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!!


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.  


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!


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


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.