crash and burn

dsc 8310

I wasn’t officially divorced until much later, far after we’d stopped speaking. He was gone in November, but I was still living in hospital housing until April. The irony wasn’t lost on me that I’d move across the park but still live on our exact same street. 71st street. Only I’d be on the west side of things, near the Museum of Natural History, the most boring museum ever created. My mother and sister said they were worried about me. I seemed too happy, they said. “You haven’t grieved yet,” they told me, the three of us in my king size bed, the one I’d be leaving behind once I made the pilgrimage west to a much smaller apartment, where I’d mock myself by joking about the best peanut butter sandwich I ever had… because I made it in my very own apartment. St. Elmo’s Fire and an assortment of other clitfest films were now allowed to dominate the DVD lineup. “Too happy,” they said shaking their heads.
“Stop doing that. Stop making me feel like I’m doing something wrong by moving on,” I said. But they just looked at each other, as if to say, “she still doesn’t get it.” “I can see you looking at each other,” I said. “What do you want me to do, curl up in bed and refuse to go on living?”
“Well, no. It’s just that it’s going to hit you hard,” my mother said. “Really hard, and at least we’re here now, so if you want to–“
“So if I want to fall apart, I’d better do it now while you guys are here?”

People kept saying I was strong. They couldn’t believe I was back at work, never mind back at dating. What no one seemed to get was that it wasn’t about strength. It was need. I had to move on, and moving on meant finding someone who’d love me faster than he found someone to love him. People would ask me how I was doing, how I had the strength to get back out there–again with that word. I couldn’t NOT date. I needed someone to want me, to tell me I was amazing and beautiful, to say they’d always want me, that their life would never be the same without me. I needed to be wanted, to feel desired, and I wouldn’t learn, not until years later that I needed to give that to myself. Until I did, I’d plunge into one bad “crash and burn” relationship after the next because inevitably it would be hard for any guy to sustain the infatuation period where all I heard was how amazing I was. Soon he’d choose to spend a night at his place instead of mine, and I’d feel rejected, even in the smallest way. No one could need me or want me enough. And when they could, it meant they were even more of a fuck up than I was because they had no life of their own. 

I don’t know that people realize how much this is true, but when my marriage ended, I was ready to pick up where he and I left off with anyone who was willing to play the part. I wasn’t gun-shy. I wasn’t afraid of jumping in too fast. I wanted someone to fill his shoes, to step up without moving slowly. I wanted to pick right up with someone else who was ready, then and there, to start a life with me. I didn’t want to ease into it, get to know each other. I was irritated by the idea that I now had to start all over again, had to learn someone’s likes and dislikes, had to learn what they liked in bed. I saw it as a chore instead of seeing it as the fun part.

I think people who’ve been removed from that experience just assume that you’re going to be gun-shy. They assume you’re going to close yourself off and swear off the opposite sex just to avoid rejection. But that’s not how it happened for me. And as for the crash and burn everyone was waiting for, it didn’t happen until a year later, if that. Because each time a mini-relationship ended, I held it close to the chest. It burned, and the only way I knew how to kill it was to update my online profile and hit the bars. A new guy who showed interest was my constant salve. The cycle repeated, over and over, man after man, break up after break up, until I decided I didn’t want to live like that anymore. That’s when I crawled into fetal position, terrified, that I’d finally need to face what scared me: being alone. 



  1. We have to learn, unfortunately most of us do it the hard way, that to be at least relatively content with life, we have to be able to do it without feeling the absolute need to have that all-important arm to hold on to when we do something, go somewhere; to be a part of someone else's life. Once the realization finally kicks in that at times, it is better to actually like ourselves, that we aren't reliant on others to show our worth to society, the thought of being alone isn't near as scary as it once was. Took me a hell of a long time to accept being alone. I still have little episodes from time to time where I think that would be nice but I no longer look at it as a necessity. At my age, and with the availability levels of single men being pretty sparse where I live, I finally came to accept that being alone isn't really the end of the world as we know it.

  2. I am sure that you hear this all of the time, but this post could be written by me right now. My husband and I split up in May and by June I was well on my way to a new relationship. I didn't want to be alone, I needed someone to NEED me, to WANT me. I was still in a relationship mode…and I wanted him to step right in there. Of course, things went bad, I mean, who didn't see that coming, besides me? So, how did I get over that? Joined eharmony and dated my head off! Right back into another fast relationship…and I find myself at the premature end and wonder if it is even possible for me to take it slow?
    I know in my head, that I need to love me before someone else can…but I am addicted to attention. I am addicted to the male touch. I don't think there is a rehab for that, either.
    So…I guess what I wanted to say, is thank you. Thank you for posting my thoughts, for me to read and try to understand.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I have to tell you, you'll keep doing it, and you'll be controlling. Even when the greatest guy comes along, you'll kill it. You'll kill it because you're afraid. You'll kill it because you'll put up with shit you shouldn't simply because you fear alone. You'll hold onto wrong until your knuckles get white simply because you are that scared of alone. I would know, believe me. The only way through it? I fucking hate saying it because I fucking HATED hearing it, but the only way through it is facing it, head on. I remember the night, even now, so clearly, when I decided to do just that. No more attention. I too was a total addict and didn't know how to feel good about myself without someone there telling me how great I was. I mean, I could make a list of all the reasons I was great, but I didn't FEEL them. That night, when I decided I was going to face this alone business is the night I committed to making myself happy, in a way that no one could ever take away from me by saying, "we need to talk." That's the very night I started this blog. I knew it would be scary, but I knew as hard as it was, if I faced it, I'd be that much stronger and better in the end for doing it. And from there, well, you know what happened.

  3. Let me chime in with my "ME TOO" . . . thankfully, i learned after only one big crash and burn. Part of that learning can be attributed to your book though. Reading it combined with several other experiences and some good friends and some soul-searching . . . really helped me get a grip on what i was doing and what i both needed and WANTED to stop doing. Still definitely learning. Still definitely taking things one step at a time. Still definitely feel lonely more than occasionally. But SO MUCH less lonely than in my craptastic marriage that it's almost inexpressable. All that to say . . . thanks for writing honestly.

  4. Karen, the reason to keep talking about stuff like this is because of commenters like Jodi who are in that same place and who need to know that they're not alone — that others have been through this — that others have made it out the other side and to a better place in their life.

    That's half the reason writing is so amazing — it allows us to dip back into an old part of our life and see it anew, it allows us to share those experiences, and it allows us to do a better job of living the life we have now. Bravo, Stephanie, for going there.

  5. Someone who I was involved with told me, "I can't make you happy. I can only make you happier." So true.

  6. But really, you didn't face being alone for too long b/c you were very much with Phil when you signed the divorce papers. Being for single for long for you might have been six months where long for someone else might be 2 years. I know divorces can drag on for months, years…unofficially (living apart/being legally seperated/fighting over who gets what down to the very last cd).

    I'm never really sure if you happened to get lucky by finding Phil without ever having been single for very long after your marriage ended, or if he's just the one you decided was it come hell or high water b/c you wanted the stability of marriage, to wear your grandmother's rock, to have babies before it's too late (an understandable fear considering how you talked about how hard it was to conceive with your wasband, the m/c with phil and using clomid to help you conceive).

    After being with the prick doctor for years, basically admitting that you didn't care what he wanted, you wanted marriage and babies and waited patiently for both and you didn't care if that's what he wanted you were going to get it, it stikes me as a little odd that you were engaged and trying to have a baby with Phil in under a year (under 10 months?) after meeting him. Not that life is about safety and being careful, but after having gone through the shit-storm with a person you'd known for much longer, my instincts would be to get to know someone slowly and thoughtfully. The fact that you appeared to jump into this so fast just emphasizes what you are saying here. That you were still afraid to be alone. That you didn't trust something (yourself, Phil, your biological clock) enough to give it time. Not that a marriage license or babies keeps anyone if they are determined to go, but again it's like you are looking back and saying "see, i've learned" when you're actions say something completely different. They scream "I'm still that girl that needs to be wanted, needs to win the race, needs to prove how straight up and honest I am to the world, needs validation."

    On a slighty more off topic thought:
    I wonder if part of you love the fact that the wasband is still dating. You admtitted to checking up on him now and then. Wondering if you should e-mail his current girlfriend. I'll admit it, I'd love it If I had everything we had planned together and he was still hitting the scene, but I wonder why you care. It can't be all curiosity. The checking is a subtle acknowledgment that you "won" but I just can't figure out why you'd care, if only to say that what you really hope for is some sort of tangible evidence that he knows he fucked up. It sucks that he fucked with your life like that and then slid away to the arms of his coddling, excuse filled mother and you are still here, seemingly having moved on, occasionally doing a google search of him and making your bread and butter writing about "you" but also…it's about him. How he made you feel when he cheated. How he made you feel when he said he didn't want a family with you. In Moose, how he made you feel when he told you he wasn't attracted to you anymore b/c of the (minor) weight you'd put on.

    His acknowledgement of you exists only in court documents now, but yours of him is here frequently and in 2 books. I don't know, i'm just thinking "out loud" about things that I wonder about.

    FROM STEPHANIE: It's here because I'm now writing a television show about it all, and I need to remember it all. I need to remind myself of what it was really like so that I write it honestly, even if I am now fictionalizing it… it still needs to be true to the feelings I had. When I had to google him last, Phil was actually googling with me. We needed his contact info to give to a major women's magazine, as they needed to fact check.

    As for not being alone for too long, that I was "very much with Phil" when I signed my divorce papers… um, no. Gabe was out of the picture, out of my life, in November 2002. I didn't sign divorce papers until 2005. I started this blog in January 2004. There was PLENTY of time to be alone before I was ready for a relationship with Phil, which didn't really become official until July of 2005, even though I'd been unknowingly "dating him" since February, 2005. Come 2005, Gabe was refusing to sign divorce papers, threatening that it would be hard to publish a book about divorce if I wasn't actually divorced. At that point I was with Phil, yes. But there was a whole lotta single and alone between 2002 and 2005. After knowing Phil for 10 months I was ready to make babies. I didn't care if I was married or not. I trusted him and knew he wasn't going anywhere. I didn't need the ring or the marriage. I knew we'd be together. I got pregnant, then miscarried in January 2006. We married in September 2006.

  7. thank you. even though you are, as one commenter put it, "onto an entire new life", i think it's always a good reminder – to all of us, as well as to yourself – of how you got there. cheers.

  8. This is definitely how I get over relationships- and even how I get over not-relationships. I yearned so hard for people to like me, to see what I saw on the inside… and now that I have a better sense of confidence that relies on myself rather than others, I still long for human touch. For a man's touch. Even after my last relationship crashed and burned with flying colors… I didn't know how else to heal myself. I was in auto-pilot. Not only with dating, but even with getting a man to touch me (etc.) no-strings-attached. In fact I often go straight for that, knowing that it's immediate gratification without the work of finding a date. It's vindication, knowing that you'll be touched or "loved" again, even if it's not from whom you want at the time. At least now that phase doesn't last as long and I move on to other healing things, like movie nights and art and traveling somewhere alone. I need to work on getting to the ME part faster. Frankly, I should be doing the ME thing every day.

  9. Yeeeeah, that stuff about being gun-shy? That only happens to men. I don't necessarily move on quickly to other men, though I do usually need a rebound to make me feel better, but my habit is to cut off all ties with that person. It's all or nothing. It's a terrible way to handle things, and I'm working on it.
    I liked this post. During the mini relationships did you ever find yourself doing crazy shit to try to prolong the relationship, or rather prolong him "leaving you" (even when it was simply him doing crap with his friends or like you said, spending the night at his own place)?

  10. Just we are on to a "new Life" doesn't erase the old life.

    I still talk about my wasband. He's not part of my life anymore. I don't even talk to him, but he comes up when I reflect with friends about how I have changed, about how the marriage changed me. He comes up when I date someone, when I think about wanting to date someone.

    We are all a sum of our experiences. Pretty damn normal that this shit comes up again :)

  11. Danielle:

    I divorced my sad excuse for a husband and was a single mom for 2 years, and didn't date anyone at all during that time. I ended up marrying the first guy I dated, and I am so happy that I did. He is everything I've always dreamed of…and then some. We got married 12 months after our first date. Best. Man. Ever.

  12. "I wanted to pick right up with someone else who was ready, then and there, to start a life with me. I didn't want to ease into it, get to know each other. I was irritated by the idea that I now had to start all over again, had to learn someone's likes and dislikes, had to learn what they liked in bed. I saw it as a chore instead of seeing it as the fun part. "

    Do you think your urgency earlier contributes to the struggles you and Phil are going through now? Do you (and Phil) ever wish you would have taken the time to get to know each other earlier, and do you think it would have changed the path of things?

  13. Stephanie, I absolutely love when you go back "there" and when you reveal another part of yourself that maybe you didn’t in previous posts. Reflections and occasional reminiscing, gives us the strength and the reminder that we did the right thing.

    I know as I sit back and reflect on my cheater head boyfriend at the time, I smile at the fact that I know I did the right thing. The night I found out, I packed all of his shit up and threw it into the trash. For someone else, this may have been extreme and a bit childish but for me, it was exactly what I needed to do. I felt like Angela Basset in Waiting to Exhale, (Minus the fire).

    After that experience, I hit the bars and had a few flings but I knew it was NOT what I was looking for or what I needed. So I cleaned myself up and got busy doing things that made me happy. I don't let a day go by without asking myself, "Nicole, what would make you happy today?" As women, we deserve to be treated with the utmost respect at all times and if that certain man in our lives isn’t going to give it to us then BUH-BYE!! I know it sounds easier said then done but it's our birthright to be happy. We must learn how to respect and love ourselves, like you mention all the time Stephanie. How can you expect someone else to love you or even know you for that matter, if you don't even love or know yourself?!

    So from a 22 year old living in the Bay Area, I thank you for going there once again. I’m just a young woman trying to figure it all out and make decisions that reflect my beliefs and morals. It is women like you that I look up to for guidance and inspiration even though we live miles apart.

  14. I didn’t mean to imply that you went from idiot doctor to phil in 3 short weeks. But you have (in this very post) admitted to several “crash and burn” experiences after separating from the above mentioned idiot. There are at least 2 guys before phil who were important enough to name (well, give a moniker to), another doctor who you met at the ‘bucks and made it into your first book as well as that guy whose name starts with a T. I wanna say Tucker, but I’m too lazy to check for accuracy (like I was too lazy to proofread my last post…eeegads! The spelling and grammar mishaps are cringe worthy. That’s one for my scrapbook of bad writing).

    With those two minor relationships, the many crash and burn experiences you’ve written about (both in the book, on the blog and I’m sure, not at all) I still wonder if you gave yourself time to breath. I can see where your mother and sister were coming from, that’s all. November 2002 to the beginning of February 2005 ain’t that long, and by no means were you single and rebuilding your self worth during the aprx. 2 years. From what I can gather you were actively dating (tool time guy and pam cooking spray come to mind) as well as being in at least 2 noteworthy relationships prior to Phil. Maybe you were building your self worth by seeing yourself through the eyes of all the guys who wanted to date you, who told you you were beautiful, who wanted to sleep with you. Making sure you were still attractive and desirable after douchebagette fled with his tail between his legs.

    I also didn’t mean to imply that I think there is anything wrong with having a baby before marriage. I don’t. But I find it hard to believe you would have been happy without eventually marrying Phil. Before or after the tots. You strike me, like myself, as someone who cherishes commitment. I don’t care how many times A guy says he’s committed to me, if we both say we’re in love, then why not make it legal. I find it highly doubtful that you would have the same relationship with Phil if he said to you, “I love you, I want you to be the mother of my kids, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but, eh, I don’t really want to get married again.” I think marriage, the institution, is important to you, as it is to me and to say that you “didn’t care if you were married or not” rings a bit false.

    I don't know why I remember certain things about what you've written. I have a strange memory when it comes to certain topics. Your blog is a little bit like trivia. I can recall specific things and yet, in real life, I can't for the life of me remember my social security number sometimes.

  15. i listen to myself more now because of the years i've read through this blog. that's the strength i find most valuable in you, stephanie – that you listen to who you are and what you want and allow yourself to pursue those instincts. it's not easy, and it won't always prove to be the best idea in the world, but there's something that comes out of each choice for the better. i fear outcomes less knowing that people like you stepped out there and did it their way (shamelessly) and found a family, success and a better self-image in the process. this post speaks to me moreso today than any other because of my own personal circumstance, and i feel lighter and more confident as a result. many thanks. have a delicious thanksgiving.

  16. Hi Stephanie,
    As you know we're less than two days from Thanksgiving. I am a fellow foodie, and I always enjoy reading your holiday menus and recipes. With that, what are you cooking for Thanksgiving this year. What are some amazing side dishes you would suggest? I am totally bored with the same o same o. I want to shake it up and do something that is so good I want to sew my ass shut! So if you have any ideas I would love to hear them. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. Once again Stephanie-you have touched on a subject that I am all to familiar with. I am finally at peace with being alone. After a 9 year marriage; I have been separated and then divorced now for 8 years. I have had a few relationships but nothing really panned out. Yes, I would love a companion, but I focus my energy on my two children who are (14) and (11). The idea of going to a bar repulses me and I live in a bedroom community in CT so it is "slim pickings" so to speak. I wholeheartedly agree with your first commenter, Jeni-
    that being alone is not the worst thing in the world-

  18. I was wondering how much the main character of the show is going to be "you" in every way, or a fictionalized, perhaps exaggerated character?
    I guess it's been a while since I read it, but I don't remember you writing about this initial "happiness" after your separation. How do you tell the difference between "good" instincts like this, and when you were sure you weren't rushing things with Phil as others thought, from the "bad" instincts which are bad habits all over again?

  19. 'cl**fest' is such a gross noun! Please come up with something cheekier and not so disgusting.

    Mus of Natural History is a wonderful museum- just had to disagree w you there.

  20. The thing is, right now I'm single and happy by myself and I'm not looking for anyone at the moment – no crash/burn scenario for me (though I wouldn't mind having a boyfriend). I know I don't need a man to have a great life. BUT I wonder how long this strong feeling will last. I'm only 25, have been single little over a year now (not including a failed retry with my ex in July). Will I still feel this way after I've been single for 2, 3, maybe 7 years? Will lonelyness and a desire/need to be wanted lead me to desperate dating? I'm a bit scared for what's to come.

    If you hadn't found Phil and would still be single now, do you think you would've been able to hold on to your strenght?

  21. I loved SUAD but totally felt that all of your empowerment was found by finding Phil. I did not at all get a sense that you embarced your alone-ness, even though you said you did, and I felt that surge of strength was totally based on falling for Phil. Had your ending not been tied up in him, it may have been more believable. I think there is power in saying, "I know myself and I feel best when I am in a relationship."

  22. Hi Stephanie, thank you for sharing.
    I did the exact same thing. Well. to an extent anyway. I set all of the parameters, I wanted to have all of the control. I was so irritiated that I'd have to relearn someone and they would have to learn me. I didnt want to do it. I used to tell my friends I was going to just set up applications for anyone who wanted to date me. I'd list my good and my bad, and ask them to fill out a survey. Less work. As a matter of fact; online. I wouldnt have to even read it.

    Then when I re-learned my priorities. When I was happy as 'me'. Enjoyed my alone. Thats when I met my new guy. I learned that the getting to know each other is the fun part. Although; he still does tell me I'm amazing and its long past the infatuation part! :)

    I'm very happy for you that its worked out much better now!

  23. hi again.
    I admire that you can honestly and nicely answer someone elses introspective view of you. When people stop to realize that every moment of your life is not recorded word for word, detail for detail and second for second in this blog. That there are thoughts, times, details that are left out. Therefore, without having gone through those moments with you, we cant really know how you were or what you did or coped. We can gain an understanding, or an overview, but we cant begin to believe that we have the ability to scrutinize you.

    I thank you for your honesty. I also say, be thankful for what you have. God moves fast, in Gods time He helps us out. It saddens me that others would like to downplay the marriage that you have, the decisions you made or the life that you live. They might be right; I wouldnt know.

    It doesnt make sense to me to downplay anothers happiness. So may God grant all of those who cant share your joy; their own sources of joy.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Thank you. You have no idea how hard it is…sometimes I just want to shake people.

  24. once again, this describes me and every instinct i'm trying to fight. it's nice to read this and know it's possible to move on from such co-dependent behavior. and Carol from SA, i'm not sure where the divorce took place, but if it was New York, I know first hand that it takes years to finalize a divorce here. one of the most difficult ones around. the laws here are outdated and frustrating.

  25. I found The Four Agreements to be a rational and very helpful way to deal with my interactions with people. Check it out. There are only 4 basic things:

    1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. Words have immeasurable power, so use them with care. Say only what you mean, and remember your opinion isn’t fact. Silence is better than saying something you’ll regret.

    (2) Don't Take Anything Personally. What anybody thinks about you, or says about you, is really about them. If you take the poison of another's words personally, it becomes a very negative agreement you have made with yourself. This also applies to compliments. Neither negative remarks or compliments are the measure of your worth.

    (3) Don't Make Assumptions. You can spend hours generating theories and angst about why someone did something or you can just ask.

    (4) Always Do Your Best. Do the best you can with the conflict in front of you, and you won’t need to waste brain power on self-judgements or regrets.

  26. I agree with so many posters! You are a poser who would still be out there trolling for male validation. It seeps thru your writing – the desperation to not be alone. Yeah, wouldn't have been a pretty sight if Philly didnt come along….y'all can't hide on here! You are the SAME PERSON!!!!

    All of your "empowerment" diatribes are hooey!

  27. What a fascinating post and comments – thank you Linda O. for those 4 agreements – I'm going through some tough stuff right now – and that reaffirms the person that I have created and have been in the 9+ years of my divorced life.

    Thank you too, Stephanie, for sharing. I am always impressed with your honesty. When people ask why I don't start a blog, all I have to do is imagine what you must feel when you get these deeply personal, wounding attacks. And I happily slide back into anonymity.

    Finding ones self. Finding peace in your soul. Find a way to balance your world. It is so hard…and yet so vital.

    I made a comittment when I divorced that I wouldn't date, wouldn't introduce drama into our world…and now that the darlings are older, they thank me for this regularly. Not only in words, but by amazing grades, no screwing around, no substance abuse…they are copying what they've seen in me. Calm. Contentment. Inner peace. Kindness. Strength.

    My daughters and I sometimes watch things like 'Whose Wedding is it Anyway?' but always with my ongoing paranthetical conservation that there are so many other things to strive for in life – education, health, loving yourself, finding happiness alone and within, not just getting married. I love the fact that they are now putting marriage and weddings into perspective – not the final and ultimate goal – and that if they are to find love, they must love themselves first.

  28. Why aren't we talking about menus for Thanksgiving? I'm making a sage butter, cornbread stuffing turkey for two. Anyone? Anyone?

    FROM SK: Sadly I'm so sick. Can't breathe. Each time I blow my nose it sounds like a door creaking. I won't be able to taste anything. And I'm still on deadline. It's just not the same when you're sick on thanksgiving. Makes me thankful for all the days I have where I can actually taste and smell foods.

  29. I reacted the same way to my divorce and I almost married my rebound guy. Thankfully i caught myself in time. That would have been a REAL disaster.

  30. I agree with OY Vay Goil about Stephanie being a Poseur and with Danielle's eloquent posts. I don't remember all the things that Danielle does and haven't been reading these blogs for that long or consistently because I get irritated.

    There is nothing Avant-Garde about Stephanie. She has old-fashioned values. She wanted the family and the house and in her case flashy 4×4 at a young age. The getting pregnant first was to seal the deal with Phil. My opinion to all you SK sheep. I do believe marriage was extremely important, for security as well as getting to wear a rock and a diamond wedding band. No amount of cool cocktail rings would compensate for rings that say "I'm married, and I married well." She does need a man for validation, and grabbed a good catch.

  31. To "Steph" above, given that Stephanie had the security of the rock long before she even met Phil, your comment makes no sense. As for "married well" again, she didn't get the ring from Phil, so you sound like a complete idiot. And to agree with OyVayGoil, we all know there's something wrong with your thinking. Just look at the tone and anger that are so clearly yours and OyVay's own issues. I wish people could have a meetup so we could see you in person and how terribly much you want to be liked.

  32. To "Amanda" my name is Stephani so that is my real name. I wasn't going to dignify your attack since you are typical of the SK herd.

    There is no anger here – just my opinion. I feel that SK is contradictory. I have a life and didn't know the true origin of her rock. I don't go back to the archives or read the posts on a daily basis. Even so, if she weren't married or engaged it would be stupid to wear her grandma's rock. It's even flashier and showy to wear it on the same hand with a diamond eternity band, hence her wanting to be married. Nothing wrong with that if that's your thing.

    My post had nothing to do with me wanting to be liked. I have a successful career, married well, have 3 healthy children. I have the jewelry, which my husband bought for me. I know what I have and don't need to flaunt it. People that I am associated with know that about me. If we had a lame "meetup" your opinion of me would mean nothing.

    Your lashing out at me for my OPINION about your hero makes you look like the IDIOT. Get a life!

  33. I experienced the very same thing after my marriage of 18 years broke up. It's tough. I have forgiven my ex for what he has done to hurt me, but will never be able to forgive him for what his lack of self-control did to our two daughters and their emotional well-being.
    What I have learned is your relationship does not define who you are–when it's all said and done, you are still you. I have learned so much about myself.

  34. "Steph"–First, I apologize that your parents gave you a name that ends with an "i"–says more about you than you know.

    Second, "contradiction" is human. It's preferable.

    By your logic, you're saying Stephanie wanted to be married, so much so that (gasp) she wears her engagement ring on the same finger as her wedding band. Do you realize how ridiculous that statement is? You actually wrote: "It's even flashier and showy to wear it on the same hand with a diamond eternity band, hence her wanting to be married." WHAT?

    As for "People that I am associated with know that about me"… HA! Of course they do. I bet you make a point of telling them exactly how modest you are. And that's the key. You're one of those people who has to tell people because you're that insecure. Why else would you write, "I have the jewelry, which my husband bought for me."

    You're so silver spoon, paper plate, and you probably think that's a compliment. But then again, who can fault you? Your name does end with an "i."

  35. I'm just now catching up on all of the posts, so I know I'm a little late, but I found such value in this post! (Minus some of these critics who don't appreciate that by remembering the past, you continue to grow into your future!) I recently ended a 3 year relationship with my boyfriend who I thought I was going to marry. For the past 7 months we have been off and on as I was ready for him to make a deeper commitment to me and he said he wasn't ready. I compromised, waited, dated others and we were like magnets, always ending up back together. Recently I was diagnosed with cancer and it changed "the game". Even though I am doing fine and will do fine, cancer changed the way I thought about this relationship. I figured, "Gosh, Im doing everything in my power to make this relationship work, but what is he doing?" He's made it clear that hes not ready to marry me, that he wants to have his cake and eat it too, that he loves me but he still wants to see if the grass is greener on the other side before settling down..blah blah blah. I crashed and burned in the on and off again 7 month time frame and attracting the same type of screwy guys and recently, just made the decision, that Im just going to try this life alone for awhile. I'm scared to death and I still have men who are interested in me, but my goal is to try and redefine who I am, my values on my needs and no longer on his. I'm no longer calling and cut if off cold turkey. It's so hard, but when I have any doubts, I read your blog and find strength and comfort not only with dating, but with life.

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