Mar 10, 2012

A Single Dad's Dating Diatribe - 4, Windburn

Fire another round of the diatribe cannon.  Already lit the powder on Daycare, Money and The Game

This one burrows inside, an introspection on what's holding me back most from moving ahead.

I love marriage.  Architected by God, intended to be permanent and severed only by death.  A sacrament and holy, it's not something to run from when you "feel out of love", lose the spark, fight perpetually or find someone new.  

I hate divorce.  Crafted by man, enacted when marriage fails.  A spot and blemish, spouses split, kids, assets and love are packaged up and divvied out.  Family and friends don't wish to talk with you about it, leprosy.

So when you love marriage as much as you despise divorce, and the former falters as the latter is tapped out by lawyers, you come away chapped with windburn.

I've seen some go through divorce and are able to quickly rebound.  Within a couple years, they remarry and are with child again.  Wish I knew how they did that.

My windburn won't go away.  I've tried letting it heal with time, prayer, talking, and thinking just because it was that way won't mean the next will be the same.

I can't love when the windburn won't heal.  How do you trust again when the person you once trusted the most in life lied?  And when you've been on your own for 8 years raising your kid mostly alone, you embrace the life you live but didn't wish for.  You wonder if that happy hectic life will be the same, worse or better if you remarry. 

One child, yearn for a herd of them, and know marriage is the only way more kids will rain down.  But I need to fix me first.   

-Beard
 

52 comments:

  1. Faith is the only answer to any of that... fatih in yourself, in God and the fact that He knows what we need and how we will get it best. Letting our heart be open to what is out there for us isn't about trusting someone else - it is about trusting Him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not good at letting go and allowing Him to work. But I'll try, thanks Nessa!

      Delete
  2. Just my opinion, but this is how I think of it: You may just need to shift your perception. God gives us everything we need and knows what is good/bad for us. You need to take what "you want" out of the equation. God sees what is in our heart, we need to leave it in his hands and trust will give us what we desire if it is the best thing for us. You don't have to even worry about the "how", God will also take care of that. When we try to figure out how and do it all ourselves, we close the door to so many possibilities. Be content with what you have and if marriage and children are in your future, it will happen in the most perfect and right way.

    Oh, and what Nessa said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get in the way of myself sometimes, will move over and let God rip.

      Delete
  3. I am certainly not an expert in this arena as I am married. But my marriage has not been the storybook one in which the couple has the perfect life, perfect house, perfect kids, etc. I do think that we live in a world in which marriage is not treated as the sacrament as God intended. I think many couples go into marriage with the right intention, but don't expect many problems. The reality is that at times, it feels like there are so many problems, that divorce feels like an option in which the pain and problems will go away. That is simply not the case.

    God has blessed me with a unique opportunity. Most call it a curse, but I have chosen to see it differently. You see, when marriage gets difficult (and it always gets difficult), we lose perspective. We think it would be better if that person were not in our life. So, people divorce. I have felt what is is like to live as a single parent while still being married. What this experience has done for me is make me realize that I am still very much in love with my husband. I have seen the impact on my children to go a long period of time without seeing their dad and it isn't pretty. Now, that doesn't take away the hurt, pain, and loss of trust. All of those things are still there. For me, I pray for guidance daily to get through the tough stuff. But now, more than ever, I am committed to the sacrament of marriage, and so is my husband.

    However, in many cases, both parties have difficulty forgiving, forgetting, and moving forward. In times of difficulty, it really does take both husband and wife (and God) to make it work.

    So, I don't think I have any great advice for you Beard, except faith and trust that God will lead you where you need to be. I believe you can trust again. I think as Nessa said so well "let your heart be open to what is out there...trust him". God will provide in HIS time. And the woman that comes to you will know how lucky she is to find a man that truly values the covenant of marriage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admire the way you quietly cleave to your marriage vows, putting teeth into the words "being your faithful partner in good times and in bad."

      Staying true in bad times is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Happiness is often the criteria by which modern marriages measure whether they'll stay. Happiness is a poor measuring stick. Thank you for your sacrifice, strength and determination to stay married for life.

      God is on a different timeline than me. I get impatient, but will wait.

      Delete
    2. Amen to that Beard! It isn't difficult to stay married in the good times, but the bad...well, none of us really know the bad, and of course, how bad, until we are in the thick of it. When I was first married I always said to myself "These are the things that would cause me to divorce...and I had a short laundry list". However, 17 years in does change things.

      This is my test and my husband's test. When this nightmare began, I was told that 95% end in divorce and I should just accept it an lawyer up. They obviously don't know how stubborn (and competitive) I can be. I have chosen the more difficult path or as Robert Frost so eloquently put the "The road less traveled". I can honestly say that it HAS made all the difference. But, it still sucks. However, both my husband and I believe that God is calling us to something greater and we continue to trust in him. We don't know what that will be, but he is in the drivers seat, not us. We are just along for the ride.

      I would encourage you to trust in God's timeline. It is so hard to be patient. I struggle with it too, but he has great plans for Beard and Pigtails. One of my favorite passages is this "For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

      God Bless!

      Delete
  4. I don't know how you do it. I know how you're supposed to do it (what Nessa and Cari said), but I don't know how you do it. I worked for four years as a paralegal, and I walked dozens of clients through the neat legal steps while their lives were falling apart and sometimes coming together again, and I still don't know a person does it. I've been hurt, and I've been rejected (although I've also done the hurting and rejecting), and from that alone I'm twice shy, but I've never had someone promise and then break that promise. I wonder if the windburn ever goes away, really.

    Funny....the song "I'm Not Lisa" has been in my head today. Seems to fit this here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and like Mom of Boys said, I applaud your "old-fashioned" values. There aren't many men out there with them. They're truly valuable, even if there aren't women around you who share them.

      Delete
    2. I know the components that go into the recovery process, but can't seem to get the wheels turning just right to make it happen. Just like I know how you are supposed to swing a golf club, but tee it up and I hook the ball like a son of a biscuit.

      Googled the song lyrics:

      I'M NOT LISA,
      MY NAME IS JULIE.
      LISA LEFT YOU, YEARS AGO.
      MY EYES ARE NOT BLUE,
      BUT MINE WON'T LEAVE YOU,
      'TIL THE SUNLIGHT,
      HAS TOUCHED YOUR FACE.

      SHE WAS YOUR MORNING LIGHT.
      HER SMILE TOLD OF NO NIGHT.
      YOUR LOVE FOR HER GREW,
      WITH EACH RISING SUN.

      AND THEN ONE WINTER DAY,
      HIS HAND LED HER AWAY.
      SHE LEFT YOU HERE,
      DROWNING IN YOUR TEARS.
      HERE, WHERE YOU STAYED FOR YEARS,
      CRYING "LISA", "LISA."

      I'M NOT LISA,
      MY NAME IS JULIE.
      LISA LEFT YOU, YEARS AGO.
      MY EYES ARE NOT BLUE,
      BUT MINE WON'T LEAVE YOU,
      'TIL THE SUNLIGHT SHINES,
      THROUGH YOUR FACE.

      I'M NOT LISA.

      Delete
    3. This post has been on my mind today.... "One child, yearn for a herd of them..." And TIME IS RUNNING OUT, God! :) Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again for this post. I can relate to it in so many ways, except from the perspective of having messed up things myself instead of the other way around, which means of course that I can only count my blessings that I'm where I am today.

      Delete
    4. Pray for peace to accept the now.
      Be content with where you are at.
      Dream of what you'd like to become.
      Ask for help to reach your dreams.

      Delete
  5. Such a deep beautiful piece beard!Been married 15 yrs, had my up & downs but the good times outweigh the bad for me. I cannot imagine life without my DH & have huge respect for single parents who do it alone esp the parenting. I agree with Cari that in time God will lead you to the perfect lady for you if that's in his plan for you. You have such strong moral convictions and your daughter is lucky to have you as her daddy as will be the lady meant for you.In the meantime enjoy pigtails ( she is beautiful) & heal. Windburn always gets better with the gel of faith & trust! I have some windburn too of a different kind and need to trust :) so reminding myself too !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sue! Trust is slippery to win back after being lost. No idea how to "move on", believe I'm broken.

      Delete
  6. I so totally get what you are saying! I have done counseling, prayer, family support, friend support and just about any other thing you can think of to get over the divorce. What I have learned is that I will never get over it. I took a vow in church before God and family to be married for better or worse. The worse times outnumbered the better times by far. But divorce was totally out of the question in my mind. I prayed and prayed that God would save my marriage, but it wasn’t savable. God knew I would not leave so He allowed circumstances that saved me and my son. It took me years to understand and believe that but I now know it. I can’t imagine what kind of kid Patrick would be if he lived his life seeing what he saw the first year of his life.

    Nine years later I am thankful to be divorced because I no longer live a life of quiet desperation. The trust issues will be with me the rest of my life. They are part of who I am.

    I have dated and what I learned is I won’t settle for anything less than the real deal. I have stopped looking and am waiting on God. Who has time for all the craziness that comes with dating anyway? My desire is to be married again one day I am just not sure how that is ever going to happen. What I do know is if God has someone for me he will accept me for who I am; trust issues and all.

    I don’t doubt for a minute that the person God has for you will accept you with your trust issues and all. She will be your perfect helpmate! Praying that you will have peace and find total contentment where you are right now.

    ReplyDelete
  7. encouraged by your honesty and apparent faith. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nicole3/22/2012

    Wow. I am utterly shocked by your blog. In a good way. Just dont see many guys like you nowadays. I love your fathering style, blogging style, and your honesty.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Aww, don't compare yourself to friends who have remarried; you're not them and you don't fully know (or see) the dynamics of their marriages. You're not alone in feeling like the life you are leading isn't the one you thought you'd have. There are no guarantees the next person won't hurt you just as there are no guarantees you may wake up to see sun rise tomorrow. But there is one guarantee while you are living - when all else fails, at least you still have yourself.

    You seem to be a great father - serious kudoos for you. Enjoy what you have, and take comfort in being with yourself. Coming from a dysfunctional family, I have a different perspective on marriage and divorce. And religious or not, I will say you gotta love and trust the relationship you have with you. It's a long and internally difficult thing to achieve, but once you figure it out, those trust issues will wither. I promise you that.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Life is so hard sometimes; keep trusting God for the next chapter of your life.

    Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You struck me. I read the post. It stabbed. I read the comments then re-read your post. It stabbed again. This killed me- “One child, yearn for a herd of them, and know marriage is the only way more kids will rain down. But I need to fix me first.” Change it to no children, and that’s me.

    An abusive marriage, a divorce, feeling like I failed God, a heart ache dating relationship, me tossing myself out, believeing the emotional abuse I heard, I tossed myself in the trash. Got right with God, forgave them, forgave me, opened myself up, fell in love, convinced it would be different, or so I told myself, same guy four years, a broken engagement, 3 breakups a tornado, alcoholism…..it ended badly. And now I can’t breathe.

    Windburn. So fitting. I was before the relationship started. I thought I was ok. Told myself that the past was past, God makes all things new and I could be ok and trust again. But I was wrong. The burn I feel now is of my own creation. He (Mr. four year relationship) tore me down, stomped on me, pulverized me. I can’t even say I am a shell of the person I was when I met him. That is how crushed I am. But I stayed. I thought, really truly believed, it was a God ordained relationship. Maybe it was and we skewed it so much with house playing sin that it stopped. Maybe I was wrong. My relationship with God isn’t right now anymore. But I ramble this whole story that is much longer than I thought it would be in my head to say this. I didn’t fix myself. I had a long preparation period and I didn’t do it. This time I am determined to. He was a hot mess, made me a hot mess from my pre-existing mess status. He is on his 2nd girlfriend since we broke up. It’s been 4 months. How? I couldn't... I am going to fix me. I may be alone for the rest of my life (which I very much don’t want), it might take that long, but I will fix me before I drag my mess of self into another relationship. And that person will need to have fixed themselves as well from whatever pain they have lived through. I think it is amazing, beyond amazing, that you GET that.

    Trust. Once it is severed so severely I don’t know that it can ever be recaptured. How can you open yourself up to such pain?
    I’m doing this. http://www.amazon.com/Recovery-Handbook-Anniversary-Expanded-Edition/dp/0061686077/ref=dp_ob_title_bk In a class setting. It’s helping. You might look into it.

    Good luck on your journey.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous3/22/2012

    Forgiveness is the foundation of our marriage.. Without it I doubt it would last a day. That and trusting one another is what keeps us ticking. My favorite saying is "This too shall pass" and I believe it will. You have a bright future ahead of you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous3/22/2012

    I think there's two kinds of people- those who will cheat and those who won't. Those who do are so cruel without perhaps knowing it. I was cheated on and when i found out it was like the whole world was upside down and like so many years of my life had been a house of illusions. I eventually found my husband and best friend but it took many years of self repair, and.many frogs to reach this point. But when you do, it will be very clear.- vick

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous3/22/2012

    I never leave comments and just found your blog today. This is the sweetest, most sincere, honest recap of your marriage and divorce. Windburn is a great way to describe the hurt and grief. Keep plugging along with Pigtails - that love will get you through.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You know, I'm not sure that pain like that ever goes away. I think you just learn to live and be happy with those scars being a part of you. I am one of those divorce survivors that you mentioned. I was divorced, remarried less than two years later, and had a child before our second wedding anniversary. And I'm happy. I would have never guessed that timelime for myself, but here I am.

    Although I was very much aware of the pain of divorce in the thick of it and in the aftermath, I think there were painful scars that I didn't even realize until I was remarried. And I believe that would have been the case if I had remarried 10 years later instead of 2. Part of divorce I think, is not just grieving the loss of the most sacred relationship you ever intended to have, but also the loss of part of yourself. You are changed afterwards. Perhaps in some ways for the better. I was stronger, smarter, more sure of my own self-worth (once I was free from abuse and manipulation) and my ability to survive.

    But like you, I know there is an element of bitterness and cynicism, a tendency to defensiveness and self-protection that wasn't there before I went through all of that. I too sometimes find it shameful. I am a good wife and mother. I am devoted to my family. My husband is happy. Still. Part of me can't help but wish that I could be more the (pre-windburn) person I once was for my now-husband, the father of my son, the love of my life. The man who treats me as he should. I sometimes grieve that. Wish I could have had this man all along instead of one who broke my heart. He is the one who deserved me "whole".

    The thing is, I am whole. I'm happy, healthy, closer to God, and more faith-tested (tried and true) than I have ever been. I may be different than I was before I married the first time, but there's nothing wrong with that, actually. My husband never knew that girl anyway. We all have flaws we work to improve, so there's really nothing new there. It's just different. The scars of divorce (and any life experience) will always be a part of me, and I've come to accept that. I would never have met my husband or have the beautiful life I have now if I had not gone through the divorce. I can't even imagine having another life, though I once could, obviously.

    I'm praying that you find Peace so that you will be ready when God reveals a new path. I have no doubt that He has a wonderful partner in store for a man such as you seem to be in your writing. Sorry to be so long-winded. I came over from YHL and was intrigued. And impressed. I wish you all the very best. It's clear that you are joyful in your life with Pigtails and that makes me so happy for both of you. Have you considered that perhaps you are not broken at all?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Natasha S.3/23/2012

    I read a great article today with an anecdote about a child who was so overwhelmed by a project for school that he felt like he was drowning in it and the father (I believe) told him to just take it "bird by bird." I think that's great advice for handling the things that overwhelm us in life. It's okay to feel at a loss. Just take it bird by bird. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was the pigtails & my dad the beard (seriously a big red Viking beard). Dad didn't even date for 14yrs post his divorce. Now he has met an amazing lady who is my friend rather than me ever having that horrid teenage stage with and he has her grown children in his life and her grandchildren. You might get that herd in a different way than expected

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous3/23/2012

    Alright...don't hate me but I have to say this. I never, ever comment on blogs. I really think this is the first time. I've been divorced, have a daughter (who is now 16), and have been remarried for 9 years (love, love, love him!)and have had just as many "bad" times in my second marriage as my first (still love him). During all this I found out a couple of things...1. It won't be perfect..except when it is. 2. Step families are the hardest thing ever (love my step-kids and they love me). 3. All my relationships are better when I think MORE about what I can do for them instead of what they can do for me. I hear your pain but if you really want to be married again, you have to start thinking about what you would like to do for your woman rather than what she needs to do for you. You sound like an awesome guy and you don't have to have the perfect woman...just someone who YOU want to share HER life. I know that is difficult...believe me I am so selfish and spoiled. The most wonderful thing in my life is that my man loves me and I love him...except when he doesn't or I don't. Life is messy!! Get in there and live it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A virgin commenter, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a note!

      Without a doubt, a second marriage will be tougher than the first. Toss in step-kids to the mix, a load of baggage from the prior marriage and a tendency to be suspicious rather than trusting of the new spouse. Second marriages fail at a greater rate than firsts. But your honest response gives me hope.

      I'm selfish, probably 80% of the inhibitions that are holding me back on moving ahead relate to "what can she do for me, what can I get out of it, and back away and don't mess with me."

      I haven't been able to figure out how to love again. That's pathetic. Once I love, I'll be prepared to marry.

      Delete
  19. Single mom here, on my own for almost 3 years and your last 2 sentences struck me hard.

    "And when you've been on your own for 8 years raising your kid mostly alone, you embrace the life you live but didn't wish for. You wonder if that happy hectic life will be the same, worse or better if you remarry"

    My ex cheated on my not once, but twice. We split up and got back together 3 times before pulling the plug. Within a month, he moved on and has been with that same person ever since.

    Me - I don't even date yet. The reason your last few words hit home with me is that I can't even imagine yet how someone else could fit into my life. My father's son barely sees him and yet I can't imagine finding a partner who would openly love him and accept him and be willing to step in to a dad role. I can't envision someone understanding the nuances in our life and be willing to embrace them.

    The rational side of me acknowledges I'm over-thinking it, letting fear drive me. But seriously, who else would be willing to spend Saturdays at Day out with Thomas instead of playing golf? Who else would be willing to go to soccer practice, spend time making homemade books of original stories, and participating in the various activities that make my little one so happy?

    I feel like I'm searching not only someone for me but for him too; I'm looking for that partner who wants to be both my other half and my son's father. I'm afraid it's too large of an order.

    Thank you for sharing the details, joys, and struggles of single parents (moms and dads).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a heap o' complications to the dating scene after divorce. Trust issues, are they going to stay true? I'm not going to settle this time, but am I being impossibly picky? How would they be as a parent? Would they treat my daughter as their own? If we married and had children, would they treat their bio' babies the same as their step children? Is it more risky to enter another marriage at this point after years alone?

      People say to put it in God's hands, but I need concrete answers before I can move ahead in a relationship for the long haul.

      Delete
    2. “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it.
      Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.
      It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”
      ∼ Albert Einstein

      Delete
  20. Anonymous3/23/2012

    I'm a trackback from Young House Love. Your writing and perspective are a blessing. I've never been married, but I watched my parents' relationship disintegrate and have walked with my mom as she's repaired over the years. Your thoughts encourage me in patience, and your modeling of fidelity and care to your little one inspires--I hope I model the same qualities when I'm a dad.

    All the way my Savior leads me;
    What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy,
    Who through life has been my Guide?
    Heav'nly peace, divinest comfort,
    Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whate'er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well.

    -Fanny Crosby, “All the Way My Savior Leads Me”

    Onward and upward,

    H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great song of encouragement, thanks H!

      Delete
  21. I'm a new reader thanks to Young House Love. Though I've never been married and have no kids, I find myself really relating to your dating diatribes. It's hard to find someone these days whose values aren't all about hopping into bed with their partner just because they've been dating for the "right" amount of time. Or the fact that so many people think that a relationship is all they need to "fix" themselves and make their life better. It's pretty refreshing to hear someone else realize that it's better to be happy with yourself first, even if that means being alone for awhile. Being single isn't always popular or fun but I'd much rather be single and find true happiness with myself than lose myself in relationship after relationship just because it's what's "normal".

    I wish you the best on your own journey toward "fixing" yourself. It seems like you are well on your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kristin!

      I've got a good friend, Curls, that I'm tight with, so I'm not completely alone.

      I'm weak on patience, and have trouble knocking down the defensive walls, so there's a ways to go yet.

      Delete
  22. Danielle3/27/2012

    I'm a new reader! As an 18 year old, I have no idea about marriage, except that I know I want one someday. But you're the man, and God most definitely has something amazing planned for both you and your daughter. I'm sure it's nothing you haven't heard before, but sometimes you just feel called to say it, it was laying on my heart.

    Keep your head up. I just finished meeting with my pastor and his wife about my college decision, and these seemingly big events are daunting. I walked away with much more of a peace even though I still have no idea where I'll be in six months, but I know I have salvation...that's what counts in the end.

    Anyway, it's one thing to tell a stranger you'll pray for them and then never actually do it, but I know how my heart yearns to be married someday. Each time I pray for my future spouse, I'll pray for yours as well. That's a promise.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous3/29/2012

    I came here bc of your kitchen, and ended up in a different place. Stick to your guns, and don't compromise when it comes to things that would dishonor your God. That being said, I just want to remind you that He makes all things beautiful in His time. We don't have the burden to figure it out. He's got the plan. We are called, however to trust Him...

    On a lighter note, good blog, and great pics!

    p.s. never underestimate the power of a Godly father, especially on a little girl. You set the standard to how she expects to be treated by other men!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous3/30/2012

    I wonder what God is trying to teach you in your wait? Without knowing you or your full history, it sounds like right now you are in the middle of a beautiful story of redemption for yourself, pigtails, and your family. Only you are in the messy, dark, unknown part of that story. I wonder if instead of "trying" to learn to love again, God is simply asking you to fall at his feet in desperation, admitting that you don't have it all together but that you desperately seek his strength, his power, and his love. Often times we search for a solution or an action plan to learn or grow but God is pursuing you in your current situation. He wants to teach you to love out of His love, not yours, which is small by comparison. God knows what you want, but he also wants you to find that in Him first. I don't know you but I know the God you serve and He is faithful to provide always what you need (and sometimes also what you want!). Pursue Him. Not just to find healing but because He alone is love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/30/2012

      I'm another one of the readers who came to look at your kitchen (very nice!) and ended up reading some of your posts.
      This post echoes a lot of what I've been working through as a single mom of a 9yr old. There are so many unknowns when it comes to relationships and kids, not to mention all the baggage I carry. This is a life I had not wished or hoped for, ever. And I totally understand how it is to love marriage and to hate divorce and even wrong relationships
      Through all of my fogginess, I think the heart of my issues lay in so many different fears. And God began to lay this question on my heart, "Am I enough for you?" As in, am I sufficient for you in your weakness, in your loneliness, in your joys, in your tears/fears...in other words, in everything? I don't want to fill the God sized hole in my heart with things that don't add up. I am still learning to say yes Lord, You are.
      This journey that I am on has been long (9+ years) and it is still not over. God has been patient in drawing me close to Him and healing my brokenness, and after all this time, I still pull back and resist Him.
      I know that until I see and believe and live as though God is sufficient for me in all things, I have the potential to turn marriage/relationships into idols. And I know that I don't want to model that for my child. I want for my child to see me in a marriage that desires to honor God. Not in a relationship as insurance against loneliness or old age.
      Praise the Lord that He is patient in pursuing us and our hearts.
      Take heart, for sorrow comes in the night but joy comes in the morning. He wants your joy for His glory. And He wants your daughter's joy even more than you want it for her.

      Delete
  25. Anonymous3/31/2012

    Sure wish you lived in the Motor City. Know a lovely catholic high school teacher that is athletic and awesome with kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm tight with my friend Curls, but thanks for the bump.

      Delete
  26. Go to your Pastor, and another OLDER, WISER man, who walks closely with the Lord and leads a life of integrity, and share this with them. Ask them to consitently pray and fast, and meet with you CONSISTENTLY about this. I encourage you to continue praying for God to polish off your rough edges (you know, we all have 'em) Also, as hard as it might be, pray for your former wife...as Easter approaches, I was struck at how, even though Jesus knew what Judas was about to do, He washed his feet anyway...those dirty, stickey, smelly feet that would pad towards Him in the garden, leading men who were thirsty for violence...Judas, that rotten s.o.b...He ate with, lived with, and was "in the circle" so to speak, with Christ. Knowing all this, Jesus washed his feet, too. So, pray for your daughter's mother, not bc she deserves it, but bc she needs it. You might be surprised how God uses that to tenderize your heart...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've stalled long enough and no more excuses, I'll search for a counselor this weekend. I needed the nudge, grazie.

      Delete
  27. I went through a very devastating separation, and now am in a new relationship and expecting my first child with this very special person. So many of my friends ask my how I can do that again, and how I don't feel "burned" and how I was able to move on. It was not simple, although it will sound simple. Long story short, I lost my father almost three years ago, and I realized that life is too short. Life is too short to wait for things when I have it in my power to go out and get it, life is too short to live in fear of "what-ifs", life is too short for me (and at any age) to stop living. Once we close ourselves away from love, we stop living a little. The fact is that everyone deserves to be loved (not just by family, I mean in a relationship/intimate way). We weren't put here on this earth to go it alone. At some point, I just said "no" to the fear and opened myself up. Did I get a few bumps and bruises along the way, and a few setbacks? Yes, of course. Was some of what I feared came true? Yes, actually. Would I trade any of that to be alone and "safe" rather than in the amazing position with the person I was meant to be with right now? No, not one bit. At some point, you just have to put your life in the hands of God/fate (whatever you believe) and just let it all work out. Because, it always does, as long as you're open.

    And remember, you love and respect people for who they are as individuals. Not because they are perfect or tick every box on your checklist. You don't want that anyway. You think you do, but you don't. You just love them, for them and their flaws and that's that. Always ask yourself "do I want to live without this person?" If it's not a resounding "no" then open yourself up for the next wonderful person to pass your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've pretty much shutdown the last few years. Safer to clam up and bolt on the protective mesh than open up to vulnerability and love. It's time to love again, I'll find some help and am going on a counselor hunt this weekend.

      Your story is encouraging, thanks for taking the time to share it.

      Delete
  28. Marriage is not a commandment. It is not a requirement for pleasing God and it's not a requirement for a good life.

    I've found that letting go of all this worry is the best thing. Romantic love is not the highest form of love. I think the love and sacrifice I show my kids is as close as I'll get on this earth.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Kimberly4/12/2012

    Oh darling man, beard,

    I got suckered into your blog by the kitchen redo and then your wonderful writing skills kept me interested in all the older post.

    You have this dating thing all wrong and you will never, ever get to the place that you want to be at if you do not take the first steps (which in my mind you have not). First and foremost, marriages will never work if the two people are not on the same page with sex, money, and children. These 3 items are the leading and only cause of divorce. Every other reason follows under one of these categories. Secondly, both couples have a responsibility or lead to the cause of the break up. You have to put on your “big boy underoos” and admit that you played a part in the dissolution of your marriage. I have already read several times in your blog that your ex cheated on you and left, but I have yet to hear what you did wrong. I mean if you are willing to air your dirty laundry about her tell us what part you played. The sooner you do this the easier it will be for you to move on. I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that any past and future gal you date has not questioned the reason your ex strayed. What I mean by this (that is if you are still with me) woman don’t leave men who treat them well or if the sex isn’t great. Furthermore, there is not a logical, self respecting, or rational woman out there that wants to date a victim. You have to agree that you no longer are the victim.

    Now I get there are going to be tons of people who disagree with my posting and that is fine and I respect everyone’s opinion. My above statements were formulated from years of watching and listening to my clients in the family law field. I finally got love right by studying what my clients did wrong and enacting the opposite.

    Now if you haven’t already blocked me from posting any future comments, it would be great if I could address the statement of “the majority of women my age are married, divorced or single cat ladies”. That is if you even care what I have to say.

    With warmest regards,
    Kimberly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do need to fix some problems on my side, I hope talking to a counselor and getting advice on how to work through my issues will help.

      There are common themes with divorce, the ones you mentioned, plus communication. I'd guess that sex, money and children would not break up as many marriages if the communication was open to the point where the couple discussed these biggies in detail before ever getting married. In other words, if a couple was properly communicating early on, they'd realize before getting married they are not on the same page on sex, money or children. And they'd probably determine they shouldn't get married.

      I am responsible for things that made my ex unhappy, mainly I'm negative, stubborn, strongly opinionated and uncompromising on certain topics. But I disagree with your implication that unhappiness "drives someone to cheat and abandon ship." I was unhappy, but never cheated, nor ever considered doing so. Cheating is a choice, that's in her court, and she regrets it.

      I'm not a victim, but there are days where I utter "this sucks doing everything alone." I'm cold, guarded and defensive, I need to learn to open up.

      Delete
  30. Anonymous4/12/2012

    Perhaps part of the answer is in looking at what it is you're fearing and weighing it against what you're preventing yourself from having. It's so boundlessly horrible going through divorce, but then you emerged, yes? You have a lovely life, yes? A really challenging, delicately balanced, plates could slip at any moment but generally it works, happy life, right? So the worst happened, and here you are, & you're okay and so is PT. So that's the worst.

    And the best? A beautiful marriage that surpasses the happiest moments of the 1 you had. One with trials, tribulations, equal partnership, easy companionship & sprinkles of magic.

    It seems worth the gamble.

    By the way, re the chat -- Good in theory, but I find it doesn't alter the dynamic that much. In a perfect world of 2 completely self aware, candid, articulate, good listeners you still have the disconnect between knowing what a person is like through a deluge of information and knowing what a person is like from experiencing their way of being. The chat seems to happen anyway if you're a candid person, but I don't know that it's a shortcut to determining if someone is a fit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting into the wrong relationship is worse than no relationship at all. Balance between accepting "good enough" and not being foolish and making another bad decision in the selection process. I'm fine with where I'm at right now....another marriage sounds both wonderful and frightening.

      Delete
  31. Been on my own with my daughter since day one for many of the reasons you mentioned. Dated a bit, never close to finding a relationship. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that we must hold onto what may seem only a dream. I do think the first step in making it happen is believing it will happen.

    And you have the added benefit of being male. You can father children for decades to come. :)

    I would love to have more children someday if I found the right man to partner with, and I truly believe that he is out there for me, despite the horrible dates, the fact that I am 32 and never had a man in my life (besides my father) I can count on. It will happen. Believe it!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Now that you know what raising a family is REALLY about, you will choose correctly. You were 8 yrs younger & less mature back then. Give yourself credit. If this girl has the morals and values you hold dear, you should trust in her and let go.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the note, check back for my response!