You look down at your hand. There is no longer the sign of a flashy ring or marks from where your wedding ring used to be. You have taken back your maiden name and excelled in your career. You have dedicated your life to becoming closer to your kids and grandkids. You no longer have to share your bed or ask permission to go out after work or take an unplanned trip. You have cried and been angry and grieved over your marriage. You now see light at the end of the tunnel and your life is great!
My separation took place in October, 2013. It was a total shock to my system. I had no idea our marriage was going to end after my 6,000 mile journey to Japan to visit my daughter. We were not fighting. We were not arguing. We had not talked of splitting or about any concerns. We had a very normal marriage, or so I thought. Then the car ride to my doom, the reminder from a scene from Sex and the City where Burger broke up with Carrie via a post it note. My husband of 13 years tells me we are done.
My heart and soul were crushed. Then to find out he was having an affair was an even tougher blow to my system. I had asked him many times in those few weeks before finding out if he was cheating. He would yell and tell me he was not having an affair. The lies, deceit, and the wasted time, all gone. And yet here I was with my broken heart.
I will never understand how this affair, this woman he told me had feelings for, ended. But it did. Shortly after Christmas he told me they were no longer together. My heart was skipping. Do I take him back?
That hope was destroyed along with my dreams of having an honest husband. He then told me he was dating. I was shocked. Here was this man who lied to me for several months about an affair with a co-worker and now he is dating while this coworker is still working with him.
Boundaries. We all have them. Which ones am I willing to allow past my heart and which ones can I not? If you would have asked me this months after the split, there were no boundaries. I loved him. I cried out of loneliness for him. I missed him. Even with the cheating I could not turn off my heart. He was still calling me or texting me and I know now that was half the issue. I needed to have stronger boundaries and I didn’t if for any reason except for myself.
I have a lot of boundaries now. My heart is guarded. While I realize I am not safe and it certainly is possible for a person to come in my life and hurt me again, I am trying to avoid that. I have not dated. Not one person. Not even so much as a coffee date since my split. My marriage has not yet legally ended which is a small reason for my decision. I truly feel the larger reason is that I am trying to guard my heart. I don’t want to experience that pain and the tears again. I feel like a strong, independent woman. Yet, at that same time, I cringe everytime I go to the mailbox knowing that the final divorce date will be here soon. I have to see him. I have to be near him. That is going to be the hardest thing since the split.
Boundaries. I have been great with keeping no contact with him the last several months. It’s been hard. I wanted to tell him about my grandkids, my Aunt dying, my upcoming surgery. But I can’t. I won’t. He doesn’t deserve me and he has proven that. My boundaries or what I call rules now are very strict. In fact, my youngest daughter said, “You know, Mom, there is no guy out there like that.” She may be correct and I am okay with knowing that I may be alone until the day I die. I know in my heart I am not truly alone. I have a sister, friends and a wonderful family network.
My boundaries are already set. I don’t want to date a man with small children. I am over that. All my kids are grown and I am not willing to delay my plans to find a sitter for small children. I want a man who is honest. I mean, let’s be frank. Everyone lies. But if I so much as catch him in even a small lie, he is out and it’s over. He will not meet my kids or know where I work for a very long time. I don’t need the surprise lunches or him popping into my employer. I would rather wait to see where the relationship is going. I don’t want to deal with his family, children or ex issues. That’s baggage. I don’t want it. I don’t need it. I will not tell my sad story about my last marriage and I would prefer not to hear his. The man in my life needs to make a decent living. I don’t want one to support me but I refuse to support him in any way financially. I have a nice home, car and a lifestyle and I am able to help out my daughters and grandkids. I will not support a man. I also will not put my children second ever again. No man will come into my life and I give up my world while he works 7 days a week and whines that he doesn’t feel like he fits into my life. I speak for MADD, I am an animal rescuer and I am active in a lot of charities. Those come first unless I truly want to put him come first. I did that once. It got me nowhere and unappreciated. I will not do it again. Fear has made me strict and I am keeping it that way.
If there is such a man out there for me then he will be there someday. I can wait. I have all the time in the world. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy just being me, boundaries and all!