Alone but Strong

Single mother of two beautiful girls trying to rebuild my life. One day at a time.

Cold Feet

I have realized that the biggest problem in my relationship with S is me… I’m terrified of being hurt again so I’m trying to make up reasons why I would be better off alone. He has given me absolutely no reason to not trust him. If we are together and he gets a text from his ex he shows it to me right away. She will ask him to do things for her, she initiates contact. This only means that he still has a problem saying no. But I have the same problem with my ex. If my ex asks to change a night visitation with the girls, I move my plans around for him. I can’t fault S for doing the same thing with his ex.

My best friend M, that I went to Sedona with in April, has said for months now that she feels sorry for S because he is so much more into me than I am into him. I think that is true, because I haven’t let myself fall for him. I’m fighting it. I think it is time to stop fighting and start living. After all, what is the worst thing that could happen? I get my heart broken again. So what? Isn’t that what life is all about? Trying to find love and happiness. Living every day to the fullest, not worrying about tomorrow and all the things that can go wrong.

It is time to put some wool socks on my cold feet!

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Calm

It’s been a little scary lately, my ex has been very nice and agreeable. If it was any other person I would be thrilled, but it makes me wonder what is he planning? What is his agenda?

One example, he’s let me drop the girls off at his office instead of his new house, saving me 1 h 10 min driving time. 1.5 months ago he was trying to come up with any excuse for me to have to drive to his house. That one can potentially be explained with that the last time I had to drive down to his house, his girlfriend was home and he hadn’t made it home yet. I’m sure she asked him after, why is your ex-wife driving all the way down here when she passes your office and that would be so much easier for her. Maybe that is why, he might try to keep up appearances for her, try to convince her that he is a nice guy. To be honest, that works in my favor.

No matter what the reason is, it’s been very calm here.

I’m still dating the man, S, that I met right before my Sweden trip. Things have been going well, I have a few reservations but I don’t know if I’m overreacting since I’m not really wanting to serious of a relationship or if they are red flags warning me that I should end it. One of the big ones is that he still is very involved with his ex because of them having 9 dogs together. Yes you read that right, 9! There is an explanation, not a great one in my opinion but an explanation, she is a vet and kept taking on more dogs. Still, that is a lot. He helps pay for their care but also takes care of them a lot. The days that she works, he works from home, their old home, where she and the dogs still live. Every Saturday and Sunday morning he takes them out to the dog park, a 3-4 hour deal. If she wants to spend the weekend away or the night away with friends or her boyfriend, he has to go take care of the dogs every 4 hours and he then also sleeps at her house. It is starting to bother me.

Another big one is money. He has a good job but claims to have no savings, only debt. He says that his ex-wife was very expensive… And yes, divorce is expensive too, it does drain money. But a 42-year-old man with a good job that only has a 401k no other savings is scary to me. I could never live like that. I’ve always been a saver.

I know I’m making him sound like a really bad match and I don’t mean to. What I like about him is that he is extremely nice and good to me. The sex is amazing. He compliments me, he cooks for me, he takes me out, he is fit, he is sweet, he is not afraid to show affection privately or in public, he takes care of me when I’m sick. So am I overreacting about my concerns, I don’t know. But it makes me hold back a little.

Phantom Limb – I swear it’s right there

I was reading this post today and though I don’t feel that urge to share with my ex any longer, I got reminded about it this weekend. I was out with the man I’ve been dating for the past 3 months and we met a trainer at the gym where both I and his ex wife goes. I know the trainer very well, but he kept trying to get her to think if she knew his ex wife. She didn’t, no matter what he said to describe her and finally she said “and maybe that’s a good thing”. And then he dropped it… I’ve seen other signs that he is not completely over the relationship, he still sends her cute pictures of their dogs on the days that he takes care of them, he’s shown me dussins of pictures of her to “see if I recognize her” at the gym. They have been separated for a year, divorced for 5 months, but maybe he is not ready for a relationship, no matter how much he claims to be.

Why Does It Have To Be So Hard?

It’s been almost two weeks and nothing has been decided. There has been a few e-mails back and forth but he takes his time between every single one of them. We are now trying to agree on dates moving forward based on the current parenting agreement since we have nothing decided after August 25. The current agreement states that he should have 2 out of 3 weekends and Thursday and Tuesday overnight around the weekend that I have and when he has them for weekends he should return them to me at 4.30 PM.

So a week ago I sent a proposal based on that for the next 3 months. Yesterday I still hadn’t heard anything so I resent the e-mail. This is the e-mail I get back:

“My apologies, it’s been very busy at work lately…

The work related things I have are

– Sept 20-24 customer event and meeting in Seattle
– Oct 7-11 service meeting in Portugal

I would want to give it some thought on the Tue and Thu stays, today they get up at 6am to make it to your house by 7am – which turns into a pretty long day with a lot of car time for them. On the other hand, not seeing each other for 12 days was painful. Maybe there is something we can agree on where for those days, I come up to you, take them to dinner and return them to you? If not, that’s fine.

For Sundays, I would like to have dinner with them first and then bring them to you- can we make that a 630-7pm drop off instead?

Other than that, the dates work well for me”

I thought he said that he wanted to stick with the current parenting agreement! He needs to think about it? And change drop off time? So I responded with:
“Would you be willing to pick them up at school on Fridays traded with getting to keep them longer on Sundays and only dinners on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of overnights? If I get a job, 4.30 drop off at your house can be a challenge. The pickup on Tuesdays and Thursday would also be at school, but then returned to the house.

I think we should agree on that before deciding the dates.

What other dates would you not be available around those work meetings, are you travelling on the days you wrote or are there additional days where you are not available?”

I sent that at 3PM yesterday and of course so far there has been no answer. But this is why I said we needed to talk about this since the day we got back from our vacation, it’s been a month and we would have had plenty of time if he had only been communicating with me.

Here We Go Again

So before our trip, things blew up with my ex regarding parenting time for the future, you can read more about it here. So after we came back I sent an e-mail on Monday July 22 asking when he would be available for mediation so that I can set it up. No answer. Monday August 5 I send another e-mail asking if he wants to do mediation for the Fall or if we should stick to the original separation agreement. No answer. Yesterday, Tuesday August 6, I send yet another e-mail, making sure that he understands that school starts in 3 weeks and we have to decide what we are doing.

Last night I get a response:
“Have been busy, leaving tomorrow… maybe we can try to talk this out and see how far we get?

Overall – I want more time with the girls and a more equal sharing of their time. I understand that this coming year it would be difficult to impossible to share 50/50, and that the week night stays would be tough for them. It leaves weekends, but it is also very hard for me emotionally (and the girls too, I think) to be without them for 10-12 days. Maybe we can come up with a good solution.

But if we are both working, then maybe this year they go to school in xxx and next year in yyy– trade places. They are both good school systems, and the school in yyy is literally around the corner.

On daycare – I’m not ok with paying money for daycare unless it’s tied to both of us working. It’s an increased expense for me, without any value or benefit. I would like to understand what your plans are.”

So basically this is back to exactly the conversation we were having in the Spring. He wants more parenting time, but doesn’t want it during the weeks. I’m sure that his first suggestion will again be that he wants 4 out of 5 weekends, while I go back to work full-time and take all the hard days.

My response was only:
“I’m OK with talking this out on one condition, that when we’ve come to an agreement we go to a mediator/lawyer and have it written up and submitted to court. Or we write it up and submit ourselves if you think that is possible.
Do you agree to that?”

I’m not going to go through the motions again just to have him blow up over something and take it all back.

Summer Is Flying By

I can’t believe that it is almost August. I don’t know what happened to July, it went by so fast. Here is a quick update on July.

The remainder of our trip was good. I loved spending time with one of my best friend’s for the last three days. My girls got to play with her children and I got to hang out and be me. She knew me even before I met my ex. And she is one of those people who no matter how much time has passed, we can pick up right where we left off.

The flight home was uneventful, the girls behaved and I really had nothing to worry about. Two of my friends drove down to Newark to pick us up, it was 105 F outside… One of the hottest days of the Summer. It has cooled down considerably since then. My cat, house and yard had survived well, the vegetable garden was very overgrown, but that has all been cleared away now.

The man who I had two dates with before I left is still around. We’ve spent the last two weekends together and I really like his company. He is a very caring, nice, sexy, cute, thoughtful man who I hope to see a lot more of.

One Year Anniversary

Happy one year anniversary to this blog! I’d like to thank everyone for reading and commenting. It’s amazing what a difference a year can make. I am so much happier and in such a wonderful place right now that I feel like thanking my ex husband for wanting out. It was a toxic relationship and time would have only made it worse. Even though the divorce is hard and co-parenting is not easy, I would never go back to the life that I was living. I’m feeling very hopeful for the future and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Parents

What is it about parents and their ability to drive you crazy?! I’ve been home for 1.5 weeks now and my mom has made sure that we do everything together so far. And for the rest of the 1.5 weeks she’s nestled her way into most of it. An example, me and my daughters are invited to my friend’s 40th birthday party 1.5 hours away from my parents house our last weekend, my plan was to take the train there and back. Somehow that ended up being a family outing, my parents are coming (not to the actual party) but driving us, staying at the same hotel, going to a zoo the next day.

Luckily one of my best friends invited us to stay with her the last 3 nights and I jumped at the chance. My mom doesn’t sound very happy when I talk about that part of my trip, but what does she expect? To be with us for 3.5 weeks and me getting zero time with my friends? To be honest, this whole trip to the northern part of Sweden was her idea. She told me that she had told everyone that we were coming and we couldn’t back out. She said everyone wanted to meet us. Thankfully I was able to get her to call my favorite cousin and her brother to have them come over for an afternoon with their families, but other than that we’ve really done nothing for a week. Seen 4 relatives. With whom I’ve had zero contact for 20+ years and won’t have for another 20+ years.

I realize it’s good for my children to spend time with their grandparents so I’m putting up a happy face. It’s not really what I had planned when I started planning this trip months ago. The only time I have all to myself is late at night, which means that I stay up way to late just to get an hour of uninterrupted me time.

And the scariest part of all, my mom keeps hinting at now that they’ve sold their house they are going to come and spend a lot more time at my house in the US. I tried today, carefully hinting, that if I go back to work this Fall and the girls are in school full-time it won’t really be a lot of time to see us. And she, completely oblivious, goes on to say but you’ll come home from work and there’s always the weekends. So again, what about me and my life? What if things work out with S (my date two weekends ago)? I would want to spend my childless weekends with him. They haven’t even asked if I’ve started dating or thinking about dating. To be honest, not a single question about my life at all… I don’t know what to do. For now, I’ll make the best of this trip and stop worrying about the future.

First Half of Our Trip

I can’t believe that we are already half way through our trip. I’ve had time to see friends, favorite cousins, the house I grew up in, the house my dad grew up in, re-live a lot of childhood memories. I’m writing this in what used to be my grandmother’s kitchen. My parents decided to keep the house that my dad grew up in, it’s located in the northern part of Sweden, when my grandmother passed away 11 years ago. We used to spend at least a week here every Summer. Everything looks the same, I sometimes expect my grandmother to walk thru the door, I haven’t been back since she passed.

One of the most amazing things this far north, we are about 2 hours south of the arctic circle, is that it’s very light out even at night. The sun sets at 11.41PM and comes back up at 1.13AM. There is a river about a 5 min walk from the house, with huge rapids. There is a small cove with a tiny beach that the girls can swim at. I remember when I was a teenager I used to swim out farther and let the current sweep me down and then try to swim back or back to shore and walk back. As long as you don’t get to far out, it’s only fun and not dangerous, at least when you’re young and have not a care in the world.

The guy I went on a date with before I left is still hanging in there 🙂 We exchange multiple e-mails a day and I’m really looking forward to getting back to spend more time with him. He seems very sweet and kind and I can’t wait to get to know him better.

Jet Lag

After a very long day/night we finally arrived yesterday morning at my parents house in Sweden. The only stress factor was the ride to the airport. My friend picked us up with what should have been plenty of time to make it to the airport. It normally takes 1 h 40 min, Tuesday it took 3.5 h!!! You can imagine my stress levels rising every minute.

But we made it to the airport, 50 min before our International flight… The check in counter was empty so that took no time at all, she gave us priority stickers on our boarding passes to get through security, we had time to go to the bathroom, have a small snack and then it was time to board. So the time spend at the airport was actually wonderful, normally for International flights you have to wait too long. But I wouldn’t recommend the stress we had on the car ride there.

The flight was full so we had our 3 seats and nothing more, flight time 7 h 10 min. After dinner the girls were able to fall asleep for at least 3 and 4 hours, with their heads in my lap so I really wasn’t able to sleep. Then we had a car service pick us up at the airport and drive us to my parents house. We all took 2 hour naps yesterday and went to bed at 9PM local time (6 hours ahead of the US). This morning my mom woke us up at 10.30AM! I think you could call that being jet lagged. Tonight my girls had a really hard time falling asleep but by 10PM they were both finally sleeping, I’m still up… I’ve told my mom to wake us up at 8 or 9 tomorrow, to get us more acclimated.

And yes I know, you’re all probably wondering whatever happened at dinner on Sunday… All I can say is, it went extremely well and we’ve been in constant communication since. Life is good!