a reply to: SR1TX
There is a Door #3 out there, you just have to find it.
I was married to the "perfect" girl for 24 years. We had the "perfect" marriage, "perfect" family, and "perfect" life. Like you, I have been
successful in my career (land developer). My parents raised me to believe that it was rude to talk about financial matters with strangers, so I won't
put a figure on where I am in that regard, but I am quite comfortable.
My marriage ended unexpectedly and in the worst way possible in 2009. I'll spare you the ugly details, but it involved betrayal by those I trusted
the most -- including my "perfect" wife and supposed "best friend" of 30+ years. It was a vicious and soul-crushing shock. I had no idea it was
coming, and it took me months to unravel the details.
If you've never had the experience of the people you trust the most conspiring behind your back to destroy you emotionally and financially, you've
really missed out on something truly awful...
And the lies! Oh the goddamn lies...
When I did finally figure out what had truly gone on, it took a private investigator to do so. I went a little nuts to say the least. I have never
been much of a drinker, but I went on a months-long bender. I almost died more than once on accident, and almost killed myself once on purpose. I
had the Glock .45 to my right temple...
I didn't work for 30 months. I drove and drove and drove, all over the country -- tens of thousands of miles for weeks at a time. I stayed with
friends and relatives. No one knew what to do with me.
Half my family lives in the UK (my dad was from Ireland) and I spent 6 months bouncing back and forth between Ireland and England. For about a month
all I did was help my cousin in Kerry milk his goddamn cows.
Right before my divorce in September 2008, I had purchased a new Escalade. When I finally went home in early 2011, it needed new tires.
how much driving I did...
But little by little, I clawed my way back into my own head. If I had been penniless or destitute, I think I would have snapped out of it much
quicker out of necessity.
Then there came a snowy cold Pacific NW morning (I remember it well) when I resolved myself to starting on a project I had put off for several years.
That began the process of my long slow -- sometimes messy, recovery.
The one thing I was NOT interested in was any kind of relationship. My ability to trust anyone was gone (to this day!). I had a series of casual
girlfriends, but time and time again, I would pull back and retreat into my safety bubble.
At a certain point I got to exactly the place you are right now. Even though I like having a woman in my life (for obvious reasons), and I know I
function better as a person when I'm in a relationship, I came to the conclusion that it was a zero sum gain going forward.
Then my idiot cousin/nephew decided to turn 21...
I flew to Las Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday. I am very close to a certain set of cousins on my mother's side. They're a little older than me
and have always thought of me as the littler brother they never wanted, heh heh.
Anyway, I was traveling on the very airline my ex-"perfect" wife has worked for as a flight attendant for 20-something years. Was I worried I'd bump
into her...? Oh yeah. Every time I fly that airline.
I am a hermit when I fly. Don't talk to me, don't look at me, don't even think about me! That time I was actually doing some work on my laptop, so I
had a good reason to be left alone.
I happened to be looking at some building plans in AutoCAD. I had glanced at a very attractive flight attendant (Gulp!) a few times -- Hey, I'm a
guy, we can't help it! -- and at some point she noticed what was on my screen. She asked if I was an architect, lol.
We talked for a bit, and I really liked her. She was funny, smart, and had a little element of a dark side that I like in a girl. But the thought of
anything more than a brief encounter didn't cross my mind...
That night, I was at the tables (MGM) with my cousin and his newly 21-y/o son (who was hilariously drunk) when I hear a voice behind me, "hey You!"...
It was HER.
ACK! I should never get into these topics. My posts run too long! Sorry...
Anyway, we ended up talking all night. We then embarked on a long-distance relationship for several months. Very early on I told her the God's honest
truth -- I didn't want a relationship of any kind if there were any expectations of it being anything more than one of mutual convenience. She was
down with that.
We methodically, over time, hammered out the Rules of Engagement. "Marriage" was forever off the table as was cohabitation (she stays whenever she
wants, but still has her own place). If one or the other wants out at any time for any reason, we shake hands and go our separate ways. She lives
her life, I live my life, and while we're both observing this arrangement we don't see other people.
Women cannot help themselves from wanting more than that, I know. There have been issues. I have given some, so has she. She has a 14 y/o daughter
and 16 y/o son. One big change is that she now takes them for the summer (last 2 years -- and this summer will be no different), which means they
stay with me when she's flying. Fortunately, they're awesome kids, but lazier goddamn souls you will never find...
To this day, I am still a little weirded out that she not only does the same thing at the same company as my ex, but they are acquainted with one
Bottom line -- you CAN have someone in your life without setting yourself up for potential disaster if you get into it the right way. Honesty is key.
A little bit of compromise doesn't hurt. Men and women are hardwired to seek the companionship of the opposite sex (98% of us anyway) and I think
it's a psychological impediment to deny that instinct.
These days I've definitely found my comfort zone, a kind of "sweet spot" if you will. It's not perfect, but it's definitely workable and far
preferable to being alone (something I don't like). My advice to anyone who's been where I have been, and presumably where the OP is now, is to keep
the door cracked just a little. Begin to imagine a scenario that would work for you and then if the opportunity presents itself, let it play out.
edit on 16-5-2017 by SBMcG because: Correction
edit on 16-5-2017 by SBMcG because: Correction
edit on 16-5-2017 by SBMcG because: Correction 3