A lot has changed! I am living by myself and I love it. I miss having my children live with me...they are staying with their dads full time for now bc I am considered an essential employee and I go to work Monday through Saturday. The girls and I get together 3 to 4 times a week and go for a walk or eat take out with my parents (we sit 6 feet apart outside on my parents' deck.)
I started dating in February. I met a man I really liked. We had a lot In common and got along well. 4 weeks in I realized that he was still emotionally attached to his ex wife even though they had been divorced for 9 years. I ended it. I was very proud of myself for recognizing it after only 4 weeks. It took me 14 years to accept that my 2nd husband was still attached to his ex wife. I met another man I really liked. I quickly realized that he was not good for me. I held on longer than I should have, but it was a very short time... I held on for 3 weeks after realizing it instead of 10 years (1st husband) or 8 years (2nd husband).
I'm now in a relationship with a great guy. We've been seeing each other for 6 weeks. Before I met him, I hoped that someday I would have a happy relationship. I was anticipating that being in a happy relationship would feel like a dream come true after being neglected by my 2nd husband and abused by my 1st husband. Instead, everything feels right. I am very happy. I am not on edge or confused or exhausted. He is very sweet to me. A week into our relationship I had to have a root canal. He took me to the dentist, waited for me in the car, took me home, went to the pharmacy and picked up my prescriptions, and took care of me. He makes dinner for me. He is even helping me pack. (I am moving to a new place next week.) He talks to me about his life (his work, his house search, conflict with his brother, his plans for the future). He asks my opinion. He does not ask me to decide for him. He does not ask me to fix anything for him. It is so refreshing. He is a fully functioning adult. He handles his life all by himself.
Everything feels completely different and yet it feels like this is how it is supposed to be. I feel very lucky. I also feel very proud of the hard work I have done with my therapist and on my own to continue to heal and recover from childhood neglect and abuse and husband neglect and abuse.
It's too soon to tell whether or not this relationship is going to be long term. I feel happy and excited. I love myself and I like myself in this relationship. I don't have to choose between taking care of myself and taking care of him. He takes care of himself, I take care of myself, and we take care of each other. It feels right.
I wish all of you the very best. You deserve every happiness. Thank you for always listening and being so kind when I was struggling with my ex who has ADD.