I watched a story this morning about the enduring friendship of five men. They have been friends for 50 years and will have attended all 50 Super Bowl games. Without going into detail, at times they have had to help each other through difficult times in order to make it happen.
I wonder where friends like that exist? In our world of texting and no real face to face time will friendships like continue to be developed? There is so much communication that takes places in the tone and intonation of our voice and body language which can never be translated to characters in a text.
I often wonder how I misread the women I believed to be my friends. Fully expecting their emotional support during and after my divorce, it was as though they had never truly been my real friends. Even after 20 plus years they turned their backs on me. My real friends didn’t abandon me even during my most difficult time. Unfortunately none of them live by me, so when I’ve been in need of a warm hug, handholding and just the company of a friend they sadly aren’t available.
So I bought You can’t lie to me by Janine Driver, lie detection expert for the FBI, CIA and ATF. They must have given me clues that their friendship wasn’t what I believed it to be. And clearly my ex-husband was lying all the time about what he was doing and I either ignored the signs or didn’t recognize them. I will do everything in my power never to be duped again by anyone.
We read stories everyday of women that have been abused by a man. And sadly these women tend to repeat bad choices and go from one bad relationship to another. For anyone with a solid self-esteem and self-worth, it is incredulous that any woman would stay in such a damaging relationship. Here is something that so many people fail to understand; the abuser rarely walks in and begins the abuse immediately. There is physical abuse and emotional abuse. They go hand in hand but emotional abuse can happen without physical abuse. That is my story.
Why didn’t I share? I was embarrassed and ashamed. Slowly over time my sense of independence was destroyed. Over time the belief I was lovable was destroyed. Day by day comments, looks, turning things around so I would begin to question myself believing somehow I caused him to cheat and having my concerns being dismissed and ignored regularly created a complete sense of instability. If my ex-husband was home I was always tied up in knots because I was worried I wasn’t making him happy. When he was out-of-town I was tied up in knots because I worried about what he was doing. Should I have left years ago? Of course, but he didn’t reveal his true-self all at once. He did itslowly over time. Think of a bucket being filled by one drop of water at a time. It takes a long time before the bucket overflows. So don’t judge your friend who finds herself in my position. Listen to her. Don’t rebuke her for not leaving sooner. Hug her. Offer support anyway you can. Don’t exclude her because she is no longer a couple. And certainly do NOT remain friends with her abusive ex-husband.
If I could give advice to any woman who is living with a narcissist, it would be to read as much as you can about narcissism and how narcissists manipulate their victims. I would encourage her to find someone to share any secrets i.e. his cheating, his addictions, his crimes. Had I come forward the first time I found out what he was doing, I might have received support from my friends. However the shame he created in me, kept me silent. Silence is a killer. It kills your spirit. So speak up. Leaving is scary. I am facing homelessness at 56 because I was a stay-at-home mom and with no full-time work experience since 1984, I can’t get any business to take a chance on me.
Why do I write about this again? I write about this again because I can’t just dump the over-flowing bucket of abuse. It leaves as slowly as it came. Now I have a small hole in the bottom of the bucket and daily a little more of it drains out. It is just going to take time, a lot of time. Sadly I don’t have time when it comes to a job. While my ex enjoys a life in the lap of luxury, ignores his children and pretends he never destroyed lives, I work to survive and they learn to accept life as fatherless children.
I read this book years ago and then watched the movie. I needed a third foreign language film to fulfill the Experience Passport task. I decided to see if I could find this movie and lucky me, it was available on Amazon Prime.
It is an interesting love story between the youngest daughter of a traditional family and a young man. Tita is forbidden by her mother to marry Pedro because as the youngest daughter she is required to stay unmarried and care for her mother until she dies. In order to stay near Tita, Pedro marries her sister. Of course she is broken-hearted.
She puts all her emotions into her cooking and in turn the food is filled with her emotions. The diners are affected by some mystical connection to Tita’s emotions. Strange things happen. Some sad, some funny.
In today’s busy world I think we often times forget the power of food. The power that a homecooked meal shared with family and/or friends can hold. It offers a chance for conversation and connection. Real connection and not a quick text message. I even have fallen into the trap of texting rather than actually picking up a telephone. Being in the midst of a major life change, I think the lesson I can learn from Like Water for Chocolate is that it’s important never to give up on family and love.
As part of my Experience Passport I am watching 3 foreign language movies. I watched Farewell my Queen. It is a French film. But rather than selecting another movie, I decided to watch some episodes of a foreign TV show. As a subscriber to AcornTv, I chose Helppo elämä, a Finnish TV show.
Immediately I realized that nothing about the language sounded remotely familiar. Of course there are subtitles, but I didn’t expect the language to sound so “foreign”. I know that sounds silly but I’ve tried to learn French since I was 12 and I live in Texas so I hear Spanish everyday. I also hear variations of other languages but Finnish is definitely the most unique language I’ve heard.
I searched online and learned it is most closely related to Estonian and Hungarian. Now my ignorance of geography was highlighted. I had assumed because Finland is Scandinavian that the language would be related to Norwegian, Danish or Swedish. I pulled up a map and saw that Finland is just north of Estonia and a mere 240 miles (approximate). That is half the distance from Austin to El Paso. Now it made sense.
The storyline is unusual. It follows a family in which the father is a criminal because he has a 4 million € tax debt and therefore can’t hold a regular job. Each family member has problems including a strangely vindictive mother. What I have found most unusual aside from the language, is that everyone is white. Living in a multi-cultural and multi-racial country makes life like a beautiful quilt and each piece is different and unique. I’m not criticizing the show because there are a lot of countries that are not racially diverse. And as we have slowly learned in the US, television should be a reflection of the people. While we aren’t there yet, we do have more diversity now than when I was growing up a 1,000 years ago.
It’s been fun watching a culture that sounds so different but looks so similar in clothing, furnishings and autos. Lots of Volvos and VWs. Take a chance and view the world through a new and wider lens.
I watched A&E’s tv show Intervention. It focuses on drug addicts that agree to do a documentary but in the end there is an intervention. Two things stood out to me while watching the show:
1st: I missed multiple opportunities to insist on intervention with my ex-husband and his addictions. Had I been honest with myself and my friends from the first time the police called, there might have been a chance to save him and save our marriage. But instead just like some of the family members on the tv show, I chose to ignore the seriousness of his addictions and how destructive they were and still are.
2nd: I saw too many silimaritirs between drug addiction and the way it destroys families and my depression. I don’t drink or use drugs but I’ve allowed my depression to become an addiction. I’ve taken steps to get help and I’m slowly getting better. But seeing first hand how heartbroken the families are watching their loved ones suffer and how much suffering it causes them made me realize I have to fight harder.
I have to fight every second of every day to forgive myself for allowing my ex-husband to mentally and emotionally abuse me. I have to fight to forgive myself for not leaving. I have to forgive myself for disappointing my daughters.
I have wonderful girls. They make me proud and happy everyday. They along with my son-in-law have stood by me. They have been strong and stood up to their father and refused to accept his behavior and his failure to admit his addictions and how he has hurt our family. They’ve also been strong and stood up to me and told me they know I can do better, be better and be happier.
All I can do is face the reality of my situation and fight my way back. I never deserved to be treated the way I was. I never deserved to be disrespected, ignored or cheated on. I deserve so much more.
Recently I read about the misconnect that happens when middle-aged adults enter into the online dating scene. I can’t remember where I read it but it was completely accurate.
The premise is that for most of us the last time we were dating, we were significantly younger probably in our 20s. I know it is true for me. There was no computer dating options. Now when we sign up and go online our head says I’m young. Our heart says I feel young. The same is true for men and women.
So we look at the photos and groan. These are old men. These are old women. This could be my dad or granddad. This could be my mom or my grandmother. I can’t possibly be in this age group, let me double check. Ugh it’s true. These old people are my contemporaries. It bites. It’s frustrating because society (yes it’s true whether you like it or not) give men much more leeway when choosing a partner. Men can easily marry someone much younger with little to no comment and they can marry down educationally and economically with no one saying a thing. My ex is a perfect example. He has partnered down in age, economics and education. He can because he is a man and he makes a lot of money. As I’ve always told my girls you never see a young woman with an old poor man. Money talks. Especially when it comes to dating and remarrying later in life. I suppose if I made a lot of money I would have a slightly broader choice but society still keeps women in a narrower role.
If I were to marry a younger man who had no children, people would feel bad for him because he was giving up his chance for children of his own. If I married someone with less education and less money, I would hear she must be desperate. I know times change but change is slow and I don’t believe this will change until women can have children into their 50s and 60s. An old man can marry a woman of child bearing age and still give her a family. The reverse is not true. And please do not lecture me on invitro, egg donation, adoption etc. This is an orange to orange comparison not an apple to orange one.
So I wasted $75 to join an online dating site where I now have my profile hidden. And I expect it to stay hidden until I can connect my young mind and heart to the reality of my age.
Lover of God, follower of Jesus, community volunteer
A sensual and eager lover
I will love you forever
The joke is on you, I cheated, I bought sex, I denied, I walked away and left you alone and financially destitute. I betrayed our family. I broke my daughters’ hearts. I left them behind and chose not to be their father. I stood before God and lied. Lied, lied, lied. I am Doug and I am a fallacy personified.
I’ve been a talker my entire life. So much so it’s become a reoccurring joke with my family and friends. I always thought I chattered away because I was nervous and wanted to fill the empty space. Recently another possibility was presented to me. Do I talk too much so I don’t have to recognize what I am feeling? Do I use words to cover up my emotions?
I think there is a real chance this is true. When I was married, knowing in my gut my husband wasn’t faithful and I struggled with insecurity, I talked. If was busy talking I didn’t have to admit I was feeling insecure and why. If I admitted my husband wasn’t faithful then I would have to do something about it.
When I am in a social setting and feel like a square peg in a round hole, I chatter. I don’t have to admit I’m feeling scared or worried about being accepted. The words delay having to deal with my emotions.
Just as some people withdraw into themselves to ignore their emotions, I talk over mine. It’s time I’m quiet and listen to the sounds of my heart.
After being married for 30 years, divorced for almost 3 years, I am considering dating websites. I tried them when I first got divorced but thankfully realized facing rejection from thousands of men wasn’t a good idea.
I’ve read up on what makes a good profile and it seems everyone has a different opinion. I tend to agree with the folks that say photos are the most important along with a good headline. I know if I am not attracted to the photo I don’t read the profile. The challenge is remembering I am not that twenty something girl looking for a date. I read a dating expert say that we look at profiles with our young minds. So women see old men who look like their dads and grandpas and men see old women who look like their moms and grandmas. I admit that is true for me. And then add the additional challenge that men can date down in age, economics and education more easily than women. Now before you lecture me that age is a state of mind and older women date younger men, I am talking about relationships. I am not talking about friendships or a sexual affair even though things are necessary to a good relationship but many times we experience them individually.
I read something in a novel by Louise Penny which I want to use in my profile when I do get brave enough and strong enough to try dating again. This is paraphrased from The Long Way Home by Louise Penny.
She wasn’t made for a Paris runway but for good meals and books by the fire and laughter. She was constructed from and for happiness. She helps you discover how very attractive a heart and mind can be.