Next Thursday we'll have the "get" ceremony. Afterwards I think I'm going to go bury the ketubah somewhere in the forest and then have a mikveh and then maybe some kind of little ritual to bless my new life. I still get teary almost instantly when I think about the get and all of this.
What I won't be doing next Thursday is going on a second date. But I was invited on one!!!!! Went out last night on my first date. All started because I accidentally (truly, accidentally) hit "flirt" on this man on jDate. I guess it was just instinctual and reflexive. Couldn't help myself. Honestly didn't think it would really connect with him as I hadn't even subscribed yet. It was just on my phone in the Home Depot parking lot if I remember correctly. What else am I to do when a professional 42 year old Jewish vegetarian shows up in my email and he lives in MY TOWN!! There was no going back. I had already hit "flirt," and it didn't give me a second chance. No "confirm" or "are you really sure about this" button. So later that evening I was on the site, and he instant-messaged, asking if I wanted to chat, but of course I couldn't without subscribing, so after some debating, I plunked down my money and did just that. We messages quite a bit that night and the next and set a date to go hiking on Wednesday. It was lovely. A perfect first date post divorce. Exactly what the sensible responsible part of me wanted. Nice man. Cuter in person than photos. Sweet smile. Kind eyes. I liked his voice. Articulate. Conversation flowed easily. Hike was beautiful. NO sense of OMG I'm in love, which I didn't want to have. Just a pleasant time that I know was a mutual feeling. And we both are clear we're not looking to jump into a relationship with anyone. And then we've already messages each other several times since last night. As in again late last night and then this morning and this evening. NOT JUMPING INTO ANYTHING.
So while all that has been happening, other less pleasant things have unfolded. My EX (oh wow, gone is the STB part of it - and I know I'm supposed to call him my former husband or even better my children's father, but this is faster and easier) informed me Monday that he told the boys over the weeks that she would be moving in with them this month. That's right, get a divorce one month, have your "affair partner" girlfriend move in the next month!!! I'm not even hurting for me personally anymore. In fact not at all. I think she's a crazy fool. In many ways doing the same damn thing I did. Moving into his trashed run down shithole of a house and presumably going to help him fix it up. And to think that I said before we ever got married that I didn't want to have to raise a family in that house! That I didn't want to have just one bathroom that I had to walk downstairs from the loft to use in the middle of the night when I was pregnant. (I can remember saying that yet how odd, because how did I even realize that would be an issue when I was pregnant?) And here she is sharing that single falling-apart bathroom with my three boys, who pee all over the toilet and don't flush their poop!! Meanwhile, while looking for my new house that was one thing I was adamant about. There would be no sharing of bathrooms with my boys! Mama MUST have her own bathroom.
But I digress. The issue I'm feeling is how this affects my boys both in their short and long-term and how it affects my relationship with them. And most of my feelings are definitely coming from a fear-based place. I fear that they will grow up to be like their dad. I fear that my ex and his girlfriend's relationship will be successful in the long term and that that will mean that they really were meant to be together and that will somehow be a reflection of me. (I know this is irrational, but can't change the feeling.) I fear that their success will teach my boys the wrong lessons. I fear that I won't be able to compete as a parent because two of them are inherently going to do a better job than I can singly. I realize that's bullshit, and I'm an awesome mom, but I still feel that way. I fear that I'm going to have to be EXTRA protective of them as a result and it will take even longer for me to feel comfortable exploring a new relationship in front of them for fear of the impact on them. I fear that they will like her better than me and perhaps because she will be lovely and patient and charming or just a pushover (or they just won't push her in the same way as they do their mom) and I can't compete with that. And it's little consolation to be told that, "they'll understand in the end, they'll know what you did for them, they'll respect you more, etc." It just sucks.
Furthermore, she went with them on their trip to see his family in the Midwest. Not that he told me. And he was deliberately deceptive about it, picking the boys up from me at my uncle's house to go to the airport with her hiding out temporarily at her sister's house since she drove the two-hour trip to the airport with him and flew with him, but didn't show up to get the boys. 'Cause that would have been a little awkward. Not like it isn't going to be a little awkward when I see her when she is living at his house. But it's the deception that makes me so angry and that without actually asking the boys to keep it a secret from me, he put them in the uncomfortable position of having information that they felt uncomfortable sharing with me. Damn him. He's such an ass.
Ok. Better get some rest. Need to make challah in the morning and still be out the door with three boys packed for day camp by 8:45.