Chapter 62. His kids are not my kids.

Kids are part of the equation when you are dating after 35. Maybe you managed to stay child free and you are planning weekends to adults only resorts every chance that you get but if you date a man with children from a previous marriage, you will have to deal with things that you have never imagined before (tantrums, ear infections, cancelled trips,  ex wives, school schedules and a lot of deviated attention).

Crocodile´s girlfriend does not want to date a man with children so she has managed to make crocodile forget about his little girl.  It is hard to believe that men are so at ease leaving their offspring behind once the woman of their life is no longer the mother of their children. There are exceptions of course, you can always find that one man that will live fight for their kids custody but, in most cases, men are just fine moving on to the next stage of life alone.

My father remarried a young woman that could be my sister. He forgot about us and made her his priority. To this date he will do whatever she says even if that means not seeing us or canceling plans with us for months. Now crocodile does the same thing.

All of us women reading this would say: a woman would never do that to their kids! a woman would never put her kids to the side for anybody. True, but many single (younger) woman demand that from a man as a pre requisite to be together. At least smart woman do. That way they won’t have to fight for attention or see their man´s past at the dinner table every other weekend, they won’t have to share, consider, care, they won’t have to mind, compromise, deprive. None of those verbs will apply when his kids are out of the picture altogether. Because some women simply don’t want kids, don’t like kids, can’t have kids and don´t any any desire to deal with other people´s kids at all. Because many men, like in this case, are now dating younger women who are not ready or are unsure about giving anything up.

Having children / co parenting children means giving up on a lot of the fun.

Unless both parties have children from previous relationships.

That makes a different post.

Chapter 61. Sociopathic Love

A sociopath man is incapable of loving. Watch out for a sudden lack of empathy, remorse, shame or guilt and manipulative games that can dragged any woman into a state of dispair. All of a sudden, a sociopath might seem bored around you,  ready to humiliate, ignore you with his actions and hurt you with his words.

It was Valentine´s Day a year ago. I did not know it but I was married to a nacissistic sociopath. A person with an ongoing disregard for the rights or needs of others.

Let´s provide a list of what constitutes sociopath behavior in a man engaged in a romantic relationship:

  • they are extremely charming at first
  • they promise the moon, they know how to make a woman feel special
  • they are extremely generous at first and will make you a part of everything
  • because they cater to themselves first, they are usually successful and wealthy
  • they are very impulsive
  • they have high IQ
  • they might have had a difficult childhood or parental relationship
  • they might have been arrested
  • they rationalize the pain they inflict in others
  • they are unable to feel remorse or guilt
  • they can be promiscuous and act normal the next day
  • they have a grandiose sense of self
  • they think that they can rule the world
  • they do not have many friends, they might have a “bitch” easy-to control best friend
  • they have the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • they have micro expressions of anger
  • they are easily ofended
  • they are prone to drama
  • they can turn their emotions on and off
  • they use intense contact with their victim to manipulate
  • they stay away from other sociopaths
  • they know what they are
  • their ultimate goal is to make you their victim

So, if you find yourself exhausted, analizing a situation over and over where you think you did nothing wrong but somehow you are the one to blame, if you are always catering and “doing favors” to your boyfriend, if he gets mad all the time and defensive when he is at fault, if you are trying and trying to show love and get nothing back, if your knee hurts and he doesn´t care but when he is sick you are always there and takes it for granted, if he went from making you the center of his attention to hardly spending time with you, if you think he lies, if you think he cheats, if you somehow find out about those things and he tries to justify saying that “you leave him no choice but to be that way” you are dating a sociopath.

It is very difficult to get out, it is very painful to let go. You want the charming person back, you want the man that loved you back.

He does not exist.

I am turning off my phone tomorrow in case a sociopath calls me and tells me that I am after all, the woman of his life and that he will always be there for me.

 

Chapter 60. When you ditch a guy

You have been nice to your friend for a long time. He likes you, it is obvious that he does, but you are simply not into him. You wish that you were, but you aren´t. Period.

Well, this is a very common situation and women have a harder time dealing with it than men. Why? Because we are more sensitive and more empathetic than men.

When a man doesn’t like a girl he simply does not pay any attention to her, he will spend time with his friends, ask her to loose some weight, he will tell her wrong in everything that she does and he will simply not feel bad about not answering whatsapps, calls or emails. Guys are good at that.

Women aren’t.

Because we are raised to care about others, we care about other people´s feelings also. Thus, we find it a lot harder to tell someone off, to ditch someone to say to a friend that we are NOT interested in a romantic relationship. So we make up excuses and kick the tin far along the road to see if the guys simply gets tired, meets somebody else or gives up. The catchy thing is that women like the attention let´s be honest, who doesn’t like having somebody interested in them? Somebody who thinks so highly of you and who thinks that you are the awesomest woman on hearth (he doesn´t know you obviously).

But this scenario is not fair to the guy so let´s give a few tips to ditch a guy for once and for all when nothing else works. Most of these tips are things that men do all the time and listen, if it works for them it is worth a try!

  1. talk about other guys, a lot, and post pictures
  2. be a horrible texter (misspelled words, extra spaces, show you don’t care)
  3. be vulgar in your vocabulary and manners
  4. give him the cold shoulder
  5. talk over him
  6. ignore his requests
  7. be less attractive
  8. be a sloppy drunk
  9. forget his birthday
  10. block him

That should do it!

What happens next? He will be offended, disappointed, he will be mean to you, he will exhibit all the negative aspects of his personality and you will be able to see what could have taken you years to discover.

The difference is that, soon after you implement these tips, you will see the guy´s true colors because when a man feels rejected, specially if you are ditching him for another man, the cute talk is replaced by the rude talk.

Your gain.

If despite your efforts, he shows concern, wants to understand why you have changed your behavior and still has feelings for you, he might be marriage material.

Chapter 59. Last Valentine´s Day

This is a day for lovers they say, for people in love who crave each other or who stick together nevertheless. The rose, the date the chocolate mousse and the usual gift or marriage proposal. Note to all boyfriends: let Valentine´s Day alone, just do the dinner part and leave the marriage proposal for another day, will you?

Proposing on Valentine´s Day is tacky. Let´s name other tacky things that people do when in love: go to Venice, go to Paris, go to Rome, get matching tattoos, eating strawberries and champagne at a hotel room, make love on top of rose petals spread on the bed, get a couple´s massage, feed each other food in front of other people (gross) kiss with tongue at a restaurant after a toast, proposing at a restaurant, pick up your date in a limousine.

There are so many things….I have done them all. Well, except for the tattoos, crocodile and Mrs. Reggaeton did that…what can I do? They are tackier than me.

The thing is. A year ago I was sitting at the kitchen counter with a cigarette and a cup of coffee at the crocodile´s pond and I felt so restless that I opened my laptop and started to write this blog. Hours after the first post “He was so damn perfect that I left him for a crocodile” I had over 350 visits and messages from women all over the world. Who is this crocodile and why have we all had one in our lives?

Crocodile is any men, who has taken a woman for granted.

He is the guy that do not buy you flowers, does not remember your birthday, doesn’t ask how your day was, does not show any interest to meet or spend time with your friends, or you, for that matter. He is the asshole who stands you up at an island when he is supposed to meet you there for a few days, the one that asks for attention when he is sick but does not even lay next to you when you are sick. He always picks up the movie, tells you that you are fat after deliverying his baby and if you have post partum depression, he wakes you up in the middle of the night and calls you a bad mother.

A year ago I was alone on Valentine´s Day, writing this blog.

I did not go out to dinner a year ago, I got a lousy T-shirt and one yellow rose one day later. Crocodile style. The man who managed to hurt me and make me feel inadequate and insignificant even when pretending to be doing the right thing.

This year I will buy myself flowers, lots of them.  I will toast to myself at home with a glass of nice wine named after me and a big smile on because the best is yet to come. Maybe I will be alone, maybe not.

Chapter 58. The picture of Dorian Grey

Crocodile left his daughter crying by the door and left. She was sick, with a fever, he had not seen her in almost a month.

“I need to go see this woman Rachel, I cannot live like this. She left me. I already have a job offer and I am supposed to start working there on Monday but right now I do not know if moving to the South makes any sense. Please keep her and I will forever be greatful. By the way, you look gorgeous, your house is a home, I am a piece of shit”.

At that moment I lost any kind of respect or left over love for this man. Who in his right mind would leave his sick child behind, drive 700 miles at night to beg for somebody´s love?

There was my closure, right in front of me, in my living room, typing Whatapps like a maniac and waiting for my permission to leave, looking totally distressed. Like a child, but it was not, it was the same perturbed 43 year old man that had perturbed me and everyone around him. A pure narcissistic asshole.

Six months prior to this Whoody Allen scene I had moved out of the family house with nothing but a few suitcases.

Crocodile needed to break free, he said. He did everything that a man could possibly do to undermine a woman, verbal, psychological and even physical abuse. So last Christmas, I wrote a good bye letter to my in laws and I announced the divorce to my friends and family. 

Soon thereafter, crocodile was in love with someone else, he would post pictures on Facebook with a much younger women, on vacation, on our bed and at a restaurant, smiling, looking very relaxed, as if nothing had happened, as if nothing had been lost. He would appear dressed up dining at fancy places and proposing to this woman. They tattooed each other names and bought wedding bands that they also posted on Facebook. He came to my doorway to show me his tattoo and tried to convinced me that he could easily remove it or change it to read something else.

I feel sorry for the new girl, she is just another prey, feeding the crocodile’s ego. And she is in it thinking that the man she sees now is the man she gets. He is offering her flowers, attention, jewels and trips to Bali. But none of it is for her. He wants to impress and have someone around telling him how wonderful he is and how foolish I was to file for divorce. I put him before his Dorian Grey portrait and he desperately wants to forget about what he saw. Just like that, jumping to the next thing. “That always worked for me”, he said whenever talking about the women of his past. “I do not care about her happiness, I care about mine”.

This new person is his means of transportation to the next place. Nothing more. Once he soaks her up it will be too late for her, she will have willingly given up much of her own essence for him, under false premises, under false promises that he won’t keep. When delivery time comes, he will withdraw from everything and continue to be a crocodile. She will feel betrayed, her smile will forever take a bit too long to show up on her face and she will look and feel much older than she ever did before.

Or the other way around.

 

Chapter 57. Crocodile is in love

Very in love, he says, he sold the house, the company, the racing car and wants to move to Puerto Rico with his 28 year old girlfriend that makes him feel X and makes him look Y. That is the key. He also wants me to tell his mother about his plans. This love he feels for this woman, this rush, makes it impossible for them to be apart which only proves how scared he is to be alone.

Crocodile and Miss Reggeaton (which is the term that I use to decribe a young girl that listens to that kind of music and postes pictures of her butt on Facebook) have been together for six months. During that time, they got matching tattoos and posted pictures on Facebook of their naked tattooed bodies, of them holding hands, at a spa, drinking champagne at fancy restaurants. They want to share with the world how happy they are. They travel each weekend, stay at 5 star hotels, go to Michelin Star restaurants,  announce their relationship, their engagement to be married. The beauty of social networks, the perfect life. Yet, every once in a while, I get a message from crocodile in distress:

“Miss Reggeaton is leaving me, all because of you. She says that I gave you everything, too much…and that she cannot deal with that…” A couple of days later they are off to a new destination.

“Miss Reggeton is coming to town on Sunday, it might be the last time I see her. She does not undestand that I have a daughter and that my daughter will always come first so I will make it very clear to her” A couple of days later he is gone and does not call or see his daughter for two weeks.

Manipulate and you might find yourseld manipulated by someone smarter than you.

So I called my best friend the other day “Hey what is going on, why do I feel so unhappy sometimes and what do you think people could hate the most about me?”

“No way, I cant´t hate you, you are perfect, and your life is perfect, I see it on Facebook. Everything that you do is amazing, and you look great all the time. So happy, so perfect. I coud not say….Rachel, please focus on your moments and truly enjoy them, they are nobody elses´business…my wife is obsessed with that shit, she spends three hours in bed looking at what other people post and she suffers if her friends´s kids appear on this blogger´s blog and ours don´t. I think you women are crazy”.

I have deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Chapter 56. Your face when your cleaning lady brings you clothes that don’t belong to you

Some women do odd things when they go through a divorce. Some hire the best lawyer in town to get the most out of their broken marriage, some seclude themselves at home with the kids feeling sorry for themselves, spending countless hours on the phone telling their friends about their ex´s latest moves and looking at old photo albums.

I did all of the above. And I wrote.

Since thousands of women have gone through this moment what better thing than to document the sleepless nights, the anxiety and the sad, really sad feelings that go through our veins when a love story ends? Because a failed love story began one day when the hopes were high and the butterflies ran free inside our stomachs, when the person that you meet in front of a judge today was the one taking you to cloud nine.

Crocodile and I had those moments. He literally turn my world upside down, made me forget about my former life, set my heart on fire. He was so kind, so loving and so attentive that nothing else matter.

One day, without prior notice, he changed. He began to act like I was no longer the center of his universe and that put a crack in my heart, a crack that ended up at a family court house. A crack that became bigger and bigger and caused me to suffer from insomnia, to loose a lot of weight, to feel increasingly sad, to forget or not care about important events, friends. The crack took over my peace, controlled my temper and pushed me into a  serious depression.

Women endure many things for love. Many lies, many disappointments and even many insults that would have seemed impossible when you first met.

For me the worse was to be replaced by another women before I even had had time to move out with my two kids.

Crocodile wanted to fly solo, marriage was not for him he said, he no longer wanted to be in a relationship. He had filed for bankruptcy and needed to sell the house etc. At that point the level of suffering was already unbearable. He acted like a bitter man most of the time.

I left and filed for divorce. Who wants to force someone to love them back? Only a few days after I had moved into a small apartment with my two small children he asked a new woman to move in with him, proposed and took her to Bali. They posted pictures on Facebook from out bed. This girls´underwear made it to my new house though the cleaning lady that we were still sharing.

At that point you stop suffering and begin struggling with reality. Because we are women and because we are mothers, we find the strengh to remove the bullets, clean the wounds, put lipstick on, and stand up.

Chapter 55. You´ve got everything you need, you are a woman. Don´t look back.

So you are now alone with your kids in a small place and a reduced income while your ex is out having fun and spending money? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Crocodile used to call the kids on a Friday night from New Orleans with music in the background and claim that he was there for work. It is simply what men do when they go through a break-up. They put themselves first.

Let’s talk about the wonderful and miraculous process that most men go through when you leave them or when they leave you after many years of marriage.  First, they call their friends, then, they run back to their mothers and last but not least, they go party and spend money.

A lot.

All the money that they did not spend taking you out to dinner or buying you something nice, they will now spend on buying drinks and presents to complete strangers with the sole purpose of enjoying themselves. All those trips that they did not take with you they will now take with their friends to prove that their brotherhood is more important and that they are better off now that you are gone.

They will loose weight, change their hair, go shopping for new clothes, stop doing all the things that bothered you so much and start doing the ones you always wanted. To top it all, they will look better than ever and start treating you with despise, like you don’t matter, like they don’t care about you, like they don’t know you anymore and like they don’t have to acknowledge all the things the many things that you compromised in your life to bring happiness to theirs and the whole family.

Now they have to pay you. And it does not matter if their disposable income has increased since you and the kids are gone, and it does not matter if you have now found yourself in a much worse situation, doing all of the work, incapable of earning as much as he does because when the clock strikes 7 you are up making breakfast and packing snacks and when the clock strikes 4 pm you are at some playground or grocery shop. Now you have to take the kids to soccer practice, games, birthday parties and music lessons. It does not matter. Now, in their mind, they have to pay you. They are told by the judges that the money is not for you but for the kids, they are told that it is the law, they are told all those things yes. But they still hate the fact that they have to pay you.

Some, being able to pay, will pay child support, and complain about it in any chance they get. Because they pay, they will expect you to have less rights than them when it comes to your schedule or your plans.

Others, too many of them will not pay out of disdain or because they have heard that you are with someone new and is their form of revenge.

Most men’s lives will go on easily after the divorce, the increased fun and free time will make them forget all about you, the kids crying at the dinner table and waking up in the middle of the night or early on a Saturday morning is a thing of the past for them now. The return to a bachelor life will make them feel happier and free.

The woman on the other hand will be alone with all the work and society will see that normal. She is the mother. If the father assumes that responsibility he is some kind of super hero.

And that is how the story goes for many women and why many prefer to put up with a selfish asshole that they no longer love.

Chapter 54. I drove 800 miles to find out he had a girlfriend

I was once told that you should not fall for your roommate or neighbour because if things don’t  work out, you are stuck with a ton of ackward moments to follow. So I secretly fell in love with my next door neighbour and did not show my feelings for him for approximately two years. Then he moved to the South and I said “what the heck! I’m going down to tell him!” I drove 800 miles and when I got there (with my trunk packed with things that his mother had given me for him to eat) I found out that he already had a girlfriend.

My now ex neighbour used to live with his mother. Yes he is past 30 but I never saw him as an unaccomplished man, mostly because he is an actor and actors may spend their entire life waiting for their break.

As most actors, he is moody, particular, self centered and depressive but when he is high about a gig he can be very pleasant.

When I got to his place (with a back up friend) I found out that he wasn’t acting but rather he had found a job as a waiter. He immediately and casually told my friend (not me) about his new relationship status. The lucky girl, a 24 year old college student, was out of town so I told my self “you are a 37 year old woman Rachel, you can seduce him” but certain guys (this one in particular) are not cool around independent strong women, they prefer younger girls that they can still impress somehow and that help them feed their otherwise damaged ego.

So by the time I had paid for the third round of beer I conviced myself that a good friendship was sufficient and I started to play it cool around the increasing amount of people that seemed to hang out with us all the time.

Do you know that feeling of just waiting for a moment with someone and that moment never happening for one reason or another? That is how I felt. It was as if the universe prevented that moment from happening.

Until the last night.

I was packing my things at my hotel when suddenly I got a message that became a conversation:

– when are you leaving?

– tomorrow

– no way!

– yes, I am going back home where I can get more attention from men 😉

– you may get more but not better

– you have a girlfriend

– yes, but I want to tear off your panties

– blah blah, you had your chance, besides, I am not wearing any right now…

– 😰 please come over

– No. I’ll say hello to your mom from you, how is that?

Chapter 53. Thanks for hanging in there

My name is Rachel. I am the middle child of three siblings, the only girl.

I never really had to fight for attention. My older brother was so problematic that I didn’t have to do much to look good.

I was a happy child. Extrovert and artsy. I liked dancing, theater but most of all I enjoyed singing and listening to the music that my older brother would introduce me to. I enjoyed clothes as well and from my early teens, I had the biggest crushes on boys from my school. Like this boy that rode on my school bus, I would stop breathing each time the bus reached his stop and would remained quiet all the way whenever he sat next to me… I also fell hard for a counselor at camp.

I grew up in Seattle and therefore, I enjoy the rain and the mild temperatures. I am a seafood lover and I have developed a taste for wine and fine living.

My father is from a small town in Wisconsin and I spent many summers in the Midwest with my grandma, enjoying swimming in the lake and going to some state fairs. My time in WI prepared me for life because as much as I get to hang out at fancy places now, I never forget where I am from. I know how to tell a good potato from a bad one by just looking at it, and I mean that literally and figuratively speaking.

I started to travel at a very early age. My mom bought an RV and we woukd drive around the country quite a lot. Sometimes I think “if I ever ran for president, I would know exactly where to make my stops and what to say” That is something. Thanks mom.

At thirteen I enjoyed reading and creating quite a lot. I would spend many hours in my room learning a famous singer’s song, a video choreography, reading books or writing in my diary. When I read that stuff back, I surprise myself and laugh at some of my ideas. Bold, honest and very innocent.

The first book that I remember reading was Dracula, Bram Stoker. I have no idea of how that book fell in my hands, certainly not the most appropriate reading for a young girl, but I remember being absolutely fascinated by the story and getting anxious as the pages left to be read became scarce between my fingers. I just never wanted to leave that world in which I had found myself immerse and trapped for, I would say, life.

The story introduced me to the power or love and lust, to human women’s nature, to the garden of good and evil (that I also got to visit in Savannah) and for me, an otherwise angelical perfect girl, it would be of much importance in the years to come. Little one young girl knows about human condition and love at the early teen years but curiously enough, the way I have experienced love as a woman up until now, with my two divorces and children made with love, is very much in line with the story’s main female character, Mina Murray, who is loving and passionate at the same time and who like me, appears to be too advanced for her time, will do anything for love and possesses the courage to think and act as only a man of her time should if need be.

So making an art out of love, novels and writing have always had an important presence in my life.

Keep reading.