Friday, March 29, 2013

Is that your Ex Hiding in the Bushes?-Dating after Divorce


This week, my post on Her View From Home is about dating after divorce. I wanted to write a quick companion blog, because humor is so much a part of dating. I must add that none of these men met my children or were around them. I did not want to introduce anyone until I knew I was in a serious relationship.

When my husband and I first separated, I was talking to a male friend, quite often. We texted, sent Facebook messages, and occasionally spoke over the phone. I'm not sure how I would have gotten through those first two months without his friendship.There was dating potential with him, for the future, but unfortunately he was in a different relationship place. He was ready to date again, and I was still clinging to the false hope that my husband would come back. We never officially dated, just talked. One of the red flags between this male friend and I was that we bickered, and actually fought quite often. We were not even in a relationship and we were already fighting. One thing to remember is people show you who they are, it is up to you to believe them. He was a great guy, we were just not suited for one another. I think what finally sealed the deal for me was when he swore my ex-husband had driven past his house with a blond woman, laughing. I think an ex-husband intimidates some men, and I did not want to be with a man who was easily intimidated. Besides, my ex did not drive by his house.

The first man I dated turned out to be very similar to my ex, only he was timid. He would obsess over what my ex thought, and whether or not he knew about us. He was constantly looking behind us if we were out, watching for my ex-husband. Needless to say, that did not last.

The next guy (right before I met my husband, Bob) was a set-up from a friend. I really liked him, at first. He took me to a bookstore on our first date and bought me books. If you know me, the bookstore is my heaven! He was older than me, and he had never been married. We only went on a few dates, emailing and talking in between. I really liked him. He stopped calling me, out of the blue, and stopped responding to my emails. Weeks later, I received a strange email from him referencing a book I had lent him. He then shared that on the last night he had seen me, he thought he was followed home. He swore it was my ex-husband in a Tahoe with tinted windows. He said he could not date someone with an ex-husband. I was so glad that I had not introduced this man to my kids!

 A running joke with my friends after those encounters was pretending to spot my ex-husband in airplanes above us, hiding in bushes, ducking behind booths in restaurants, disguised as old ladies and children, etc. My ex-husband had better things to do than to stalk me. I think the idea of an ex-spouse makes some men uncomfortable. Perhaps they are unable to handle the idea of another man being permanently in your life (with children, your ex will never go away) or maybe they think you compare them to your ex. Maybe they worry that the ex is unstable and could hurt them in some way. This is my take on it anyway. Do you have any funny after-divorce dating stories?


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Co-Parenting-Sick Child

A few weeks ago, I received a call from the school nurse. My youngest daughter was vomiting in her office and she wanted someone to come and pick her up. I called Molly, my children's step-mom, and she had my ex-husband go pick her up from school. It was their day, so I remained at work, clacking away on my keyboard. I received a call from Molly. Cami had a temperature of over 103, she was still throwing up, and she was complaining that her throat hurt. Molly was asking what to do next and I could hear my baby crying, "I want my mommy."

A lump formed in my throat, and I immediately felt like a terrible mother. Working moms face one of the biggest challenges. We are expected to juggle our work and our family, without missing anything. You are expected to not miss a day at work by your employer, yet when you are not home with your sick child, the other mothers and teachers judge. Molly and I work together, regardless of who's day it happens to be.

When my daughter's fever kept rising, and she was crying for me, my heart broke. I wanted my baby. I wanted to take care of her, to hold an comfort her, to take her to the doctor, and to rub her back. I asked Molly if I were to leave work, if I could pick up my daughter. She said of course. I picked up my baby and took her to the doctor. I ended up staying home from work the next day. I took care of my daughter on both days, and neither day were my days, they were her dad's days. If we did not all get along as well as we do, they would have said no. I can't imagine what it would be like to hear your child cry over the phone, but not be allowed to come and get her.

We always try to work together in every way possible. This is one of the many examples of the benefits of co-parenting. Jeff and Molly understood why I wanted to take my daughter, even though it was not my day. My daughter was so happy that she had her mom all to herself while she was sick, I felt better being with her, and Molly was able to get back to work (she runs a business from home).