The Things I Never Had (and may never have again)

*Note: I wrote this post over 4th July holiday. I started several posts but just couldn't get around to finishing them! But I was able to finish this one as the kids and I go off on summer holiday. Long plane rides are good for

something, plus I got upgraded to First Class!

Forgive spelling and grammar since I'm

On the iPhone. I also intended to edit this in a more logical way but decided to leave it as written – stream of consciousness.

……………………………

I'm on the beach today with my kids. We take a little vacation every year to the same small beach town. I enjoy this time immensely as I rarely see them this relaxed and focused on nothing but family time.  It was always important to me to carve out these times during the year with my family. My x didn't see it the same way. He saw the cost of vacation rather than the memory making.

As I'm sitting under the umbrella watching my boys sleep on the blankets and listening to the sound of the waves crash and children playing around me, I can't help but think of Bennett.  

This post about Bennett is going to be boring to most but I wrote it for me. 

I know I have said it before: he is my perfect man. I think that's the killer for me. I had believed (at the time of my divorce) that maybe my x was right and I was never going to find someone who gave me everything I ever wanted.   Many readers (though interestingly enough, not local friends) say my standards are much too high and I should lower them. My x claimed that no man could ever keep up with the things I expected. But Bennett did, for a long time.  In fact, he probably raised my expectations.  

Yes, some things are so small they can go unnoticed – but that's not the person I am, nor is it the person he is.  I have said several times he was my reflection.  I never met a man who kept pace with my emotion in this way.  I had truly believed it had become improbable I ever would.   Then he came along.  Such surprise and delight at finally finding the man of my dreams.  The little girls Prince Charming and knight in shining armor. It's pretty tough to put these first fantasies away once you have what you have believed in your entire life.   Dreams don't always come true. But somehow, this one did in the most unexpected form.

Words are clearly my love language with actions a close second. Bennett knew how to speak to me in a way no one ever had before.  I know I'm going to cry as I write this but I have to get it out. All the big, small, silly and mundane things that endeared him to me forever.  

He was always worried about me. Constantly. He checked in with me all day every day to see what I was doing. He knew my routine like the back of his hand.  He knew my family, friends and coworkers name. Hell, he knew which seat I preferred on the bus.  

He would do research on things we spoke about. Brands, restaurants, places, ideas or movies.  Didn't matter. If either of us discussed something the other didn't  know about, he looked into it.  He didn't rely on me to "figure" something out. He helped me or did it with or for me.  

He checked the traffic and weather for me all the time when I was traveling.   Even when I was commuting. If my day-to-day was impacted, he knew.  

He knew the time zones I was in and my agenda for the day. He knew when I was nervous about a work presentation.  He knew that every Wednesday when I had to present the the CFO I was nervous. 

He knew when I me my new CEO and what we talked about. He gave me solid advice how to manage a social trip with him, alone. Something I have never had to do before.

He knew what I drank.  He never came to my house empty handed. If a liquor store had a brand of prosecco I hadn't tried he would buy them all.    He could tell if I was going to like a new cocktail before I read the menu.  

He would cut food for me and feed me. He served me.  He would eat anything I made for him and love it. He raved about my cooking.  He grilled perfectly.   He was a perfect drinking and dining companion.  He never ran out of stories.  Dining, drinking and laughing with him became an treasured event.  

He sang to me all the time. He recorded songs for me that meant something.  When he did a gig he would always tell me what he sang for me. Since we have broken up in January he had stopped singing my songs at a gig unless we were in a good place. It required him to make an entire new set list at one point.  He started to write a song for me but it wasn't finished as far as I know.  That makes me sad that he could never finish my song.   He said that no one had ever liked to listen to him sing.  He loved to sing to me and I loved to listen. At night he would take his guitar out and play and play and play for me.  

I could listen to his voice for hours. It was the perfect combination of calm confidence enough and sexiness.   I fell in love with the sound of his voice and his stories long before anything else.  He is entirely engaging. And he can make me laugh to the core of my belly.  Constantly.  

We could talk for hours and hours. Over nothing. Over everything. There was no lack of interesting conversation.  The fact that he thought about many things in a similar manner to me was fascinating to me.  

I could depend on him to communicate with me almost every hour. Usually not less than two, no matter where he was. He was also very clear about what he was doing and when.  I never felt disconnected from him, even when he was with his family.   That changed after May 4.  The entire pace of his communication dropped.  Some of the key notes of our communication cadence changed and I feel the immensity of their absence.

He would send so many photos. Of him, his kids, where he was, something he saw.  I loved it. I always felt like I was on his mind.  He would always check my IG and comment on my photos and commentary.  He knew who always liked my photos and would joke that Finnian still was checking me out.  

He is an amazing father. Exactly the type of man I would want to father my own children. The perfect blend of stern, serious, funny and dependable. His relationships to his parents as well as his children is admirable.  His children adore him and depend on him for good advice.  They have a decent amount of fear of his poor   opinion as well, which I believe is healthy. 

He likes the same type of family things I do and wants to invest in these things. Vacations, dinners, sports, games, time alone.  Things that breed relationship.  He is always available for his family.  He never puts himself first.  

He is immensely patient and kind. He doesn't like adversity.  He has taught me to be more careful with my words and actions than even he knows.  I believe he would keep all my anxiety at bay if we were together because he is like a rock, he became my foundation.  

He can fix almost anything and was always looking to help me in my home. It would make him crazy if something broke and he wasn't there to fix it. Nothing went undone.  He would leave me sleeping in bed to go take care of something just to help me.  He would run to the store to get what I needed.  Nothing was ever a problem or complaint.  It was never too much to help.  

He held my hand so tightly I would have to remind him I wasn't a child. He would put himself in front of me if we crossed a street or if there were people barreling around me.  He navigated the way for me – I could have closed my eyes in a large city and trusted I would be safe holding his hand.  

He couldn't go a couple days without seeing me and made that abundantly clear to me.  He told me I was the air he breathed. That living without  my kisses is like living without oxygen.  He always asked when he would see me next.  He would come to work and just drop off flowers if I couldn't meet him.  He would hand write the cards on the flowers with a special lyric between us.  When we are together we do not part, we are always touching and constantly kissing.  We are definitely the couple you gag over or realize they are amazingly in love.  That feeling of new love desperation has disappeared for him, he doesn't demonstrate that urgent desire since May 4. That saddens me so deeply.

More than once someone (a waiter or a cab driver etc) has commented how clear it was that my man was deeply in love with me.  It was  overwhelmingly obvious.  

He always paid. Without question. He didn't care how much we spent or where we went. He liked BBQ wings and beer as much as a Michelin star restaurant.  He could dress up or down without hesitation.  He always got an uber.  He knew if I was wearing heels there wasn't going to be too much walking involved.  I never asked.  He loved my heels.  I loved to dress for him.  

When he got us a hotel room in the city he always made sure I had a large bottle of water next to the bed and a bottle of prosecco on ice.  

He looked at a menu and saw things I would like and asked me about them. We shared food often. 

He always opened my doors and car doors for me. Every, single time. I always walked first into a restaurant or to a table. He always deferred politely – unless he was walking with me in the city in which case he always took control!

He knew exactly how to please me in  bed and went to great lengths to ensure I was pleased, multiple times, every time. He asked me about it. He wanted to make sure I was happy and sated.  He liked to play with toys – on both of us.  He liked new positions.  He could have sex 10 times in a row and never grew tired or soft.  He held me closely while we slept. He often would just watch me fall to sleep first before he would allow himself to sleep.  He loved my body just the way it is and told me so every single time.  There was nothing he didn't love about our sex.  He had no issue going down on me after sex.  His body, while not perfect, was perfect for me.  I know I did the same for him, nothing is off limits for me in bed when I enjoy a partner.  I was constantly pleasing him and wanting him to feel like a man.   We loved how we fit together so well.  

When I told him how sexy I thought his muscles were after some time working out, he worked harder to make himself even more appealing to me. He loved how turned on I would get by the change in his upper body. His strength was a massive turn on. He had gotten so strong towards the end that he had no issue moving me around easily during sex. 

When I suggested he try a different type of clothing to suit his shape better, he did. He now wears a very different type of fit head to toe and knows how much better he looks.  Even his underwear is all new.  His coworkers comment constantly now. 

He always bought me my favorite cologne and lotion so I never ran low. 

He would help me with work issues. He is so smart and so professional that I could depend on his advice to be bang-on.  He is the best kind of boss at work – totally reliable and easy going, but knows how to get what he wants.  He is highly valued in his role.  He loves his job but still has ambition.  His work ethic is impressive.  And just as importantly, he told me I was good for him And he could talk to me about his work.  I knew his projects, his coworkers and bosses and his history.  I enjoyed hearing what he was doing each day.  I admired his dedication and tenacity. 

He called me every morning for coffee chat and nearly every night before bed.   Not a day went by without good mornings and good nights.  He would always ask what I ate for every meal or what I was wearing.  

He enjoys his life and doesn't let money stand in the way. He believes in supporting his kids education.  He isn't a huge spender on the same things I like and he teases me about my "bougie " side but he also embraces it all the same.  That's the perfect balance for me – I just need someone to appreciate that I do like finer things in life and it doesn't make me high-maintainence.  

He told me he loved me so often and in so many ways. The way he would Look at me when we made love and sometimes cry out in desperation how deeply he loved me touched me like nothing else ever has. 

He loves his family, his parents and his life. He has created a great life and worked hard to achieve it. People admire him.  He is surrounded by many friends.  I find all of that immensely attractive.  

He noticed everything I did for him. I am a natural born pleaser and like to make sure my partner is happy and comfortable. I always made him his favorite drink, had whatever treats he liked, left him a clean towel and a bottle of water next to the bed.  I could make his coffee perfectly.  He knew exactly what my long-ass coffee order at Starbucks was.  He knew it took me forever to finish my coffee as well.  He paid attention to everything. Every detail.  

He is hands down the best kisser in my life. I could kiss him for hours and never tire.  His kisses could ignite a passion within me like no other.  I was able to achieve multiple types of orgasm with him because I was so confident and comfortable and because he took the time to pay close attention to every minute move of my body.  Our physical connection is undeniable. I cannot believe this man ever had sexual dysfunction.  

No part of my body has gone unnoticed.  I didn't know how much I loved my toes being sucked.  

I could sleep in the crook of his arm all night and not even move. He claims he worries I don't breathe because I am so peaceful. 

When I see him I am immediately calm.  He has an effect on me that creates a peace deep within me.  

If I cry and he sings I can calm immediately.

I don't love facial hair but I love his. I can run my hands across his cheek for hours and never tire of how soft it feels to me.  

He is an amazing provider.  His family has nothing to want for or to worry about. He doesn't complain when his children ask for something.  His wife spends as she pleases.  He manages everything. The finances, college, the entire house.  He cooks and cleans and does laundry.   He is equally as responsible for his children as his wife.   Both parents are equally invested in raising good kids.  

Somehow he understand me. He understands complexities I can't seem to see.  There are things about him I can see right through and I can call him on it.  We get each other.  We inspire each other.  We give each other a reason to get through a day- because the one we love is at the end of it.  

Bennett hits every single requirement on my "list" plus some I didn't even know I had.  I still find that unusual. What are the chances?  

Maybe that's why they call it soulmates or twin flames.  

He wasn't afraid to cry with me or tell me his deepest fears.  Maybe he had trouble communicating when he was most angry, sad or distressed but I was always able to pull him from the turtle shell he hid in. 

He apologized when he was wrong. 

He was thoughtful.   Kind. Generous. Intelligent.  In his own way his handsomeness grew on me.  Especially when he smiles.  

He loved the smell of me.  He understood it's uniqueness.  

We discussed many, many times how we both never had this type of relationship.  That bit was something we always wanted, always dreamed of.  To be able to give yourself entirely to a partner and get it back in spades.  To have the type of reprocity most can only dream of.   Getting everything you ever wanted without even having to ask for it. 

I never doubted the depth of his love for me until May 4th.  Now I do…and now many of the words are gone even though some actions remained.   This makes be believe that Bennett is the type of person whose words carry equal weight – he doesn't use them now because he has realized they held too much promise and I built a delusional future on those words and inherent promises.  

I miss the words and the connection.   I miss that depth of longing.  Holy fuck I miss him from before May 4.  

I know I can see him and have sex with him should I choose to.  I know he does love me.  But what built the bond between us is gone now and that's the pain for me.   It's frightening to me to realize he can't be mine in any way.   I work hard to convince myself every moment that I don't want what he can give me.  It will only hurt me More to be missing what I once had.  

Many people believe words don't carry the same power as action.  Maybe. In his case there was a combination of both that pulled me in deeply.   

It's hard for me to understand how he would be able to stop saying those things.  I don't know how to turn off my emotion so I don't know how anyone does it.  But stop it had. I suppose it's what's drove me to my final breakdown.  But I realize it doesn't matter what I say or do – he needs to be able to feel those things in his heart to behave that way.  And he knows he can't continue.  

I am trying every day to tell myself I can't continue either and it's so hard for me. Every day I do a little more emotional purging

But I am far from successful. I still text with him most days. We don't see each other as much which also limits any sexual interaction.

He's been very depressed as of late with both his children leaving for college, his younger son in particular. I've never experienced a man cry so often and he admits it's unlike him.

I don't know what I feel to be honest. The mistaken phone call was a big riff between us as expected. I have chosen not to focus on what remains between us partly because I am very afraid I will lose control again and partly because I cannot afford any distraction from work. I'm not in a healthy place, I know it, and I'm not actively taking care of my emotional health by continuing with him.

I know we can never go back but there are glimpses of the times before May. I realize it often makes me more sad than happy after the fact (during I'm just fine).

When the Universe Speaks

I certainly wrote at a breaking point yesterday.  I left work a bit early (well, 6pm seems to be early these days) after hiding my crying for most of the day….cried the entire way home…then cried myself into a fitful sleep by 9pm.

I woke with an anxious tummy and a migraine and needed to stay home from work.

I debated with myself to call Bennett.  I walked through every possible combination of conversation I could think of but they all kept coming back to the same thing.  No matter what I say or do, he will say he loves me, and equally say he is not ready to leave his marriage.  I literally tried to convince myself of multiple outcomes and possibilities and analyze any potential weakness I think I might have glimpsed, but there were none.  His decision is made and this now sounds like no more than begging.   Besides that, my crazy is starting to show and it’s really not something I want people to be acutely aware of (even when it is funny).

It must be bad when I can’t even convince myself there is a reason to speak to him.

All I wanted to do was call him, the desperation was like a bitter taste in my mouth that  couldn’t rid myself of.  I kept trying to swallow it and I couldn’t.  I reached for the phone….and it rang in my hand.

Fortunately, it was my closest friend who also works with me.  Generally speaking she is quite tough on me (even tougher than Ann can be if you can believe it!) but I know they both doit because they care about me and want me to make out of the fugue state I am so good at keeping myself in.

Boo gave me an amazing pep talk.  She walked me through the anxiety, which isn’t fully related to him but also the massive amount of stress I am experiencing at work (and some divorce related issues for another post).   She lived through the agonizing end of Bobby in person and was sincere when she said she never wants to see any human, especially her friend, go through such pain ever again.  She just talked to me. Called me out on all the craziness that I am in a relationship.  Called me on the desperation and the anxious attachment.  Called me on my lack of pride.  She is the toughest friend I know, but she was so gentle with me, which reminds me why I love her so (because that toughness is an exterior).  She walked me through my recent success and the admiration and respect people hold for me in my current role.  And reminded how hard I worked to get to where I am – why would I ever allow a man to have such control over me?

Why do I?

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?  Why do I take so much pride in my ability to be a good leader and a good mother and lose that pride in relationship?

Boo decided we should call the delusional part of me that hangs on past expiration dates “Trixie.”  Trixie seems to be a separate entity that can derail me from logical choices and maintains the illusion there is still hope to be had.   Trixie doesn’t exist in my professional life, or with my children.  She only appears in serious relationships.

It’s silly, I know.  But the conversation pulled me back into reality, the migraine meds started to work and I was no longer feeling such sincere desperation to reach out to him right now.

Right after we hung up the phone, I checked my in box on POF.  There was a nice message from an electrician (ha! see I do speak to blue collar men under 6′!) who asked me about the story of changing jobs last summer…..which brought back a flood of memories for how grateful I felt last year.  Sure, Bennett was a large part of the reason I felt so good last summer, but it was the icing on an already amazing cake.  I was divorced May 12, lost my job May 13 and spent a lovely summer with my children.  Then I found the job of my dreams and was working by end September.  I had a summer full of fun, travel, sex and friends and found true love (maybe even a soul mate or twin flame).  It was an amazing time in my life.

The feeling of gratitude swelled up in my throat instead of the bitter taste of desperation and I remembered to be thankful.

I want to know why we, all too often,  forget about those great things and worry about the present trials and tribulations – my brain need to be wired to remember those things first so I can stop giving Bennett attention and energy he doesn’t deserve.

As Boo said – he is not worth me affecting my physical or emotional health of my career.  I must get him out of my head and allowing him to control me.

Lucky for me the universe helped me by inserting a friends phone call in place of a desperate call to Bennet and then reminded me what’s truly important in this life and where I should be focused.

One more step in the right direction.

I Think I am Obsessed with Teeth

Recently I have noticed a new hyper-focus of mine, and I certainly don’t need to add anything to my list of dating requirements, but I have found myself taking stock of people’s teeth.

Maybe it’s because I wanted to be a dentist, or perhaps because my birth father and sister are both dentists, but when people have ugly teeth I get fixated.  And I can’t seem to get past it!

If a guy seems to have wonky teeth in a photo, I get turned off and don’t swipe right.

When I meet someone and I notice their teeth when they are talking, I seem to get distracted by their teeth instead of what the person is saying.  A few girls who work for me have some sincere teeth issues.  They are attractive enough girls,but the moment they open their mouth I think “why haven’t you done something about that?”

I realize not everyone can afford good dental care and there are lots of people who don’t want to go to a dentist because they are afraid of the pain.  My brother has always been afraid, but I also don’t think he really brushes his teeth much and with the cigarette smoking he has the grossest looking teeth around.

Bennett could use some teeth whitening but otherwise his teeth are in good health and straight.

Dan has terrible teeth too and when he’s talking, I get turned off.  We were out to dinner Monday and as he was laughing I got a highly visible shot of just how crooked his teeth are and it really put me off. It actually impacted my level of attraction to him.

I swear I must be the most particular person around, but this is driving me nuts.  It’s bad enough I want them to be 6′ etc etc but now I need perfect teeth as well?

One guy, on Bumble,  claiming to be a dentist,  had the worst teeth in a photo I’ve seen.  I took a screen shot and sent to my sister and we are convinced he couldn’t have a very healthy practice because if you saw your dentists teeth be less than perfect you  should be questioning his ability to care for yours!

Anyway…random thought for the day.  God help me and all my limitations!

 

Whose Shoulder Do You Cry On?

For those of you who don’t suffer from depression or anxiety, I know it’s hard to understand what the downward spiral feels like.  How, no matter what you do, you get sucked into a vortex that feels like lead weights pulling you under water.  Try as you may, there is no escaping it because it has such a firm grasp on you.

Its something like addiction….you can’t stop no matter how badly you tell yourself you want to.  The quicksand of despair calls.

I’ve lived with anxiety and depression for about 10 years or so now.  I know it started after my 3rd child was born and around the time my mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  I think it must have been around 2007 give or take.  The first incident started with Mono earlier in that year, then I recuperated but never really lost the overall feeling of lethargy.  I am almost always in a constant cycle of being tired.

The only two times that I truly hit rock bottom were when my mother died in 2011 and when Bobby ended it in 2014.   There have been other times that I have had periods of despair, but I’m generally able to work my way through them and out of them.

I have done my best to avoid allowing myself to fall deep into a pit of despair over Bennett and I have mostly done an ok job.  My job and my network of friends have kept me generally tethered to reality.

But, recently, I have the overwhelming feeling of dread and I know this feeling and it’s path all too well.  Tears are always at hand.   They don’t need a specific incident to start.  I am cranky and get upset very easily.    Nothing truly makes me happy and I am very, very distracted.    Being distracted doesn’t bode well for me at work.

I want to lie in my bed all day.  I have a constant feeling in my chest that almost feels like I am about to vomit.  I can take Xanax to calm myself but it dulls me and makes me a bit spacey.  I try and save that for when I really feel panic setting in.

I sit here and worry constantly.  I worry if I am good enough.  Worry why I can’t seem to find a man that wants to stick around.  Worry why my children behave like they do.  Worry I will have a job tomorrow.   Worry if I can pay for college. Worry about nothing.  Worry if I am ugly, fat or stupid.  Worry about everything.

I also used to feel like my blog was a safer place than it is today.

Now, I feel that because I made the mistake of Bennett, no matter what I post about him will receive negative feedback, which is quite hard to hear when I am so desperately in love with this man.  I understand the difference between right and wrong, but clearly something is broken within me.  I would like to write more about how I feel about Bennett – but the advice is canned and I’m not in the mood to hear the same chatter “break it off, move on, he’s still sleeping with his wife” even if it’s all true.  Doesn’t matter, I’m not yet done processing it.

People will say – get help – go back to the therapist.  But that costs money and time I don’t have at the moment.  I can’t even seem to find the time to exercise. I’ve gained so much weight that my clothes no longer fit and I can see the change in photos.  Nothing like being fat to add to depression.

And here’s where people who are more emotionally stable don’t understand – I can’t make it a priority when all I want to do is sleep and dream and some days, not wake up.   I don’t mean die or kill myself – just disappear into myself for a while.

This is where I know I need help, someone to help me, because I cannot seem to do this on my own.  I want someone to coax me out of this, hold my hand, be near when I can’t stand up to help me along.  You can only depend on friends for so long when you don’t have a partner.

Who do you cry to?  Who holds you when you just need to sob and let it all out?  Who helps pick you up off the floor and put you back together?  Maybe you will say you can do this for yourself -well, good for you.  I can’t and being alone for so many years must be reaching its breaking point in me.

I’m slowly cracking, I can feel it and I am having a tough time keeping it together to do what I must.  Days like this the depression has me convinced I cannot keep on at it.

Days like this make me want to run back to Bennett (and, yes, I already reached out to him) just so I can physically feel love again.  Even when I know there is nothing there for me, I want to do what I know will ultimately hurt me.

 

Happy to be working

I came in early this morning just so I can write.  I can’t even express how happy I am to be working and entirely overwhelmed at work!  Never thought I would hear those words from my mouth.

Despite the fact he shouldn’t be contacting me, I was still angry and hurt Bennett didn’t say Happy Mothers Day.   Yes, it was best he didn’t break contact, but hurt all the same.

Perhaps the anger will do me some good in letting go.  I am still obsessively thinking about it, more than I should, and it’s easier to be angry about assuming he’s going full on back to his marriage.  I don’t know, I am surmising, but it’s my expectation.

I noticed yesterday that he “liked” a public post of mine on facebook.  He always said he would find ways to let me know he’s thinking of me and I suppose that’s his way.  We are not friends on facebook, but this was a public post.  I noticed I felt a bit calmer – maybe he is as heartbroken as I am?  I’m trying not to let that one silly thing become more than it is.  He misses me, but the situation has not changed, fine, move on.

This is the longest we have gone with no contact – 10 days.  Previously he never made it this far.

I’m happy to be so distracted at work there is little time for the random thoughts of him to creep in, and when they do, I’m mostly angry.

It’s Never Enough

The statement “it’s never enough” was something my x used constantly towards me.   I always felt that I was asking for too much, with anything and everything.

I know for certain that turned into me almost believing I was asking for too much, that somehow I wouldn’t’ deserve what I was asking for.  My parents did the same to me.  Madeline was always the one pushing the envelope.

I learned to settle.  Until I didn’t.  But, I settled for a long, long time and those feelings and perhaps those behaviors are awfully hard to overcome in a short time after years of brainwashing.

The feeling of “it’s never enough” has been churning in my brain this past week and every day it’s getting seemingly worse.

 

Of course I question why I “wasn’t enough” for Bennett to leave his marriage…although common sense would say it’s not about me, it’s about him.  I do hear those words and think them often, but haven’t gotten around to convincing myself that he is staying to hold onto something bigger than what we had over 11 months.    Logic dictates that I understand his thought process.  Emotion is cloudy, dark, angry and hurt by his thought process.

So, yes, I think it sucks to think that there is something in his life that’s bigger than the love we shared.

Bennett promised me too many things.  Promised me that it was never about his wife and marriage and only about his family, promised me that it would always be me and our day would come.  I really and truly think he believed those things when he said them and felt them.  But I really wonder how that changed in such a split second.  Was it the overwhelming, crashing sense that he was collapsing his entire world?  I think he panicked.

He truly feels failure.  When I met him we talked about this quite often.  He takes most of the blame for the failure of his marriage so I am not surprised he will also truly try to repair it even when he said he couldn’t ever see that happening.   His two greatest fears are fear of the unknown and fear of failure: divorce brings these forth in spades, doesn’t it?

I can actually rationalize many reasons why he will choose to stay, and knowing him as I do, they all make sense to expect for his ability to finally let go of me.

I’m simply throwing a pity party this morning and doing my best not to reach out to him.  Writing here works for me – I can write out all the things I think I need to say to him and say them to you instead.  Most of it’s rhetorical, I don’t actually need his answers (as if there was anything that would fulfill me anyway) to move forward.

But the never enough part is really bothering me.  I wish it wasn’t something I think every time I have a romantic failure in my life, but it is, I have been trained and raised to think that I am never enough for anyone, even when they tell me I am, because at the end of the day, they leave me.

The whole idea of breaking up sucks for anyone, but I don’t think everyone questions themselves the way I do.  I have a girlfriend going through it right now and we spend a lot of time texting each other so we don’t text the boys and she really never doubts herself in her breakups.  Her attitude is “they show me once in any way they don’t want me or I am no longer the priority and I’m like peace out!”  And she means it!  How does she do that?  I just spoke to her and she said “don’t let anyone hold power over you.”

It’s true.  I allowed Bennett to hold power over me and I still am.  The more I mourn and cry, I am allowing him to take a space he doesn’t deserve anymore.

I want to know how my friend does that.  I don’t think I could have done anything differently with Bennett to change where we are today, so I don’t have regret over making a mistake within the relationship as much as regret over feeling like I did lose the only person I could have ever considered a soul mate in my life.  I want to stop questioning myself about why I am not good enough to (or better than?) the choices he made.

Unfortunately for me, Bennett was pretty much a perfect partner in every way I dreamed of.  For years, I was told no one could ever be that lover, partner, friend or parent…but he is.    Maybe I just have to hold onto the fact I was lucky enough to meet a soulmate (if such a thing exists) and know that I will still live to love another day.

But right now, missing him just stinks.

 

Owning Who I Am: Bougie

The whole gift post has had me thinking quite a bit lately.  I want to thank everyone who helped me sort through some pretty angry and tense moments there….I love the blog for this very reason.

I think, when you don’t spend time with someone and know them face to face, personality and true human depth is hard to ascertain.  Sometimes we read the first few lines of a post and the last few lines and we make a comment on something the post wasn’t really addressing because those lines caught our eye.  I’ve heard this from a few fellow bloggers.

I have written about my selfish side more than once.  I’ve struggled with it.  Debated it.  And then, I finally embraced it.  That piece of me, the piece that fights for what I want and how I want it is what drives me.  It’s locked into who I am and always has been since I can recall.

Which is why I have struggled with it all my life in many relationships.

As I grow older, I have come to realize, while many see it as petty or immature (and it may well be to those that see it that way, after all perception is subjective) it’s still a piece of me and a very integral one.  In many cases, I have learned when this voice needs to be shuttered, how to be more grateful for things I do have rather than things I don’t, how to not worry if someone does for me because I’ve learned to do for myself.

I teach my children tolerance and the value of donating their time for those less fortunate.  I donate my time, their time and money to causes of significance.  I feel good about this when I do it, but I have control over these choices and how I spend my time and money.

I make sure people I love are taken care of.  I am the person who buys their favorite treats or surprises them with their favorite meal.  I pay attention to the small things many other miss, like leaving a bottle of water next to the bed when theirs is empty, or ensuring their favorite spot on the couch is saved for them with a blanket.  I always say thank you and express my gratitude for the smallest things, even when I get a nice text or when someone helps me with a problem at work, I try to say “I appreciate you because..”

I am a single mother with 3 children who I fully support.  I have a great job that I work really hard to do well at in order to secure a decent retirement and pay for my kids college and hopefully get them started on a strong path in life.

I have been through more trauma than most humans alive and no one really notices because somehow their lives don’t fall apart because I care and ensure everything is taken care of.

I love very deeply.  And I often hurt myself because I don’t do a good job protecting my heart.

I’m attractive, intelligent and very lucky in this life.

With all that Madeline-drum-beating, I am still a selfish individual.  I like my own time without my kids, I like my new car, I like to buy jewelry and shoes that perhaps I don’t really have to have, and sometimes I look around and wonder “why can’t I have that too?”

Sometimes it’s not enough for me to have what I have and I want more.  And that drives me to get it.

Yep.  All me.

Good. Bad. Pretty. Ugly.  But still, all Madeline.

I realized, finally and truly yesterday, that the things that are important to me are really important.    I don’t really have gray areas.  I am all black and white.  Things that bother many other people I am more than willing to let slip off my back or sacrifice myself to their ideals or positions because it doesn’t matter as much to me.

Our lives are give and take.  I give a whole hell of a lot and I think the gift giving thing has become, for me, a way that those closest to me can demonstrate that they see me and all I do for them.  That they appreciate me.  A few times a year, I want to be recognized in the form of a gift that means something to the giver as well as me.  That’s a lot of expectation, right?  A gift that carried the weight of a memory?  But that’s what I want to have, sometimes.  Not every time, but sometimes.  And this was sure as hell one of those times and I simply wanted Bennett to get it.

So, the gift thing off the table, I also acknowledge that there’s a shit-ton of other things going on within the relationship with Bennett that is making it untenable.  I realize I am in a mode where I am questioning everything he does: does he text within a certain amount of time, why doesn’t he say this or that, what’s different from before, what’s missing, where is he and why, why why?  I can’t manage myself with all these crazy thoughts and it comes out in a million-and-one way as stress.

Our relationship is suffering because of the situation, but also because I am literally becoming a drag.  I can’t stand it.  I didn’t understand this at all when I went through it with Bobby but it’s clear as day to me now.    I need Bennett to talk to his wife and come clean, if this doesn’t happen, then we have to end, period.  For once in my life I am actually making a very firm decision because I can’t function in this half-life anymore.  I need to let him off the hook if that’s what he wants.  Yes, it sucks.  Yes, it hurts.  But having so much life responsibility right now puts everything in perspective.

I have to be selfish and protect my own interests.    And this is all tied to that same part of me that is selfish about getting gifts.  This strength of mind – it’s all the same thing for me.  All humans are innately selfish, most of the time I don’t buy that martyr bullshit for those that claim to be totally selfless, we all have our needs – mine is just different from yours and may come out in a different way, but I am happy to admit: I own it.

I am frivolous, truculent, petulant and petty at times.  Yep.

The thing is …. I don’t hate it about myself, even if others do.  And it’s just one of those things that I can respect your opinion, but it won’t change mine.

If I was younger, I would have cried at some of the comments, but I held my ground because I know it’s me, I know what parts are stuck in there for good.  I have embraced those and turned most of those characteristics into good ones, ones that my friends and family find to be singularly Madeline.

While I still see years of growth ahead of me, I still like my current reflection in the mirror.  Last year provided me with growth on a massive level, so no sense in slipping back now.

First thing that made me smile today was this office conversation with a designer:

“M, fabulous Chanel bracelet!”

“Thanks, I scoured a vintage store in Paris on one of my trips and was lucky to find it, it brings me such joy!”

I’m bougie, I admit.  And, I love it!

 

“Bougie” Lyrics

Jessi Malay

From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
From Kors to Louis
I always stay bougie
Bougie, bougie
I always stay bougieI’m poppin’ tags
Got that new Fendi bag
Fashion week New York

Sittin’ in the front row
Where you at?

LA to London
Louboutin and Berkin
Yeah I’m always workin’ it
I’m workin’

Read more: http://www.letssingit.com/jessi-malay-lyrics-bougie-qhsq8ml#ixzz4VZMqdRul
LetsSingIt – Your favorite Music Community

 

 

 

How to Drop An Argument

I admit, I have never been very good at this.

When I feel I have been wronged, I tend to needle at the people I love until I get resolution – and sometimes I’m even unhappy with the resolution but at least my point was heard.

Regardless if I were to stay with Bennett or end it tomorrow, I am really irked over the Christmas gifting situation.  The bottom line is I received expensive gifts I would prefer to exchange, the reasons for exchange are irrelevant at this point even if they are complex.  I don’t want the gifts and they will go to waste, I prefer to get something else.

He has told me to do whatever I want with them or give them to my kids.  The reason that makes me mad is that he didn’t offer to fix it at all, I wanted him to make it right.  Instead, he is leaving me with something I don’t want and now have to sell in order to exchange for something else.  Either way, I get left with the bad feeling and no gift from Bennett in the end and I just can’t seem to get over this.

Nor can he.

Sure, this is an example of how we would manage arguments in the future, and certainly not a good one.  But before everyone goes off on the path of berating him, it’s really the only thing we’ve ever had a true problem with that we can seem to negotiate.

I know I need to drop the argument for all the right reasons but it’s eating at me.  Why should I be left holding the bag?

This is a historical behavior for me.  I get upset and I need to get the person to “hear” me.  I think it’s important that they “understand” why I am so upset.  I need them to see my point of view.  I tried to do some reading about how to resolve arguments in personal relationships and most say the same thing:

  1. Take a step back and think about it, what is the real root of the argument?
  2. Create a win-win situation
  3. Keep in mind you seek resolution, not to win the argument
  4. Focus on the long-term outcome, not the short-term one
  5. Compromise

So, I tried many ways to look at this disagreement and still end up feeling that he’s mad that I am ungrateful and that’s the end of it.

This is exactly how my x treated me, exactly.  So the feelings this raise in me are just horrid (and not ones Bennett should pay for, I understand).  But, boy, I am just mad and that’s turning into wanting to make him pay for it through emotional stress.  I know that’s the wrong route, I don’t want that route, that route doesn’t work….but how do I let go of the feeling?

My over-arching concerns are how do I just let it go with Bennett…how do you just let-go?

I am not sure I have this skill or even see a way to develop this skill.

My second concern is, how do I learn to manage these conflicts in the future?

I am so stressed this week it’s unbelievable.  My stress is working its magic on me and I look horrible and can’t hold my mouth and temper.  I am cranky constantly and can’t afford this behavior at a new job.  Part of this is being overwhelmed at work, some of it from the kids, and lots of it from knowing I will end it sooner than not with Bennett.

I realize when I am emotionally clouded, my entire vision goes blurry.  I find that my ability to think clearly at work is disrupted.  My patience is lost.  My mojo is gone.  I don;t feel good about myself and I get angry.

I want to try and work on one thing at a time and right now I am hyperfocusing on the smaller issue of this Christmas gift because the larger issue of breaking-up is looming.

Still, I don’t know how to let-go and I wish I did.

 

In 2017, Say Hello To Happiness — Thought Catalog

Seth DoyleMaybe you were just looking in all the wrong places. Maybe you forgot about finding happiness in the small things. Maybe you forgot how blissfully calming that first sip of tea in the chilly mornings could be. Or how perfectly cozy you felt curled up and sleepy under your soft, warm quilt. Or the smell…

via In 2017, Say Hello To Happiness — Thought Catalog

Regrets and Longing

It’s come to my attention, after spending the last 6 months with Bennett, that I have more unrealized regrets that I thought I did.

 

There were so many things during my child rearing stage that I wanted to do as a family, things my x just wasn’t into.  I tried some of them and most I gave up on completely because it was much too much difficult to argue with him and I realize (hindsight, you know) I gave up too many of my dreams.  My children had a great upbringing, just not the one I dreamed of.

 

I suppose we all have dreams about our life playing our when we are young, and some of those dreams pass us by and we don’t think too hard on them.  When you are raising three young children, you don’t really have a lot of time to have regret, you just get on with life and move forward, especially when you have a difficult partner.

 

So, I didn’t think about some things, I moved forward, did what I could and certainly as I grew older and more frustrated within the relationship, began to make changes.  I thought I was ok with where I landed.

 

But, then, Bennett.

 

I have said before that we are like twin flames, we are such an amazing match.  I wish I had met him when we were young and had an opportunity to raise a family together because we are so well aligned in our needs, wants and dreams.  We would have made an amazing pair of parents.

 

Bennett is an amazing parent, and he has a wonderful family.   What I am learning is that oftentimes when he talks about his young married life, I feel a bit of regret because I would have liked to do so many of the things he was doing.  I’m trying to analyze why this is bothering me so late in life.  Maybe regrets just work that way?  I often struggle with my ability to raise my children in the best way possible, and when I listen to Bennett and how he parents and the reflection of his immediate and extended family, I see my dreams.  “That’s what I wanted,” I say to myself.  “Why didn’t I have that?” 

 

Especially now, as he is reliving so many of those moments through his mother’s passing, he is retelling so many stories…don’t get me wrong, they are all wonderful stories and I am happy for him to share, but it’s making me feel regret.

 

This has happened before when we speak about parenting and I hold myself to him and feel like I don’t measure up (he never says this, this is solely me judging myself).

 

Does this all go back to me not thinking I’m good enough for anything or anyone?  I’m not a good enough parent?

 

Of course, I look at Bennett’s current life and realize that he has enjoyed such a wonderful life for so long, he created the image that he wanted people to perceive.  He admits that he is severely disappointed with himself for living such a lie.   But I think to myself “this is going to be impossible for him to leave because this is his dream.”  His dreams, my dreams, they are pretty much the same – he created his family dreams even if he couldn’t accomplish marital bliss.    I am starting to understand, a little, how hard it will be for him to leave that dream behind, even if part of it is a façade.

 

Bennett looks at his parents’ marriage and life as the ideal, he worships his parents.  He talks about their “true love” and how they were such a wonderful couple together.  He admires his parents so greatly and holds himself to their mirror.  He is always worried that his marriage failing would be a disappointment to his parents.    He created his adult life in the image of his childhood, which is much what I wanted to do.   His family is close-knit and extensive.  His mother considered her daughter-in-laws her daughters, while my mother-in-law said her daughters-in-law were nothing and no one because we were not blood, and she treated us like second class citizens compared to her sons.    My parents treated my x like a son.  Again, another regret for me, one I had no control over, but when I hear it, it makes me sad for something I never had and always wanted.

 

I don’t really have any point to all of this, it’s just my thoughts through the week as Bennett prepares to bury his mother and spend a lot of time with family.

 

I don’t feel disconnected from him, I seem to have no issue not being a part of this.  I thought it might bother me but it really doesn’t – I still think the holiday may be tougher now that I haven’t seen him.

 

Maybe it’s the season, maybe it’s my state of mind, I’m a bit melancholy about it all.