I literally found my match on Match – or rather, he found me. After spending about a year and a half on dating websites, I received a message from a man about 14 years older than me. The message alluded to the fact that he was out of my age range of what I had in my preferences, but he was hopeful that I would give him a chance.
I took a look at his profile and what he had written about himself. (For anyone dating and on dating websites, writing a good profile is key to finding someone worthwhile.) The part that stuck out the most for me was that he had been married for 48 years and he was a widower. I wanted to find out more. I sent him a message back and after texting each other a few times, we agreed to meet about two days later. He earned even more points when he agreed to drive out to meet me, rather than me having to drive to meet him. I don’t expect men to do all the work when pursuing a woman, but admittedly, these small gestures add up!
We agreed to meet at a local bookstore/coffee shop that was close to my place. It was on a Friday afternoon. Another dating tip that I learned was to set a time limit on the first date and have plans lined up so you can end it. This works for two purposes: 1) if it’s a bad date, you can leave and 2.) if it’s a good date, he/she won’t mind and will most likely want to see you again. Also, if they get upset that you have plans, it serves another purpose, you know early on that this is a person you may not want to spend more time with (because we all know that we put on our best fronts when we first meet someone).
He arrived first and was sitting near the back at a table. I walked in and my first thought was he looked better in person than his pictures. He has really beautiful blue eyes and salt’n pepper hair. I walked to where he was sitting, introduced myself and sat down. We talked for a straight two hours. Time flew by, but in those two hours, I learned so much about him and I knew that I wanted to see where this would go. I had plans to meet a girlfriend afterwards, so I ended the date. He was very gracious and he walked me outside.
About fifteen to twenty minutes later, I received a text from him. He said in the text that he wasn’t sure about the proper protocols and that he was hoping he wasn’t breaking any of them, but that he wanted to see me again. I was going away the next day for an overnight trip with some other girlfriends, but I told him we could get together again when I returned on Sunday. That Sunday we met again and we have not been apart since then.
I moved in with him about three months later and exactly one year after our first date, he asked me to marry him. We got married on October 16th.
I truly never expected any of this. I am thankful that he took a chance to message me
My friends who have followed me on this journey, I am so thankful that I had a place to share and heal. When I first started this blog, I was married, living in a rental house with my (then)husband. We were on our way to being empty-nesters and I knew that this might be a rocky journey for the both of us. My intent when I started this blog was to share my willingness to try new things, albeit I was hoping it would be with my (then) husband. We were looking at a place to buy, selling our home, and I thought, heading towards a life where we could enjoy/rediscover each other now that our kids were on their own journeys of adulthood.
If you have followed my journey, you know that none of this happened the way I planned, but it happened exactly the way it was supposed to.
Life is a journey and it is up to us to face each part of our journey head on, even though at times, the pain and sadness can bring us to our knees. Guess what? Joy and love can bring us to heights never anticipated, but I’ll get to that soon.
Last year, I was doing a podcast which explored the break-up of my now ex-husband. As those who have listened to the podcast and/or followed my journey in other ways, you know that my ex-husband ended our marriage pretty abruptly. Yes, we “stayed” married for six months after, but I realize now that he was done with the marriage the minute he said the words, “we are done.” I wasn’t sure what my life could be like without him in it. And as a result, I did some very irrational things as I saw my world as I knew it to be, ending.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is PLEASE do not involve your children. It really doesn’t matter if your children are adults when your marriage breaks up. They love both parents and so, they should never be made to feel like they have to choose a relationship with one or the other. Let them figure out a relationship with both parents on their own terms. This does not mean you cannot disclose why the marriage ended, but try to keep it as non-emotional as possible.
I needed to take a break from my podcast. I may return to it someday. Right now, I’m enjoying other endeavors which speak to my creative soul. My future posts will be about what I’m doing now and what has transpired over the past year when I left my podcast.
Thank you for reading and thank you for following my journey.
My brother called me stupid
All the time when I
was a little girl
I now have a bachelor and a master’s degree
My husband said he couldn’t
stand the sound of my voice
at the end of our marriage
I now have a weekly podcast
I refuse to let the limitations
of others define my own
©christal hall 2019
Sometimes change happens, even if you don’t want it. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I was thrust into a change that I never anticipated, nor wanted. And I’m still working on what the change means for me and for what kind of life I want for the remaining days (and years, I hope) I have on this planet.
Other change is what we want to see happen because we aren’t particularly satisfied with something. Right now, that’s the kind of change I’m seeking and I’m working on motivation. I do not like feeling fat. I do not like feeling lethargic. I get trapped though and part of it is because I have this constant voice in my head to NOT DO THE THING I want to do.
This is the voice of self doubt and worry of what other people think. I hate fucking hate it.
This is the voice that keeps me inside of my apartment instead going out and exploring. Living the life I want instead of the life I’m imagining.
So I’m challenging myself right now. On this blog. Holding myself accountable publicly!
This week I will:
- Take myself out to dinner on a date with myself
- Go jogging three times
- Plan a quick week-end trip to some place I’ve not been before.
Something that I have done a lot of over the year and half since the ex dropped the bomb is listen to podcasts. There are a lot available out there to listen to and cover everything from politics, true crime to self help. Prior to the bomb drop, I was partial to true crime podcasts, like Serial and Undisclosed. Then during the tumultuous months of trying to work things out with the ex, I found myself listening to Rabbit, which was fantasy type story. It kept my attention diverted to something that was both riveting and mysterious.
In the past few months as I work on determining what I want (besides a solid relationship which seems to be as elusive as a unicorn at this point), I’ve turned to the category of self-help. The one podcast that I enjoy the most is by Cathy Heller who is the host of “Don’t Keep Your Day Job,” which is all about finding the thing your passionate about and working on trying to make it your hustle.
The one piece of advice I’ve heard over and over again is that you don’t have to be an expert and that your experience will matter to someone. I’ve taken this to heart and mulled it over. In my current (paid) job that I have, I help people every day. It is what I’ve always been drawn to do. I get great satisfaction knowing that I can help someone through a difficult situation with their work.
I never thought it would be possible to help others as they navigate this journey of being in a loving, committed marriage to feeling like your universe has been completely turned upside down by the one person you trusted the most – having your husband decide that they are done with the marriage.
So here I am – hosting a podcast called Overcomers: Living a Full-Life After. It is scary, exciting and exhilarating to be putting this out in the universe. Talking to women and helping them through their struggles. It’s something I wish I had when I sat by myself alone more nights than I care to count wondering when my husband would come home.
My podcast is currently on Stitcher and Google Play – links to both are on the left. You can also find me on Podbean at Overcomer: Living a Full Life After.
We all have choices.
I have chosen to fight for myself.
I am worthy of that.
If you cannot be a warrior by my side.
And let the enemy enter the gate,
You have chosen to fight against me.
And I choose to let you go.
A part of my heart has been amputated,
removed by the scalpel of his words,
leaving me wanting for the phantom
of our future that is no longer and never will be.
A part of my heart has been amputated,
it beats differently now, hurt, aching, betrayed,
a desperate want to feel the familiar,
yet knowing the past is no longer and never was.
A part of my heart has been amputated,
beating for what is, resilient, strong
embracing the beauty of my being,
living for now and for what will be. — © January 24, 2019
There has been a lot going on with me since my last update. I have more good days than bad days, but I’ve been able to power through on the bad days and make it to the next, embracing it for the gift that it is. I have to keep reminding myself that my Betty Ma (my maternal grandma) was only given 45 years on this planet. I’ve been given the gift to live years beyond what she was given. My life is precious not only to me but to those who love me. I have got to keep that in mind.
I’ve been doing online dating which has been an experience. There are some nice guys out there, but there are also a lot of them out there for the quick hook-up. Quick hook-ups have there purpose, but I really do want someone who I can do fun things with as a companion and a best friend. Intimacy is so much better when you have that connection. Right now, I’m talking to one guy who I’m feeling really good about, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. It seems every time I do, then I’m disappointed. I’ve been seeing another guy as well for a few months. He lives a few hours away and while we always have a good time together, I don’t think he’s being completely honest with me.
I keep moving forward in the hopes that some day I will have someone in my life that will value me in the way that I value them. I really do miss sharing my life with someone – coming home and knowing that there is someone that I can just sit with on the couch and share my day and listen to their day as well. I miss waking up next to someone, planning our day and just that closeness that comes when you have someone in your life that matters to you. I am putting it out in the universe that I find someone like that. If not, I will have to be okay with that as well.
My divorce will be final on September 30, 2018. It will be the day before my birthday. It is not lost on me that the end of one chapter in my life is ending as the start of new year on this planet begins for me. I’ve come a long ways and that’s what I have to keep my focus on. It’s no longer about the ex and the damage he caused me. It’s about me welcoming this change and becoming the person I was always meant to be.
If someone had told me a year ago that I would buy a house that I love then have to sell it less than a year later, I would not have believed them. If someone had told me a year ago that my husband would involve himself with another woman, I would have laughed at them. If someone would have told me a year ago that I would reach devastatingly low points because of my husband’s betrayal, I would have never believed them. If someone had told me a year ago that I would have to ask my husband to leave our home and then I would have to file for divorce, two things that I never wanted to do, I would have thought they were crazy.
It is funny how we can be comfortable with our life and then everything changes in what feels like an instant. This past seven months have shown me that I am stronger than even I thought possible. It has also shown me that no one is worth the anguish I put myself through in order to preserve a marriage that it appears only one of us really wanted. It is hard to walk away from 32 years with the person you had every intention of being with for the rest of your life. However, sometimes walking away is the best thing to do when the other person has changed so dramatically that you realize you are no longer married to the person that you once knew and loved.
I am happy for the first time in a long time. If all goes as planned (fingers crossed), I will be in my new apartment a week from Thursday. It is close to the water – a place where I find the most serenity and calm. I have also some other new beginnings in my life that I will share in more detail when the time is right. Suffice to say, I am embracing this change with an open heart and an open mind. I am no longer afraid of being by myself and am committed to living my best life. I took this picture this morning and I finally see happiness and hope in my eyes.
The one thing I am most grateful for is that despite the obstacles I have faced in life is the love and support that I receive from my family. It is what has helped me through the most difficult time in my life with the separation and subsequent filing of divorce from my husband. I had not realized over the years, how isolated I had become, so I also didn’t realize or maybe did not fully appreciate the tremendous amount of support that I would receive from the many friends that I am so blessed to have. It is true when it’s said that when you are facing difficulties, one of the worse things you can do is isolate yourself. This has been my coping mechanism over the years and it is going to stop. I am promising to myself that when I get the urge to turn away from the world when I’m facing difficulties, instead I will turn towards it in order to welcome the warm embrace that life has to offer.
The house we bought last year was placed on the market last week. We had a an open house this past week-end. I am grateful that offers were submitted and we have accepted one. Please keep your fingers crossed that escrow goes smoothly. While I am sad that my hopes and dreams for this place are gone, for the first time in a really long time, I am excited about my future. I am embracing an uncertain future with an open mind and an open heart. I refuse to be broken. I have survived too much in my life to let this divorce from someone who I no longer recognize bring me down. Instead, I rise like a phoenix from ashes, stronger and more sure of myself than ever before.
My next few days will include a visit from my best friend and soul sister, Lea. I am so excited to have her visit. I plan on visiting potential new places to live. I am going to finish up the latest project for my granddaughter and then start a new project for myself for my new home. A couple of week-ends ago, I bought a new sign for my new place that embraces this new beginning for me. We have such a short time on this beautiful planet we live on and it is simply up to us to live as fully as possible for the time that we do have.