It’s not easy to start over but it takes courage. Now I don’t want your praises for doing this but I want you to encourage those in similar situations to just do it. People have different reasons for starting over and I want to share my reason with you!
I met him while I was still married to my ex-husband. He had a smooth swagger about him but I really wasn’t attracted to him. He came around my work station a couple of times a week but didn’t make it obvious that he was trying to get in my pants. Our flirting continued while I went through my divorce and we started “dating”. (more like bedroom buddies) The sex was amazing and made me forget that I divorced my daughter’s father after 14 years.
I introduced my daughters after a year and moved in after two years of being “friends”. He made it clear from the beginning that he didn’t want to be married and after just divorcing neither did I. He was a bit awkward with my girls at first but he learned quickly to just go with the flow or follow my lead. We got a puppy and and added picture frames to his bachelor home. We made it a home together.
As the years progressed I began to notice small but very significant behaviors. These behaviors threw up red flags but I chose to ignore them. The first one is that he hated having his picture taken. Now I am sure there are people that don’t care to have there picture taken but I am not one of those folks. You see, these are memories captured in time for me. I LOVE having photos to look back on. In the 10 years that we were together I have maybe three photos. This doesn’t sit well with me but is easily overlooked until I start adding other red flags to it.
Another odd but thing I chose to overlook is his lack of a family bond. I won’t share his intimate family details but if you know me, you know how very important my family is to me. I literally want to be near my family every chance I get. He could take or leave his family and that has always bothered me. This was overlooked for so long that I started to feel it was normal and I know it is not! I love my family and want them in my life.
The third and very hard to miss red flag is the difference in our personalities. I am a social butterfly, talking to anyone that will listen, planner of parties, and overall outgoing person. He is a shy, quiet homebody that would rather lock himself in a dark room than make eye contact with you. I would say this is one the most difficult adjustments I made in my life because I lost many dear friends in the years I have spent with him. In the beginning we were always invited to attend but after turning the invites down one after another, they stopped coming. Then my friends didn’t reach out to me at all and now we don’t chat unless we run into each other. This makes me so sad and is the first thing I intend to change in my new life. I want lasting connections with people and I want them to reciprocate.
I am sure that my girls will tell you that there is so much more I need to share but the final thing that prompted leaving a 10 year relationship is the most important of all. I told you earlier that my girls are the most important thing in my life. That will be the case until I take my last breath. I also told you that it took a bit of warming up but he came around to being a wonderful step-father to my daughters. That was consistent until he needed to decompress and needed his alone time. For some reason he didn’t understand that you don’t stop being a parent even if you need some time alone. He didn’t understand that as a parent you put yourself second in ALL cases. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when he argued that my 15 year old could not come home on Tuesday from her dads, something that she had done for the last six months. This allowed her to break up her week with her dad. He had taken extra vacation days and didn’t want to be bothered with her. I had to tell my 15 year old that she couldn’t come to the house she calls home. That is not acceptable in any case.
This broke my heart but it turned on a fire in my mind. I didn’t argue with him about it like I usually did.(It wasn’t the first time) I started making plans instead. I borrowed money from my 401K. Once I received the check I opened a new checking account so he couldn’t track the money. I found an apartment and bought furniture. (He made me sell all my stuff) My girls will be moving in with me and we don’t have to deal with that kind of nonsense any longer. My hope is that this will show my daughters that they don’t have to put up with anything they are not happy with. I want them to see that even though it is scary it can be done.
I don’t ever want to live the life I have the past 10 years again. I will keep you updated on the move and getting adjusted to being on my own again so stay tuned to see what happened when I actually broke things off with him and moved out.
Have you ever made a big change? What made you do it and how did it turn out?