Saturday Night Fun for the Separated Mom

It's 9:04 on Saturday night. Munchkin went to bed at 8:00 and instead of studying for the CPA exam that I have been trying to pass for the last 5 years ... what am I doing? Why looking at 

So, yes, I am married and I plan to stay 100% faithful until the..well if or when the divorce occurs. I certainly don't believe that being of 'separated' status gives you free single reign. But in the meantime I was just curious to see what is out there. I mean, what does divorced look like these days? 

As luck would have it, there is a 'currently separated' as one of the search criteria. I could imagine that only other 'currently separateds' would be even interested in these individuals. I searched from ages 30-40. What a train wreck. I've come up with a few tips for those separated and wanting to go on

1. Do not post a picture of yourself in your cube. This says...'Hey ladies, just want to let you know I am not important enough for an office'. 

2. Do explain why you are on while still married. It can be as simple as 'waiting for divorce papers to be finalized'. You at least need to let the reader know whether or not the divorce is in process or you just plan to be eternally separated.

3. Do not select the 'I'll tell you later' option under the 'Have Kids' question....this tells me that you either have 6+ kids and 90% of your paycheck is going to go to child support, or you've screwed so many girls without protection that you are unaware of how many mini-me's you got floating around out there. Next.

4. Do not say "I am a single man.....". You're not're you are also a liar.

5. Try to say something that does not apply to all human beings. A good majority of profiles said...'I like to laugh and have fun'...who the hell doesn't?

6. Avoid cell phone shots taken in front of a mirror...they just look do photos in which the camera is 2 inches from your face. Oh and save Halloween costumes and tattoo photos for a drunken night together. The point of the photo is to pick one of the best looking photos of yourself in hopes that your profile will be read. If these are the best you've got, then you must look really bad and probably shouldn't be trying to find someone on a superficial site such as I would suggest Craigslist.

7. Don't make excuses for anything, even if there is a valid excuse. Like someone said 'almost got my master's but work got in the way' ...UGH no wonder you're separated. 

8. Do not exude anything that sounds like you're having a midlife crisis. Even if you one wants to be in the middle of your mess...we all have problems of our own and if you're suddenly trying to 'find yourself' ain't happening.

Was this really representative of the divorced/separated pool? I think I am scared to find out.

Full Disclosure

So what really happens at the 'divorce/separation recovery' ministry group?

We began the meeting in our semi-circle, introducing ourselves and giving a brief background on where we were from. What started out as such, quickly turned into a detailed account of how long we've been separated/divorced, how it happened, 'where we were in the process' etc. 

Most memorable was Rooster's story. I call him Rooster because his hair peaks above his head, dead center and swooshes like a rooster's comb. He had the sort of bearded grungy look with incredibly greasy dark brown hair laden with streaks of 'light'. He also had a beer belly and was wearing an un-tucked solid color Hawaiian style button down shirt. He spoke with a confident voice that projected much farther than need be and when uncomfortable, he smiled with an under-bite. The under-bite thing was peculiar, but, his nervous habit, as I later found out. Rooster began his introduction like this, in a confident, matter of fact tone 'Separated to the basement since September, but really been separated....*pause to think*....physically since '06, emotionally, since '95'. 

WHAT! About this time I was mentally picking my jaw up from the floor. First of all, TMI, but I am glad you went there. So many questions raced through my head when he said this. Well shortly after he blurted out such personal information, I discovered that he had been married for 31 years and had 4 kids, 2 adopted. What do you do? he asks, as his eyes teared up and he smiled with an under-bite. Oh lord, I thought, am I going to be able to handle this. This guy is living in a whole new level of dysfunction and sadly it's making me feel better about my own 'situation'.

I've thought a lot about Rooster since. Like how he must be a pretty strong individual to be with someone for 31 years, of which almost half of that time he has been unhappy. My initial sense of him is that he doesn't have as much confidence as he displays amongst the group, but he would like to. He seemed fairly smart, but I would bet that he has a hard time getting people to take him seriously. I also wouldn't be surprised if he had a difficult time keeping a job, given these idiosyncrasies in his personality, but he's obviously not a quitter. He talked a bit about his own childhood, and how it wasn't up to par (shocker right). I'd like to ask him, Why are you still there? If it is for the kids, how do you think your being in the basement is affecting them? How long do you expect to be 'physically' apart from your wife? ( I am assuming you are not getting any anywhere else, because that would be adultery.) Do you stay in the basement all the time? Is there cable down there? Who cooks? Why not just leave and work out a custody agreement? To me, you moving to the basement doesn't seem like the solution. Are you two trying to work it out? If you were emotionally separated since '95, why did you have more kids, as I am assuming some of those 4 came within the past 16 years? So many unanswered questions, but in the end, my heart goes out to him and I can even see some of myself in him.

So, what is my conclusion on this group? My stronger, stoic part says, 'Get out from the middle of these FREAKS! and my sensitive side says, this is where those at the bottom of the barrel go for support. The ones that are rejected everywhere else. The ones that have lost touch with all their friends, have no immediate family support and are devastated at the turn their life has taken. My rational side says....there's a lot to be learned from this group and a lot to be given. This is certainly an interesting group of individuals so....I think I'll stick around for awhile....after all, aren't I a freak now too?

Where are you in the process?

In an attempt to do 'the right thing' I decided to do what most young girls, raised southern baptist, about to be divorced from their husband would do....go to church! I mean, God has all the answers right? And besides, I thought the Bible was against divorce, so was there some sort of loop hole in which I could divorce my husband and it not be that bad of a sin? 

I perused the church website and found a group that was 'a ministry for the single-again of all ages who are separated or divorced and who are at any level of recovery'. Sounded awesome. I was there on Sunday...9 am sharp.

I was greeted with a big bear hug by one of the leaders. There were two leaders, a husband and wife team that had been in the class themselves over ten years ago, when they were each going through their divorces. Then everyone began to trickle in. 'Everyone'....sounds so simply said compared to the motley crew that I was about to experience. 

Seating was arranged in a semi-circle around the room, I assume to promote conversation, although with this bunch, no such promotion was needed. As I began to meet people, I quickly learned that the opening liner was 'Where are you in the process?'. What a reality check. So just in case you forgot you are at a divorce/separated recovery group, we'll remind you by asking you what's up with your situation because you clearly wouldn't be here if you weren't in a situation. Yes, for those of you who haven't experienced it, separation, divorce, reconciliation, it is all a process. From finding an attorney, to drafting papers, to deciding on custody, to going back and forth with the can be such a long process indeed. 

The group was comprised of all sorts of 'situations'. From being separated to the basement (we'll get to him later), to being divorced over 4 years (4 years and you're still not fixed!)....this group accepts them all, which is probably the best thing about the group--acceptance. No judgment, no chastising, just come as you are and you will be loved. Can't say that I've been to many places like that. Even in the church service, amongst such holy looking people, you can feel judged. This was a very special place and I was fortunate to find it.

So...where am I in the process? Just separated, nothing filed...yet.


If you haven't figured out by the title, this blog is dedicated to my journey from marriage to separation to divorce. No, I am not going to reveal my real name but you can call me Mama Ruth. Sounds smart doesn't it? Okay, so I am not so sophisticated and wise as my name implies. I am a mama, 30 years old, live in the South, love to cook and watch reality TV, mostly the trashy stuff (say Real Housewives, anything Kardashians, American Idol, and Biggest Loser to name a few) and recently separated from my husband of almost 2 years. Yes, shotgun wedding. No, not a good idea. My son is 1.5 and the love of my life. I vow that he will be the last man I will truly love....and yes that is a vow I know I can keep :). 

So before we get into a bitch fest about what a terrible person my husband is (because, let's face it, this thing isn't called "A Woman's Side" for nothing) it will have to wait and slowly unfold. You see our tumultuous journey cannot be told in just one blog post, or even two or three. Oh no, it's a lengthy story with deeply seeded emotions. It will have to wait. I am still getting to know you all, as you are getting to know me. So, what's important for you to know is that, as of now, I am living in a condo with my son. His dad gets him every other weekend and 1 day a week. Currently, we are not on speaking terms, which means we will converse about our son, but nothing else. No papers have been filed. He is against the divorce (and changing himself, and communicating, and saying anything nice to me....ugh...I digress). I am happy in my condo, with my son, by myself, but I often wonder, am I doing the right thing?

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