So many questions…

Life is a series of unanswered questions.  I don’t think you can debate that, but doesn’t it seem like sometimes these questions can pile up… Or maybe not that’s not the right way to think of it, It’s more like a back up.  It’s like the freeway, we are going 5 MPH just waiting to get by one accident, so we can go 15 MPH.

My life has been an accident, sometimes I drive and get right by and get back to 65 no prolem, and others the traffic just doesn’t seem to let up…  And I think sometimes I continue at that 5 MPH, just because it’s safe and I’m used to it.  It doesn’t matter how much honking there is or people flying by you, we continue at accident speed.

I have been afraid of getting stuck at a broken speed… But it might not be a bad thing.  You can’t floor it just because the road is open, or because your car can go faster.   Sometimes you have to drive at your own pace and just say f**k the rest of traffic.

I started dating someone a few months ago, first casually, but it soon got more involved…  I apparently can drive faster than I thought.  But things started to… For lack of a better words, just not feel right, but I was already on the track.  And now I have crashed, I didn’t handle it right, and I feel horrible.

I am not the first person to go through a divorce… and not the first to not have wanted it.  I’m not holding out for my ex or thinking about her… In fact, I find I am my happiest when I’m just hanging out with my kids.  Just the three of us, on adventures, making dinner, reading books, shopping for “big boy panties” or just sitting watching Simpson’s reruns.  Our recent vacation was great, it was mostly just us, spending time with us.  My ex was part of that us, so when we were together it made sense.. A random third party is not part of that us.

It’s been a year and a half, my Ex is engaged and I hear about how “I’m going to have a step-dad” all the time… I just don’t think I’m ready to introduce a “step-Mom”,  and I don’t think I can have a girlfriend that I really care about and not have her working towards that…  Trust me I like to have “adult time”, but I don’t think I can handle the results of having it, I am not ready to be controlled or put on a leash yet.  I am not being wild, but there are so many unknowns in my current life that having to answer to someone right now just seems beyond my ability.

I loved being a husband, especially Gretchen’s husband, I was very proud… I know I can be ________’s husband or boyfriend, but it has to feel right.  So until I can fill that blank, I am very happy to be Lucy and Bing’s Daddy….  A title that will never change!  I have no idea what I will ultimately do for a living, where I will end up, but in those tiny arms, the word “Daddy” filling my ears, I am always happy.

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  • Willie

    I think you are really smart your kids have a lot of growing to do and they need dad. I think dating is OK but no need to rush into having your dates meet the kids. I sounds like you have days where the kids are with their mom. So that is a good time to date. You are so smart to get your job and home life back on track first before becoming too serious about anybody.

    YOU ROCK!

  • Jan

    I can understand where you are coming from. I too didn’t feel right bringing anyone around my son. I know his life is difficult enough not having his parents together and I didn’t want to bring someone else into his life who would possibly cause more turmoil for him. So for me I socialize with friends and focus on raising him, which makes me quite happy at the moment especially when I see what a great boy he is because of this. The relationship hopefully will come one day when he is older (18??).

  • I don’t think you’re ready yet Jack. I think you are still in love with Gretchen and until you get over her you will be able to move on. I’m glad you got your feet wet with this new person. It’s a start. It didn’t work but now you know it can be done. I think you should continue meeting lots of new people until it feels right. You will know when the timing is right. You will feel it in your bones. You will feel it to the core of your soul. The day will come someday soon.

  • krici

    Jackie jack, I dated a lot after my divorce. I met a lot of nice men and had some good times. It took 5 years to meet my hubbyand I am so glad I didn’t rush. I’m also glad I dint let my son meet any of those other guys. take your time and dovit your way. your doing good!

  • Peggy

    I divorced when my son was a year old. I was so involved being a good mom and working and caring for my house that I just couldn’t date. It’s not that I was hanging on to memories of my ex, because I’m the one who filed for the divorce. I had been through hell in the marriage and I was enjoying being the mommy without someone criticizing how I did things. I liked our “us” time too.

    I dated a little, very little, but it never felt right. I finally met a man I thought I could date when my son was 17. I realize that is a long time to be single, but I didn’t want to mess up my life of that of my son’s by bringing in another mistake to our lives. It was just easier to be alone. I dated the new guy for quite a few years, got engaged, then something told me that something just wasn’t right. I did some investigating, and found out he had been cheating the entire time we had been together! 9 years of being together!

    I’m not dating now. I’m just too spooked. I guess what I want to warn you against is waiting too long. My son is now 26 and I’m alone. Part of me wishes I would have been a little more open to dating more when I was younger.

    But, on the plus side, I’m very happy. I have good friends, a great job, and I own my own home and my car is paid for. Not bad for a single woman in Orange County! And I don’t NEED a man. I would like to meet a good one, but haven’t made any efforts toward that yet.

  • My youngest is 9 and I’ve always said that I have 9 years to get myself together and start dating. I have three girls and it’s just too scary to bring someone else into their lives. I don’t understand people that go directly from the marriage to another relationship like my ex did, and yours also. I’m too jaded, but I have 9 years and I’m patient.

  • Vanessa

    I don’t think a good relationship should make you feel controlled or put on a leash. It should be a partnership with someone that cares for you as equally as you care for them. They say you should date a person for at least a year before introducing your kids to them. I know that’s not the case with your ex. Take your time and find the right person and not just settling with someone just because you want the contact. I’m no expert, but I know there can be relationships that don’t have a controlling, thoughtless partners. Jamie, Stench’s wife and ex-wife and your ex are not the norm!

  • ladebdeb

    Well, as usual your insightful blogging has left me with a tear in my eye. I don’t have any sage advice for you, as I’m still trying to navigate the mine field myself. Bing and Lucy are lucky to have a devoted Daddy like you.

    U RULE!

  • Carol

    Jack, have you thought of pursuing a writing career? I think you may have an untapped talent here!

  • Beth

    Jack sometimes people that are really defined by parenthood have a very hard time moving on. I know you are more than a dad, just as I know I am more than a mom, but I devoted myself to being mom. I think you have “defined yourself as Dad” I mean just the name of this site reinforces that.

    This is not to say people that can move on are bad parents, they aren’t and in some ways I think its healthier for people that can define themselves in multiple ways. You are Dad, Just as I forsake dating for many years when my kids were young, it was not really a sacrifice, it was what I wanted. My time that I was not at work belonged to them. I guess I missed out some, I dated a little, but I never involved any men with my children till they were much older. I figured they didn’t need any more loss in their life. I would not allow anybody to have a fatherly role in their life because, well friends come and go, daddies should not.

    Kids grow up way too fast, you blink and they are adults, there is no reason to rush anything. You just care too much about being a dad. Not to say you shouldn’t have a casual dating relationship, everyone needs companionship. Its just hard to share your kid time with somebody else, when you feel it belongs to them. I only shared my kids with daycare, I had full custody, but I worked so much , I felt that every minute I was home, was ours. Saturdays filled with sports, Sundays with errands, laundry, outings and housework. That was all the time I really had with them.I didn’t want to share that time with anybody.

    I completely understand where you are coming from. There is no rush to do anything, you have your kids, they make you happy. You won’t really feel like you’re missing anything.

  • Flipside

    I applaud your recognition of the fact that you were not yet ready to date, and needed to pull back and be a dedicated dad for the time being. It sadens me however, that you chose to publish your intentions before communicating them to the woman in question. She was a friend of yours for months before you began dating – hardly a “random third party”. How do you think she felt reading about her own break up in a blog? This reminds me of the Post It break up on Sex And The City – cowardly and classless. You are better than that.

    I would encourage you to spend this “off time” in reflection and personal growth. Only when you feel you have the maturity necessary to enter into a personal relationship should you take that step. Otherwise, to save all parties, keep it in your pants, or be honest that you are just looking for something physical. As a father, you should be prepared to teach your children how to treat others with dignity and respect. I am relieved they didn’t see how this interaction ended so they wouldn’t learn to repeat it. You have the chance to make it better next time.

  • Amy

    Jack, you really do have a wonderful way with words. You should seriously think about pursuing writing (and/or photography).
    I think ‘Lucy and Bing’s daddy’ is the BESTEST title of all!

    Amos :)