Tag Archives: marriage

Am I too Late?

I have been a wanderer, a traveler, an explorer, an escapist most of my life. Nothing of mine collected dust. I always seemed to have a Plan B, an escape route. If it got too complicated or messy or boring I’d take off one way or the other.

Though it probably sounds harsh, if I’m honest, I was still feeling this through both of my marriages. I wasn’t ready to settle down, to lay roots into the earth. Wandering was always in competition with this idea of what I should be doing at my age. So, I’d find myself with the trappings of a settled down lifestyle while inside I was fighting it, distancing myself and fantasizing my way out of it. Talk about the definition of one foot in and one foot out.

Looking back it is easy to see why I was so miserable for so much of my life. I was by no means living in harmony with my soul’s urge. I felt one way and tried to fit in another. Terribly painful way to exist. There are years of my life that I don’t even remember because of this dissonance. 

I didn’t form meaningful relationships with people because I didn’t see myself sticking around anyway. If I’m honest I didn’t really take my marriages as seriously as I could have either. To be frank, I didn’t have the first clue of what a marriage really was anyway.

So much of my life was spent like an out of body experience where some other force felt like it guided me along. I gave up control of that “traditional life stuff” in exchange for holding on to my fantasies of the life I wished for. Somehow I never thought I was allowed to have the life I actually wanted so I settled in a different way. I clung to my fantasies to make the reality I thought I was obligated to live, bearable.

After my second husband left, I spent several years watching my life tear apart at the seams.  After 33 years of living this double life, I couldn’t hold it together anymore. It was one if the most painful and lonely times of my life. I had to get a grip, make a new plan Stan, drop off the key Lee, and set myself free. How the hell do I do that?

I spent a year living overseas in Ecuador. I traveled just about the whole continent, I learned a new language, I got a job, I rescued working girls off the streets and offered them an education, I danced salsa almost every night, I learned that Latin lovers are not all good despite the reputation, I climbed volcanos, zip lined through the jungle, ate guinea pig, fell in love, lost love, lost weight, gained friends, and came home eventually to an empty house in the USA faced with the reality I could no longer escape. It was time to start over.

There was still so much distance between me and the stuff of my life. My house, my car, my things…all just stuff…meaningless. I had no real friends, no one I could count on. I was so used to keeping that distance and I could do most everything on my own anyway, so why bother?

I stayed this way for awhile. Had lots of disposable lovers.  For awhile sex was the only place I felt anything at all. When guys started to get personal or clingy, I’d drop them.  They never slept over. I didn’t want to wake up and see them. I struggled to keep the roof of a house I wasn’t sure I wanted over my head. I was committed to nothing.

Fast forward to now (5 yrs. later) and I find myself wanting to lay roots. Wanting to commit. Wanting love. Loving my house. Wanting a life partner. Understanding what that means. Wanting close friendships. Feeling so deeply that sometimes it scares me. Terrified that I’m waaaaay out of my depths most of the time with my understanding of this lifestyle. Freaked out that I can’t hack it. Afraid I’ll screw it up.  Thinking how behind I am. How much remedial training I need. How lonely I can feel now that I care to have people close to me. Resisting the urge to flee when I’m scared. I keep at it. I stick around. I want to find out if I could stay at a job long enough to collect a pension. I want to know I’ll be ok 6 months from now. I want stability and safety for a change.  I want to trust myself that I can do all this. I wonder if at nearly 40 I’ve arrived too late to the party.

I still want to explore this wonderful world around me and learn from it. I just want to have a place that I am happy to call home now too.

This is one of the most frightening adventures I’ve ever embarked upon. I am in pursuit of my own brand of happiness. The stakes are so high because the outcome matters so much. It’s finally personal.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

40 Days of Rejection: Could you Handle It?

love-dare

“You never leave your partner! Especially in a fire!”

Fireproof is one of those movies that teach you so many important lessons about what it is to be a decent person. To live right, to love right, to be right in yourself and with others. It is, first and foremost, a movie about what it takes to make a relationship work and though it is religiously based, it doesn’t detract one bit from the truth of the message. Some things are just universal truths.

Some men are so concerned with getting respect and admiration that they don’t realize how little they really give to their partner. They put their time into impressing their bosses and coworkers or buddies. They have everyone’s back but their wives/girlfriends. They often know very little about who their wives/girlfriends even are!

When their relationship falls apart, they think it is out of nowhere; that it is a sudden occurrence. They’ve been ignoring the women in their lives for so long they only notice her at her worst and when everything is at its breaking point.  If they acted towards their bosses the way they treat their partner, they wouldn’t have a job for very long either. You get more of what your put your attention on.

Many men at this point think that the problem is that the woman just doesn’t appreciate them right or they call women crazy. Then without any second thought of the relationship, the person they were with, the time invested, they just move on to someone new and shiny.

Some men are so busy playing the field when they can’t even figure out how to keep one woman happy. It is never their fault.  It is easier to “throw a person away and start over” than to look at yourself squarely in the mirror and fix yourself; to become the kind of man that’s worthy of even one woman.

So many men think if they “just find the right woman”, she’ll treat him right.  He’s bought into this idea that he’s perfect and just needs the “right woman” to recognize it. The mantra of these guys is something like, please don’t be crazy, because after all he does nothing to make her miserable.  She did this all to herself.

It is never his problem, but he’s always starting over again with someone new. How can this be?

No matter how many times he’s seen his relationships fall apart or never really gel, he keeps on believing the false idea that he’s a good guy/the injured party waiting for the right woman.

It is sad really because if most men put in the work and dedicated themselves to one woman they could in fact BE the men they imagine themselves to be and have the lifetime of happiness that they dream of. As it is though, that remains a distant and unattainable fantasy for many men. Too much ego and false pride keep them from true happiness.

Of course, I won’t leave you hanging with a sad story.  There is hope! There is something you CAN do about it to change your relationships and change your life for the better!

The Love Dare asks you to commit to 40 days of challenging yourself to genuinely love someone. In the movie the father gives this book to his son as a challenge when his marriage is about to end in divorce. To whet your whistle for the movie or if you choose to click on the link above and take the challenge, here is the introduction to what you’re about to take on,

This forty day journey cannot be taken lightly.
It is a challenging and often difficult process, but an incredibly fulfilling one.
To take this dare requires a resolute mind and a steadfast determination.
It is not meant to be sampled or briefly tested, and those who quit early will forfeit the greatest benefits.
If you will commit to a day at a time for forty days, the results could change your life, and your marriage.

Again, you don’t have to be married for this to improve your relationship and ultimately your life.  As the preface says, you have to have determination and resolve because, “Love, in its truest sense, is not based on feelings. it is a determination to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward”….and don’t just follow your heart,  ’cause your heart can be deceived. But you gotta lead your heart.”

So I come back to the beginning of this post, “You never leave your partner! Especially in a fire!” 

In the movie, Caleb was a firefighter and he understood this concept in his job.  By the end of the movie, he understood how this applied to his wife and to his marriage.  Ultimately, by accepting the challenge with all his heart and taking the heat, he did save his marriage and changed both their lives.

Change your relationships. Change your life.

Start here:
Love Dare Movie
Love Dare Book (free)

– with love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Uhh…I Thought You Left??

What Are You Doing Here?

Psst..I have a secret to tell you…I’ve been married once before.  Gasp!! Oh the horror 😉  Catch your breath and stay with me…

It strikes me how after a divorce, your exes can have a way of staying in your life and making you feel like you still have a cord connecting your neck to them.  They’re physically gone, but you’re left with physical and financial reminders of when the two became one.

When my first marriage dissolved, I was “given” the choice to pay him alimony or be sued in court.  I offered a compromise – to pay his student loans because it would cost me less.  I’ve been paying his AND mine off through my second marriage and divorce and I’m still paying them off.  BOY oh BOY do I resent that monthly payment!!

My second husband left me 6 months after we bought a house together.  I had put a lot into it and the market was so bad here that I’d have lost money if I sold it.  My business was phasing out at this time, so I basically had no job, no alimony and would have had no place to live. Sweet deal!  Thank you, honey!!

So, I worked my a** off to find enough income to pay the bills while I searched for a way to get it refinanced into my own name and lower the payments.

I wanted to have some kind of stability in my life.  I felt like I was losing so much, I didn’t want my house to be one more loss.  I pulled it off and when I should have been celebrating, I thought, Damn it! No matter what I do this place doesn’t feel like my own.  His memory, our shared dreams seem to live in the walls!@!

Cutting the Cords

So, I have a student loan that ties me to one ex-husband and a house that ties me to another.  It kind of makes me hesitate to want to get into another serious relationship!

I want to feel like I can really start over free from the cords that bind me to them, to my past life.  Right now I still feel like I’m working to pay off debts held in their names while they have had the luxury to escape any responsibility.

One of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is selling my house since the market has improved.  I could proverbially “kill” two husbands with one sale ;p  Student loan paid off.  House gone.  Some money in the bank to start over.

Sometimes, I imagine traveling overseas again.  Using that certificate to teach English as a Second Language to make an income as I travel along. It sounds so cool to think I could just keep exploring and have some kind of income along the way.

At the same time, I struggle with this feeling that I’m acting like I’m a 20-something gap-year kid vs. the 30-something that I am.  I wrestle with this image of a grown-up and I sometimes think that even having these thoughts is an indication that I am not one even though my age says otherwise.

I don’t know if you can relate to this, but often I feel like I’m playing at being grown-up; like a little kid dressing up in work clothes, gym clothes, dating clothes, oh-crap-the-washing-machine-is-leaking clothes, etc., etc. What fun it is to grow up and settle down into a fun-filled life of demands and responsibilities!!  Why did we want to play dress-up so badly, again??

It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

It is darn tough to start over and I’m doing it for a second time around, now in my late 30s.

A major life event like a divorce brings everything you thought you knew into question.  Where once you were so intertwined and perhaps even defined in part by your spouse, you suddenly feel like you’re on a raft in the middle of an ocean without an oar.  Here you are floating aimlessly, scared sh**-less and realizing you’ve got to take some kind of action pretty quickly to survive.  And your brain just wants to go over the why’s and how’s of it all.  There’s not a part of you that doesn’t undergo an overhaul.

You’re never the same again, but WHO are you now?  What do you want?  What’s important to you?  What’s not that big of a deal anymore?  You finally settle things enough to have some order and BAM!! Old dreams come rushing back, new hopes, crazy amounts of fear coupled with an earth-shattering loss of confidence in yourself and major trust issues with others.

So, is it so crazy after all to want to scrap it all and take off?

As I’ve said in other posts, traveling alone teaches you to trust yourself. It is moment to moment. You decide what to do next.  How to react.  It’s the best kind of therapy I’ve ever known.

You could spend years in a therapist’s office working through trust issues or take an overnight bus through Colombia*, like I did, and get stopped by a road block littered with guys carrying guns and wonder whether they’re army or guerrillas asking you to get out. Trust me.  You’ll know how to feel really fast in that moment.  And you will trust your instincts.

I’m still working on what to do and what risks I’m comfortable with.  How about you?  What did you do after going through a major life event?  What kind of risks were you willing to take?  How did it turn out? Share, share, share 🙂

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*(As an aside, please understand this is not intended to be a summary of the beautiful country of Colombia.  Definitely visit if you have the chance.  It has so many wonderful people, tons of beauty, deep-rooted culture and tantalizing cuisine to offer. Just maybe pay attention to warnings about taking overnight buses and other security measures as you would in any country you’re living in or visiting because there are real risks.)