TL:DR – As of Spring 2017, I am a single man. My wife of 16+ years decided that we were no longer moving in the same direction as husband and wife, and told me she wanted a divorce. She wanted to raise the kids with me but didn’t want to be married to me anymore.
So that’s it. There’s a LOT more to this story, as you can probably guess, but for now, let’s just leave it at that.
I’ve been struggling a lot lately with what it means to be newly single in 2017. I’ll be honest with you; my marriage wasn’t great in probably the last 18-24 months of it. I’m sure my ex-wife would attest to the same being true for her. Oh sure, on the outside, things were okay. We still did things as a family, we came together when my ex-wife’s mother had health issues and ultimately passed away in November 2016, but at home, things were just…not right.
So here I am, wondering what my focus should be. I have my boys, C and E. C just turned 8 and E is 4. They are awesome, and rambunctious and curious, and so super smart. So I know my time every other week is going to be devoted to them and their schedules and routines. But when I don’t have them, which is for 7 days at a time, I find myself with a lot of idle time.
I have a lot of options, but my gut reaction is to go and find some companionship, because you know, that’s what I’ve had for the last 24+ years! I don’t know what it’s like to be alone.
So the first thing they didn’t tell me when I got divorced is that I’m going to have a LOT of free time and I better find a good use for it or you know…idle hands make for, something not good, I don’t remember the old saying.
I found myself dipping my toe back into some bad habits, nothing too run-off-the-cliff crazy but certainly in the vein of what some would consider “bad decision making”. I had friends warn me that I needed to take it easy, not go crazy hitting the bars and what-not, and to my credit, I really haven’t done that at all. To be fair, my bank balance has more to do with that than anything.
But I truly found myself looking for love in all the wrong places…well, not ALL the wrong places, but you get my meaning. God, it is so hard to be alone! Especially when you haven’t been alone for as long as I wasn’t…I mean, I had been with my ex-wife longer than I was alive before I met her!
So one week, I decided to start the process of “putting myself out there”. I downloaded Tinder, and began swiping right…and a lot left. Within a day, I had begun about 10 different “Hi, how are you? Where you from? What do you do?” conversations before I realized one thing, which is the second thing they don’t tell you…
I have the stamina for a great many things in this life, but I don’t believe I’ve got the stamina to have that many first conversations. Having to repeat the same things over and over and over again, it’s exhausting. I just want someone to get me, and think I’m awesome, and want to spend time with me, and wow, I really need to get laid I think.
So Tinder wasn’t for me…it seemed very “in the moment”, and I needed a bit more control over the situation. I started up a profile on match.com, and began the process there. I was able to connect with people there, but the conversations were more like emails being passed back and forth, way more my speed…and it seemed to go okay. I met this really nice girl and we went out on a couple dates.
I don’t know if that’s going to go anywhere, it’s still in the very early stages so I’m hopeful. But I’ve also come to realize that I really cannot put all my eggs on one basket, and most of those eggs probably need to stay in my basket for now.
I’m overweight…I could stand to lose maybe 50 pounds to be really feeling better about myself. Certainly 30 would get me going in the right direction. I’m eating horribly for the most part, a lot of quick meals and microwave things because cooking used to be something I loved doing for my family, and well, I don’t really have that same family anymore. I know, I know, I need to stay with it because you can really control your calorie intake more when you cook healthy.
And that’s the third thing they didn’t tell me…the things about your old life will seem stupid and not worth doing when you get divorced. There’s a stigma associated with cooking for me now…I’m not doing it in my kitchen, I don’t have all the things I had to cook with nor do I have as much time now that I’m working full time. It just doesn’t hold the same allure it did for me when I was married. Maybe that will change one day…
This adjustment isn’t going well for me, but I’m determined to make this work. I’m rededicating myself to eating right and reducing the calories I take in every day, which means I’m done with drinking on the regular. I’ve got a beach trip next week that I’m taking by myself, and I’m sure I will drink on that trip, then there’s a music festival in Birmingham I’m going to my birthday weekend next weekend that I’m sure I’ll drink at, but after that, I’m taking a break.
Alcohol is just empty calories and I’m going to stick to 1500-1700 a day!
Anyway, this was a long rambling read, so if you got this far, thank you. And if you came this far, maybe you’ll go a little further. You remember the name of the town in Mexico don’t you? Oh wait, wrong movie.
Do me a favor. Pray for me. And if you’re not the praying type, send good vibes my way, or drop me a line on Twitter or Facebook. Let me know that you’re thinking of me and my boys and that you’re hoping that things work out right. If you’ve been through this thing called divorce, hit me up with something that helped you get through the lonely nights (keep in mind, I’m swearing off regularly drinking on August 6th).
Most of all, love yourself, you’re the only one of you there is. And you’re worth it.