December 22

Time Is Love

where is the love?

This is something I learned while working in ministry. That’s far in my past, but the lessons learned about relationships still ring true. Time is love. I talk a lot about child support, and the harm it does. This is the flip side of the argument. This is where things hurt worse. Losing authority in my kids life through child support is something I can’t stand, but it is how the system works. A system that needs to change. This is the less tangible side of the problem.

If you have ever been involved with youth ministry, there is the idea that is passed on to the leaders that “Time = Love.” I used to think it was just a phrase to motivate you, but as I saw it at work, its true. People feel loved by you being available to them with your time, and choosing to spend time with them, when there isn’t anything in particular to do together. Just hanging out. Young men do this naturally with each other. As we grow into adults we don’t continue to do this as well. We get busy, and doing “important” things becomes more pressing than just spending time with people. Friendships become less important than colleagues, we even pretend that our colleagues are our friends to try and fill the gap, but it doesn’t work. In the end we all become a little lonelier.

Our kids need time. That is the only thing that matters. They will remember hanging out while you work on the car or fixing a bike or even cleaning the kitchen. These are the times that you talk about life. These are the times that you transfer your knowledge not just about the thing you are doing, but you get to talk about your experiences from the past that can help train them, and they get to tell you their stories that explain how they are being shaped for life. This can’t be replaced by the car rides to practice or games. The conversations just aren’t as organic as they are when you are just doing life. I think this is especially true for men and their children.

The same attitude gives mothers the advantage in custody. The tasks are more important than anything. Mothers tend to be more attentive to the tasks of child raising, especially when there are two parents involved. All custody cases really seem to focus on the kids in such a way that if you read the documents involved, you would think that that all children function at the same level as toddlers. The basic care and feeding of the children is the focus. The end result of mother centered custody is the kids don’t get the benefit of a father who forces them to care for themselves while being the safety net. A father who draws them alongside them instead of just ordering them around or just taking care of them. Children deserve a mother and father because they balance out each other. Yes a man has usually acted as provider, but he should be allowed to do that on his terms. The current system reduced him to a wage slave, and that isn’t the role of father. He is a provider, and in that role he also gets to train his kids about providing for themselves.

I have yet to see a man who is an active father who doesn’t provide for the needs of his kids. These are things that when raised to the challenge of being a single or divorced dad that most men just do. All of the things that the court make all important about the kids are taken care of. I have also seen very few mothers who are very good at teaching kids to leave the nest. I don’t know how many kids from single mothers who don’t learn to ride a bike until they are much older than the kids raised with an active dad. This might sound stupid, but allowing the kids to crash is part of teaching them to ride a bike, and mom’s aren’t very good at that. The pictures you see of men tossing babies in the air that so many people like to make fun of, but the truth is this is part of men teaching their kids to fly. In healthy families kids look to their mom for comfort, and their dad for security. Even as a baby they learn that their dad isn’t going to let bad things happen to them, even when something scary is happening.

Kids are being robbed of their security through divorce and the courts. Men have to figure out how to put the wrongs away, and do their best to still be fathers with only 1/3 or less the time they had before. Any justification for this falls on deaf ears with me, because divorce changes everything. The idea of keeping this normal for the kids is lost in divorce. Pretending that you can come close is absolute bullshit. Women are being rewarded with money and power for keeping the fathers at arms length and limiting their time. Kids suffer for this. The become unsure of themselves. The person who was their security is struggling to care for himself now. He no longer can pay for the things he used to, and their mother can, but she can only because she receives money that the father cannot talk about. None of this makes the children feel secure.

Relationships are not about quality time. They are about time. The children deserve the most time they can get with both parents. They need the comfort from mom, but just as much they need the security of dad. This is something the court doesn’t recognize. The long term ramifications of kids who fail to launch don’t seem to matter. All that matters is that the kids succeed in school, and don’t go to jail. The system is broken. It doesn’t account for all the intangibles that ultimately matter. The court can’t account for them, but it can take a more neutral stance. One that says that parents are required to take care certain aspects of the kids needs, and each should have to do it.

Kids need time with each parent, and lots of it. When the parents are thinking of the kids, then they will do this naturally, and ultimately when the parents are left on equal footing with equal time and responsibility for the kids, then this is much more likely to happen. The parents are more likely to work together. It doesn’t matter how many words are used to say that should occur, it wont’ occur so long as the parents aren’t operating from equal footing. The courts do a huge diservice to the kids by not working for the parents to have equal footing in most cases, especially cases where the parents are both able, willing, and in close proximity to each other. This is something to fight for. This is the case to make to our legal overlords.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

September 12

Lust, Pornography, and Christiananity

Jesus is Watching You (and adult videos)

Well this isn’t so much a personal story as it is a commentary based on personal observation and experience. If you haven’t noticed reading my blog, I don’t use a lot of facts and figures. This is about what I observe in the world. I work in a world of facts and figures and statistics. I don’t want to write about them. Other people cover those things quite well. This is one of those posts that people will wonder about the facts and figures. I say go find them. I don’t have them. I am not sure I believe the ones I have read, because of the nature of the questioning that would have to occur to get the results. As with so many things revolving around sex, we really can’t get to the heart of the matter, because of the many taboos even in conversation that exist.

I am going to start with lust. Lust is one of those words in the Christian world that gets thrown around a lot. It is always used to shame men. I won’t argue this, I have sat in the pews of too many sermons that are on the topic of lust. None of them have ever dealt with it in any way that is not shaming men. Its an easy target. Men want women’s body’s to be theirs to enjoy. Its a part of how we were built. God made us with a desire for women. The unfairness to this is women lust after men too. Its not completely based on body, but it is a part of the equation. Women like the bad boys who set their own rules. I rarely hear women chastised for this lust of theirs. We use this word lust, but what does it mean. http://dictionary.com gives us this definition”

lust? ?[luhst]
noun
1. intense sexual desire or appetite.
2. uncontrolled or illicit sexual desire or appetite; lecherousness.
3. a passionate or overmastering desire or craving (usually followed by for ): a lust for power.
4. ardent enthusiasm; zest; relish: an enviable lust for life.
5. Obsolete .
     a. pleasure or delight.
     b. desire; inclination; wish.

Notice something in that definition. There is nothing about looks. The verse that is referred to uses the word look, but lust is not about looking. Its about desire and appetite or craving. So women lust after men all the time. Women get horny. Women desire men sexually. Its just not based on something they always see. It might be wealth, power, prestige, or beauty. Women are not immune to lust. This is the verse used to go after men.

Matthew 5:28
New International Version (NIV)
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The context of this verse in Matthew 5 is Jesus calling out the judgmental people who sit back and do all the right things that they too are just as guilty as the ones who committed these acts. He is saying to the overly religious that if you want to judge the adulterer, then you tomust judge yourself, for what man has never looked upon a woman lustfully. He is speaking about the spiritual ramifications of these things. He is saying that for your spiritual well being you are no better off thinking about carnal acts with women who are not your wife than you are if you do the carnal acts. I would say that the core of this message is that no man is deserving of the saving grace of Jesus, and that being said we can do better. To do better we must stop worrying about our neighbor’s failings and start worrying about our own, for no man knows what is on my heart but myself. A verse rarely used for lust, but one that is used to attack homosexuality is this.

Romans 1:26
New International Version (NIV)
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.”

I am not going to say anything about homosexuality. If you are a Christian then you are answerable to God on that issue not me. Verse 27 is the verse that is used for this. I have left it off on purpose. The word lust is clearly used in relationship to sex and women. Not only that, but its used in way that is derogatory towards their actions. I think the point can be made that women have lusts that are not Holy in nature. The Church needs to stop presenting this issue as a male only issue. One of the things that gets thrown at men in sermons is this lust, and as a side note women are told to be dressed provocatively is inadvisable and not very nice, but men you are still supposed to have it under control. The women’s dress is treated as cultural phenomena that women should think about, but has no spiritual consequence. There may be some truth to this assessment when you are talking about little girls, but you will notice that women will dress to show off the parts of their body that they know have men’s attention. For some women this is cleavage, and for others it is their legs, and for others it may be their stomachs. They are knowingly showing off parts of their body for the purpose of gaining male attention. Not just any male attention, but male sexual attention. These women lust for male sexual attention.

Pornography consumption is merely more of the same. Men and women watch pornography to fantasize about sex. They lust for what is being done on screen. There is an addictive nature to it, because of the chemical releases in the brain. I would venture to say that all lust has an addictive nature to it for the same reason. It is in the modern era that you can see porn without shame from society, so it becomes more prevalent. In the past to sit around and stare at women was a juvenile thing. If a woman was to look up at you staring at her while she was at the beach or pool, you would be chastised or she would move. Watching other people have sex is not something most people are invited to do, so again there is no historical corollary that really applies to be able to watch a couple of actors put on sex show in the privacy of your home. It is a kind of supercharged lust. The act of lust tends to kick endorphins into your system, and pornography gives you almost unlimited means to do get that release of endorphins. The closest anyone probably got to this in Jesus’ era was the temple prostitutes or orgies, but these things of course required participation.

I blame the Church for so much of the damaged sexual relations in Christian marriages. The Church has painted a picture of men being predators and uncontrollable lust monsters while women were pure and virginal(even when they weren’t) lustless creatures. Women were warned to watch out for the men. The men only wanted one thing mentality. Here is one of proverbs warnings against adultery.

Proverbs 5:1-6
New International Version (NIV)
Warning Against Adultery

5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
    turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
    and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
    sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
    her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

To me this warning is clear. Men watch out. She will entice you. She will make you feel good, and she will drag you down to your death given a chance, and she will be none the wiser about what she is doing. There are plenty of verses that make it clear she is not absolved of her actions, so I won’t read into this that she is somehow innocent. The context of the Bible must be read as a whole. The problem here is the Church gives her a pass for her adultery all too often. It is blamed on the men. It is blamed on her husband’s failings, and on her lover’s charms. She was helpless to do anything about it. This is bunk, and everyone knows it.

Now lets get to my experience. I found that in my marriage, pornography was a problem. Not that I consumed it often or in large quantities, actually quite the contrary. Lust for other women and the temptation to just take a peek were there all the time, unless I was getting regular and quality sex. I only remember a very brief time in my marriage that happened. I think it was driven by some guilt on her part. I noticed right away that these temptations were almost completely absent during this time. As we separated I found that initially these temptations were huge. So was going out to pick up some woman just to have sex with. I gave in these temptations. I do not regret it. It has given me an understanding of things that I would not have had before. The absolutely carnal sex of pornography and casual sex was addictive in nature. I craved the endorphin rush, and the I craved the adrenaline rush of the chase. So what changed. I met Sarah. She was very sexual, but this was hardly casual. This was albeit short lived, a relationship. She was a person, not a body. She met other needs I had, and had needs I met. For me the sex was incredible. I had never had regular, healthy sex in a relationship, since high school. I know many will say sex out of wedlock is not healthy and spiritually speaking they would be correct, but psychologically speaking the definition expands some. Here is the kicker. I desire the healthy(or healthier) sex to the other stuff. I have not been tempted to go seek out the sex of pornography or one night stands after we split up.

Sarah never used sex as power. We had great sex up unto the day before she decided to move on. Sex as power in the relationship is at the core of what the Church teaches women. They are taught that there is no consequence to their actions sexually. They are taught that it is not their fault. Men are to get in line and do things right, and if they do, then their wife will desire them. There is the power play. The wife can say that he isn’t doing this spiritual thing or that spiritual thing right, and that is why they don’t desire their husband or worse strayed to another man. Of course if it were some womanly spiritual discernment that made them not desire their husband, then that same discernment should have told them that the man they were fucking on the side was in it just for the sex. Christian women hold men hostage with sex. I know women in the culture at large do this as well, but it is far worse in the Christian world, because the men will stay with these women because of their faith, and be tormented by their failure as a Christian husband.

I think that if the Church were to spend less time talking about lust and sexual purity, and more time about truly healthy relationships. If the Church taught Biblical truth about love, marriage, and leadership, things would be better. If the Church took the time to worry about spiritual successes rather than failures in its teaching, then men and women would strive to reach those heights. Too often people will look at the failures that are being talked about, and look around and see a sea of people who are doing worse, and decide that the teaching isn’t for them. I think that all too often the Church in focusing on the sins of men and women, they put the ideas into their head to become distracted by. How many people chose to look at pornography out of curiosity. To see what all the fuss was about. Those images are stuck there, and won’t go away. What if the Church stood up and said wives it is your duty to sexually please your husband? What if, instead of telling men to keep their lusts in check, they said husbands it is your duty to direct your sexual desires on your wife often? What if?

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

March 21

None Of It Matters

Aghori

I have been thinking a lot lately about the things my wife told me when she said she wanted a divorce. As I said before, she gave me a laundry list of things that was wrong with me, that needed to change for her to stay. She had been challenged by her sister to give me a chance, so she told her she would. Her tactic was to pick a fight with me, and almost guarantee that I would not do anything different. Of course when I did change some things, I was told it was too little too late.

What horrible things could I have done to have her so firmly planted on leaving me, you might ask. Well I chew tobacco, have since I was 12, and never hid it from her. This of course was also an excuse to not kiss me after we got married. I was careful to make sure that I chewed gum, and brushed my teeth often to ensure that she would not be impacted by a stray piece of tobacco or the flavor. For the first few years, I never chewed around her, until I figured out it didn’t matter. I also very rarely did loads of laundry. This was a constant complaint with her. Of course the early years of our marriage she was so particular that I couldn’t get it right if I tried, and she just did mine. When we had kids, she was a stay at home mom. I always helped fold the laundry when the kids were in bed, and she was folding. I also didn’t get up with the kids in the morning often. I am not a morning person. I will admit that freely. She would wake up at the first noise, and I would not. She would get them ready for school, and poor the milk in their cereal, because the Lord knows she didn’t cook. From the time we had kids, I took over parenting when I got home. I would take care of all their needs, bath them, and put them to bed. When we had foster babies that needed to be fed in the middle of the night, I would stay up and do that, so she wouldn’t have to wake up and try to go back to sleep. Oh, and of course the kicker of all kickers. I rarely went to bed at the same time as her, and never got credit for doing so when I did. There were a lot of reasons for this. For first year of our marriage she worked nights, then I was in school and studying, then I had an IT job that required me to do much of my work in the middle of the night. When I did go to bed with her, she rarely wanted to be touched, or would complain that all I wanted was sex when I touched her.

None it matters. These were excuses. She actively rejected me getting up with the kids, doing laundry, and going to bed with her. I stopped chewing, but have started again. I enjoy it, and her opinion doesn’t count anymore. She would nit pick what I did in the morning with the kids, and complain about something every morning. She would get mad that I didn’t do the laundry exactly like she did. She would stay up long after I went to bed. None of it mattered. These were truly small things. The big thing was the rationalization hamster kept giving her more reasons to leave. It had found another man that would replace me, if only she could get rid of me. Ha, the joke is on her. That man ran away before they ever were able to get together, because she left me. He didn’t mind being the side guy, but a boyfriend for a middle aged woman with 4 kids, yea right. I had beat myself up over not doing these simple things. Of course these were the few things she did around the house. I did most of the cleaning, and all of the repairs and outside work. I also did most of the cooking. I mean actual cooking, where ingredients are bought and combined to make food, not just heated up to eat. She was fairly worthless.

Why do I reflect on this? What purpose does it serve? Well I spent a lot of time beating myself up for these things. I had to realize that none of it mattered. Once she opened Pandora’s Box by using the word divorce, there is no way to put it away. Game over. Anything she did from there on out was rationalizing her decision. The first time that word was used, was years before she said she wanted a divorce. Capitulating to her demands makes me weak. Not meeting her demands justifies her decision. Either way I lose. What it demonstrates is that she has no idea what love and marriage is all about. Its not about her. It should have been about me to her, and her to me. Self sacrifice for the betterment of your partner. That’s the deal in marriage, and the trust comes from seeing your partner do this for you. Its not hard to sacrifice for someone who is sacrificing for you. You don’t have to worry about your benefit, because your partner is. Sadly this is not what marriage was for me. I have seen it. My parents practiced it, and when they didn’t do it together, one was doing it for the other. It always came back around over the years to the other one. They were never worried about the fairness of the deal, or gaining advantage over each other. If your wife talks about divorce even in passing, prepare for divorce. Its only a matter of time. She is beginning to let that hamster run.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

January 31

What Is A Man To Do

London - Red Blue

The quandary is this, I love women. Every time I try to quit them, I make it a couple of weeks, and then I am thinking about them again. I like to touch, smell, and taste them. I like to talk to them. Women and men communicate differently. We all know this. The way a woman communicates with a man can be the best and the worst thing in the world. The flip side of this quandary is that as a man, there is not an equal playing ground anymore. There used to be a balance in relationships, but now women have most of the power. They can choose to do good or evil with it. This is why I don’t see another marriage in my future. Marriage is a very attractive thing to me. It is one of the few things I truly desired in life. Its not just what my wife is doing that has turned me against the idea of marriage, but what I see in the culture around us.

I have encountered in the last 6 months two women who are seeking husbands. One was actively doing it, and become way too clingy, and emotionally manipulative in the process. The final blow was her trying to use another man to make me jealous. I am in no position right now for any kind of real commitment, so this didn’t work. Another has accepted that the occasional encounter for dinner, a party, or just some sex is all I really have to offer right now. I know that she wants more, and she is using the sex to keep me around. I don’t mind, and she knows where I stand on things. She isn’t openly seeking a husband, but definitely wants something more. The other problem I have with these women is they aren’t really looking for someone to be a good husband. They want a Dad at their house when they have their kids. I am already a Dad to four kids. In the right circumstances, I might have it in me to be a father to more kids, but that isn’t on the plate right now.

The next problem I have is the women that are left that aren’t looking for these things are older women. I tend to be attracted to older women. Who am I kidding, I am attracted to attractive women. Age isn’t really a factor. Older women tend to be more predatory from what I have seen. They are better at playing the game, but they are also playing for different reasons. Some just want someone to hang out with, and enjoy some passionate times with them. Others are looking for status. This weekend, I did something I have never done. I went to a bar, and left with one of these women. I became really attracted to her as she told me bits of her story. I love stories. I was physically attracted to her as well. We kissed and talked for a couple of hours. It didn’t go any further. She was of course being elusive about her age. She said enough for me to figure out that she was more than ten years older than me. I was intoxicated by her. Who knows if she will accept my calls, or if anything comes of it. My only regret will be if she doesn’t call me, I won’t get to know her. Putting the cart before the horse can have that effect. She said enough that I want to hear the rest of her story. She had been married for 17 years to a man who died of skin cancer. She made it clear that she had never thought of a life without him, that she planned to be married forever. That man was a quite a bit older than her. I would guess that she is attracted to younger men now, because they won’t die on her. I don’t know if an older woman is in my future. I do know that some of the trappings of that is what hurt my marriage. I don’t want another mother in my life, but a woman like this is closer to my mother’s age than mine.

We live in interesting times. For the next 10 plus years, my focus will be raising my kids into adults. I don’t expect that I will keep many women around as they are pushed aside for my children a few too many times. I expect I will have lots of opportunity to explore the different types of women there are out there. I do need to find a couple I can trust to talk to, because that is something I valued from my wife when she listened. The problem was, I found she hardly ever listened.

So readers, as you can tell my whirlpool of emotions regarding women is going to change all the time. I don’t trust them. I want them. I need them. I can go my own way. Ultimately I think I will find one that will come to terms with all that I am feeling as my emotions level out on the subject. I have realized that society is not on my side, and women as a group are a disaster waiting to happen to most men, but that does not mean that the individual women is out to get me in every case. I will just have to wait until I meet one that we can come to the right terms with. If that never happens, then it will be with no regrets.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

January 27

What’s So Bad

73/365 - Snap snap

Sorry for the somewhat chaotic thoughts last night. I was tired and just needed to dump some of my thoughts. One of the points that I was trying to get at is that there is no separation of parties in a divorce with children. We will forever be linked by the children. While the children are minors we talk nearly daily. The conversations haven’t changed much that we have, but now they happen over the phone instead of face to face. My life is not that different now than it was before. I take care of my children. I see them almost every day, because there are four children, and she isn’t able to get them where they need to be and still hang out at the gym without my help. Again no big change here. When the kids are with me, I usually make it work without her help. I don’t want to deal with any complaints about her needing time for this or that. There were plenty of nights that this was true before. The changes in my life are that I seek out some friendships that I wasn’t able to maintain when we were together. She prevented me from having a social life. She still tries, but its harder for her to do this now. I now have sex pretty much whenever I desire it and have time for it. Not that I am going out to find some whorish woman at a bar. I have been surprised by the women who approached me after my separation started. Of course before our separation, I hadn’t had sex in over a year, because I was a married man, and I took vows that said I wouldn’t do that, even though she saw no need to live out that part of marriage with me. I may not be divorced yet, but we are not living as man and wife, and I won’t pretend that after her violating our vows multiple times to the point where she leaves me, I no longer will act like a married man. I am certain that I should have thrown her out long ago. I should have seen this day coming. I honored my vows to the detriment of my marriage. A paradox that remains unsolvable.

Now what was so bad. I went to work, and made good money. I loved my kids, and cared for them whenever I was with them. I loved my wife, even though she treated me with contempt most of our marriage. Aren’t these all things that should have made a marriage work. I was the protector of the family in many cases where I had to make a strong stand for their well being. So where did I go wrong? Why could I not keep my wife? I am not asking why would I want to keep my wife. There were few good reasons beyond the children left. Her contempt was disgusting and selfish. It was escalated to force me to leave her, and when that did not work her contempt grew, and she finally left. Raising the kids is harder now. Having time to myself is more abundant, but I have less control of when now, and so does she. Finances are harder now. Trusting is harder now. I expect that is true for her to. Not that I have broken trusts, but that her own ability to do so must make her distrust others, and expect that they too will handle the her trust in the same way. The thing I lost that hurts the most is the dream of growing old with someone, and sharing the good and bad times. This may sound ridiculous, but you have to understand I never disliked my wife, and she never showed that she disliked me. I would have been happy to be with someone forever, even if there was not one ounce of romance in the relationship. I know this might be strange, but it is true.

So the paradox is, I lost her because I kept her. With her very first breaking of the vows, I should have tossed her. At the time we had our boys as foster children. We had not adopted yet. We had a dog and a small house. We had very little debt, and it would have been easy. I believed the Christian propaganda that holding on to the marriage was valuable. The truth is holding on to a bad deal is not valuable, and it will end eventually. Sure I have my honor. I kept my vows, even when I had the chance to break them without being found out. That honor means nothing to me right now. I should have tossed her. The truth is that is the only way I could have kept her. You see I never made her value the marriage. I never made her understand the significance of her actions. I also failed to protect the pussy, and then was willing to accept it again without making her regret giving away what was mine. I had never been cheated on before. I had no idea how to handle it. I also wasn’t promiscuous, so the whole sexual value system was not in my mind. I was used to women wanting my attention, and not having to work hard for dates, but since sex was not what my end goal was, I really never thought about these things. So what I did is allow her to give up the goods to another man with little consequence. Ultimately this conveyed that she was not valued. It took ten years for that to destroy what we had. I don’t know that she would have tried to keep what we had if I had tossed her. That is precisely why I didn’t, but now I regret that decision. I will count it as wisdom learned to share with my sons and any other man I encounter who needs it.

My final thoughts come to this. Women if you value your marriage, don’t toss him if he cheats once. That is not the price that will make a man value you. As a matter of fact, do not punish him at all. Give him a pass fairly quickly, and show him that you value him with your increased attention. Not desperate, strings attached, please stay kind of attention, but the kind of attention that shows that you value him for his masculinity. That is the thing most men are seeking when they cheat. That is for time one. After that, if you take care of him and he continues to wander, give him the boot.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 31

A Ring, What?

My Ring  >^_^

During the time just after Christmas, we were out shopping at a store that sold jewelry. She had taken to playfully rubbing her foot on my leg when she wanted to talk to me about something serious. It felt good, and initially I had thought that just maybe she was interested in trying to make things better. I was torn, because I knew she was very sexual, and good at using her sexual mores to get her way.  I wasn’t fooled, but I was tempted.

My fears were confirmed, when she very flirtatiously brushed up against me, pressing her body against me, and said while looking at the rings, “So, If I decide to stay, do I get a new wedding ring.” I sighed. It was the safest thing to do. I was disgusted. It reminded me that she constantly complained about the ring that I spent almost two months salary to buy her when we got married. The same ring that she hadn’t worn most of our marriage. She wore other rings, but had stopped wearing those as well for almost two years.

This was a turning point for me. This is where all my efforts to lure her back stopped. I still wanted to reconcile, but I was not going to settle for anything less than her deciding that she wanted to rebuild our relationship from the ground up, because it was the right thing to do for our kids, and because the vows we took mattered.   I was willing to work for the relationship, but not buy it, or gain some temporary reprieve, because she felt better.

This led to multiple talks, where after she expressed that she still didn’t feel in love me. My response was  a very stable non-emotional, “Of course you don’t, and you won’t unless you decide to love me. You won’t feel in love unless you choose to love. We have been together too long for you to have that spontaneous romantic love you desire. It is going to take work to get back to a place where we can feel that.” Her response was something along the lines of “I don’t want to work on our relationship” or “I don’t want to love you.” She also told me things like “I have too much life to live, to continue living with you.”

These are some of the most hurtful things I have ever heard. I couldn’t believe them at first. I now use them as inspiration to remember that I don’t want what we had. I want to honor my vows, but I cannot do that if she isn’t willing to as well. I want to raise my children with their mother, but I cannot do that if she isn’t willing to as well. I want to be in love with the person I married, but I cannot do that if she is not willing to as well.  Perhaps some of those are doable without her, but I am no longer willing to try. If she wants to go, then she can go. Its about my kids now.

She continued through this nebulous time while we lived together, to try to flirt to get her way. She also tried to use anger to get her way. She became increasingly agitated as neither route has the desired effect of control on me. I was breaking free of her bondage.

Ten-Foured,

JeD