Thursday, April 29, 2010


Soooo the overwhelming mountain did indeed turn out to be just a molehill. At least for the time being.

So proud of my Mr. Wonderful. So, so very proud.

It's so nice to have one more obstacle out of our way. It really does feel like we've hit smooth sailing now.

We had our second counseling session yesterday. We talked a lot about how we handle arguments and disagreements. I realized when we were talking to her how much we have been able to change on our own. We both recalled the earliest stages of our relationship in which we'd have these long crazy disagreements that lasted overnight sometimes. So stubborn the two of us. But how over time we have listened to each other and changed what needed to be changed to the point that we can have a discussion and it not ever escalate. I love Mr. Wonderful so much for being mature enough to do that for me, and for us. We have evolved our relationship into what it is now and I am so proud of that.

This week we have "homework". It is a 7 page list of questions for us to fill out. Not easy ones either. "Describe several situations in which you, intentionally or unintentionally were hurtful to your future partner in the last month". And that's just on page one!!

It feels like it's going to be a tough thing to fill out but knowing that he and I are doing the work now makes it all worth it. We are growing into our relationship and it just feels so right, the way I always thought love was supposed to be.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ignore this cryptic post.

I'm here tonight to write about something that I can't really write about.

This is my blog, not Mr. Wonderful's...and I choose to come here anonymously and write about my life, my feelings, to process what I'm trying to get through. The problem is that sometimes my thoughts and feeling are about things I can't really write about, because to do so would put Mr. Wonderful "out there", and he didn't make the choice to write a public blog.

So let's just say there is a situation in our relationship that came to a head about the same time that my fears took completely over, a situation in his life that affects me and my children, that he has to deal with, and played a part in our breakup. It is part of the reason we went to counseling, and our therapist helped us through it so far tremendously. It isn't causing friction really, just a big mountain he needs to climb and I need to support him through.

So here is where my feelings and anxieties come into play. He faces this giant mountain tomorrow. It could actually turn out to be just a molehill. But we don't know, and the anxiety and stress over this situation is eating away at both of us, but especially him. I feel like I'm watching him suffer and stress over this situation, and part of me feels responsible. I know it's a step in a positive direction for him, for us. I know the problem is not me. But I can't help but feel like if it weren't for me, he wouldn't be going through this. I feel awful.

I have an overwhelming anxiety to take care of him right now. I don't know if that stems from the guilt or what.

I have a fear that this is going to change us. I mean hopefully for the better. But I do fear the other as well.

I can't go to him with these fears and anxiety because to do so would make it more stressful on him, and this is his problem to face. But he is the one I turn to when I am anxious and worried, because he always calms me down. Having *him* be the one to stress and worry has me twice as freaked out...he is my rock...

Darn those fears sneaking in on me again.

I already know what I need to do. Time to gear up for independence mode for awhile and ride this out...use that trust that I've been working so hard on. Focus on other things for the time being.

SOOO out of my nature not to worry things to death. This is gonna be a tough one...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


After I lost my first child at 6 months of pregnancy, I was totally and completely traumatized. Up until then, the worst thing that had happened to me was becoming pregnant before being married in the first place. There were days I literally would somehow end up on the floor and could not get up. I had never felt such a terrible feeling in all my life, and I didn't even *know* this child yet. But I am a very sensitive soul, and having someone I already loved so very much ripped from me was..just..unspeakable pain.

Three months later, I somehow managed to become pregnant again. The plan had been to wait a year and then try again. We were already so young, newlyweds, and yet here I was, again. My only experience with pregnancy was it ending in loss and heartache. Even though nothing had really been wrong with me or the baby, it had happened...and that was all I knew.

I spent the first six months in a total panic. I barely moved out of fear of doing something to harm my child. I showed up at the dr's office and emergency room several times because I just *knew* the baby had stopped moving. The 23rd week, the week I had lost my first baby, I sat in my doctor's office and cried to him. I've never made it this far, I don't know how I'm going to make it through this, I told him.

Had I not accidentally become pregnant, I may never have had another child again, out of fear of the tragic occurring once again. Yet I did. Not only did I deliver my son full term, healthy and happy and perfect, but in later years, both of my daughters as well. Each pregnancy became the new normal. Yes, if time went by without movement, my heart would beat a little faster...I was more cautious than most. But I started to trust that it would be ok. And that worrying about my baby and thinking of what could happen would not only not help, but actually cause me so much stress that it could hurt.

And so I have taken this lesson again in my life. Two major, traumatic personal experiences, from the time I was 12, wired my brain to believe that relationships are unhappy and doomed. That the people in my life will live double lives. That there will be no good relationships for me.

Maybe I wasn't ready for Mr. Wonderful, just like I wasn't ready to become pregnant again. But if I hadn't jumped right in...maybe I would have been too scared...and would have missed out on this, on him....on what I believe now is going to be my own personal fairy tale.

And just like with my successful pregnancies, I am learning each day to trust that relationships CAN succeed, and that worrying about what can go wrong not only doesn't help the relationship, but it creates more harm and stress.

It gets a little easier everyday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


3 posts in one week..unheard of...but it's been quite the week...

I cannot even begin to describe the relief I felt yesterday after leaving couples counseling with Mr. Wonderful.

We sat down and described to her our issues, both individually and the problems we are running into with our communication.

I described to her what has been happening with my fears. How I feel like someone who was in a plane crash and every now and then suddenly wakes up and realizes she's on an airplane again. How I lash out at Mr. W for what seems at the time like a HUGE deal, only to realize later that it was ridiculously tiny. That I take small things I see and make them enormous in my head and create things that aren't there. That I look around at the relationships around me, see everyone falling apart, and use that as an affirmation to myself that all relationships are doomed and this one is as well. That I have convinced myself that I am too damaged to ever be in a successful relationship. That I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop constantly.

She smiled patiently at me as I described these things to her. She asked me what made me fall for Mr. Wonderful. I told her how up until I met him, I was convinced that I'd never get married again, at least not until the kids were grown. That I couldn't imagine meeting a man like him, someone who was willing to take my three children on as his own and forgo having blood children of his own. That I trust him completely. That I value his input and his intelligence greatly.

She then told me that my fears were normal, that it was common for people to feel this scarred after a traumatic divorce. But that people see what they want to see, like tunnel vision. If I believe relationships are doomed, I will only see the ones around me that are failing. That if I believe I am too damaged, I will only see myself when I am affected by the damage. The fact is that my own brother, who was raised in the same home and by the same parents and with the same events as I was, is in a very happy and healthy marriage. Both of my parents are in extremely happy marriages. I do have friends around who have happy marriages and relationships. My homework was to start focusing on these relationships and reminding myself that it IS possible.

She also said that my instincts were the feelings I had that let Mr. Wonderful in, past all the walls I had built up, in to meet my children and to consider letting him meet and bond with them. That the naggy, ridiculous defense mechanism feelings I had that lead me to lash out and push away from him are the fears talking. She told me to think of them as the little angel and the little devil sitting on my shoulder. It seems small, but it has already helped me tremendously. Just the identification of them.

She talked to us about communication, and we are both intent to learn since it seems to be the downfall of most relationships. Mr. Wonderful was adorable, bringing his notebook with him to the session to take notes. I looked at him sitting there, facing his own fears and flaws, taking it all in, and just felt an overwhelming sense of how lucky I am to have someone who loves me, loves us, and is this willing to make sure we don't lose each other when we don't have to. Someone who wants me to be happy and healthy, and who wants himself to be the same. I have the real deal, by my side both figuratively and physically. I left the session with a huge smile on my face. Yes, we have some work to do. Some big obstacles to overcome. This is not easy. But I left there knowing that we were going to make it.

No more doubts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here I Go Again.

Tomorrow morning...couples therapy with Mr. Wonderful.

I hadn't thought so much about it until tonight, when he came by and we talked about it a little bit. I was explaining to him what would happen at the first appointment and he was somewhat impressed with my knowledge on the subject.

Ya, I'm somewhat of an expert.

Individual grief counseling after the loss of my daughter. Marriage counseling on three separate occasions over 12 years. Individual therapy for stress and anxiety related to changing careers. Individual therapy after the divorce of my parents, and again during and after my own separation and divorce. Individual therapy for dealing with my Dad's botched surgery. Play therapy for my children post divorce.

So ya. It's kind of no wonder that I was actually denied for health insurance, reason given being "history of therapy".

But maybe I view therapy differently than most people. And Mr. Wonderful has this same perspective. It's not designed to be a fix-it. You don't go in, hand someone your problems and they tell you what to do. There is no "right" or "wrong". It is a teaching tool, a chance to learn, and when put into the right hands or situation, can be a huge catalyst for growth.

When I first went to marriage counseling with my husband, the therapist told us that most couples only come to counseling when the marriage is on the rocks. Usually one person has given an ultimatum, the other has one foot out the door and is basically there as a show of effort. She gave us, that day, an astounding declaration that because of this, marriage counseling does not usually work. And she was right in our case. (He was putting on a show, and continuing his deceitful life behind mine and our therapist's backs).

But this time is different. Mr. Wonderful, who calls himself a "student of life", is truly excited to learn how to be an effective communicator with me, the one he loves and will do anything to not lose. I am looking forward to learning how to merge my independence into a relationship and to eliminate my fears (although coincidentally, the sheer fact that Mr. W has gone to such lengths to keep us together has done wonders for those pesky fears).

At a divorce support group I attended, the leader threw an alarming statistic our way...second marriage divorce rates are staggeringly higher than first-67%. But he also said that if a couple is willing to take pre-marital counseling or 6-8 communication workshops, that statistic decreases to less than 20%. It really is that simple. Learn what did not work the first time, and use there is nothing holding you back, no years of anger or betrayal or resentment. Imagine the difference therapy will make, having two people with no baggage or resentment or anger built up between them yet...learning how to never let that happen...I have true, real hope for us, and believe that this is the answer we needed to channel our passion and live happily ever after.

I hope to continue the learning and self-analyzation that therapy has provided for me up until this point in my life, because it has brought me to an amazing place. I truly appreciate the challenge of being honest with myself and looking hurdles head on. This is another step in my life journey. I may actually get to have it all....motherhood, independence and self-worth, a career I love, AND a healthy, happy relationship with the man I love.

It truly blows my mind.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week 2: The Tune Up

To say that this time of reflection has been helpful would be a great understatement.

It's truly amazing what just a short time of introspection can do for a person.

Last week, I spent the entire weekend with my girlfriends and myself. I read books, I partied, I laughed, I came home at 5am, I ate, I worked out, I sat my butt on my couch and watched a movie. I remembered what it felt like to be alone...not lonely, just alone... and got back in touch with that kick-ass independent 30 something woman, locked her up so she couldn't go anywhere again. And I was able to re-connect with that feeling all week, with or without kids or Mr. Wonderful or friends around. Anytime the "neediness" feeling arose, I remembered that feeling...I conjured it up...and the neediness dissipated like that. I can do anything by myself...and's preferable.

This weekend was my weekend with the kids. Lately I have been hearing so much about Daddy this and Daddy that and they miss Daddy, and while I am seriously so glad they are close with him, I would be lying if I said it didn't scare me that lately, they seem to prefer him. This weekend was all about focusing all my energy on connecting with my three babies. We had the greatest weekend full of laughing and chasing and telling jokes and friends over and movies (my oldest let me sit with him and his friend at the movie!!! That has not happened in like, FOREVER), we told secrets, we played outdoors. I did not sit on the sidelines this weekend and observe my children while distracted with work or friends or boyfriend or anything else. I participated. I swang on the swing. I left my phone off. I raced them to the tree. I kicked the ball. I held them when they asked, hugged them when they let me, told them I loved them at every opportunity. They responded and we all felt like our little team again, me and the kids. I love our little team so much. And we needed this connection desperately.

And so tonight while I make the seemingly endless lunches and do the seemingly endless dishes and do the seemingly endless laundry, I'm smiling endlessly as well. I'm going to get this, I just know it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Breakup: Week 1

What I have learned so far:

-I know exactly who I am, what I love, who I love, and how to find happiness on my own. My happiness resides in my friends, in laughter, in music, in exercise, in my precious children.

-I need to be spending more time alone, just me and no one else. On my couch watching a movie, in a theater, in my bed reading.

-I don't need a man or a relationship. But I WANT him and I want our relationship. I want Mr. Wonderful around because he is a source of joy for me. I miss his laugh, his humor, his caring ways, his daily rundown of his life, his complete inability to make decisions, his opinions, his touch, the way he cares for me, his love of life.

-I have learned that my love language is physical touch. I could never survive in a relationship without it. I need a lot of it. I've learned that his is my time and my listening ear.

-I've learned that everyone's idea of a fulfilling relationship is different. My idea of one is a passionate, loving partnership where no issue goes swept under any rugs, even if that means the boat rocks more often than others. I need to not compare what I have to what anyone else in my life has because of that.

-I have discovered that living in fear will sometimes make your fears reality. I can see over the course of this relationship that my fear has held me back and fostered negativity. I'm so focused on what can go wrong. I assume the worst, so the worst happens because there is power in my thoughts in this situation.

This has been an interesting one to explore. Over the past year with my father, the only coping mechanism that worked for me was after months and months of devastating events was to assume the worst would happen, then nothing could shock me. It worked for that situation because I had no power, it was all out of my control. However in my relationship, it is detrimental, and I see that now. Everytime something goes wrong, I assume the worst...which sets off a chain reaction that has led us to where we are now (partly). I need to believe that this will work. I need to focus on only the positive. I need to let all those negative thoughts that try to enter my head and paralyze me with fear just go and replace them with these:

He does love me.
He doesn't want to leave me.
He is not my ex husband.
He respects me and respects us.
He will be faithful.
No matter what happens, I will be fine, and my children will be fine.

It's so hard for me to trust. But I know how. And I need to just do it. No "protecting" myself. I am either in or out.

And I am so in.