Men, Marriage and Other Mind-Numbing Topics

by Cate on December 2, 2010

Over the weekend, I posted a picture of me with a guy.  Madeline and Nick were in the picture too.  Within an hour, I got three notes/e-mails, asking me who he was and if he was Mr. Right.  It honestly cracked me up.  They all mean well.  But my party line, now nearly two years after The Ex walked out, is that I have no interest in getting married again.  None whatsoever.  I will agree with the sentiment on “never say never,” but it would take a lot and one heckuva special guy to get me to change my mind.  Commitment ceremony?  Sure.  Living together?  No problem.  Marriage?  Just not interested.

The lengths it took to get untangled from my marriage definitely make a future one less appealing.  The back-and-forthing.  The attorneys.  The meanness and negativity.  Just one giant expensive mess.  And from an emotional standpoint, there is scarring for sure.  Trust issues I may never get past.  A cynical attitude that I purposely work to shake.  Quite frankly, I just don’t see any compelling need for paperwork to make future relationships “official.”  I am fully aware I may just eat my words, but I consider that a good problem.

Is this just me?  Did you feel the same way when you got divorced (assuming you are, of course)?  My sentiments are usually met with a “oh, you’ll change your mind eventually.”  And I just might.  Who knows?  Considering I was blindsided by my divorce, I certainly have no idea what the future holds, be it tomorrow or a year or two from now.  But I’m still gun shy.  Very, very much so.  Not so much that I’m not out there, but just at arm’s length.  Maybe elbow length.

“Men need to come with a Secret Decorder Ring.”

So went a text message I sent a friend this afternoon.  They seriously do sometimes.  Just as women probably need an owner’s manual.  Fair’s fair, after all.  One thing I’ve learned is that men aren’t nearly as complicated as we sometimes make them out to be.  (And this is not related to my Ex; we’re talking generally here).  I can have a casual conversation with someone, and still be dissecting it days later.  “Did they mean this…?”  “I wonder what they meant by that…”  It can be a simple conversation, but something that will plague me in all sorts of different scenarios for days on end.  As for a guy?  The conversation is long since forgotten.

The same goes for arguments and being mad, at least in my experience.  Nick is a great example.  He can be mad as all get-out at me as he goes off to bed, but has forgotten the entire episode by the time he wakes up.  All is forgiven and I am back to being the best Mom in the world.  They don’t hold grudges like we do.  They don’t rehash things.  They say their peace and move on.

It’s a lesson I have taken to heart, particularly this year.  I try not to let things fester.  If something is bothering me, I say what I need to say and move forward.  If someone says something out of line, I will call them on it, instead of letting it eat at me.  It feels so much better that way.  Without something nagging at me.  Weighing me down.  It’s freeing.

That author, John Gray, who wrote “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” years ago was definitely on to something.  Sometimes the differences are staggering, but it certainly keeps it interesting.

And PS – that guy that was in the picture? Just a friend.

Project 365
December 1, 2010, Photo #238, 239, 240, 241, 242

Maddie's Treasures
It’s always seems to be a surprise what treasures lurk in my purse. That? Madeline’s socks. She has this habit of always taking off her socks and shoes, no matter where we are or what we’re doing. It drives me crazy. That pair in particular was from a trip to the grocery store this weekend. She refused to put them back on. Ended up putting her boots on without them. I am convinced that she is like this to test my germophobe tendencies… let’s give the Mom who always has hand sanitizer within arm’s reach a kid that walks around barefoot in public places and licks shopping carts. That’ll teach her.

Wednesday LunchI get a lot of questions about what I eat. A big weight loss will do that. Today’s lunch was a toasted whole wheat bagel with sliced tomatoes, smooshed avocado, drizzle of hot sauce and tuna fish made with low-fat mayo. Delish.

Advent TimeYears ago, when my sister was in college, my Mom started this advent thing. She gave my sister a stack of envelopes with small gifts inside, and she was to open up one every day in the month of December, right up until Christmas Eve. When Nick came along, he got added to the tradition. Now with four grandchildren, it’s gotten a bit bigger. Every day, we pull out a bag and it has one of our initials on it, so we’re alternating days. An awesome tradition that we love.

HappinessMadeline opened up a gift today, and it was a Tinkerbell sticker book. She looked at it, clutched it tightly to her chest and proclaimed, “I love it!” Yup, Grandma’s done good.

HidingShe’s hiding because she knows it’s nap time and she’s not ready. She might need a better method.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey December 2, 2010 at 1:19 am

She’s hiding kitty, too!

I’ve been married 10+ years and while we’ve managed not to kill each other, we’ve come close. We were pregnant before we got married…….have dealt with more life challenges than many full lives endure…..but we’re still together. That being said, I can absolutely see the hesitation with getting married a second time. I think it shows a great respect for the union…..that you don’t take it lightly.

Oh, and I love how one picture can throw so many people off!

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Joanne December 2, 2010 at 7:12 am

This reminds me of the ever-evolving facebook dilemma in which you post a picture, change your status to something that could possibly be construed as suggestive, etc. and you immediately have about ten people trying to question you about it. is it really their business?

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darla December 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

When you post something on Facebook, you make your life everyone’s business. By writing something or showing photos, you open yourself to comments and questions.

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Cate O'Malley December 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Darla, you are absolutely right. I don’t have any problem with the comments or questions, just thought the near-immediate curiosity was funny.

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FireMom December 2, 2010 at 9:50 am

My husband and I really do communicate well, but it always astonishes me how DIFFERENT men are when it comes to communicating and how they think/process things. ASTONISHES.

I love your honesty and the way you share things. Keeps me coming back! :)

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paula December 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

Once again, I am reading my own thoughts here.

Unfortunately I am still in the thick of it. I’m not sure another marriage will even be possible because I’m beginning to doubt I will ever get out of this one!

If I ever do escape, I can’t see getting married again but it could happen down the road. Hopefully I have learned something from this experience and would only get married again if it’s right and not because I’m an idiot that makes the same mistakes over and over. I certainly don’t feel the same pressure to be married at 41, with 2 kids, that I felt when I was 30 with no children.

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F. Plvan December 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

Cate,

I hear you. My husband left me almost 9 years ago after an affair with a woman almost 20 yrs. younger than I am. I very unexpectedly found myself a single parent with 2 boys (at the time, 7 and 9, and now 14 and 16). Between parenting them alone and working full-time, I really don’t have time for anything else. And yes, the scars remain.

You’re doing a great job creating and maintaining a warm and loving home for your children. You’re building the future; there’s no better job. Blessings to you.

Faith

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Amy December 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

My two cents (for what it is worth)…

Speaking from experience – It will be two years since the divorce was final in March next year. I’m just now rounding the corner of seeing another man and not immediately classifying him as a ‘jerk’ just because he is male.

Nasty divorce, trust issues, single parent with a 3 year old… needless to say, I’m good for now. Not to say I don’t miss certain aspects, but it isn’t just about me anymore. Its me and my child…

He (on the other hand) is remarried and having a child. More blessings on him and for him.

I love the blog and seeing the joys in your life… thanks for sharing and providing inspiration!

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Ramona December 2, 2010 at 11:45 am

I said never, but did it anyway….

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Laura December 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm

My husband have been married 11 years and together for 16 and while I am very happy being married to him I would never marry again if something happened. I think sometimes women with young children think that they cant do it themselves and remarry for the finaical security (which I can understand) so I have always had my “own” money and in case of tradgedy I have him insured out the wazoo. I just never want to put myself or little one in a position.
of course someone asked us one time how we make it work and we both agreed we don’t have a choice ….we are way too lazy to split up our stuff!

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