Divorcebusting.com

If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way

Posted By: Fogg

If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/25/16 10:31 AM

Previous thread: http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2671122#Post2671122

Not sure how much I will post anymore but this seems to be the right place to be.

Divorced two weeks ago, feel ok about it. Met EX's BF (OM2) in person along with his XW yesterday, didn't feel horrible. I'm surprised at how OK it was to be around them. Sure, some strangeness but overall it wasn't anything like I expected. I think they were more uncomfortable and confused by how I acted the few hours we were around each other.

Title is from a song I heard earlier in the year, fits with my thoughts. I have no clue exactly where my life is going right now but I know its in a positive direction and one ill enjoy, because I decide so. I have a great deal to be grateful for, I need to acknowledge it more often.
Posted By: vise82

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/25/16 11:47 AM

Hey FOGG,

Just saying hello, read your new thread in newcomers Part of me can relate as I went through the S agreement process, Its just I am not D yet.

Just wanted to say thank you for the help you gave me in the past, its nice to connect with people on this site that have been here a year ago. Not many of them.

Glad you have found some sort of peace in the end.
Posted By: RAI

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/25/16 12:33 PM

Hey Fogg,

Just wanted to say thanks for the glimpse of what life is like "on the other side". Sorry about your D, but I have a feeling you are much better for it.

I'll miss you on the newcomer's board. I will be over here soon.

Best,

RAI
Posted By: Sotto

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/25/16 01:09 PM

Hi Fogg, welcome to this part of the forum my friend. I'm sorry to hear that your D was finalised, but glad to hear you are feeling okay with it, and also that you managed to be around your XW and OM without difficulty.

I agree with others and I think you have come a long way. I'm sure life will have many good things to offer going forward. Hopefully you'll stick around and chit chat with fellow forum members moving forwards after divorce.

Very best wishes to you :-) x
Posted By: SunnyB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/02/16 06:38 AM

Fogg, welcome to the neighborhood. Consider this a virtual pan of brownies on your doorstep. wink
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/25/16 05:37 PM

wow, has it really been 4 months since I posted last? I wanted to update some on whats happened since then. I had some interesting situations come up and wanted to write them out so people see this process does suck but it does get easier.

So I said before I interacted with ex's bf and I knew for some time things would be in my face more after that point in hospital and the D. I don't remember dates so ill just say what has happened.

I have this strange 6th sense or gut feeling on how things will play out or what will happen and they almost always do happen at some point, I just get the timing wrong. I remember this story ginger posted about chuck E cheese. It stuck with me and I knew I would have a similiar one.

My daughters parent teacher conferences were a while back and ex seemed weird about it. There was an online sign up sheet that I didn't see until last minute, she already signed up for a slot and didn't say anything to me. She never texted me or said a word about it either, which was strange as last year she did. So I just figured I would show up since its not her responsibility to tell me anyway, I got the email from the teacher also. I go to the school and pull in, I put the car in park and look up. Right in front of me walking from the left toward the school doors is my ex with my 2 kids, her bf and his 2 kids. The bf was carrying my son, it crushed me seeing them like that. They didn't see me but the urge to just drive away felt so strong and I wanted to just run away. I sucked it up and went inside, had to walk behind them and they didn't see me until we got to the teachers room. Ex seemed surprised, I didn't say anything to her about it. He stayed in the hallway while we did the conference so it was fine. My ex however, she was weird during it. She kept talking during the conference like she was trying to impress the teacher and the way she was phrasing things made it seem like she always had the kids. It also felt like she was trying to talk so I didn't have a chance to say a single word. I said very little, I had no need to compete with her and wasn't the purpose of being there. At the end she went to leave and I had to talk to the teacher about an issue with after care schedules they were having. This is something I schedule and has nothing to do with ex since the only time D6 ever needs it is when i'm picking them up. Well Ex hears what I start to talk to her about and jumps back in the room and starts telling the teacher she will email her the schedule so she knows what days to send to aftercare vs the school pickup. I'm like completely shocked and just annoyed also at her trying to look like she has everything taken care of. The entire problem was ex telling D6 and other people the wrong schedule in the first place....

Another point was the bf started watching the kids because our babysitter had knee surgery. That was a hard pill to swallow but I already worked out hes not a safety risk to them and inst a completely pos. So me and him had to interact. One time I picked up S4 and he was squirming around. I turned around and was walking with him and he said out loud "no daddy, NO. I WANT TO STAY WITH TROY". BF was right behind us so he heard. My entire body cringed and tensed up, it felt like a knife pierced my heart. Its a good thing I was turned the opposite way because I know my face showed the pain. That sucked.

Happened a few other times also but not as severe. I got over it pretty quick. Hes a kid and had other kids there to play with, nothing to overthink.

Ex likes to mention it to me also. "Just so you know, the kids didn't want to come". It bothered me in the past but I got over it and called her out on it in the past. A more recent time when I was over all of it and it didn't bother me I just told her flat out "yeah I know, you don't need to tell me about it either, I know why they say it and have told you before". She looked at me like I hurt her or something and said "I wasn't trying to upset you by saying it". I just looked at her and said "it doesn't upset me". Its hard to explain but the look I gave her was strong and confident and basically said the words that come out of her mouth have zero power over me.

I write these things to show the feelings some of you have now in a situation will change. The interactions get easier to deal with and the pain you experience will be mostly gone at some point. I don't feel much at all for ex now. No anger or pain other than some fleeting moments when memories come up. Even now BD is in 3 or 4 days and this time last year I had a really shitty month. Yesterday I had a few hours of depression about it and that's been it.

--------
Updates on me. Doing good, starting to explore online dating. No dates yet but I've asked a few girls for coffee and got cancelled on. Its been good to go through it. I get a shot of confidence talking to them and then I guess some rejection when they bail. But this is apart of dating and things I will and can handle. Am I ready for it? Who knows. I'm just going with it and being cautious with everything. I think I'm in a good place. I already had the temptation of a really attractive woman who was super into me and already talking about me kissing her on our first date. I seen red flags pop up before the date and had to cancel it for my own principles.

Weight loss is still going but I'm jumping up and down a bit right now. Basically I've lost a total of 160 lbs from my max to min. I'm doing strength training at the gym to reshape the rest of my body and shift the extra fat into muscle. I'm about where I want to be from a weight standpoint but my body fat percentage needs to change quite a bit still. Something I'm slowly working on.

I'm working on a masters degree for business, starting 2 graduate classes next semester. I've figured out how much it will cost me, how long and what my work will reimburse me for. It will end up being a 5 year plan. Either way this plays out with my long term goals the degree will help. I will either start a small business at some point or continue to stay in engineering.

I love my job! I got transferred into a new position that I was helping out for. Me and my manager sat down and talked about what the old position was and its limits on where the company was and he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him a few suggestions and I guess later the same day another manager in the prototype section I've helped out with took me aside and was nearly jumping with joy at the thought of me joining his team. It was very nice to be appreciated and wanted. I did join them with the condition that I still maintained my old job responsibilities (which are nothing right now) and the possibility of moving back if the need ever came up. Truthfully, I love the new position and its exactly what I want to do. I've learned more in the last couple months than I have in the last year.

Activities Ill be doing next year and will commit to soon: full marathon, tough mudder(maybe 2 years), skydiving, flying a plane, kayaking on a lake as the sun rises over it, bungee jumping

This novel is long enough, wish you all well. You're a great set of people and if you continue to let this process reshape you nothing is out of reach. You don't need your ex-spouses to be happy. Life goes on and can be better than ever if you decide it will be.
Posted By: TenBook

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/27/16 10:04 PM

Hey Fogg.

You are their father. Invest in them. Listen to the accounts of other divorced me who have begun a journey to reconnect with their children.

Godspeed.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/28/16 07:43 AM

Although I think its crazy to try sky diving, congrats on all your other accomplishments. Seriously you should be really proud.

It must be infuriating to be doing majority of child care and then to have ex try to take credit. Your a good dad, and your kids are reaping the benefits and that's all that matters. Your ex is pretty immature. And I know you want to rise above that immaturity.

I am sorry about troy. That's pretty painful. I have the feeling the kids are just happy being with other kids, not necessarily the adults. Your their dad and a wise and incredible one at that. They are lucky because in the future when they are older, you will have so much advise and wisdom to share with them.

Hang in there with the dating. Your a great guy and some lucky girl is out there!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/28/16 12:39 PM

TB,

good to hear from you! Glad things are going well for you.

JuJu,

Whats so crazy about skydiving? We're all going to plan a big DB skydiving trip. You'll love it! lol

I'm actually terrified of heights too but the thought of doing it exites me. I looked it up yesterday and seen a bunch of other things on the same website I would love to try at least once. I felt like a little kid staring at a chocolate factory for a split second. Skydiving, bungee jumping, base jumping, hang gliding. So many things!

Thank you for the compliments too, I appreciate them. As for my ex, we are very close to having a 50/50 type parenting thing now so I'm not doing most of it. I still have the kids more overnights each week and do much more commuting to transport them around but time wise is close to being equal. It is annoying when she talks in that way but I don't take it personal. I know shes not doing it intentionally, its just how she processes things on a subconscious level so she feels ok about the situation. Even if it were intentional, I know the truth of the relationship with my kids so it doesn't matter. People can and will think however they like. Its not worth my time or energy to convince all of them to see my point of view.
Posted By: Vanilla

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/28/16 02:53 PM

SH has skydive

You are trend setters

V
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/29/16 06:41 AM

Fogg!

What a post there. And yes it was me who told the Chuck E. Cheese story. I could write every feeling you have experienced regarding the OP and your kids. And let me tell you, my friend, you came much farther in a shorter period of time than I ever did.

When I finally got through the anger and the unfairness of the whole thing, I was able to look at this from a different point of view. The fact that your S did want to go with OM, is, dare I say, a positive thing. There are many who's next partner doesn't treat the kids well. He must be treating the kids well. And since we can't change the situation, that is the best we can hope for. May certain things still rip our hearts out, we know where the focus and the most important thing is. Our children.

And although you already know this, and many have told you, in the brief time I met you, I was able to really get a sense of what an excellent loving father you are. And how those kids ADORE you. You are most definitely their safe place.

AND.... Nice to hear you are out there dating. I'm going to make you blush and tell you whatever lady snags you is lucky as hell. For many reasons.

Congrats on the weight loss. I am currently on my journey and it feels so good. I feel healthy and ready to take on new experiences. Me and the girls from the gym are planning our 5K's and mud runs and all that fun stuff that comes with being healthy and in shape! The sky's the limit for you. Literally! I have been skydiving. I won't tell you my story though. I will never bungee jump or BASE jump, but I say go for it! I believe you should also travel more, particularly the east coast, hahaha! Maybe the NYC marathon? professionally, your life also sounds like it couldn't be better.

Love reading your update. Say hi to those adorable kids for me.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/22/17 09:49 AM

Thanks Ginger, I did blush, lol. Its nice to hear the comments. Congrats on your weight loss journey also, its great when you begin to see the results.

I can see dating is going to have its struggles already, it has a way of dragging up emotions. Think I'm handling it pretty well considering its all very new to me. I had coffee with the one girl on new years eve. It seemed to go great, we talked for 2 hours straight and it didn't feel forced at all. At the end she said she liked the conversation and wanted to see me again. I kept looking for red flags with her and none came up. So maybe 4 days later we had dinner and it went great again. More than 3 hours of nice talking and we lost track of time. At the end there was a hug and she asked if she could kiss my cheek and it ended up being a quick kiss on the lips, it happened very fast and I wasn't sure who did what.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/22/17 09:57 AM

to finish since my computer posted that for some reason....

We didn't text a bunch, I avoided long conversations in text because I wanted to get to knew her in person. It felt better that way and she seemed to be doing the same. Both of us seemed to be excited to see each other again but schedules didn't line up because of weather and kids. We still did a text or two each day saying good morning and asking about the day or just saying have a good day and we did end up playing around with snapchat a bunch also sending pics. She initiated both more than I did so again, seemed to be good signs. About a week ago I texted good morning, she replied the same in the happy flirty way. Then I asked about a good time to see her again and she never replied. No contact at all since then, ghosted.

It confuses me and hurts a little, even with just 2 dates and a month of chatting. I liked her and wanted to her to know her more. I just don't understand it really but I let it go. I'm not going to text her again, I'm sure she seen it and for whatever reason decided not to reply so I just accepted she didn't want to see me again.
Posted By: Dawgs

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/23/17 06:37 AM

Quote:
Whats so crazy about skydiving? We're all going to plan a big DB skydiving trip. You'll love it! lol


Love skydiving. Just how are you going to get up a DB skydiving trip when its forbidden to contact on here?
Posted By: job

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/23/17 10:17 AM

Jeep,

There are quite a few of the posters that have connected on Facebook.

Also, if you can think outside the box, another easy way is to post about a proposed trip and if people are interested, they can post a yes or no and then a specific location can be named as to where the meet up will take place. When this type of situation takes place, people always give a hint as to what they will be wearing, etc. to help others.

Just a couple of suggestions.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/23/17 10:54 AM

As Job said...

And Jeep, I would say its not really forbidden but some people should definitely avoid it.... Unfortunately there are too many people out there that use their pain as an excuse to act like a fool. I see the forums perspective on why certain people shouldn't reach out to others.

Ginger, ill be on east coast sometime in March, the same place I was last year wink
Posted By: doodler

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/23/17 11:01 AM

Originally Posted By: job
...people always give a hint as to what they will be wearing, etc. to help others.


And thus, the skinny dipping conundrum.
Posted By: Georgiabelle

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/23/17 12:01 PM

Fogg,

I am just catching up and oh wow! Congratulations on the weight loss. That is phenomenal:)

I know some of those interactions with the ex must be painful. I always try to remind myself that people do what they do. It's on me as to how I handle and respond.

In regards to the ghosting, I'm sorry. I readily admit my ego can be as fragile as a house of cards..in hurricane force winds! However, it's important to know that MANY times the way people behave has exactly zero to do with you. I know it can still sting but it does not mean you aren't a wonderful guy who happens to be an awesome dad. I'm with Ginger.

Hang in there!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/05/17 04:08 PM

Thanks Georgiabelle. I end up stopping by here every few months it seems for an update. More so just to journal I guess. I chatted with a few other girls since the first who ghosted me. Both were moving things too quickly in texting, one more than the other. I ended the chats with the one and gave the second a chance. We went out twice and she was nice but I wasn't feeling much. She had the same insecurities about not being good enough as I had just a year ago. She started moving things too quickly also and I it instantly made me back off. I texted her after the second date and told her up front I wasn't feeling a connection to go out again.

She responded in an insecure way but seemed to accept it and basically move on.......at first. Boy oh boy did she lose it after that. Started talking about how amazing our conversations was and I understood her so well. She got really clingy and needy, asking what was wrong with her and begging me to tell her. It was so awkward. I had to stop responding to her after the initial first couple where I was upfront with her. A month later she apologized in another text but then followed up with "but Ill be honest, id kill for another chance. The conversations really were amazing". I'm no longer looking to date, lol. I got a couple tastes of it and didn't care for either.

Ex feels like a ticking time bomb and I'm just hoping her and the BF stay together. They moved into a house together and I knew she quit her second job. I had thought she took a higher position in her first. I recently found out I was wrong. Shes only been working 16-20 hours a week at basically minimum wage. I cant imagine the BF is making that great of money as a HS dropout either. He was working on his GED, maybe he has that now. Anyway, if something happens between then shes stuck with a house she cant afford and things would be more difficult for me also. It would be best for everyone if they stayed together.

Lately I've been struggling with a few things pretty badly and I think they're related. I frequently feel overwhelmed doing all of this alone. Don't get me know, I really do not want to be in a relationship now. I think I might be bitter towards them now and would rather just stay away completely. But I look at everything in my life and its a struggle at times. I work full time and have outside responsibilities, I'm going to school part time and have my kids 4 nights a week. When you add in all the things I'm trying to accomplish for my own health like the gym, reading, social life, graduate student association....the extra things like chores, cooking, cleaning get to be so much and I feel like I'm barely holding onto most of them. Ill split up this post now, the stuff that's really bothering me will be a few paragraphs I think.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/05/17 04:30 PM

So recently I've done some research and reading on my eating habits and how I relate to food. Even through I've lost a good amount of weight I still use food in negative ways. I cant get to the healthy, sensible eating place most people can. I compensate with exercise and crash diets. So I found these recovery groups that deal with food addiction and looked more into it. There was list of indications you may have a food addiction, it was maybe 20 questions. Some of them were pretty intense things such as binging on food, forcing yourself to vomit, removing food after throwing it out. I went through this list of 20 items and I had done every single one of them. I am a food addict. They see it as a disease and part me of sees it also now. I've been to two different group meeting that both base their recovery exactly as AA would. Its a 12 step program and community that helps each other. I have no doubt I belong in one of them, I'm 100% sure of that now after reading and hearing some of the other peoples stories. I also know exactly where ill be in a few years if I don't do this. However, since I found out food addiction groups were a thing though my eating habits have got severely out of control.

I'm just rambling now but anyway. The last few weeks I've had some ups and downs. Its not the same as it was even a year ago. I rarely cry but I definitely feel strong depression. I'm more cold and guarded to everything if I had to describe it. Relationships don't scare me anymore, they just don't interest me the way they did in the past one way or another. I have no desire to be in one and would prefer to be single. Even the interest in sex is a fraction of what it was before. Its been 2.5 years, I've lived this long without it, I don't need it. My self body image has some to do with that still. I feel like I have to hit a specific body shape.

I do have some long term plans creeping up that excite me but I see the long road ahead also and it will be challenging. Career wise I see a path toward where I want to go. Its nothing I ever really expected but I've started the path some.

OH, I'm going to Haiti in October with an organization that builds crude rain catching systems for poorer families. I had to pay my own way but it feels important that I go, so I am. See, its weird. I have happiness about some things but then overall I feel gloomy also. Maybe this [censored] sun just needs to come out already and Spring show up. I'm so tired of the dark grey sky. I want to see some nature and enjoy the nice weather. Maybe this past weekend being my old anniversary (would have been 12 years) is messing me up much more than I realize. Lol, this awkward and random post. Enjoy everyone
Posted By: TenBook

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/05/17 08:16 PM

Hey Fogg. just saying hi.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/05/17 08:37 PM

(((Fogg)))

I always say this... It must have something to do with the alignment of the planets because it seems a lot of us are pretty down lately. I know i have been as well. Or perhaps you're right, and us notherners just need some vitamin d.

This is all temporary though. We have felt better in the past and we will feel better in the future.

I am sorry about your struggles with weight. I know how hard you try. And the only advice I can give is to just not give up or give in and to forgive yourself when you do make a mistake. Maybe take Sunday by day and be kind to yourself? I imagine food must be a difficult addiction to break because it's not as if we can just go cold turkey with it (no pun intended) but you really don't have to be perfect or to have a specific body type to date. You want someone to like you for who you are. Try not to go There!

Regarding women and dating, I think it is scary. But at least you got out there and tried. I wouldn't let one very weird experience deter you, unless your just not ready for it yet. I'm nervous to seek out dating and just take a passive approach. My friends are encouraging me to join a dating site which would probably increase my odds of meeting someone, but I'm not really wanting to use my time that way right now.

Maybe just signing up for things that you are Interested in (like the volunteer trip) will help you to network and meet someone that is on you're wave length without those weird dating expectations?

Well, I think my response might have been a bit awkward as well but I'm willing to blame it on lack of sunlight.
Posted By: doodler

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/06/17 04:57 AM

Fogg,

Hi, my name is doodler and I have a hummus addiction. I particularly love the olive tapenade hummus. I can't seem to stop the binge-fart cycle.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/06/17 05:51 AM

Fogg,

Hi friend! I'm glad you stopped by to update. I was thinking of you the other day.

On the dating. It's tough. I hate dating. Especially when dealing with certain situations such as your insecure clinger. You handled it very well. I know those situations make you not want to dive into it again. When the time is right, you will.

I've been dating a guy for 2 months I met at my gym. He's pretty wonderful. Our connection was completely unexpected. I realize that is the best way for someone like me to meet someone. I m the type who has to establish a connection before dating. He is adorable and he has weight insecurities (as do I). I see him as nothing but attractive, inside and out. We are both food and drink lovers and we are working on how to balance it together.

I admire you recognizing your issues around food and doing something about it. I grew up where my mom fed me love. Love meant going for ice cream or having cake and the such. it's hard to change those thought patterns. I also am just a foodie, so I try to cook as much as I can in a healthy way. You will tackle this and lessen your insecutities, I know it.

As far as being overwhelmed,doing everything alone. I sure do understand that. I have similar commitments. More nights, but one less kid, lol. School, work, gym, GAL, BF, friends, and just taking care of the home. it's hard, lots of stuff gets undone often and I just prioritize. I hired a cleaning service for once a month. I leave dirty dishes in the sink. I feel my child frozen chicken nuggets when I don't have enough energy and time. Doing it all and all alone is hard, no doubt. Take the help where you get it, and go easy on yourself when stuff doesn't get done.

And the Haiti trip?! What an awesome experience. I cannot wait to hear al about it.

hang in there, you are doing great!
Posted By: Vanilla

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/08/17 10:16 AM

Originally Posted By: doodler
Fogg,

Hi, my name is doodler and I have a hummus addiction. I particularly love the olive tapenade hummus. I can't seem to stop the binge-fart cycle.



You burn it off skinny dipping though

Cold water burns calories

V
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/12/17 08:21 PM

TB, good to see you. Hope everything is going well for you. Post another update when you can. I'm interested to see how life is going for you.

JujuB, thanks. I think the sun coming out has helped some, I don't seem so down now. I started working things out with this food addiction a little bit, so maybe a combination of both.

I do try to forgive myself and work on being kind. Ill continue to do so. As for the body type that is something I've always struggled with and I see the ties to dating still. I know I don't need the perfect body shape to date and there are so many other important things to consider, but it bothers me greatly. I dislike certain aspects and feel like the best way to improve them is to get to a certain body fat %. Its something I need to keep being kind to myself with. Dating is something strange to me still. Maybe its just like you say and me getting involved will lead me to someone closer to my wavelength.

I still peak in to a few peoples threads once in a while even if I don't post often. You, Ginger, Zues, CaliGuy being the main ones. I don't know the people in newcomers anymore and not a place I really want to be around at this time so I stay away from there. There was nothing awkward about your response either, I enjoy reading your thoughts, keep 'em coming smile

Ginger, hi there smile. I've been reading about the new guy, I'm really happy for you! I hope it continues into more, its been a long time since BD for you so its good to see you finding a good guy and things working out. Your thread has always jumped out at me because I could relate to the things that happened to you, that I knew would happen to me later down the road.

I read that Chuck E Cheese story and it stuck in my head. I just had a gut feeling I would have a similiar experience, which I did. I also have a gut feeling its going to be a long time before I get into a R that works out and is what I want it to be. BUT, I see you doing it now with hope and it shows me I'll be able to handle it even if mine is 7 years away. Regardless, I have what I need to live now and a R isn't something I need(not sure I even want)....parts of it just might be nice to have.

I do get overwhelmed, its hard not to get stressed out and drop the ball on things when I have so much on my plate. Plus, so many things I feel like I should be doing and I just cant balance them in time wise yet. I know, go easy on myself. I keep working at it For the most part I do.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/11/17 11:39 PM

Another several month update/journaling. So 1 year ago yesterday I was divorced. I only realized a few days ago the date and how fast the last year has passed. I was talking with a friend about it and it made me realize just how different things have been over the last several months in how I see, or don't see the ex. When we do interact on kid stuff I don't really feel anything towards her. No anger or bitterness just indifference. I was trying to explain it to the friend and couldn't get the words right. The best way I could describe it is she seems to be just another random person I interact with on a daily basis now. Not like someone you would think I shared a large part of my life with but more like the cashier at a local grocery store who I might say hi to and that's about it. I also noticed things I mostly ignore that I would have been very interesting in a year ago. D6 told me her and the new BF have been fighting alot. She even said "mommy said maybe me and her and S4 will move into a new house and om2 + his two kids will stay in this house". In the past hearing something like that would have gotten me spinning like crazy but not now. Its just different now, shes not really anyone when I think or look at her.

Enough of that, just making the point you can see the shifts looking back on things. Time really is a major component in healing from this. You'll have other things to deal with personally as you move forward, for sure, but life gets so much better if you allow it instead of sitting in misery over something you had little to no control over.

As for everything else, I cant complain. I see how blessed I am with what I have. I have my kids, I have my health, I have a good paying job, I have my faith. My eating and weight isn't where I would like it but those are things to work on over a lifetime. Japan trip was awesome, climbed part of Mt. Fuji and went swimming in Waikiki for a few hours on the layover home. I went with 3 other guys and we tried to bullet climb Fuji in 1 day (a mistake). Only 1 guy made it to the top and hes this young fit guy whos super into cross fit. I started getting these intense cramps and leg felt like it would give out near the knee so I called it and said I was done. The other guy I was walking with called it also. He wouldn't have made it to the top in time to get back for the last bus. The views to where we did get were amazing even with the rain and cloud cover. Looking out gives you this strange perspective, as if part of the ground and horizon were at an angle. Almost like something from Inception.

Next weekend I go to see the solar eclipse down south, should be awesome. October is my Haiti trip which I'm excited about also. I have so many other little things I want to do. I think ill start doing them instead of just thinking about them. Niagara falls, northern lights, kayak a luminescent bay at night. My bucket needs more checking off in the little free time I have available

Hope everyone else is doing well! Sorry I don't post much, I want to keep up with several of you and I just don't check this site much anymore.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/12/17 03:04 PM

Its crazy how the people we once devoted our lives to, become strangers. It makes me sad that a spouse is not like ones child or sibling. Sometimes I still love my ex and feel bad for him. Other times I really despise him. But i have absolutely no attraction for him.

You have an awesome bucket list! ( We should arrange meet ups based on travel bucket list adventures! Divorce Busters Travel Meet Ups? Maybe a new forum idea?) You have also had some really wonderful sounding adventures.

I also love hearing about your ex's new relationship difficulties, but its better for you that you really don't care one way or the other...

Detachment does come with time and acceptance. But I'm wondering if its more then that. Perhaps its our own fogs lifting, when we realize that these people that left us were not worth having to begin with.
Posted By: Treasur

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/12/17 07:27 PM

Fogg, I have only recently read your threads, but I have to tell you that you are an extraordinary man. Please don't let your scars stop you connecting with another partner in the future because you are definitely a man to be treasured.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/14/17 02:24 PM

Wow! You have been on some seriously memorable adventures! Keep doing it! Take advantage of everything life has to offer you.

My daughter has been asking to go to Niagra for some time now. I have never been myself and I hope to take her soon. It would make an awesome DB meet up! Hint Hint! Kayaking is on my list, and next summer, I am going to try not to injure myself and I am going to finally do it.

I'm going to give you some advice of which I should take too regarding eating and weight. I love food, it's no lie. I am not at the weight I want to be and I have been derailed by injury. But look at how healthy you are! Serious hikes and outdoor activities are a big deal. You are fueling your body and mind and that is wonderful and healthy. That's what is important. try to keep your focus there as much as you can.

Treasur is right on the money. You are a man to be treasured, and don't you forget it. I know you will be treasured just as you deserve to be one day. I sure know your kids treasure you.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/20/17 06:38 AM

JujuB,
I can't say there's any love for my ex left at all. There are times the anger comes up for a tiny bit, but as time goes by it's less and less. I guess it is sad the stranger part. Maybe it's my own defense mechanism, maybe it's how these things progress naturally. She did invite me to S5's birthday party, if I was comfortable with it. I'll have him on his birthday but she's doing a party the week after. I'm not going. I never cared for birthday parties in the first place and I really won't interact with her more than I need to anyway. Maybe I'm being petty for now, but idc. I'm have zero desire to go into her house and be around her, her bf and her sister.

Bucket list meetup would be great actually! I was talking with another guy from around and mentioning I might go to the bioluminiscent bay in Puerto Rico/Columbia randomly and he seemed interested also. He he this own trip to South America that I might be interested in. Might be something here we can look into more!

Treasure,
Thank you. I'm not sure what I'm doing with relationships anymore. Your post got me thinking for a few days and wondering if I'm still blocking out women. I knew early on and I was doing it, I had so much fear about being in a R again. However, I thought
lately I was softening more toward it, I'm sure I am. I also know how busy I am it would be difficult to be in one. But that's just a convenient excuse at the same time.

Ginger,
I'd totally be up for a meetup at Niagra falls! Kinda goes along with what JujuB said also about bucket list meetups. Maybe I'll throw it back to you and say this, you let me know when you're healed up (sorry about the recent injuries) and can make it happen and we will make it happen smile You know where to find me, lol

As for the weight thing, it's good advice and I know there's truth to it. There's also a huge difficulty in letting that go and accepting it. I was thinking about this also over the last week and it goes along with relationships. Inside I still tie my self worth to my appearance/body image and thats one reason I stay away from pursuing any relationships. I know why it's wrong to think this way, but there it is. There's always this self imposed goal post in front of me I need to reach.

Which leads me into the last thought. I was talking to a friend about a bunch of this and my weight and he pointed out something that's came up many times. I'm too tough on myself and basically my own worst critic. All these goal posts I set for myself and what I NEED to do in any aspect of my life. I have all these crazy expectations for who and what u am and need to be. I certainly don't accept me as I am now, even though I was aware of this lack of self love and have tried to do better. It just keeps coming up. Even on my performance review we have to do a self review. I bumped up my own self score from what I put it as first, since I was being hard on myself. Both my managers were still surprised at how I rates myself. "John continues to be his own worst critic" They raised my score again and left that comment. So I'm not sure what to do with all of that.

As I was talking it through to my friend I realized to myself. I'm literary being too tough on myself at this moment for being too tough on myself........We both had a good laugh when I pointed it out, he seen it also.

Forgive any typos, im posting on my phone and just needed to journal some thoughts right now. I'm at my brothers house down south, my dad is here. I have some mixed feelings about all of them. I'm sad and depressed today emotionally. My company gave some news that might be causing me some anxiety subconsciously. My grandma has cancer and I have a bad feeling things will progress quickly. On top of that with everything that's happened lately I'm just a little confused with life right now. Very mixed feelings with life really. I have so much to be grateful for, I know that. But I'm not confident in my thoughts, focus and direction right now. If that makes any sense at all
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/22/17 12:33 PM

4 months, seems like a good time to update. Some good stuff has happened to me recently and I'm doing pretty well overall. Life is good and I have many things to be grateful for.

I went to Haiti on my birthday with a non profit organization to help build fresh water rain collection systems. It was a pretty eye opening experience that I'm still trying to process. The beauty in the area contrasted by the extreme poverty is indescribable. When you come up to a home that's no bigger than a king size bed and all it has inside is a twin mattress and a small dirt area for cooking, a home thrown together with random bits of sheet metal and tin, well it makes you think. When you realize this tiny home is shared by two women and six children, well that makes you question everything. I'm still working through that but I believe it's left it's mark. I'll be returning.

Something I wasn't expecting to encounter during the trip was something that hit a little closer to home. I realized one of the women who came with us was a WAS, had some things in common with my story. The last unwind night we stayed at a decent hotel near the airport. I was one of the last 4 awake and she was getting drunk and sexual with people. Last I saw was her walking away with another MARRIED man and they were being grabby and sexual with eachother. They were found alone in his room at 3am, no one knows for sure what did or didn't happen. It's interesting you want get away from this stuff, where there are people, there are broken people who make bad choices with their marriage.

Anyway, something that was bothering me for a long time that I've discussed before was my body image and how I tied it to my self worth. In my mind I always thought I'll never have a real relationship without getting the perfect body, or at least significantly more tone than I am now. That fact made me stay away from women. So untried something different and separated them as best I could and worked on my self confidence. I went out with this one woman lady week. Her online pictures showed she was attractive and it made me a little anxious but I just tried to keep my good qualities in sight (which I realize I have many). When I met her for coffee I then realized she was MUCH more attractive in person than her picture and in my head thought "[censored], she's way too hot", lol. I guess I somewhat convinced myself it didn't matter as she was out of my league (wrong thought, I know). So I changed my attitude and figured I would just enjoy her company and have fun, use the date ad practice. 3 hours later of just coffee I then realized we both were having a good time, the conversation was going well and I'm not so bad at this 1 on 1 talking. She as also playing with her hair alot and smiling. We did a second date a few days later and again I felt like it went well but she was acting anxious toward the end. As I walked her to her car I put the pieces together and remembered her putting on chap stick, so I went in for a kids and that's exactly what she wanted and was nervous about! So I'm seeing her again Wednesday, good stuff so far and even if it doesn't go anywhere else I feel more confident.

Now for my last update which threw me foe a loop today. Last night I was doing laundry at 10pm. I live in an apartment on the 3rd floor, the laundry is in the basement. So at midnight I get it and I notice a note on my door turned around so no one can read it. It's a post it note that reads " Hi, I'm not even sure what I'm doing but I wanted to say hi. hope all is well" with no name. It confused me but I feel like I knew who it was. The lady underneath me is married with 2 kids and is pretty friendly with me. She always says hi and smiles, stops me and asks about S5. She's even given me a few things for him. Well I always had this suspicion she was interested in me more than just being friendly, like she wanted to know me better. I also knew she was having marriage problems when I first moved in. So I kinda forgot it and then before I left for a trip to family this morning she knocks on my door and is super nervous. She tells me she left the note and apologized for it. She then asked if I had a min to talk and I went out in the hallway away from my kids. She said she didn't want to talk out there in hallway, she didn't want another neighbor to hear but she started anyway. She told me it was her marriage and it's in a bad place, she knew I was divorced and she just felt lonely last night and wanted someone to talk with but she also wasn't sure as it might be innappropiate. She was so apologetic and nervous telling me it She kept talking, said her husband was horrible and she thought I could hear them fight, which I haven't in a long time. The other neighbor actually came out and realized we were standing there and started talking to us also but the lady changed the subject. She eventually said she didn't want to keep me anymore from packing and said bye. So yeah.....

It's like I could hear her pain and she's desperate to find someone for emotional support and I see where that's going, not a place ill put myself in even even if there's mixed emotions there, not that I'll act in them. I was kind talking to her and told her I understand holidays are stressful and marriage problems are hard, or something like that. I didn't say much else, just listened. I have empathy for her but I can't be the person to support her with where she's at. It hits too close to home
Posted By: kml

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/22/17 02:22 PM

Lol - after your description of your dates, I'm totally picturing you as Kevin James character in Hitch! If you haven't seen it, you must watch it.

I'm an attractive woman, but my ex's frequent criticisms were a drag. I have a strong sense of self though and I knew some of his criticisms were downright ridiculous. Still, it was liberating to find that men who dated me after my divorce thought I was great he way I was. Apparently, you've still got it going on too!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/23/17 10:24 PM

lol kml. I have seen it, it's hilarious! I wouldn't say I have that characters charm but who knows. It's hard for me to see my good qualities and not focus on the lacking ones, so possible? The pit of insecurity I've dug myself into over the years has been hard to claw out of, it's been one of my biggest hurdles. But from what I've heard even attractive people struggle with that.

It's awesome the men youve dated since divorce appreciated you for who you were and gave you some proof the ex's comments were wrong. I'm sure finding women who validate my good qualities will help me see what I should be seeing already.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/24/17 01:43 AM

I am so happy you came here to update! What an amazing experience Haiti must have been! I am glad you got the opportunity to experience that, I hope to one day myself.

Fogg, I see that lady as lucky to have met you. You are a very attractive guy inside and out. I love how you picked up on her chapstick clue! You are good! Seriously, enjoy this. She sounded just as nervous. I suffer form the same insecurities, I admit it, I have a date with a guy today who I feel is way out of my league. I just have to remember self-confidence is what is sexy. Just like you did, and you nailed it. So I am going to try to channel you when on this date.

The married people looking for any sort of comfort is a crazy thing when it is very apparent it is all over. I have male married friends come to me for it, I have female friends and family who do it...... I can humanize it a bit now, but I know I would never be a part of it. You are truly doing the right thing.

I am glad to her you and the kiddos are doing well. And remember, you are a great catch in so many ways!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/09/17 02:22 PM

Thanks Ginger, your kind words mean so much to me. I've seemed to have avoided the married woman downstairs since then. Only once we ran into each other and she just said hi, didn't try to say anything else. If she ends up coming to me again Ill hear her out and offer her my advice or resources for support but I'll have to let her know I cant be the one she comes to for emotional support of any kind, it just isn't a situation ill put myself in.

I think things with the girl I've been seeing are going well. We've been out maybe 5 times now, most the dates we've have a nice goodnight kiss after I walk her to her car. The second kiss was a little more intense and I think I was trying to force something. You see, the first kiss didn't feel exactly right. We didn't have the right rhythm or things weren't meshing right, I couldn't place it. It just made me suspicious maybe I wasn't really into her that much or maybe I had an irrational exception of an intense fireworks display. You know, the over the top getting lost in passion. I think there was some comparison with my ex as that's what we had to start with and that's all the experience I've had. Anyway, the second kiss I went a little stronger and I walked away from it thinking "ok, wtf is going on here" in an awkward way. I worked it out some in my head with the above thoughts and let go of what I was expecting and then just tried to match her kissing style. The next time things just felt right. I was overthinking it, even looking for reasons it was going to end. It just felt too good to be true I guess, still does some but I'm letting go and just seeing where it goes. Kinda like I did the first date, just enjoy it for what it is now.

Anyway, it seems shes interested. After the 4th date she asked me when I was available again and I didn't have to ask her out, she basically made the plans and even asked if she could pay on the last date since I picked up all the other checks. I didn't mind paying but it was nice she offered and did it at the same time. Then after the last date she she knew I would be busy this weekend and said she hopes to see me again soon and that she really enjoys spending time with me. I'm starting to feel comfortable with her, its a strange feeling. Like something I haven't experienced in a long time so I completely forgot about it. This last date when we started dinner she seemed very anxious and fidgety, like she had something to tell me and was very nervous to do so but also seemed as if she had been itching to do it also. She then started to talk about her day and work stuff, she was kinda venting about something that was really bothering her with a co-worker. I realized she wanted to open up to me but maybe was just nervous about it looking a certain way. It was cute and I just listened and I could see her nervousness melt away and she was comfortable too. The nervousness dropped out so fast and she looked so relieved to just talk to me about what was bothering her. It felt nice to be someones, someone to talk to, if that makes sense. I'm getting nice tastes of what it feels like to do this dating stuff and being close to someone again. It feels so natural yet foreign at the same time.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/12/17 04:40 AM

I just wanted to drop by and let you know how happy I am for you. This dating stuff can be confusing (lord knows I still can't get it right after 10 years) but I think you are doing a great job and going at a comfortable pace. Letting go of how you think things should go really helps.

Enjoy the nice feelings. Emotionally intimacy and physical intimacy are great things. Necessary to the human species. I am glad you are feeling it again, you deserve it.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/17/17 09:43 AM

D@mn straight its confusing. There are times I think I have a good handle on trying to take it slow and not getting too ahead of myself (or maybe not too hopeful so I don't get hurt?).

This last week we had to reschedule multiple times. Originally we planned on Wednesday, I had to change it after my manger wanted to take a trip to a supplier that whole day, which didn't happen due to snow. We set it up for Tuesday and she had a huge migraine and got some news of a colleague she training a while back committing suicide. We changed it to Friday and when I texted her that morning to see if we were still on she was feeling sick and struggling to get through work. I didn't make a big deal of it and told her I understood if she needed to reschedule. I think I handled the situation amazingly, she apologized several times knowing how busy I am and that I already moved my schedule around and said its not normal for her to be suck a flake. Even thanked me for being so understanding.

But then when communication slows down my mind wanders. We would only text maybe once a day to say a good morning or have a good day but she really hasn't initiated anything since maybe Thursday so I've somewhat left it alone also. Then knowing she hung out with a friend the day before each of our cancelled dates, my mind wonders if shes just losing interest. Really it doesn't matter either way, if shes just busy/sick or she is losing interest, I'd be fine either way. Life will continue and it would have been good experience with dating. What I don't like is how I get wrapped up in it and overthinking things. I see how all of this works me up and makes my mind play games and I wish it wouldn't. I would like nothing more than to not give any fucks what happens one way or another and just have fun with it (i'm there sometimes) but I seem to be teetering from that place to another more insecure and overthinking place. Realistically I know not to overthink it, I know the arguments of why I'm a catch but there's dissonance there as well. I drift into a scarcity mindset with women that's tied to my self worth and damn do I hate how I allow myself to go there!
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/18/17 03:54 AM

Fogg,

First, you absolutely did handle that amazingly. You reached out and you were understanding, no pushy or pissy. Well done!

perhaps we are the same people? I can 100% relate to your feelings on the communication in dating. I recognize a change in normal communication habits and I begin to overthink. I get wrapped up in it too, I go over in my head thinking about what I might have done wrong, ect. I would also like to say I don't give to f@cks, but I do. I get insecure. I finally got to a place where I think I am a catch also. But then I begin to really think there is something wrong with me based upon my dating experiences. I beg my IC to figure out what's wrong so I can fix it. She tells me nothing is wrong with me, I just haven't found the right one yet. But yes, I also tie my self worth to my romantic experiences. I am a good mom, I completed my degree this year, I am a good friend, daughter, I am smart, I am funny, but how is it that I can erase all of that when I feel rejected?

I just want you to know I understand exactly where you are coming from. I do know I don't want to have to chase anyone. I don't want to feel like I have to do "everything" to keep them here. If they want out or aren't interested I let them go. But it still hurts.

I hope she is just having difficulty balancing things as this time of the years is rough. Because you ARE a catch. Please don't ever doubt that.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/29/17 12:08 PM

Thanks Ginger, its good to hear people can relate. I'm basically at the same point with people and letting them go. If they aren't interested or want to be with me then there's no reason for me to chase them. Sure it hurts at the time but I think we deserve to be with people who want to be with us just the same. The comment you told your IC about seeing yourself as a catch but then not seeing the results and begging her to tell you what is wrong is something I can relate to also. I know I'm fighting for that mindset also and in the past there has been a disconnect or dissonance in trying to believe the thoughts and the true beliefs that drive my thoughts and emotions. I know those beliefs aren't there yet, but it takes time. Another point "so I can fix me", there is nothing wrong with you or me. Sure, we have points that can be improves but the chase to perfection is another issue I struggle with.

This might end up being a longer post, have alot on my mind that I want to journal with. Today is the day ex left me 3 years ago. Its interesting to see how the emotions toward her have dried up to almost nothing and more importantly looking back and doing some reflection. I remember periods early on after BD, as most of us do, where all I was desperate to have her back in my life. I see now that was mostly my own issues at play and my desperation to hold onto my identity, which was completely tied up with being with her. When she left I had develop a new identity and that loss nearly killed me. My life is harder now but so much better and improving all the time. I have my moments where I wanted to hate her forever, where I even wanted her life to be ruined and karma to make her feel pain. I don't want that anymore, to be honest I don't care one way or another what happens to her other than how it effects my kids. I'm sure I still shut her out and avoid her in many ways but if whats best for her is marrying OM2 and living happily ever after, I could live with that. Any emotion that does come up would be the unfairness of my situation and not being in a healthy relationship (wont argue if she is or not, that's not my business) which really has nothing to do with her. Separate situations that I might briefly tie together and feel are unfair. Life is unfair, people leave, people die, we have loss that we need to grieve all the time. One of my favorite quotes from a friend is "life will take your trophies" and it will. Nothing we have is guaranteed nor will we always have everything we want in life. All of us has a tremendous amount to be grateful for and its important to recognize those things and be grateful. I wish the best to me ex, I hope she finds whats shes looking for. No hard feelings.

Recently I talked with a friend of mine that I haven't seen in a while. Hes basically my best friend but I isolate so much and we both have such busy schedules I don't meet up with him much. Well, hes very close with another friend and this second friend has been dealing with cancer for several years now. Hes 34 now and I know he had bad days and periods over the last couple years but I always assumed it was something he was staying on top of and the bad days were more of not seeing the best positive progress he wanted. I was wrong. My friend takes the other to his appointments instead of his family doing it. Basically they stopped chemo a month ago and a week or two ago during his last appointment they explained why and started talking to them about hospice. Hes tried so many different types of chemo treatments now the risk is too high to his immune system to keep trying and its basically at the end of the line. I couldn't believe it. It makes me really take a second look at the things I worry about and focus on all day and alot of that is my weight and body image. Where this friend is 34 years old and only weight 130 lbs for a completely different reason. Just makes you think.

My grandmother is at the end of her chemo now, it went well for her. Now is the time for radiation and shes starting to talk more along the lines of "if I live until May my life insurance kicks in and then he (my grandfather) wont have to worry about how he will bury me". Some of 2018 will be painful, I can see that part now. I think i'm in a better place to handle it emotionally but I see whats coming sooner or later. Its life.

As for the girl I was seeing, I think I seen where that was going also. Its hard not to trust gut feelings, even the ones tied to insecurity, when they seem to be right so much. We had a few little texts in the last couple weeks. After the week she was sick I asked how she was doing and if she was up for getting together. She basically said she wasn't entirely sure as she was going to be at 8:30 each night from the flu/cold and didn't want to be sick over Christmas, which I understood. She said the week after Christmas would definitely be better and I also invited her out to a comedy club. I half expected she would have plans but she said told her sister she would do something with her but they didn't make definite plans. She told me she would check and get back to me. Its two days away and she never got back to me, so I'm going to assume I wont hear from her. It looked like a slow fade away so it is what is it. I would have preferred if she was just upfront with me and said she wasn't interested. She may get back with me at some point and I might be up for it but other than that I wont be reaching out or ask why. Unless she really has been insanely busy and something happened it looks pretty obvious she lost interest. It was good practice to go on a few dates and while it would have been nice to try an actual relationship for a while I deserve to be with someone who likes me also so nothing wrong with it ending. I am a catch and the right person is out there, I just need to stay optimistic at some point ill meet them. If not I have alot of time to practice this dating stuff and have fun meeting people.

So for my next novel chapter Ill discuss some other things I've been thinking lately. I am my biggest critic. This is something I've noticed and has even come up in my work performance review by both my mangers and its true. I'm so terrible at not beating myself up, terrible.... Just a joke, lol. But I do this often, I focus on the negative in my life and whats lacking or I wish would improve. So much that I minimize and ignore all the good things I have and that I have accomplished, which links back to gratitude I mentioned before. Emotional eating has been the big one lately along with body image. I did a re-frame (thanks for the link V) and got an interesting result yesterday. "Emotional eating doesn't have nearly as much power over me as I believe". I focus on how my emotional eating isn't where I want it to be and felt I'm not making any progress and I'm powerless. Well, when I actually look at the positives I realize I'm making a ton of progress and I should take into account how far I've come. Its like I'm climbing a mountain with 10 checkpoints. I look up and see I'm not the summit yet and get discouraged as if I'll never reach it. I forget to look behind myself and see I'm already climbed 7 of these checkpoints and act like it was nothing because its not "complete". I also see there's some black and white thinking involved and perfectionism that derails me. I have this same analogy in other areas of my life such as dating and developing an identity. I compare myself to others who are so much more developed and "get" it in some area of their life. I don't take into account in many ways I started that climb 3 years ago and I'm comparing my progress to someone who learned many of these lessons over a much longer period. A good part of someones 20's is going through these life changes and I'm taking a crash course because I feel I'm behind. Another point I don't always consider is the self reflection/growth I'm doing and have done over the last 3 years is more than some people do in their entire lives. Its nothing I should dismiss. I'm proud of where I am, what I've accomplished and where I'm going. Not if that could become an actual solid belief with no dissonance, that'd be great!
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 01/02/18 12:11 PM

Hi fogg

Its funny that you feel behind. When i read your posts and experiences i am amazed at how young you actually are.

You have certainly not had things easy, but your reflection and growth in the face of hardship is pretty amazing and beyond most.

I am pretty critical of myself and i was/am of my ex as well. Learning to lighten up and forgive myself and ex for our imperfections is a hard one. I dont want my son to take on that trait. It is not a good one.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/06/18 02:33 PM

Thanks JujuB. I wish I could see it more often, I tend to focus on where i'm lacking. I know that in-itself is a big issue and something that I'm working on but would still improve.

So this might just be a venting post, the last couple months have been hard and after today I just feel beat down and exhausted. I've been doing two classes this semester and its just exhausting to say the least. I work full time, go to class two nights a week, have my kids 4 other nights (usually). I have very little personal time for myself and it draining. When I do get a free night I'm so exhausted I just feel like being alone and don't want to do anything else with people. On top of that trying to date just doesn't seem to be working out. Not too long ago two women asked me out from a dating app, the first I had no interest in so I didn't ask her out on a second date. The other was a more interesting situation. I didn't really feel any attraction but she was extremely nice and we had a ton in common. Almost too much in fact that it felt like a family member or friend. We went out on two dates and then my life got complicated with classes so we didn't see each other for several weeks. I was on the fence for a while and kept deciding to tell her I wasn't interested when she would say something really kind, like someone cared and could see my struggles and then I would rethink it. Yesterday I ended up texting her I wasn't interested and she wished me well. I just didn't feel the attraction there so had to let it go.

A friend of mine who was 34 passed away from cancer about 6 weeks ago. I haven't had many experiences with death and I had a feeling it was coming this year, in multiples. I seen him the day he passed away, he was nearly unresponsive but I got a second where he looked at me and waved. It was sad to see such a young guy pass and I felt guilt over not spending as much time with him as I could, but I decided I wasn't going to beat myself up over it.

So knowing that my grandma had cancer pop up last Sept and it was really aggressive. Nothing could be done but treatment to give her more time. She passed away Tuesday. I grieved some of it before and during when I found out she was in the hospital. Other than that I'm either delaying the grief or I'm just not as bothered by loss anymore. I wondered if the trauma caused by ex was so severe its toughened me against anything else that could happen. That nearly killed me after all.

XW had the kids and I told her I would talk to the kids Wednesday when I picked them up. She asked me if I wanted to her to get them from school early and go to my grandparents house. I told her no as it would be too crazy over there and I didn't want everyone to bombard my grandpa, I knew a ton of people would be over there anyway. She said ok.

So I'm talking to my mom later on the phone and guess who shows up at my grandpas house. Annoyed, I thought about it a while and finally texted XW "Just curious, why even ask me if you were planning to go over there anyway?". No response, so later I asked "Did you tell the kids?"

So she eventually replied "No. Nobody has said anything and wont. I told everyone you wanted to tell them. I'm hurt and feel comfort being here! I lover her too!"

Annoyed she turned it around as if it was about her being there and not the fact she asked me something and did it anyway instead of just communicating it to me. I was annoyed but let it go as the kids didn't and I wanted to talk to them.

So the day before the funeral XW comes to the viewing and stays most the time and chats with my family. She has a right to mourn her also so I wouldn't say anything. That being said it still bothers me to be around her more than a few minutes at a time, its just not something I would prefer but I deal with it for the kids sake. She also brought her sister when I don't think has really met my grandma much, but so be it.

At this point my grandmas death is ok by me. I knew she was in pain and it was her time to go. She lived a decently long life filled with love and was ready to go. I didn't really even have a reaction to her body, it didn't look like her and that kinda confirmed my feelings she was in a better place and while its sad, its ok too. I was more worried about kids and trying to be there for them. I read up on what to do and what to say to them, I knew they would ask questions and I shouldn't force anything. D7 didn't want to go up to the casket and see the body, I told her she didn't have to and whatever made her comfortable was OK. S5 went right up and kept staring, he would move around and look at her from different angles and finally ended up being a little sad and saying he wanted to spend more time with grandma. I just tried to be there for him. So then I was annoyed to find out XW tried to drag D7 up to see her and then later she talked to me and said "D7 isn't talking about it", so I told her not to force anything and its normal for kids to process it slowly over time. But my annoyance with XW was growing, shes so full of herself and in the victim mentality. Everything is about her and making her feel good.

So funeral day comes, XW comes to the funeral with her BF in tow. I expected it, honestly did, but it annoyed me and made me uncomfortable. I let it go and did the best I could to be there. They come to the burial also, expected. Then we all go to an American Legion afterwards to eat with family. Again she comes, my patience with all of this is getting old but I'm not going to make scene or be rude. This isn't about me anyway so I suck it up. At one point some guy was talking to XW after S5 was making some noise (no clue who this guy was, distance cousin or friend of grandma maybe). He makes some comment thinking her BF is the dad, she correct him after the second time he says it and points to me " no that's his dad, this is his step dad". Then this guy makes some joke and they laugh, I thought it was "well this one looks better" in some joking comparing way, but it [censored] with my head. More and more the day goes on and I'm annoyed but I bury it deep because this day isn't about me. I was talking with XW's SIL (were still close) and she couldn't believe she brought him, but it makes sense to me. XW is so inside her own mind and only considers things from how it affects her. Even her own kids, I've watcher her guilt them after they said something (that was true) but made her look bad. I think I've said this before but I don't even think shes doing it. Her mind is so protective of herself that shes clueless to how her actions effect other people. I don't even think she realizes it.

So i'm coming down from all of that. Being around her is more challenging that my own grandmothers funeral. The comparing comment about her OM2 got under my skin. He weighs less than me and I'm doing my best not to compare things in any way, even if I would win in a million other places, its not the place to go. Then the "step dad" comment also. They aren't even married, but then again its just a piece of paper right, as she said when she left me. I guess it works anyway she wants in her mind.

Sorry for the long post, just needed to vent somewhere again. I wanted to tell her to go [censored] herself and [censored] off a few times later in the day but I know how defensively she gets and its not really in my nature to be that confrontational. I'm really glad I'm not married to her anymore, her traits are so repulsive to me now.
Posted By: Vanilla

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/07/18 12:23 AM

You know you are wonderful, just amazing.

And you are growing, changing and shifting. No one can dismiss that you are becoming a man only a fool would leave.

This rubbish behaviour is unnecessary and nasty, you see it and know it's truly jerk stuff. I suggest you go to OM2 grandma funeral. What a stupid under the thumb thing to do, lap puppy for a wayward exW. Gotta pity him.

V
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/08/18 01:29 AM

Thanks V. It's just weighing on me this week. It didn't help our old anniversary was the 2nd, my grandmother died on the 3rd and then a few days later on was around all that.

Last night had a dream I was in some setting around them again. They were together and kids flocked around their mother as usual so it looked like they were the family and I was the outside to people. Just as the random guy at the funeral thought who even made some joke. In the dream I felt like the outsider again, alone. S5 was talking to om2 and calling him "daddy".

Then another dream (or day dream later thinking about the first). In this one I had this huge wound that was mostly scabbed over. XW was there and digging around in the wound with a fork looking for something. But with the carelessness of someone rummaging around a junk drawer looking for batteries and she not even notice me.

If anything it's a good visual representation for how I see her now. Oblivious to the outside world and only focused on what she needs, regardless of how it effects anyone else
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/09/18 01:07 AM

First, I would like to reach through the computer and give you a hug. I am very sorry for your losses. It' salot to endure in a short period of time.....

Your exW is an absolute a$$ for bringing OM to YOUR grandmothers funeral. And OM is just as big of an arse for going. I am really sorry you had to endure that.

I know you know this already, but sometimes we need to hear it from someone who gets it. You are their one and only father. I promise you that. I have seen those kids with you and they know exactly who Daddy is. There is no mistaking it ever. I know exactly what you are describing, feeling like you are looking in on someone elses's family as a spectator. Those are your kids, however and you will never be a spectator in their lives.

And I'll tell you something else you know, but might need to hear it again. As a "mature" woman. (i.e.- old). Weight only matters is it is causing health problems. Who cares if OM is thinner. It's the last thing a more mature woman would see. The thinner the guy is not the better. Like you said, you totally beat him in a million other ways, and I can guarantee you, those ways are way more attractive and what us more mature women look for. We wouldn't even see weight. A man who takes care of himself and his kids, has a good job, volunteers, has a good heart, that's what we see. That's what anyone worthy of you would see. All your accomplishments and your good heart. And you are a good looking dude.

Let the positive you see in yourself outweigh any negative you see in yourself, ok?

Hang in there. Concentrate on school, when life is busy, I realize I really don't let anyone in who isn't worth the time. Sounds shallow, maybe, but I don't have the energy to put in otherwise. And that is ok. Put your focus on taking care of yourself, whatever that may mean to you.
Posted By: Vanilla

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/09/18 01:22 AM

Dreams have meaning.

I recollect posting about a dream I had where the flesh on my stomach was dying and there was a maggot in it with the G face. Strangely it didn't hurt, I watched with fascination and slight disgust but didn't interfere or stop it.

After much thought and IC I decided this was detachment on my part. It was a relief to see the G as a maggot and that it didn't hurt. There was a wound and the flesh was healed apart from the dead bit.

It's symbolic.

Note your wound was stabbed, scab is healing. That is good news.

Who cares about grubbing exes. I think the dream is excellent.

OM2 is thinner? Easier to bully!

Grot bag cheaters.

V
Posted By: Dawn70

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/09/18 07:39 AM

Wow....not even sure how to respond. Your XW brought her current BF to YOUR grandmother's funeral. That is screaming tacky and classless to me.

I know how you feel about feeling like you are on the outside looking in watching your kids, XW and her BF being a family. Thing is, while I don't know you, from what you write, it seems that you are an amazing dad. You really make a very concentrated effort to put your kids first which is a whole lot more than seems to be coming from your XW's side of the equation.

Hang in there, Fogg!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/14/18 11:30 AM

Thank you all, I really do appreciate the comments. There are times ex's behavior gets under my skin but the weird part is I still end up feeling like the wrong one.

This might not even make sense but anytime I see these self centered and selfish actions my mind turns it around on myself. Like its not even possible this is her, someone I once loved or cared about, trusted. I see what shes done/doing and it just seem so ridiculous and unbelievable I begin to wonder, maybe it is.... Maybe the reason this sounds unbelievable because I'm really the one who's seeing it that way. Maybe to everyone else there's nothing wrong with her actions and really, I'm just the crazy one twisting it around to be something its not.
Posted By: Vanilla

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/14/18 12:11 PM

No honey her actions are crummy. Truly crummy and stupid scrambled eggs for brains with a helping of special sausage.

As these waywards get older (and we get wiser) the stuff that is inside their heads deteriorates. Why because their limbic system and hypocampus deteriorates, the poor mammalian brain can't cope and the neo cortex fails to light up. They simply don't learn and go feral.

This woman isn't the one you M, she has chosen her destructive path and it is destroying her.

Sorry Fogg to be the bearer of that bad news.

V
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/31/18 07:04 PM

These updates seem to grow further and further apart. Yesterday or the day before was BD, 4 years out. More than 2 years divorced now and cant complain overall. Emotions run around at times but more and more life continues and time heals. I have moments where the anger comes back up, usually around this time of year which I'm sure the lack of sun doesn't help. Sometimes I don't even realize they've come up unto I snap out of a fantasy in my head realizing I've been playing out an imaginary scenario for a while. For instance, last night I was in bed and couldn't sleep. The scenario was something happened where ex were giving me attitude over how we swap kids thinking she deserved more time or I was being unreasonable, then we get into an argument and I'm telling her how I feel and if she doesn't like it we can go to the arrangement in our divorce paperwork as it means less time for her. Later I'm at home and she doesn't like the new arrangement we go back to and tries telling me to drop the kids off with her boyfriend, even thought its my day. Then the bf comes over and asks to get kids and I tell him I will call the cops for kidnapping. Then I'm in front of a judge telling my side of the story and it gets back to the things that happened around DB and her not keeping her word with having kids around bf before she even filed for D. These scenarios always seem to be me expecting some conflict and then when some happens I get pulled into expressing my frustration of everything and it turning into more conflict.

None of this is the reality though, there's little conflict between us and we usually work well on kids stuff without it even having to be said. I guess at times I'm on guard for it. Once in a blue moon she will get frustrated with something and seem to jump on me through text, usually these are minor things that are unreasonable so I either shut it down calmly or ignore it all together. Other than that we swap kids fine, we are flexible with each other. I know she has issues with money so I end up paying the majority of the medical stuff and in turn she will pick up kids from school so I can work. Again, all of this just happens so theirs a lot to be grateful for there. As for the BF we don't really interact at all. I realized today I might see him a few times a week but I don't think more than 2 dozen words have been said between us in the last 3 years. I just choose not to be around them. I don't go to the birthday parties even when kids ask, I explain my reasoning and let them know its not about them, me and their mother just don't do stuff together like that. I know some here end up doing combined things and right or wrong I'm choosing not to be around her and her BF. I'm sure a this point she feels the same and doesn't want to be around me. Me and the kids with on vacation to Disney with her brother and wife + my nieces and while we didn't say anything about it to each other (she knew we were going to Florida for vacation maybe a year in advance), we didn't talk. A week or two later we had a parent teacher conference and it was almost comical walking out the building at the same time and how much she kept her distance to get away from me. She said bye to kids and power walked ahead to leave (we still had to walk through the entire school) with her BF's kids. She was getting frustrated as one of her BF's kids was dragging behind so she slowed down and let us pass, then stayed didn't start to walk again until we were at the end of the hallway. Again, comical as I was walking at a steady pace, the two sets of kids were kinda sticking together and she was all the way forward or behind. I have more to post but that's enough of her and the BF, I rarely talk about them to anyone now so I guess that's just a little venting built up.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 12/31/18 07:32 PM

So on to other topics, life is going well overall but there are times I feel overextended. Work is going pretty well, there's some unknown with the company that might relocate our positions in a couple years but I'm not thinking too much about it. I talked with my manager not long ago and should be getting a promotion in March, its due. The pay increase wont be much, maybe 10%, but its really nothing to complain about as I make decent money. Its difficult at times not to compare life to those at work. Many of those guys are married or with someone who makes decent money also. I seem to be the only one not in a house, which I decided is fine as its not the time for me. Not with what I have planned over the next few years. I have maybe 2-2.5 years left before I will have the MBA. I'm still questioning parts of it but I feel committed to it now, if the company relocates that will make me more attractive to a new company or maybe Ill decide to do something completely different. Time will tell.

Four years later and I haven't been in any relationship with anyone, nor even a real fling that was just physical. I think not long ago I decided I'm not willing to put any time into one so for now I'm going to be single and that's not likely to change for a couple years, I think. I have some legitimate things to figure out when that does happen but I'll cross those when It happens. I'm still not even sure long term what I want from all of that nor how it all fits in with the new things I've been looking into. This may be vague but in ways I've taken the red pill and still discovering what that all means for me. There's actually a documentary called "The Red Pill" by Cassie Jaye that scratches the surface on it. Its a good perspective shift for anyone interested.

Kids are good, they seem to be doing ok with everything all things considered. I think the way I interact with them needs to change in the next few years in terms of parenting. I notice I don't handle resistance very well with them and then my anger boils over. They can be the tipping point of me losing my [censored] and everything bothers me ends up boiling over, which isn't fair to them. I can see this wont work well when they're teenagers and rebelling, I will need to develop a calmer way to handle them not listening and me enforcing the right punishments. I'm pretty aware of it so the times I do lost it I can recognize it and apologize. There are things they say/do that absolutely drive me mad but I don't engage too much when its about their mother. There is the narrative that the BF is the step dad and his kids are the brother/sister. I know this is how ex phrases these things so I just try to tell kids my opinion on the terms without forcing them to use either. Then my daughter will defend her mother in ways that confuse me. "Mommy has us 5 days a week", "mommy works every day and you get the weekends off". Just little things like that which bug me and really dig hardcore as without the context it makes it sound like something its not. I know its the way ex talks about herself that D8 is picking up on, but its all perspective. Yes, its true ex has them 5 days a week, but so do I, or at least I see them 5 days just as she does....When you phrase it like "mommy has us 5 days" it makes it seem like I only have them 2. Same with working, ofc she can work 6 or 7 days a week when its part time and only a few hours at a time. You cant just compare that to a full time weekday job. Anyway, there's a few little things like that where I see D8 almost defend and make her mom look good and I know the words, their her mothers words. Yes, when I hear it I try to talk the reason to it but I know not to attach her mom as its really an attack on her. But it bothers me

Weight has actually gone up over the last 2 months and I'm really upset about the ~+20 lbs. Since the October vacation I've ate horribly and with the gym membership gone due to cost the scale has shot up. My clothes are all tight or do not fit and I do not want to buy new ones. I have a better mind about it right now, I figured out the plan I want to take and I have realistic goals of losing a healthy amount a week. It may take me until my next birthday in October but I'm determined to beat this obsession and relationship I have with food.

Not sure what else to post now, this is mostly just venting I suppose. Hope everyone is doing well!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 06/04/19 03:42 PM

So life goes on, things are going pretty well for me overall. Weight is always the issue that pops back up again and again, related to body image. As time goes by I learn more about it and understanding myself, its definitely one of the slowest processes I've worked through and more difficult ones, but I'm slowly becoming more at peace with certain aspects of it.

Kids are good, we just had a camping trip last weekend in Northern Michigan, Pictured rocks is such a beautiful place. It really makes me see how I almost need that daily dose of nature and alone time for survival, wherever it may be. My nieces came also (ex-w's brothers kids) along with his wife, we all had a pretty good time.

I'm still doing classes for my MBA, its tough at times but I think I should be done by next summer. It will be a rough fall and winter semester to get through it but I see the end in sight and I'm learning some good things that I hope I can put into practice. Work is going well also. I'm good at what I do and I see the recognition from my manager during my reviews. The company is frustrating at times, they're delaying the promotion cycle this year and I really should be at an Engineer II level now, which my manager agrees fully with. Time will tell how that goes.

I don't think things with ex-w and her BF are going well. They've been living together 3 years now. They started living together before ex even filed for divorce and integrated kids lives together almost immediately. The kids tell me about fights they have and I've had to talk to ex about situations. One was an incident were the bf was driving the kids and S6 said something that made him lose his temper. I'm not going to demonize the guy, the kids were fighting and I'm sure it was a stressful situation but he definitely overreacted and handled it very poorly. I texted ex when I heard about it and she was receptive to my comments and apologized. The second was some pretty intense arguments the kids said they've seen. Stuff being thrown around and some pretty intense language, which I just asked she keep it away from the kids if it was happening. Lately kids have been saying the bf and his kids are moving out at some point, so not sure what that means. Ex bought a house to move into a year after they got together. Hes not on any paperwork but she cant afford it on her own either, so.... Anyway, could be some changes there that impact me and I'm sure there will be bigger impacts to kids also. This will basically be another family of theirs that will be ripped apart.

Other than that not sure what else to update on. Oh! I did make some pretty big changes to my eating habits too that I'm still working on. I gave up eating meat last November, its going to be a permanent change for me. Two months ago I tried to give up dairy also but that ones been more difficult, especially with the past eating issues. Just to add, those decisions are completely separate from weight/body issue goals.

I'm also planning a trip with a friend I met from this site to Peru later this year. We will be hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, should be good!
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/26/20 12:53 PM

So little update maybe, even though I only use this thread every 6-9 months now. Which is strange as I end up going poking in to read every day or few days. Even with all the covid stuff going on, I feel like I'm in a good position and doing well. Working from home lets me have kids during the whole day Monday/Friday on top of the weekend. Before I was just grabbing them during the weekday when I got done with work. Its more time I get to see my kids even if it makes working more stressful. I am working from home too, as many are. Had some cuts to my pay and benefits but I still have a job. Trying to have gratitude for the things that are going as there will always be things that aren't. Its a struggle, but I'm trying

I'm still working through an eating disorder, the bane of my existence it seems, or at the minimum its a symptom of it. I've been working with a counselor from my school since September, making progress even if its slow and uncomfortable. Realized I also have some major issues with body image and self esteem, which I'm not surprised with at all. I've always had this irrational feeling deep down I'm not good enough/worthy/lovable. I'm sure past experiences with abandonment and memories from childhood impact that. But, it is what is it. These are things I'll improve on in the near future and continue to work on all my life. Its just how it works. Any advise there would be welcome though, for anyone who has dealt with those types of emotions.

I'm about done with my MBA. I have the two classes left that start next week. I just finished 3 classes with everything going on. It sometimes feels like I'm barely holding my head above water but seeing the end makes me feel like I can almost breathe. The Covid-19 stuff this year, the timing of it really [censored] and made me laugh at the same time. I was almost at the end of period of struggle where things were looking better. I was almost done with my MBA, I was positioning myself and pushing for a decent raise at work later this year. I finally got more vacation time this year, took me 5 years to get a 3rd week. Then I was working on this eating disorder and feeling hopeful about future with my overall self esteem. I was potentially looking to finally get into a house even with crazy student loan debt. A good portion of that will be impacted by Covid-19 this year. But i'm still working to stay grateful even though it will have an impact. So here's the similarity. 5 years ago I was also nearing my last semester of finishing my undergrad. I would finally have a job, my ex was pregnant with our 3rd kid and it felt like everything was coming together. Except that all collapsed. I think I'll stop getting degrees, haha. But think time I think I'm better prepared for anything to happen, I might not like any of it but I can survive it.

Kids are doing well. I hear some concerning things about ex/bf sometimes from them. Some normal type arguments and fighting that's to be expected. Then occasionally a big blow up that doesn't sound good at all. I think its just the situation and their backgrounds and it should be fine. Last fight involved ex and her bf arguing over ex throwing away a toy, him getting in out and cycle repeat. His kid's yelling at ex "[censored] you Deb!" and her pushing and biting the bf. Kids then said it was scaring them and the kids went to a room to be safe. So yeah... In the past I've heard of her and ex yelling, cussing and throwing things at each other. Its not great, not all. But again, I'm hoping this is an occasional thing and not the normal. It actually sounds surprisingly similar to how my mom was with my dad and step dad and my mom is still with my step dad and shes nearly killed him by knocking him unconscious with an ashtray. I'll never be in situation like that, I just wont accept it now. Ex could be physically and emotionally abusive. There was this running joke I was her punching bag. If she had a bad day at work I would be the target of any frustration regardless if I had done anything. I've had things thrown at me. Twice something sharp that pierced my skin and a few times a bloody nose. I guess I always excused it and accepted it was ok because she was a woman (society doesn't always view abuse the same if its towards the guy) and just had to deal with it because we were married and "soulmates". I figured I needed to find a way to fix it and work around it, but I know now that's just not how it works Now to be fair, the above (other than the emotion punching bag stuff) wasn't all the time. Throwing things happened a few times a year toward the end. Regardless, if I'm ever in a relationship like that again and it starts, that's my cue to leave.

Kinda long post, as normal. Appreciate any thoughts about the body image stuff. That's probably the biggest challenge I'm working through. Thanks for reading!
Posted By: pinn

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/26/20 03:18 PM

Originally Posted by Fogg


I'm still working through an eating disorder, the bane of my existence it seems, or at the minimum its a symptom of it. I've been working with a counselor from my school since September, making progress even if its slow and uncomfortable. Realized I also have some major issues with body image and self esteem, which I'm not surprised with at all. I've always had this irrational feeling deep down I'm not good enough/worthy/lovable. I'm sure past experiences with abandonment and memories from childhood impact that. But, it is what is it. These are things I'll improve on in the near future and continue to work on all my life. Its just how it works. Any advise there would be welcome though, for anyone who has dealt with those types of emotions.


Hi Fogg... congrats on the soon to be completed MBA... that is an accomplishment! You should be proud.

While I was getting my MBA, I took a class that focused on this very topic. It was very interesting as BD occurred right in the middle of this class. This was a small class, about 15 people, but it got quite deep. What I learned was that we all have an under lying mental models that *can* control our actions especially if we are not consciously aware of them. My mental model, like yours and many other people by the way, is a feeling of inadequacy or feeling not good enough. I sat with this professor many times and we tried to figure out where this feeling came from but we could never quite pin point it. The problem with this mental model is that its origins likely stem from experiences that occurred at an early age and then continued during our formative years. It is now hard wired in our brains. This makes it challenging to rewire our brains to over come this feeling.

To counter balance this, people adapt certain behaviors. Some become perfectionists or overachievers so they feel good enough. This never works though because things are never perfect and there is always someone out there achieving more, it is counter productive. Others seek out something they can control, people, events etc... which also does not work because these things are not controllable. I am no IC for sure, but maybe the eating disorder gives you some semblance of control?

The bottom line is, and what was eye opening to me, is that this is a very common feeling. It manifests itself in different ways, hitting some harder than others, but it is there. I do not have experience with eating disorders or things like that, but I definitely know the not good enough feeling. Sitting in that class though and realizing that everyone felt similar really did something for me. Some of them did have some serious issues. I think just recognizing that you feel this way is a giant step 1. The hard part will be rewiring that neural net, but you can do it! I definitely still have issues myself but at least now I can tell my brain to stop it and it listens.... sometimes, sometimes not.

Reading about it helped me a bit. I won't post recommendations because I am not sure if it is proper, but they are easy enough to find.

Good luck!
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/26/20 08:51 PM

Hey Brother from anotha motha!

COngrats on your MBA! You are in the home stretch and that is a hige accomplishment, especially with everything going on in the world. I bet your kids are so big now, and it's a tough age to homeschool. I feel for the parents trying to homeschool and work at the same time. I am fortunate my kid can school herself.

I don't think I have an eating disorder, but I will tell you, I am struggling big time with my extra 15-20lbs Ive had for the last few years. ANd I have always struggled with my weight. I never imagined it getting to this point, I struggle looking in the mirror or at pictures and I won't take them. My body doesn't feel like mind and my face doesn't look like mine. It's been tough. But my willpower to totally restrict myself is not there. I just wish I didn't have to define my physical appearance by my weight. I imagine it comes from childhood insecurities. I always felt like the skinny girls got the guys I guess. I guess coming up to 40 and single makes it hard to just appreciate mt body. Like it's linked to a decent guy being attracted to me

I know, and I think you know what is most important is to be healthy. I want to feel and look healthy, and be healthy. I just wish I didn't obsess about it the way I did. I read a good book on diet culture. It really does help about changing your relationship with food and yourself and not attaching your worth to what you eat or look like.

I do know that when I look at someone else, I don't see their weight (unless it's super unhealthy) I see their personality and their character., Sometimes we need to see that in ourselves.

I am also so sorry for the abuse you have gotten from your ex and that your kids are witnessing it from their mom with the BF. THey are just the sweetest kids ever and luckily take after their dad and know that is not right. I imagine that must have really taken a toll on you to live thorugh that, and I am sorry. You are worth so much more than that
Posted By: kas99

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/27/20 11:52 PM

I have an eating disorder. Meds help. I take an AD's, a mood stabilizer and I have anti anxiety meds that I take sparingly. I'm under the care of a fabulous psych nurse. She says there is a med that specifically treats binge eating (I don't take this one) She is not a pill pusher but she also believes there is no reason to suffer unnecessarily.

Here is what has helped me (all done post BD). I got rid of the scale. Willpower didn't work so I quit that. All that did was give me ammo to punish myself for being weak and pathetic. Counting calories led me to a lack mentality and then I ate more. Epic fail. I've had zero luck with diets (I always gained the weight back) therefore I no longer eat diet foods. Bring on the leaded soda's. I figure if I'm going to eat bad foods I should at least make them good ones. I find I eat less when I give myself permission to eat what I want and skip chemicals like aspartame. Oh and I stopped drinking alcohol (this matters a lot). Haven't touched a drop in a year.

My diet is absolutely horrifying right now but I don't care. I'm in the middle of a divorce so if food helps then so be it. Today I've eaten nothing but junk food but its what I wanted so I ate it. I lost a ton of weight on the divorce diet, gained some back (looked sick) and have maintained since eating whatever the heck I wanted doing the things I listed above. To be clear I don't binge or make myself sick.

Yeah I'm bloated and feel icky but my weight is stable and the cool part is I'm starting to get sick of living like this. Sitting here now with an almost full can of soda and I can't finish it. I'd rather have water...weird right?
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/28/20 02:58 AM

Pinn,

While it [censored] to have that feeling, it does help to know its a normal thing many people experience. The timing of your class was interesting, it sounds like it helped you. I'm sure I have some events from my childhood that impact that feeling now, several I can vividly remember. I don't remember much from my childhood, but the majority of what I do remember aren't very pleasant memories. Many are filled with feelings of embarrassment, shame, feeling worthless, abandonment, etc. The perfectionist behavior hits a note with me also, even though I never feel like I get anything perfect. But I guess that's exactly the point and why it ends up being a pitfall. I usually see when I should be challenging those thoughts, and for the most part I do. It just doesn't feel real when I do, like I'm pretending when I do it and it just feels fake.

Ginger,

Hey smile Thanks, I appreciate it. Its not so bad, the kids keep themselves mostly engaged with their tablets. I just have to motivate them back to actual school work here and there. I don't make a huge deal about them getting in the same work they would at school. I'm not a teacher, nor do I really have the kind of time to sit with them for 8 hours while I'm working at the same time. They do some work, but not a ton and I'm ok with the balance. As for the weight, I get people most people have the struggle with an extra 5-10-15-20 lbs. When I look at myself, though, all I see is an extra 60 lbs of fat. Regardless of the fact I've been 110 lb heavier than I am now, I've still been at this weight (mostly) for several years now and it just feels....wrong. I've learned all the wrong ways to lose weight too, I know why diets are an unhealthy mindset to have and what mostly healthy eating is, I know how eating disorders develop, how they're worsened and basically what not to do when trying to lose weight. But when I view myself all I still see is that unhealthy, obese fat hanging on my body. I know there's more to work on that really impacts all of this, more to detach between my weight/body shape and self esteem.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/28/20 03:14 AM

kas,

Thanks for the comments, its good to see other's perspectives. I've actually never used any meds, I've been curious of it before but never really been in the place where someone recommended them. Honestly, I always hoped I could figure things out without using them but I wonder if I'm missing out and suffering unnecessarily at times too. I know I have things I struggle with and a good friend who I respect is on an AD, so I have no judgement with them.
I only use the scale on a weekly basis now, its apart of my plan with the counselor I'm seeing. Its through my college so I only expect to see her until summer time, then I'll be on my own again. I really enjoy seeing her, so it will be a difficult transition I think. I still binge, its better than its been in the past, but still there. I have mostly stopped purging though, it comes up occasionally also but much rarer than it was in the past.

You mention you aren't binging/purging and while you feel bloated and icky, weight is stable. I think that's something I've been struggling with for a long, long time and I cant just yet make the leap where I can let that go and accept that weight being stable as a good thing. I feel that way constantly, and while my weight has basically been very similar the last 9 months, I feel its pointless because I'm at a weight I hate. I'm ~6"1", but at 260 I'm still in the obese range and cant accept where I'm at as being ok. It might be easier if I was only 10-20 lbs overweight, but I don't know. I guess I would be miserable there too as its never good enough. Anyway, the body image part is what I'll be working on with my IC next, it honestly terrifies me but I know its something that's blocking me making progress in many areas of life.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/28/20 02:00 PM

Poor body image is something I suspect a lot of people struggle with.

What do you think your weight is blocking you on making progress in?

Anyway, have you ever tried hypnosis? Thereís a YouTube clip on it where a well known hypnotist talks about weight loss being simple... that it requires 2 things. To only eat when your hungry and to stop when your full. And then he leads the audience into a session that seems to be based on mindful eating. If you have tried everything else - it might not hurt to try this. Iíll try to find the name of him. But maybe thereís a professional in the area? I tried counseling for anxiety and it never worked. But hypnosis did. Problem is you have to find someone good.

I hear that mindful eating helps too. What if you focused more on mindfulness and less on dieting? These are just things that I have read that make weight loss less yo-yo.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/28/20 03:41 PM

Juju,

I don't focus on the dieting, I know that's a lost case and only creates/contributes to eating disorders. I have occasional urges to go back to diets to control body, but I know enough now to avoid it now. Logical part of me overrides that part of my brain. Mindful eating is actually one of the core skills I've been working on with my IC using DBT. Mindfulness, emotion regulation, diffusion, values and a few others. That part is basically ok and on track, its very slow going but I have hope it will help. I talk a lot about weight loss because most of my frustration comes out with body image, but its not what I'm really working to improve right now, just a big side goal I really, really want. The primary ones are better relationship with food, not allowing myself to be consumed with thoughts of body image/food, and modeling better skills to kids. I was always hoping weight and body shape/size would fall into line when I figured out my eating, and it might. However, most of the research looking at this in regards to eating disorders doesn't mean that's necessarily the case. Weight stability ends up being most comment, which is what terrifies me. I know there in lies more to work on as I tie a great deal of my self worth on my body image, which I shouldn't. Not to say it doesn't have some value, I just overvalue it to the extreme.

Unfortunately, trying to work on weight loss while working through an eating disorder a the same time is like trying to learn how to start a fire during wildfire season. You could try and maybe even make progress, but its more likely you'll destroy both. I haven't tried any hypnosis, I think I may have read one book in the past that touched on it, but never really looked into it. Either way, I appreciate the thoughts. As for what its holding me back from, there are several hobbies I would like to be doing, even dating, that I put off because of how I feel about myself.
Posted By: kas99

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 04/28/20 05:08 PM

Quote
Thanks for the comments, its good to see other's perspectives. I've actually never used any meds, I've been curious of it before but never really been in the place where someone recommended them. Honestly, I always hoped I could figure things out without using them but I wonder if I'm missing out and suffering unnecessarily at times too. I know I have things I struggle with and a good friend who I respect is on an AD, so I have no judgement with them.


I'm on a very old, tried and true AD that also treats anxiety well. Low dose, makes me a tad bit sleepy but no other side affects like weight gain. Anxiety (among other things) is what triggers me to self soothe with food. Most drs are not very good thats why I suggested you at least talk to a psych nurse. The one is have is amazing.

Quote
I only use the scale on a weekly basis now, its apart of my plan with the counselor I'm seeing. Its through my college so I only expect to see her until summer time, then I'll be on my own again. I really enjoy seeing her, so it will be a difficult transition I think. I still binge, its better than its been in the past, but still there. I have mostly stopped purging though, it comes up occasionally also but much rarer than it was in the past.


So you are improving? That's awesome!! Celebrate that. I've binged a few times but it's minor now. My psych nurse told me to weigh standing backwards as its what many of her eating disorder patients do. The number on the scale triggers me BAD. I've been without a scale for probably 9 months now. I do not want to know what I weigh.

Quote
You mention you aren't binging/purging and while you feel bloated and icky, weight is stable. I think that's something I've been struggling with for a long, long time and I cant just yet make the leap where I can let that go and accept that weight being stable as a good thing. I feel that way constantly, and while my weight has basically been very similar the last 9 months, I feel its pointless because I'm at a weight I hate.


Its not about accepting your size or your weight it's about having compassion for the pain you are trying to heal with food. All addictions start and end with pain. Your body is trying to protect and love you the only way it knows how. I'll tell you a horrible, shameful story. D17 was a fat kid and I got shamed for that so I put her on a diet....when she was 4. Didn't take long before I realized this was the most harmful thing I could do to a child so I took her to the store and let her buy whatever she wanted while still cooking normal meals. One of her foods was bananas (yes I'm that stupid) so I told her she could have as many as she wanted. She ate 6 and I think I died a little with everyone she ate. Her obese little body held a mirror up to my own insecurities. It's been 13 years and she's never eaten another banana. My fears were unfounded as are yours you just don't know it yet. Oh and she grew tall and while she'll never be a stick girl she's at a healthy weight and she eats whatever she wants.


Quote
I'm ~6"1", but at 260 I'm still in the obese range and cant accept where I'm at as being ok. It might be easier if I was only 10-20 lbs overweight, but I don't know. I guess I would be miserable there too as its never good enough. Anyway, the body image part is what I'll be working on with my IC next, it honestly terrifies me but I know its something that's blocking me making progress in many areas of life.


This isn't about body image it's about pain.

......boss just walked in. Talk later
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/09/20 02:31 AM

kas, guess I never replied to your post. I did think about it for a while though. I know weight and body image is just one aspect of control I use to try and deal with deeper feelings of abandonment and worthlessness, which are just factors from my past.

I have worked with a counselor through my college and touched on some of these things recently. Self compassion and accepting reality as it is now is a big aspect of that. My time with this counselor is nearing an end. I have 3 more sessions with her before we will part ways, which would make it close to a year I've worked with her. I can see the progress I've made in that time. Its been a long time since I've had an actual out of control binge session and much longer since I've purged. Interpersonal relationships was the last things we've started to work on, and shes admitted its not a strength of hers at all. She also said during our last session since I'm not starting to get into dating (more on that in a min) that she can look around and see if there is someone else in the group that could work with me. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm open to it.

As for dating, I got back on OLD and for once used the it with the intention of meeting someone. Every other time it was more of a curiosity of who was out there and just me wanting a mental boost seeing who would match me. I knew I was nearing the end of counseling and had the eating disorder managed. I also finished my masters degree, which is something I've been using as a convenience excuse not to date. I did and do have alot of fear over dating, but it felt like the right time to jump in start to experience this. I actually started talking to someone a while back. We chatted on Bumble for a few days and she wanted to do a video date, which I was nervous for but excited for at the same time. I really liked her personality and values and we had so much in common. The video date went better than expected, we chatted for more than 3 hours. It was past midnight and I even though we kept getting disconnected through the app she still wanted to keep talking. I eventually suggested we end as I felt bad she had to get up before me for work, which was in like 5 hours. We had an in person date about a week later that also went really well. I ended up kissing her and just felt like this could be something. The next day she told me she had fun and also just as an FYI, that she wanted to take things slow because she just likes to take her time, which I understood.. I didn't hear much from her over the next 3 days but she also was transitioning to a new job. Shes a nurse and was working 3 x 12 hour overnight shifts. She eventually told me sorry if she seems MIA but all she does on those days is work, eat and sleep. That same day she after her 3rd shift she had to go check on her dad, she takes care of him because he wont go to any hospital and has several medical conditions. She has medical power of attorney for him even though he lives with his wife and their older son. Turns out he had a stroke and wasn't doing so well. I could tell over the next few days she was more distant and wasn't really talkative other than about her dad, which I get. Even having a stroke her dad wouldn't go to the hospital so she just assesses him and cares for him, which I'm sure is overwhelming. At some point a few days later I asked if she would be up for meeting up on a Wednesday night, she asked what we would do and said she would get back to me because she wasn't sure with what was going on with her dad. She never got back to me though, I left the chat for the week as I wanted to give her some space knowing she was dealing with some difficult stuff at home. Friday I sent her another message just wishing her and her dad well and said if she ever wants to get together or talk to just let me know, and that I know she has a lot going on but wanted to put that out there and wish them some good thoughts at the same time. She never replied to that, that was more than a week ago. So even though I know her personality (INFJ) needs space and can easily become overwhelmed with thing, then knowing her dads situation, I still feel like I just wont hear from her again now. So no texts at all in nearly 2 weeks, which makes me think that's that.

I'm not going to say I didn't struggle with the above emotionally, but I did. Even only knowing her for a couple weeks I still got my hopes up it could be something. Not to say it would be something long term, there were some other challenges I could see that would have developed. But it felt like I could have finally just got some traction in the dating world and a bit more experience. 6 years since my ex left me and I've been in 0 relationships. I had a bunch of first/second with people I didn't end up caring for. But I at least let them know I wasn't interested if they assumed we would see each other again. Then 3 people I did like but just ghosted me after I asked them out and they said they would let me know, which I really hate. I can handle an upfront "I don't think this will work out, thanks but no thanks", but when you're waiting for them to get back to you and they never do, it just feels like a strange ending. /sigh I guess that's just how things go these days and I should get used to it.
Posted By: kml

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/09/20 02:50 PM

Iím sorry it feels like sheís ghosted you - and maybe she has. Or maybe her father has died, or is critical in the hospital, and dating is the last thing on her mind. Just lay back. Maybe in a month send her a nice message just that you hope sheís doing ok. Nothing more.

Unfortunately this is part of online dating. Some people try it when theyíre really not ready to date yet. Some are speaking to several people at once and have decided to try dating one of their other options. Or, as I suspect in this case, sometimes life comes crashing down on you and checking your dating app is the last thing in your mind.

Keep looking, but she might show up later, who knows? Doesnít seem like this is about you.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/09/20 04:05 PM

I donít fully think it was about me. Thereís always the small insecure voice that says it is, or at the least itís a contributing factor, but really I just think sheís overwhelmed with life and canít. She hasnít been in a relationship in a few years also and sheís epileptic with seizures brought on by anxiety. She told me her last one was about a year ago, but I donít really know how often they occur. So starting a new job, her daughter being out of state for a month with her dad, talking to a new person on bumble and then her dad having a stroke and refusing treatment at a hospital. It makes sense she would need to disappear to take care of her dad and even herself. Then thereís always the possibility something happened to him or her that made the situation even worse. I also think Iíve done what I could communication wise and I had to just leave it be, but it really does feel awkward to leave it and move on in a sense.

I think maybe that was what I struggled with. I donít necessarily like talking to multiple people at once, even though itís been suggested I do so and I see some logic to it. My personality type can easily get attached to people and itís the other fear I had with dating. Finding the middle ground. I fear abandonment and getting too attached. Finding that middle ground where I continue to develop my own values, but leave room for dating without making it my everything, is something I know will be a challenge for me. But Iím aware of it also, so thereís that.

The stroke part is strange timing too, ex-wís father has been having medical issues during the same time period. A couple weeks ago he went to the hospital for what they thought was a heart attack. This last week his aoreta tore in his neck requiring an 8 hour surgery and he had a stroke on top of that. Now heís on a ventilator for what will be for a couple weeks at the least. Doesnít sound good.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/09/20 07:51 PM

She also unmatched me from bumble today. So enough time to go on the app and make an active choice to remove me. Thatís just online dating I guess, whatever
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/09/20 10:46 PM

she may have unmatched you because she's not ready. just a thought from an infj (me)
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/10/20 01:34 AM

Iíve though maybe she wasnít ready to date, or maybe she actually really liked me and it freaked her out where she ran. The infj personality type actually really interested me after hearing her talk and hers and mine (INFP).

But at the end of the day it doesnít matter if that was the case, or if she was overwhelmed with life, or she found someone else, or sheís just not interested. Or even a combination of more than one of the above. What I do doesnít change between any of those, I just leave it be and respect what her actions say, which is she doesnít want to pursue anything else. I just hate there was nothing said. But anyways, Iím working on just leaving it and being open to talking to others, if someone matches thats seems interesting at some point
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/10/20 01:09 PM

Sorry this did not work out.

One of the hardest things in our divorces was isolating their actions without projecting our own thoughts on to what is behind those actions. I get it. We feel entitled to answers. But it never really works like that.

And yep time to move on.
You have so much going for you plus your still young and your a guy that has emotional intelligence. I always went into OLD with the mindset of ďI have an excuse to get dressed up and show off and a break from the mundaneĒ and I guess I didnít take anything personally. I think if you can look at it that way with a detachment and a bit of ďselfishnessĒ (not sure thatís the right word) but view it as a game or fun - it is more successful.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/10/20 05:41 PM

You're right juju, that makes sense. I know I would never get an answer I was looking for from my ex, not one I would accept anyway. I didn't really look at this scenario the same. I'm not sure I was looking for an answer so much as just a general statement saying shes not interested and that's that. But I can see maybe I really was, just to try and calm the insecure part of me still new to this all. Its funny you say I'm emotionally intelligent, I would have disagreed with that heavily in the past even thought I've heard it before. I've always struggled with emotions and feel them deeply, I also always looked at it as something that was wrong with me. Its only recently I started to open up and accept that part of myself, because the truth is even thought I do struggle with these things and it takes up a good deal of mental space, I still process a ton more than the average person might. Most people would run away or medicate these feelings away, whereas I might be actually working through them. I think that's likely more representative of the people on this forums too, the people would would run away and ignore their issues/emotions aren't likely to find a place to discuss them and be open to changing the parts that need to be improved. So in a way I've started to look at it as a positive of who I am vs. a negative. But it still makes things challenging.

As for going into things with no expectations and looking at it as a game of sorts, just to get to know people, I've been told several times by others the same thing. That and to talk to multiple people as a means of getting to know them instead of just trying to date. Funny story, there was one girl (another who ghosted me) that I went out on maybe 5 dates a few years ago. One the first date when I seen her and my initial reaction was "oh [censored], shes hot. Much hotter than I thought. Well, this certainly isn't going to last, lol". (I did and still do have a low opinion of myself most of the time.) I somewhat laughed it off in my head at that moment and just decided to have fun with it. The date ended up going really well. The second date I could see more of her imperfections, she seemed more real then, and while I was still just enjoying it, not really expecting anything, I also realized she was nervous and liked me too. That was a big moment for me, I never really picked up on that and I actually felt confident for once. But I think that's also when I started to think maybe it could be more than I initially thought, and a couple dates later it was just done out of no where. So I don't know how to keep that line away from me thinking it could be more and just getting to know someone without expectations. Especially when its been so long since I've had any type of relationship. Nearly 6 years now.

I was talking to my ex-sil about all of this and she suggested I just talk to multiple people and get to know them. For OLD I just don't see how that's practical though. As the guy, if I don't make a move to ask someone out through texting relatively quickly, I think the woman just loses interests as there will always be other guys out there trying to get their attention. Same goes for in person dates, at some point as the guy, you either push things a little more in the dates (if you're having fun and it feels right) or it just decays away. Maybe I'm overthinking it and I just need to meet up with people and have fun, even if its multiple people to see how I like them and really being intentional about keeping my expectations very low. I'm still not sure on my hangup. I know part of my personality just doesn't feel ok with talking/dating multiple people, especially if things move into anything physical, even kissing. But then if I don't move there with one, I feel it would just die out anyway. I know some fear is wrapped up in that and I'm still trying to untangle it with just how I feel. I do see the benefit of talking to multiple people, but I cant yet justify it either.

Obviously I could be off on my thinking too, and overthinking this. So I'm open to any suggestions or advice people have. I know dating in this stage of life isn't easy, but I think you all have a lot more experience than I do and I'm open to learning from that.
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/13/20 04:56 PM

Fogg... I so could have written what you just wrote. You and I seem very alike when it comes to OLD. I, too, struggle with dating multiple people at the same time. It feels disingenuous somehow even though I know that probably most of the people I meet are doing the same thing. I get that it would keep me from getting too attached too quickly but, at the same time, I know that eventually I would settle on one person and I hate the idea of then having to ďbreak upĒ with the others and that I could possibly hurt someone.

I hate the ghosting too. Iíve only done it with one person and that was only after I clearly told him, in a very respectful way, that I wasnít interested and he still kept contacting me as if I had said I was interested. He got pretty upset (left a voicemail that I only listened to long enough to delete) but to be fair, I did try to do the right thing. It would be so much easier if people would just come right out and say ďnot interestedĒ rather than taking the ďeasyĒ way out and disappearing. It is strange that people think giving someone hope by agreeing to a theoretical future date but than disappearing is a kinder way to go about it. In my mind, it is definitely not kinder...it is just less awkward for the person who isnít interested. Still...do unto others...

IDK...I know we talk about the people we meet online as being less than genuine and that there are many scammers and players and love bombers out there but surely there also have to be a lot of really good people just like us who are hoping to meet someone great. Maybe it is true that we just have to kiss a lot of frogs before we find our prince/princess?

BTW...re: taking ADís. I never thought I would either but when I was in the thick of my sitch, I did take them for about four months and I do think they helped. Not as much as finding this forum and getting support from people on here but I do think they helped me sleep better at night. Might be worth a try.

(((HUGS)))
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/15/20 03:57 AM

Deja, thereís just so much to dating I just donít understand. Having been out of it so long, on top of never really having experience before hand. A friend set me up with my ex-w, I married her, then divorced and single since then. Itís good to hear others have similar struggle, makes me think there are others out there and it just is a numbers game of sorting through them. But that just sounds awful at the same time. I guess a positive is With each wrong person you interact with, you learn a little more of who you are and what you need from a R.

Talking to and even dating multiple people at the same time really does feel very disingenuous. It likely is is it just how dating works now, but I havenít wrapped my head around how I feel about it. Mostly because I know I have challenges mentioned above with getting attached to people, and I see where taking to several people might give me space to really understand how I feel about someone without the rose tinted glasses. At least at the very beginning.

I wouldnít say your example was ghosting. Ghosting to me is when you disappear without word, where you may have had expectations of another date and the person was going to ďget back to youĒ but never does. You clearly told him you werenít interested and he wouldnít accept that. To me it sounded like you did exactly what you should have in that situation and really enforced your own healthy boundary.

Iím doing alright now, I always push through without the ADís and get to a comfortable place. I think there were times I could have taken them and avoided some unnecessary suffering, but at this point Iím just doing so much better in life itís not really a concern I guess. This last year of counseling really has been significant for me in many ways and now thatís itís nearly over Iím just starting to really recognize the extent of how much Iíve changed and grown over the last year. Iím also excited because I was told a good deal of the healing takes place 6-9 months after itís over and it doesnít end when IC ends. Plus, my current IC is looking for someone else I can shift into to work on interpersonal relationships and this last week I really understood how much I struggle with them.. Iím anxious but excited. Iím sure thatís very vague on what I mean with,, but Iíll explain more at some point just to log it and get thoughts
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/15/20 06:42 AM

Not too vague...lol. I think I know what you mean.

Re: dating multiple people. I get the theory behind it for sure. I think I can talk to multiple people at the same time with not too much difficulty. I can also meet multiple people as well. But once I get to the second date with someone (this is rare...I have to really click with someone to get there), I start to feel uncomfortable. I know that technically there isnít anything wrong with it but it just feels wrong. I really would prefer to focus on one person at a time even though I know that probably leaves me more vulnerable to being hurt (as in my latest fiasco).

I watch a lot of YouTube videos of relationship and dating experts. There are so many doís and donítís and contradicting advice. It gets really confusing. Hard to be genuine with someone when you are trying to keep all of the rules in mind. Starts to feel like a game after awhile and sadly, I am just not that good at games. Part of me feels like giving up but then another part of me canít imagine being on my own for the rest of my life. I just feel better when I am in a relationship and a partner to someone. I am also super affectionate so I miss the physical closeness as well as the emotional closeness that relationships provide.

My biggest challenge, I am quickly learning, is in managing my expectations of other people and not expecting other people to act the way I would. That definitely gets me into trouble. I also take people at face value and am way too trusting in what people say...despite having been married to someone who lies more often than not. I am just really honest so it still surprises me when I run into people who are not.

Great to hear about the work you are doing with your IC and that youíve been making a lot of progress. Iím curious about your thoughts on interpersonal relationships. What do you think the struggle is for you?
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/15/20 02:51 PM

Iím sorry about your experience Fogg, and it is clearly no reflection of you.

Before OLD, ghosting wasnít as prevalent and people werenít so disposable because we used to meet someone in a group, a friend of a friend, at school, in town, etc. people knew people and they couldnít get away with just ghosting someone. Now itís easy. No ties, no image to keep up of a decent person.

And Iíve been at this dating thing for many many many many years and I still donít get it, and I still stink at it. But Iím getting better in realizing very key things that help me move forward.

Just remember, you are the prize
Posted By: bttrfly

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/15/20 07:02 PM

i kinda like the no image to keep up as a decent person because - hear me out - weeds out the trash very quickly.

xo
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/16/20 01:57 AM

No doubt Bttrfly...no doubt. smile
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/16/20 01:42 PM

Deja,

A few years ago I was looking into advice also (my IC suggested I look at it again) but I got the same impression. It felt like a set of rules to follow and almost like a game. I see the logic behind some of it but it really feels like it shouldnít work that way. I guess until I actually try it I really wouldnít know. I struggle with the honestly of things and people following through with what they say. I think thatís why it annoys me so much when someone says they will get back to me but never do. Just send a message and be done, how hard is that? Iím probably too trusting of people also, when they say something I take it as the truth. As for the interpersonal stuff, it was just a foreign concept to talk about with my IC. She had 3 categories of how we balance the health of these relationships. Basically what came form it is I almost ignore the first and thirds category and instead prioritize ensuring the relationship remained positive. Which means I never ask for help, I rarely balance my own needs and I just avoid conflict. I realized something my manager at work frequently pushes me to do, and itís something I struggle with, is offloading work to others and asking for help. Ill end up just doing things myself instead of offloading something because I hate inconveniencing others. I end up mentoring people in our group and I really am the go to person for getting something fixed now. I think I have the respect of everyone in our group and they trust me for advice,, so I float between most of the projects there with my hands touching everything. My manager is basically setting me into more of a supervisor role even though that role doesnít exist. However, thereís one project Iíve still managed almost on my own with no help for 4 years now and when that project has work to be done, Ill end up just doing the majority of it myself. Also, if thereís any resistance from the person Iím asking something to be done, even if it is literary their job, Iíll do what I can to just get it done myself instead of risking the awkwardness/confrontation. Itís not all the time, but enough where these things slow down what I could be doing. This certainly stems from my past with my parents and ex. Being abandoned and never accepted means reaching out and asking for anything makes me feel ill automatically be rejected. Feelings of worthlessness and being unloveable tie in with that. So in most my relationships I carry those thoughts and it keeps be from asking for or even expecting my own needs to be met.

Ginger.

That thought ďyou are the prizeĒ is elusive for me. I may have held the belief and really believed it 10% of the time a couple years ago. I might be closer to 40% of the time now. I guess itís getting better, but still needs work. I think the one thing that keeps me sane is knowing even if I have shitty experiences going forward with dating, Iíll still learn a bit about myself with each experience.. Even if itís more about my own preferences or what I would and wouldnít accept from a partner.
Posted By: kml

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/16/20 02:52 PM

Quote
That thought ďyou are the prizeĒ is elusive for me.


Look - itís a mindset that many of us have when dating - ď will he like me? Will he pick me?Ē

But it SHOULD be - ďIs he worth of my time and affection? Does he have the qualities Iím looking for in a partner?Ē

Our neediness and insecurity (and lifetime of being fed Prince Charming fairytales) sets us up for this.

I remember being puzzled by the girls that had men running after them, plying them with gifts when I was 20. They werenít prettier than me. They werenít nicer than me. What they were was - disinterested. They sat back and let the men prove themselves to them. They weighed who was most willing to pursue them - and they let them. The men knew they had competition for the girlsí affections and they stepped up their game.

I still donít want to be like them, but we could learn a few things. They believed that they were the prize and we should too. Any guy who is REALLY what we want will believe that about us as well. We donít need to be with men who think weíre second rate or ďgood enough for nowĒ. Instead of thinking ďPick me! Pick me!Ē we should be focusing on ďIs he kind enough? How does he treat the waitress? What do we have in common? Are our goals and values similar?Ē

Look - the very fact that youíre here means youíre a person of intelligence and insight, with a capacity for self-examination and for love. Those are very valuable things.
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/16/20 03:12 PM

What KML said...for sure. I still struggle with that but Iím working on it.

Wow Fogg. You really have done some work, havenít you? Those are great insights. So you are half way there. You know what it is that is holding you back and now you just have to change your behaviour. That is by far the hardest part. If insight was all we needed, this site would not have as many people on it as it does...lol.

My challenges are around managing my expectations (as in not having any). When I let them get too high, I end up sabotaging myself as I start to act on my emotions instead of using my brain since I always know what I SHOULD do. But when I get too emotional, instead of telling me to hold up and take a breather, my brain comes up with justifications for my feelings. Such a hard habit to break but Iím working on it...intensely.

Anyway...keep up the good work Fogg!! You are doing great. (((HUGS)))
Posted By: JujuB

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 08/17/20 04:23 PM

What KML said word for word - and kind of what I was saying. Make it about you. OLD is hard for guys and itís a number game - so the good thing is that you are getting dates. (That alone can be really hard for men) but yeah - when your on the date view it as a night out - not an interview for the woman you are going to grow old with.... that alone conveys the message of detached.

I think I was successful at dating because I was so desperate to escape my life of single mom and just have fun with someone - that it Ended up making me more appealing. I kept things light when it came to relationship talk but deep with topics I found interesting. I think thatís the trick.

In general , I tended to not worry about whether someone likes me. So maybe if you can turn off that part of you that takes it personally? And work on confidence and being ok with yourself.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/06/20 05:25 AM

kml, Deja, Juju. I spent some time thinking on what you were saying with dating. I think I understood it, but I just wasn't sure how I put it into practice. I did a little testing since then. There was one woman I was talking to around the same time I read this. I really tried to shut down my brain and just enjoy it for what it was, without attaching too much to it. I enjoyed talking to her and we had a virtual date scheduled for that Saturday. The day before she actually cancelled and sent me a message saying she wasn't in a place to date and wished me luck. She was talking care of her parents, and her mother was going through chemo and surgery in a few days. I thanked her and told her I appreciated her letting me know and wished her and her family good luck also. I think looking at things like I was just having fun helped a bunch, and that didn't bother me much. I actually was still on the dating apps and had started chatting a little bit with someone else at the same time, which I'm sure helped too. That was 2 weeks ago, and a lot has happened since then with this one. I got her phone number pretty quickly and we went out a date a few days later. I'l be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the date at all that day. I was just so tired and didn't want to invest any energy info what dating took, but I went anyway to keep things moving on me being open to dating and having fun. We had a good time, conversation flowed really well and she talked a lot. I realized from future conversations that's one of her coping mechanisms, she talks when shes nervous and doesn't like awkward silence. While I wasn't super attracted to her then, there were things I did like about her. Physically, personality, values. I kissed her at the end of the first date and it felt comfortable. The other people I kissed in the few dates I've had the last several years always felt really awkward and wrong, but this was different.

So we had a second date, and a third. 4th is a couple days from now. Second date was a lot better than the first and the third date was just awesome. We went out geocaching and just driving around when the sun was setting, a lot of kissing here and there and things were just so comfortable between us. We text a decent amount during the day too and I've learned even more about her and how she ticks. Shes even talked more future stuff and asking lots of questions to understand compatibility and see what I like and don't. The conversation of kids even came up when she was telling me of her work and how she travels and how that could impact kids later down the road. It felt like it fit so I explained my one thought on when I would consider involving kids if something got serious with someone I was dating. It felt like a really early time to say it, but I figured the things she was talking about were just checking for future roadblocks and deal breakers, and I know a lot of people don't agree with waiting that long, so I wanted to make sure she knew it now and she would either anticipate it or walk away knowing it wasn't for her. Basically I told her I wouldn't consider it until the 9 month mark. (real range would be 6-12 months, but I didn't say that). She is more comfortable at the 3 month range, but said she would accept and respect my thoughts on it if things got to that point. At some point after that she brought up the topic of sex and that she get attached too easily with it and needs for that until things are more serious. With more talking I've learned shes had a decent amount of partners and many of them were very short ones where they never started a relationship. So slept together after a couple dates and then it ended quickly. Shes not been in a full relationship in 6 years now, but shes slept with people around 10 times in that same period. Shes also had 4 major relationships in her life and slept with 19 different people total. She told me that after learning I had only been with 1-2 people in my life (second wasn't full sex but I still count it as something). I think it surprised her and she was anxious it would bother me. I don't judge her on it but I do think there is a slight insecurity with my own lack of it, so I wonder if I'll end up being judged if we get there and feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Small part of me is insecure anyway, I have another part that isn't and knows I have some skills that wont disappoint.

Anyway, she asks a lot of "is this a dealbreaker" type questions and wants to hear reassurances. Shes also always wondering what I'm thinking and wants to hear the positive things I might be thinking about her. Shes had some issues with a prior FWB that she fell for that never wanted more, and now she wants something different than her past experiences. Shes very open and shares whats on her mind. The one thing that has happened through all of this is I have intentionally avoided asking questions to "reassure" myself that she likes me. Because of the advice above and trying to believe it myself. I've told her a couple things I am insecure about, but I kept it very light and I mostly just enjoy the conversation and we talk. Its fun, but I think there's a good chance we will be sleeping with each other in the not so distant future and I would then be in a relationship. From the way shes talked shes just waiting on me to push it there. She said something like "just make sure you like me before you do it", so my reading of it is its more in my court than anything. Our second date we went on a hike in a nature park and it started to downpour, so we just said [censored] it and did it soaking wet. Again, amazing date and had fun. We got rushed by the park ranger closing the parking lot so I could only kiss her for a bit. Afterwards I said I learned my lesson and said should have done it earlier at this other place. She was surprised and didn't realize I was thinking about it there, because at the time she had wanted me to in that same spot, and several more. Basically shes not been sure on if I liked her and wanted me to do more, buts just waiting for me to make the moves. But she frequently says she feels safe with me now and comfortable, and says she knows but the way I talk to her that I'm not like the guys shes experienced before.

Oh, and a big thing I have noticed is we have both experienced abandonment in the past from our mothers but have almost opposite coping mechanisms from it. I keep people away and avoid talking to feel safe, whereas she talks to people to feel safe and ends up letting them in too quickly hoping they wont leave. There are other things I'm still gathering info on to understand her

I think I likely put too much in here, I was trying to get to a point of something I'm thinking and I'm just not sure how to explain it. I do really like her now and I think there's a high probability a relationship will start, but that "shut down your mind and just have a good time, you are the prize" mentality being switched on so much makes me a little anxious because there are still the opposite and old way of thinking lingering under the surface. I'm still heavily looking at things in the "I'm enjoying this and seeing where it goes. if it ends tomorrow I'll be fine, I'll jump back on the apps and try again because no one is "the one" and there are plenty of fish in the sea". Thanks for listening, sorry for the long post.
Posted By: kml

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/06/20 05:48 AM

Sounds like youíre doing just fine!
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/06/20 05:18 PM

That sounds great! Sounds like you just sat back and enjoyed yourself and let things happen as they happened.
Iím happy for you
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/16/20 10:24 PM

I think so too. Its been about a month since I've been talking to her so far. Had some really good dates. I can tell she is going to push things in the commitment area though. She likes to ask hypothetical questions of future stuff. Living together, kids interacting, I answer a decent amount of it in a way that says I'm not looking to rush anything. She got annoyed with me or herself after one of these answers. I texted her a reply and she didn't respond for a while afterwards. I asked what she was thinking and she said "I'm thinking about how it really bothers me to read you say "This is super far out hypothetical discussion, but I ..".. But its my own crap making me feel that way and you're right".

Eventually I think she got annoyed even more and told me marriage and a committed relationship is the end game for her and she needed to now if that wasn't for me so she wasn't wasting her time. I said something like "I'm open to those things at some point in the future, but right now I'm content with getting to know and not wanting to rush anything. My history before was to rush into these things and I wont do that again, so that means IF anything progresses to that point, its going to be very slow going and not anytime soon". I think she accepted that, but I don't think she really has accepted how long that might take. Funny enough, I'm sure shes now waiting to have sex, lol, even though she talks about it and I know she wants to. She just wants the commitment more. Its very interesting to be on this side of the relationship and comfortable in myself and not giving in to what she wants just to be in a relationship, comfortable being along, comfortable walking away if needed.

I think that's going to be a challenging area on what she wants though. I can already anticipate her frustration in the future and that will spill out over time, but it is what it is. It would likely be years of being in a relationship before I'd even consider talking about more than that (living together, marriage), so its not even remotely on my radar right now. (Other than looking for major red flags which I know would be deal breakers to that.) I know she likes most of the things I do now. She tells me all these things I do that are turn ons and that she likes. There is a big difference in our personalities and organization/cleanliness also, but I don't think that will be a deal breaker either, just a challenge.

We had this one date where we went to a drive in movie and then went back to her place (her son is almost always with her so that wont happen often). Anyway, we decided to watch another movie and sat next to each other on the couch. After maybe 20-30 mins we made out for a bit, which broke the little awkwardness of what to do next. So after that she just went right under my arm and laid on my chest with her legs kicked up on the rest of the couch. We just snuggled like that for the rest of the movie and I played with her hair some, which she liked. That simple physical intimacy was so nice to experience again, its been forever since I had it. I'd be connect to just have that for a while and nothing else.
Posted By: kml

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/16/20 10:54 PM

Quote
Its been about a month since I've been talking to her so far.


Quote
she got annoyed even more and told me marriage and a committed relationship is the end game for her and she needed to now if that wasn't for me so she wasn't wasting her time.


Oh for cripes sake! She's pushing for you to commit to being headed towards marriage and you've only been dating for a month???? Run. Please. Run.

I know its nice to have some companionship but this is crazy. If some guy told me after a month of casual dating that he needed to know I was interested in getting married again in the relatively near future I'd run so fast all you'd see is a blur. She's oozing neediness. If she was halfway sane and occupying her own space, she would still be evaluating whether YOU were the right guy for her. Instead she's just rushing right to the end she wants, without even knowing you that well.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/17/20 12:05 AM

Lol, yeah. Sheís not pushing for me to commit to things heading to marriage, I think she just needs to know itís a possibility and Iím not against it, especially considering Iím divorced and have been single for 6 years. She didnít say relatively near future either. I did make sure weíre both on the same page with how you canít really know someone until you have known them some time, which is why Iím very clear in kids not interacting with her for at least 6-9 months. From talking to her about her past she seems to have been with a decent amount of guys who never wanted more than sex and she got attached in the process. Sheís slept with 19 people and only had 4 relationships that she would call a boyfriend. Iím still processing how I feel about that, it might bring up some insecurity for me, but thatís my issue. Anyway, Thatís whatís she wants now, the ďrelationshipĒ. Honestly even the guys sheís dated didnít sound like that great of situations. The best being a guy who let his mother move in with them and he eventually choose his mother over her after 2 years of dating. She did say she knows the other things take time to really know, so itís not something we should talk about but it helps her understand me to at least know some generals. But I agree at the same time. there is a level of neediness and I feel it. Iím not running, Iím interested in getting to know her more and even actually being in a relationship, but the rest I have clear boundaries in that wonít be pushed
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 09/25/20 04:09 PM

I get where she is coming from given her experiences Fogg. Taking what you say at face value, sheís basically telling you that she is hoping to find a life partner and she would eventually like to be married. She is getting attached and she doesnít want to get any more attached if you are someone who wouldnít consider that in the future. I think that is fair and itís being open and honest about what she is looking for. If those previous guys had done the same (i.e. ďIím here for a good time not a long time.Ē), her number might be a lot smaller.

Letís face it... no one gets to middle age without having some ďbaggageĒ left over from previous relationships. Up to you to decide if that is a deal breaker or not which is all you can really do in addition to keeping your boundaries clear. If you do that, youíre good.

Best of luck!!! (((HUGS)))
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 10/11/20 05:28 PM

Thanks Deja, I think most of what she was wanting to know is reasonable too. I just needed her to understand I'm not looking for those things right now, but I would be open to them at some point in the future. Also, I stressed its going to be slow for me to get there, maybe painfully slow. She agreed its not something she wants to talk about right now or plan for, we both agree those are things that need time to make sure its even a good fit long term. Basically she just wants to make sure she's not going to invest time with someone's who's 100% against marriage. Which I think is a totally reasonable thing to want to know before catching feels for someone.

The last month has been really nice, yet challenging also. I cant express how strange it is to be dating like this. I'm learning a lot of my own reactions from past experiences and working through them. We've had some things come up that are differences between me and J (I guess I will call her J from now on) that caused some frustration. I seriously questioned twice so far if this was for me, if she was a good fit. Processing through the feelings I eventually realized none of them were deal breakers. In fact, I think they were more misunderstandings and still learning each other than anything. She had some also. What I liked the most was that we talked through them after we both realized there was some frustration happening. Neither of us were judgmental and talking made things feel so much better. We've even talked about love languages and differences in how both of us operate. I think the thing that struck out to me the most was her actually wanting to learn my love languages (quality time and physical touch), and caring. It feels so foreign for someone to care and I know how off that sounds. Its just such a strange feeling for me, that someone else cares.

This analogy came up with my ex, something I talked to with a close family member about also. (Side note: it is sooooo strange when I talk about things with me ex that I've somehow normalized, yet when people hear the details they seem horrified. I guess I didn't know things were so bad, or maybe I did and repressed it?).

Anyway, The last 6 years of our marriage it was a chore to do anything with me, I was pushed away from anything physical touch related and quality time consisted of sitting in the same room together at most. Me touching her invoked such a negative reaction. That her (ex) being annoyed, jerking away, pushing me away, getting pissy with me. In bed if I wanted to roll over and hold ex I would sometimes get elbowed in the ribs and pushed away, shamed for bothering her. I raved that physical connection, but was frequently denied it. So the analogy being a cookie jar (the innuendo fits also..). If over the course of 6 years the majority of the time I reached for a cookie I would get my hand smacked, yelled at, shamed. Eventually I learned its wrong for me to even want the cookie, much less go or ask for it. So this relates to a story of how I figured this isn't normal and how I react now. J invited me to go camping with her a few weekends back. Just for reference, we did have sex prior to this. Anyway, we didn't really do anything on the trip. So towards the end we both realized she wanted me to make a move first day, but I was anxious about pursuing her and interrupting her trip. I felt like I was intruding in her space and I didn't know how to deal with that due to my past of being rejected and shamed for just wanting to be physically close to ex. So she went to sleep frustrated the first night because she thought I didn't want her, and second day I had a similar frustration because of some things she did thinking she didn't want me. In the past she's dated guys who were dicks and always pursued her sexual, so it was new for her to be around me who wants that (but is anxious because of the past) but also wants more than that. Knowing her past I didn't want to be the guy who just pushes for that. So it just put me in a weird place of now knowing what to do.

The last morning I woke up early ( I wake up easily 2 hours before she does on average) and I so wanted to roll over and just hold her. I went for a walk for about an hour and came back to lay down more. I laid there for a good 30 minutes just considering rolling over to hold her, just doing it regardless of how she might react. Eventually I did and she didn't jerk away from me or anything bad. Before leaving that day we both talked and realized that BOTH of us really wanted that physical fun..., but we're still learning each other and thought the other didn't. It sounds stupid, but I have so much anxiety over simple thing like holding her hand or rolling over and holding her (or at least I did), and all of it was because of how things went with my ex.

Since then we've had a lot more open talk and been so much closer and open with each other. This morning she was annoyed because she has a work thing on my birthday next week and wanted to do something for me. Again, I found it confusing at first. I've kind of give up on anyone caring about days like that for me. In the past ex rarely planned anything, even gift wise she would just ask me what I wanted. It felt like it annoyed her to be bothered to do it. So I stopped getting my hopes up anyone would care, and I expect nothing. So for J to want to do those things, it feels good. Even the thought of her wanting to do something felt like more than I've gotten in so long.

The way the R with my ex has conditioned me is going to take some time for me to unlearn. Not to talk badly about her, but it feels like I'm some stray dog in the kennel that's been abused for years. Finally someone is warm and kind to me, and while it feels so good, its taking me time to process it. There's been other things she's said that just warmed me so much. Little things that made me feel safe. That's the best word for it, just safe. That being said I also know what phase of a relationship I'm in and I know there will be challenges, nothing is easy. I know some of her past and I realize it will come back (snapping at people and some selfishness). These are things she's admitted to me and said they're things she's worked on for years now, things I can tell she doesn't want to do anymore. So, while I realize people aren't perfect and I will see these things, just as she will probable see some of my flaws too. It gives me hope both of us are at least aware of them and want better for ourselves.

I've also held out on making the relationship official, she's been waiting on me to make the next step. I'm sure I'm going to this week though. It would be 2 months of dating, so I feel that's a good place to do so.
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 10/11/20 09:26 PM

Iím
Glad things are going well
For you and your new lady. And Iím glad she allows for a safe space to work through your insecurities driven by your past.

Your nervousness and overthinking around physical touch and cuddling is like my insecurity around being comfortable saying Iím in a relationship or I have a boyfriend and embracing it. Because there have been more than a few I have dated who couldnít admit to that.

I get it. Very much. I also get what a beautiful thing it is to hve a safe place to comfortable
Face those insecurities. Very happy for you
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 10/13/20 01:09 PM

Ginger, I think she has a similar anxiousness with calling someone her boyfriend. I can see it in the words she uses, she seems anxious about it to the point of almost not believing it will ever happen. Admitting I'm realizing my own attachment style, (disorganized), which ends up being a combination of anxious and avoidant, so I can tell that impacts her style some. I started working with a new IC yesterday that should help in all interpersonal relationships, its something the IC that helped me work through the eating disorder recommended me for. I really like this IC too, I immediately clicked with her in the first hour we talked.

But anyway, with J, when I do make a comment about something a little further out (like us doing a trip sometime next year) she melts and I can see her light up and get super excited. But it totally makes sense she would have that reaction to being anxious about it with her past. She had a FWB (that I think she even started) that she caught heavy feelings for. It lasted 3 years, she got really attached to him and he really only used her for sex and treated her badly. Most of her other partners were similar with not committing.

So, since this feels like a safe place to air out the issues I am having. (WARNING: ADULT TOPICS AHEAD) And this is EXTREMELY uncomfortable for me to talk about. But I seem to be having some ED issues during adult fun. To the point of it not making penetration possible at all. J is very understanding and wants me to feel comfortable. I feel like I can even talk to her about it and she doesn't make me feel bad about it, but I still do feel like it is. Not to get into too many details, but I've found another way to get her off that she didn't even think was possible because no one else could do it even when they tried. As strange as this sounds to (I've heard something similar from someone else) but it seem most guys don't seem very interested in the woman and just want the sex part, whereas I totally pursue anything and everything that feels good for her. So I realize there are definitely things I do (or like to do) that most guys don't seem to want to put the effort into, and it seems to confuse her in a very good way. Almost like she cant believe I would like it? But she really likes it. But even so, as a guy, not being able to perform in the main way feels like I'm a failure and broken. I'm not exactly sure why. I know at some point we will figure it out., even if I need to try meds. I'm hoping its just the factor of being so new and anxiety in my mind. That and its been 6 years ( or longer really) since I've had a normal sex life. So any thoughts there would be welcome on this really awkward subject...
Posted By: kml

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 10/13/20 03:01 PM

So, there are a few different causes of ED:
Anxiety. Usually in this case you would still be experiencing spontaneous morning erections and would not have any difficulty when - um - pleasuring yourself in private.

Medications - antidepressants and some blood pressure medications are a common offender

Alcohol

Testosterone deficiency - a gradual decrease is common in men over 50. In younger men, low testosterone is often due to untreated hypothyroidism. Blood tests for testosterone levels should be done in the morning before ten a.m. when testosterone levels are highest.

Vascular compromise - atherosclerosis causes clogging of the ďhydraulic pipesĒ - unexplained ED is a reason the get screened for heart disease.

Diabetes - can cause neuropathy and/or atherosclerosis

Perineal nerve compression - often seen in avid cyclists. Split seat bicycle seats were designed to prevent this.

Bottom line - talk to your doctor. She can help you figure out what the likely cause is, and prescribe treatment and/or drugs like Viagra if indicated.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/08/20 04:15 PM

Thanks kml,

I took some time to think about what you said and also wait it out a bit to see what happens. I think it's mostly anxiety related. I don't take any medications, once in a while, but for the most part I think its fine. I have my yearly physical with my doctor at the beginning of December and I think ill mention it then. I don't necessarily think about it when were doing things, but there is some insecurity over her past physical relationships and the size of her past partners (not weight size, you know...). Basically her preference for it being much larger than average, even though I'm not average or below average. I still get insecure about it, mostly when the thoughts of her with her past partners creep into my head. I know that doesn't matter now. She tells me she likes me and it works for her, but the insecure part of me wonders. And really she told me all the other stuff we've done so far matters so much more than that one thing, and I believe that. I've found two things she REALLY likes that no other guy has ever been able to do. But even so, it seems I'm one of those guys really into her pleasure and wanting to be that best and everything. Maybe that's my issue and I need to let some of it go. A close family friend has told me that.

Onto other topics though. Things are going pretty well, dating for almost 3 months now. I'm getting pretty attached. Honesty, I think I'm falling in love with her at this point and it scares me a little. I'll talk more about that later. I've met her son already, it was something she really wanted and since it was her choice I accepted that. I knew it might cause conflict because she knew I was waiting 6 months for her to meet my kids. My kids really want to meet her, and she wants to meet them. She's doing her best to accept my timeline there, but she doesn't understand it at all and she takes it personally. She told me this yesterday when I could tell she was a little more distant in text and I asked if she was ok. She's not trying to guilt me into it or anything, but she is struggling with it and overthinking it in a personal way, and I appreciated her expressing the feelings to me. Honestly, at this point I'm not sure I want to wait 6 months either, I feel like I want it to happen sooner. Maybe by Christmas, which would be 4 months. Open to some critique here.

I know I struggle with fixing peoples emotions too, feeling responsible for them. I know I shouldn't, but the people pleaser in me wants to do something. And I'm conflicted there because we both have issues to work on that are involved here. One of her issues is she is a very stubborn woman and has a bit of selfishness, she gets bitter when things aren't the way she wants them to be. Its hard for her to understand and accept things she may not understand and agree with. She told me these things so I'm not just imagining them, and said admitted they are areas of herself she's worked on in the past and is still working on because she knows they are her problem and something that will cause issues.

So she accepts those qualities can have negative consequences, and is really trying to work through it. But its hard for her, and I feel guilty for it. I did appreciate that she said and its important for me to know she's working on them.
I also told her I'm actually attracted to some stubbornness and its not all bad, it just has some bad qualities. Apparently that's my type, my ex-sil told me this the last week. Ex'sil told me "Me and H noticed you have a type, J carries herself similar to ex and the stubbornness can come across as bitchy at times". I'm not sure how I feel about that, lol. But its true, there are some good qualities of stubborn people I am attracted to, but the negative qualities are hard for me to deal with. Like someone always wanting things their way and not being open to what I want or at least trying to understand me. I think J knows this now and we're in agreement its something we can work together on.

Last thing I wanted to talk about was how I feel like I'm falling for her. It scares me in a way to get too attached. Part of the reason is J has expressed she has some walls up in like and she notices other people can get much closer to others than she can. She gave the example of her grandmother, whos she's really close to. She has no relationship with her own mother, so her grandmother is like a mother to her. However, she said she noticed how her sister and her grandmother seem to have a much closer relationship and she's not sure why she cant have that same closeness to people. Childhood issues, I can relate in a way. Anyway, it makes me wonder if that's what will be between us. Never a super close relationship and instead walls are kind of up? Am I being crazy here? I know its early, so I cant expect that just yet, even though we are close and communicate relatively well. I just wonder if even as time goes by, maybe i'll always question that and wonder if I love her more than she loves me? idk.

Speaking of communication, I am seeing another IC dealing with interpersonal relationships and I'm starting to realize more of my role in unmet needs from the past. Basically, I don't directly ask for my needs, because I'm fearful of them being rejected. That's my history from a kid, if I had a need and expressed it, I would get shut down. So it was safer to not express it at all, or go a roundabout way of trying to get it met without asking. An example would be I have a bad day and want to see J before I go to sleep. Instead of saying "I had a bad day, can we spend a little time together?" which is what I want, I would say "Do you want me to come over for a bit before I go to sleep tonight?". Instead of asking directly for what I want/need, I put it on the other person and hope they understand it. But that's not effective because I'm not communicating with them and instead I'm setting it up to fail.
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/08/20 05:22 PM

I donít know how you guys walk around with those things...lol. Re: ED. I would take J at face value when she said it didnít bother her too much. As long as you are open about it so she doesnít interpret it as lack of interest. Your post about being too afraid of rejection to follow through with your urge to reach out to your SO really resonated with me. I remember feeling that way a lot towards the end of my M. I had a gut feeling that something was off so I just swallowed whatever desire I had (sexual or otherwise) and kept to my side of the bed (on the odd occasion he was actually in it). I think that fear contributed to the demise of the M so I have made a promise to myself that Iím just going to go for it and if I get rejected, that is still better than not being true to myself and what I want or need. Early days in my R but so far so good. It is good you are talking to her about it Fogg...that will make all the difference in the long run.

Your last paragraph about passive communication is so spot on. I think this is a really bad habit that so many people have. The thing is... a ďnoĒ in either situation would still feel like a rejection but at least the first one is honest. The second one, IMO, is a set up and even though it feels safer, it actually isnít. I think it is great that you have insight into this. If you can change this one thing, it will go a long way towards improving your relationships and your own self image.

Stubbornness, IMO, has a negative connotation. Strong in their beliefs is a different thing. I consider myself to be a fairly strong person in terms of my beliefs but when it comes to my partner, Iím always open to hearing their perspective and trying to find a middle ground if possible. Context, of course, is important as there are some things in life that are non-negotiable and shouldnít be. The bitchiness comment from your XSIL is a little concerning TBH. I think most people try to put their best foot forward when getting to know a SOís family members so the fact that she comes across as bitchy to them would give me pause.

You always questioning her feelings for her may be more about you than it is about her. Is that a neediness thing or a love language thing? Cause if it is a neediness thing, you should probably spend some time learning about self-differentiation in relationships. IDK... only you can answer that. In terms of love languages... I am someone who needs physical affection to feel close to someone. Iím not just talking about sex...thatís only one aspect and not as important to me long term. It is more about the little things... hand holding, hugs, kiss on the forehead, etc... Luckily my bf is the same way so we compliment each other in that regard. If he was someone who didnít want that or want to do that for me, that might be problematic. Do you know what makes you feel loved and what makes J feel loved? Is this something you can provide for each other?

Re: feeling close to your SO. Closeness comes from being vulnerable with someone and having them be vulnerable with you in return. If only one of you can do that, the R will start to feel one-sided over time. So I donít think you are crazy. My advice would be to give it more time and to keep communicating. If it feels like things havenít progressed in that regard a year in, then it might be time to reevaluate. (((HUGS)))
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/08/20 06:20 PM

Hey buddy! Iím going to chime in just a little, but I will warn you, take what I say with a grain at salt because I clearly am not successful at relationships , but here I go.

Iíve tried to do everything by ďthe bookĒ in dating relationships after divorce with kids. Iíve also not done them by the book, and both have honestly yielded the same results.
However, my take on introducing kids. Doing it before you have really really been dating and gotten to know eachother over a course of time is not the best idea at certain ages in my opinion. I do think it is ok to introduce before the 6 month period, but not spend a whole bunch of time together in a ďfamily like ď setting. Because if things donít workout, it is really really hard on the kids. They lose a family. And itís tough on them. It doesnít mean they canít meet, but becoming one big happy family fast is detrimental.

I have a confession. I checked your new lady out. Hehe. That woman is totally into you from a SM standpoint. She thinks you are a god. ( and for good reason, you are quite a catch) I think she has your big happy family planned already. And thatís probably why she is a bit stubborn on not seeing things on a different light. She might have things planned out a bit already. And she probably doesnít like anything to really get in the way of how she has things planned out
I donít say that to scare you, but just to have some insight on why she canít see outside of how she feels things should be.

As far as Falling for her. You are and thatís great! Itís the way it should be in the beginning. Totally smitten! Wanting to spend much time together. The importance is to recognize it for what it is, go slow and let it grow. Donít fight it...... but donít ďactĒ on limerance. As in donít make huge decisions based on the new lovey dovey feeling. Absolutely embrace wanting to be close to someone who wants to be close to you. Thatís my regret in past relationships. I didnít let that happen. Embrace what you have which is a new relationship with a girl who is totally into you, and you are totally into.

And I definitely agree with passive communication. I was so guilty of that out of fear of rejection for so long. I was afraid to state my wants in fear of them not wanting the same. I just didnít want to be rejected. And it wasnít healthy.

I guess if I could give any advice. Let things happen naturally. And trust yourself. Always trust yourself
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/09/20 03:15 PM

Deja,

Being in this relationship and working with the what those things were, especially while taking time to process the R after it was done instead of jumping into a new one. I'm seeing more now, or maybe just finally understanding them in a deeper way. The communication thing I see was a big issue. I knew we didnt communicate well, but I didnt realize how many habits I had formed over the years with ex.

Another thing came up that J asked me about a week or so ago. I went to my ex-sil for advice on how to handle something early on, me and J talked about it afterwards to work through it. its still a source of insecurity for me, but it is what it is and I'm handling it pretty well. Anyway, J asked if we have relationship problems I come to her to work through them instead of family or friends. She doesn't like that other people can introduce their own opinions into our R and she would prefer we figure it out together instead. I didn't understand that at all and I told her I needed time to think about it, but that I would and we can discuss another time. She said if its something we cant figure out together maybe a compromise we go to someone else together. I listened and validated her thoughts, and it made sense why she would think that, but I still wanted to think about it more to really understand what that meant. What scenarios that would involve and what was more ok to discuss with outside people. I'm still considering it, but a thought came to me today that tied it together and clicked in my head. I'm so used to not communicating my needs because they have never been met, that I just automatically do not communicate them at all. So in the same way I don't tell someone what I want/need from them, because I expect it to be rejected, I don't go to them to resolve problems, because I automatically think I have to fix it or just accept it. Because that was my history. It really was an eye opening thought to have. It makes me question even writing things here, lol. I think there's probably a balance of going to outside people for advice and venting? idk, need more time to process.

And to clarify, my ex-sil didn't say J was bitchy. She was commenting on general stubbornness and how that can look bitchy in some people. I might experience that with J, and she might with me too. She's admitted she can be mean about certain things and doesn't always mean to be. I've seen some of her stubbornness come out that has bothered me and I'm discussing it with her so we can find ways to work together. But anyway, she seems willing to work with me on that and my communication, and that feels like so much more than I've had before.

As for me questioning her feelings, I'm sure its a mix of love languages and neediness. More so neediness. I mean, the woman is literary thinking about a future together being married with me, has told me all these things on how much better I am than her ex's are, has told me I found something in bed that she really liked (2 actually) and both are things no one else has EVER been able to do, and that it was the only time she ever felt fully satisfied to the point of just being done. All of that and yet I hone in one the one thing (her past partners have all been on the large side, and certain feelings with that) and that makes me insecure and wonder if she likes me. Like wtf am I thinking? lol So yeah, I see most of that is my problem to figure out. The small part that's not is the words of affirmation Love language. (Physical touch is my other, she is low in physical touch but very receptive to me touching her and she asks a lot of questions about it and seem to love my touch to her). But, even thought we both share words, she struggles with how to use her words in that way. I know how J feels loved and wanted, I am doing both of them (acts and words). I think its harder for her to do the same for me because it doesn't make sense to her, but I think she's thinking and trying to. I think she does hold back a bit too, because she's afraid of me leaving. Again, I feel ridiculous for overthinking if she likes me with all of that.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/09/20 03:29 PM

Ginger,

Chime in anytime! I appreciate everyone here and their thoughts on what I'm doing. I'm still questioning the kids being involved. I wonder if trying to add in a meet and greet and not moving to the heavier hanging out by all of us, will just cause more confusion for J. She already doesn't understand it, she's trying, but doesn't and takes it personal. If I let kids meet her in a month, but then keep it moving slow for 2 more months, maybe she will take that in the wrong way too? I'm just not sure. I think realistically I'll wait until near Christmas and then do it, that will be 4 months. Maybe I can express to her then I want to just move things slow and not hang out too much. A slow and gradual shift.

I see where she has everything planned out, she makes some comments of what she wants and asks how I think certain things will work. There will definitely be challenges with it, and I'm still looking to see how she handles certain things so I know we can work through those later things. I think she can and will, but I'm still being a little cautious because I want to communicate those things to her as I figure them out in my head. I assume you read the longer fb message she did when I asked her to be my GF? I was totally not expecting that at all, nor the conversation in the car after I did. I panicked a bit, lol. I struggled for a little while, especially when I questioned in the past if I was emotionally unavailable and would possible stay single forever. I know that's not the case anymore, I just want to make sure I don't repeat the same mistakes from my past and going slow is what helps me with that. Also, I'm really enjoying things happening naturally and I just want to enjoy all of that, like you said.
Posted By: AndrewP

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/09/20 03:59 PM

As the poster child for taking things too fast and getting in over my head, just make sure that you are comfortable where all of this is going and the speed that it's going in.

Parts at least of your story sound familiar to me where your new GF thinks you are wonderful, so much better than everyone else and is seemingly wanting to move things along at a break-neck pace.

In my case I waited about 3 years before dating and have been in this situation twice now.
Posted By: DonH

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/09/20 09:18 PM

I've not followed you all too closely, but then as I explored more, it appears all of this is still very new - even though it doesn't read that way. I was suspecting things were moving really fast. Then Andrew came in and somewhat verified that thought for me. And if Andrew thinks it's going fast - wow, trust us, it's going fast.

It is very interesting to me how often when I read people talking about "taking things slow" or wanting to take things slow, more often than not, it's anything but slow.

So, from what I can tell, this budding R has been going on for about two months - 8 to 10 short weeks. Or putting it a few other ways for context - you've been dating for about 16% of a year. Or 1.5% of a decade. Or about 1/5th of one percent of a lifetime. In other words, you barely know each other yet.

Hmmmmmm, now contrast that with her stating, "how much better you are than any of her ex's." She knows in just 10 weeks? So she had a great time with you in bed. Okay, well, that's nice - especially given what you've bravely admitted about ED.

I don't know her, or you for that matter, but for me, this all seems much more about the fantasy going on inside of her head than anything else. She's not thinking this through at all. She's infatuated. In lust perhaps. Not truly in love. How could she be after such a short time? Although, I'll bet you a paycheck she's already telling you she loves you - or similar words to that effect.

I seem to keep seeing this happen all over - certainly here in Surviving the Big D - where things seem to go from zero to 100 in weeks. Oh, of course, they don't think they are going fast - claim they want to take things slow, but c'mon. Maybe it's me, and given how many times I've witnessed it now it may well be me, but I thought this type of thing happened to teenagers in high school - not middle aged adults who have been through multiple serious R and most have been married. Yet, bang, the new Mr or Ms wonderful crosses their path and it's off to the races - he/she is THE ONE!!!!!!!!!

I can really only speak for me but from my view, I see a whole lot of discussing and brain time being dedicated when really you should just be enjoying the early, very early, stages of getting to know someone. What the heck is the damn rush? You are very correct in thinking kids should not be interacting before 6 to 12 months. Notice, it's not 6 months - that should be the absolute minimum (according to those way smart than myself) - a minimum you are already getting talked into cutting by about 1/3 - why? And for the record, I agree with Ginger in that it's not a moral sin for kids to meet someone in passing for a minute or two. "This is my friend Cherry, oh nice to meet you, nice to meet you too, I like your cute little doll," or whatever and move along. That will not hurt any child. It's when hours are spent together, she spends the night, she interacts with the kids, you all go on vacation together or spend the holidays together. That's where things can get really bad if things go south between the two adults.

So why is she pushing so hard? You suspect she may be needy - I'd say you are very much on target. You may well be an amazing great guy and a super lucky catch for a woman - but there is no way any woman can know that for sure in 10 weeks. Yet, she clearly seems to have decided this and has planned her fairytale with and around you. That would scare the heck out of me - but then again, I am much more attracted to a woman who is confident and comfortable in her own skin and is not about to go all in with me or anyone until I earn it and prove myself worthy. You clearly are not having to do that. Heck you evidently are the greatest in bed even with all the parts not fully working yet. That tells me it's clearly in her head. It would not matter much what you do or don't do, she's somehow already decided you are the one.

I mean, that's great for you. The coach - OMG, we've not referenced the Coach here in months - says it's much easier to have an R with someone who already likes you. So that part is good and a reason to keep going. What it is not is the only hurdle. Make her prove herself to you. Make her show that she is worthy OF YOU. Make sure she checks off YOUR boxes. What you should not, under any circumstance, do is allow her to push or force your timeline faster than you are comfortable with. You don't think it's a good idea to introduce your kids - I can tell you don't. You're just doing it to appease her. Not good. I don't know what all happened on social media but it doesn't seem good either. Any woman this all in and this certain, this fast, is very likely needy, or a bunch of other things. It's also much more common than not that when they are all in this fast, they are quickly all out just as fast.

Slow this down. Enjoy early dating. Just because some people get engaged in three months does not mean the world has changed and this is now the new normal. Don't change who you are or what you believe for this or any other woman. Oh, for certain, compromise is needed in any R - it's just really soon to be talking about this or any other deep subjects. You're still in the very early stages of dating a new person. Please don't treat it as anything else.
Posted By: Fogg

Re: If I knew where I was going I'd lose my way - 11/09/20 11:41 PM

Andrew/Don,

You both have some comments that are spot on, I know things are going fast in many ways with J. I'm not denying that. There are things I do/say that contribute to that, and yes, some of it is to appease. I'm working on those things with my IC. Because having healthy interpersonal relationship's is something I have lacked in the past and I just do not have the skills there, yet. I am avoiding making any big decisions with her anytime soon I'm actually in the process of buying a house, I put an offer in yesterday! And knowing that neither of us can move for several years due to that, and neither house could support us living together, I think its safe to assume we wont be crossing that boundary anytime soon.

A little history, maybe that helps. Ex was my high school sweet heart, married for nearly 10 years. BD was in 2014, D finalized mid 2016. I've had no serious relationships since then. Even dating has been very minimal. I took time away from it to focus more on my kids and school (finished an MBA).

As for J, we have been dating nearly 3 months now as you said. She does have an idea of what she wants marriage wise, because its something she's always wanted and she's getting anxious with her age (doesn't want to be a "wrinkly" 40 year old bride). She is caught up in the fantasy of it, and to be fair I'm caught up with it some also. to some degree that's do you have those feelings in the beginning of a R. She's 32 now and for the most part she is looking for reassurances if she keeps going with this R it wont be 6+ years before I propose, IF we get there. It doesn't help she's a wedding photographer, so weddings are something she's ALWAYS around and she sees some couples wait that 6-8 years before they even start the process and that bothers her. I wish I could explain to her M isn't everything, it wont be the fantasy she thinks it will be. The R is really more important. We talked about how you don't really know someone until maybe 9 months into a R, so you cant be discussing those long term things this early. To some degree she agreed with me and said she doesn't want to rush that, she said her timeline ideally would be to date someone for 1-2 years, and then be engaged for 1-2 years. But I know, words don't always match the actions.

I will not be getting married again in 3 months either! I proposed to my ex after 3 months and I know first hand that doesn't work for me. Maybe it does for some, but not me. I also don't believe in "the one" anymore. Sure, I think any two people could create a bond and fall in love, but it does take time to get to that point. I say I'm falling in love now, but I'm fully away its the infatuation and feeling type of love, and not the long term "choose someone when [censored] is hard" type. She has not told me she loves me either, just to be clear. Actually she has some walls up and is blunt with saying things, so I'm not showered by those compliments all the time. But once in a while she does tell me all that she likes about me. Most of her ex's have been guys only interested in sex and some just used her for sex and [censored] buddies.

Anyway, back to timeline. I basically told her I knew for a fact I wouldn't be in a place to propose sooner than 2 years, and if that was an issue for her, she needs to figure it out now. I wasn't exactly happy to put a timeline around it, because again, this is the time to get to know her and I am enjoying that part, and I cant know how I will feel in 2 years. I eventually said I think there's a possibility in 2-4 years of dating and another 1-2 of engagement I'd might be to that place where I could commit to more, but there's no guarantees and only time would determine that. It annoyed me to even say that, but I did try to give her some reassurances that I'm not going to NEVER want that again, because I think its reasonable for her to ask if I was interested in it at some point, but the timeline I don't think is because neither of us can know for sure. I fully agree we should be enjoying things now and getting to know each other, I've said this to her a couple times now when something related comes up. I agree both of us need time to get to know each other.
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