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schtoop #2502109 04/26/11 10:55 AM
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Heya SOL --

You might want to put more focus on your interests rather than on dating.

This will be a great time to develop some hobbies that you never had time for before. And you might find someone with similar interests as a companion.

After my divorce, I started playing hockey. I met lots of fun people, and have a whole new circle of friends. At the time, it kept me busy, out of the house, and not thinking about missing the kids.

Lexxxy #2502163 04/26/11 01:14 PM
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Hiya Lexxxy. I think you are right and I'm trying to do so. That's what I meant when I posted earlier about being excited to just 'do stuff', that I want to do. Wheter it's by myself, with my guy friends, or with a possible date. The main thing right now is just getting Pinky out so I can have some time for myself to explore my own interests. I really can't wait.

I can go with or without any dating right now. I'm sort of take it or leave it currently. I'm not motivated to start much. But then there are days when I really do feel a strong desire to meet someone, but that is probably more along the need for SF. I wait it out and eventually it passes. Lol

I am sceduling more social things for myself, which is good. I'm running in a 5K this Friday evening. Should be fun and I've never done an organized race/run before. The following weekend I have a party to go to for a friend from work (male). Once Pinky moves out I will focus on my basement remodeling project which will keep me busy. When I have my boys we will start the model railroad stuff too.

Things are looking up. Pinky told me she plans to move out on May 15th now, which is a week earlier than she planned. All good by me.

So did you play ice hockey? Don't mean to be sexist, but that's pretty rare for girls to play isn't it? I think its very cool though! That sounds fun but I can't even skate!


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_SOL #2502188 04/26/11 02:38 PM
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I didn't play growing up. I could always skate -- but I didn't start playing hockey until I was a grown up.
I've played for 6 years now.
In my frozen northern state, it is not completely uncommon for women to play (still on the rare side, but not completely unheard of..) In fact my league has 7 different levels of women's teams and about 1000 players.
It's not the best place to meet MEN, but I guess if I was into GIRLS it would be great!

Now my other hobby is different -- predominately men. So if I was interested, there would be a large supply in the dating pool.

Maybe that's the ticket -- you just need to take up scrapbooking!
Or quilting.

Lexxxy #2502543 04/27/11 10:01 AM
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That is very cool Lexxxy! Speaking of hockey, my Blackhawks lost a heartbreaker last night. Fun series to watch though. Well, at least the last 4 games!

Not so sure on the scrapbooking or quilting, but I'll keep that in mind as I go forward. You are right though, and I need to figure out what interests and hobbies I may like and go from there.

Just confirmed this morning that we go into court for our final settlement on Monday. That is great news. Pinky is going to start moving out on May 13th too. Probably be a week of her gradually moving her stuff to the new place. The end is near!!


-SOL
_SOL #2504280 05/01/11 08:45 PM
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SOL,

Good to see you're doing well. You're ahead of me, but it looks like we have yet another thing in common. My STBX is scheduled to move out the 13th as well. At least, that's when her apartment will be ready. Since I've come to realize she's in no rush to leave "the comfort" she has deemed "not worth it", I'm not expecting much. Only time will tell, right?

As far as hobbies vs. dating, I say focus on hobbies right now. This is what I'm doing. Mostly because I know that in the course of my M, I have slowly dropped all of "me" trying to appease. I say 'NO MORE!'. Plus, like Lexxy said, you could end up meeting someone with similar interests while pursuing hobbies. laugh

Hope to keep hearing good news from ya!


BH (me): 31WXW: 31 (Still in the house!)
Married: Jan 2005DS: 6 years old
DDay #1: 12 Mar 2008Failed Recovery #1: Jun 2008 - Jun 2010
DDay #2: 28 Jun 2010Failed Recovery #2: Aug 2010 - Sep 2010
Plan A/Limbo: Sep 2010 - 24 Jan 2011
DDay #3: 29 Jan 2011
On OM#4, that I know of...
D Filed: 11 Feb 2011
D Final: 10 Jun 2011 (still waiting on prop division & custody)

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
itsaname #2504284 05/01/11 10:01 PM
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Hey thanks itsaname. Friday the 13th to boot. Really can't wait for that last final piece of the puzzle to fall into place - her leaving for good. Quite a relief at this point. I go to court tomorrow for our final settlement. All is in order and it should be pretty quick. Then it's just the last couple weeks until I can really reclaim my house and continue to move on in earnest. Really excited about the future.

Speaking of focusing on hobbies and new things...

Well I ran my first organized run this weekend and did a 5k. What a blast! I used to say I only run because I have to for work, but now I have another reason - to get ready to race! It was a lot more fun than I would have thought and I'm all into it now. This whole "go out and find what interests you" stuff is great! Lol

It was nice to try something new and even better to have really enjoyed it. Can't wait to figure out what the next thing may be. Movin on and having fun....


Oh by the way, breaking news- report that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Cool. Too bad he was already pretty irrelevant. Many "bad guy" groups in play over there and he wasn't the main focus when I was there. Still a great thing! You can run but you can't hide. Well can't hide forever anyway!


-SOL
_SOL #2504520 05/02/11 02:42 PM
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Good for you, SOL! (the run) And I agree about Bin Laden...


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Limbo, I'm glad you're enjoying the running. I have done some of that but not in the recent past. Runners, from what I've seen, tend to be pretty close with each other, if you get into the "culture" of it (not sure how serious you are about it); I would expect you'll start meeting folks if you run a couple of these 5k's or whatever you're after. Just an example of pursuing your interests leading to good things...

Have you thought about how to handle Mother's Day? Your kids are small, so I don't know if you want to get involved for their sake (even if to remind them) or just let the chips fall where they may. Mine are older, but it's still a little uncomfortable for me -- I don't really facilitate them getting her gifts or anything, just let them know they should make her a card at least. That type of thing.

Funny thing is during the M, on Mother's Day, she would want me to take them (so she could "relax"). Then on Father's Day I would want to take them, lol.
~ So is there a point? Not really, lol. But I will say, hopefully for your benefit, that a year after separation (and 9 mo into divorce), there are still wayward behaviors. WXw is better in some ways, but the selfishness has not gone away. Things she has said and done, even recently, reveal to me very little change in her overall attitude toward life. I thought by now reality, being alone, divorce, and seeing the kids trying to function in split households would at least change her outlook/approach (for the kids' benefit). I'll be interested to see where the Pink is a year from now.

[People will probably question my "disattachment" skills after reading the above, but I only pay attention to that type of thing as I feel it relates directly to my kids' welfare. As you've said, you want Pink to be stable for the kids benefit. Same here. It's like a little study I do...of their environment, so to speak]

Anyway, congrats to your brothers for getting their man. We're all proud of you.

Opt

optimism #2504727 05/02/11 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: optimism
Have you thought about how to handle Mother's Day? Your kids are small, so I don't know if you want to get involved for their sake (even if to remind them) or just let the chips fall where they may. Mine are older, but it's still a little uncomfortable for me -- I don't really facilitate them getting her gifts or anything, just let them know they should make her a card at least.


I had a conversation about this with my mother this weekend. She asked me the same question, and I said "I'm not planning on getting her anything; since she decided to not get me a card from DS on my bday...one month after I did for her". My mother's reply reminded me of how we get into these little tit-for-tat situations. She simply stated, "Well, getting her a card is not showing her you're thinking about her, but is teaching DS that he should think about these things. If neither of you do it, he'll never learn that.".

I simply had to bow to the wisdom, and will be getting her a card from DS.

Now, if DS was older, I'd probably use more of a reminding approach...

Just though I'd throw this out here. laugh


BH (me): 31WXW: 31 (Still in the house!)
Married: Jan 2005DS: 6 years old
DDay #1: 12 Mar 2008Failed Recovery #1: Jun 2008 - Jun 2010
DDay #2: 28 Jun 2010Failed Recovery #2: Aug 2010 - Sep 2010
Plan A/Limbo: Sep 2010 - 24 Jan 2011
DDay #3: 29 Jan 2011
On OM#4, that I know of...
D Filed: 11 Feb 2011
D Final: 10 Jun 2011 (still waiting on prop division & custody)

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."
itsaname #2504749 05/03/11 01:58 AM
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It's kind of funny you guys are talking about the gift thing. I just purchased Pinky a present to be from the boys for mothers day. It sounds odd, but I got her a hand held GPS for Geocaching. This was a hobby we shared as a family and had a lot of fun with it. I do hope she will use it to continue the Geocaching when she has the boys. I am keeping the one we already have and will do so when I have the boys.

On my birthday, Pinky gave me a $50 gift card to help with the purchase of my new drill. We talked a little bit about gifts in the future and sort of informally agreed to spend about $50 on each other for the boys to give to us. She knew I wanted a drill and I knew she wanted the GPS. Both of them cost more than the $50, and after Mothers day she will pay me the difference for the gift. Sounds kind of odd but it seems to work. No cards or anything, other than the boys giving their own handmade cards, which are always better anyway! It just allows the boys to actually give each of us something we want or need.

I did finalize the divorce today and everything went smooth as silk. Dropped off copies with my loan officer and should be able to close on the refi later this week. What was telling is what each of us did after the divorce stuff today. I came home and took the boys out to Red Lobster and then to target just to hang out a little bit. Pinky went on a date with somebody from Match. I don't care that she is dating as I am near to doing the same. Just thought the timing was interesting. 2 more weeks and she starts to move out.


-SOL
_SOL #2504791 05/03/11 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted By: _SOL
Well I ran my first organized run this weekend and did a 5k. What a blast! I used to say I only run because I have to for work, but now I have another reason - to get ready to race! It was a lot more fun than I would have thought and I'm all into it now. This whole "go out and find what interests you" stuff is great! Lol

I have been a runner for all my senior life (I didn't start until after I turned 40).

I'm running 100 miles a month these days despite a bad back and some leg problems.

Last year I ran one marathon, two half marathons, one ten miler, four 10Ks, one 8K, and six 5Ks.

I'm already registered for one marathon, one half and one ten miler this fall. I'll do other distances as they appear on my radar screen.

I guess you could say I'm really into it. smile

Good for you!


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About the Mother's Day thing...I think a lot depends on the age of the kids and the relationship you have with your ex. My kids were teenagers when their father divorced me so I left it up to them to decide what to do with their dad. We were separated when Mother's day came along and he told my son he could go to his friend's house, without consulting me, and I hit the roof! I told him I'd never do that to him, that Mother's Day I should have the kids with me and Father's Day he should have the kids with him, we never did have another repeat of that. I think the divorced parents should show respect and consideration to each other wherever possible. We are, after all, still the parent of each other's kid/s and we don't want to put the kids in the middle or make things uncomfortable for them. And we DO need to consider what we're teaching our kids. Fortunately, we have been able to get along well since the divorce...now if he could only teach his new wife these same points!


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Wow Fred, that's quite a bit of running! I'm looking at running in Memphis for St. Jude's in December. Thinking of doing the half marathon. Maybe do a couple of 10ks between now and then and even a couple 5ks if I can find them. What the heck, I'll be running regularly anyway. Might as well do an occasional event since I enjoyed this lSt one so much. Maybe meet some new people along the way too.

I've got a couple minor medical issues that I just don't have time to take care of. I have a large bunion on my foot and this causes my gait to alter once in a while, which then aggregates my bursar sac in my left knee. Need surgery to fix the foot, which will in turn take care of the knee, but I just don't want to stop over the summer to recover and stay off it. It's a somewhat long recovery and I don't want to miss out on running in the nice weather. Maybe I'll take care of it after Memphis.


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Kay, I think that is the right attitude to take. I've read a lot on here about avoiding the "fantasy divorce" too. I don't want to be friends with her and I want the boys to understand that what happened isn't right and shouldn't be modeled. But at the same time I want them to have a healthy relationship with their mother. So long as she is engaged with them. So far we have been very cooperative, but we are still in the same house.

It is somewhat strange right now with this dynamic, but I know it's only for a couple more weeks. She is openly dating and I have no issues with this since she is not letting the boys know. She goes out maybe once a week. I am so ready for her to leave, but we are getting along fine and cooperating with the move and stuff. I'm helping her get stuff to the garage but I will not help beyond that. She will hire movers to move the big stuff and take several trips over a week or so with the little things. So far so good.


-SOL
_SOL #2505200 05/04/11 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted By: _SOL
I've got a couple minor medical issues that I just don't have time to take care of. I have a large bunion on my foot and this causes my gait to alter once in a while, which then aggregates my bursar sac in my left knee. Need surgery to fix the foot, which will in turn take care of the knee, but I just don't want to stop over the summer to recover and stay off it. It's a somewhat long recovery and I don't want to miss out on running in the nice weather. Maybe I'll take care of it after Memphis.

_SOL, Go to footsmart.com and check out their toe separators and other bunion aids. I have bunions, too. I've gotten a lot of benefit from some of these aids.

My sister had bunion surgery. She had to walk with crutches for weeks, and has since had additional problems. Don't let anyone tell you that bunion surgery is an "end all, cure all."


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Have to keep the derail going on the running topic.

I ran way back in the day when I was in High School, then picked it back up two or three years ago when I realized what horrible shape I was in.

I was able to shed some weight and get into a regular running schedule pretty easily. I don't like the longer distances, can't ever see myself doing a Marathon or even a half, but the 5K's are a lot of fun.

There's only one problem, turns out I'm still pretty good at it and found I could challenge for age group awards if I trained hard. Now the races are more about pushing myself to the max and there is a love/hate thing with both racing and training. Love to see the improvement and rewards for a well run race, hate the pain involved.

I have also encouraged and run a little with my two boys (ages 10 and 6). Both of them could be top-notch runners and have done well in 5K's. My six year old just ran a 26:45 5K and won the 9 and under age group. I loved running with him, and the bonus was there were a lot more hotties in his pack then near the front!

I haven't raced or trained seriously in about 6 months (the same amount of time I've been seeing my new love interest). Coincidence?

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schtoop #2505531 05/05/11 01:16 AM
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Well, I warned in my first post that I may at times post here about divorce related issues. This is one of them. Appologize in advance for the length.

Tough night here at bedtime with DS11. Just when I thought things were going reasonably well, DS11 had a setback and it brought it all back for me. Apparently he found a picture frame I had in my closet that had two small pictures in it. One was our engagement photo and next to it was a picture of me and Pinky on a roller-coaster on the 'way down' with big smiles and arms up. I had proposed to her on the way 'up' and its one of my favorite pictures of us. Anyway, I had sent the boys upstairs to brush their teeth and I followed up to tuck them in. Did DS7 first and we talked for a bit, but his conversation was about doing what he is told and respecting his mother and I. He has been pushing his boundaries lately. Talked for about 20 minutes and then I went to DS11's room.

I found him crying in his bed in the fetal position, holding onto the picture frame I mentioned. I have no idea when he found the pictures. He was sobbing pretty good. Talked to him for quite a while. Starting with the 'what's wrong' and he said he was sad because his parents are getting divorced (we still haven't told them that we are actually divorced already). I told him that it was sad and it's OK to cry about it, as crying with a purpose helps us to eventually feel better. I asked him how he thought things would be different when we are divorced, and what changes he was concerned about. He was mainly expressing disappointment that Pinky didn't or wouldn't try. Couldn't understand how we were so happy before I deployed and said he hasn't felt happy for two years. He also told me when I asked that there are times that he feels responsible and that it's his fault we are getting divorced.

We talked for a very long time and I think I have him convinced that he has absolutely no responsibility in this and it is solely Pinky and my fault. He and his brother have done nothing to cause ANY of this. I told him that I tried as hard as I could but one spouse alone can't make a marriage work. I said that Pinky tried earlier in her own way, but that we both currently don't love each other the way married people are supposed to. I said mom had hardened her heart towards me and that because of this, she thought it was OK to meet somebody else. I said this is never OK when you are married and now my heart is hardened towards her too.

I said that when that happens, God allows for divorce. I told him only God can change a hardened heart, and for reasons unknown to us at this time, He didn't change our hearts even though I wanted Him to. Sometimes God's reasons are His alone, and we just have to have faith that God still loves all of us and will take care of us. I told him that I KNOW that God has a plan for all of us, and he knows what is in our hearts. Sometimes we just have to trust in Him and this is one of them. This is why I know that you will be OK and feel better in time.

I told him that I think both his mom and I have some love for each other, but not the 'special love' that only a man and wife share. He didn't understand so I asked him by name if he loved his brother, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. He said yes to each so I explained that that kind of love is different than romantic love. I said that is more like 'family love', and because that's how mom and I feel, we just can't be married anymore but we can work together as their parents and still love THEM with all our hearts. I got him to understand that it wouldn't be good for all of us to continue living together when mom and I weren't in love anymore and that eventually, we would start being mad at each other and fighting and that wouldn't be good for anybody. I said that at this time, it really would be best to be divorced and living separately.

I then reassured him that both Pinky and I love him and will always be his parents. Nothing can ever change who your parents are and you can never 'divorce' your parents. I said we will forever be their parents, but we won't be married or living together anymore. I told him that it was totally OK for him to continue to love his mom and that he should never feel guilty if he is with me but wants to talk to Pinky or stay at her house. I told him I know he loves me and not to ever be afraid to tell me how he feels or ever worry about hurting my feelings. I said I am here for you now and I will always be here for you. Even when you are my age and I'm older, you can always talk to your dad. I told him mom and I are not competing and we will cooperate and put him and his brother first (i hope this is true).

He was OK for a while as we talked and then started crying again. I was trying to figure out why he was still so upset. He then said, "Pretend we are a different family. There is some other family. They are the 'Smiths' and they have a boy named Joe. What if Joe just wanted to stay with his dad? I would never do that. What kind of person would be like that?" Oh man, my heart sunk deep and fast. He was so upset because he was feeling guilty about not wanting to spend time with his mom. At the same time I felt somewhat validated and proud, yet I also felt overcome with guilt because I know I'm going to be forcing him to spend half his time where he doesn't want to be. Talk about conflicting emotions swirling.

I've always known that if given a choice, the boys would want to spend more time with me. This was a delicate moment and I knew I had to be real careful how I responded. I hope I did OK. I said something like, "Well it's natural for Joe to want to spend time with either parent and he should be OK with letting both his parents know how he feels. There will be times when he wants to spend more or less time with either parent but both parents would try to do fun things with him when he is there."

I then said that as he gets a little older, he would have more say on how much time he spends with either of us, but that for now, he needs to give both of us a chance. I told him that I really believed that things will be better for everybody once Pinky moves down the road. There will be less tension in the house and things would be more relaxed at both houses once we all get used to it. I said both his mom and I will make the most of the time he and his brother are with us and that I was confident that we will have fun here and do special 'dad time' things. I also said that they will also do fun, special 'mom things' when they are staying there. I told him that his mom and I talked and have agreed that when they are staying with either of us, they can ask to go back to the other one's house for a night 'just because' and that neither of us would have our feelings hurt by this. I also told him that we will get them a phone and they can call the other parent anytime they need to talk. I told him both his mom and I want them to be happy and have promised to work together as much as possible for them.

My son has several diagnosed issues including low muscle tone, ADHD, depression and is mildly autistic. He has a hard time coping with change and already struggles at school socially. He is doing well but also lacks self confidence. We then talked about a few other issues about how he can affect his own happiness by changing the way he looks at things. I tried to tell him how his perception of things can become reality. Like if he wakes up and thinks "today is going to be a boring day of school. Nobody will play with me at recess (a real issue for him) and I'll be sad", these thoughts will affect how his day actually goes. I said if he really tried to think more positively and look for the 'good' things, they will seem to happen. I said to think more about what kind of fun things to do at recess and how cool it is to learn at least two new things a day, he would be happier at school.

I added that if he keeps telling himself how miserable things will be with divorced parents, it will actually be that way for him. I told him it didn't have to be that way though. If he looks at the many positives in his life, like being grateful for the things he does have (people who love him, family, friends, fun toys, cool bike, video games) he can be responsible for his own happiness. I said he won't be losing anything, he will simply be gaining another house in addition to this one. He won't be losing either parent, he will just be with them separately. I told him if he begins to have faith that things will be different, but still OK, they will be that way for him to. He has the power of his own perception. Deep stuff for an 11 year old, but I think he understood what I was talking about.

After calming him down and tucking him in he said, "Dad...thanks for making me feel better." I told him he didn't ever have to thank me for that. "That is what people do when they love you. And I love you DS11. Always have...always will."

Didn't mean to write another 'epic' post, but I wanted to get it down while it was fresh. One of the most difficult conversations I have had in my life. Really hard to try to reassure him of the future when deep down I share the same feelings of frustration and sadness. It was very tough balancing the 'focus on the positives' and reassurances that things will be OK for him when I know how damaging divorce is on the kids. Also hard to not demonize his adulterous mother when I do hold her responsible for the whole mess. At the same time, I was trying to teach him what a healthy marriage is supposed to be like.

Divorce just plain sucks. Even when it is really the only option left.


-SOL
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I think you did awesome. You should probaly write a book.

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I could just cry, reading this, SOL. You did such a good job comforting your son. What a great Dad.


D-Day 2-10-2009
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These are all teaching moments. You did great.

Keep this in your pocket for the next conversation: Talk to him about unconditional love vs. conditional love.
Tell him someday he will meet a girl/woman. Falling in love with her will depend on how she treats him and the love-bank theory. If a girl is treating you badly -- it is unhealthy for you to love them anyway. Conditional love protects you from being hurt.

Describe to him how you felt when he was born. Tell him that you loved him before you ever knew he was funny, cute or smart.
That parents have unconditional love for their children.

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Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
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