August 31

The Dating Carousel…Everyone Loses

Courtney on carousel

I tend to like the women who fall in the category of late bloomers. They were awkward through high school and often college. They are quirky and tend to have funny hobbies, because they weren’t in the scene with the cool kids. It used to be these women were open and inviting. The kind of woman that I could meet when I was out and about doing my daily things. Its just not true anymore.

Online dating has changed this. These women get an unbelievable amount of attention that they never got before. They are quick to discard a good thing looking for the next thing. They are entertained by the men who want their attention. Being late to the game, they also seem to not understand that the game leaves them. They get older and less attractive. The men they discarded who were good, are no longer available, or they have decided to shop for younger hotter women.

Men like me lose, because I really don’t like dating. I want my quirky girl, and I want to go on and do quirky things together. It used to be that the girl would be there for that, but now she keeps seeing more guys that might just be better, or they at least have in the back of their head that its not that hard to find a new guy.

The other problem is they believe that they can find perfection. They are unbending in their desires. A woman in her thirties or forties is not going to find a man the age that is going to date her, who does not have some baggage. They have had financial crisis, divorce, kids, or other things that bring an attitude about life into the relationship. They have their fears and their ideas that are not the fresh ideas of youth, but the jaded ideas of experience and the irrational fears that follow.

When this modern world is looked at in history, people are going to wonder just how we survived as a species, if we do. Why would anyone want to continually discard something not so bad, with the only guarantee being you can be alone. Why risk something hard for nothing at all. Why not work through the problems that are easily forgotten or fixed. We are a sad people. Our modern independence will be the death of us.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 31

Good to Gone, Its Confusing

confused

I swear, I am about done with this. My mind needs to process all that it has absorbed before I can let it go. Its confusing when a relationship is going along, and you are getting to know someone. Things seem to be going well. You are getting more and more comfortable talking about things that come to mind. You aren’t afraid that making the other person mad will simply halt things, and its over. Then bam, I don’t want to see you anymore. What happened? What changed? Why now?

When Sarah told me she didn’t want to see me anymore, she made a comment along the lines that she thought I did things wrong, and that the way I make decisions would driver her nuts. One of the things she was referring to was my divorce process. She has been divorced for a few years, and regularly has lunch with the lawyer friend who handled her divorce. I am not doing things any of the traditional ways. I am trying to have things figured out first, and then put it on paper. We don’t have a separation agreement. We don’t have any court orders at this point. Its risky in the sense that my STBEW doesn’t give a shit about me. She could decide to take action and screw me any moment. I don’t imagine that she will choose this, because it isn’t what she wants. She wants the freedom that comes with having her own time, and that doesn’t happen if she screws me. My divorce isn’t moving as fast as Sarah would have liked. She didn’t want to talk about it, because it was my life issue to handle. She needed to talk about, because instead she stewed about it. I know she thought I was doing it wrong, and that I just needed to get it over with. Maybe she is right, but its my journey, and I want things to work out a certain way, and the only way I get close to that is by doing things my way.

The other thing, I think bothered her is the change in parenting schedules. I had offered at the beginning of the summer that I would like to go to a weekly schedule instead of partial weeks. I thought it would allow us to be more consistent when the kids are with us. Sarah was on a schedule like this. Her week started on Sunday evening. The schedule I thought was best for my kids would start on Friday evening. We would have the same weekends, but opposite weeks. This was something that would have been workable dating her. I think she felt judged when I didn’t do it like she did it. I thought it was best to have a couple days before school started to make sure that I had everything that I needed for the week, and could make arrangements to get anything the kids didn’t have before Monday. No judgement, mostly the difference in managing two kids versus managing four kids. Its just takes more preparation on my part to make sure things work. I think she was also bothered that I really didn’t consider her much in this decision. She and I were getting serious, but we weren’t in what anyone would call a long term relationship. I needed to do what was right for the kids and me and their mom, not Sarah. Sarah was a side note to this decision. Perhaps the reality that my kids were truly coming first was something should didn’t like. I know that many mothers view the fathers as something that doesn’t matter as much, and so would rather her and her kids be the priority, not mine. I don’t know. I know that having four kids will present many issues in dating anyone. I will need to be picky, and accept that there may not be someone who I will meet who can handle my lifestyle.

Sarah had mentioned multiple times that I taught her about open communication. She felt comfortable talking about anything with me, and that she wasn’t afraid of my reaction. I think this is great, and the only way that I can have a relationship. I was judged constantly by what I said in my marriage, and harshly so. I may have made some of my views to Sarah about child support and essentially libertarian principles that made her uncomfortable. If that is the case, then so be it. She wouldn’t have worked. She didn’t see the legal boogie man for men in divorce. She didn’t know many who got screwed. I think she was living in a fantasy land created by men who chose to suck it up and move on. They weren’t going to be outspoken or activists, because that would hurt their chances with other women. There is also a tendency to accept the status quo as okay, and not recognize it as being bad, or to see advances and not accept that there is a lot of room to go. The program for men hasn’t changed much. They get more time with their kids, and recently are being robbed less than they were before, but child support is still something that is essentially a fine for marrying a woman and having kids with her and failing to keep her happy and entertained for the rest of her life.

The other thing that I think came into play is a fear of deep personal relationships. Things had moved past the fun stage. We still had fun, but we were just starting to introduce each other to our world of friends. I took her to my high school reunion. She and I had dinner with good friends of hers. They were safe, because there was a good chance that they knew me, or at least kind of knew me. The husband was in my sister’s high school class. We were starting to really get to know each other. We were starting to rely on each other for emotional comfort. Female hypergamy has broken this aspect of relationships for so many women. Sarah never had that bond with her husband. She allowed her father to suplant that position in her life, and so I may have been the first man to find that soft spot in her heart. It makes me sad to think about what could have been, but if she isn’t going to grow up to a point where she can handle the raw emotions that she is feeling, then there wasn’t any real hope. She demonstrated that she could handle my raw emotions and was incredibly supportive and caring through some of those. I think that its hard for some women to accept that you can’t endear yourself to a man in that way and not start having those feelings yourself. One of the last things she said to me over the weekend before she dumped me was that she didn’t think she liked my ex at all. She had started to relate to my feelings, and as this blog tells the story, my ex is not a nice person.

I want a woman in my life to share experiences with. I want to have fun with her, and enjoy her feminity. I think its likely that I have lost my chance at that. It happened when I married my wife. It happened when I adopted three kids. I made choices that isolate me from the world that most women want a part of. My job is bigger than theirs. As a dad of four kids, I don’t have time for their bullshit. I would have liked to spend the next year exploring the world with Sarah by my side, and maybe longer. I really don’t think with my schedule anything less than a year is going to give me a window into what life could be like with a woman. I doubt that I will find a woman that wants to be that patient. I won’t lose all hope. I know there are awesome women out there. My mom is one of them. She stands by my dad as he is dying of cancer, and she doesn’t flinch. When I ask how she is doing, I get a report on my dad. She is unselfish and loving. She gives me hope, but not much because she is rare and my time is limited to find the rare one.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 29

Getting My Shit Together

Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 22

One thing this summer has taught me is that things can go from good to shit in nothing flat. Whether its my house, my finances, my love life, or my criminal record. The past couple of days I have been sick. I had a stomach bug, and didn’t go into work. It makes no sense to be there, if I keep running to the bathroom every few minutes. I took advantage of the time to clean my home, which had become a wreck. I had decided that I would be moving soon, and kind of stopped treating it as a home. Well now I think I will not be moving any time soon. Financially it doesn’t make sense. As much as I hate the extra drive time, it doesn’t make sense to move right now. I cleaned the kids rooms, my room, and the rest of the house. I will officially string the kids up by their little toes if they don’t take care of things. I will work on the basement and garage and outside next. I hope to have the basement and outside done by the end of the weekend. The garage will take a little longer. I may have to wait for the outside before I am done.

My STBEW has been spending on the kids like crazy. This impacts me, because she doesn’t spend her own money at all on the kids. I pay for sports, medical, dental, school, etc. She pays for food when they are at her house. I haven’t been able to keep up with my bills. This has got to stop. I need to figure out how to catch up on the bills. I got hung up on how unfair it is she has rented a place that costs more than mine, and that she pays her bills, and that she has chosen a job that pays less than she can earn, because it is convenient. It pisses me off. It makes me mad that she gets what she wants, and I am stuck reacting to it forever. I will spend the next 10 years or more dealing with this. Its not fair. I lost my dreams with no choice in the matter, yet I keep paying. I have multiple creditors that want to collect money I don’t have. I am going to lose my house that I thought was going to be the house I would raise my family in. My kids are being jerked from home to home, because we aren’t together anymore. I have two creditors that I still have to deal with. I am paying all of the debt we accumulated. She gets to have a clean slate as she steps into her new wonderful life, and feels justified because as she puts it to everyone who listens including the kids, I earn twice what she earns. Again this is by choices she has made. She could choose to take a job that matches her skills and experiences, and her pay will be commensurate with mine, especially after she gets her government checks. VA and adoption subsidies not welfare.

I was looking at the birthday card I got from Sarah. It was all promises of making new memories. It was less than a week later that she ended our relationship. We had a good week and weekend leading to the break up. I am still stumped on why things changed so fast. The only thing I can come up with is the following. She still has issues with her dad, who she had just put to rest in the Grand Canyon. He died a couple years ago. My divorce wasn’t moving as fast as she liked. Partly because I don’t have money, and partly because I wanted things aligned already to avoid a large amount of conflict. The other thing I can think of is she was becoming increasingly restless as she thought about falling in love. I don’t know that she was prepared to care. She has been a serial dater since her divorce. Yes, I think she has commitment issues. Like all things for me, I am patient. If things haven’t changed too much for me and she were to decide to contact me again, I would give her a chance, but with new ground rules, and some explaining on her part. I doubt she will though. I do think she will probably go on dating forever, until there are no men left and then wonder what the hell happened. Sadly women don’t realize that their time to select a good man is small. She being exceptional in her appearances and not looking her age, might have some more time than others, but time catches up quickly, and she is already in her 40s.

There isn’t much I can do about the DUI. That will be my reminder of my time with Sarah for the next year. It is also what will probably keep me from moving forward this year with much of anything. One night out, and a bad choice to get in the car to drive home. No one was hurt, no car wreck, I just got pulled over. I won’t argue the rightness of that. The problem is everything is so automatic. I haven’t broken a traffic law in twenty years, yet now I face a potential of a year without a drivers license. I will probably be put on a diversion program that will tell me I can’t go anywhere that servers alcohol or drink for the next year, and will have to participate in some form of treatment for my alcohol abuse that doesn’t exist. I rarely drink. When I do, I have one or two drinks except in rare occasions. The system is designed for the serial offender. The person with a problem. Now this is something that is very wrong. The loss of the license is based upon an administrative court, something that to me sounds like an oxymoron. This is all based on a a number. A machine measured my blood alcohol based on my breath. The number was at a level that says I should lose my license for a year. This is not how things are supposed to work. This is the worship of science. Machines screw up, and deal with the average case. When you see these police shows that show all the cool technology, remember that someday you might get convicted because of a faith in these devices. Don’t get me wrong, I was stupid. I broke the law. I deserve punishment, but the DUI system punishes in a way that far exceeds the crime. The punishment is based on the potential damage that could have been done, not on the actual harm done. A first time DUI with no harm caused, should be punished with a fine, community service, and maybe 90 days of diversion or probation. Some points on the license and maybe it never comes off, because it is a serious problem for repeat offenders.

Well as I said, I am getting my shit together. I am going to keep my place up better. I am going to get bills paid ahead of time. I am going to get some savings done. I am going to get the divorce done, so that I can move forward with a love life, without that being an obstacle. I don’t think that would have made things better with Sarah, but it would have let things go a little longer. The criminal shit, well that is what it is. I will deal with it as it comes at me.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 28

Its Not Mania…

manic button

No I am not manic. I move with waves of emotion lately. My life is going to be a mess for a while. There is no way around it. The DUI is going to fuck shit up. My dad is dying. My best friend is the busiest man on the planet. I have very few people I am close to in this world. Because of my dad, my mom isn’t really available for all my pain. She has her own. Shit I am a part of her pain right now. My dad won’t live to see me thrive again. He will die with me almost or barely divorced. On some sort of court ordered program that treats me like a drunk. Generally in the last months of my dad’s life, he will have disapproved of my choices more than he approved of them. Some of that is his cancer affecting how he sees things, and some of it is just him feeling free to say what he thinks after ignoring my problems in my marriage for so long. My best friend works with youth, and lives 45 minutes away. He is free when I am at work, and at work when I am free. I don’t get to see him but once every few months. I am lonely. I found some relief at the bar for a while. No not the one where I got the DUI. That couldn’t last for long. I will find no peace. My life is that of a disciplinarian and taxi driver. I don’t get good time with my kids anymore. Their mom moved them to the other side of the county. I now don’t get them home until practice is over. I don’t do homework with them. I don’t get to do dinner with them, except in a hurried task before we get ready for bed. I haven’t had a movie night with them in forever. The stress in my life makes me an angry dad. My cranky old neighbor pointed that out to me, when he was telling me some stories of my boys being good boys in the neighborhood. I am lonely with no hope of not being lonely any time soon. My dreams are lost. I don’t see myself being able to ever take that backpack trip with my boys. I don’t see myself ever being able to take them to the beach. I don’t see myself ever being able to a lot of things. I hope I am wrong, but right now it is hard to get past the loneliness.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 28

An Angry Day

Fell On Black Days

Today I was angry. Angry about everything. I yelled and cried a lot. I was home sick, and it just came over me. I am angry that my life will not turn out like I planned. It can’t. I have been robbed of that opportunity. There is no hope for me growing old with my wife and looking back at the family we created together. Its not going to happen. Our kids will visit each of us separately to show off the grand kids. If they are lucky, they will have a spouse who truly believes in marriage, but in this world that is unlikely to happen.

So the biggest thing that I was angry about is how my wife discarded our marriage. Not just when she left me, but when she cheated. She made my a cuckold in my marriage. Maybe not completely, but effectively. I had to beg for sex, and it was still withheld more often than not. She disgusts me, because she was never honest with me. She was never in love with me. I was just a man who met her needs at the time. She may have been wrapped up into the marriage to deep to just run when she was done, but she was never invested in me. The marriage didn’t work, because one of us wasn’t present. I was accused of being that someone multiple times, but I can say that other than a brief time towards the end, I was fully present and lonely.

I was angry that as a result of that marriage, I am now single. I will likely remain single. The odds of me meeting the woman that will take on a man that has four kids and won’t have any more is small. I won’t have the time to to look for her. I have the kids. I won’t have the finances for years to do it either. It will be almost five years before I have my debt paid for. It will be over 10 years before my kids are grown. The only thing I would want a woman for at that time is to not be alone. I sure hope by then, I do better at being alone.

I was mad at God or the Church or both. I was mad that because of what I was taught, I felt trapped in a marriage where my wife didn’t care for me. Where she violated the vows multiple times. On the surface, I knew I could walk, but the lessons drilled into me over the years told me I was a better man than that, and could forgive her. The same people told her that it was my fault she cheated, that it was my fault she was unhappy, and that God did not want her to be unhappy. She got the excuses, while I got the responsibilities.

I was mad that sex in marriage sucked in every way. That sex since marriage has not sucked. I want sex. I have to move past feeling that I need sex, but I want it. I can’t ignore that, and won’t ever be in a situation where the woman I am with does not provide sex.

I have to accept that I will likely spend most of the rest of my life alone. I will not have a woman to share life’s experiences with. Girlfriends are likely to be far and few between. I don’t like it, but it is something I will have to come to terms with, and soon.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 26

Dinner With My Parents

john singer sargent: a dinner table at night

Tonight I had dinner with my parents. I knew there would be certain subjects that would come up. One of course is my dad’s health. He is dying, and although he looks pretty good, we all know that his time is limited. Its a strange conversation to have to have with him, but I suppose it is easier than being surprised by his death.

The other is church. My mom is upset that I stopped going to church. She keeps talking about it as a base for me and the kids. The problem is, that isn’t what the church has been for me. It felt like it, until I had troubles. Then I felt like an iceberg that everyone avoids running into. Afraid I might sink their ship. My pastor during my split with my wife was a big help. The rest of the church slowly moved away from me. I remember when my wife cheated on me and admitted it, being made to feel like it was in part my fault, and that her dissatisfaction was something I could fix. It wasn’t mine to fix. The church made me feel not like a failure in my marriage. The church made me feel trapped in my marriage with no escape. I see the church everyday justify how women break up families, while they torment the man with his shortcomings. I don’t have a the patience for the church, nor to find one that is different. All these things, I told her. She thinks I am a bit nuts on the subject, and maybe I am.

The part I didn’t say is this. It is also because of the church I was made to feel dirty because I was upset about the lack of sex in my marriage. That I needed to be a better husband, and she would come around. That I felt trapped in a shell that was supposed to be something rich, but it wasn’t. I don’t plan on living a sexually pure life. I know that it goes against my christian doctrines, but the beauty of sex in marriage simply did not exist for me. I have had much better experiences than any I had in marriage, since. I would be run out of most churches after sleeping with a few of the single princesses that left their previous husbands. I would be a pariah by their standards, and maybe they would be right.

My mom started to tell me about how I would meet someone, and have the love I deserved, I shut her down. One, I don’t deserve anything. Two, it is so unlikely that I will find a woman who can handle the reality of me and my four kids, and an ex that I see almost everyday. If that woman exists, the likelihood that with my limited time will meet her is very small. I am destined to a few months of fun here and there for the next 10 years. Then after a few months the woman will get frustrated and walk away. If I am lucky, when the kids are grown, I will have the financial resources to attract some young ladies to keep my life exciting for a while at a time.

I struggle with being angry. I don’t know how I can’t be angry. I wasn’t supposed to have to make the choice about dating or being single ever again. I wasn’t supposed to have a broken marriage. Now that my marriage is over, I still have to face the person who has forced this on me almost every day. I have to smile and be nice because of the kids. In any other relationship, if things go south, you just walk away. Its done. Time takes care of the rest, and if you happen to see each other again, you can smile and be kind. It doesn’t hurt.

I finally have to face that I allowed all of this. I was in love and failed to see the truth in my face. I was reminded by my parents that before I got married she said the words “I love him, but am not in love with him” My best man and my father knew that these were not the words she should be saying. They tried to convince me to end the engagement. I wouldn’t accept the truth. So much so, that I hadn’t remembered the incident at all. If ever your best friend tells you to not marry someone, then listen very carefully. Men don’t be stupid. I married a woman who made it clear that she was just looking for a wedding. She proved her words to be true every chance she got, and I wondered what I did wrong. The answer is simple. I married her anyway.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 24

The New Child Support Guidelines

Guidelines in downtown Ann Arbor

I have been reading through the new guidelines handed down by our state supreme court based on congresses push for more shared parenting arrangements in my state. They are the typical if your lawyer is smarter than mine, I can still screw you complex, but at the core they do seek a fairer outcome of events. The goal is clearly that father’s will not be pushed off to some living circumstance that is sub-standard to the mother’s and still be expected to provide for the kids while they are together. It is interesting the way it handles who gets child support, and is thus required to pay direct expenses for the children. The parent who has the lower child support obligation will receive child support from the other parent, and be responsible for paying direct expenses.

Why would this be? Wouldn’t shuffling less money make more sense? It would if we weren’t mired in politics. There are two things that are satisfied by this method. One, the feminists can’t complain much. Women generally are the lower income winner, so they will almost always come out being the one receiving moneys. Two, the state is paid for processing the disbursements by the federal government based on the dollars that go through their hands. The more money through, the more they get paid, so having the larger amount go makes sound economic sense if you are the government.

I really hate how the federal government has messed things up. It makes it hard for the states to make the right choices. The best thing, if we are assuming that child support is necessary, to do would be to have the couple open an account for direct expenses to be paid out of, and have each parent contribute their portion of child support to it. The whichever parent is hit with the need to pay for something, they have the funds available to do so. Its not a perfect solution, and would need some work on my part to flush out, but think about the possibilities.

So much of the advice to women, when the subject of something in lieu of child support is mentioned, is to avoid it. That is its merely a way for the ex to control you. There is probably some truth to this in many cases. The flip side is true as well. How many women take child support, and spend it however they please. They spend it as if it were their money, not money for the kids, and then tell the kids that they can’t do something, because their dad won’t pay for it and she doesn’t have money. He gets manipulated into giving even more of his fortune up for things he theoretically has already paid for. This is why I am a fan of spending plans, and working together. Each may manipulate the other some, but each parent retains some degree of control over their own funds, and can make things work for them.

The whole process is manipulation and power grabs. Most people would work better together, if it didn’t seem like such a big deal to get it right before you even start for real. My wife and I have been navigating this on our own for the last year or more. We generally have made it work. There have been problems, but we have worked it out. No one has court orders or other things to make us be fair. She is a high conflict personality and we still seem to be able to make things work. Yes I have to use my 15 years of experience with her to know when and how to ask or push for something, but that is life. I chose her for better or for worse to be my children’s mom. I would hope that I didn’t choose so badly, that I can’t figure it out without a bunch of government interference. Yes it is frustrating that her lifestyle is propped up by my income, but that is something that would happen regardless of the scenario at this point. The law is twisted based on a lot of ideas about what is best for the kids, so there isn’t much that can be done about that today.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 22

Modern Day Debtor’s Prison

Philadelphia Co. Prison Debtors' Wing (demolished) from HABS

There are many things That are un-American, but few things as much as debtor’s prisons. Child support is a funny thing. It has changed over the years, and the national focus on forcing dead beat dads to pay up is on the verge of insanity. I have talked about child support a lot. This is a touchy issue for me. So much so, that I am willing to give up a larger chunk of my fortune freely to avoid having the state in my bank accounts collecting this money. My views stem from the idea that controlling people’s behavior through the courts is a bad plan. Both parties go into a sexual act knowing the risks, but the courts are trying to impose the risks of the woman onto the man. The man’s risks are smaller. He risks never seeing his child if he isn’t married to the mother. He risks STDs. She risks pregnancy and STDs. So long as the woman retains the sole right to determine what happens with the child up unto shortly after birth, the man should have no requirements forced upon him. She can abort, put up for adoption, or keep the baby. Now if she puts up for adoption, and the father knows he can be granted custody of the child in that process. Generally speaking she gives up nothing if the father keeps the baby. She won’t be asked for child support, and yet will retain some modicum of parental rights with the child. The father on the other hand will have to fight for parental rights if she keeps the child, and will be forced to pay child support whether he sees the child or not.

Child support is not bankrupt-able. It is not a debt, but a fine. I say fine, because it is a required payment for past behavior. There is no benefit that is bestowed on a father for paying child support. Legally he has no more parental rights, and may not have any relief to paying for the costs of the child out of his own pocket. He can be put in jail for failure to pay, even if he cannot reasonably afford it. That’s right. It doesn’t matter if the amount is made up by the judge based on a salary he never earned. That is a fine. Because it is treated as a debt as well, it also gets reported to the credit reporting agencies. This makes no sense to me. If I don’t pay my fines for parking tickets, I go to jail, but it doesn’t go on my credit report. Here we get both. So it is a fine and a debt. How is this so, I don’t know. The end result is we have debtor’s prisons.

Now many people reading this will think that it doesn’t matter. They got their shit together, and this won’t impact them. Lets understand that the same civil court system that handles family law also handles other law suits. A credit card company can choose to sue you for the debt you owe, and instead of getting a judgement that is bankrupt-able, they get a court imposed fine that is now something that can be used for contempt of court. BOOM, you now go to debtor’s prison for not being able to pay your credit card. Google search this, and you will see that is already happening. The use of family courts prejudice against the dead beat dad, and their liberal use of contempt of court to jail these men is carrying itself into the other areas of the courts. People are being jailed for debt under the guise of contempt of court or failure to appear. The use of procedural penalties to punish and bully people into compliance is something we should all be disturbed by. Its is something that we can become the victim of without any real process to protect us.

There is an increasing use of administrative judges that effectively dole out default judgments. They are often hand tied by the law, and are simply their as a way to bypass the jury system. This is the case when it comes to your driver’s license. In most states this is controlled by the treasury or similar department. A jury trial, even for most DUI cases would end up with people not losing their licenses, because most people recognize that the cost exceeds the crime. People could have died, but in truth most cases only involve the driver who hadn’t harmed anyone. Most juries would recommend a much lower sentence in the form of fines for first time offenders. This didn’t please the law makers under pressure from groups like MADD, so they move the decision making away from the real courts into a kangaroo court to solve the problem. There are more things moving to these type of courts over time. Family law is a good candidate for this type of move. This would lead to more problems, and would politicize your family issues more than they are now. These judges are granted many of the same tools to punish as any other court, so they can use the contempt of court and failure to appear to subject people to their rule.

Be watchful of your government. It is a beast that has the sole purpose in life of controlling other people. Left unchecked it will place its mark on every part of our daily lives. It is the warning in much of Orwell’s writing.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 22

Reading Between the Lines

Reading Between The Lines

I tend to over analyze life. I also get stuck because of that. I need to process things, but I also need to get past them. This blog helps me get past them. I put in writing what I am thinking. In a way, it allows me to put certain things to rest. The relationship with Sarah was short, and when you consider that there was a period where we were both out of town that made it almost impossible to see each other just before the end, it was even shorter. I tend to go all in when I am interested in someone, so I over commit my heart. This something that I understand now. I am not going to change it, but I am aware like I never have been before all this mess started with my wife. I won’t allow that to steer me into bad decisions. Its a balance that I am learning. Don’t fundamentally change, but also don’t be stupid.

Early when Sarah and I started to date, she had the epiphany that I wasn’t as far along in the divorce process as she had thought. I hadn’t misled her, but she had made some assumptions that weren’t accurate. From that day forward, she kept saying things along the lines of, “I think we may move at different paces, I don’t know how that is going to work.” She would ask why I hadn’t moved forward with the divorce. At first I thought it was a case of her doubting I was actually finished with my marriage. I am not sure that is what was going on at all. She also would make comments about not being able to move forward while I was still married. I didn’t really know what she was talking about there.

As for the first point of moving at different paces, I think she is somewhat right. She saw a guy that she liked, and wanted the it all when she wanted it. The problem is that guy had stuff that prevented here from setting the time table, and that guy wasn’t jumping through hoops for her. I am no woman’s prince. I have tried before, and all that happens is immense frustration on my part and on hers. I also have a say in things. The mistake I made was I did make it sound like I could and would have the divorce filed and closed during the summer and all that would be left is the waiting period of 60 days. I could have done this, but it didn’t work out that was in my best interest. My wife and I have a house that hasn’t sold, and is going into foreclosure. That house being off the books will make things much easier for us to deal with things.

I think we also had very different ideas of what moving the relationship forward meant. I was interested in the deeper connection of getting to know each other, and investing in each other emotionally and in our time. This was not hindered in anyway by my still being married by separated for more than a year. She seemed to be thinking about the social and cultural ramifications of me still being married. I suspect her family ran he through the ringer for dating a married man on her vacation. I also think that she worried how some would react if they knew that I was still married and we were moving on with a serious relationship. I doubt it would have been a problem, but it is something to worry about I suppose. I think she may have also been worried about our kids being confused if they met either of us and I wasn’t divorced yet. Again, I don’t think this is a large issue. My kids tell everyone we are divorced, even though we are not yet, and they know it. Its just easier to explain.

When I was talking to her about moving to the neighboring state, as much because I might need a hardship drivers license for a while as anything, and my state doesn’t offer one of those. She became really defensive that she was tied to where she lived. Its struck me as an odd reaction at the time. It was just before she ended things. I think I understand it now. For us to move forward in her mind, I needed to be available to move in with her at some time. She had voiced that she wasn’t sure she wanted to be married again, but that didn’t mean she was out on domestic relations that resembled marriage. If this was the case, then she hadn’t read me right to begin with. I was not going to subject my kids to moving in with someone for a long time. I would need to know that it was a fairly permanent affair before I considered it, and I am not sure that I would do so at all. I think my kids need their own place and space. Her house would always have been hers and her kids first. It would be unavoidable for my kids to not sense that.

We had a debate the week before she ended things. It was around the nature of morality being imposed on men, and sometimes women, by the family courts. I had said that child support in some form was a moral obligation that should not be enforced by the state in any way. She kept referring to the courts as being useful tools when you had men who weren’t good and wouldn’t support their families. I said they should be allowed to walk. There was no good coming from forced child support. The good men take care of their kids. The bad ones avoid it. The blunt instrument of the law tends to catch the fairly good ones who can’t meet the state mandated obligations. The jail time costs more than the money owed in most cases, and that it would be more cost effective to allow these women to fall into the welfare system than to throw these men into what amounted to a debtors prison. She also didn’t understand that I was arguing for her as well. Under the new child support guidelines, her ex-husband could file a for a change in the parenting language that show that he is in a shared custody situation and then child support would not be calculated towards that custodial parent, but under the new guidelines the parent who earns less would receive the support from the other. He earning less than her, would probably receive most of the same amount he is paying her now from her.

I think as progressive as she was in her individual views, she wasn’t near as such in her political views. She let her husband pay far less in support than would have been required. She understands that her choice to pursue divorce affects the people she dates. She just isn’t ready to start applying that thinking to her views on the system. She was a good, smart lady. I enjoyed my time with her, and for the first time ever, I really hope that we remain friends after a cooling off period. Who knows? The sexual tension might be too much. She was the best lover I have had. I don’t know if I measured similarly to her, but I do know that she pleased. Time will tell.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 20

Heart Break/Summer Fling

broken heart

I met the woman just before the kids were out of school. We dated for about three months, and they were some of the most exhilarating in a long time. Her name was Sarah. We went out the first time, and met at a bar in a trendy part of town. We had met online, so it was a little awkward the first time we saw each other, but that quickly passed. We had some appetizers and talked for a while. We then went to a show at a little theater in the area. We had planned this ahead of time. The play was a bit cheesy. We figured it would either be good or so bad it was funny. It had moments of both. During the show she was graceful elegant and beautiful to watch. She stayed in physical contact with me throughout the show. When the show was over, we returned to the bar, and had another drink. After we talked for a while, she leaned in, and said I am going to kiss you now, and did. I walked her back to her car, and we kissed more. We left in our own cars, and went to our own homes.

We both have kids, so we worked around each other’s schedules to sneak in an evening here and there where we would sit outside and talk and kiss more. I put off sex with her for a couple weeks. When we had sex, it was an all night long affair. We were in bed all morning the next day. I have never had sex so long and often in one day in my life. It was an emotional experience in a way that I hadn’t experienced sex before. It raised the bar for what my expectations are from a sexual relationship. I do believe that a big part of this was me throwing off the shackles of religious sexual oppression. As a Christian sex always seemed a little dirty. I haven’t tossed all my beliefs, but I just can’t buy the teaching of the church when it comes to sex anymore. My marriage was miserable, especially regarding sex. During this time together, I told her that my time table for filing for divorce was during the summer. The summer slipped away from me, and not all the pieces were in place for me to divorce as I would like. It was going to take a little longer. Among other things, the house deal had fallen apart yet again.

Over the month and a half we became very close. We met a mutual friend one night for karaoke and that was the night I got arrested for a DUI. My sister picked me up early in the morning, and I slept on her couch for a while. Sarah picked me up at the my sisters house and took me home. She took the day off, and we spent the day in my bed. The words she said to me and the way she made me feel, made the problem not seem so big. The results of that DUI have not been determined. I am sure that I will have some form of diversion that will suck, but won’t be that hard to deal with. The hard part will be my license will likely be suspended for some amount of time. I don’t know how long that will be. With four kids and my STBEW having moved farther away again, I don’t know how I deal with that. Sadly, I will probably have to drive illegally to live my life for maybe as long as a year. I will pay much higher insurance rates, and may never be allowed to enter Canada because of this one night. I don’t understand the law on this. I have a perfect driving record for most of the almost 25 years I have driven. I didn’t cause anyone harm, but I will punished in the most extreme way by an administrative court. There is no public transit in my area, so driving is a requirement for living a full life. The week this happened I had just found out my dad probably had another round of brain tumors, my neighboring duplex unit had burned, and I had found out my sister almost lost her house. I didn’t drink to forget these things, but relaxed too much while I was out. Sarah left before I did. I should have left when she left.

Sarah went on vacation with her extended family. Part of the trip was putting her father’s ashes to rest in the Grand Canyon, a favorite place of her father. Communication was weird during her trip, but that was somewhat to be expected. She was hiking and travelling. She was bothered by it though. We saw each other for a night when she returned. We went to my high school reunion. It was a really fun night. We couldn’t stay together, because she had her kids, but we had some intimate time together.

The next day I left for vacation with my extended family. It was a good time, and during the trip Sarah and I communicated regularly. I was excited to get home to see here, while having a great time with my family. I had the kids the following week, because their mom as on a trip for that week. We talked during that time, and prepared for the following week where we each wouldn’t have kids.

That week was the week after my birthday. We had a good couple of nights. I couldn’t spend the night because her kids would be their in the morning, because it was still summer break and the kids were being watched at her house during that time. We then had a great weekend starting with a night out with a couple she is good friends with. I had to go do some things the next morning with my kids. We got back together for lunch and then went on a hike and then got some dinner. We had another great evening together. After we fell asleep, I woke up and looked over to see her sleeping on the edge of the bed. I was reminded of how my wife would do that when she was mad. I remembered a few comments that Sarah had made over the week, and combined that with the fact she had not been sleeping well since she left for vacation to determine that something was not good.

Sunday we didn’t talk after I left. She got her kids back. I knew she was stressing over my situation with the divorce. I suspect the DUI bothered her more than she said, and her dad. She had told me how her dad had played a role in her marriage and in its demise. Her father died in a car accident, so it was a surprise. I played some soccer for the first time in weeks. I texted her to say good night when I was done. I didn’t hear anything from her next day until late afternoon. She asked if she could come see me before her baby sitter had to go home. I said sure knowing that it was going to be not good. She told me then that she wasn’t sure she could handle the way I make decisions, and that she didn’t want to grow to not like me. We talked for a while about things in general. I didn’t try to change her mind.

A couple days later after stewing about things for a while, I decided to write her a letter. Some might call it a love letter. It didn’t ask for her to come back, or tell her why she was wrong. I simply told her the impact that she has had on my life, and that if over time we could become friends, as hard as that can be, then I would like that. I felt good about the letter. After I sent it, I of course had the thoughts of what did I just tell her. What would it say. Would it make me look weak, or would it convey what I intended. I intended for it to tell her that I had grown to lover her, and would miss her. That she wasn’t just another girl in my life, but one of the memorable ones. I generally go with my heart on these things. I don’t like to leave things unsaid. Good or bad. I appreciate that she didn’t wait until things were bad, and she didn’t like me anymore.

As I have spent the last week thinking about this more. I wonder what was unsaid by her? What was going on in her head? And, how could I have drawn that out of her? I know that I should not have led her to believe that it was a done deal that I would have the divorce filed and nearly completed by the end of the summer. Summer is too unpredictable to make those kind of plans, especially when I am doing the work myself. She kept telling me “I am counting on you,” and “I need you to come through for me.” I took these statements lightly. I think I was missing some meaning behind them. It could be as extreme as she had decided she wanted to marry, or that simply that she felt like I needed to do this for her. She had said multiple times that wasn’t the case, but I may have missed the code words. I think she was emotionally messed up from her father and facing those demons again, and that she wasn’t willing to talk about it. All that added to the stresses of my life right now was too much for her. I may never know, and that always drives me nuts, but such is life.

Right now, I will look for dates again. I am pickier than when I met her. She did raise the bar for me. I am less willing to settle, and feel like that is okay. If she decided to come back in the next couple weeks, I would probably take her. It would require a big talk, and I would have to feel like I have gotten complete answers to some of my questions. She would also have to face me telling her some of the story of my marriage, because without knowing it, I don’t think she can understand why I am so cautious as I proceed with my divorce. She also believes that I am naive in believing that I have emotionally handled the ramifications of divorce, and am not going to be surprised by the finality of it. What she doesn’t understand is that as the man who was told that the divorce was coming, I had to face the loss and changes that were unexpected earlier than the person choosing the course. They have an image of how things will be as they head towards divorce, and its not until the end they realize there is another person making decisions and changing the course of events. They don’t realize that the loss of another’s love hurts, even after you have withdrawn your love from them already. This is why so many women in divorces they asked for become nasty at the end. The reality of their choices smacks them in the face.

Ten-Foured,

JeD