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Old 06-17-2013, 09:53 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Hey WTBH,

I think that you should go for the friendship...

You said that "My ex is insane and probably even when the ink is dry on the divorce will continue to think he gets a say in my life. "

and If I remember right, he has some NPD issues. So, he'll try to make it hell whether you are friends with him now or next year or probably even ten years from now! It's nice to have someone to talk to in real life. And if you're Hopefully STBX doesn't like it, too bad. You've been clear with this friend about what you are looking for, yes, he probably does hope for more, but that doesn't mean that he isn't willing to be friends for now. (It's kind of funny, that Tuffgirl has the same thing going on, because I do too! I have kept this gentleman at arm's reach, because personally I don't feel the timing is right, maybe it will be in the future, but for now he is a casual friend, which is REALLY nice)

Also...D**chebag extraordinaire Dad of the year. Your children are lucky to have you!

Even when someone writes something that their A has done that is sad on here, I have to laugh almost sometimes at how similar many of them are. Like they're reading the same script!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:03 AM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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You might want to check with your lawyer to be certain, but as far as I know, once you are separated (especially with a legal document), you are free to date or do anything you want to short of actually marrying someone. I lived with people during the separations preceding both of my divorces being final.

Obviously you aren't rushing into anything like that, but I don't believe you are doing anything legally or morally improper when you have a legal separation and a pending divorce.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:06 AM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
WTBH, my great guy friend has been in my life (on the periphery) for a good 7 years. And you know something funny? This past winter, he had a short term relationship and I found myself jealous. Not hugely, but enough to recognize I had feelings for him that were more than just friends too.

My talking about my issues is more related to where my head is at the moment (like you!). This guy is a GOOD MAN. I would need to be in the place to accept this in my life. Right now, I am working on re-calibrating my picker so I can be the person I know he'd expect in his life AND accept him for who he is too. More to be revealed here, that's for sure.

But I have no regrets enjoying him as a person who is kind, understanding, and supportive.

I just recognize it is more than just friends but less than romantic involvement, if that make sense. Like we are both wanting the same thing only the timing hasn't been right - I think I said that already - but timing does matter.

But I will say this - it isn't complex or complicated at all. It's actually one of the few healthy relationships I've had with a man in a while, and what a blessing that has been to have a comparison between the unhealthy ones and the healthy ones!

Enjoy yourself! Life is short....
You know what-- when we parted ways (the friend and I), after I was separated from AH I had to admit that I too might have been feeling more than what I should have. And at that time in my life it would have been a reallllllly bad idea to play with fire like that. At the time I chalked my feelings up to being desperate/lonely/so unaccustomed to someone treating me normally and that I didn't actually have real feelings beyond friendship etc...

But yesterday when I saw him and we talked it was like running into a long lost friend. It was just so easy and comfortable. He was interested in my girls and asked about them, I wanted to know about his kids, we talked about students we shared and how they were, we talked about ourselves... It was simple and easy and I realized after I left that even if we just were to be friends, my feelings about him being a good guy back several years ago were totally accurate...

You know what I liked that makes me think he's a nicer guy than your average joe? This probably sounds lame but I will say it anyway... I liked that I was literally half dressed running at the gym in a sports bra and running skirt when he came by to say hi and not once in the 45 min we talked did I feel like he was checking me out-- he didn't make a "wow you look good" (though I think I did- LOL!) comment or make any comments about me physically... I think that when a man can be complimentary and talk to me without making me feel like I am being scoped out, that's a good thing. Talking with him reminded me that I am more than what I look like (for YEARS xAH told me I was lucky I wasn't ugly bc that was all I had going for me and I got a little obsessive about trying to look perfect, be pretty and think that if I looked the part of the happy put together woman, then my life would be happy).

So, I am a little hyper conscious about people valuing me for how I look and it is an issue I have talked a lot about in therapy... Anyway, it was nice to talk to my friend and have what I had to say, and how my kids were and my sense of humor matter more than my physical appearance...

Like I said- maybe that sounds lame... To me it's important
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:09 AM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
You might want to check with your lawyer to be certain, but as far as I know, once you are separated (especially with a legal document), you are free to date or do anything you want to short of actually marrying someone. I lived with people during the separations preceding both of my divorces being final.

Obviously you aren't rushing into anything like that, but I don't believe you are doing anything legally or morally improper when you have a legal separation and a pending divorce.

Yup - totally free to date-- not free to marry, not free to change my name but legally speaking, no problem with dating. Not sure if it's that way in all states, but mine it is... Not that I intend right now to date (I can't even comprehend ever trying to introduce that idea to my girls) but if he decides he is going to drag this out for the full 2 yrs he has to continue contesting it, I at least don't have to put my life on hold forever....
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
Like I said- maybe that sounds lame... To me it's important
It's never lame if its important to you.

I think you've made up your mind, no?!

Things happen for a reason; I don't believe in coincidences. For whatever reason (and you will know at some point) he is in your life again. Find out why!

It may be nothing more than a great friendship. Or like mine, a learning lesson to recognize a good man. Or maybe...something more over time. So far, I've hit the first two, and time will tell for me if it becomes something more over time.

Thing is - you never know until you try!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Confetti View Post
If I remember right, he has some NPD issues.
Yes he does-- he is the poster child for NPD I think...

Also...D**chebag extraordinaire Dad of the year. Your children are lucky to have you!


Yeah that's an understatement! Maybe he should get a t-shirt next year for fathers day that reads that!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:26 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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WoW, have things changed since I was in the divorce game. In Maryland, at that time, even with signed seperation papers, I was warned by my lawyer to not be seen or caught in a compromising situation with the opposite sex---meaning sex----that that would be leaving me open for an adultry charge (if the other spouse saw fit). I could be in the presence of a man--riding in car; eating at restaurant; attending a movie . Not to be seen publicly kissing, holding hands, eating from same ice-cream cone, etc.....

Funny story--At one time, the minimum time for separation time was 2yrs. of no co-habitation. Then the sitting governor of Maryland had a horrible divorce while in the governor's mansion--wife refused to leave the premises. Suddenly, the separation time became 1yr. (I benefited from the change--yea!)

It was walking a fine line......

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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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LOL at how laws change to suit political office holders! It must vary state by state... It's funny (not ha ha funny) bc my state has a fault ground for adultery BUT if you go through the rigamarole of the legal separation (which I did instead of divorce bc I thought AH would argue less! ha ha ha- lesson learned) then that legal separation means I guess that you are okay to date and your spouse can't claim adultery...

I still think its a fine line and I am not about to jump into anything relationship-ish right now but I am going to enjoy my rekindled friendship because I really think there is some reason that I wound up at the gym (where I never am lately), at the time of day I was there (never when I am free usually) and ran into him. It's too bizarre and coincidental to not have happened for a reason.

I would kick myself if I didn't keep in touch with him this time around. I have missed him since we parted ways as friends and wondered how he was and I am glad he stopped to say hi when he saw me...
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:42 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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LOL, I think you ARE free to change your name--any person, any time, can change his/her name. In fact, you don't even have to go to court to do it, unless you need proof of the name change--it is a common-law right everywhere, so far as I know.

Not that you probably are inclined to do that, but it sure would be tempting not to be Mrs. Douchebag, wouldn't it?
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:43 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Personally, I think a good friendship is exactly what you need right now in your life & like Tuffgirl, I don't believe in coincidence. This is serendipity at it's finest; sometimes our blessings arrive in unexpected packages.

I say proceed with caution, but you really seem to have a handle on what you want out of a relationship like this & how to keep it on the down-low so it doesn't complicate your divorce or confuse your girls.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:46 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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It's weird but in my state (according to the mediator who like a year ago is the one who did the legal separation paperwork) you actually can't do a formal name change without a divorce (or if I do I would have to get AH's permission). She could have been wrong.

I guess to change things like my license I would have to have a legal name change.... It just is one of things (that I did not care about at all) that stuck out in my mind as the difference between legal separation and divorce...

I am torn about the name thing-- my kids will keep his name so I kind of feel like unless I plan to remarry I will just keep my last name the same as theirs for their familiarity... Or maybe I could hyphenate their names to include my maiden name and go back to my maiden name (which I hated)
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:55 AM
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Well, yeah, it would be easiest to do it with a legal name-change, but common-law name changes are valid, too.

Kids are a different story. You can bet he would fight tooth and nail to avoid that, and courts rarely are willing to change a child's name unless you could show that it is in their best interest--and absent unusual circumstances, courts are reluctant to do it over either parent's objection.

I know I sort of derailed the original discussion, sorry.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:03 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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That sucks to know that I can't possibly ask to hyphenate their names... Ugh. Guess that's more reason to stick with remaining Mrs. D-bag for now...
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:29 PM
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Hi, WTBH! Sorry if I'm keeping the discussion off-topic... I just wanted to pipe in a bit on the name issues: I went back and forth on changing my name after my divorce. There were 2 reasons I initially held back:

1. I'm very clearly of mixed decent with darker hair and eyes. DS is very, very, blond and blue-eyed. As silly as it seems to me now, I was terrified (thanks in a great deal to AXH's 'joking' that people think I'm DS's nanny rather than Mom) that if we got separated at the grocery store that people wouldn't believe I was DS's mom and how to explain not only the appearance difference but also the name difference...

2. How confusing would it be for DS and his friends that my last name is different from his.

At the same time, life as Mrs. AXH was h-ll. Not all of it, but enough of it. I didn't want to keep on being her.

Maybe DS's school is different, but as I thought about the name change, I realized just how many mom's at the school didn't share the same last name as their kiddos. They either kept their own name when they married, had been divorced and remarried, or hyphenated, or... The kids didn't seem confused. And really, I'm usually addressed as either Ms. Michelle or more commonly "[DS]'s Mom!!"

And the store thing.... AXH is an a-- (for many reasons). There is no way to mistake that I'm DS's mom when he sees me: yelling "MOM!!!" as he runs to tackle-hug me. Or any one who looks at us standing together can plainly see that he has my shape of eyes, my nose and my smile.

At least in this state, I could change my name to a previous name (maiden name) as part of the divorce or I could change it to whatever my little heart desires under a separate change of name case - it'd just be a separate case and additional filing fees. Should DS ever wish to change his name, he could file to do so when he becomes an adult. (As other's had noted, we'd need AXH's authorization to change DS's name as a minor and that won't ever happen.)
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:49 PM
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I would check on the whole name-change issue. After my divorce, I had to go to court with a name change request and appear before a judge testifying that I was not doing so to escape a financial or other obligation. My charming ex did not include this line item in the divorce as I had asked, so I had to go to court.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:01 PM
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My mom has a different last name ever since she remarried. It was never confusing to me, and I was only 6 when she remarried. It honestly never mattered to me what her last name was... She's still 'mom' to me and that is all that ever mattered.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:24 PM
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I remember when I got divorced from my second husband (I represented myself, prepared all the paperwork, all he had to do was sign), he told me (in a rather haughty way) that he would sign IF I ceased using his "family name." (And it isn't as if his name were Rockefeller or anything.) I told him, "Eff you, FYI I can call myself anything I want. Sign, don't sign, up to you. This is happening either way." He signed.

Here's what's so damn annoying about names. My maiden name was a rather simple Scandanavian name. I got married to husband #1 before I started law school, so my law license was in that name--a long-ish Polish name--which I kept up until my divorce was final, a few months before I married husband #2. I went through all the trouble of changing my name, announcing it at work, going through the Supreme Court's procedures to change my license. Husband #2's name was more euphonious, sounded good with my first name. When that marriage tanked, shortly after it happened, I moved back to my old job and started back to work with #2's name. When the divorce finally happened, my first husband had remarried, and his new wife used his name.

So my choices were (a) switch to a maiden name, under which I had NEVER practiced, making that my second change to a different name within a space of less than two years, (b) go back to using my first husband's name, which seemed weird because we were no longer married and he had a new wife using the same name, or (c) taking the path of least resistance, keeping the name I then had and continuing to practice under it, just because I had already gone to the trouble of changing it and because it sounded good with my first name. See what I mean? No really good choices. Anyway, I went with (c), and it's been almost fifteen years since the last divorce, so I don't see my changing it again.

Unless it's to Rockefeller.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:41 PM
  # 38 (permalink)  
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I think part of recovery is the gift of knowing yourself to the point where you don't need to second guess and obsessively analyze yourself, situations and other peoples motives. INMO that in and of itself is a codependent trait- obsessively analyzing.

I mean, the more you know and trust yourself, the drive to second guess yourself will diminish. After all, the only thing we have control over is our own actions and boundaries. You already know how to be honest with yourself and your friend.

What a great experience to be able to hang out with someone who isn't a screaming abusive alcoholic Yay! It's necessary to know folks who are more stable than what we're accustom to, so we have reference for more normal situations. it's taken more than once to witness loving couples, good parents and attentive friends before I can start believing I deserve stability and joy. But I do. So do you.

Keep learning that sh*t, I say. Keep looking for happy, stable folks. Keep hanging out with them.

You'll know if you need to change your boundaries. When I keep focused on myself, my children and healing what I have control over, the obsessive traits just falls away. Loving me and creating a safe, wonderful life is my favorite thing to obsess about now, although I still do pick up the comfortable, obsessive game still, I now have memory of and reference for a peaceful, happy life.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:52 PM
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Go for it! Sounds like you deserve some fun and happiness! Good luck!
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