt him hard, ever.  At some point, my brain is so tired I just stop thinking about it and we fall asleep.

I did notice he was hesitant to throw his around around my tummy with the bandage, so I eventually turned facing him to make him more comfortable.

He wasn’t supposed to sleep over.  I was restless but he was sound asleep and I was locked into his arms (and he’s strong and big).  I woke him at 5:30am because he had to take care of his daughter by 7:30am and I didn’t want to be the reason he wasn’t there.

He barely wanted to get out of bed.

Later, mid-day, I text him to ask how his morning went and he responded with “I would rather be crawling back into your bed right now” and everything else was fine.

I am choosing not to focus on this too much, but my radar has been going off since the beginning that he’s not ready, or not into me enough, and his overall lack of consistent communication is tough on me in general.  When we are together, I feel fine, but this was a 3rd date, even if it was an entire day and night.  Don’t want to over think it.

During the week, when we were texting and talking, I asked when I would see him again and he found time to come over for coffee for a couple hours this past Friday.  We had fun laughing, chatting and making out on my couch.   This time I did feel his hard-on….go figure.

But then, no engagement over the weekend. I did send one text Saturday to inquire about a birthday party he was going to – and he responded, but that was it.  I know he considers Sunday his day with the kids, so I wouldn’t have reached out anyway.   We will wait to see what the week brings.

I am a bit bummed because I was so happy with the football party, but I sort of feel neither of us is totally engaged….there’s too much pause in conversation unless I carry it. I realize the reason I fell so hard for Tony was how he responded to me, all the attention he gave to me that I never had.  I need the attention and engagement.

Rob is a nice guy and clearly going at a different pace than I am, so I can be a little patient, but my intuition is telling me its not going to have legs.  I need a “Fuck Yes” date.  Soon.

 

 

Football Party with 6’4″ (part 1)

Why is this post significant?

Because its the first time I felt any genuine joy and happiness for a length of time, the kind that you can’t help but grin ear to ear.

I’ve been in a spiral since April of this year, it all came to a head in August as my job was ending, Tony was treating me poorly when I still believed in him, and my kids were just on my last nerve.  Its when I made the final decision and payment to go to Mexico for the surgery.  Once that decision was made, it was like a door slammed on any sense or will to live.

The only person I pleaded with to help me was Tony, and he wasn’t capable.  To be fair, he wasn’t the right person.

I should have sought help and I didn’t, but now I am slowly recovering from 4 months in a pretty dark place.  August-September- October are still surreal.  November was finally the time I began to hold my head up somewhat.  I know agreeing to the party was risky because the day could come and I would be “too tired” or “depressed” to attend.  I challenged myself with this by inviting a friend for Thanksgiving – which was an immense help because she was a second pair of hands and took the pressure of the disappointment with my family not helping me.

Thanksgiving day was nice.  I was able to tolerate all the foods and had a taste of everything.  I loved having the company of my friend.  My Dad loved having my eldest home from college to watch the game with.   It was a nice day overall.

For the Football game the next day, my friend had asked her boyfriend and I asked Rob, so we were a party of 4, which also made it impossible for me to back out.

The party was hosted by a cousin of mine with a large family.  I am very lucky to always be included because my mother was an only child and well-loved by her cousins.  This particular part of my mothers family is my favorite.  They are such a big, loving family.  Not perfect by far which makes them all that much more relatable.  Good people through and through, generous, kind and loving.  I should spend more time with them and have it on my list of “must-do’s” for the future.

There is a large football game for about 2 hours, then food trucks, tons of food, a dessert table and a real-live Santa for all the children.  All the single “kids” get presents and sit on Santa’s lap.  My cousins hire professional photographers for all their parties so every moment is captured and everyone can come away with their family photos and share on Facebook.  My x and my kids never liked the party.  I never understood why and eventually we stopped going because I was miserable when they were with me.  I have gone alone to some of the parties since just before divorce because I realized they were ruining my ability to have a good time – I was always sad that I didn’t have “my own” family to share it with so sometimes I would shy away if this was how I felt in past years – but I made a point to have “my squad” this time around.  Even if it was just friends and a 3rd date!

I couldn’t help but laugh and smile from the moment I walked in.  My cousin, who helped me greatly through the entire trauma, had spoken to her family and they knew I had been sick – so no one asked a lot of questions.  Rather, everyone was just happy to see me and complimented the weight loss and happy face.  All of my cousins were so loving and welcoming, and there are so many of them, that I found it impossible to be unhappy for any reason.  But the best part, was the company I brought.

Rob played football and was a star athlete. My boy cousins were teasing that he would have to play a lineman since he was new, but he was quickly put into the QB position and they won the game.  I was in and out to watch the game (it was freezing here the day after Thanksgiving) and saw a couple of great plays – but more importantly to me, I saw him laughing, interacting and having fun with perfect strangers.  He wanted to be there.

Inside, my girl friend and her boyfriend were chatting up all my cousins and playing indoor games.  I didn’t have to worry about taking care of anyone except myself!  No matter where I turned there was a safe and secure, warm and happy feeling.  We stayed much longer than I thought I would.  The best part, I got an amazing professional shot with Rob and my cousin posted it on Facebook.  Normally, I wouldn’t post any man, but I just didn’t care.  We both look happy in that photo – and its the perfect capture of the feeling of the day.

I was grateful.

I have forgotten what gratitude feels like in my depression and trauma.  I had been happy for moments, but not true, unfiltered joy the way I felt on November 23rd.

I would like to say the feeling carried through, but the depression is too great a weight as well as my physical recovery.  I slept for 2 days post the party.  But, I think that was ok.

After the party, as we were driving home, my friend decided they wanted to come back to my home for a drink.  I told Rob he wasn’t under any obligation to stay with me, but of course I would love if he did.  He agreed.  We ended up having a few more cocktails at home before the boys decided the Elks club would be a good idea!  I couldn’t believe I was going there again!  Turned out to be packed to the rafters, like a local Cheers bar, and the guys could watch multiple games while the girls chatted away.

I was really exhausted by 11pm and asked Rob to take me home.  I knew I would be too tired for much, but a few kisses goodnight would be a sweet way to end the day.

A little more than that happened and I don’t know what to make of it.

And, I’m trying not to put much more thought into it.

 

Hello There 6’4”

I met Rob on Match. He is super handsome, 6’4″ and a widow. We moved from text to phone and his voice was dreamy. He made me laugh. Definitely enough reason for the first date.

He was having knee surgery so we had to wait to see how he felt, but he claimed he was bored and needed to get out of house so we ended planning a relatively fast afternoon date.

He is better looking in person than his photos and his smile and laugh are infectious.

But, boy, was he hard to talk to. When I feel I’m talking too much I will let the conversation slide to a natural pause. He didn’t seem to fill it easily, even though he seemed aware he should. Somehow, we made it through 3 hours or so together and while I felt parts of conversation were a bit always or unbalanced, I liked him. He was genuine. He is one of those people the “good guy” just comes out of.

Rob was married a long time and lost his wife to cancer last December. He said he knew instantly when he met her in college that she was the one he would marry. She died in a short time after diagnosis and was only 45. Their children are a 16 year old girl and 13 year old boy. Rob said they had a happy, solid marriage. I questioned his readiness and he told me he was ready. He said he is lonely. He spoke to his children after he met me to let them know he planned to be dating. I don’t yet know how I feel about this situation or if I am walking into a land mine. He strikes me as a very genuine man. When we left the restaurant, he grabbed me, pulled me in close, strong hands right up into the back of my hair and kissed me hard – enough to take my breath away.

I will have more of that, please! It was a lovely surprise because I didn’t know what to expect.

One of his favorite things to say is “it’s easy.” Make a left or make a right. Look up or look down. One way or the other. It’s easy. After he explained his life philosophy to me I tried to explain I’m complicated and he rebutted me (and that has happened again and again now). He had said he realized he needed to move forward and didn’t want to be alone, so it was “easy” now.

I waited post first date to hear from him and he made plans quickly for a week later. We set a date but not a place. We spoke once or twice on the phone and vague, intermittent texting but I still got the impression of conversation being difficult. It wasn’t flowing. But I liked him, so I wanted to try again.

The week before our second date he called me to say there was a glitch. I assumed he would cancel, but no, he wanted me to join him at a town event he was hosting at an Elks Club.

Ok, people, at this stage in my life no one is catching me dead in the Elks Club and definitely not for the PAL (Police Athletic league – sponsors local town sports). Before thinking (not good, impulsive Mads) I offered to trade him a family football event if I committed to the Elks. He said he would play football with my cousins even if I didn’t make it to the Elks.

We agreed on the Elks for our Saturday date and the football party for the day after Thanksgiving

He had pulled together and event for the local Dads to get to know one another better because Dads are not as good at socializing as the Moms in his opinion. I suppose he felt that strongly when his wife died as well now that I’m writing this.

He offered for me to being friends, which is also complicated now that I’m not working. Which friend would understand the Elks Club, and who I would also want to spend time with knowing he would be socializing since he was the host. I said no several times and he kept asking. He claims he really wanted me there and I would change my mind about the Elks. Plus, he was inviting his college friends so my friends would have someone to keep company with. I ultimately asked a friend what she thought and she was like “why not!” 3 days later she asked what the Elks and PAL were all about so I figured that’s a sure sign this will be funny if nothing else!

We went to the Elks and it was pretty much what I expected, all men around a bar and pizza/wings chatting in a social hall. We found him easily and met his friends. He is outgoing and gregarious and easy on the eyes. He bought our drinks, introduced us to his friends and chatted. He was interrupted and called away often. It didn’t bother me because we were entertained. It bothered my friend more because she didn’t think it was appropriate for him to leave me alone for so long on a 2nd date.

Let’s be honest – it was a weird second date – but I wasn’t fussed. In hindsight he really wanted me there and made it clear multiple times with “please come” during the week before. He didn’t hesitate to put an arm around me or hug me. He was the host and he is popular. The joke really became that every time he left the table another man would come over to speak to me and tell me a story and “what a good guy” Rob was. By the 5/6th person my friend and I joked Rob was paying them to say that!

Eventually she wanted to go to a regular bar so I found him, tapped him on the shoulder and let him know we were leaving. He tried making his way back but people kept pulling him in different directions. My friend didn’t want to stay so I had to defer to her and put my coat on to make my exit. He said he would be there in 5 minutes.

He was.

He brought his married (even taller and just as handsome!) friend to the bar and the 4 of us had a fun time for a bit. The two of them clicked and left together. We closed the bar around 11 or so and neither of us realized we were the only ones left. We walked to my car and he didn’t leave me until 4am. We kissed, a lot, and talked even more. I wasn’t ready for much more. His hands explored but I wasn’t ready to expose the bandages so I needed him to stop which wasn’t easy. I don’t actually know where the time went or how we passed that much time together. He just didn’t leave. He said it felt so good next to me. Eventually, because we had to leave as we both began to get too sleepy, he asked me to come home with him.

I said no.

That’s like 1000 bonus points for Mads leaving Trixie super confused!

His kids were home. I don’t know the home situation regarding his wife (their bedroom?) and it wasn’t right. Add in my wounds and having to explain that shit at 4am. Nope. I wanted to do more, my body was screaming for more (which is great, happy to know it all still works!) but it was time for one of us to break off.

It was sweet. It wasn’t the crazy mad butterflies I had with Dan (R) or Tony (Bennett). This was a little like a high school crush you don’t want to mess up when you finally get the chance.

I would liken it more to a slow dance. You don’t want the song to end, you enjoy the dancing while you can, but eventually you just part.

Not bad for two dates.

Next up, football party history!

Why I’m Dating

So here’s the thing -most people will say “you’re not ready because you haven’t learned how to love yourself.” Or any version of the “you’re not ready” theme.

You may be right. Maybe I’m not. But no one holds the one right answer. And this is what my therapy is for. Also why I’m writing again.

I believe we are built for relationship and I have been lucky enough to find a therapist who believes this at the core of her practice. We are not meant to go it alone and we all have our versions of that. You can be in relationships with God, husbands, lovers, parents, children etc. Some of us work better as partners and I am one of those people. Honestly, to hear a professional say it has finally put me at ease. Yes, I have learned to be alone and care for myself but it’s never going to make me fully satisfied. I don’t need to sit alone to figure that out anymore.

The therapist and I arrived at dating being an option as we talked about “what does normal life” look like for me going forward? I know I am not the same person I was last year or earlier this year. I have been forever altered since April and its aftermath. The trauma of the surgeries completed something for me. I didn’t want to die. But I don’t know yet what I want to live for.

The conversation turned to how do you start living again? What did you do before? One of those things was dating. My therapist thought there was no harm in doing something that could make me feel good about myself again.

Dating wasn’t the only thing. But this post is about dating and I’m trying to cram a shit ton of thoughts into 1000 word posts and be cohesive. It’s probably not working.

Anyway, I digress.

I turned on Match and Bumble. Got rid of Bumble fast because it worked well at work, but less so at home. Match wasn’t great but ok. Started the conversations and realized I needed to come up with a “story” because NO ONE leaves it at “I’m taking a break from work.” They think there must be another reason. Why do they need another reason? Let it be. I don’t even know you yet!

On another note, I also have to finesse my “executive exit story” according to my outplacement group. Same damn thing as dating. Everyone wants an explanation.

I’m trying to be funny, I’m probably not.

Anyway, so I match easily enough and I set up two dates. Both men are named Robert Thomas …. (something Irish). That’s a full on formula for texting mistakes right there. Both like to be called Rob. I was hoping one preferred a different nickname.

Rob 1 is 6’4″ and he gets his own blog post. He’s a widow. 👍🏻 just clearing that up quickly.

Rob 2 was about 6′, never married and a cop in the city. Not usually my match type but I missed his profession in his profile. By the time I asked, he had already shown he was kind and intelligent and I didn’t get the inkling he was typical of a city cop. We really clicked on the phone. His communication style matched mine. I was excited to meet him. We had a nice date but I wasn’t totally attracted. Something fell flat. We kissed goodnight which nice. We text a little after the date (I always say thank you) and I never heard from him again. That was that.

The bigger deal with both first dates was going out at all. I don’t really leave my home even for errands. So to shower, do hair and makeup and dress is truly a big step for me. Plus, I have to learn a whole new way of eating and drinking since the sleeve. I had no idea how I would manage being out. It’s common to have a lot of weird side effects from gastric surgery so I could get foaming mouth, hiccups, burps, farts, nausea and a whole host of things just from sipping something too fast or eating the wrong thing at the wrong time or eating and drinking together.

These dates allowed me to learn the ropes as it were. To get my public “story” down pat. To ease back into natural communication. I wasn’t expecting to find anything, but was hoping to have a nice time and adjust to being alive. I accomplished that and I’m glad I listened to the therapist.

You all also know how dearly I love my Prosecco. Well, that’s out, possibly forever. No bubbles. And, with a teeny tinsy tummy alcohol will affect me differently. So we are all about white wine and seeing where our limits are. Sipping slowly and making sure we feel good.

The First Downslide

It wouldn’t be a Madeline story without a serious dash of crazy seasoning. But I promised honesty.

I saw Tony last in April. I don’t recall if we spoke on phone subsequently or not, probably. But the last text was mid-August. Full stop. My last text said:

“I am having surgery on Sept 7th that I don’t expect to recover from and since you have decided to be such a jerk and I won’t recover you can expect my letter to you and your wife then.” I was furious at him for being a douche when I was dropping my son at college after I supported him through dropping off two kids to college. He could have been kinder. I should have been less crazy, but that sets the scene.

And I blocked him for a while until I went to Mexico, hoping I would hear from him because he knew the surgery date and my birthday were around the corner.

Needless to say, while fighting for my life, I finally stopped focusing on Tony.

Until I started to feel better and talk about it in therapy.

As my body healed and the new meds kicked in, the desperate addiction I felt towards him increased. I knew myself well enough to know trouble was brewing.

But I did all the right things. I called friends. I diverted myself. I even went on a couple great dates (those stories will follow and were therapy approved dates). I finally felt happiness, real and true, outside my home with my family the day after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving day and the subsequent party took all the life out of me. I slept for 2 days following. My cousins hire professional photographers and post literally hundreds of party photos.

To step back to provide context: my x never enjoyed these family parties. He didn’t want to play football with the cousins (boys and girls) he didn’t like to socialize and every year became a struggle. I love this family and would do anything to be included and they always were inclusive to The x and my boys. But towards the end of marriage I gave up on being included. I’m still surprised at all the times I said no and they asked again.

So when the guy I met asked me to a strange second date I quickly said “I will trade you for a football game!” The whole story will follow but, god bless his heart, he was so excited to be included.

My cousins are short – the girls are under 5′ and the boys under 5’8″. So I made a joke to my very serious boy cousins that I was bringing a 6’4″ athlete who could be QB (knowing full well I would never live it down). Everyone he met said “oh! Your Mads 6’4″!” And that’s all they called him all day. 6’4″. He loved it.

He was the star of the game so my cousins loved him. He’s gregarious and wonderful so it was super easy.

I was really happy that day.

So what happened to being out Trixie?

I admit I check often if Tony and I are friends in FB. It was the only social media we remained connected on. He shut it down for months but opened it last week sometime.

My social media stopped when I went in the hospital. But now I had a reason to open it because the photos from the party were fabulous. My cousin tagged me in all of them and they post to my wall.

There is a beautiful photo of 6’4″ and I together. We look like a couple. There’s photos like that with my cousins too, but I know they are my cousins. My cousin also tagged all of 6’4″s football hilights with my name. And they made comments under the photos about 6’4″ doing me proud on the field.

Today I saw Tony had unfriended me on FB. I went into shock. I couldn’t think and my reaction was to reach out. But he has been deleted from my phone for so long I truly could not recall his phone number. So I sent a text to his two emails and they didn’t come back with “delivered”. I scoured the internet with phone combinations for 40 mins until I hit it. I really couldn’t recall it. I called from my phone and it went straight to VM. I called from the house phone and it went straight to VM. I was blocked.

I called where I thought he was working and got as far as reception and hung up and called my friends and admitted my cray.

An hour later he replied that he was flying home, couldn’t text or talk now, and I was never blocked. I apologized and said I overreacted and he asked what prompted it. I didn’t answer.

Will he text me tmrw? I don’t know.

I made it through 7 months of not seeing him and 3 full months or more of no contact and I lost my shit the instant I felt rejection.

My friends say it’s because I have the photos with the guy up and he doesn’t want to see things like that. I interpret that as he doesn’t want me happy. I get confused. Why now? What’s the big deal of FB friends when we don’t communicate any longer?

But it hurt and flipped the Trixie switch.

My call with my therapist is at 10am tmrw. But what can she say that I don’t already know? Why do I keep doing this to myself with a man who clearly doesn’t want me. Or any connection with me.

I have to get to the bottom why rejection causes Trixie to trigger. And I want it to stop. I want to stop thinking about him and wanting him. I can believe he gave me the world and it was lovely but I have to also believe it’s gone for good.

I am angry and embarrassed at myself. And worried about him reaching out to me soon.

I was doing well. But my little child, Trixie, stomped her feet and wanted to know WHY now….why take me off FB now. It was a small and innocuous connection. But it was something to me. And now I’m hurt all over again.