Monday, August 06, 2007

Both Sides Now

There are stories it's just better not to tell. I used to talk so much on my old Journal about the way my marriage ended, how it felt, etc. And I realized that wasn't very fair, because like it or not, you paint a picture that's very one-dimensional, and of course, people who like me or read me could get a very skewed picture of the situation. I could wind up presenting an unflattering and unfair description of her.

I began to lay off that issue altogether for those reasons. She is a very nice person who you'd all probably like very much. She's very sociable and friendly, and is someone her friends know they can count on. She is a very good mother, who sees eye-to-eye with me on child-raising matters. We both agreed a very long time ago that those children needed to be Priority 1. It just had to be that way.

I think being very practical and pragmatic is a good thing. We work together with those kids, and I'm as involved in their lives as possible. People have remarked on-sometimes in a complimentary fashion, sometimes not-my involvement not only with the kids, but with her. We were friends before we were married, and I like to think we are friends now.

The only thing is, though, I didn't want that to end. I really didn't, and I did what I could. It became obvious that we weren't hurting each other so much, but that it was affecting those children, so I accepted the inevitable.

It's been 7 years now. The thing is, every night that I go to sleep without those kids near me, it hurts as much now as it did that very first night. I have a picture of them right next to my bed, and it's the last thing I see before I turn out the light. How can it be that my mind, heart and body haven't gotten used to it? My physical body came apart over the last two years, and as painful as that was, the brain adjusts to it, and it doesn't seem as intense. Why doesn't that work for this?

I've not dated, at least not seriously. It's not that I didn't have the chance; I've met some wonderful women, but for one reason or another it didn't happen. I made up my mind that my kids wouldn't be kids for long, and I was going to focus my time and energy on being their Daddy. People don't like that, for some reason, and they think you're lonely, and want to help with that. But every minute with those kids is so valuable to me that I don't like to let one go by. It wouldn't be fair to a woman to have a relationship that way. And honestly, I don't want to answer to anyone when it comes to my kids. They'll outgrow weekends with Daddy, and I'm aware of that, and maybe then I can think about other things.

It hurts a lot, and it doesn't get better. I'm assuming it never will, but the way I'm doing it now is the best pain relief I can have.

There's more to this, but I think I'm done for now.


  1. I love this blog, it's so real! I love that your a Daddy first, i admire that, my Dad should take a lesson from you.

  2. jimmy needs a big hug....*HUG*

    I think emotional pain is the worst. There's no aspirin or tylenol that can take it away; it sucks.

    Putting your kids first should be your priority, and at least you've got that right. I'm sure they know how much you love them, and that's what counts.

    I hope things get better...

  3. Anonymous8:37 PM

    I cringe when I over-hear a conversation of one person scolding another for letting their kids sleep with them. My kids are grown....what I wouldn't give at this moment to have them cuddle up to me in bed tonight... You're right, they do grow up too fast. I'm proud of who you are and what you think is important.

  4. Sorry you're hurting so much.


  5. Anonymous11:48 AM

    I know how you feel - about not dating. It's not my time. My children are my number one and when they are gone, then maybe that will be the time.

  6. Anonymous2:50 PM

    Very nice post, Jimmy. You're kids are very blessed to have you for a father!

    Robin in Texas

  7. jimmy,
    i completely agree with you. i did the same thing while i was raising my daughter. very seldom dated, NEVER had anyone stay over at the house...EVER! etc. i tried as hard as i could to be the best parent possible with what little time i had. i think it worked. and if it didn't it wasn't for lack of trying that's for sure.

    do i feel as though i were cheated or missed something? absolutely NOT!!! i CHOSE to have my daughter so therefore it was my responsibility (which i loved btw) to do the best i could, and i did, and will continue to do even though she's now 25 years old!!! i'm proud of you jimmy and NO, i'm sorry, it doesn't get any easier not having them right there with you at all times. soon though, they'll be able to make their own choice... just be available when they do :)


  8. The thing I've learned about divorce is that there are no winners - everyone loses in some way. It's a harder situation than death because death gives you closure and, though it hurts, you don't have the face-to-face interaction that tears you apart when it goes away again. *hug*

    I have a brother-in-law who recently was divorced and then remarried but their marriage couldn't last because he was so focused on the kids and his ex wife (who's pretty nasty at times to him and jerks him around with his kids' time with him) that he didn't have the emotional energy to invest in his insecure new bride. 5 months later the relationship's over and they'll be divorced in 2 weeks. Good job knowing where you are emotionally and not dragging someone else into it . . . but at the same time, finding someone to make you happy can also make the kiddos happy. I was so happy for my dad when he remarried and was happy - and even happier when my mom remarried after 9 years of hating men. She'd tell you that marriage is worth it and not to avoid relationships. Just a thought.

  9. I've been thinking about this post for a while and I'm not sure what the right thing to say is. What I am sure of is that one day your children will recognize the sacrifices you've made for them and those sacrifices will say more than words ever could about how loved they are. What better gift could any child have?

  10. My mother and my biological father remained married for about a year and a half after I was born. After they divorced, I saw him once when I was five, and he called me once when I was a junior in high school. That was the extent of his contact with me. I heard he died in a car accident when I was 20, two years after my mom passed away.

    Jimmy, what you are doing is far more valuable than you probably realize. You are helping lay a foundation of trust and security in those kids minds and hearts. ...and you are doing it from a place of deep love, which is something they sense whether they are old enough to "name" it or not.

    I'm so sorry you are hurting as you are, but I promise you, your devotion to your children is going to reap untold benefits in their lives. ...and love will come along too, when the time is right. You just keep doing what your heart dictates and everything else will work itself out. :)

  11. Hi guys, one and all, thank you so much. I don't think "good people" get enough credit in this world.

    Thank you again.

  12. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Dear Jimmy,
    I know how important it is to be a parent. You just never know when you don't need to have regrets in your life, especially when it comes to your kid(s)..... You are a great dad (I've always thought so!) Any woman who would want you to spend less time with your kids isn't worth having! IMO...
    Jackie aka Bamawmn46

  13. In spite of all the good priorities you have, I still hope you don't have to wait until your kids are grown to meet someone. It might not be right now, but one day, and I hope someone who loves and respects your kids, too. It's really cool that you and your ex strive for that working relationship that prioritizes the kids over any relationship difficulties you might have had. That is a precious gift to your kids and they will have better relationships themselves as a result.


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