Wow Skeeter, I really feel like what you described would be a lot to process for anybody.
Life can feel almost like some crazy competition sometime, with unfair advantages to good looks, money, gender, height, all that socio-economic jazz. Then we can feel like "I'm not going to let their doing better than I am, beat me down" whereas we would be better served by closing our eyes completely to them. Easier said than done!
I was single between XH #1 and this man for just over 11 years but unlike you, I hadn't really gotten to that "happy alone" spot, partly because I had to start from ground zero at age 33, after losing the home I built with my XH, losing my good job, plus the end of that marriage with no family support to fall back on. From all those bad times, I came to feel like I had been left back at the starting gate of Adulthood, while other women my age married, started families, and seemed to be in a better place in life. Then, with one loser BF after another post-D, I wondered what I was doing wrong! I bought a library full of self-help relationship books, what a waste of $$ that was!
Family and friends either said "ALL men are JERKS" (my father's favorite explanation for my bad luck!) or I got the message that somehow I was the problem! I was (choose from): too smart, too intimidating, too successful in a man's world, or even that I came off as too independent! Yada yada yada, but the truth is, I had NO security in my life, other than what my work could provide me. On top of that, to keep getting the message I needed to do something DIFFERENT to change my fate. Almost implying I didn't DESERVE a happy marriage, maybe because my parents hadn't had one, so there wasn't a family model to point to...deep stuff.
I'm sure that kind of insecurity helped me view this "Mr. Nice Guy" as my friends and remaining family did: Marriage Material! My 30's were behind me, I hadn't met anybody else as interested in me as he was and after 4 years of old-fashioned courting, doing holidays together, he did seem like my best bet. (I was sooo feeling old at age 42, when we met!) And it wasn't even a mad, passionate, love-bombing relationship, like I'd had before; he was just Steady Eddie all the way...kept on calling, being generous, etc. But still, I blame myself often for missing a few MAJOR clues, such as condoms in his shaving kit - when we didn't have sex. After we married, it was me finding gross porno sites on my computer (I had to ask an IT guy at work how they got there; was told "somebody's lying: only visited webpages appear in a history log, not just ads or links!" Stupid me...)
I think my FOO (mother D'd father when I was 19, they sold the home, she remarried and adopted 4 stepchildren) truly had a LOT MORE to do with all my journeys than I ever realized. I "fell out of the nest before I could fly!" and had to make do the best I could...
So how's THAT for a Novel? Sorry, I'm old, my stories get long-winded....
We can't get ahead by just beating ourselves up for our adverse former life but I agree that the past needs to be recognized for how events shaped us.
What home project is giving you the most satisfied at the moment?
Hope all are keeping safe and sane.
[This message edited by Superesse at 7:26 PM, August 28th (Friday)]