Thursday, November 18, 2010

Health - Part II

For me, cutting out gluten caused a total turn-around in the direction my health was going.  But, there must be more.

Which brings me to healthy eating.

Healthy eating is a pain when you are gluten intolerant.  All of those standard quick and easy meals that I could through together in my sleep are a thing of the past.  I'm still figuring out what and how to prepare food for my family.  The difficulty is compounded by the fact that some of my children have food allergies.  Sadly, several ingredients that are commons substitutes for wheat are foods that a child is allergic to.

I have figured out a few tricks to help, though.  I've found an excellent gluten-free pasta that we can all eat, and I have succumbed to frozen gluten-free meals.  They are expensive, and some of them taste terrible.  But on those days when it's an hour past lunch time and I can't decide what (or if) I can eat, a frozen meal gets food in my tummy.  The good thing about frozen gluten-free meals is that they are made by companies who care about health.  They are usually low in fat and sodium and are often made with organic ingredients.  If it tastes too awful, I just dump on some shredded cheese to get the ol' fat & salt content up!


Another thing I have found that seems to really help my happiness and health is to take vitamins.

Good old Vitamin D is the one that the body makes when exposed to the sun.  I have fair skin and I'm not very fond of the sun, so my chances of making a lot are pretty small.  I've started taking Vitamin D and find that it has a tremendous affect on my emotional well-being.

I'd suggest that you toddle on down to the local purveyor of vitamins and get some for yourself.

I am not a physician, nor do I play one on TV.  Take all medical advice with a grain of research and speak to your doctor before making substantial changes in your health regime.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Health - Part I

Every. Single. Happiness book I've picked up, says that the road to happiness is paved with healthy choices.

Exercise.  Sleep.  
Healthy eating habits.

But, I don't wanna exercise!!!  I don't like to sweat!!!

Okay.  I got that out of my system.  In recent years, a lot of my unhappiness has stemmed from poor health.  I had painful joints, painful muscles, and was exhausted.  Due to lack of sleep, I felt stupid waaaay too much of the time.  At first I attributed it to peri-menopause.  When I realized that I was falling asleep at red lights, and that my oldest daughter was living in terror that I was dying of cancer, I knew it was time to get some answers.

I went to my doctor.  He ran lots of tests and sent me for a sleep study.  I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea and told to sleep on my side.  That helped a lot.  Later, after additional review of my sleep study, he said that I have restless leg syndrome and gave me medication for it.  I also was diagnosed with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, mild Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and depression.  My doctor checked me for Fibromyalgia, but didn't think I had enough symptoms for a diagnosis.  My gyno put me on low level hormone replacement because my levels were dropping.

I was taking lots of medications and feeling somewhat better, but I certainly didn't feel healthy.  As my marriage spiraled deeper and deeper into the pit, my depression worsened and symptoms of all of the above increased.  I went back to my doctor and he put me on a SECOND anti-depressant.

That second AD was what I needed more than anything.  It gave me emotional energy to look at my marriage realistically and see that it was over.

Even though I was happy to be ending a really bad marriage, many of my symptoms of poor health remained.  I realized that I was having tremendous muscle pain and knew that there had to be something more than just arthritis.

I kept researching the possibilities.  Over the past several years, a few of my friends have being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which is an inability to digest gluten.  (Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye.)  On a whim, I decided to try going gluten free for a while to see if I felt any better.  Within just a few days, I felt like a new person.

That was about nine months ago.

I don't have an official diagnosis of Celiac Disease and probably never will.  With current testing protocols I'd have to go back on gluten for a several months before I could even be tested.  It's not worth it.  My doctor agrees and told me to stay on the GF diet.

The best thing about gluten intolerance/Celiac Disease is that the "cure" is to simply stop eating what's making you sick.  There's no drugs to take, no surgery to endure.  Stop the poison and you feel great.

The first step on my Happiness Project was identifying and treating my major health problem.  It's done and I'm much happier!

Unfortunately, to continue on the path to good health, I need to do more than just stop eating the bad stuff.  Coming soon:  More on health.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doors

It's time for me to start focusing on my happiness project.  I'm not sure where I'll go in my search for happiness.  I feel like I'm standing at the door, but I'm not quite ready to open it.

What is happiness?

How will I find it?

Will I find it?


These are the kinds of questions I'm asking myself as I try to figure out the future.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Keflooey

The legal mess that is my divorce is in a state of kerflooey-ness.

I have wisely chosen to go into full-on midlife crisis and denial, and left my teens and young adults home to fend for themselves for 24 hours so I could go to lunch in another city with my middle-aged girlfriends.  I had a marvelous time!

We ate burgers and gourmet popsicles and talked.  And talked.  And talked.

Then I came home and promptly dropped my contact lens down the bathroom sink.  Oopsy.  I wear disposables and that was the last one for that eye.  I was overdue an eye exam anyway, so I'll be toddling off to the ophthalmologist as soon as I can get an appointment.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to look for my bifocals.  I know they're around here somewhere.
(Today I sound a bit like my dear friend Nota Supermom.  You can find her blog listed over there in my favorite blog list.)

Since I don't have much to write about today, I'll leave you with the link to The 50s Housewife Experiment.  It's a blog written by Jen (not Jenn).  She spent two weeks following advice written to new brides from books and magazines of the 50s and wrote about the experience.

My mother-in-law was a new bride in the 1950s and that was her life.  I suspect that she was a perfect 50s housewife.  While there are many good things about that lifestyle, it doesn't work when the husband is abusive.  This is also the life that my soon-to-be-ex-husband wanted and expected to have when we got married.  Minus the weird jello molds.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Out of touch with reality


I’ve been there.  Have you? 

Have you ever tried desperately to convince yourself that life was just fine because if it wasn’t, then you were going to have to make some major decisions? 

Even worse, have you ever been the victim of someone else’s delusions? 

Here’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.

Several years ago my family walked into church one Sunday morning.  Our pastor gave a wonderful sermon about the relationship between husbands and wives. 

In both Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 we are told that wives are to submit to their husbands, and that husbands are to love their wives.  The point that the pastor was trying to make, was that husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the church.  He said that he has never seen a wife have a hard time submitting to her husband when he loves her with a sacrificial love—the same kind of love that Christ has for His church. 

I wondered how my husband would handle this message.  I hoped that he would take it to heart and begin showing at least a little bit of love towards me. 

Instead, his response to this message was that since the command to the wife to submit comes first, he wasn’t going to have to love me until he was satisfied with my level of obedience.  I was shocked.  The children who heard his comments were aghast. 

My husband wanted so much to hear reasons that justified his bad behavior that he honestly didn’t “get it” when the pastor called him to love his wife. 

He was out of touch with reality.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Very bad day

Friends,

I've had some bad news.  There are some not-very-nice things going on with my divorce.

In the meantime, I am stopping NaNoWriMo.  I cannot concentrate on writing with all these problems swirling through my brain.

I hope I'll have something better & more interesting to post tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Well, not videotape.

Since the title of this blog is "The Chaste Divorcee" I knew I was going to have to address sex at some point, and here I am.

Last night I had a dream about sex.  In my dream, my soon-to-be-ex-husband and I were still together.  We had apparently bought a different house from the one we lived in as a married couple and he wanted to have sex.

There was the beginning of some hanky panky, and I was trying to get him to move to a room with appropriate privacy.  I said something about the neighbors. Then I looked out the window and realized that the houses I could see were unoccupied and the walls had holes.  I looked more and saw that all the houses surrounding our nice new house were damaged and falling apart.  Then, like all dreams, the scene changed and I went on to something new.  The new dream was about music.

Now I could get all philosophical and say that the broken houses represent my broken dreams.  Maybe they do.  But, I think that the most important thing to remember here is that I went on to something new.  Yes, I dreamed about sex, but I'm not going to dwell on it.  Sex isn't happening.

I know there are people who would encourage the woman who has no opportunity for sex, to try masturbation.  I don't agree.  In my marriage, I found that the more often I had sex, the more I wanted it.  If we went through a dry spell or my husband was gone away on business for too long, it took a while to rev those engines back up.

In my marriage, the sex was pretty good and we had sex right up until I asked stbxh to leave.  The sex wasn't worth the lies.  He lied about his faith (or lack thereof) in God.  He lied about his feelings about The Other Woman.  He lies to me and about me regularly.

I'd rather have no sex and no lies.

Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.  
          ~Austin O'Malley


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Be yourself

Recently, a friend from a discussion forum posted this.

Opera Company of Philadelphia - random act of culture

I was fascinated.  I want to do something like that.  Barring the opportunity to do a "random act of culture" I want to at least sing some cool music.  I've started checking into joining my local symphony chorus.  I'll have to audition.  That's scary!!

All this has led me to think about the past and my relationship with music.  And my husband's relationship with music.

When we were dating and first married, I was a bit of a performer.  I had been in various musical groups in college, and joined a church after college strictly based on the quality of their choir and music program. After I started dating my soon-to-be-ex-husband he invited me to go to church with him and then we got engaged and I joined his church.

I immediately joined the choir at his church.  Every time we moved our church membership, I quickly found my way into the music program.  At first my stbxh would join whatever choir with me.  Then he stopped.  Then he asked/told me to stop.  Stop doing music.  For him.

He wanted me to stop because by then we'd had a handful of kids and he didn't think he could get them all ready to go to church by himself.  I'm not talking about newborns--I would take a break from choir during and after pregnancy.  I'm talking about when they were all little and he would have to get them ready to go without me there, since the choir has to arrive early to rehearse.

So I stopped.

I stopped singing.

Thinking about joining the symphony chorus brought all this back to me, because I've suddenly realized that my stbxh wasn't being himself when he chose to join me in the choir.  He doesn't really like to sing.  He just thought that was what a "good husband" does.  A good husband does what his wife does.

And the corollary to this is that a good wife does what her husband does.

A good wife also does everything her husband wants her to do for him.  No matter what it is.

I don't think he knew at the time that it's acceptable for a husband and wife to have separate interests and do different things sometimes.  And he still doesn't know, because that's the model his parents have chosen to follow.  Just a couple of years ago, his parents had a major, major conflict over this. My mother-in-law decided that at her age (70+), she's too old to accompany my fil when he is sleeping on the ground in a tent.  For a week or more at a time.

Right now, one of the attractions of The Other Woman is that they enjoy doing the same activity.  That's how he met her, and that's how their relationship grew.  For the last several years of our marriage and since our separation, my husband has spent many hours a week in the company of TOW, doing an activity that they both enjoy.

Their sport is something that I am totally not interested in and am physically not capable of doing.

I think that was one of the problems in our marriage.  At first he honestly tried to make himself into who he thought I wanted instead of simply being himself.  Later he stopped doing that.  I believe that he was terribly disappointed that I didn't try to make myself into a different person.  And then I noticed that he was nicer to me if I did try to be that other person, so I made some attempts.  Yes, often those attempts were half-hearted.

In the end, I was exhausted and depressed and not really sure who I was.

All of this is to say, that I'm going to work hard on being myself.  My real self.  The one who likes music and reading and writing.  I'm the woman who likes to cook and is kinda' messy around the house.  I'm distractible, and some days I'm a space cadet.  I love God and I love my kids.  And I want to be myself.  Just me.

Used book sale by the numbers

Boxes of books taken to the sale location - 25
Boxes of books donated after it was over - 10
Hours spent selling - 5
Total number of shoppers/browsers at the sale - 24
Dollars taken in - 94
Hours spent preparing - Countless
Being forced to organize the books - PRICELESS!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Writing? What's that?

I'm getting ready for a book sale instead.

I have an opportunity to clear out some of my bookshelves.  I have hundreds of books and other homeschool materials that I will probably never use again.

There is a local used book sale that I couldn't afford to skip this year.  It's on Saturday, so I'll be spending a lot of time between now and then sorting and pricing books.

It's kind of like NaNoWriMo.  There's a deadline, so you do what you've gotta do.

Cooking dinner?  What's that?

At least my kids are old enough to fend for themselves in the kitchen!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo Update

I stopped, backed up, and did some more planning.  Middle of the second day and I'm up to 909 words.  It's starting to get better, but I keep wanting to edit.

I hope to get up to at least 2,000 words before I go to bed tonight.

It doesn't help that I'm selling at a used book sale on Saturday.  I have to sort & price books when I'm not writing or homeschooling or parenting.

This post sounds like whine, whine, whine to me.

I want you to know I'm having FUN anyway!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I need an outline

Well, it's 14.5 hours into my month-long novel and I have made a discovery.  A list of characters and a vague plot line does not equal a novel.

I'm 394 words in and I'm stuck.  Just 394 words??  ACK!!!

Back to writing + life.

NaNoWriMo


What on earth is that?? 

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  It’s a crazy way to write a novel. 

The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days during the month of November.  It’s for people who always wanted to write a book, but are scared by the time and effort involved. 

The very first NaNoWriMo took place in July of 1999.  Twenty-one young adults thought it would be fun to work for quantity in the writing process.  They met in groups and spent their time writing. The next year the founders changed the month to November, and the group has been growing like mad ever since.

NaNoWriMo is kind of like running a marathon.  If you go the distance in the time allotted, you win.  I haven’t found the results for 2009 on the website, but in 2008 there were 119,301 adult participants and 21,683 of them completed 50,000 words which is an 18.2% win rate. 

I’ve signed up to do NaNoWriMo this year.  If I can write 2,000 words a day, I can write a novel.  I’m excited and scared at the same time. 

Why on earth am I putting myself through this? 

Well, it has to do with my search for happiness.  I’m exploring my inner self and what I like to do.  I’m trying some of the things that I always wanted to do and have never tried. 

I may end the month of November in abject failure, but I don’t think I will.  Starting this blog has forced me to write every single day.  I’ve been warming up for the big event, just like someone who has been training for a marathon. 

The most painful part of NaNoWriMo for me, will be the lack of time to edit.  When I write, I edit and re-edit and then do it again.  The only possible way to write a novel in a single month is to get it out on (virtual) paper without making changes.  So, I will be tap, tap, tapping my way through November. 

Friends, I will not abandon you for a month.  I will still be blogging, but my entries will be relatively short and to the point. 

And. . . . . we’re off!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The End of October

My Front Door

Decorations in the Lawn

Listening to Stories and Some Advice


Chapter 12 of He’s Just Not That Into You is titled “Don’t Listen to These Stories.”

What stories? 

You know. . .those stories about the couple who got married when SHE asked him out and SHE proposed.  Or where he started out as a big selfish jerk, but then he got better.  The stories where he was married to somebody else, and the girlfriend persisted and now they’re happily married with three kids and living in a McMansion in the suburbs. 

Those stories may happen.  But they are the exception.  Most of the time when He’s Just Not That Into You, the story ends with a broken heart.  The WOMAN has a broken heart. We deserve better than that. 

Big jerks don’t usually turn into nice guys.  Waiting for him to get divorced so he can marry you is a bad idea.  The date who drinks too much, turns into the alcoholic husband who lands in jail.   Don’t go there, friends.

Speaking as one who has been there, done that, and gotten an ugly t-shirt out of it, I have some advice.  
  • Don't rush to get married just because you're 23 and everybody you went to high school with is already married.  
  • If you see any hint of an attitude or habit that you really don't like, think twice and then twice more before settling down with this guy.  
  • And finally, if you marry some guy and he changes overnight, divorce him immediately. 
That last piece of advice will probably shock and horrify some of you.  But it's what I would tell a daughter or a beloved sister.  My "romance" with that man was all a lie.  My marriage was entered into because I was deceived.  I should have ended my farce of a marriage long ago.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Autopsy of a Marriage – Part 6


I’ve been using the book He’s Just Not That Into You as an outline as I emotionally work through what happened to my marriage.  Chapters 7-10 deal with men who are not willing to get married, who breakup or disappear, and who are married to other women.  Since those chapters don’t really pertain my circumstances, I’m going to skip over them.  If you’re single, I strongly urge you to read them, though.  There’s a LOT of good information there. 

Chapter 11 is titled, “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s a Selfish Jerk, a Bully, or a Really Big Freak.” 

While there are lots and lots of examples, this chapter boils down to one big question:  “Is he making you happy?” 

Happy?  Me. . . .happy? 

No.  Not at all.

Did he ever make me happy? 

Yes.  Yes, he did.  When we were dating.  And that’s why this question concerns me so much.  When my ex and I were dating, he tried to make me happy.  He did the things that a good date/boyfriend/fiancĂ© were supposed to do.  He took me out on dates.  He showed concern about me and my life.  He asked me about my day.  He did nice things for me.  We talked and talked and talked.  We talked about everything and nothing.

All that stopped when we came home from the honeymoon.  It was as though he had a checklist of what he was supposed to do in life, and once he checked off the “Get married” box he was finished working on the relationship.  He had more important things to do than be nice to his wife.

If you’ll look at the links over in the left column of my blog, you’ll see one labeled “Men Who Hate Women.”   Click on it and read the characteristics of a misogynist.  I’ll wait here.

waiting. . . .waiting. . . .la ti ta daaaaa. . . .

You’re back.

That was my life. 

He chose me, and he wanted to own me. 

Men like that can make a really good first impression.  Misogynists are completely different in private than in public.  The change doesn’t come until after they “own” you.

After we were married, my husband turned into a big selfish jerk.  One of the examples of a "big selfish jerk" in the book was of a man who talked about himself and only himself.  The author refers to this as "conversational masturbation." That phrase sums up most conversations that I had with my ex throughout our marriage.

If a man I had known for years can hide his true nature so completely, how does a woman avoid it?  I don't know.  That's what scares me about the idea of dating in the future.

My husband's misogyny is why I don’t feel bitter toward the other woman at all.  I think that she is foolish for having an affair with a married man, (see Chapter 10 of He's Just Not That Into You) but mostly I feel sorry for her.  She thinks she is being pursued by a charming, wealthy man.  I’m sure that he is putting up a good show of being a wonderful, caring person.  If they get married she will learn, to her great sorrow, that he’s not what he seems. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autopsy of a Marriage – Part 5


The title of Chapter 6 of He’s Just Not That Into You is “He’s Just Not That Into You If He Only Wants to See You When He’s Drunk.”

How does this chapter pertain to my marriage?  Oh, dear, dear, dear me.  Friends, this isn’t good.  While my husband is not a raging alcoholic, he has at times abused alcohol. 

Once when we were dating, I considered breaking up.  He got drunk and begged me to promise that I would marry him.  Stupid me, I thought he was cute.

Once when were married, he got drunk and frightened me so badly that I locked myself in my daughter’s bedroom to get away from him.  Stupid me, I should have called the cops. 
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
                       ~Ephesians 5:15-21 NKJ

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Being a Single Mom

I keep hearing that it's so hard to be a single mother and that not having a man around the house is just generally sucky.  Yes, that's true, but it's not as bad as I expected.

My ex wasn't much help when I needed him, so I learned to be self-sufficient.  For example, today I have one car with a dead battery and two toilets that aren't working quite right.

Question:  Oh, dear, whatever shall I do?!?!

Answer:  Jump off the car with the dead battery, go to the AutoZone and purchase a new one (which they will very kindly install for me), then head to the hardware store for a plunger and maybe some chemical stuff to pour down the toilets.

That's probably what I would have done if I were still married.  He traveled for work so much that I ended up doing much of the "man" stuff by myself anyway.

If you are a single mom or have a husband who travels a lot for his work, I do have one suggestion - AAA.  The membership paid for itself the first time I had a car towed.  We've had dead batteries, weird sounds, and keys locked in the car.  The AAA guys I've had come out were unfailingly helpful and polite.

Gotta go!  I'm off to fix everything!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autopsy of a Marriage – Part 4


Chapter 4 of He’s Just Not That Into You is titled “He’s Just Not That Into You if He’s Not Having Sex With You” and chapter 5 is “He’s Just Not That Into You if He’s Having Sex With Someone Else.”

Oh, dear.  This blog is about being chaste.  I try not to dwell on sex.  It’s not like I’m going to be having any for the foreseeable future. 

I guess I should plunge right in, though.  My soon-to-be-ex-husband, like most men, likes sex.  When we were married we had sex.  He likes sex so much than the first time he left me, he asked for sex the night before he moved out.  When he told me the next day that he was leaving, I was furious.  I felt used.  I didn’t feel that having sex meant that he was into me.  He wanted to have sex because he is all about himself.  That's why we call the man "Himself."

The second time we separated, it was at my request.  We hadn't had sex for nearly a week.  I didn’t feel used.

Right now, I know he’s not that into me because he’s having sex with someone else—the Dreaded Other Woman.  ;)

I have very mixed feelings about the fact that he is committing adultery with the other woman.  Most of our children don’t know about it.  The ones who do are completely horrified.  I did not raise my children to have a casual attitude towards sex.  I don’t know what effect this will have on them in the future, and I’m very sad for our children. 

On the other hand, he’d had an ongoing emotional affair with this woman for years.  He was already unfaithful.  Having sex with her was just another step down that path.  

The day that I knew for certain that he was having sex with her, I felt horrible and weird.  

The next day. . . .well on that day, my friends. . . . I felt FREE. 


Monday, October 25, 2010

I want to be lonely again

There I was, blissfully sleeping away.  I was having a delightful dream wherein the children and I were attending a play.

Suddenly, my peaceful slumber was interrupted by the sound of a . . . . . .

A squeaky voice???  Talking about cockroaches??? At 1 o'clock in the morning!!

Blech!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Surprised by Loneliness


Today I went to church without my kids.  I didn’t have the energy to wake them up and make them go, so I decided I would be fine going alone. 

I left my old church because I had spent so many years there as a couple and I feel that I need a fresh start.  I am now visiting a different church.  I had my Sunday school class picked out, and knew that I had already met the teacher and a couple of the regulars there. 

So, I went to SS, and it was good.  They made me feel welcome without overdoing it.  They were a nice group.

Then I went to the worship service.  I purposefully did not try to join people from the SS class since I have pretty strong preferences about where I sit.  I don’t mind sitting in a worship service alone.  That is my time to focus on God, and I’m with Him.   After so many years with little children in worship, I enjoy not having to focus on other people. 

But then, worship was over and people were walking out.  I overheard a sweet conversation between a father and his adult daughter discussing what they had done for the weekend.  And, I realized that I was lonely. 

I went out the door and it was raining.  No umbrella or raincoat.  I had parked pretty far from the door.

I slipped out the door and rushed to my car.  Alone.  I started the car and drove away.  All alone.  

Alone.

And then the tears started to fall.

I was shocked.  I’m not the kind of person who gets lonely.  How did this happen?  I have a houseful of kids and never get enough “me time.”  What is going on?

Then it hit me – I miss being married.  I don’t miss the person I was married to at all.  In fact, I miss HIM the way I miss a migraine when it’s over.  But, I miss being a married person.  I miss having a built-in date for every occasion.  I miss being part of a couple. 

I am lonely.  


                                   I waited patiently for the LORD; 
                                        he turned to me and heard my cry.
                                   He lifted me out of the slimy pit, 
                                        out of the mud and mire; 
                                        he set my feet on a rock 
                                        and gave me a firm place to stand.
                                             ~Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)



Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm going to a party!

Help!

Tonight I'm going to go to a party as a single person for the first time in twenty-seven years.  It feels very strange.  I'm suddenly worried about what I will wear and how I will look to strangers.  It will be a mixed group of singles and married couples and most of them will be strangers.  Eeek!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Last night I walked into my kitchen and had the oddest feelings.  I wondered who I was and how did I end up in this house.  I had lived in my previous house, the one I still own with my husband, for over twenty years.

Now, I live in another house at the end of a lovely tree-lined street.  
Now, I'm not the married woman I have been for so long.  
Now, I don't know what comes next.  

Even though my marriage was difficult and horrible, it was a familiar difficult and horrible.  Today, I feel excited and energized about the future, but I also feel nervous and worried about the future.  Part of me feels like a very young teenager wondering what I will be and do when I grow up.  Ten years ago I would never have guessed that I'd feel this way again.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hope for the weary


Even youths grow tired and weary,
       and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD 
       will renew their strength.
       They will soar on wings like eagles;
       they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint.    
                        ~Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV

Autopsy of a Marriage – Part 3


Chapter Two of He’s Just Not That Into You is titled “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Calling You.”  Well now, when ex and I were dating he did call me regularly.  Of course, those were the days before cell phones.  I know that to younger people the notion of living without a phone in your pocket is absolutely horrifying.  But that’s how we lived in the long-ago days when I was young.

Pre-marital calling  (sounds a little racy!):  The man called me in the evenings after he got off work. In my opinion, his phone calling habits during dating and engagement fit in with what was normal for that time and set of circumstances.

Early Marital calling habits:  This is where it got ugly in a hurry.  When my ex and I got married, he worked for his parents' business.  When I needed to get in touch with him, I had to phone my mother-in-law to tell her I needed to speak to my husband.  She would page him and then he would call in the office and get the message.  Talk about HUMILIATING!  I hated it.  I quickly learned that I was only allowed to make those calls if it was an emergency.  And my mil-in-law was the gatekeeper who decided what was really an emergency.

End of Marriage calling habits:  He wasn’t calling.  Except to tell me that he was on his way home from work with the implication that dinner had better be on the table when he stepped through the door.  When he went out of town for work he would go for days without calling.  He just wasn’t that into me.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finding Joy in the Beauty of Nature

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
                    Luke 12:27-40 (NIV)

Autopsy of a Marriage – Part 2

The first chapter of He’s Just Not That Into You is titled, “He’s Just Not That Into You if He’s Not Asking You Out.” Hmmmm. . . .this is good information. My ex and I began our dating relationship when I asked him out to a movie. We lived in the same apartment complex and I had known him for several years. We had “hung out” together a fair amount. But I am the one who originally asked him for our first “date.”

I wish I’d had this information twenty-seven years ago. But, would I have followed that advice? Back in the early ‘80s women were supposed to be empowered and strong! We were supposed to get out there and go for the gusto!

Ah well. Live and learn.

How do I apply this knowledge to my life now? I wait. And wait. And wait. Because even if a man asked me out, I would have to say, “No.” I’m a married woman. Dating isn’t an option for now.

When the day comes that dating is an option, I’ll still be waiting. Because I deserve a man who is “into me” enough to ask me out. If God doesn’t bring a man like that to me, then I’ll be alone. I’m good with that. If I learned anything in my marriage, it’s that there are worse things than loneliness.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to....
But, I'm gonna be happy because it's my day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Books for the Journey

I recently bought two books that I have found interesting while I’m trying to figure out my life. The first is He’s Just Not That Into You, and the second is The Happiness Project.

In just half an hour of looking over He's Just Not That Into You, I have had an epiphany! My soon-to-be-ex-husband was Just Not That Into Me! Oh My Goodness! I should have dumped him during the engagement. There were plenty of clues that he wasn’t going to be a good husband. What Was I Thinking???

Obviously I was not thinking at all. In my mind I was ready to get married. It was "time" for me to settle down and go to the next phase of my life. I was bored with my job and my life. The man I married seemed exciting and I thought the life we would have together would be interesting and fun. And I thought we would have a good sex life.

For what it's worth, the sex was good to ho-hum, some parts of the life were fun and exciting. Unfortunately, other bits were boring and sad. And depressing.

But all that is in the past.

So, it's time for me to pick myself up and dust myself off and see where I'm heading. Which brings me to The Happiness Project. In this book the author, Gretchen Rubin, writes about spending a year consciously working to have a happier life.

I think that her goal of increased happiness is a valid one, and worth emulating. "But wait!!" you say. "Christians shouldn't have something as shallow as happiness being a goal! Jesus was a suffering servant. We are to emulate Him!"

Yes, of course, you're right. But we are also to "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

It's hard to continually rejoice in the Lord when I'm continually unhappy. I see my own personal Happiness Project as a path to spiritual growth.

I hope you'll join me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Autopsy of a Marriage

Why is my marriage of 25+ years ending in divorce?

There are two main reasons. I WAS the wrong person and I MARRIED the wrong person. I was only 23 years old, and an immature 23 at that, when I married the man who I hoped would make all my dreams come true. Even though I had some strong signals that it was a mistake, I did it anyway.

I couldn’t change my husband, and I learned to live with him. Until I couldn’t any more. We were blessed to have a handful of delightful children, and I’m so very, very thankful for them all.

During the marriage I DID change in some ways. I went into the marriage an impatient, self-centered little twit. I am coming out of it a lot more patient, and a bit less self-centered.

I don’t know if God will ever send me another husband. While I wait, I’m going to ask Him to help me learn to BE the right person. Even if there is never another husband for me, I will be a better mother, a better Christian, and a better PERSON.

Why am I “The Chaste Divorcee?” I believe that the Bible teaches that sex is for marriage. While I am actually still legally married to my husband (because the paperwork is taking a long time), our marriage is completely over. He is in a relationship with The Dreaded Other Woman (ooooh, yuck!). ;) I’m not married to him and I can’t get married to anyone else. So, no sex for me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Welcome

Hello, hello!

Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere! I am a middle-aged Mom who is in the process of divorcing. As a follower of Christ, I have chosen to live a life of chastity while divorcing and divorced. I have a handful of children who are teens and young adults, and I feel obligated to live my life in a way that will be honoring to God and an example to my children.

While the divorce is in process, I’ll be slogging away trying to rebuild my life and happiness.