Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dating, Getting Dumped, and Having Incredible Sex: My Top 10 Posts of 2014

On this last day of 2014, I thank you for hanging out with me for another year of my life post-divorce, including reliving old pain with my ex, my happy times with friends and family, and my search for hot sex and love, preferably from the same person.

In the grand tradition of all kinds of media at year-end, here's my very own list of my 10 most read posts of 2014.

10. My Return to Online Dating -- Too Dull, Too Exciting, and Just Right

In January, I went full force into the wild world of online dating.

9.  One Year Later: Why I Love My Divorce

I counted my blessings on the first anniversary of my divorce.

8.  Incredible Sex is Turning Me Into an Asshole

I was intoxicated from Incredible Sex with a guy who was wrong, wrong, and more wrong for me. But DAMN the sex was hot...

7.  Keeping Facebook Photos of Your Ex -- Just Documenting the Past or Harming Your Future?

Is it so bad to keep Facebook pics of you and your ex?

6.  What Should A Blogger Do When Her Identity is Revealed?

The guy I was seeing found out about my blog. Shit.

5.  I Want My Ex-Husband When I'm Not Fully Conscious

Ever woken up in the middle of the night and wished your bed weren't empty?

4.  Why Silence Makes Me Scream

Want to break my heart and make me lose my mind? Then, please, don't say a word.

3.  I Got Optimistic About A Guy. Now I Feel Stupid.

Two fantastic dates and then... he disappeared.

2.  7 Steps to Getting Dumped While Still Looking Like a Grownup

If you're going to date, you're going to get dumped sometimes, so here's how I save face.

1.  How to Dump Someone You Aren’t Really Dating

I learned how to nicely dump people after my non-dates because even morons and bad kissers have feelings.

Thank you again for reading, commenting, and sharing your perspectives! A very happy 2015 to you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Was Your Most Miserable New Year's Eve?

New Year’s Eve is a week away, so like many people over the age of 25, I haven’t a clue how I’ll be ringing in 2015. (Remember when you used to start planning the NYE festivities in October?!) 

While I was lying in bed this morning, I reflected on what I did the past few years.

The past two years, I was in Manhattan with my dear friend Sue. Last year we did a blowout formal party (it was very Sex & the City) and the year before we hosted a low key dinner.

In 2011, Max and I had a quiet night – we just went to dinner and saw a movie in Ford. That would be our last New Year’s Eve together.

It was New Year’s Eve 2010 that got me out of bed and to my computer. I need to tell you about it so I can let it go.

My Husband Disappears into Depression

In late 2010, Max had been fading away into a shell of his former self. He was losing weight and his fair Irish skin became even more washed out as he hardly moved or ate. He wanted nothing to do with me; he wouldn’t speak to me, much less touch me. If I tried to engage him in conversation, he would look at me with exasperation and sadness, his face dark and distant. If he responded to me, it was as brief as possible. Other times, he just ignored me entirely.

I was utterly beside myself. Who was this sad, cold man?

Not that you would ever want to see your loved one in this state, but it was all made worst that this was happening during the holiday season. Reminders to rejoice and count your blessings and believe in the goddamn magic of the season were sparkling everywhere around me. I just prayed that my husband wouldn’t hurt himself. (He never did, thank God.)

We slogged through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my 31st birthday, doing our best to look like a normal couple. Though, on my birthday, I had a glass of wine too many. In the restaurant bathroom, I accidentally tearfully mentioned to my mom that Max and I hadn’t had sex in a year or whatever it was at the time. I then told her not to tell anyone. She never breathed a word about it.

This was nothing like my New Year's Eve.
Thanks, Hollywood.

I Have the Audacity to Kiss My Husband

Needless to say, the idea of trying to make merry for New Year’s Eve was out of the question.

So, we were spending New Year’s Eve with Max’s family, which sounded very boring but given Max’s state – which we were both keeping secret – I was trying to say yes to him as much as possible.

We went to Max’s sister’s house for some tasteless Chinese takeout and belated Christmas gift exchanging. Conversation with his sisters never came easily, but I remember it feeling even more awkward and forced. After a polite amount of time, we headed back to Max’s parents’ house.

It was probably around 10 p.m. when Max and I were upstairs getting changed for bed (yes, 10 p.m., New Year’s Eve, 31 years old).

I made a mistake. I had the audacity to try to sneak a kiss on my husband.

He pushed me away with disgust and disinterest. It was like I’d offended him by trying to kiss my husband on fucking New Year’s Eve.

I was hurt and humiliated. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” I asked in a hushed tone, knowing the walls were thin. “Is it so terrible that I wanted to kiss you!”

I honestly can’t remember what he said because I must have blocked it out. But the message was clear: he wanted no part of my love or affection, so I should stay away from him.

Not long after, I cried myself to sleep on an air mattress, Max and I as far apart as possible while still technically sharing the bed. I was asleep when the clock struck midnight. Happy New Year.

The next morning, Max’s mom, Sara, and I were alone in the kitchen while Max and his dad watched football.

“Is everything OK? I heard you two arguing last night,” Sara whispered. She was not being nosey; she was truly concerned.

I couldn’t speak without sobbing, so I just locked eyes with my mother-in-law and slowly shook my head.

She put her hand on my arm and didn’t say a word. Like with drunken birthday confession to my own mother, Sara and I didn’t speak of my New Year’s Eve argument again.

During the three-hour car ride home on New Year’s Day 2011, Max didn’t speak to me.

I haven’t thought about that in so long. Tears are falling as I write about that holiday, almost three years into my history. I can’t believe how the pain is still so real, even though I have moved on with my life and never doubted my decision to divorce Max.

I write this to leave it in my past. 

What was your worst New Year's Eve?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Being An Easygoing Wife Helped Destroy My Marriage

“She’s really… easy.”

Yoshi, Meredith, and I were at happy hour, asking our friend Connor about his trip to Asia. Connor and his girlfriend had spent two weeks hopping planes and filling their passports with stamps. I wanted to know how that was, that kind of 24 hours a day time with his significant other while traversing foreign lands?

“Easy” was the word that Connor chose to describe his girlfriend. He meant it as a compliment – his girlfriend has a relaxed, welcoming way about her that conveniently translates into any language.

My mind wandered to my defunct marriage. I scribbled, “Is it good to be easy????” on my cocktail napkin.

Would Max have ever used that word to describe me? 

You should know that no one would ever call me a pushover or lacking in opinions. I have always stood up for myself. But it might surprise you to know that I'm conflict avoidant. What can I say, I’m a middle child who likes to keep the peace!

I sure did try to be what I thought was an easy girlfriend, then fiancée, then spouse. (Hell, I even tried to be an easy ex-wife in our months of forced cohabitation.)

In my marriage, my quest to be an easy spouse translated into avoiding arguments with Max at all costs. FYI, this is a really dumb tactic. 

Examples of Kat the Easy Wife:
  • I said little when I felt our apartment needed to be cleaned more often. Instead, I finally hired a cleaning service, which helped lessen my resentment of Max's lack of participation in housework. I was still pissed off that he never scrubbed a toilet.

  • Sometimes on Friday nights, I would go to happy hour with friends until Max got home. When he texted that he was close to home, I would head home for the night, whether I was ready to leave or not. We’d spend the evening the way he liked it – chilling on the couch, maybe watching a movie. Of course I enjoyed spending time with him… but, well, I was often sort of bored. I’d wish he would have come met me out. Not like I asked him to do that though.

  • In 2011, I wanted to go on vacation just the two of us, but when Max’s buddy wanted to get a beach house, I went along with it. Nevermind that we were renting a house with two couples that each had two children under the age of 5. Nevermind that we hadn’t been away alone since our honeymoon. I didn’t want to disappoint Max or be an unaccommodating wife by saying no. So we went to the beach for an unmemorable, orgasm-free week of stepping on Cheerios and tripping over beach toys. (This ended up being our last vacation together.)

My version of trying to be an easy spouse meant keeping quiet and ultimately losing parts of myself to this rather dull – but easy! – version of Max’s wife.

The way that I finally stopped being easy was in dealing with our fading sex life.

I tolerated our disappearing intimacy for two years before I got Max to a doctor who recommended therapy. Then, after some progress had been made, we backslid, so I again demanded we get help. As scary as it was to push Max to address his issues – and try to save our fledgling marriage – it was the one area where I just couldn’t back down. I was not on his case 24 hours a day, because I did give him some space to figure himself out. But the issue was always in the air.

By 2011, I was not easy anymore. I refused to go with the nonexistent flow of our sex life. I had to have the courage to allow conflict to happen. It was scary as hell. In my heart, I knew that not being the easy spouse would likely lead us to divorce. I was right.

So, whenever I get into a relationship again, do I want to be described as "easy"? I want to be laidback where I can be. I want to be open to trying things that my significant other wants me to experience. I want to be that girlfriend who you can bring into pretty much any situation and she’ll be able to hang.

But if being easy means ignoring the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship for the sake of avoiding conflict, no thank you.

(And speaking of not easy, I do still have on my leg brace as I recover from my broken kneecap. 61 days and counting…)

What are you like in relationships? Do you strive to be easy? Do you let arguments happen? Do you think it's a compliment to be described as easy?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why Do Guys Who Dumped Me Come Back to Apologize?

As I look back on my dating experiences in 2014, I have discovered a theme: 

I acted too hastily. I’m sorry.
I was selfish. I’m sorry.
I regret letting it end like that. I’m sorry.

No, I'm not the one apologizing -- it's the dudes I've dated. I have had it up to my ass with I’m sorry!

I have been single for less than two years, and only really been dating for one, but I think it’s safe to say I am back in the dating game. I’ve gone out with all kinds of kinds, from the vegan who didn’t drink to the former Navy man to the pot smoking bartender. I’ve gone out with guys seven years younger to 10 years older.

Here is what I don’t get: 
Why do guys keep coming back to apologize?

Andrew probably didn't expect my response. Tough noogies.
(His misuse of "literally" is so not hot.)
In the past year, Todd, John, Aaron, one of the 27-year-olds, and just on Saturday, Andrew have all come back around to apologize for their unique versions of ditching me.

(If you’re keeping track, Carl is the only one who has not. But I told him that he hurt my feelings and made me feel stupid, so he avoids eye contact with me now. I probably won’t be getting a late night text apology any time soon!)

Somewhere between a few weeks and few months after The End, my phone has chirped to reveal an out-of-the-blue text message, usually from a contact who I’ve deleted from my phone, saying "blah blah I’m sorry."

Sometimes they wanted another chance to date me, sometimes they just wanted to clear their conscience. And who knows, maybe some of them just wanted to get in my pants.

None of the breakups/male disappearances were all that dramatic. I never shed one tear over any of them. When shit ended, I might’ve expressed disappointment (if I even had the opportunity), but that is about it. My point is, certainly no guy I’ve dated since my divorce ever walked away from me thinking he’d broken my heart or scarred me for life or turned me into a bunny boiler.

So there’s me, gaping at my phone. 

An apology, after all this time…
do I even care?

Fine, I admit it. My ego loves the apologies. I’m like, hells yeah, you realize that I am kind of awesome and now you’re missing out!

The downside is that I’m often tempted to recycle, and recycling DOES NOT WORK! I know this. You know this. And yet I sometimes try again (see: Todd; John; and most recently Aaron). By the way, recycling for sex/booty call purposes is different and totally acceptable (see: Jason).

Again, I’ve only really been dating for about a year, but I feel like this is an abnormal amount of apologies. Do you agree?

But, the more mystifying question is just why these dudes apologize to me? 

No one has really owed me much of an apology – like no guy has been guilty of more than being an idiot with me. Do their apologies say something solid about my character, that they want to win back my respect? or do I remind them of their guilty-dishing mothers? Or maybe I’m just good enough in the sack that they want to take a shot? (Not that I slept with all of the apology distributors, but they could use their imaginations based on the data they collected.)

What is your experience with former flames apologizing?  And can you shed any light on my experience?!