Feelings stuffing…

The last couple of weeks of have been weeks of THOSE days.  You know the days I am talking about.  The days where you just go through the motions trying to minimize the hurt feelings and keep your smile.  I realized I have been stuffing my feelings down to the point I have no where left to stuff them.  I feel like a ticking bomb waiting to go off.

I have so much going on, the biggest of which is a custody battle over my children.

I have had my children on my own for over six years.  My ex saw them infrequently as he moved over 400 miles away from us. This last year my ex and I have lived in the same town and he has taken more of an interest in them. Back in the spring he filed for sole custody and requested child support from me.  He had been in my home the night before as I had just gotten back from chaperoning a weekend school trip with my oldest daughter.  He brought the younger one home and came in while I was telling him about things that happened during the school trip.  The next day a court officer delivered the papers.  It was like a kick in the teeth. For those of you following my story, the day I was served papers was the same day I ended the no contact with W.  It was just too much at one time.

Now, my ex is a man who has never paid child support to me, I never asked for it.  This isn’t about whether he thinks I am a good mother, in fact he has told me that he believes I am an excellent mother, a little over protective, but an excellent mother nonetheless.  I have two beautiful, well adjusted daughters who are doing well in school.  I am at every school function, know their teachers well, volunteer at their schools to the point that everyone knows me.  For the last ten years I have gotten them to and from school, packed lunches, did homework, chaperoned trips, worked school parties, did fundraisers…I am an active mother.  A month before the papers were filed I moved into a new place and he got scared I would come after him for child support.  So he decided to he didn’t want to pay (not that I had filed or even mentioned child support to him) so he filed for custody and child support.  Needless to say, things between he and I have been tense at best since that.  Before that we were amicable.  Very amicable.

Things with W are at a stalemate.  Nothing has changed there.  I am miserable with how the relationship is, and he isn’t.  So nothing changes.  He likes it this way.  He wants it this way.  So…no motivation=no change. I am so frustrated. Between feeling powerless with the custody case (unless you agree to hand over your kids and pay child support to an absent father I am forced to pay thousands of dollars to the legal system to keep my childre…no power in that) and feeling powerless to make changes in my relationship with W…I feel powerless.  I realize that I have two choices with W…either continue you on playing by his rules or end it.  The ending it scares me.  The what if questions…

Will I be strong enough to get through it?

What if I hold out just a bit longer?

What if I never feel the way I do in W’s arms in another man’s arms?

However, my self esteem, confidence, feelings or worthiness have all taken such a hit.  I almost don’t care anymore.  I just want the hurt to end.  I wonder if the hurt will be worse after than it is now.  There is no joy in being the OW for me.  The little bits of time I get with him are huge price to pay for the damage it does to my wellbeing.  I don’t know what I am going to do, but I know something has to change.  Somehow, some way I have to find a way to take control over my life again.  I know what I want…for myself, my children, my love life…this is not it.

 

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Lady in waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting…

I read an article today in Psychology Today titled “7  Reasons Most People are Afraid of Love.” I found the beginning of the article interesting.  They said the time between Jan 1st and Feb 13th is the highest break-up time and also the highest for divorce filings.  I suppose that seems right.  People get through the holidays and thus into a guilt-free time to break up before Valentine’s Day.

As I sit and play the waiting game like so many OW I am trying to keep myself occupied in other areas, but I can’t help but to wonder what are the catalysts that finally push people to leave unhappy relationships?  In every divorce I have ever known there seems to be a third person involved.  This is almost always true for couples who are serious, but haven’t taken marriage vows yet as well.

W seems so content to keep doing what we have been doing.  He doesn’t seem to me that he feels any urgency or pressure at all to end his marriage, or to commit to his marriage.  I feel the need to do something or I will be stuck in the situation indefinitely. He needs a catalyst, and even if that isn’t enough at least I will be in position to move on.  As I see it here are my options…

contact his wife – This I absolutely will not do.  I don’t think that would benefit anyone- her, him, their children, or me. Having been on the receiving end of having the OW call me, I think this is unnecessarily cruel for everybody involved. So scratch that one. I know that a lot of women in my shoes have negative feelings towards the wife or feel jealous.  I am jealous, because she has the life position with W I want, but I do respect her and care about her feelings.  This is why I want some resolution.  I think keeping her in a marriage like this is not right to her, whether she is aware or not.  I have said many times to W, if he wants to stay married to her, he needs to stop messing around on her and put the effort in and make his marriage healthy and happy.  If not, then leave so she can find a man that will give her that.  I know she is a good person, in spite of what some might think I do feel guilt and remorse for my part in any pain I am causing or could cause her, and I do wish her well.  I also don’t want to get his children involved in this, which I think would be a strong possibility if she found out.

Give him an ultimatum – Do I really want to be in a relationship where I end up with him only because he felt he didn’t have a choice?  Do ultimatums ever really work in the end? Would I be ready to deal with the rejection if he didn’t choose me?  I don’t see this option as a win for me.  So scratch this one.

Have an assertive talk – Have a conversation where I let him know my needs aren’t being met, his family’s needs aren’t being met, his wife’s needs aren’t being met.  Explain how he needs to make some tough decisions and quickly.  I have done this already.  He bought the book I recommended to help him make these decisions and he got half way through it, and then he put it down.  I think he is just content with the life he has right now.  For him, he doesn’t see a need to do anything. So, we scratch this one too.

Pick a leave date and then stick with it – Have one more conversation explaining that I just can’t continue in this relationship the way that it is now.  Then pick a date where I am out if he hasn’t done anything to move forward with me, I will assume he wants to still be in his marriage.  Right now I am tossing around the date of February 1st.  I have had that date in my head for a couple of months now.  Probably because of the reasons the article gave.  We are past the holidays and I feel like if there is going to be a time of year to do something, now is as good as any.  I don’t see any benefit in dragging this relationship out if it isn’t going anywhere, and our risk of being caught only increases.

I’m still thinking on it, but I know I need a resolution and my options are limited.  This one will pull me out of this never-ending-revolving door and allow me to move on and be with somebody who is available, if he is not willing to leave his marriage to pursue a relationship with me. But, how do I do it?  Do I just leave without saying anything?  Do I give an explanation?  Do I keep it short and simple?  Do I do it in person? No, not in person. I don’t think I would be strong enough to leave him if I did it in person.  Any advice from anyone who has done this would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, here is the link to the article I mentioned earlier in Psychology Today 7 Reasons Most People are Afraid of Love

Love triangles..

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Have you ever noticed many of the most popular soap operas, TV shows, books, movies…will have some sort of love triangle? Twilight, The Vampire Diaries (two parts of that love triangle just one best chemistry couple or something like that at the People’s Choice Awards, which btw was the forbidden love leg of the triangle), Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and many more.  It doesn’t stop at adult shows, even The Little Mermaid has a love triangle.  Some could even argue Breaking Bad (His love to cook, Skylar and Walter White) is a love triangle.  My point is the media has sensationalized The Love Triangle.  Arguably, many of these shows are geared towards women.  In many of these triangles we are pulling for the forbidden love interest, the one out of the primary relationship with the commitment.  Anybody watch The Vampire Diaries?  How many of us were pulling for the bad brother, Damon, hook up…over the Sweet Stephan romance?  I know I was!  Another example.  How many wanted Rose to ditch her commitment to Cal and be with Jack, someone she had known for 3 days at the most? It is sensationalized in Hollywood as love conquers all.  You don’t really see the aftermath.  Sometimes, the person who is left out of the triangle in the end is villanized, and we feel justified in their hurt thinking they deserved it.

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I have been pondering lately how much of these media messages are reflected in our relationship choices.  How do these media messages change our relationship dynamics?  These are exciting love triangles.  They boost ratings.  They sell merchandise (Team Jacob, Team Edward), They sell books.  They sell movies.  We love them. But why?

Is it because we are looking for that special someone to spice up our lives for us? To come in and rescue us from the mess our lives and relationships become? Has the mass media sensationalized them so much that for us they have become a cure all for whatever ails in our relationships.  The answer becomes to turn outward, instead of turning inward to our spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends.  Turning inward would be great, but let’s face it folks, sometimes, you can’t turn inward.  Sometimes we really are with broken people.  Sometimes we outgrow each other.  Sometimes your partner is uncooperative in helping to heal the relationship and meet our needs.  Sometimes it is healthier to leave than to stay.  Sometimes we can’t stay. But sometimes we can stay, and we don’t.

Humans by nature are serial monogamous and what we see in Hollywood is one way that serial monogamy can look.  Perhaps, the love triangle speaks to a place in our psyche, and pulls at our subconscious.  However you think about it, The Love Triangle is alluring and we often find ourselves caught up in it, and the thought that love conquers all… even if only in the movies. But love triangles aren’t the way they are portrayed in the media. Good people get hurt.  Good people who don’t deserve to be hurt, get hurt.  They aren’t always villains, they aren’t bad people, they are people with feelings and emotions. These love triangles hurt everyone involved at some point. They aren’t the cure all.  They can feel good at the time, but they leave a wake of hurt, resentment, betrayal, distrust, anger and frustration behind that can last for years, if not forever.  Even though biologically humans are genetically wired for serial monogamy the society in which we live and our socialized norms are not. Until our societal norms are aligned with our biological needs there will always be a wake of woe involved in a love triangle.  ~ C