Life is Better on My Terms

A tweet reminds me of a life I didn’t like very much.

On January 14, 2008, I tweeted:

I’ve gotten very good at making my coffee in the semi-darkness so I don’t wake my parrot.

I don’t know where I was when I tweeted that, but I do remember too many mornings when I tiptoed around our Phoenix condo before dawn so as not to wake my husband’s roommate. As an early riser, every morning at the condo when his roommate was around was an ordeal for me.

You see, when I was in the condo, my parrot Alex was there, too. If I woke Alex up, Alex would start her morning routine, which is very vocal. That, in turn, would wake my husband’s roommate and make him hate me even more than he already did. The result: an even less comfortable situation the rest of the time we were all there together.

So I tip-toed around, making my coffee in the near-dark. And then I sat silently on the corner of the sofa in the dark, drinking my coffee, waiting for my husband or his roommate to wake up so I could make noise, too.

Things are different now. I don’t have to pretend to like something I don’t — namely, living in the cavelike condo my husband selected as a real estate investment — one that immediately went under water and made him a slave to a job he hated. I don’t have to keep the same hours as someone else. I don’t have to live my life a certain way just to make someone else happy.

Seeing this tweet today, copied to my Facebook timeline, really reminded me of how much better off I am finally living life on my own terms.

14 thoughts on “Life is Better on My Terms

  1. I’m really glad you see the really good part of your situation. I too am enjoying living the rest of my life on my own terms. As you know, there is never any reason to be “lonely”. We are lucky to have great memories with our men, whether lost through death or divorce, and personally I will continue to enjoy life on my own terms.

  2. Ah! Yep, this is one of the many things I so appreciate about being divorced. No more rules like that and I adore being able to enjoy life on my own terms, set my own schedule, all of it. Even when my kids were still growing up and at home after my divorce, the immense freedom to enjoy life on my own terms was exhilarating.

    And no, I haven’t been lonely in all these years of being divorced. I have such a rich life and have so much going on.

    • It’s because we have rich lives that we don’t need a partner. I haven’t had a dull day since I returned home in September. I’ve made new friends, started new hobbies, and kept busy doing all kinds of things. I sleep when I want, I eat when I want, and I go where I want when I want. My life is richer now than ever. I obviously didn’t need a mate to be happy.

      The same can’t be said for my husband, who apparently wanted to leave me for quite a while but was too cowardly to do so until he had my replacement in place to lead him by the hand. Treating him like an adult who would “get over it” was one of my mistakes. Not leaving him when the situation got intolerable was another. (Seriously: sneaking around the condo so I wouldn’t wake his roommate? What the hell was I thinking?) In all honesty, he did give me the freedom I needed for most things. But what good is freedom when you’re made to feel guilty every time you exercise it?

  3. Well, I’m not sticking up at ALL for him, and I hope you know that as I say this: some people just aren’t cut out to be by themselves (in terms of a romantic partner), even for 24 hours. My ex-husband is that way also. I don’t think he’s literally gone even 24 hours – no exaggeration – since his teenage years or younger without at LEAST one or more women he’s romantically involved with and more that he’s got his eye on… and they often overlap from what I’ve seen and experienced.

    Back in the old days I was naive enough to take it personally until I learned that I had absolutely nothing to do with how he was/is regarding women.

    I thrive and need time alone, but I’ve always been that way, whether I have a romantic partner in my life or not. Not everyone is like that, though.

  4. I might agree with you except for one thing, Shirley: by his own choice, he lived alone in an apartment in New Jersey one week every month for YEARS. And a few years later, by his own choice, he left me behind almost every weekday while he lived in the Phoenix condo.

    I think as he aged he regressed mentally to NEED a woman around him all the time. But I apparently wasn’t what he wanted — even when I moved into that miserable condo, he wasn’t happy. He wanted a mommy, someone to take care of him and cater to his every need. I wanted a man, not a baby, and never even considered treating him like the whining, sulking child he had become.

    I’d like a romantic partner, but I don’t think I want a live-in partner again. Too much baggage.

  5. Maria, I’ve read several of your posts and was just wondering why you never had a “sit-down” with the room mate and tried to clear the air? It would drive me crazy as to why there was so much undeserved animosity.

    • Sorry about the delay. Sometimes I moderate and approve comments on my iPad when I have a few spare moments. Sometimes it’s not convenient for me to respond right away. Sometimes I just forget.

      Some people are just not interested in discussion. When you attempt to explore more deeply why they behave a certain way, they react by going on the defensive. They deny that there’s a problem and try to make it seem as if you’re imagining things. That’s what this man was like.

      At this point, it’s too late. I’m quite convinced that my husband’s roommate encouraged him to find my replacement. With my husband under the control of another woman, there’s no point in having any discussion with him now or anytime in the future. It’s water under the bridge.

      • Ok, I see. I was under the impression there was maybe a pseudo friendship with he & his wife. You’re certainly right about recognizing someone who is open to talking things through, and those that have the drapes drawn (so to speak).

        • I’ve known my husband’s old roommate and his wife for more than 10 years. I thought they were friends. But when the roommate moved in, his behavior toward me was on the verge of hostile most times. He was extremely argumentative — the kind of thing where you say, “It’s a nice day,” and he has to point out what’s wrong with it just to make you understand that you’re wrong. It got to the point where any time I was involved in a conversation that he was part of, I could expect a disagreement. That really got on my nerves over time. Having to live under the same roof with him part-time, knowing that he was a paying tenant that my husband needed to help pay the rent, was a royal pain in the ass. I was glad to see him go, but apparently he was one of a handful of people who “advised” my husband while I was away. His dislike of me was likely instrumental in supporting my husband’s decision to try online dating to find my replacement. His wife’s failure to respond to any of my attempts to communicate with her pretty much backs up my conclusions — they were never really my friends. Very sad to me; I really liked her and thought she was a good person.

          • That’s too bad Maria. Real friends are so hard to come by. Funny you should mention people that are argumentative and hostile; went to a comedy club this weekend. Two acts. The first one was good and I enjoyed it. The second was a whole other ball of wax. Our table & chairs were basically on the stage and I was so close I could have reached out and shook the guys hand without standing up. A few drunk hecklers shouted out some things, but nothing really out of the usual for a scene with alcohol and comedy. The comedian was reeeaaaalllyyy hostile towards anyone that yelled out or left to use the bathroom or order a drink. It got so bad I felt like I was being held hostage. My point is, I can understand your wanting to avoid all contact with him. I wanted to slide off of my seat and crawl to the door and run to my car.
            I am going through an impending divorce as well, so I can understand the rainbow of feelings you go through. One day you’re happy to be young enough and resilient enough to maybe try it again down the road, and the next you want to check yourself in to a mental hospital because you’re a complete psycho mess. I have found that the further along into the process, the better I am. I used to want to talk about it incessantly. Now, I’m rather bored with the whole tragic topic (mine, not yours).
            I’d buy you a beer if I was close by. So instead,
            (Ciber) Bottoms Up Maria!

            • Jeez! What an uncomfortable situation. I would probably have walked out and complained to management. (I have very thick skin in certain situations; obviously, not my divorce, though.) Did any of the audience enjoy his abuse of audience members? What a jerk.

              I know EXACTLY what you mean about the rainbow of feelings. (Another great way to put it!) And, like you, I’m getting better every day. Ironically, I’m also bored about the topic — but I still blog about it. I think it’s because I’m hoping that by blogging about a very specific topic — in this case, my mental state — I can get it out once and for all, and not have to talk about it again.

              But it doesn’t work that way. Invariably, someone asks how things are going and I have to fill them in. One question leads to another. Sometimes angry or tearful rants erupt. It sucks. I can’t wait for it to be over so I can get my life back on track.

              They’ve dragged this out so damn long, hurting both of us and costing us tens of thousands of dollars. And for what? It’s so freaking stupid.

              • Why yes, there were some masochists in the audience that enjoyed every ounce of hostility the “comedian” could hurl out.
                STBX made a comment to me this past weekend that he didn’t like me talking to my sister (twin) or other people about what was going on…ready for this…but, “Understands that his lack of talking has a lot to do with our impending divorce”. Some one bring me a drink!!

                • Hey, at least he’s talking to you. Mine is AFRAID to talk to me without his mommy/girlfriend telling him what to say. So sad. So very sad.

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