4
November
2008

We bumped into eachother, purely by accident 6 1/2 yrs ago. We both got thrown into the same chat room. As i was trying to make my way to my regular room, he Instant Messeged me. I was slightly annoyed as I was eager to get to all my friends to catch up and chat.  I ignored him at first, but he persisted…gggrrrrr. So I said “Hi”  to be polite. Somehow he got me into a short conversation, he seemed “normal” enough, God knows you get some freaky types that Message you! We exchanged some pleasantries, I was getting a little impatient, wanting to move on. He sensed this and it piqued his interest even more, i became a bit of a challenge for him. We added eachother to our Friends list and off I went to my regular room.

From then, every time I logged on to chat, he messaged me from out of the blue. But that was ok, he seemed nice, and he began to amuse me. I thought of him as VERY cocky, confident, sure of himself, and what a flirt! He cracked me up! I never took him seriously and I was sure he was flirting with multiple women. I always cut him short and dissappeared from on-line which, unbeknowns to me, drove him crazy that i was so elusive.

We started to have longer, more indepth conversations, we became good mates, me all the time laughing at his flirting. We were both married, both with 4 children. My husband was away a lot with work, His wife was away a lot with his children. We grew closer. We shared a lot of ourselves with eachother. It became more serious. I no longer laughed at him when he flirted, and if i did, he was hurt.

4 months had passed with our random chatting, when he asked me on a “date”. Would I meet him on-line on Valentine’s Day? My heart skipped, this was a bit serious! But I was excited, and said yes. We logged on to the chat that evening. Me in Perth, Western Australia and him in Sydney, some 7 or so thousand of miles away on the other side of the country. We didn’t sleep that night, we talked all night on-line, with him finally having to leave to go to work at 6 am. When we said good-bye, we said “I Love You” to eachother, it felt right.

It was right. I had fallen in love with him! He was funny and cheeky and caring and loving and interesting and everything I could ever wish for in a man. I had began to feel bored and lonely. I felt my husband was only interested in me physically, he dissmissed my intelligence, and dissmissed me as a person. So to be stimulated on this level I felt worthy, I felt like I was someone, I felt interesting.

We exchanged mobile numbers and were texting and sneaking phone calls when we could. To everyone around us we were addicted to the internet. My husband took the modem and hid it from me. And he was experiencing problems getting to me via the net at his end. We were in trouble. We were in love with each other and we were in trouble!

We wanted to meet in person. He knew what I looked like from my photo on the net but I had no idea what he looked like. I didn’t CARE what he looked like, I loved him. We spent some weeks trying to plan how we could meet, when, where. We had spouses to deal with, and children and friends and lives. But we were crazy, we didn’t care at that point. We had to meet, we had to see eachother in person, we just had to.

We decided I would fly to Sydney. We chose the weekend. My husband would be away, and his wife would be away. When I think back now, I can’t believe we did it. I can’t believe I did it! I felt so guilty for the lies I told everyone. And so did he. But we did it.

I got my mum to come look after the kids for the weekend, saying i was going down south for a girls weekend with some girls I had been studying with. She dropped me at the train station and i went to the airport and got the midnight flight to Sydney. I had butterflies in my tummy. Would he like me? Would he think i was ugly? I was 42 and he was 38. I warned him I had thousands of freckles. he assured me he loved freckles.

I got off the plane in Sydney with my eyes darting everywhere, switched my phone on and rang him. I told him I had a pink dress on. He told me to just keep walking, he would see me. We stayed on the phone and I saw him sitting to my left, grinning on the phone. We grabbed eachother and kissed. I went for the short kiss, he went for the long romatic pash, how awkward! We laughed. We laughed all weekend. He was drop-dead gorgeous! Tall, blonde, fit, what a hunk! We were happy and in love. I flew back to Perth Monday night. Elated at what we had shared, sad that it was such a short time together. WOW!

Now what? I got back home and we almost immediatly started to plan another meeting. I flew back to Sydney 8 weeks later. Then he flew to Perth about 7 weeks after that. I started to unravel. I couldn’t live without him! He couldn’t live without me! I started crying all the time. I hated the lies. I couldn’t sleep with my husband. I withdrew from everyone and everything. He was the same, he started sleeping on the couch at his house.

Then it all came to a head. My husband found out through the phone bill. His wife found out by snooping through his phone when he was asleep. My husband moved into the spare room. He moved out of his house and in with his sister. I decided to leave and move to Queensland with the children. It was a terrible time. I was ridden with guilt for what i was putting my husband and my family through. My friends thought i had lost my mind, they thought i was making the biggest mistake of my life. I just knew i was crazy in love with this man.

I moved to Queensland in November 2002. My sweet darling was flying and driving up from Sydney to see me whenever he could manange it. He moved up to be with me in April 2003, almost one year to the day after we first met at Sydney airport.

It is now April 2008. In 2004 he bought me an engagement ring and asked me to marry him for the 5th time ( I said yes every time!) In 2005 we bought our house where we live with two of my children and one of his. We are VERY, VERY, VERY happy.

We are Crazy in love to this day, but we have, and still are paying the price for that happiness. We live with a lot of guilt. We live with the memories of sitting our children down and telling them of the separation. The tears and emotional hell we went through to be together, will forever bind us to eachother.

We were both previously married for 20 years. We walked away from that life…from everything except our children, and started all over again. We have begun Another Life.


3
January
2008

By Christina Rowe

When the ink has dried on your divorce papers, and the dust
finally starts to settle, you will find yourself facing an
entirely new set of problems. Now you are alone with your
responsibilities. The scheduling of your life is different, and
probably more difficult.

If your husband is limited to brief visitation rights, then the
day-to-day responsibility for your kids is now completely yours.
Even if your spouse has your children part of the time, you will
discover that you are more limited. If your ex did anything at
all around the house you will now have to do it yourself. If he
did any of the family bookkeeping, or helped the kids with
schoolwork, or took them here or there, that service is no
longer available.You have a household. Once there were two
people who could take on the duty of running it. Now there’s
one.

You will probably begin to see this happening from the start.
During your divorce these things present themselves. But in
some ways they aren’t as obvious then. This is partly due to
the incredible turmoil you are already facing. There may also
be other factors disguising the truth. Your friends and family
knew what you were going through while the battle was still
raging. Often some of them stepped up to bat, and helped in so
many ways. Your best friend drove your boy to sports practice
through an entire season, and maybe your sister took your
daughter to shop for clothes. But that was when your days were
endless cycles of lawyers, court dates, and searching for
records. Now life is supposed to be normal.

The only problem with that is the workload: it seems to be
permanently bigger.

In most cases the ex-spouse should be of help, but there are
almost always problems and disagreements. Most likely these
will last as long as your children are still underage and a
shared responsibility. How much support and help your ex is
giving you with the kids is usually a measure of your sanity.
I’ve had my own problems with this, as does nearly every parent
who keeps custody most of the time. My ex-husband’s mandated
times with the kids only cover a couple of weekends and some
weekday evenings each month. Often the evenings simply don’t
happen.

Many divorced parents face the same dilemma: doubled
responsibility not only for kids, but for shopping, cleaning,
paying the bills, taking care of the pets, doing the laundry,
and the list goes on and on!

Being a single parent is no easy task. For each of us the new
responsibilities take different forms. When they are still
together most parents gradually take on some aspects of the
good cop/bad cop relationship with their kids. Sometimes dad is
the one who is judge and jury, while mom seems willing to
listen. Or those roles might be reversed. Maybe your ex-spouse
was the disciplinarian; while you were the sympathetic one they
could always come to. Whatever role you played before, now you
must be both. If your boy gets in a fight, or your daughter
mistreats a schoolmate, you have to dole out the punishment.
Yet, if there were extenuating circumstances, you also have to
understand. How can a person do both? It seems almost
impossible.

This is aggravated even more by the divorce. A split inevitably
sets up a competitive situation. In a conflict people always
look for allies, and in a divorce both parents want the kids to
be on their respective sides. This doesn’t end with the decree.

If dad was once the disciplinarian, but now only sees the kids
for a few days a month, he’s likely to be much less help when
they do something wrong. He’ll want his house to be the place
where they have fun. At the same time, mom is going to get
tired of always being the one to give punishments. She doesn’t
want her children to hate her. This often turns into a
competition for affection that can only hurt the children.

What every parent in a divorce must learn is that their
children still have the same needs they had before the divorce.
That means they need the adults in their lives to take on adult
responsibilities. For instance, if you are about to leave your
children off at your spouse’s, don’t work extra hard to leave
the best impression. There’s no need to make your last stop one
at a fast food joint where you fill them full of sugar and empty
calories. Instead, just make them understand that you love them,
and are concerned with their well being in every way. Ease them
into the transition by assuring them of their place in your
life, while helping them see that they still have that place in
your spouse’s life as well.

If your spouse doesn’t cooperate, try to resolve it when the
kids aren’t there. Do all you can to make sure that the facts
of custody are not rules of engagement, but rather are simply a
structure for your children’s benefit. If you and your spouse
still have lingering differences in this area, the best way to
help your cause is to simply be the best parent you can be.

But whatever your arrangement is with your ex-spouse, life
can’t help but be more difficult alone. So what do you do in
the face of overwhelming odds, and the seemingly inevitable
nervous breakdown?

First, remember you are not alone. There are millions of single
parents out there facing the same thing you are. You probably
know other mothers (and/or fathers) who are, or have been, in
the same situation. Don’t be afraid about turning to them now.
They may know things you don’t, and if not, they can always
lend a hand, or at least some sympathy.

Others who have gone through the same thing will realize what
pressure you are under. This isn’t simply a matter of finances
(though that issue usually has a lot to do with it). You are
now the one that your children come to every day of the week.
They need you desperately for their own sense of security,
especially after their world has been turned upside down from
divorce. You are the one who picks up after them, feeds them,
and gives them allowances. You are the one who talks to their
friends’ mothers and fathers. You get the call from school. You
talk to their teachers. You are the first one to hear about
bills for education and health. If your children are about to
go to college, you are the one they talk to about those
possibilities.
If you are the parent they stay with most nights, and you are
the parent they see in the morning before they go to school,
then you are simply the one.

Because it used to be different, because there used to be two
of you, and because there used to be two parental roles being
played in this house, you now have to learn something new. Now
you must develop some skills you never needed before. If you
can do what is necessary you’ll find that this new order isn’t
that scary. If you can adapt, you will not only survive, but
thrive. A new exciting life is just around the corner. Your job
is to figure out how to keep from getting so exhausted that
“just around the corner” turns out to be an impossible distance
to cover.

Your job as a newly single parent may not be easy, but it in
time you will adjust, fall into a routine and discover a new
found strength you never thought you had.

About The Author:

Christina Rowe is the best selling author of
Seven Secrets To A Successful Divorce-What Every Woman Needs
To Know
. Find out the survival skills that will save you time,
money and heartache during your divorce. For your free chapter
of the book, visit the link above.