The New Relationship After Divorce

My BF stayed the weekend at my house and no one died – so, there’s that.

It was awkward, but not lethal.

In the making of my new life, I’ve taken my time to decide what I want and lay down its foundation. I’ve come to the harsh reality that a new relationship, and inviting someone else in, needs to be a part.

We’re not meant to do life alone, even though there are places in me that scream it would be much easier that way.

My post-divorce checklist looks something like this:

The parenting – check

The kids’ stability – check

The job – check and recheck then wtf, but I’m working it out

My own mental sanity – as single parent, as a woman, as a person who wants to have sex again on a regular basis – check

The new (magical) relationship – no check

This is harder than I thought…

Harder, if you’re the brand new you and not going to compromise. If you’re going to take the time to create your best self and move forward into this world showing up fully alive and present.

You need a worthy partner.

Finding someone has proved difficult– mostly because we know too much after divorce. Gone is the innocence of young love as our only guiding beacon. Our pasts are riddled with baggage. Some unpacked and dealt with, some not – but hopefully we’re brave enough to work on it.

Yes, the harsh teacher of experience takes a lot of the guess work out of post-divorce dating.

The gate to my heart is a narrow passage, indeed. There are few contenders.

But then I met a contender.

And, I know it’s trite, but (unfortunately) true… it happened when I stopped looking.

The relationship began– and then the harsh reality…

What am I going to do with this extra person in my life?  

My people need to meet him.

Shit - my children need to meet him.

Which is where I come undone a little bit.

When you’re a recovering codependent, relationships are your drug. You allow others to control you (thoughts, actions, beliefs) based on what you get from that relationship. Your highs and lows come from your pouring out and withholding. Many disguise these behaviors as loving or giving -but mostly they’re self-serving. An attempt to gain self-worth out of meeting the needs of others. Oftentimes when those others should be meeting their own needs. It’s a vicious cycle - and it’s kind of sick. If this is you, all I can say is, I’m sorry… and I’ve been there.

I was the ultimate martyr, caving for the sake of the relationship has been my thing.

Here, let me hand you my soul… and completely forget who I am for the honor of being in relationship with you.

The thought of a new relationship is daunting. I’ve read what healthy looks like, but I don’t fully trust myself to put my new tools into action in a way that is more permanent.

What if I’m not ready? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I’m wrong about this?

I want to be sure before any integration happens. Right?

I’m certainly not going to allow him entry into the intimate goings on in my life until I know for sure…  

But how will I know for sure unless I bring him into the intimate goings on in my life?

It was a curveball I didn’t expect.

Only time will fully tell the story. Time, and letting him in – letting him see me in my messy, day-to-day – letting myself be vulnerable to a potential mistake.  And, letting my kids see it too…

So that’s what we’re doing. We’re spending time together, we’re figuring out this new thing -  and no one is dying. In fact, it’s kind of fun.

What if it doesn’t work out? – But what if it does?

It’s risk either way – a risk of my heart – a risk of embarrassment – of being wrong- a risk of failing in another relationship. But no one ever died from these things…