It’s so easy to call the plays when you’re not in the situation at hand. I know because I called them many times. I would console my friends on what they should or shouldn’t do or play the “If it were me I would…” game. Well guess what, it is me. In one breath I will say: together for 16+ years, married 10 of those, divorced for 4+ years, 3 beautiful daughters, had to start a good portion of my life all over again. Phew!
So how did I move on? For starters, I had to lose weight, so I joined a gym and dropped 25 pounds. Of course it helped I wasn’t eating, but that came in time. Next, I bought new clothes because my pants and shirts were suddenly one or two sizes too big. Then I moved onto patronizing the restaurants and bars with several friends. After dating several women I was quickly reminded why I got out of the dating scene and got married to begin with.
What I’m leaving out is the psychological anguish I was experiencing throughout all of this and how I was wishing everything could have been as it once was. Well, maybe not everything but you get the gist. I found myself in conversations with my dates mentioning my ex or the reason why it ended. Needless to say those dates didn’t go far, until I met a fantastic woman with a similar experience.
We hit it off quickly and everything was great, just like the beginning of every “this is the one” relationship. I believe they call this the honeymoon period: everything is so new and you have so much to talk about you wish it would last forever. Let’s fast forward to June 2014, when she moved in. Now I’ve never been in a relationship where I lived with someone and always considered myself more of a lone lobo than anything else. So when the topic of moving in was brought up, I was giving mixed messages. I’ve never been great at getting to the point in my personal life, but in my professional life I've had no problem getting to the point.
Things were fine in the beginning, but I found myself wishing I could be alone and spend more time with my friends without the guilt of not spending time with her. She was definitely a homebody and always looked forward to spending time with me on a constant basis. Smothering, maybe, but it came from a good-hearted place and she was great with my kids.
We’ve been together for 3+ years now and in the last few months I’ve continued to have this feeling of wanting more space, which she has been better about understanding. For starters she agreed that she needs to make her own plans to go out with her friends and start yoga, something she enjoys doing but hadn't made time for.
I recently went to Florida on my own to clear my mind - if you’ve never gone on vacation by yourself, try it. This was my first time and honestly I really enjoyed it. Everything is on your own time and you have plenty of time to think and reflect on your issues. I came back more relaxed with a clearer mind. I may not have been “cured” of my need for space, but I really want to take it one day at a time rather than worrying about what tomorrow brings. Things have been better since I got back, but I also understand that could change and with change an open dialogue needs to happen. Rather than sending mixed messages, I need to get to the point and just say it. You know, just like I would in my professional life.
I’m learning everyday how to move forward with sites like this and by speaking with my friends. Understanding is one thing, but putting things into practice is another. At the end of the day I just want to be happy, and sometimes that may come without any degree of certainty that the decisions I make will be the correct ones. Until then, “Get busy living or get busy dying” – Shawshank Redemption