Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.

keep-calm-move-on-from-ex-boyfriendSo tonight was the night.  I had dinner with A-Train, as we do many nights, and he let me have it.  The breakup. It’s happened.  He said the following:

  • He will always love me, love my quirkiness
  • wants to remain friends (this is a shocker, he always told me that if we broke up I’d never see him again, that I would be “on my own”)
  • That I’m super special, I don’t know it, and it will upset him to no end if I end up with someone who doesn’t recognize it or treat me as well as he did
  • That now I can “move on” and date whom I’d like (he said it as if I had someone in the pipe)
  • AND that he is going away this weekend…

All his topics caught me by surprise, however, the last one was “it” for me.  I know men – they don’t break up with someone unless they have someone waiting for them.  Every boyfriend/husband I’ve been with this has been the case.  Men don’t move on unless they already have someone else.

I don’t know who the ATrain has met or where he is going, but he is on a natural high, he is now rich beyond belief and it doesn’t surprise me that he’s “found” a new woman.  He even told me tonight that women ask him how I’m doing, in anticipation that we have broken up so they can pounce.  Is he a catch? Totally.  Is this what I need to hear while he is breaking up with me? Absolutely Not.

So there you have it. I’m back on the market.  All 43 years of me, worn, weathered, battered, beaten beyond belief, in no shape or form to date.  I’ll need to get healthy before I get back out there, which given the way I do it, I’ll be reclusive for the next 6-12 months, focus on my health.  Maybe now I can lose my extra weight (because I’m hiding away??).. who the hell knows.

What am I going to do?  I’m going to recover, focus on my career, lose some weight and get my confidence back. THEN I will begin dating again. Then, maybe then, I’ll meet someone who wants a partner in crime, someone to wants to be taken care of AND wants to take care of someone…   WE shall see.

Boy am I tired.  Life has got to be/get easier.  Will this breakup make my life easier?  Time will tell. For now, I’m surprised that it happened now but not surprised that it happened. And it will hurt like hell when I find out who ATrain is courting (it always hurts to know you’ve been lied to)..

Ex Dream.

Yes, you see correcty, a dream about the EX.  Wish it was a SEX dream… but not this time folks.

It was a very clear, vivid dream.  I woke up due to a startled heart, I took a bit of time to catch my breath, but here is what I dreamt.

The EX was having a baby. Yes, he was the one giving birth.  He was experiencing all the pregnancy events – doctors visits, excitement with family and friends….   I was not included in this.  He was doing all his pregnancy/kid things with his girlfriends (yes, actual girlfriends, but I think it was more to signify friendships…. ) .  He was so excited… all a chatter, phone calls to friends, family.. etc..   The EX rarely showed any emotion of any kind the last years of your marriage so this was  a very big deal.

So, the dream.  We are in the kitchen.  The kitchen at the house we lived in (it was a great kitchen), and I shared with him that I was concerned about having a baby becuase our relationship was not on track.  You know what he said?  That he would rather have the baby than have a relationship with me.    Yep – That if he could only have one, he would pick the baby.

I woke up startled…   and you know why?  Because it was so honest.  I think that is exactly how he felt.  He wanted a family, he didn’t care who it was with.  And he certainly didn’t want to “waste time” working out our relationship challenges (small things like lack of communication, sex, and accountability)…

I don’t know what I was thinking when I went to bed – maybe about my choice to not have children at my age?  Who knows.  But the dream was raw, straight from the heart.  It was reality, the brutal honesty and communication I wished I had experienced in my marriage.

Moved On… Mostly.

So, I feel that I’ve mostly moved on (from the divorce).  I thought I had completely recoverd until recently. 

Most of the time when I think about th EX and his behaviors,  I just shrug and say “oh well,  his deal, not mine” and just move on.   I do this 90% of the time.  But that other 10% …well, I still have some work to do. 

You see, my EX is getting re-married.  Marrying the woman he cheated on me with (or one of the women, who knows).  This in and of itself doesn’t bother me, what is bothering me, and gets my blood boiling, is the years of my life he wasted.

For years my Ex was somewhere else…. check-out, missing, out of touch, disconnected. I asked him, over and over again, about  about his happiness, our relationship, his distance.  In fairness, we had a lot going on, it was not easy.  I struggled, he struggled…..  We struggled independently, never together.  Our struggles did not bring us closer.  I wanted them to, I asked and asked what I could do… I always got nothing – he said he was “fine”.

BUT he wasn’t fine.  He was living a double life – obviously very unhappy in his “public” life, but he never said anything.  I think this is what ultimately still gets be all worked up (the feelings I’ve not dealt well with) is the frustration/anger over the EX’s dishonesty.  The EX could have left in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007..  I was begging him for communication, honesty and truth. I Gave him an out every time… I just wanted him to be happy, even if that meant NOT with me.   But he bold face lied to me  – said he was “fine”.   My nievate, his words, or a combination of both, made me believe that we could make it.  Knowing what I know now, makes me realize what a dumb ass I was.   And I HATE feeling like I’ve been played.

Its not my nievate that bugs me (it will soon enough though), its his dishonesty and the time I wasted because of it.   Had he just been honest with me, I could be in an entirely different place.  Had he said what he really felt (or at the very least talked about what he was doing), we could have seperated/divorced in 2005 (which is when I think he “disconnected”) and  I would be in an entirely different place. My life could have involved a new family, a loving husband, etc…. Now, at 40, I realize, I will be a great step-mom…   Three years is not a big deal on the larger scheme of things, but 3 years at 35-36 is a very big deal.

Yes, I hear you, another pitty party for Paula…  but honestly, its really hard NOT to think about how different my life could be right now had the EX  had an ounce of integrity and had just been honest.

Now, I am aware that I chose to stay in a less-than-ideal relationship, but I did it for the right reasons – I was in love.  I really thought/believed/felt that we could make it.  Had I known what I know today, I would have made very different decisions. And this is what frustrates me.  I wasn’t given the option to make the decisions that were best for me.

The good news is is that I believe this to be the last hurdle.  I do think that after I resolve my feelings about this I will be ready to get back out there.

Sometimes it just take a while to rebound, and my journey has been long and hard – 2008-2010 where the years of recovery and discovery.   2008 and 2009 are a bit hazy, 2010 has been a year of learning and getting myself back to the same place I was 10 years ago. You could say I’ve gone full circle, I’ve landed in the same “space” (obviously much older, wiser, and more mature) that I was 10 years ago –  I’m once again the “single, unmarried woman”, purchasing a house in an “up and coming” neighborhood…  

But 2011, 2011 will be my year, another Year of the Paula.  … . New home, healthy cats, a “daugther” with a degree, and now room in my heart and life for a new and loving partner.  2011 will be my year.   Watch out Paula fans!!

Here is How It Happened.

Grrrrhhh.  O.k. So for whatever reason, I’ve received numerous emails this week from past work associates asking me why I’ve gone back to my maiden name.  These are folks still work with the Ex…I would love it if they would just ask him.  I know that the Ex and I were not doing well, but here are the turn of events that broke the camel’s back:

  • 2008 – Feb. – I went to Utah for two weeks to get two rental properties ready to sell. I lost my job. I decided to stay longer than the 2 weeks originally scheduled (why not, I’d lost my job).
  • 2008 – Early March – I was at one of my condo’s, cleaning it up to put it on the market, began looking for a job, learned to snowboard, drank to much, cried to much, saw family. One friend came to visit me.  I ASKED the EX to join me anytime, he was always too busy (you’ll see with what in a minute).
  • 2008 – Late March – I got a job, start date was middle of April.  The Ex came to visit me, said he wanted to make our relationship work.  I thought we decided together that we wanted the marriage to work.  I was sorely mistaken. What I think he meant to say was “please so no, I like someone else”.
  • 2008 – Early April – I arrived back in CA, ready to give our marriage another go (for what seemed like the 100th time).  The Ex and I had several “work” trips planned but I thought we agreed to work around it.   He took a “business trip”.. I then used this same suitcase for my trip. My trip was to Dallas for my new job.   As I packed my things into the suitcase, I found a condom.  I asked the Ex about it. Here were his excuses:
    • “Its one of ours”.  My response:  “No, its not, I checked. And we haven’t had sex in ages, which is one of my issues with this marriage”.
    • “Someone else put it there”.  My response:  “I found the condom on the INSIDE of the bag. Who would have access to put the condom on the inside?”   I remember thinking to myself, Um, yeah, that’s what TSA folks do to have a good laugh – stick condoms in random people’s bags.

The fact is, he was lying.  He was cheating and he was lying about it.  As the Ex drove me to the airport for my trip (yes, mere minutes after finding the condom),  I said I was done.  And I was.  The drama was so unnecessary.  He wanted to be somewhere else – go for it.  There was no argument from the Ex about the separation.   We just put the house on the market, sold it, and moved on.

Funny story, we were still living together, I think it was sometime in May of 2008 (around my birthday I believe), the Ex marked his FaceBook profile as Single.  Email/alerts went out to everyone… close friends, colleagues, family, etc.. Here we were, still living together, and he wanted to make sure someone knew he was available.  I brought it to his attention, he apologized, but the damage was done.

Anyway, I don’t know his timeline after this.  What I do know is that the Ex must have been busy “entertaining” without his condoms, because he got a co-worker pregnant. He now lives in Miami with his baby mama (who also happened to be married to someone else at the time…).

Why do I take the time to explain this now?  Because for whatever reason, I just received multiple emails from colleagues that don’t know we are divorced.  As with anything, word does get around. I also wish I could send a link to this posting to everyone and just say, “here is the story”, but I don’t want to blow my cover.  But this is the truth.

I am frustrated that this is a part of my life, the fact that I’m am in any way, shape, or form part of the Ex’s drama. It didn’t have to be this way – but it is because he was a coward with me.   Strong words, I know.  Just really frustrated right now.

Lesson learned for me:

  1. I will not and do not let this experience define me. I love men, I think there are a lot of good ones out there, I just didn’t pick one the first time around.  So be it. There is always a next time.
  2. Actions speak louder than words.  I will always pay attention to actions. If the actions don’t meet their words, then I’m moving on.  Hope is for the birds.  As a friend once said to me, “If a guy wants to be with you, he will show up”.

And thats all she said…. for now.  😉

End of the Sparkley.

So, today, I finally did it – I sold my engagement ring.  Its been on the back of my mind for months (honestly more like a year and a half now, ever since the seperation… “what the hell do with this thing now?”).

Today, I went to a jewelry store and just sold it.  I felt a huge sigh of relief.  More than I expected to feel.  Honestly, I’m so relieved to be done with this part of my life.  Selling the ring seemed more important since I’ve changed my name.  I really just want to be done with the past, with the part of my life that was unhappy; unfullfilled…  Now, single with two cats, i’m so much more content and happy with my life.  I never thought I would be single at 38 ….   single with two cats none-the-less…  but I am happy, how lucky am I to be 38 and truly happy?!?!?

Anyway, the fancy pants diamond ring is gone…. and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.  Materials things cannot and do not make me happy…  I’d be happy with a rented trailer by the sea, or better yet, a lavendar farm in northern/central California!!

Good-bye sparkely diamond, I will not miss you.

It’s Final.

My divorce is final.  I dont have the paperwork as of yet, but I’m told all is “done”.  This is all fine and dandy, but the real interesting news (for me anyway), is that my now ex has moved on, and pretty quickly I might add.  He found someone, has actually packed up his things and MOVED to Miami.. and is having a baby girl in August OF THIS YEAR (for those non-math wizards, that means she was prego in Nov/Dec of 2008.), which interestingly enough, coinside with his official request for a divorce.

I remember thinking how strange it was that the ex had actually taken action to start divorce precedings in November 2008 (which I blogged about: Ever Forward.).  This man could NOT make a decision to do the simplest of things in the last 3 years of our marriage (such as which night, during the week (any day, pick a day) to have dinner with his wife).   BUT, he seemed so proactive to seperate (after the condom incident of course), and was agressive about filing for the divorce.   I didn’t get it then, but now I get it (an a-ha moment about a year later).  

He found someone.  Someone that he knew during our marriage.  This someone was most likely the woman he was sleeping wtih during our marriage (wonder why he chose NOT to use the condom anymore??).  We werent sleeping together, which was a major issue in our marriage – I wanted to, he couldn’t find the time.  Our Counselor so eloquently asked him at almost every sesssion, “if you aren’t fucking your wife, who are you fucking?” .  But, you have to hand it to him – he did find someone that got him off is ass to actually do something – to move across the country AND have a baby with.  Good for him (sort of ….). 

I’m not really happy for him yet… it will come in time.  I do want him to be happy, but I would have preferred that he be honest with me AND himself during our marriage.  At the very least, why in the world would he commit to 8+ months of counseling if he had zero intention of being in and truly engaging in the marriage?  Right now, I am just flabbergasted that he would, literally, choose to do what “looked good” vs. what made him happy. 

By “looked good” I mean that he did what he thought was the right thing by society, his family, colleages, etc, but certainly not by either one of us.   He walked away from our marriage, saying he “tried”, he did “everything”, and I was the one that “wasn’t commited” …  What a load of crap.  I see it so clearly now, and makes me realize how lucky I am that I grew strong and did not settle for less than what I needed.  Shit, we could still be married AND he could be having this baby with a co-worker. God, how awful would that be???

My only lesson learned here is to not hold on to hope so long….   Had I listened to the Ex’s actions (or inaction) we would have seperated years before we  finally did….  but instead, I chose to listen to his words… but I see clearly now, someone will show up when they want to, that their actions will showcase their priorities, passions, and desires.  Words are hollow, meaningless IF they are not backed up with action. I get it now.

This new news threw me for a loop none-the-less.  It’s just like Sally in the movie “When Harry Met Sally” when Sally is upset that her ex-boyfriend is marrying someone else.  Its not that because she wants him, its just that it wasn’t her.  Why not her is Sally’s question, her dilemma.  Its hard to face facts, that no matter how much you love someone, you just aren’t the one, it just isn’t right.. and it won’t ever be right – married or not.  On the mature,  rational side, I’m happy that he has found someone to inspire him…. someone he loves or desires to be with enough to actualy do something/take action, to think beyond himself.  On the emotional side, it’s extremely frustrating that he was just plain lazy, I would even go so far to say cowardly, for not being honest with me or himself, and facing his(our) truth.   Grrrr.

In summary, I am grateful that I figured my shit out, because in the cold, harsh, reality of life, we could still be married, numb, and unhappy.  We would both be having affairs (you can only go so long without sex and intimacy),  he would be wishing I would just leave him alone, and I would be wondering why he doesn’t love me (is it my weight, lifestyle, etc), and what else I could do to get him to see my value, my worth.  I was angry at the end of 2006, he blamed me for our troubles… I waited patiently for him to do  something…  step up, say something, pay attention, get involved….  nothing happened.  I gave up waiting in early 2008 …  given his activity, he gave up years before that…   Its too bad he couldn’t have been honest, me more brave….  It would be nice to have those years back, what I could do with an extra couple of years (ohhh the countries I would visit…)…

The divorce is final and now the real fun begins…

No Strings Attached.

Work has been brutal…. we recently had a meeting, a territory review. The best thing I can say about it is that I walked away with my job… no dignity left intact, and no respect for the leadership at my company.  A co-worker and I were commiserating over drinks at the airport… about the meeting, how we felt about it, pondering the next steps…

The job market is tough right now, and I feel both concerned about losing my job and the need to really get away.  I told my co-worker that if i was laid off, I wanted to go on a long-term adventure, and asked him what he recommended.  He preceeded to tell me about two trips he and his 1st wife had taken to Napal.  It opened the door to talk about his 1st wife and their life together…. It was a great trip, he has really fond memories of the trip, and overall of his life with his 1st wife.   I asked him why he married again?  He said he liked that kind of bond, the closeness he had/has found in his marriages.  He then told me that I shouldn’t worry, that I would marry again someday.  I gasped…almost choked on my beverage.  There is no way that I could do THAT again.

Of course (the Paula in me!) that got me thinking about my own Marriage, how I dreamed it would be, how it actually was, and of course, the dissolution of it.  I’m sitting on an airplane now, glass of wine in hand, pondering how it all happened, and why I reacted so strongly against the idea of getting married again. 

My marriage was a good one by most standards, having all the trappings of a good life; two young, successful, financially stable, good looking people finding each other, marrying each other, buying a beautiful house in the burbs, etc..  But as I look back on it, it was a lonely place for me. I spent most of my marriage alone, wishing, wanting, waiting for a “real” partner.

I tell myself all I want is to be with someone that wants to be with me. I dont want a certificate, a kid, obligation of any kind to keep my man around. I want someone to be/stay with me because they are happy there to show up and no other reason.  If they become dissatisfied for any reason and want out, all I ask is that they summon up the courage to tell me they are leaving/want out.  I will gladly help them back their bags.  Its not worth it to me to keep something “together” when both parties aren’t completely and totally into it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of finding a soulmate, someone who truly gets me, and I look forward to the day when I can again experience the bliss that comes with finding the person who loves my quirks ( I have only a few .. 😉  ) and finds me perfectly imperfect.  I am excited and look forward to caring and taking care of another human being.  I’m just saying that if I do ever find this person,  I will hold onto it, enjoy each day for what it is, every moment we have together, because I do believe, there will come a day that I become imperfect to this person and they will want out.  And I want them to know that while we had a good run, if the love is gone, they should be going.  Life is too short to be unhappy.

So, why do I say this?  Because my marriage was a very lonely place for me, and I’m pretty sure it was for the soon-to-be-ex (STBE) as well. I want a relationship filled with passion, intimacy, love, honesty, trust, NOT one that is unfullfilled, obliged to out of guilt, a marriage license, kids, etc.. Here is how this perspective came to be.

  • DREAMS.  I absolutely loved the STBE… feel completely head over heads for him.  I was so enamored with him, he was for me, perfectly imperfect.  He really couldn’t do anything wrong and all I wanted to do was take care of him.

We had some big things come into our lives that shook us up for sure.. work stress, an unexpected live-in experience with a wild teenager, medical issues, etc.  but these are the times when you are supposed to pull together, not apart. And we, given the opportunity to pull together, we couldn’t pull together. We did not lean or count on each other.

  • THE TRUTH.  Looking back on “us”, I dont think he felt the same way about me, but was more mesmerized by the love I showered onto him; having someone fawn over you on a daily basis can be intoxicating (I’m guessing, its never happened to me).  Compound this with his family and friends telling him how great I was (I am fabulous!!).  It’s hard, if not impossible, to keep your head about yourself when someone thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread.  When the eyes you look into every day/night sees a different, better version of you…

I believe quite possibly that the STBE didn’t love me when he married me, and even worse, was unhappy for most of our marriage.  I dont think he will ever have the courage to tell me this, but its what I believe now that I have some clarity and emotional distance from the relationship.

The honeymoon was way over after 6 months of marriage.  I felt like a check-box, like he had a list of things he wanted to do, marriage was one, check, off to the next big thing: triathalons and ironmans.  He disappeared, worked-out a lot, priortizing work and work-outs over time together.  it was a choice he made, and based on where he found happiness. 

  • THE END. My marriage, our marriage, for me, was a very lonely place. When I talked to him about it, he said that my need for and intimacy and connection was my “twin thing” (yes, Paula’s a twin). I thought its what two people shared when they were in touch with their partners, they care for the person they have chosen . He obviously felt differently.

It took a lot of brutal honesty and courage to end my marriage (you guessed it, I’m patting myself on the back, go Paula!!).  You can say that you will do a lot of things to fix it, but it all comes down to actions: are you willing to do anything to have a successful relationship? If the answer is no, then part amicibly, its best for both parties. I do know that I tried absolutely everything to try to get it back on track.  And this is enough for me – I gave it my best shot, my all.

In the end, his actions revealed his true feelings.   He lived with me for years, ambiguous to my presence, pointing out my imperfections, treating me as though I wasn’t as good/smart/athletic as he was. I didn’t see this for a long time, I didn’t want to see it…. but I finally did in April of last year. It was a few really sharp/mean comments from him, the condom in his suitcase after a trip, his non-communicative style; I realized, he was unhappy too, he just didn’t want to admit it or be the “bad guy”. So, I did it, it was hard… but it was absolutely the best thing for the both of us.

So no, I dont ever want to get married again, at least not the kind of married I experienced, its a very lonely place.  I’m happy now, relieved to not be responsible …  happy to be free.  Now, If someone comes along and we experience a true connection, passion, and have a lot of fun together, fabulous… but it will come with brutal honesty and no certificate, it will be over when someone becomes unhappy or disinterested…. It will be a happy place for the both of us, no expectations and no strings attached.

Ever Forward.

So I called the husband called today (He called me last night, but I didn’t hear the phone…   I called back, not knowing what he wanted…..).  We spoke this morning, had the small talk that most people do (how are you, how are the XX -in our case the cats, etc), then he hit me with the D-bomb.


Not only has he thought about it, he has acted on it. He has contact a person who can help with a “collaborative divorce”.  It’s an interesting concept –  Its for those who have reached an agreement and only need to complete and file the paperwork.  Apparently it’s a very simple and a reasonbly priced initative (we both were frugal).  But as I listen to all the reasons why we want to go this route, I think there are two things to consider:

  • Financial Divorce
  • Emotional Divorce

For whatever reason, we’ve been able to work thru the financial aspect of the seperation as well as a experienced sailor passes thru high winds on the carribean…   its the “other”, emotional stuff that is important, less structured, and the most painful.   The emotional divorce — forces you to think about the rest of your life  — where do I land, what do I do, how do I do it, etc.. The shock comes from the reality of it, that the tides have turnd.  I am no longer married, I am now “seperated” or “divorced”.  The soon-to-be-ex seems to have been able to navigate these rough seas much more gracefully than I have….. On one side, good for him, but on the other, less mature side, I think, fuck him (can I say/type this??)…. . 


Oh, and as I type this, I’m watching a TLC show about a man who is a tree –  what a dumbass I am for being so selfish and self-absorbed….  I have use of my limbs  and am able to work…  how LUCKY am I?