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Here I am. 40 years old. Divorced. With three children, and two baby daddies. Still trying to make sense of it all.

Growing up in Midwestern Iowa, this is not what I anticipated for myself. When we played House or Wedding or Family...there was always a man in our imagination who rose at dusk and went off to fend for the family, and a woman who rose shortly thereafter to tend to the children. They were a united front. They were strong. And somewhere behind the curfews and the rules and the life lessons and the gathering of dandelions to make “stew“, they had a bond and love that even our worst shenanigans couldn’t touch.  

Where is that man now? And where is the stoic and staid woman I pretended to be all those years in my parents garage slash playhouse?

I have to confess that I’m not sure either party exists today.  

I just returned from a week-long trip to visit the person that some would describe as my SO. Or my BF. Both of which consternate me. In my mind, I’m too old for a BF. And too straight and Dutch for the SO. I’ve known this man for almost 20 years. We have similar upbringings, similar beliefs, and a singular dedication to our children. It is easy to love him. But I haven’t come close to understanding him.  

Tell me do you explain a man who takes you to dinner in his hometown, but doesn’t introduce you to the many familiar faces he meets? How do you deal with the polite and sometimes sympathetic looks you get? How do you reconcile the person who tells you that you are the love of his life with the man who makes every effort to hide you from his ex-wife? How do you understand the individual who has already established such a firm grip on your baby daughters’ heart that she reaches for him over you with the man who won’t hold your hand or say he loves you or even touch you in front of his children?

During our recent visit to the aforementioned BF/SO, my daughter wandered into his as-yet-unpacked office and emerged, triumphant, with a greeting card in her hand. She handed it to me. And I read it. And found that it was a Valentines Day card from his ex-girlfriend. I marched back to the office with my heart brimming and hucked the card through the air, where it landed on the floor. I felt it was the right thing to do. And I told myself I hadn’t snooped. But here come the questions again...what kind of man saves a Valentines Day card from his ex-girlfriend? And why? What does he hope to gain from this memento? Or is he just extraordinarily inefficent at dealing with old paperwork?

I sit in my kitchen tonight and read over what I have written, and I consider the fact that I may sound like a shrew. I want to be fair. He can be loyal and strong and true. He has tolerated a ridiculous amount of BS from me, and has steadfastly come back for more. He is an excellent father and he believes in God. But let me say this - he was emailing another woman at the beginning of this year (when we were most definitely together). He told her he loved her. He told her it was a pleasure to have her in his arms. He told her she was his confidante and that he admired her. He told her, to my dismay, that sleeping with her during their so-called Movie NIght was not “just sex“.  

And again, I sit in my kitchen and read over what I have read, and I consider that I may sound like a fool. That hurts much more than shrew. So I’m left wondering on this dark Friday night - which is worse? Fool? Or shrew? And can I combine them, like Benjamin Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, to something Bennifer? Maybe Shrool? Somehow I can’t picture myself wearing a DKNY gown and licking my lips as Ryan Seachrist announces that Shrool has arrived.  

So what do I do? Because here I am...40 years old....still trying to make sense of it all.
Posted by Dori Dawn at 9:50 PM

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne E wrote Jul 8, 2011
    • Sorry Dori- I’d have to say “dump him“.heartbreak  You and your family deserve so much more.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jul 9, 2011
    • Dori you have been thru so much so I would say take a few steps back. You and your family deserve the best of what life has to offer so don’t settle and don’t accept. Expect and demand the best and give it in return.
      Maybe it’s too soon maybe it’s just time for you to be on your own until you get the best.

            Report  Reply

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dori Robinson wrote Jul 9, 2011
    • I love ya, ladies, for your honesty.  Thank you.  

      I wrote this last night in a frenzy of self-reflection and brutal honesty, and woke up this morning thinking, “GOOD GOD WHY DID I POST THAT ON MY BLOG??????”  I then removed it from my blog...but not before I received a bunch of emails about it.  So now I’m wondering.....did my SO/BF read it, too?  Ohhhhhhhh dear.  heart

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 9, 2011
    • Hi Dori,  

      I think you wrote your blog talking straight on what you really feel. You’ve discovered your boyfriend or what ever, doesn’t have your trust and without there being trust, why should the relationship be expected to be what you want? It’s not just the card he saved, he was professing love to another woman after you two were together.  

      Either step back in your assumptions of the relationship and keep it casual while waiting to see if you can trust him, or dump him and start over. Sorry, it’s the best I can do with some advice. 40’s is not the end of our desirability to men, but if you think so you may settle for a man that isn’t quite honest with himself or you.  


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marya1961 wrote Jul 12, 2011
    • It is good to vent and release frustration, and that is why we are here.  Hopefully your s/o will open his eyes and realize just how important you are to him.

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