What Is Best for the Child

Image result for divorce with kids meme

I did fear getting a divorce for so long because of my daughter. Growing up, I didn’t really know any children from divorced families. The one I did know, she already had a step-father and was adopted by the step-father. So, I never wanted my daughter to grow up in a broken home.

Related image

I know – deep down – that divorcing my ex was the right decision. He brings out the worse in me, which affects my parenting for my daughter. For those two years after the divorce that I stayed with ex, I was still showing a horrible example for my daughter.

Teaching her what love looks like and how people that love you should treat you well is important. Even after I was finished with ex, I would still defend him. I would make excuses for him, because in my mind I was doing what was best for my daughter.

Related image

I realized by making excuses for ex was really not the best thing for my child. I was teaching her that if someone loves you then they treat you horribly and like your feelings do not matter. Now, the best I can do is apologize to my daughter for ex’s behavior. I can’t fix it. I can not make excuses. I cannot change it. I do not regret he is her father – the two of us made her.

Honestly, I do not know if my ex would qualify to be a “narcissistic” individual. I hear and see that term used so much that I really do not want to misuse it. I do believe he definitely has narcissistic behaviors. I do know instead of communicating with me, he lies to me or he uses my daughter as a messenger.

Image result for divorce with kids meme

There are many examples of how ex will not co-parent with me. He teaches my daughter to lie to me. He undermines me. He tries to turn her against me.

He was supposed to be gone for another week on orders. Well, that fell through. So, guess who came back on Friday? *joy…*

I did ask ex about switching days – I get my daughter for Saturday and he get her for Sunday – because we’d already had plans for this weekend. Technically, I think I had the legal right not to let him have her at all this weekend, but I am not going to behave like that.

Well, ex sends my daughter a text saying that since he is getting her Sunday he is just going to ask me if he can keep her Sunday night and take her to school on Monday morning. My daughter and I have a great relationship. She tells me what ex says. She does try to keep me inform so I’m not completely blindsided, BUT she is a child. It is not her job or her responsibility to do that.

So, yesterday when ex came to pick up my daughter I was waiting for him to ask about taking her to school on Monday. He said nothing about it. He turned to leave and said “I’ll see you later.”

Really, he is going to leave without saying anything? He needs to communicate.

So, I ask “when are you bringing her back?”

He says, “Uhh, I was kind of hoping I could take her to school on Monday.”

Me: It’s up to her what she wants to do.

My daughter hates making decisions. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. She doesn’t want to cause dramas or fights. Her and I had already discussed her staying with ex Sunday night – so I knew her thoughts and feelings on the subject. I see my daughter’s anxiety starting up. I tell her to go get all of her stuff for school.

She goes back into the house to get all of her stuff.

Me: When were you going to ask about taking her to school?

Ex: Uhh… right now.

I want to scream at him. I know he think he is being cute and funny, but I no longer find him cute or funny. I find him challenging.

Me: Well you need to start communicating with me.

Ex: I sent her a text asking her about talking to you about me taking her to school on Monday.

Me: You need to ask me. Don’t expect her to do it.

Ex: I know.

Sure he knows, but he doesn’t care. We will have the same issue in the future. Nothing is going to change.

 

 

Pick Your Battles

Image result for pick your battles meme

A tough lesson is picking your battles. I know personally, after my divorce I was so angry. Even looking at my ex mad me angry. These cute things he used to do drove me crazy (and not the good crazy like I’m crazy about you. The bad crazy like I hate you with ever ounce of my being). You know, things like telling the same stories over and over, his laugh, his voice, actually him breathing even annoyed me.

I know I complain about my ex, especially on here. I need to let out steam – some things just get to me that I worry if I do not talk about them, and vent, then I am going to fall back to where I was three years ago – so bitter, angry, depressed, suicidal. I use this format to vent about my ex most times, because here no one knows me or him. If people don’t like what I write or get tired of hearing about ex then they can chose not to read or follow. Whereas, when I tired venting to friends, if they get tired of hearing about ex I would lose friends. I can’t vent to my family really, because my mom runs to ex or she takes his side. I can’t vent to my daughter, obviously.

Image result for pick your battles meme

I do pick my battles. I stop and think about is it really worth getting into it with my ex over this. I bite my tongue and force myself to pause to make sure I’m not making more unnecessary drama for myself.

Now, some things are worth the battle. There are some things I still face. But somethings, I have given up on – most things to make ex see that he is screwing up being a father to our daughter, for example. I used to battle him on this. I would point out things. I would try to make him see, because I want my daughter to love and respect her father. But I have given up. Ex says he’s a good father – to girlfriend’s kids – because compared to their father’s yeah, he is a “good father” to them. He doesn’t do drugs. So, yeah, big improvement. I have a tad bit more expectations for what I think a “good father” should include.

I also have found that by picking my battles I am less stressed and angry about ex.

So, today’s post isn’t really about my ex. Instead, in a group for divorced moms I see and hear so much about every battle they go through. Some, yes are worth the fight. Others, no, these women are being so petty and childish.

The other day I seen a comment where a woman had went to the child’s school to eat lunch with the child. Her ex had packed the child’s lunch for the day. She took pictures of the sandwich. Her first complaint was there was no ice pack and ex had packed a ham sandwich. The next complaint was there was a small patch of mold on the bottom slice of the sandwich.  She wanted advice on what to do? What to say? She was so angry. I read through the comments. Hundreds and hundreds of comments. All of them saying they would take ex to court. He was trying to hurt the child by feeding that moldy bread. They could call police and child services because what kind of food is available in the house if that is what the child is being served that for lunch. They would take that sandwich and force feed it to ex. They would be blowing up ex’s phone. These comments went on and on.

I typed a comment:

The ice pack is no big deal. Most lunch boxes are insulated, so the sandwich will be fine. The mold is not a big deal. Maybe it was dark, or bad lighting, when he made the sandwich and did not notice the mold. Maybe they were in a rush and he did not really look at the bread. I’m sure there were other items in the lunch box that the child could have eaten without eating the sandwich and not starve the rest of the day. Or, since you were there to eat lunch with the child, why not just buy a tray from the cafeteria for the child to eat. I really doubt her ex did it on purpose.

I submitted my comment. Then, I paused. It’s like, I am the only one thinking this way. These women are like an angry mob with pitchforks and torches. Do I really want to have to defend myself and my opinion. Nope. I deleted my comment and moved on with my life. Again, picking my battles. I have defended my opinion before with that group, but this situation wasn’t worth it. Seriously.

I used to enjoy being a part of that support group, because it was a support group. I found them after my divorce had been finalized and I’d been divorced for several years. I wished I’d found them before my divorce. I think I would have been more prepared for divorce and the paperwork – that is where I have learned a lot about the legal jargon and what I wished I’d put in my decree.

But really, they are no longer the support I want. I am divorced. I am going through this post divorced life one day at a time. I know I will have questions in the future. I know I will want and need advice from someone that has lived through it – and I don’t have any divorced friends. I really don’t need advice with dating – don’t need advice when you don’t go on any dates ha-ha. But seriously, I know what red flags to look for. So, really I don’t need that support now. Maybe staying with that particular group is really holding me back from continuing to heal. I mean I hear all of these petty and angry posts. That isn’t going to help me. I can’t really offer advice, because my opinion isn’t “popular” or “what they are looking for.”

 

“Home” and Dating in your 30’s

Last night, my daughter played in the band at her first football game. It was great – brought back memories, I was in band too. Funny thing, they played the same songs we played when I first started marching. Her hair was down – usually it is in a ponytail since her hair is down to her waist. After the game, she made a comment that she wished she’d put her hair in a pony tail but she’d left a pony tail holder at home. She was with ex the night before. So, I am not sure if she was referring to girlfriend’s house as “home” or she meant my house as “home.”

Honestly, I wanted to ask. I secretly hoped she meant my house was “home.” But I kept my mouth shut. I could not question her. What if she did mean girlfriend’s house as “home?” Then shouldn’t I be happy that she feels comfortable enough to refer to that house as “home?” Should I be hurt if she doesn’t refer to my house as “home?” Maybe I’m being oversensitive.

I did ask her about her room at girlfriend’s house. I want to support my daughter and her life with ex. I want her to feel like she can tell me anything. I don’t want her to think that she has to hide her feelings – good or bad – just because it has to do with ex and girlfriend. I really don’t want any more surprises like the church conversation.

****

Image result for dating in your 30s memeImage result for dating in your 30s memeImage result for dating in your 30s meme

Image result for dating in your 30s meme

Image result for dating in your 30s meme

I have decided I suck at dating and flirting. I don’t know if I was ever very successful at flirting. I mean, in high school I also had a boyfriend and guy’s were interested. But, let’s face it, they were probably only interested because there were rumors about me being easy and ex calling me “condom queen” did not help. FYI, I never had sex in high school.

Then I started dating ex our senior year. I didn’t have to flirt with anyone except for him. Now, honestly, I think occasionally I do still catch myself flirting with ex. Maybe it is just habit? Maybe deep down I still love him?

I had two guys message me – well that were not scammers – yesterday. One, I have tried chatting with this guy and I have blocked him over and over and over. He continues to make a new profile and messages me again. He doesn’t work. He drinks and does drugs socially. He is a porn addict. The second guy, we exchanged messages. He told me about his likes. I responded. Guess it wasn’t the response he wanted because he told me I don’t sound very enthusiastic. hmm… no, I didn’t. Honestly, I wasn’t. I mean he likes spending time with friends and family. He goes bowling and plays golf. WTH am I supposed to say to that? “OMG, THAT’S GREAT! TELL ME MORE, PLEASE!!”

I’m socially awkward. I laugh at weird moments. I text “lol” when I don’t know what else to say. I don’t share or open up too much right away. I’m afraid of how I may come across if I do start talking/texting. For example, there was one guy I’d asked for a picture to make sure it was the same person and he asked if I wanted a picture of his face or penis. I joked “typical male, always looking for the opportunity to show IT off.” He blocked me. Hmm… guess I need to work on my joking/ flirting skills.

I also don’t know how to catch their attention if I message first. I mean, what you see is what you get. Figure if my pictures or profile doesn’t catch your attention then I’m not going to waste my time. So usually I send the lame message “Hello. How are you?” Or, if they have something interesting in their profile I’m respond to it.

Wish dating was easy like when I was a teenager. Now, I have to worry about liars, cheaters. I have to think about what is best for my daughter. I have to worry about my safety. I have to be paranoid of STDs and pregnancy. Dating in your 30’s is not fun.

“I Give Up”

Not going to lie, I had some horrible thoughts last night.

Yesterday wasn’t a bad day. Actually, it was a fairly typical Monday. After school, my daughter had cheer practice and then a cooking class. So, it was late by the time we got home.

I went into the kitchen to pack her lunch for school for the next day. Went to wash my hands… nothing. Shit! We have no water!!

Of course, I tried each tap in the house. Still nothing. I walked around the house – inside and outside – listening for leaks. Nothing. I looked at the water heater. Didn’t see a puddle of water or anything.

By this time, I’m panicking. What am I going to do?!? We can not NOT have water!!

Now, if I was still married I would have a guy around to help with this situation. haha.

I’m thinking, okay if it is the water heater there is no money to buy a new one. How am I going to manage that? What if I need to hire a plumber?

Of course, I am trying to think of what bills I could avoid paying for a month or two and risk late fees and final notices. I’m trying to think of what I might be able to pawn for some quick cash. I have my wedding ring set – which has been in my family for several generations – that is probably the only thing of value I own. Could I really pawn it? I’m thinking maybe I could beg ex or my parents for some money. Maybe I could go to the bank and ask for a personal loan – but, seriously,  would a bank give me a loan right now. I think to myself, if I was thinner and prettier I could easily find a sugar daddy and get some quick cash for this mess.

All of these thoughts are really starting to affect me! I went to bed – still having no water – and trying to figure out what I was going to do. A really scary thought popped into my head, if I don’t get water then I am not providing a safe environment for my daughter. CPS would take her from me. This thought really pushes my depression and anxiety over the edge. “I give up.” I cannot handle this. Every time I jump a hurdle, another one appears.

Panic and stress fuel the suicidal thoughts. Sleep was absolutely impossible last night.

About 2am, I’m still wide awake. I get on my phone. Scrolling on social media, I see a beautiful post – another person with the same water company, asking if anyone else is without water. I huge sigh of relief spills over me.

I was able to get maybe thirty minutes of much needed sleep last night. Hopefully, the water will be back on today.

It’s crazy how quickly anxiety and depression can take over. Those that do not have anxiety and don’t understand it would probably think – you really went overboard very quickly. That is how anxiety works. It takes over and a million thoughts raced at once. You feel overwhelmed. Then depressed because you feel powerless in your own life.

Just really glad it’s not an issue that is going to cost me any money – this time…

Weakness of the flesh

Image result for not today meme

Haven’t posted in awhile. Been busy with my daughter’s activities, work, and trying to catch up on sleep. Think exhaustion is taking its toll on me. Sad thing is I hope I have enough self-control.

So, I haven’t been with anyone since April. Kind of a long time, but not really. I’ve gone without sex for eighteen months – twice. It’s not fun, but it’s doable.

The other day, out of the blue, I had this HORRIBLE thought… Ready?… I actually wondered what my ex would do and say if I asked for sex from him. What?!? Why?!? What the hell is wrong with me?!? Am I that desperate?!? I do have to say, it did make me laugh. I don’t plan on doing that – or him – EVER again. I don’t find him attractive anymore. I’m not in love with him anymore.

Then the next day, I had a guy message me on a dating site. Not a bad looking guy. He is local – actually lives in the town about five minutes away. However, he is not wanting a relationship. He, of course, is just wanting to have some fun.

Temptation.

I really do want a relationship. But, some fun doesn’t sound so bad either for right now.

I did have self-control. I told him we would have to go on some dates and get to know each other. I’m sure that will run him off. Doubt any guy just looking for some fun will want to work that hard to achieve it.

Another reason being divorced and single sucks some days.

But, do have to brag about myself for a second. My detective skills are getting pretty good thanks to technology and social media. Had another guy message me. And in less than thirty minutes, I already knew his real name, place of employment, and that he was engaged. Sorry assholes, I’m not as an easy target as I may appear. Don’t waste my time.

One step forward, Two steps back

One step forward, and two steps back… That’s how I feel my healing progress is going.

Tuesday I felt so successful – I’d talked to ex about girlfriend not having a picture of my daughter (you can go and read my post titled “Success.”), and explained to ex that it hurt my daughter’s feelings that girlfriend did not have a picture. I even offered to buy a frame and a picture to give to girlfriend.

Then yesterday, all my success came crashing down around me. I found myself worrying what the hell did I do wrong? Why does ex get rewarded and I get punished?

I was loyal during our marriage. He cheated. Now, I’m single with no prospects of even getting a date, much less having a relationship. He has been with girlfriend off and on for three years. Granted, I don’t want their relationship (I was with ex for fifteen years, so I do know how he is), but at least he has someone to spend time with, have sex with, and to be with.

Girlfriend’s birthday was Tuesday. He told my daughter he felt horrible and that he was a “bad boyfriend” because he did not send girlfriend flowers to work. WHAT?!? In the fifteen years I was with him, I NEVER received flowers at work. Hell, I really don’t remember too many gifts for my birthday (which money spent was not important. I didn’t want gifts. I wanted his time. I wanted his attention. I wanted him to put his damn phone down – from texting other women – and be with me). Plus, he took my daughter to the store and made her help him pick girlfriend out some gifts – apparently spent well over $100 (again, my daughter complained because ex doesn’t spend that much on my daughter for her birthday). My daughter complained to me that she had to find the correct perfume because ex doesn’t know what girlfriend likes.

I heard all of this from my daughter. So, honestly there was some hurt (Okay, a lot of hurt — is girlfriend that much better than I am? If so, then what the hell is wrong with me? I get I have dealt with abuse and have depression as a result of the abuse. So, does that mean no one is able to love and care for someone with a past consisting of abuse? Does that mean if you have anxiety and depression then you are not worth the love and affection of others?). He feels guilty for being a bad boyfriend, but no remorse for being a bad husband or father? Seriously??

It continued to get worse. I found out that ex and my mom have been calling and texting each other. Really? My mom hated ex during our entire relationship, and now they’re friends. What the hell did I miss? Once again, why am I being punished? Ex was abusive in our relationship. We did not go visit families, he refused. Now, he is all about his family, and girlfriend’s family. Now, he is all about my family, too? My family doesn’t even call or attempt to visit me. I have to make the effort. Then it ends up being a horrible situation.

No, the failure continues.

Ex pays half of the state minimum child support that was based on his income five years ago. I agreed to it because I thought he would help out when our daughter needed something extra. Ex is full time military now. He makes good money. I have not taken him back to court to change child support. I should, I know. But I am not after his money (despite what people say and think). But it hurts that I struggle every month and he has money to burn. He complains that he has to buy our daughter stuff – school supplies, clothes. He complains to our daughter even! However, he gladly spends money on girlfriend and her three kids.

Next bit of jealously… Ex bought a third – yes a THIRD – vehicle. Seriously? I have a piece of shit car that I can’t rely on. It is definitely my money pit. Why am I being punished? Why is the universe mocking me? What life lesson do I need to learn to get over all of this hurdles?

My night ended with ex picking up my daughter from my house… in his new vehicle… with his girlfriend. Really? I am not allowed to know where she lives, but he constantly brings her to my house. I really just want to know where she lives because ex sleeps there with my daughter all of the time. What if something happens and I have to get my daughter? I don’t have a clue where to go.

After a day like that, I have to ask myself why am I being punished? When will the universe give me a break?

Then the thought of maybe I should have not failed my suicide attempt years ago. I try to be positive and I know my daughter needs me. But this divorced, single mom life sucks and is difficult.

I knew it would be hard. I had no idea that five years later it would still be this much of a struggle.

Where does my loyalty remain after the divorce?

When I was married, I was loyal to my husband – 100%. I don’t mean just being with him and no one else (sexually and romantically); I mean during issues with family. I took my husband’s side every time. I stood up for him. I protected him.

Who gets my loyalty now that I am divorced? Obviously my child gets my loyalty 100%.

But who comes next? My family or my ex?

Yesterday, my child went to camp for a few days. My car isn’t the greatest vehicle out there. I’d asked my parents if they would like to come with us and give us a ride. Of course they could have said “no.” Honestly, I was surprised when they did not decline the request! Even yesterday when they were supposed to arrive, I was surprised they came. There have been many times we have planned something or I needed help with something and they refused or back out at the last minute. I was happy when they showed up. The car trip was pleasant. They got to see and visit with my daughter on the way to camp. The trip back wasn’t too bad either. They plan on coming back up and making the trip to pick up my child, too.

So, where’s the issue? Where does the question of loyalty come into play?

Hours later, I was scrolling on social media. I seen a post my mom made about taking her granddaughter to camp that day. My mom still has my ex as a friend on social media. I knew what drama was going to happen. I prepared myself.

My ex makes the comment on social media about how if he’d known my parents were the ones “having” to take my daughter to camp he would have found someone else. My mom said, Why? I’m her grandmother. I didn’t mind doing it. He says if they had been busy or had to go out of their way, he could have done something by finding someone else because he knew it was a long trip. This continues back and forth for a bit before I decide I better step in. I make the comment telling him if there is an issue then he can talk to ME about it, and not on social media.

First let me say, ex has never drove my daughter to camp. He has never offered to give me money for gas to take her to camp. The “someone else” would had either been his girlfriend or his mother. So, what is the difference between me asking – and going with – my parents, and him asking his girlfriend or parents? His opportunity to make me look bad? To look like a bad mother? A lazy person?

Second, I do not think I was in the wrong to ask MY parents for a ride. It is my family. It is my business. My ex is not even in the country; he is deployed. If my parents had been busy or didn’t want to – trust me – they would have said something – my parents are NOT shy. They speak their mind, no matter if its what I want to hear or not.

Then I get a message from my mom saying she’d sent ex a private message. She copied and pasted the message to him for me to see. I was so irritate. She talked about her disappointment in him. He is spending money on others instead of his own child. It’s been months since he’d sent a child support check.

I called her. I asked her why? Why send that? Why cause more drama for me?

She said she is entitled to her own opinion, and I cannot tell her what she can and cannot say to my ex.

True. She is an adult. But what is it going to accomplish by sending that message?

She thinks that message is going to be a wake up call for ex. She thinks it is going to make him want to give us more in child support.

Here’s the question of loyalty coming into play.

I told my mom that ex is deployed, he will send a check sometime. He sends a few weeks at a time about every six to eight weeks. It works. Should I get more child support? Absolutely. BUT, I make it work. I know if I seriously need something for my daughter, ex will give me money. He pays for her sports. He pays for her school clothes.

My mom’s response? She told me to stop defending him. She told me to stop being a pushover. Stop being so nice. Don’t be scared of him.

I’m not scared of my ex-husband.

Am I too nice? Am I a pushover? Perhaps. My reason? My daughter.

There is no reason to have hate toward ex. There is no reason to fight and have drama. If I ask for money for her, he will probably give it to me. He may complain, but he will give it to me – most of the time. Yes, more child support each week would help so much. But, I make it work. I keep my bills paid. I make sure my child has food and shelter. She is loved and cared for.

I want to be the bigger person. I don’t care about the money. I want to be a role model for my child. I don’t want her to have to choose between parents. I don’t want her to feel like she has to hate either of us. She knows ex has money, and I struggle with money. I don’t want her to feel like it is her fault or anything.

My conversation with my mom continued on. I gave her my reasoning. I told her why I was upset about the message, but also told her I get why she sent it. I said if getting my daughter from camp is going to be an issue, then don’t worry about it. She then told me I was acting just like my ex.

Ouch. Name calling? Eh. I do online dating. I’ve been called worse, and spoken to a lot worse than that.

So, who gets my loyalty? My family or my ex? I still don’t know.

I just know, I’m too old for drama. I just want to be a great mom for my daughter, and for people not to present obstacles in my everyday life.

Turning negative into positive.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe July 4th for my American followers.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day with a horrible migraine. I still feel horrible today, but still have to go to work to make money and pay the bills. Since I didn’t feel great yesterday, I had no plans of doing anything for the holiday.

My daughter was on her phone, and she started crying. I asked her what was going on. She said her dad had texted her. So, of course since she was upset I wanted to know what was said. Apparently, he’d sent her a text telling her that he had gave his girlfriend some money to buy fireworks – he is deployed and he loves shooting off fireworks. I thought my daughter was upset that we did not have any fireworks to shoot off too. I told her we could go to town and buy a few fireworks – granted buying fireworks was not in the budget, but I could make it work. She said she wasn’t upset about the fireworks. She was upset that ex gives girlfriend and her kids money for fun stuff, but not us.

We then went to town. I asked her again if she would like to buy some fireworks; she still said no. I found a place in town and contacted them about my daughter and I volunteering at – she is very excited to do some more community service. Then we went to the park and went rock hunting – my community does the kindness rocks. We didn’t find any, but at least we had fun and kept up with our exercising.

Life is busy these days.

Weight Loss Journey Update: First off, I am sticking with the weight loss journey. I have to admit, Sunday I really wanted to say forget it, and skip a day. I was sore and stiff. I didn’t skip the day. I felt like I was successful after that workout. Yesterday, I wanted to work out. The bad thing is, yesterday’s work out consisted of a lot of floor exercises. My lower back is screaming in pain today. Luckily, today is a rest day. However, I am seeing improvement. Small accomplishments; such as, being able to plank for 3 more seconds longer than the day before. It’s not much, but have to start some where. I have not gotten onto the scale yet. Honestly, the numbers do not matter. What matters is how my clothes fit, and how I look at myself in the mirror. I am using an app, it is pretty cool. It has an exercise routine planned out for the day. It keeps track of time of work out, and estimated amount of calories burned. It includes a reminder to work out that day. It includes a meal plan, which I am not doing the meal plan – yet. I want to go slow to stick with this new lifestyle.

CPR Training: I am so proud of my child, she completed CPR and First Aid training yesterday! She actually read through the entire manual. I quizzed her on her knowledge and understanding before the class. She told me when she got to class she was the only one who knew how to correctly remove soiled gloves. She said she got complimented on her wrapping skills for wounds. I hope that is the fire she needed to stay motivated with 4-H. She is now looking forward to turning fourteen, when she can join the vet science 4-H club – she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up (she has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was four).

Summer Camp: Had to take her to the store yesterday to buy some supplies for her to go to summer camp this weekend. She is so excited. It is a 4-H craft camp. I remember a few years ago, the only way I got her to stay at camp was I had to volunteer to go too. It was fun, great memories. But, she is 12, she is old enough to go to camp without me, and she has been for a couple of years now. I am glad she is excited to go. I cannot wait to hear about her experience and see all of the crafts!

Disneyland Co-parent: I used to hate – and I mean HATE – having a Disneyland co-parent to work with. I felt like a failure. I felt like he was rubbing it in my face all of the time. Even now, money is tight. I work. I pay my bills. My daughter has a roof over her head, and food in her tummy. I don’t have the money to spend randomly. Right now, I am saving and looking for deals for Christmas and birthday gifts. My ex transferred money for me to take our daughter to buy a Nintendo Switch and three games. A few years ago, I would have been so angry! Now, I’m glad he has money and is spending it on his child. I hate that I cannot do the same, but I know that is not what is important. It was fun watching her play her Just Dance game on the Nintendo Switch though. Hearing her laugh and watching her have fun was great.

Did I do enough to save my marriage?

A couple of days ago, I was scrolling through posts on social media and I came across a post by another woman asking, “Did you do enough to save your marriage?”

I read through her post. She was not divorced, nor had she started the divorce process. She was wanting to know how do you know when it is time to start the process. She wanted to know how much effort and action should be put into the marriage before “giving up.”

I did not offer any advice or feedback, because my first response was “if you are asking if your marriage is over then it probably is.” Once one party has given up, or checked-out, the trust is damaged. It is very hard to gain that trust back.

I thought about my situation. Did I do enough to save my marriage? Could I have done more?

My ex-husband wanted the divorce. I gave him the divorce. It wasn’t until years after our divorce did he make a comment to me that stopped me in my tracks: “You didn’t even try to save our marriage. You were in such a hurry to file.”

Whoa! Excuse me?!?

I was faithful, the entire marriage. I was isolated as a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t have friends to visit or have girls’ nights. My ex-husband was my world. I would have followed him to the ends of the Earth and back. I supported him in his job. I thought he was amazing. Even when I knew he was cheating – emotional cheating, I know for sure. Not sure about physical cheating, even to this day – I stayed. I looked the other way.

I seen receipts. I seen pictures of women in bathing suits that he took. I watched him be secretive, hiding his phone. I was naive. But, I was in love. I wanted my marriage to work. I wanted my first marriage to last forever.

We had been married for two years the first time the word “divorce” was mentioned. It was during a fight – don’t remember what the fight was even about – but he told me that he would win full custody in a divorce. I believed him. I was worried that he would take my child from me forever. That power over me forced me to ignore the red flags.

I knew our marriage was heading for divorce those last few years. He was distant. He was hateful. It was nothing for him to leave without acknowledging me. He had checked out.

I stayed.

When I seen the messages to another woman from my ex telling her that he was going to divorce me to be with her, I knew it was over. I told him that I had seen the messages. I told him that I would give him the divorce. I filed for divorce the next day.

Did I do enough to save my marriage?

At first, I didn’t think that I did. I regretted my hasty decision. I went back to my ex. For two more years after my divorce, I was with him. Allowing myself to be used and mistreated again, but I was trying to save this relationship. I was blindsided with him dating other women, and bringing them around my child. I cried all of the time. I felt like trash. I was being used for sex and then told to leave. Why? Because I wanted us to try our relationship again. I wanted him to want me; to love me; to need me. He didn’t. He couldn’t, for whatever reason. I even asked him if he would like to give “us” another chance. I got the answer “I’ll have to think about it.” I honestly believed he would think about it. No, it was another power move. I gave him the power to decide what I should do.

Did I do enough to save my marriage?

Absolutely!

But it can not be saved if both parties are not willing to make the effort. The day he said that I filed too quickly, I honestly think there was some truth in his words – I don’t think he ever thought that I would leave – but I think it was another attempt to control me. He was seeing I was not scared of him. He’d punched the wall by my head and I didn’t flinch. I stood my ground. I prepared myself for the blow. The words were an attempt to hurt me when physically threatening did not work.

If you are questioning if your marriage is worth saving or did you do enough to save your marriage, no one can answer that except you. You know how much effort you are putting into your relationship. You know how much or how little you want your relationship to succeed or end.

I cringe when I hear about couples staying together for the children. I hated the thought of my daughter growing up in a broken home. Even over the weekend she said something about she remembered that first time ex and I had to do drop offs. She said she was scared and said that her parents were breaking up the only home she had ever known. Then she smiled and looked at me and said she was happy. She said this was her home.

I made the effort to save my marriage, but that is in the past.

Now, I have to make sure I make the effort to save and keep a relationship with my ex-husband as a co-parent. That is all that matters is a positive co-parenting relationship for my daughter.