Alone Again… Naturally

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Two years and two days have passed since I met WFB (Whole Foods Boy). A little over one week ago I asked him to move out. Alcoholism and depression are motherfuckers and I can handle one, but not both. He basically moved in with me last summer, though he was still under a lease with his roommate for six more months. It was June of last year when he “moved in.” I asked him to stop living in my house if he wasn’t at least helping with dishes and mowing the lawn. Three months later, he was in a car accident and had to reveal to me that he had been driving on a restricted license due to not complying with state laws and getting an Interlock Breathalyzer system installed in his car TWO YEARS PRIOR when he got his second DUI. I forgave him the major omission, but still asked him to move back in with his roommate. He never left. In January of this year, he began paying rent and moved all of his things in to my house.

On the subject of alcohol, I’m the kind of person who will buy a six pack of beer that will last me six months. He drinks two or three beers a day for no reason and binge drinks on the weekends, often to the point of belligerence. He doesn’t drink Coors or Budweiser with low alcohol content – he purposefully buys beers in the big bottles that are anywhere from 10-15% alcohol content. I was embarrassed to take him anywhere that alcohol would be involved. In August of last year, we were invited to a party at a local bar. My friend’s friend was paying for all the drinks that night, and I informed WFB of this fact. He still ordered $20, $25, $30 bottles of beer, justifying the expense because “we were all sharing them.” He drank so much that he didn’t remember leaving or the cab ride home. He woke up the next day and asked if we had walked home.

In May, he went to a birthday party without me. I was house-sitting and didn’t feel well enough to attend. He drank so much that at 5:00 am, when he was supposed to be headed to work, he could not blow clean to start his car. His phone was dead and once he left his friend’s house, the door was locked behind him, everyone asleep inside. He walked almost 30 blocks to the house where I was staying, reeking of alcohol and his eyes bloodshot. “Can you take me to work?” he asked when I opened the front door in shock. I dropped him off and barely spoke to him. He was fired the next day. He swears it had nothing to do with his physical state that day.

He sat at home for almost three months, living off of the three months of PTO he had accrued that were paid out to him. He never filed for unemployment. He applied for only 2-3 jobs a week, stating that he had to completely re-write his cover letter every time and “that took a lot of time.” One week into his unemployment, my friend offered him a part time gig in a warehouse that would allow him to make money while looking for a career in something he had more interest. He assured me he was going to continue to apply for jobs while working at this temporary job. It was early August when he finally applied and started working in the warehouse. He is still there. They offered him full time and he is no longer looking for a career that interests him. He says he’s not going to be there forever, but that’s what he said about Whole Foods. He was there for over four years, and his mother was the one who talked him into applying there. He would still be there if he hadn’t been fired. I pushed him into the warehouse job because it was guaranteed income and he could continue the job search while earning some money.

About a month ago, I wanted to try to work things out. I went to his parents (who had just returned from seeing WFB’s brother in rehab) about his problem with drinking and his lack of motivation. There is a long line of alcoholism in their family. His parents promised to help him however they could and supported my decision if I chose to end the relationship. I recently started nursing school and I am not equipped to handle the stress of his depression and alcoholism along with the stress of school. I came home and relayed what I had told his parents. He spoke with them the next day, coming home to tell me that he was going to start AA classes and make an appointment with a therapist. He has been saying for the past six months that he is going to contact his previous therapist and get help. There has been no such contact. He has attended no AA classes. He is not very good at following through.

Four weeks ago, we broke up. Three weeks ago, we tried to work it out. A little over one week ago, we broke up and I asked him to move out. He has yet to look for another place to live. He doesn’t know how to take care of himself, and I cannot mother another man. I saw a six pack in his closet when I moved my printer out of his room two days ago. Some things never change.

He came home crying today, asking me if I’m happy. I simply left the house. I’ve grieved the loss of our romantic relationship for so long that I cannot cry any more about it. I’m sad some days but I am happy others. Some days I want to crawl into his arms and say, “let’s work it out,” but I know I’ll just turn around and change my mind the next day. Love is a bitch.

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My Capital “E” Ex-Husband

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Friday evening, J decided to open up conversation with me. Not that we weren’t on speaking terms, but our communications over the past few months have mostly consisted of “where do I find the taxes we paid last year” and “do you know where the documents for the water softener are?” He invited me to our niece’s football game a few weeks ago, and it was the first time we saw each other since October when Angry tried to ruin our friendship by telling him I was casually dating/banging a mutual friend. He looks downright ridiculous. He is growing out his hair and wearing lots of frat bro tank tops. I remember the summer we fell apart, he loved making fun of all the douchebags in their tank tops because “only Bros wear tank tops.” He cut his skinny jeans off into shorts. (I shook my head writing that sentence, just picturing them.) Anyway… He’s not the man I married, and he’s even different from the man I divorced.

I got a message from him Friday night. He asked why it happened to him. I had my issues and he understood that, but why him? What had he done that he deserved to be cheated on? I explained that no person deserves to have their partner cheat, but I needed attention and felt isolated for years. It’s no excuse, but it was my answer. Then he asked if I thought he would be able to make someone else happy. Um, I’m sorry but I’m not really the person to answer that question. I told him that only he knows the answer to that. He goes on: he wants to ask me for some relationship advice. He wants to pursue a young lady and he doesn’t know if he should. I ask her age. He is almost 32. She is 20. Age is relative, but you have to have some common ground and ability to hang out at the same places. I have to be careful here, as I’m almost 31 and my fellow is 25, but Aury is probably more mature than I am in some aspects. J won’t be able to take her out for a drink or certain events that are 21 and over. He goes on to tell me that they have great chemistry and she likes him and he likes her, but he’s worried about her age and her maturity level. Okay, well there’s your red flag. If you’re worried and you have to ask someone about it, you obviously feel it isn’t right so don’t do it. I expressed this to him, and then I tried to change the subject.

Next he tells me about his ex-girlfriend who he just found out started working at a local strip club doing a burlesque show. He says I should check it out. Back story: I’m a fan of the female form. I LOVE pin-up girls and burlesque. Do I want to go see my ex-husband’s ex-girlfriend do a strip tease? Fuck no. So I say “yeah, that’s a great idea! ‘Hey, I’m Sarah. You dated my ex-husband.’ That’ll go over really well for both of us.” He replies: “Well you probably shouldn’t introduce yourself. She doesn’t know much about you, but she’d probably punch you. She’s still a bit attached to me.” I face-palm. Now I realize he’s toying with me. I don’t think he’s doing it on purpose, but he’s still jacking with me. I cut the conversation off by not responding. Meanwhile, I’m screen-sharing with Aury, watching him play a game and talking to him on the phone. I’ve gotten quiet, so he asks me what’s up. I give him the short story and he laughs, confused as to why I’m J’s only source of information. I have to laugh at how ridiculous it is to ask your ex-wife for love advice at the same time she’s on the phone with her current fellow.

Today, J asked me how to go about getting new glasses. I sighed. I told him he needs to make an appointment because it’s been over two years since he was in. So I guess I’ll be seeing him at work in the next couple of weeks… He also asked me for the name of an ENT so that he could get his sinuses checked out (after I nagged him for over 6 years about his deviated septum). He makes a joke about how he has gone totally vegan and his allergies are so much better, but he still snores like a freight train. We had a nice conversation about how we’ve grown as people since we first met. He says the cliché: “If only we had met 10 years later” and “if we knew then what we knew now.” I answered with “if everyone knew everything off the bat, there would be nothing to learn and we would never grow.” Then he blamed our parents for not teaching us how to have a healthy relationship. I’ve come to the point that I don’t blame my parents for my relationship mistakes any longer. I try to learn from their mistakes and not re-create them. I told J that I wasn’t comfortable giving him love advice. We could talk about us or hypothetical situations, but I didn’t want to know about who he was dating or trying to date. Then I said, “unless you want me to start feeding you info about my boyfriend,” to which he quickly responded he wouldn’t give me any more information about his romantic endeavors.

I’m actually glad for the failed relationships I’ve had, including my divorce. I’ve learned an immeasurable amount about myself and what I will and won’t tolerate about another person. Though I would never admit to any of the men I’ve been with, I’m grateful for the experience with them. I have never been one to learn from reading or being told something, but rather from first hand trial and error. I think to what J said about “if we had known ten years ago what we know now;” I still don’t think we would be a couple at this point. My dad asked me last weekend if I thought J and I would ever reconcile and get back together. Honestly, that doesn’t interest me in the least. I’m very content in my current situation and I really do hope J can find his happiness as well.

Tossed

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This Memorial Day weekend has been strange.

Plans were made and plans were broken. New plans came up and some were followed through, some not. A long-distance date was planned, but there are days when one needs alone time and I must honor that. Though I felt like a dog waiting for his master to return only for him retreat to his room and close the door, leaving me on the other side, I understood.

I work with a friend who isn’t shy about his feelings for me. He had a disastrous relationship with a woman for three years. Shortly after we met, they broke up. After I rebuffed him on multiple occasions, I convinced him to try Match. Dating is hard, and I feel badly that he is no exception. I have no romantic feelings for M; I love him as a friend, but nothing more. When he called last night to go get a beer, I knew he had been rejected again. Feeling slightly rejected myself and not wanting to be alone with my thoughts, I agreed to head out on the town with him and another friend. M and I were alone for about an hour and a half; just long enough for him to slur his words and get handsy with me. When our friend arrived, he announced that his girlfriend of several years had been cheating on him. So here I was with two fellows wounded by their ladies and wanting to wallow in drunken misery, one ignoring my protests against his advances. I was thankful when my fellow reached out to me and, in a way, accepted my offer to chat. After making sure my friends had settled somewhere that wouldn’t kick them out for being too intoxicated, I headed home to spend time with the object of my affection.

I’ve not known a feeling more difficult to handle than the need to throw my arms around someone when they’re so far away. For now I have to settle for a kind of shitty web-cam and a microphone that works most of the time.

I threw away part of my past today. In preparation for the move I plan to make in the latter part of winter (why I always move in winter, I am not sure), I am trying to minimize the amount of unnecessary objects in my possession. I dug through photographs and vases and candles and clothing… So many things brought up memories of when things worked, but others brought up memories of when things were broken. I reminded myself that to cleanse is to let go. So I let go. I tossed objects into a bag that I threw into the garbage to be picked up tomorrow and never seen again. I shed no tears. I feel a bit of relief.

The best advice I’ve ever been given and my favorite to offer: Do what makes you happy. I want to get out of my normal. I want to live closer to water. I want to be closer to Carrie. I want to be closer to Aury (if he’ll still have me and I him after the coming months). I want to be somewhere I feel I belong.

I’m almost there.