Chapter 96. Having children may destroy your relationship.

Let´s make something clear: kids alter relationships.

Men, most of them, like to enjoy life without the responsibility. Women in return, marry with the idea of starting a family and have kids because for many women, having kids is a dream come true, starting a family is what we have been taught and in other cases shit just happens. For most women kids become their first love and their love life, their relationship, suffers as a result. One because men do not like to share the attention with screaming little beings that they will need to care for and support for at least 18 years, small beings that they don´t know and that enter their house to offer sleep deprivation, diapers, bottles, expenses, more in law time and endless weekends at home. No fun. Two because sex becomes less feasible when the kids are in the house. There are of course other instances in which the father becomes in love/obsessed with their offspring. In these cases the woman will get pissed off, depressed, jealous and resentful, that also kills the relationship.

Who likes to add responsibility and more pressure to adult life in these times where job and financial stability are as flaky as an onion? Who likes to wake up naked after a night of passion and lust and see a small walking baby with a pacifier enter the room and crawl into your bed, the bed where you just had sex? Nobody. Besides, women when they become moms will be so preoccupied about the kids that they will not appear as sexy as before not to mention relaxed or done up. They will be one thing instead: exhausted.

Many men affirm not to feel attracted to their partners after they give birth. How can you be attracted to someone that carried and expelled a baby out their vagina in front of you? Do you love that woman? Yes. Do you find her misterious, sexy, dirty in bed as before? Not really. After your child calls your once sex partner mom repeatidly in the middle of the night sex appeal kind of goes away, not to mention the breatfeeding part.

I have been married twice and twice I had kids wiht my respective husbands. We love our kids to death but the kids in both cases, ruined the marriage and the relationship. After that I had a serious boyfriend whom I thought to marry and one again, the kids, the pressure that kids and their education brought to the table killed the relationship. Because let´s make another thing clear: if it is hard with your kids it is even harder with someone else´s.

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Chapter 69. He won’t leave his wife

d) you realize that you are not getting what you need and that you are never going to get it.

I’ve been looking for camouflage panties all over London. I am meeting with my lover next weekend and I like to keep things spicy. He has been planning this amazing trip to Maldives for us, a way to compensate me I reckon.

We have been in a romantic relationship for about 12 years, and for 6 of those years I did not know about the other person existing. By the time I found out it was too late, I was so in love, I simply could not imagine my life without my love. We are so happy together. Not happy like the other couples, no, we truly are happy, enjoy each other and have the same interests in mind. So instead of breaking up with him immediately I asked if that situation could be fixed. He said yes and I chose to believe it but nothing has changed indeed. We are great friends, we get along, we tell each other everything and have the best sex on Earth so I am sure that he loves me. Yet, he won’t leave his wife, he won’t, he simply keeps putting it off.

“After Christmas”

“After Natalie’s First Communion”

“Once the kids are back to school”

“Once the kids are out of the house”

The thing is, that day never comes.

Years have gone by and I am still “the other one”. I want to start a family, it is about time, but because of the messy love situation that I am in, I don’t even dare to. I cry and cry because I am 36, I so want to have a baby and the man I love will never agree to it.

I remember the first day I met my love. It was at the beach, his swimming suit was camouflage patterned and I just remember lifting up my head and seeing him there, standing right in front of me, smoking a cigar. I fell in love.

He was there alone with two kids and another guy with a little girl so I immediately thought “two divorced dads hanging out on vacation”. Soon thereafter my friend came out of the bar and said hello to one of them. Before I knew it, we were all having drinks together. It was such an amazing evening. One of those evenings that you remember forever. Everything seemed to flow perfectly. The drinks, the sunshine, the conversation.

Little did I know about all the suffering that would follow.

I broke up with my love recently. I call him my love because that is exactly what he is. My love.

I was meeting him to see a condominium that we were going to buy together. He never came to the showing, he stood me up. He called one hour later saying that he had been pulled into a conference call and asking if we could re schedule. I was mad but I say ok and I did. He did not come to the second appointment either. I felt embarrassed, the real estate agent gave me this pity look and I saw it clear. This guy was never going to give me what I needed. It reminded me of another occasion one year ago, when he stood me up in an island because one of his daughters wanted him to go to a play with the entire family. I remember the feeling being left alone and spending the night at the hotel room. Sardinia, a natural paradise, turned hell.

“This is enough, I am done”.

I asked him to meet me at our favorite café. I broke up with him. Don’t ask me how I did it, but I did it. I was surprised at my gut, he was surprised at my gut, he asked me not to, he said that he would finally move out of the house and come live with me, but at that point, for some reason, It was already too late, I no longer wanted it.

Men like to play around when married, and many married women like to pretend they don’t know.

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. I opened my laptop and started to write “He was so damn perfect that I left him for a crocodile” 350 visits later and messages from women all over the world and I had a blog. 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  you 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 guy capable of standing you up at an island. He always picks up the movie, tells you that you are fat after delivering his baby.

A year ago I was alone on Valentine´s Day.

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.

This year I will buy myself flowers, lots of them.

Ha!

Chapter 55. Don´t look back.

Now your ex 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 with someone new.

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 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. 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.

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.

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 49. Staying together for the kids

Is what many adult couples do when they discover that they no longer feel anything for each other, to put it nicely.

Something that would seem unthinkable in your twenties becomes a reasonable option in your mid thirties when you find yourself out of love, with a huge house that is proportionate to your mortgage, and a good school that your kids are attending after applying for two years to get admitted and to which they are fully adjusted.

Pragmatically speaking, staying under the same roof and sharing expenses is a good option, provided that you are ok seeing your ex totally naked in the nursing room when he casually asks you to warm up some milk and bring the baby bottle to the nursing room upstairs. I could not stand that kind of stuff or to feel like I was cheating if somebody asked me out on a date. So I moved out to Santa Barbara and took my kids with me.

Breaking that perfect setting for my kids was perhaps the toughest part of my second divorce. Not so much the emotional strings to my ex, those were long gone but rather, telling my 7 year old that it was time to move….again, man that was hard.

Now that they are older and spending a few months with their respective fathers, things seem a lot easier. I have the chance to move to London for a few months to complete a Phd. I can have a crush again and most importantly I don’t have to see my ex naked around the house.

I often wonder about my married friends who went with the staying together for the kids option and wonder how they are doing…

Chapter 38. Online dating

I am in love again, or at least I can say that I am infatuated, happy, excited, all good things.

It all started when I created my Tinder profile a few months ago. A friend of mine had introduced me to this app while on vacation so I knew that it was tested and trusted by people in my circle. She was very used to using it indeed and knew how to tell the good matches from the bad matches. I on the other hand, did not have her high standards and criteria. After the crocodile, they all look good to me!

So, upon returning from Greece I started to think about a good introduction story to upload (I was not going to talk about the two divorces and the two kids upfront right? or should I?) I looked for some decent pictures, they needed to be sassy and interesting, not the typical upclose and full body pictures that most people use. And they needed to reflect the way I look now, not ten years ago…

So I went with a photo that I took skiing this year and a picture that my 6 year old took of me while I was waiting for him to get dressed at home one morning. He started to play with the camera and caught me by surprise. I suppose I picked them because in those two pictures I show two important parts of me: that I love to travel and sports and that I can sit and wait patiently around the house with my children if need be while looking natural (no make up) and real. But I was missing one, the sassy one, and since this online dating app was well known for helping singles get laid, I decided to look on the Internet for a nice picture of someone’s rear on jeans and pretended it to be me. I found the perfect picture and I included it in the portfolio. Just for kicks.

The day I uploaded the complete profile I had so many likes on it that I had trouble managing the account. Most guys made a comment on the third picture, only a few liked the first and none liked the second. Oh well…

Amongst the guys that liked my ski shoot was Mark, a really attractive guy that reminded me of Ewan Mc Gregor.

We started to chat on Tinder and he said: “I love the way that you make the snow look”. I said thanks and waited for him to make a comment on the third picture. If he was really worthwhile he would say something about it, after all, that pic was there as the tricky one…the honesty test. So I waited a few second seconds. Then his text hit my screen “The other shots are quite nice also ;)”.

Okay, he had prequalified.

We continued to chat for a few weeks until one day he suggested going on a trip together to meet in person. At that point, I mentioned my two kids and he did not seem to be bothered at all. Minutes after I had mentioned my family status and restraints he had booked a plane ticket to Santa Barbara.

Mark is from Wisconsin, a really flat state located in the Midwest. Midwesterns are known for being kind and family oriented like me so I really had my hopes up for this guy. Besides, he had moved to San Diego recently and did not know a lot of people so that would also mean that we could have more time to ourselves without prior commitments and relationships getting in the way.

After my experience with the crocodile, I was conviced that couples are able to flourish better when they are far from close relatives. And that seemed to be the case with Mark. He was divorced himself, after ten years married to a Spaniard. No kids.

All my judgemental attitude towards online dating services and telephone applications dissapeared the minute I saw Mark getting out of the airport cab. He was taller than Crocodile, well, that was easy since Crocodile is only 5.9″. Mark seemed well built, stylish, he had a European thing going because his clothes did not look very American. A guy like that in America is rare, most American guys in their late thirties still keep their college clothes and what is worse, use them. If they look too kept or fashion conscious they risk to be taken for gay.

But Mark looked like a true heterosexual fashion forward man, and he smelled good too!

God had responded to my prayers.

Chapter 16. Back on the market

What happens to women when they are back on the market after many years married? How do you go from being Mrs. to being Ms. again? For guys is no problem at all. The day they walk out the door if not earlier they are ready to mess around with someone new. They move by instinct. For most women however is more of a process unless the woman was already infatuated by someone else.

Let’s say that by the time you end your marriage or long time relationship there is no other man in the horizon. It is likely that after a few months, your close friends (married or single) will start setting up dates for you to meet other people. That is typically fine because the meeting happens in a very controlled scenario. Normally your friends make a plan that facilitates the encounter and everything flows naturally. If after the first shared evening you think that the guy is cute enough you let your friend(s) know and they arrange for another plan that allows you to see the person again. You can do that until you determine whether or not the the other person is worth or really interested on a one-on-one date with you.

But there are other situations that arise that are much trickier for a lady who is not used to the dating scene, specially for nice polite women unaware of the unwritten rules of dating who are unprepared to deal with those male acquaintances that had been interested in them from a distance and now feel entitled to an opportunity. This type of guys will think that it is now ok for them to call you on your mobile phone in the middle of the day to “check on you” to offer you their support during these difficult times and to tell you that you can count on them for whatever you need when what they want in fact, is to get in your panties fast. You don’t know it yet but for them, you have the word AVAILABLE written all over your face.

Soon after I broke up with crocodile my entire town knew about it. Naturally, after a crocodile relationship two things can happen: either you seclude yourself at home with your children and feel that dating is inappropriate for you for the moment, or you hit the dance floor and start dating everything that moves like a headless chicken that doesn’t know where it’s going. Guys know this and most of them think that after a break up you will be in the second group.

Beware of the dog.