Take your hands
Off me, please
I don’t belong to you, you see
Take a look in my face
For the last time
I never knew you
You never knew me
Say hello, goodbye
In the course of my 25 year marriage, it was difficult for me to say no. If I said no to my ex, it was an explosion of anger, confrontation and just general unpleasantness. It was never pretty. He is extremely controlling, so in order to keep the peace, I found myself lying constantly. Mostly white lies, but sometimes the occasional whopper. I’m not proud of my actions (or lack thereof). Towards the end of my marriage, I had had enough and would simply walk out of the house or start screaming back. Neither were effective solutions, but I did feel better about putting my foot down.
Obviously when you are in this tough situation at home, it bleeds over to your professional life. I would be non-confrontational as much as possible because in my mind, I thought that everyone would react as irrationally angry as my ex. Oh yeah, I am a clear cut case of emotional abuse. What I have been learning over the 1-1/2 years of moving out, is that folks are pretty rational and I can have a confrontation without someone screaming in my face. Wow, eye-opening.
I am an intelligent woman and I read people very well, but this is my Achilles heel – my need to please and avoid confrontation. It shows up primarily in my personal relationships, however, now I am improving my ability to say no and address issues head on. I realize that I am a work in progress on this issue.
All of this is background on dealing with Soldier Boy. My alarm bells begin ringing when he texts me that he masturbated to my photo –really, my headshot is that much of a turn-on? You have to be kidding me. I am no Heidi Klum or whatever A list celebrity you fancy. Then I read a great post on BetterAfter50 by Sandy Weiner who was responding to a question about how to deal with a guy coming on too strong.
Boom – Soldier Boy was guilty of all four counts from her blog. Thank you, Sandy!! It was time to cut him off. Add to the fact that we had one phone conversation and he later texts me that he had been drinking prior to talking to me. Alcohol is a big issue for me. I’m no prude, and enjoy a cocktail or two, but my ex had a drinking problem. Wow, poor ex, I am really hanging his dirty laundry out to dry tonight. Anyway, my response to Soldier Boy is “no inebriated texting”. The next day, I know I have to stop this immediately and not allow it to go any further. But during my morning dog walk, I wrestle with how to do this. I realize that the Pleaser, non-confronting side of me is rising to the surface. Why the fuck do I care what this crazy guy thinks? I give myself the day to think. I get a text from him asking if I’m busy or if I’m just not talking to him anymore. Here’s what I send him:
Today was pretty busy & I’ve been reflecting on our conversations. I’m getting the feeling that because you are coming on strong, you perhaps aren’t fully seeing me, but perhaps projecting an ideal onto me that I’m not. I just divorced an alcoholic so I’m not interested in anyone who is drinking beyond an occasional beer or two. I say let’s leave it at that and I wish you all the best.
He responds back: That sounds reasonable. Good luck in your endeavors.
Wow, a normal, rational conversation. Nobody wigged out, nobody goes postal. So this is how adults behave? Amazing.
Next on deck – good-by to Dos Equis. I’ve decided this week that a purely sexual relationship is no good and it won’t’ leave me available to the right guy. Poor Dos Equis, he’s been nothing but my guinea pig. My experiment for sex (yep, I still got it) and now my experiment for discarding (sorry, I can’t even call this a break-up because I don’t feel like we’re even dating).
Tomorrow I’ll share my next strategy for meeting a hopefully normal guy.