March 6

She so crazy!

this is my favorite photo i've ever taken.

No really, she is. I try to convince myself all the time that I have the normal crap, and it feels crazy to me, but every time I do, she proves me wrong. There are a couple good ones going on right now. The things she is or has done recently are 1) She has my kids spying on me, and is trying to convince them that my life is harming them. 2) She is telling me what I can and can’t do with my girlfriend around the kids. 3) She has stolen things from my home without remorse.

Spying

This was one that I expected, but not so overtly. I expected that she would question them about what goes on at my house. What surprised me is that she got my middle boy to actually call and text her what was going on. Nothing bad was going on, but it was none of her business, and of course she wants to twist it into something bad. She has been waging a campaign on my oldest boy to convince him that I am harming him. She will go to his counseling sessions, and sit there and bad mouth me for as long as the counselor will let it go on. There are plenty of people who want to tell me how to behave, but none of them really understand what this woman is. She is a border line personality. This means that she projects her own problems on others. She manipulates without remorse, because she has no empathy. Only her end goal is what matters to her. Anyone who has their own opinion is doing it to assault, punish, etc. her

I had a long talk with the kids. Letting them know that it is not okay to do this. I tried not to point out the primary offender. I made it clear that choosing not to talk to me about things at my house, and talking to her instead would be met with consequences. I really hated having to do this. Its what I have avoided, but there is no alternative, but to make them choose who they wanted to piss off. I don’t want them in the middle, but if their mother will put them there, I have to inform them of the boundaries and that crossing them is going to be an issue. My little spy asked me how much trouble he will get into, so I suspect it won’t stop until he is met with consequences. I also told my oldest that he can ask to leave his counseling session and sit in the lobby if his mother needs some therapy regarding me, and that if he needed to talk about me, then it could be done without her in the room, or he can request that I come along instead.

Girlfriend

Yes, I have a girlfriend who has met the children. We have been separated for what amounts to about two years at this point. The kids already see us as divorced. She is a nice woman, who really is about as opposite of my ex as a woman can be. She is thin, brunette, thoughtful, and unselfish. She is a single mom. Meaning her kids father lives in another state, and chooses to participate very little in their lives. The reasons why, I do not know, I do know that she actively gives him chances and always leaves frustrated. It was fairly natural for her to meet my kids, because it was nearly unavoidable that I would meet hers.

One evening she was over. She was working on homework, and her kids were going to stay the night, because there wasn’t any school the next day and she had to work. I went to play soccer for about an hour and a half. The boys biological half sister was there. She stayed working on homework and looking after things. At one point she snapped at my oldest and sent him to another room to play video games. I got the same story from both, so I am fairly certain it really was as simple as that. He called his mom crying. The next day I saw her, she went off on me. She told me that she isn’t allowed to babysit the kids. She wasn’t supposed to be emotionally involved with the kids, and a list of other things. Now the kids in question don’t need a babysitter for 90 minutes. She also said she had the right of first refusal as if that were an edict. It was not included in the temporary orders she filed, and I would not have had a baby sitter for such a short period of time. If I did, it would have been a family member of mine. I will not call her and haul the kids to her, and all the other issues that would come with that. I don’t think she understands that its my parenting time, and if she was sitting for the kids, I could make her stay at my house with them.

My core problem here is the idea that there are rules that we have to follow on these things leads to deceit. Probably by her. It is a way to assert authority into your ex’s life through the kids. I know it is. When I challenged her that she had no say in my personal life, her answer was I do when it involves the kids. I know that my oldest has met boyfriends of hers. They weren’t introduced as such, but that is what they were. This happened early. I had to process all of this then. I made the decision that I wouldn’t say or do anything, because I didn’t want her to think she had a say in my life. Its really that simple. I chose to have kids with her, so I chose her as their mother. Whether that was a good choice or not, I have to live with the fact she is going to make decisions I won’t agree with. Not a lot different than being married in that respect. I have to trust that anything short of being dangerous is not my business, and ultimately is not harmful. That is the environment created through divorce. I don’t agree that its best, but it is what I have to live with. She will probably never accept this, but I will enforce it in my life.

Stealing

I have very few things from our wedding. Maybe nothing now. I don’t care much, because as this blog catalogs, it was largely a farce. I had three trivets I used in the kitchen. They were nice, and were wedding gifts. She saw them when she was dropping off the kids one day. The next day she was picking up my sons for a game while I was already gone with the girls for another game. She took the trivets. I noticed a day or so later when I went to use them.

Since we are in this temporary order stage of divorce, I notified my lawyer, who sent an email to hers. Her response to me was incredible. She told me that it was my bad communication like that scenario is why our marriage didn’t work. She was furious I would dare tattle on her to my lawyer. I let her know that taking things without asking was not communicating, and that she filed the orders that said we were not to remove things from each others property. She apologized angrily, but never returned the items. She threatened to take all my tools in the divorce, and other things. All of which is very unlikely. Our property is essentially divided, and I am sure she doesn’t want to give up the numerous things she took from our marital home along the way without any conversation.

What I find amazing is she thought that this action was acceptable. Even defensible. I know lots of women have done things like this, but most realize that they are doing something wrong, but are also know that they will probably get away with it.


I have a fun decade in my future dealing with this woman. I don’t know what she will do. I kind of hope she does something crazy for everyone to see, so I can just get the kids and let her fade away. I feel sorry for my kids having her as a mom, and even sorrier that I played a part in that. I do hope that things get better, but I doubt she will do anything the easy way. I think that much of what she is doing is an initial salvo in a parental alienation campaign, so I have to be on my toes.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

January 22

Catching Up

Catching Up with a Cup of Tea

Its been a long time since I posted anything. I haven’t lost interest, but my life has consumed my time almost completely. I haven’t had the downtime to address things on here. My last post was a time that I had my oldest son full time. That came to an abrupt halt as my mother needed help as my father took a rapid downturn in his health. This is going to be a long post, and will cover the gaps from October to now.

My Father

My father died of brain cancer on November 8, 2012. He had suffered from lung cancer that metastasized in his brain. He was a strong man who fought every moment in the end to retain his mental capacities. He managed to make most people not even realize that he was being affected as badly as he was with his quick wit and ability to steer the conversation as he pleased. Him and my mother just missed their 40th wedding anniversarry by a couple of weeks.

My mother is still relatively young. She grew up in the feminist expansion era of the 1960s. She would have graduated high school in 1972 if she had followed a normal path in life. She adored my father, and went to great efforts that even in his reduced mental capacity, he was able to be the leader in their relationship. It was something amazing to watch. She is the reason that I have such a hard time with most modern women. They say they want to be like her, but none really want to make the sacrifices that are necessary to be like her. They don’t see the rewards that come with those risks taken with a man they love. As much as I am aware of how the world has changed, I still hope that I may find a woman like her. A woman that understand men and women are different, and wants to say “fuck you” to the culture and do things our way.

His downward turn was shortly after my last blog post. His memory with me, my sister, and his seven grandkids will be a tribute to his life. He was a man who wore his emotions on his sleeve. You never were left wondering where you stood with him, and no one regrets the conversations never had with him. He helped rebuild a relationship between my mom and her older brother that had soured over a business deal between them and him. He had a childhood friend who gave him an ultimatum decades before and had walked out of his life, who heard he was dieing and returned in hopes of rekindling that relationship. This man hovered over my dad, and was willing to carry him if he had to just to spend time with him. My dad would complain that this man was hovering, but then with a smile say “but he needs to do this to close the gap in lost time.” My dad put up with his hovering to let this man heal the wounds created by his own decision to walk away decades earlier. He didn’t hold grudges, and he always thought of the other person. He was not a soft man. There were many times that he and I had ridiculous arguments, and yet we both walked away with a mutual respect for each other.

I loved my dad like I could love no other man. The only two grudges he held in his entire life were with my mom’s sister, who intentionally and continually hurt and alienated my mother, and my ex who isolated me from the rest of the family and has done so much damage to my oldest son emotionally without remorse. He actually banned them from his funeral. That was the only thing we did not honor of his wishes. I understood the feelings, but it was not the time to carry out his grudge. Both will fade from our lives forever over time. He held those grudges not for the harm they did to him, but the harm they did to those he loved most.

My Mother

My mother has needed some extra help, but not a lot. I worry about her far more than she needs me to. Going through the holidays has been tough for her. My dad loved everything about the holidays. She is glad to have spent those first close to his death. That they won’t drag out over the next year and catch her again a year later like he just died all over again.

My Dating

I was talking to a woman while my dad was in his last weeks. She was supportive. She was someone to talk to that seemed to get what was going on. Sadly she had some health problems, and turned out to be a flake. After not hearing from her for a while, I called it quits. That was followed with some panicked calls from her, but I don’t have the patience for someone who stops communicating with me. We haven’t talked much since then. I know she found someone to date. I think she just wanted a guy, and was scared that another one would not come along.

I met another woman very quickly. We have connected better than I imagined. Her story is similar to mine as a woman. I have let her be involved with my kids, something I have not considered with any of the other women that I have been involved with. I see some real oporunity here. I struggle with how the laws and the system works, but I am not going to be scared. I won’t be having kids with anyone anymore, so if I can find someone that I could spend the next 20+ years with, I would be happy. I don’t need that to be happy, but I do like the companionship of a wife. My standards are much different than before. My view of the world is much darker than it was before. I will cautiously move forward with this woman for now. She is the first woman to not be terrified of a man with 4 kids, who is actually involved in their daily lives, and who is probably going to seek full custody of the kids soon.

The Ex and Kids

She has become more aggressive in her behaviours with my oldest. This past weekend she scratched his neck during an argument. She blames me because I embarassed her by bringing my girlfriend to the kids games over the weekend. The kids had asked for her to be there. She said something within earshot of him after the game before he left with me. He was crying and I talked to him. Explained that my feelings weren’t hurt, and that he shouldn’t have had to hear it. She brought it up the next day as she was taking them to church. He called me to come get him. Before I arrived she had taken him to church. I have asked some questions and found out that she announced to the other kids he scratched himself. So they pipe in to defend her everytime he says something. I am starting to get together documentaiton of things to seek full custody of him, and by extension all of the kids when I file for divorce. I have reached my wits end on this. I have friends and family who will testify to how she treats the kids, and I have kept some logs of things as they happened to add to that. I hope that I can get a judge who isn’t stuck in the 1960s view of the world, and can get this thing done in the best interest of the kids.

DUI Fallout

There isn’t much. I show up every month and I talk to my CSO. I pee in a cup when they ask me too, and go on with life. I have been driving, but don’t have my license back. Thank goodness I drive like an old man anyway. I took the tint out of the windows, so no one has a reason to pull me over. I will be going in to get the ignition interlock and get my license back on a restricted basis soon, so I don’t have to be quite so careful, and so I have an ID to travel with, if I need to.

That is the condensed version of my life for the last few months. Its been a roller coaster. I will be blogging more, because its theraputic for me as well. I have some things on my mind to blog about. Some of them are the things mentioned above, and some are topics of interest I have.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 20

Online Dating Update

Dangers Of Online Dating

I changed my profile completely. As I said I would, I used some of the women’s profiles as archetypes for mine. This has been an excercise in reverse engineering the technology, and then extracting social cues from the women’s profiles that I thought I would like to attract. The end result is an honest, but engineered profile. It also does a fair share of social engineering to get desired results.

Interests

I added a lot of single words to the interests section to make sure that I get hits based on that. Stupid me had that relatively short, thinking that if I covered it below in then I didn’t need to there, but that area is like meta-data to POF. You need it to be there, so you are presented more often to women. I didn’t put anything in there to just get hits, but I put a lot of things in there I wouldn’t have thought to add before. I put things in there that everyone has an interest in, like music and movies. I put specific things, and the generic counterpart so I could catch people who had one or the other in their. So you have float trips, canoeing, and kayaking in there.

About Me

So the about me is the meat of this system. This is where you say whatever it is you want people to know. There is a lot of space, but it is limited. I used it all. Using it all gives the impression that I took some time to do this. It tells the people reading it that I am not wasting their time, and that connection can carry into the first few conversations. I give details and inject some humor as I go. I rewrote each piece a couple of times until when I read it, I could hear my own voice saying the words. I am selling myself, not some image of me that they won’t see when we meet. That is something I learned in dealing with Sarah. I was not surprised in any way by her. She sold me what she was in looks and interactions.

Disclaimer/Introduction

Most women have a disclaimer in their profile. Telling you what they don’t want. I find this very off-putting, so I twisted the idea into an introduction. It basically says that I am not playing the game by the rules. I will not send out 100s of emails without responses. I will write women who catch my eye, but if I catch yours, then you should send me a thoughtful messages that shows you read what I wrote. I also tell them if they do that I will respond, even if it is to inform them I am not interested or we are not a good match.

Kids Come First

Again the way women write this piece, though it exists in all profiles, is a put off. I let them know that I am a busy involved dad with some real examples of how. Kids are a great place to interject humor. I hint at a peaceful relationship with the kids mom. I don’t say the kids come first and if you can’t handle that kiss off. I think any woman that reads a section describing my activities with my kids who can’t come to that conclusion on her own is too stupid for me to deal with for long. I can filter these women out pretty quick.

Active Lifestyle

Everyone likes to think they are active. I skip past the active women who only say they go to the gym, unless they look like they are about ready to compete in a figure or fitness competition. I do this because I know they are at the gym five times a week to meet men. Once they have one hooked, they will kick the habit and down goes the figure fast. I list what I do to have an active lifestyle. The sports I play. The activities I do. I inject a lot of personality humor into this section. Its a lifestyle born of disciplines, and I don’t want to focus on the disciplines. They aren’t fun and are evident to anyone smart enough to keep my attention.

The Career

Women write a lot about their jobs. I don’t really care about her job. I do, but only once I get to know her. Its not a selling point. I only care that she has a job to take care of herself, because this man has four kids to care for. She cares about my job. They all do. There needs to be a hint that you are secure and stable in that job to get any hits. I give some hints at what my work life is like and what I do. I am not too specific, but I paint a picture of the job and environment I work in.

Intimacy

Women always have something about hugging and cuddling. I wrote a section that covers my emotional disposition and thought process, but only little glimpses. This is something they need to discover, but they need a teaser. I let them know that I am protective almost territorial about the people I love. Its a lot of strong and affirmative language reflecting my character.

Interests Revisited

I expound on my interests. I talk about my love of fires and the outdoors. I paint a picture of their being room there for someone without making it sound like someone is missing. I talk about the different volunteer activities I have done. I have done a lot, so there is some stuff there for everyone. I explain some of my musical tastes and add a little humor to this section. I don’t talk about movies and TV. Who really cares. Yes there some I love and hate, but I don’t plan on sitting around watching movies or TV with anyone very often. I did that with the STBEW, and that relationship sucked. I talk about my love of reading and writing. I talk about my love of art, and make some cracks about how little I know about art. I talk about doing photography.

Relationship Status

This is a head them off at the pass section. Women rarely have it, but they do care. Especially since I am not divorced yet. Its simple and clear. Divorce is coming, and we get along well enough to deal with kid issues without fighting.

The Close

I say something that dares them to pass me by. No well wishes. No passive letter closes. Its the you should know me, and choosing not to is a bad idea.

First Date

I put some creative things I would actually like to do that are not the same stupid things everyone else puts in there about drinks, coffee, dinner, or god forbid a movie.

Results

I didn’t break it up into sections. I just had paragraphs follow this format, and in this order. The order was something I noticed as I read women’s profiles. I have had good results. My response rate is at about 30% when I send out messages, and I don’t send out a lot of messages. I have 3-5 women I am communicating with right now, and two that are likely to escalate into a date. I have been contacted by numerous women, and as I said in my intro, I do respond if they say more than “Hi, wanna chat?” The other thing I have noticed through this process is that I have very little patience for someone who has not taken the time to fill out their profile with something that gives me at least a little hint of who I am dealing with. Women with the punch lists of don’ts are bitches, guaranteed. Women with the punch lists of wants are never going to be satisfied. Women who say they don’t want players and assholes are off the list, because the only guys they are going to respond to are players and assholes. I don’t have a problem with those guys, and the women get what they deserve, when this is the type of guy they choose. I mostly look at the women who say something about themselves and what they like to do, and who have taken some time to choose pictures that show what they look like and some personality. When meeting a woman, if they don’t look like their pictures I will walk away. That is lying of the first order, and its not acceptable to bait me in with 10 year old pictures that don’t look at all like you. I have seen some of this with friends, so far the women I have met have not done this. I have had no surprises. I know that with time I will meet a few truly crazies.

I am surprised to say the least. This change has been dramatic to the whole online dating experience. None of it really fits what POF lists as good profiles or what many web gurus will tell you. I am liked by women in the physical world. They like my personality and how I carry myself. I needed to bring some of that into the profile. I am selling me, not some everyman for women to drool over. In the same way that I would walk if I find she misrepresented herself, I expect that the type of woman I want will walk if I do. I spend less time with the stupid site, and get better results. I have made a few international pen pals along the way as well. All in all, I think my assessment is changing of online dating.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 6

My Focus Needs More Focus

Focus Your Vision

I have spent so much time perusing an online dating site. Its addicting. I am done. Tonight I will change the profile to say some different things. One of which will be that if any woman wants to talk, she will have to initiate. Men respond most of the time to women on these sites, and women almost never respond. I get a better hit rate than I see most men do. I get a response about every 20 messages sent, and at least a look every 5 or so. This is stupid. I spend a ton of time doing this, and it isn’t any fun. Its not otherwise productive. I will leave it up there for these women who search like crazy, and if they are bold enough to contact me, then I will say something back. Even if I am not interested in them, because I know how it feels to be ignored. I may block them after I send a message, but I will reply.

What am I going to do with all this time I was wasting? Um, read a book or two. Yes I read about three books a month as it is, but there are so many I want to read, it won’t hurt to get another one or two in there. I am checking out some things through meetup.com. It seems this is a better way to go. I will meet new people for real. Not just women, but men too. I get to make eye contact, and if there is a woman that gets my attention, she will at least know me from the group and have something to base her rejection or acceptance on. There aren’t many places to go meet people in the modern world. Things have become so much less social. The bar seems to be the place, but I don’t want to be there all the time. I also will probably be told I can’t go to bars for the next year, because of my DUI. I am bored of the bars. I like hearing the music, but there are other options for that. I will have time for some projects I have in mind. A couple of them are software projects that I have intended to do for a long time, and have never really gotten off the ground. I have some multi-media projects that I want to get done with my personal media. Nothing that will take too much time, but I do need to give it some time.

What will I miss? The sex and other intimate touch and companionship. I have become accustomed to having that in my life since my separation. I haven’t gone long without it. I didn’t have that in my marriage as this blog catalogs. I know I can live without, but desire it. I think patience will prove to be my friend here. I know that I can go find some woman for sex, but the amount of time that takes can be spent on so much more. The stress. Online dating makes you feel like a failure. There is a tendency to grab hold of women who wouldn’t normally have your attention, because they accept your message and reply. Most of these women, I would reject out of hand in the real world. I think that its time to return to the real world. Spend some time window shopping at stores that I like. It is likely I will run into women who enjoy the same things at those places. Go out and experience the places that I would enjoy going with a woman by myself. It is likely I will meet a woman at those places that would also like to enjoy them with a man.

What do I need? I need some single guy friends that like to do things together. I have a lot of married friends. Well I thought they were friends, but most have moved on since my separation. They aren’t available when I don’t have the kids. I can’t blame them. I am not a bad looking guy, and since my separation have got in much better shape. I wouldn’t want someone like me around their wife, and most men don’t do anything without their wife’s approval, so they are unlikely to spend much time with me away from their home. The problem is me and the other single dads I know, don’t have time. We go above and beyond to spend time with our kids. We have extra jobs or overtime to pay for our kids stuff, while our exes choose jobs that provide very little money, but great hours. It sucks to be more of a wage slave without her than with her, but its true. How do I get these men together. I don’t know the answer to that, but its something to work on with this free time I will have, now that I won’t be spending hours trying to woo that woman online into meeting me offline.

I wish I had more time to raise a dog. I miss my dogs. They died shortly before we separated. They were old, but they were mine. We had a dog that we shared with a neighbor, but it was really the neighbor’s dog. They gave the dog away as we separated. When I have my kids, I don’t get home soon enough to take care of the dog. It would normally be at home alone for about 13 hours. That isn’t fair. When I don’t have the kids, that would still be the case for a day or two. Sad, my broken family takes away my opportunity to have a simple companion like a dog.

I still struggle with the broken vows and separation. I get angry and sad. Its not that I want her, because she was not a nice person. I held onto my vows, always thinking that if I just persevere I will reach the promise of marriage that was sold to me, and shown to me by my parents. Her leaving takes away that opportunity. Knowing what I know, I regret not leaving her when she cheated on me, and we had the boys only as foster kids, and the girls weren’t in the picture. I say that, and know that I wouldn’t miss the girls, because I wouldn’t know them, but have a hard time regretting a decision that has brought their light into my life. I need to work through these feelings. I fear being alone forever, but that would be better than settling on a woman who will treat me badly again. I laugh at the women who put on their profiles that they are perfectly happy being alone. If that were true, they wouldn’t be on the site looking for men.

So often I want to cry, but I have no one to cry with. I have been the shoulder for my wife, children, mother, and even father. My wife shamed me when I was in pain, and obviously is not available now. My mother and father are dealing with so much in their lives now, and they become really uncomfortable when their big strong son cries. My kids obviously don’t need my pain heaped onto their own. I will not burden them with it. My best friend is the one person who can cry with. He is a youth minister of sorts. He is also the busiest man in the world. We live 45 minutes apart, and don’t get to see each other often. He is the only person who I don’t feel guilty laying my burdens down and letting him see my pain. Men need this. Men need to find ways to provide this to each other, because women will attack the weakness it shows all to often. I am not encouraging men to run around crying all the time. I believe the control of our emotions is where some of our strength comes from, but there are times where all a man can do is cry to clear his mind and relieve the pressure of things he cannot change.

I suppose that the tears are why I miss Sarah. She allowed me to cry, and not feel weak. Its one of the things that I will require in a partner in the future. I need a safe place to show that side of me. Many women proclaim they want this in their man, but then judge him weak for showing it. She never did. I had so much bottled up that during the short time we were together, I cried twice. She didn’t comfort me and say poor baby. She encouraged me. She saw where the chinks were in my armor, and fortified with the exact right words of encouragement. I am thankful for that. She needed me to be strong, and saw her part in making sure that I could be. It was not in tearing me down, but in building me up that I could be her hero or knight. Shame was not going to make me a better partner. This is a requirement in any woman that I choose to be with in the future. I am coming to a point that I am just thankful for the lessons Sarah taught me. I am getting over my sadness of her deciding that things wouldn’t work in the long term. There is this piece of me that believes she didn’t give us a chance, but then I understand wanting to leave on a high note. Who knows what the future holds. We parted well, and things could bring our paths back together when the dust settles in my life. If not, I will forever remember her for what she gave me this summer.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 5

Online Dating Sucks

Self portrait - Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere.

I don’t have the time or the desire to head out to some place to pick up women. I thought the online dating would be a good way to cut that part out, and get to know someone better. Well it sucks. I can go to most public places and with just a look get a woman’s attention. From there its easy to approach her and talk. Many times she will approach me first. Its just not that hard to meet new women. It doesn’t happen every time, but most nights out, I get a woman’s phone number and she returns the call. The problem is the quality of the woman that I meet out is questionable, or at least her motives are based on how we met each other.

My thoughts were that with online dating, I would meet women who were interested in more. That reading their profile, I could have a decent opening message and expect a reply from most, even if it turns out they aren’t that interested. I figured it would be like real life for me, but better because we can talk about motives and desires. I have found that most women are demanding that they get the best the world has to offer. The only problem is they aren’t that good themselves. They think that they should have the most attractive man, with the best job, who has all the time in the world for them. Women who would have a good time with in the real world, won’t give me the time of day in the internet dating world. I am going to try some different tactics, but I doubt this goes anywhere. Women think that these sites are catalogs of men for them to choose from, and that they can have any one of them that they want. They don’t realize that most of the men have no interest in them. They don’t reach the mark, but they aren’t being rejected. They are doing the rejecting. The men still initiate most of the contacts. Most are ignored. I think many of these women would have better social skills if they took the time to respond to a few more of these men, if it is even to just reject them kindly. Most of these women rarely even look at the profiles of the men who send them message. They are rejecting them based upon the first picture they see. Crazy how shallow most of these women are, usually while accusing men of being shallow.

I am going to try to change my profile. I think I might have done something foolish. I have created a profile projecting what it is that I want to do with a woman, and thus have created a profile to attract men. I am going to basically create a profile that strongly resembles the ones I see from women. That talks about my position and stability. My abilities in the work force, and how independent that I am. I just won’t list my you better not be-s. That can be sorted out by me just fine without just pissing off some women with what they think is targeted at them. I think most of the women are projecting as well. They are righting what is important to them, not what they think will catch the man. Maybe I will get a higher quality of response. I will report back.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 5

What does dinner mean?

Top Ramen

I have noticed lately as I pick up the kids from my STBEW’s house that she is fixing dinner. Crazy I know. The reason I comment on it, is she is clearly making dinner for her and her new boyfriend. It really bothers me. I thought about why that was. Her having a boyfriend doesn’t bother me. As a matter of fact, it tends to make my life easier. She doesn’t get mad that I don’t do the “man” things for her. She doesn’t get that isn’t a part of the deal anymore. She wanted her cake and to eat it too with this whole divorce/separation thing. So why does it bother me.

Well first, she rarely made dinner for our family even as a stay at home mom. If we ate a hot meal, I would cook it most times. This ventures into a couple different areas. The first is, why wasn’t I worthy of her care in this way as her husband? Why did I not merit this attention? Why could I not even get her attention to go out to eat without the kids? None of the answers to the questions really matter. My mind just spins with them. I get angry. This was something that would have helped our relationship. It was something that I had told her that was important to me.

The second is why doesn’t she do this for the kids when they are there? Why don’t they deserve this care? This part makes me really angry. She moved over the summer. This move has made it so I can no longer have my afternoon routine that I used to have. I used to cook dinner for the kids while we worked on homework. I used to help with homework. She took both of these from me and them. I now pick them up and run off to practice pretty much every night of the week that I have them. I then take them home to rush through fixing them dinner and usher them to showers. It pisses me off that she takes this away from me and them, and does none of it to fill the gaps for them. It pisses me off that she is so selfish as to move for her convenience over the betterment of her children, and their father. She is so callous as to say this to a friend like it should be expected.

Then BOOM, it hits me. She is the most selfish person I know. She always has been. She is doing what she needs to do to have the attention of this man. She married me to try to please her father. It didn’t work. I wasn’t right in his mind for some silly list of reasons. I wasn’t right for her, because my skin is too pale. She rarely dated any white men. Something I was not told until after we were married, probably because she assumed, rightly, that I would have left. As many red flags as I missed, that is one that I would have caught. I had seen it before with friends. She wants to look like a good mom. She will fix enough dinners for them to make that look good. She doesn’t care if she is a good mom. Most of the time she does okay. I know that throughout history bad moms have raised good kids, so I won’t get to focused on this. The kids will have to make their own choices about how they want their future to look.

So what is really eating at me. Well this is a reminder of the promise of marriage. I was at the grocery store at lunch. I saw couples old and not so old wandering through the store together. They were happy. They smiled. They seemed to enjoy each other. They didn’t look strained. These are the things I wanted. My STBEW used to make fun of my sister and her husband for doing things like shopping together. It was so impractical. Guess what, that is exactly why it was important. That impracticality is what made it special. I can forgive her for so many things, even the desire for divorce. I can’t forgive her for never giving our marriage a chance. For never putting herself into it with her whole heart. I can’t forgive her for robbing me of the opportunity of trying to have a life of deep commitment to the woman I love. She got married with an exit plan, so it was riskier to dive that deep than it was to not do so. I can’t forgive her for robbing me of that opportunity. We might have failed, but as it was we never had a chance. If I am ever to find that woman, and am able to foster that relationship with her, then maybe I can forgive her for this. I doubt I will have that chance as I try to raise my children. I expect that woman will be busy doing the same herself, and it will be stupid luck if we ever cross paths in such a way to notice each other romantically.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

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 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