And here’s another letter from “Valentine” (as she posts here). Folks, I think there is something in the water here in Texas (as little of it as there is… the place is perpetually in drought)… all my happy stories are coming from Texas lately. But I know you guys have positives tales to tell — so SEND ‘EM IN to give heart to your fellow chumps.
Here’s Valentine’s story:
Hey there Tracy/CL!
My story begins like a lot of the other sorry souls on CL….I found out he was cheating, devastated me…I had undergone several years of fertility treatments only to lose all three pregnancies early on. I could make a lot of excuses for that ass-clown but I’ll save my breath for something really worthy. He was a manipulative snake—did I mention he was a lawyer?
Anyhow, after losing my job in a buyout, someone bought the home we had for sale in a nice San Antonio neighborhood. I decided it was time to come home and skedaddled back to Austin, my hometown. I know—-THE TRAFFIC. So, since I had no home and no job…I moved in my parents in a little town outside of the Austin area, named Dripping Springs. I got involved in a TON of stuff: my church, teaching religious ed to 7 year olds on the brink of making their first communion. I volunteered for CASA (court appointed special advocate for kids who have it WAYYYY worse than I ever did) AND I joined Match.com.
I know. The cliché. I figured, what the hell? I lived in Podunk, TX where everyone I knew was married and partying on the town was a mere 45-minutes away. No, I didn’t want to add D W I to my resume. So, I decided to join.
After some disastrous dates, some completely inappropriate pics (honestly, a picture of a mans junk is not that sexy) and texts that would’ve made event he editor of Hustler blush, I met this really cool dude. He liked the History channel. He was a man of selective words (unlike my ex who LOVED the sound of his own voice. ICK). He had ALL his teeth. He had a JOB and even a truck and fun-mobile (a Corvette). He’s never been married….WHAT? NEVER MARRIED? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE????? I wondered if he was gay at first….I mean, come on—we are in our mid-40’s…and he has never been married nor had any kids or baby-mama drama? Holy shit—Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
So, after some texting (not sexting) and sharing of NORMAL pics (no request for body, booty or bare boob shots) we decided to meet. He likes country music…I like wearing cowboy boots. I figured, why the hell not? Couldn’t be any worse than what I had ALREADY been through. So, we met at a dancehall. Now mind you, I had been to a baby-shower earlier which was held at a place known for its delicious margaritas! So, I show up to this place thinking: yeah, whatever, this is only a meet and greet, not like I am meeting some hottie man or anything.
And then I saw him in person.
I had to hide behind a pillar so he wouldn’t see me. I saw this tallish hot guy, with a strong chin in a cowboy hat and cowboy boots, who filled out his jeans nicely, thank you! I was mortified! Did I look ok???? Why the hell hadn’t I taken some time in the car to REFRESH my make-up. Gaaaaaaahhhhhhh. I looked like I had already had one margarita too many! So, he’s looking at his phone…and texts me: Are you here yet? Where are you? I figure I might as well just walk up…if there is no chemistry then it didn’t matter how hot he looked. I walk up to him and HOLY BABY JESUS he has the most stunning eyes…I had no idea if they were more green or slate…I decided on hazel.
So, our first ‘date’ began. He was really easy to talk to (after several tongue-tied attempts at conversation on my part)…and seemed like a cool guy. We had enough in common for a second date. and the rest, as they say….is history..
Ok, well, not exactly. So, after several months of dating…we go to the movies one night and as he opening my car door he comes out with: WILL YOU MARRY ME? I quickly looked at him….asked: Do you know what you are saying? Are you drunk? He smiled and asked AGAIN.
By this time, I am like: really? Is this a joke or something? So I say: Uhm, aren’t you supposed to get down on one knee or something? He promptly gets down on one knee and asks again. Clearly he thinks I am insane by this time. I just grab onto him and kiss him a million times and say yes! After that, I am wondering if he has a ring or if I get to choose it….so I casually throw it in if there is a ring or if I get to choose it. He reaches into his pocket and pulls a stunner! Did he have it in his pocket the entire time???
So, now I’ve moved my entire house into his house (oh yeah, I kept the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD CONTENTS in the divorce including the two bulldogs—I chose them after all) and we are getting married in October.
I have found a real prince of a man….a good man who doesn’t lie, cheat, and isn’t a megalomaniac. Wow, who could’ve imagined he even existed????
Honestly, I was ready to be alone the rest of my life after the cluster-fuck that was my ex-husband. I figured being alone was infinitely better than being with a sorry excuse for a man. I believed if it happened, it happened. I was doing my thing for the most part. Being single was so liberating really, especially after several years of living with Mr. Narcissist. I did not answer to anyone, my life was my own. And I am so grateful for that time…And I am actually grateful for the ass-clown—-for the lessons I learned: what I would tolerate and what I wouldn’t. I got my moxie back!
Wow, that was longer than what I thought it would be! Hope you haven’t fallen asleep!
So then I asked Valentine — this is awesome, but did you VET this guy? Is he for real? I had my husband vetted — and it was a pretty stiff committee — long time friends — two who were DC journalists and grilled him hard (rather off-coloredly, he handled it well), my Other Mother, and my former boss — both formidable women. And he passed. I highly recommend a proper vetting. Anywho, back to Valentine… she wrote:
Oh YES….I had my band of friends…especially the girls I met on a ‘save your marriage’ board whom I have become extremely close to. I refer to us as “Las Cuatro Hermanas” which is Spanish for The 4 sisters. Margaret is a lawyer, Kavitha writes policy and Lissett is a nurse. We all checked him out BEFORE the first date (I know—perhaps ‘stalking’ might be more appropriate but, hey, one can never be too cautious in this day and age!). Those gals asked some hard questions, to which I am eternally grateful! Those gals plus some other girlfriends (whom I refer to as ‘Charlie’s Angels’ because those chicks can ferret out all kinds of info—I don’t ask–I’m just thankful for the info!)
So K’s story: K, is an engineer….has a degree in Math and Physics…so he is really cerebral. He really analyzes things. I did ask him why he never married and he said he always seemed to be a magnet for crazy women and he didn’t want to marry a crazy woman. At first I thought the never-married thing WAS a red flag….but after to getting to know him, I realized that, for him, getting married was not a trivial thing. His parents were childhood sweethearts and they had him when they were 40. He is the youngest of 7. All his older siblings are girls. He grew up on a farm. He can fix almost anything. Once he puts his mind to something he does it. I would say he is SOLID. Sparkly—-not so much…I don’t trust the ‘sparkly’ ones. We started dating right after Valentine’s Day last year….he proposed about 10 months later (in December). I did go meet his family in Wisconsin last August. His family was really nice…I have met all but one of his sisters. His mother passed away 5 years ago and his dad, who is 87, still gets up every morning and works on his extensive garden. I also met several of his nieces and nephews, cousins and aunt and uncles. He has a large Polish family. He is really physically fit, he is a runner/jogger. He eats healthy. He plays the guitar, banjo and mandolin.
I wasn’t really expecting the proposal…at all–or at least not at that time. I am sure there are some that ask: What is some mid-western Polish guy doing with a spicy Latina like me??? Guess he like ’em like that. I have met his friends, he doesn’t have a whole lot of close friends. I have a lot of friends but I don’t have a lot of really close friends either.
As for current red flags, I cannot really say there are any. We have our differences, of course, that any couple would find in one another. I like to spend and he is a saver. I would love to throw out some of his natty shirts but he is apparently really attached…stuff like that is really the only thing.
He DID ask me to sign a pre-nup which freaked me out. That was the only thing I could think of that would be a ‘red-flag’. I was insulted that he would ask me to sign one. I get it, but it is still insulting to me. We had to really talk about that so I could understand it. He has substantial investments and savings plus he will inherit property when his father passes. I have my own investments and will also inherit property from my parents too when they pass. My parents are a lot younger than his though. The REAL sticking point is: in my previous marriage I consolidated one of my student loans with my ex’s law school loans (never thinking we would get divorced) in order to get a better interest rate. However, my ex and I are BOTH on the hook for the loan even though my ex agreed in our divorce to pay for it. I took on debt from our divorce that equaled what my portion of the school loan was to make it even (which was a very small amount). Geesh, even in my divorce I was civil to that ass-clown. HOWEVER, I guess things weren’t going so great for my ex in his law firm because he deferred the payment forever it seems. Now, he can no longer defer and has had to start to pay it. BUT, if he defaults, the loan company can come after ME to pay for it. K is just concerned that his assets will be included in MY income once we’re married and that if Ass-clown defaults, then they will make US pay for it.
SO, I need the name of a good lawyer who can answer these questions and help me figure some financial stuff out.
I am fairly open about communication and very expressive (you got that didn’t you? It’s a Latina thing probably) and K is much more deliberate in his communication. He thinks out his words before he says them. I am used to that from him so I know when he is worried about something. Sometimes I have to be more patient in getting info from him, which is new for me but I know that K doesn’t say things he doesn’t mean.
My family really likes him! They like the fact that he is down-to-earth, has a hearty appetite, likes salsa/Mexican food and loves to dance. My parents think he is a great match for me—they like that he grew up on a farm. The fact that he devours my mom’s homemade tortillas like they are going out of style doesn’t hurt either. He was raised Catholic although he doesn’t practice much these days. I, on the other hand, go to church regularly but he has hinted that he wants to go to church with me so that is a good thing. My brother also thinks he’s a ‘cool cat’.
Honestly, now that I am older, there is not much shit I am willing to take. Crazy ass shenanigans are not my thing. I am NOT a drama queen. I don’t mind watching on the sidelines at other people’s train wrecks but I don’t care to entertain that in my life. K is not a dramatic person either. I thank God EVERY FREAKING DAY that I met K and that I am no longer married to what’s-his-name.
I DO caution the newly divorced about rebound relationships. People should give themselves time to heal…learn to be by themselves and be ok with it. Jumping headlong into another relationship is NOT the cure-all. I’m not saying not to have a good time, mind you. All I’m saying is to keep it in perspective. Flirting, dating, having a lover right after the bomb/separation/divorce can be fun BUT don’t put more significance into something that is really a transitional thing. Keep your priorities in front, be it your kids, a new career, going back to school, etc…don’t put a person (man or woman) in front of all those things.
So, I hope I’ve given you more insight to my story…anything else—just ask!
I would add for all the chumps out there — get a pre-nup next time around. I wrote this to Valentine, don’t take offense — you’re grown ups. And grown ups who’ve been through hell should give each other the peace of mind that comes with proper legal documents. Grown up love is conditional love. In my case, my husband has a business and I have an inheritance (which, by family set up, goes to my son if something happens to me). We both have kids from our previous marriages, and those interests needed to be protected. I expect to be married to him until death, but I wanted him to have peace of mind. I had two ex-husbands who used me financially, and he wanted to give my family and me peace of mind about my family’s assets. This is all to the good — NOTHING unromantic about a pre-nup.
There are GOOD PEOPLE out there — get away from the cheaters, shore yourself up, and go find ’em!