There’s A Difference Between Giving Up and Knowing When Something Just Isn’t Working

Who Doesn't Want This?

We all want this but life isn’t perfect.

happy

That difference between true love and love.

“I’m never getting divorced.”

“People in our generation don’t know what loyalty is.”

“A man should take care of a woman like my grandfather and father did.”

We throw these phrases around in 2015 without actually thinking about what we’re saying. You notice how it’s always single people that make statements like, “I’m never getting divorced!” Or that say things like, “People don’t want to work for relationships anymore.” I respect any couple that can go through the ups and downs of life together for decades but let’s be honest about something. A lot of those women and men put up with things our generation would never put up with and why is that a bad thing?

If you work at a job for a year and realize you suck at it; no one blames you for quitting and finding a new job. If you buy a car because it’s sleek and pretty and realize the gas mileage sucks and it floods too much in Houston for something so low to the ground; no one judges you for trading it in for something that’s more practical. So why is it that we are so judgmental of people that realize a relationship or marriage isn’t working and decide to move on? If you give someone your all for six months and realize the differences are just too great to overcome would it be easier if you gave them a year, two years? Who are any of us to judge whether or not someone gave their all? Tell me if this makes sense: Be unhappy for a decade but you can say you were married for ten years or be unhappy for a year or two and spend the next eight enjoying your life and maybe actually finding someone that makes you smile.

For the longest time people would ask me about past relationships and I would say with pride, “I was with my ex for eight years.” But as I’ve gotten older I realized it didn’t make me strong or better than someone else for being in a relationship that long when I knew neither of us was happy. It made me a man that was afraid. Afraid of accepting that not being with her would mean uncertainty. It would mean maybe she would find happiness without me or maybe I would feel guilt for giving up on her. Fear of time wasted or guilt can’t be the cornerstone of a relationship. Being honest with yourself isn’t quitting, it’s being an adult.

How arrogant is it for people that are in marriages they resent or single people that have never even been engaged to make statements like, “People don’t try anymore.” Every marriage, household, relationship is different. You think that man or woman that you feel like just gave up went into their marriage with the idea they would get divorced? Every story is not the same and it’s okay to say, “This isn’t working, let’s be happy.”

Putting A Voice to Divorce

Putting A Voice to Divorce

We live in a cynical society. Nothing shocks us anymore, no matter how violent or heartless or heinous. We view divorce in almost the same way, are we even shocked or surprised anymore when we hear about it. Not really, it’s almost as though we expect it. No matter what statistic or website you use the number is 50%. 50% of couples that get married will get a divorce. That’s 1 out of 2.

No matter how often it happens or how expected it is, it’s still people’s lives. You don’t fall out of love overnight, you don’t stop being happy because you walked down the aisle. Sure people get married for the wrong reasons but it’s more to it than that right? It has to be.

This article is my conversation with a woman that was divorced after only a couple years of marriage. She was incredibly honest and open with me. I write about love and dating and lust but I rarely write about what happens when that love and lust start to fade away. Here is her story.

Together for five years she knew he had flaws but on their 5th anniversary when he got down on one knee none of those flaws mattered. “I knew he was everything I wanted within the first year we were together. There was just something about him as a man that let me know he would be my everything and everything I ever wanted. For her the marriage was never about the marriage but about the man and the love, everything else was incidental.

Whether it’s a marriage or business venture there will always be blame placed. In the mature situations both parties will usually acknowledge they played just as big of a role as their mate. Often times the role can be something as simple as ignoring the signs in front of you.

“At the end of the day I do blame myself for some of it because he cheated on me before we got married but I had it in the back of my head that he asked me to marry him so obviously he’s trying to change because he knew how much marriage meant to me.”

“Looking back I see God has given me so many signs letting me know that; that was not the man he had for me but me being silly and crazy in love I ignored it all because I knew the man he could be, but he wasn’t ready to be that man just yet. The majority of the reason we are divorced is his fault.”

“He still blames me, he tells everyone he divorced me because we argued too much and that I had too many people in our business, which isn’t true. We divorced because he conceived a child with his sister in law (his brother’s wife’s 22 year old sister at the time) during the time we were having complications trying to conceive.”

“I found out about her and the child after he divorced me, he puts all the blame on me so he can justify what he did. I had to continue to tell myself that it wasn’t my fault but I should have let go long before I said “I DO.”

We think of abuse as physical and even emotional or mental abuse we have this image of a man screaming and yelling while the woman is crying on the bed. Emotional abuse is more sudden than that. It breaks you down over time and it erodes not just the individual but the marriage.

“The memories that I go back to are the ones when I found out about other women, the times where he called me fat, ugly and other names I can’t really repeat. There were so many good things about him but he was a very insecure man and always degraded me and made me feel like I was the ugliest woman in the world. I use to blame myself for him cheating on me.”

The lifeline of a lot of marriages is love, support, faith and trust and once you start to lose those you lose the intimacy. Sex can cover a lot of flaws, good sex can make you feel like you’re healing from an argument when the truth is you’re just masking the causes of the arguments.

“There was a point where I did stop having sex with him because I knew he was sleeping with other women and I was more concerned about my safety then his sexual needs. Before all that I did a damned good job of making sure his sexual needs were met. Let’s just say he was and is a man that will never be completely satisfied.”

It can be hard going through marriage or relationship problems. A part of you wants to vent, to get opinions, to ask people around you for help. Another part of you tells yourself, “This is between my husband and I and no one else should be involved in our marriage.” No one should have to go through the pain of ending vows alone but who can you trust?

“No one really knew about what I was going through except a few friends, my cousin and his wife. They were there from the time everything hit the fan. No one knew why he started acting the way he did towards me, he told them all he didn’t want to be married to me anymore because we argued too much.”

“When I looked at him I couldn’t even recognize the man he was anymore. At that point I knew something wasn’t right. I just couldn’t figure it out. Once we got divorced it was in everyone’s head that I was the reason for the divorce. My family in Seattle didn’t know about my divorce until after the divorce was final. They were upset about it but they were mainly upset because I was here in Houston by myself going through everything alone and no one knew. About a month after that, that is when I found out about the baby, once I told my family and friends the real reason behind the divorce they were livid.”

Even after all that, after the emotional abuse, the cheating, and the lies. You can’t help who you love. You can’t help but feeling like you’ve taken a covenant with God and by giving up on your marriage you’re breaking a promise to God. It’s not as easy as just saying, “This isn’t working so I quit.” It’s never that easy even when it feels like it should be.

“There was never a point where I said I couldn’t do this because I was not going to give up on my husband. I knew he was going through something and I needed to be there for him. Even when he told me to stop calling and texting him (mind you we were still living in the same house when he told me this). Even when he stopped coming home at night, would not talk to me, called the police on me and lied and said I broke it to our house just so he can get me out of there.”

“He called me out my name, talked to me crazy. Lied to me and told me our home was being foreclosed but he ended up renting it out after he moved my stuff out knowing I had nowhere to go. I still prayed for him every night, sent him encouraging text messages, told him I was there for him and we can face any obstacles that come our way. At one point he told me he was cheating on me and I told him I already knew.”

“My biggest fear was that someone else would end up pregnant. I asked him was someone pregnant and he told me yes, I don’t know what in me told him that everything will be ok; we’ll get through this, we just have to find a way to deal with it. The love I had for him made me want to stick by his side and ride this out. That same day he told me he lied because he wanted to see my reaction and all along that lie he told me was the real truth. Even after all that I fought for my marriage up until the day I signed the divorce papers. I didn’t want to sign them but I only did it because I saw that’s what he really wanted.

Once the papers are signed and you realize life has to move on, it’s going to move on with or without you reality sets in. A reality that can be scary if it’s not what you wanted in the first place. You have to start from scratch knowing that no matter how good things may seem you can’t control what’s coming.

“In a way I started dating but I have not committed to any relationship. The reason why is because I am seriously scared to give my all to someone again after going through everything I went through. I’ve had numerous guys ask me to be with them, propose to me but I know before I can give anyone 100% of me I have to give myself 100% of me first. It does feel different because I miss the married life, I’ve never been the type to talk to a bunch of different guys. I’ve always been a relationship person. At times I get to a point where I don’t want to talk to anyone because it’s just overwhelming. They want so much of my time that I can’t and don’t want to give them because of the fear I have of falling for them.”

That’s the voice behind divorce. Not having a party or celebrating her freedom but simply healing after happily ever after turned out not to be so happy after all. Millions of Americans and people all over the world have to pick up their lives and start over. She’s just one of them.

Separation Burns

Separation Burns

The Divorced Woman and the Single Man… An Adult Conversation

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By: Sapphire and Demez

Her Words

“I saw the pieces of my marriage falling apart 2 years ago and as much as I’d like to think I could’ve prevented it; the truth of the matter is that it would’ve always ended this way.”

When I first started writing this I searched incessantly for definitions, synonyms, phrases or anecdotes but came to the conclusion that there seems to be a lack of vocabulary or feelings that can properly and intelligently describe that monumental “AHA” moment in your life when you realize that your world as you knew it, as you planned and hoped it would be is not only over but now you must find a way to save face, to repair mental, physical and intellectual self and learn to live and possibly love again.

His Words

Women are the ones that are supposed to worry about their biological clock. Women are the ones that are supposed to worry about how much weight their gaining or whether or not they’ll get a call back. That’s what you tell yourself when you’re a single man, when you hit 30 and every woman you date seems to fall by the wayside. When things start out so perfectly but even in those perfect moments you know something will go wrong. It scares you, it shakes you to your core. Is it me? Is it society? Do I not make enough money? Am I not attractive? You question things that you’ve never questioned before.

Her Words

Hindsight is a baldheaded blonde bitch I swear, but If I’m brutally honest with myself I knew the end was near, but no matter how much I mentally prepared myself, none of it could’ve braced me for the severity of the devastation that was done to my heart. I felt as if I betrayed myself by allowing my heart to dictate what path would be our source of happiness because the “signs” were all there but I accepted them in faith that our togetherness would outweigh our lack. I don’t love easily at all and I can count on my fingers how many guys I’ve been ecstatic about or developed any emotional connection with at all, so for me to even be in this position to experience this pivotal moment, crucified me to my core.

I could calculate the month, day, time and hour when I stopped being truly happy and it was eating away at me; I had the medication and an ulcer to prove it. I drank and submerged my feelings to the brink of impossibility and yet I could feel myself mentally unraveling. I hated the person I’d become; this yelling, arguing, uncontrolled maniac who couldn’t find a way to give two fucks because I’d given everything that was in me. I was empty and depleted beyond measure and no amount of anything seemed to fill the void inside me. It’s only in this tour of my fall from grace can I explain why being happy is my only choice.

His Words

The dates start to run together, you forget the names of women you kissed. Remember the exact moments you knew she wouldn’t call you back or you wouldn’t call her back. Sleep becomes a memory because how do you sleep when you’re always sleeping alone? Ambien and Tylenol PM become crutches. Hennessy and wine become bedmates. I spend more time in my mind than I do in reality. You log on Facebook and see men that were the biggest players in the world getting engaged and having babies. You see women that you used to talk to every morning and every night happy and in love. Happiness becomes something you just used to know.

I can remember the month, day, time and hour when I stopped being happy and started hoping. I can remember the month, day, time and hour when that hope turned to fear. When that fear turned to emptiness. I want to be happy, I want to be one of those people that are single and living the life but the void… The void becomes a black hole I feel like no one can understand. She said she loved him and not me, that’s what she told me. That killed a bit of me. She said that she could carry his child and not mines because she knew with him she’d always have security. Knowing that broke me. How do you find happiness when you feel broken?

Her Words

I won’t lie and say that I ached for a man, for his time and comfort but I damn sure want every minute and moment of it. Thumbing through my list of exes is never an option and the sheer idea of dating unnerves me especially with my severely bruised ego. I enjoy meeting new people but it seems as if most are so eager for their next orgasm that they don’t realize that most mind shattering moments come from having a real connection. That’s what I miss most. I miss smelling “his” scent all over me. I miss those wet sloppy kisses for no reason; having someone to be goofy with and knowing that they see me for all that I am and aspire to be.

I miss being held and touched in ways that only “he” knows because “he” discovered them and most of all I miss “his” weight. I relish the thought of “him” lying next to me and finally knowing what it means to be truly happy but until then I’ll accept truly satisfied for the moment. I do miss having a permanent “him” in my life but I take solace in knowing that my happy ever after hasn’t come to an end because one chapter of my life is over. If what they say is true, if you really do attract what’s inside of you, then I can’t wait to see what manifests because I’m happier than I‘ve been in a very, very long time and I realized that doesn’t mean that my world wasn’t affected; it means that I’m truly ready to start healing and taking care of me.

His Words

The smell of a woman’s skin when she’s first out the shower, that scent lives with me. It’s a mix of heat and sweetness and wetness that invades every sense I have. Watching her sit on the bed and rub lotion on her ankles, thighs, arms, and chest. Watching her inhale and exhale. I miss slowly pulling the towel away and rubbing my nose along her navel, her inner thighs. I miss the heat that comes from what’s between her legs. I’ve had sex, I’ve fucked women but I miss making love. There isn’t much that can compare to being inside of a woman you love and not caring if she gets pregnant. Not caring if she’s sick or tired or hurt because you know you’re going to be there regardless.

I miss sitting at my computer writing and having her come sit o my lap or hug me from behind. That look on her face when she bites her lip and sits on my weight. Getting her rhythm and moving like she’s a jockey trying to win the Kentucky Derby. There’s these moments where the memories feel so real and reality seems like it’s worlds away. In those moments I could have given up, I could have settled but instead all I wanted was more. All I want is more. My happiness will come, I will find the person that will help me find my happiness.

Civility in Love and War…

imagesCA4RUXG1“What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to be a got damn father!”

“Fuck you! I send you that check faithfully! How do you think you’re living in this house?! Who got you a new car when the old one started tripping!? Don’t tell me I’m not a father to that boy! He doesn’t have a need or want in this world!”

Calming myself, taking a deep breath, and rubbing my temples I knew I needed to be the bigger person. He hated me and he probably had a right to but what he and I both knew was that he was taking out that hate on our son. I could accept the way he looked at me, not answering my calls, the slick things he wrote on FB. I could accept all of that because I knew his heart was broken but the moment he started treating our son like just another bill to pay is the moment my sympathy stopped.

“You’re not the same with him. You used to pick him up from school and take him to practice every Tuesday and Thursday, now all of sudden you can’t get off work in time. Every night you’d get on your iPad and read part of a book with him now you don’t get good reception? Everything was cool when I was single and you thought there was a chance of us getting back together. Now that I have someone you’re cutting us out of your life… Little by little. I’m a grown woman, I can accept it. Our son is seven! Seven! He just knows his father doesn’t treat him the same?!` You hurt him, you hurt me! You’re a good man but if I have to watch him cry himself to sleep again I will come for you and make your life hell!”

He stood almost a half foot taller than me, even in my heels, but I caught his eyes and wouldn’t look away. A year ago I came home and told him I didn’t want this marriage anymore. I wasn’t happy, his touch didn’t do it for me, our conversations were dry. Our season had passed and even though our vows were for better or worst how could I spend the rest of my life with a man I didn’t even want to see me naked?

“Don’t threaten me Amanda. That’s not something you want to do.”

My ex-husband didn’t raise his voice. He didn’t make any hand motions or smile. The coldness was a tone I’d only ever heard him use with business associates, never with me but when it came to my son he was leaving me few options.

“I will threaten you. You paid for this house, you paid for the car I drive but understand this! Your son sleeps in this house! Your son goes to school, to practice, to church, to the grocery store in that car! You handle your business and I’ll give you credit for that but I won’t give you credit for doing what you’re supposed to do! As soon as I stopped fucking you, flirting with you, talking to you like I talked to you when we were married you stopped being a father to him! Is that the kind of man you want to be!? You’ve always wanted to be a better man than your father… Right now, I can’t tell you two apart!”

As soon as the words left my mouth I regretted them but I needed him to hurt just as much as our son was hurting.

“Bitch! You want to know why I don’t pick our son up from school and take him to practice anymore. Why I don’t call him every night and read that chapter with him? Because when I bring him home I have to look at your face, when I talk to him at night I have to hear your voice in the background! I had this house built for you from the ground up! I paid off those student loans and hooked you up with a buyer when you thought your clothes weren’t stylish enough for the job I got you! I never threw it in your face, never asked anything more of you than that you love me. Be a good wife and a good mother. You shitted on me, have another man coming and going into the house I built! You want to threaten me, tell me I’m like my father! I’m getting full custody of my child, you’ll hear from my lawyer tomorrow! Let your new man pay this mortgage, let him pay for that Benz in the garage. I’m not here for him, well now I’ll be here for him every day!”

Stepping away from me he walked out the door leaving me in shock. Our divorce was simple, he literally gave me everything I asked for. I never had to ask for child support on time or ask him to leave me alone. Today was supposed to be me trying to make him realize our son needed his father and now he was ready to go to war.

I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of crying, at least not until he leaves the driveway.

If he wants to see a bitch, I’ll show him a bitch!