GF's dad was killed by a hit and run driver just days before he turned 16. He had been thrilled to tell him that he'd just gotten his first job at a grocery store in the city. GF never had that opportunity. His dad was supposed to bring home Chinese for dinner that night. But he never called or came home. Today, it is very important that GF hears regularly from the people he cares about. His ex-wife accuses him of calling his 11-year-old son too much. She also got annoyed with his frequent phone calls during the day. GF has always made a point of calling me throughout the day. In the morning to say, "Have a good day" and "I love you." In the evening to say, "Goodnight" and "I love you." During the day to say, "I am thinking about you." Over the past two days GF has called to say that he supports whatever decision I make regarding moving with him or to stay put for the sake of the boys at their current school. We came home for the weekend so I could work at the big box store during my two-week notice period and to give the boys an opportunity to see their friends.
The boys were in much better moods on the drive home. I let my oldest drive and he made it in far less time than I have since I drive a lot more slowly. They both spoke of joining the wrestling team at the new school upon their return next week; my oldest talked about going to one of the colleges in the new state; my youngest said he had made three friends in his biology class. I had spoken with the boys' school counselor on Wednesday and she met with them first thing Thursday morning to revise their schedules and get rid of some of those extra study halls. She also changed my youngest's lunch period so he can now eat with his brother, whom has already been sitting at a table with Senior cheerleaders. I think they are resigned to the move, although my oldest is upset about leaving his girlfriend as her mom died last March. I asked him if she would prefer that he be living out on the street and offered to drive him back as much as possible to see her.
GF's parents were poor. His dad sold real estate and back in the 70s there was a recession that killed the housing market. GF recalls that they ate so much canned spaghetti and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that it has only been recently that he could eat peanut butter again. After his dad died, there was not much money and he went to work full-time to support his mom and sister. It took GF 8 years to get through college going part-time while working full-time at the same grocery store he had been hired at when he turned 16. He rose to the position of manager there.
GF is not a complaining sort of guy. He is optimistic, loyal, responsible and does what needs to be done without griping (unlike me). He often says, "Life is good," a phrase he adopted after his dad died and "It is what it is." GF had a romantic relationship with a young woman whom he loved but had a fatal illness. It did not matter to him that she was going to die as a young adult. He loved her. She ended up breaking up with him before her untimely death. In the same spirit of love and acceptance, GF married his wife even knowing that she suffered from fertiltiy issues that would make it difficult for them to have a baby.
GF worked at a bank then was a manager at a big name drug store. He and his wife did have a baby through in vitro but their second attempt failed and they lost twins. GF wanted to spend more time with his son and moved to a less demanding store management position. He was extremely involved with his son's life taking a six-month leave of absence after his birth to be with him. GF felt the absence of his father and this of course affected him and how he wanted to be a parent.
I first started communicating with GF after Husband #2 initially filed for divorce in January, '08. My husband refused to speak with me and I was incredibly devastated and heartbroken. In fact, my husband didn't even have the decency to tell me he'd filed, a fact I learned having to call the courthouse every day per the advice of my attorney. GF and I started talking online but I was hesitant and wanted to reconcile with my husband. Basically, GF and I emailed about grief issues and when my husband and I got back together for a few months I ceased all contact with GF. But when my husband refiled for the divorce in July, I again was devastated and thought about GF. I decided to call him because I wanted to know what had happened to him. I truly hoped that he had met a nice woman and had moved on beyond his own pain and grief about his divorce. I called him because I wanted to know that life would go on and that I would survive my own loss. I wanted to know he was okay. Knowing that would somehow give me much needed strength to go forward myself.
I finally drew up the courage to call GF, which I did after going to an antique show attended by what seemed to me to be exclusively couples (gay and straight - mostly middle-aged). He remembered me (after 6 months of no contact) and all of our communication with surprising detail. He had just bought a small home and was with his son. We made arrangements to talk on the phone and soon after, agreed to meet for dinner.
GF was very supportive of me during my long, drawn-out divorce. We were friends and I certainly needed someone to communicate with, especially since my husband had virtually shut out any contact with me. GF was tolerant of the feelings I still had for my husband and was aware of my desire to still try and reconcile. GF also had been "dumped" by his wife who had not given much explanation why. We were two people who needed and wanted communication in our lives with our spouses but had been denied that. GF used to tell me back then that I had been sent to him. I used to think that he had been sent to me.
At the end of my marriage, I had fallen in love with GF and wanted to marry him. I was frightened of being on my own again and unmarried. Even during the divorce process knowing I was still married gave me some kind of comfort. But GF told me that it was too close to his divorce and he needed time to heal. When I made an effort to start communicating with Husband #2 after the divorce was finalized, I told GF although I do not think he thought it was a good idea or would lead anywhere. I know that he felt it would probably end up hurting me.
As the months went by and I faced the sale of my house, GF's ex-wife remarried, he lost his job and his ex moved out of state with his beloved son. Both of us were dealing with huge losses. I didn't have a lot of energy to expend on his issues - I had too much to handle on my own. We had some rough patches but always ended up getting through them with humor, commitment and lots of communication. I considered breaking things off with him when he didn't want to get married but found that I really missed him when he wasn't part of my life.
I saw the lovely home GF resided in with his ex-wife and son. His ex sold the home for a terrible loss before she moved out of state. I also saw the home GF lived in when he was first married which was closer to the city. GF bought his first place, a condo when he was only 25. He has perfect credit and is financially astute. We are both starting over at this point. As are I suppose many others across the nation. But GF has told me that he wants to be part of a family again, he believes we will be better off for being together and that he loves me. Is he perfect? No. Am I perfect? Certainly not. But he has accepted and loved me at my absolute worst. And he has not rejected me as did Husband #2. Rather he has embraced me and held open his arms. The boys get along with him and like him, even respect him. His son likes me.
GF is kind, optimistic, loyal, tolerant, flexible, enjoys the finer things in life, has a sense of humor, is honest and intelligent. I recently told him that at times he may be a bit too honest and maybe doesn't have to tell it like it is All the time. He has admitted when he has been wrong and says he is sorry. He is a devoted Bears, Cubs and Blackhawks fan. I like his strength and his manly scent. He is there when the going gets rough. He is a very physical guy and likes to show affection, hug, kiss and hold hands. He thanks me when I do so to him. He laughs and shares interesting news tibits that he has heard. He can be vulnerable and admits to it. He is well-balanced, doesn't have anger issues, and has done what he says he would do and doesn't cover up what he can't do. His personality is fun-loving and playful but he is serious when he needs to be.
I think he is overall a pretty decent and all-round nice guy. He knows what commitment is - he has faced adversity - I have seen him react to challenges and he has stood tall - he doesn't have any sexual deviances and he has told me that sex is only one part of a relationship, there are other facets of a relationship that are equally important - he is an extremely devoted father - he does his best to get along with his ex-wife and her new husband - he is attractive - he doesn't like to fight and wants to resolve conflict - he doesn't hang up on me when upset (as did Husband #2) - he communicates well - he is a hard worker - he is neat and tidy in how he lives and dresses.
I have always enjoyed being with him and have loved the comfort he provides me by being in my life. I love men and have so missed having one of my own. He has helped me feel safe and secure. I like the company of men and living with one.
GF's wife just lost her job yesterday. I am still not clear why she ever left GF because he has always been such a great guy to me. I know that she spent more money than he wanted and that was a source of conflict but that would not be an issue in our life together because I have learned to live on little and to appreciate all that money doesn't buy. I have never understood why she did not make any kind of effort to work on their marriage, especially since a child was involved. Sometimes I have thought that both she and Husband #2 were selfish, and acted out of their own desires without much regard for the others in their life who they would end up hurting. I have not had much respect for either of our ex-spouses. On the other hand, GF has been a respectful person to others and I think that I have always tried to think of others before myself.
GF's ex just bought a big mini-mansion type home and moved to a new community. She wasn't satisfied with the life she had here in Illinois. Now that she has lost her high-paying banking VP job will she be able to get another and afford their new home? I see her divorce from GF as such a waste. Will it have been all worth it in the end? The disruption of so many lives? GF told me in the early days that Husband #2's loss was his gain. I suppose I could say the same about GF's ex. We are two people who were very wounded but wound up together despite the odds.
When GF and I went to look for homes in the new town, he dropped me off at the local Panera while he went in to meet with his new boss and co-workers (his new job was right down the street). I sat in front of the gas fireplace where I would wait for him until his meeting was over. I watched GF as he walked out of the restaurant and thought about him being such a good man and a good guy. I heard myself say inside, "If you let him go, he won't last long. Some other woman will see his goodness and snatch him right up." And I thought at that moment that I didn't want to let him go. Why should I let someone else have this decent, honorable guy when he can be mine? I don't think it is easy to find good guys out there or maybe I believe that there aren't that many out there. Or you can find a good guy but it ends up all wrong as it did with Husband #2. There are so many variables to relationships. This one between GF and I seems to click.
Maybe it is finally time for me to say goodbye to some of all this past that has been haunting me for so long and to look ahead more to the future with GF. To think about what we will all gain instead of what will be lost. Maybe GF's optimism and zest for life can rub off on me and the boys. Maybe being in GF's strong embrace is where I now need to be.