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Friends and Fun

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countrydirt posted 12/27/2020 16:28 PM

I took a drive to the mountains today. I decided, on the spur of the moment, to take the same drive which my XW and took back in June when it was obvious that I was done with her. The drive in June was a last ditch effort to get her to talk to me.

So today I drove it, but reversed the route and stopped at both places we stopped before and took a moment to quietly reclaim my life. I had 2 silicone wedding rings and left one in each place. I thought I would be more emotional about it, but actually felt a lightness in my chest and I guess my spirit that I haven't felt in quite a while.

It's all about letting go and moving on. I'm hoping for some fresh snow this week in those same mountains so I can go snowshoeing and work out a few more kinks.

Hutch posted 1/1/2021 03:08 AM

I just got caught up on your posts. So happy Christmas ended up being a great day. Congrats too in taking a step to reclaiming your life. Letting go is a difficult process. Big hugs to you for taking that step.

Happy New Year!

countrydirt posted 1/2/2021 07:57 AM

Well, I met a new friend after Christmas and before the New Year. She lives about 60 miles away, so I actually had work to go see her. We had a nice walk on a cold day and then back to her house for coffee. Needless to say, things escalated quickly and well, apparently I've still got it.

But, as I drove away, I realized that in my heart, I felt like I was cheating on my ex. It made me feel bad for this new friend because it is not her fault, but she feels like it is.

I'm so not ready.

My adventure friend and I talked quite a bit about the situation. Her thoughts are that I will know when I'm ready and like all of you, told me to take my time and not push anything. She said to be picky and particular.

Oh and in case you are wondering, my adventure friend is on the one that I've mentioned repeatedly in this thread. We're settling into more a brother/sister relationship and having fun. We spent all day on Christmas together, kayaking, hiking, eating, laughing. Rode bikes with her and her mother the next day.

countrydirt posted 1/9/2021 08:48 AM

I've been going to a gym off and on (more off than on) over the past 5 years. The trainer is a retired Army Ranger and a really good guy. He's had a batch of older ladies who have been working with him for quite a few years. I refer to them as the "Old Broads" but in reality, we are all about the same age - late 50's and enjoy working out together. Like many of us, the new year brought out a renewed sense of commitment to really get in shape this year!

With the changes in pandemic manipulating guidelines, the gym is pretty much opened back up and we have been hitting our classes pretty hard and getting in better shape and commiserating about sore muscles and recovery.

On Thursday of this week, I sat down in my recliner after my school day was done and the next thing I knew, it was 6:30 and I woke up refreshed, even if I missed out on weights. Lo and behold, one of the old broads sent me a teasing text about being lazy and not coming to the gym. So I made sure and promise to be there on Friday.

These old broads (and the trainer) have been very supportive and so very helpful to me. Several are married, a couple are single and the trainer is just a great guy. The married ones are always saying stuff like, "You're going to be alright" and "You're doing this! You've got your best life started!" I teach with the niece of one of them, so we are all turning into good friends. It is nice.

I'm realizing, slowly, that people do want to help. I've always tried to be really selfless and help others out, but not always very open to being helped myself. But honestly, it feels really good to know that my friends do care about me.

I think sometimes we (of this community) get so self-absorbed in our own misery or recovery that we can't recognize that good people are out there and want us to be happy. Not all of our friends have been through what we are, but they are good people with good hearts and want to help.

I spent so many years self-isolating my world with my ex and my sons that I forgot how much fun other people can be. The youngest of the old broads and I are striking up a teasing/flirting friendship and it is so much fun yet neither feel any pressure (besides, I think she could break me in half if I did anything untowards). A newer member of the class has started giving me hugs at the end of the workout and even invited me to go grab a bite to eat sometime. Of course, all the other old broads give me hugs too, so not that surprising. Bonding through physical activity is good and well, we all sweat and smell bad together.

But my day got even more interesting after the workout. I had just gotten into my vehicle and was heading home when my adventure friend called and asked if I had eaten yet. I told her that I was just leaving the gym and she said to head to her house for homemade menudo. So I did. I've never been to her house when her kids are with her. So I met her oldest and youngest, had some excellent menudo, helped her get stuff off the high shelves, heard about her business, visited with her mom (who lives in a closeby apartment) for a while and had a very enjoyable evening.

I've never really had female friends. Since I'm not into professional sports, drinking beer, monster trucks, etc, I don't really have male friends.

The female of the species is very interesting.

countrydirt posted 1/10/2021 07:29 AM

I am going back to counseling for a bit. As much of a happy face as I try to put on my life, I'm still an emotional mess. Talking to friends and blogging and journaling help, but I think a little dispassionate professional help would be good. My insurance and employer provide for 8 sessions for no cost and after that, if I still need it, the copay is pretty low.

I just so want to be better right now! But I know that it takes time. You can't undo the damage of infidelity overnight and just let go of 32 mostly good years with a snap of the fingers.

The counselor I'm seeing helped me realize that I needed to make the decision to divorce back in the summer, so I won't have to go through the entire history with him. I just need to recognize where I am right now and move forward from here, not delve back into the past and dredge up the pain.

phmh posted 1/10/2021 12:18 PM

I'm so glad that you are getting physical activity, making new friends, and taking time for yourself in IC.

It's unfair that healing from this takes longer than it should. But you are making great progress!

I also used to have a huge problem with accepting help from people. But I read something that talked about how most people like to help, so if you never allow they to help you, you are denying them the pleasure of helping. I didn't write that as eloquently as it was written at the time, but that's the way it stuck out at me and why I now accept and even ask for help when I know that the person would love to help, just as I love to help my friends.

Great progress! So excited to see what the future has in store for you!!!

countrydirt posted 1/13/2021 05:59 AM

On Sunday, my adventure friend and I went out in the cold, cold weather and met some of her friends at a winery for a tasting. It was fun and cold. After, we headed to a hot springs pool and soaked for about 4 hours and had our first real hug and face to face staring with smiles and just a little smooch before the pool lady chased us out.

We're going back tonight. I invited her to my place for carnitas and she suggested that we take it with us back to the hot springs for the evening, so we did the Covid deal and made our individual reservations online and set a time. Now I have to figure out how to keep food hot for a few hours...

It is the last week of remote school for me, so I have some flexibility with my schedule. Normally I wouldn't make any evening plans during the week, but hell, I'm free and finally legally single, so I can do what I want!

countrydirt posted 1/15/2021 08:14 AM

Updating again - my adventure friend and I almost froze to death at the hot springs (well, not literally) as it was windy day and I think the atmosphere sucked all the good heat out of the pool, but we still had a nice time. My divorce had only been final for about 24 hours, but she said how much she liked seeing me smile and had not seen me look this happy in the nearly 6 months we've been hanging out and having adventures.

I had told her much of my story, but not all of it, so we sat down on the phone yesterday and she listened to me for about an hour as I went back through the timeline even going back before the cheating started to let her into my thought process and what all I did leading up to the ultimate decision to divorce. I explained that at the end of the day, I wanted to make certain that I had done all I could and if it wasn't enough, then so be it. In hindsight (don't we all have perfect 20/20 hindsight?) I could see that my XW repressed her sexuality for pretty much the entire marriage and I told my adventure friend that and even went into some pretty explicit details.

Adventure friend's response was, "Well, that explains why you have been so hesitant. I can't imagine what that did to your mind!"

She did laugh at me a bit because as an older polite gentleman, I don't always use all the precise words in regards to sex and use descriptions with a bit on innuendo like "she changed her grooming habits downstairs" instead of "she shaved her pubic hair" or "we started doing things in the bedroom that I never imagined" instead of "she wanted me to f**K her in the @55" Friend made me say the words and laughed at my innocence and politeness - in a good and friendly way.

She came over for dinner last night and we talked and laughed for a good hour or so and ended the evening with a long hug and she headed to her home to get ready for a ski trip this weekend. Her last words were, "I wish you were going with me" instead of her friends. "I would rather be in your company..." Made me smile.

I'm going to see my counselor this morning to continue working on the healing.

countrydirt posted 1/15/2021 15:44 PM

I've also learned that being a man who cooks makes me interesting to some people.

countrydirt posted 1/18/2021 11:34 AM

I realized something over the weekend. I'm happy. It was somewhat of a stunner. I've been sad for so long that it completely took me aback.

Adventure texted me and said she was afraid someone had knocked her fence down again and tried to steal her truck. She was off on a ski weekend with a girlfriend and messaged me when she was about half an hour away. So I loaded up my cordless drills and headed to her house. I was there only about 5 minutes before she arrived, but her fence looked fine.

I helped her unload her skis and stuff from her friend's vehicle and hauled it upstairs to her house. Her friend came in and peed then headed to her own home. We went down and unlocked the gate and looked everything over and saw that it was okay, but she wanted to reinforce the boards, so we spend the next hour or so with or cordless drills screwing the boards down.

After, we went in the house and she got some tasty food out and asked if I wanted to watch a movie. So we did. She had watched most of it with her kids, but fell asleep and missed the end, so we watched it and laughed and talked. She was about to fall asleep toward the end again, so I jumped over on her (we were in her sons' room on their single beds) and patted her to keep her awake

After it was done, we had a couple of nice hugs and I headed toward home. I joked that if anyone asked her what she did on Sunday evening, she could say that her and I were screwing. Bad pun aside, she said, is that what you want to do?

I admitted that until the previous week's hugging and smooching at the hot springs, I never really thought about that but didn't really think she was that interested in me in that way and that I'm so fresh in the single world that I am being really cautious.

We talked more and decided that we don't want to push anything and that if fwb happens, no worries. If nothing else, we have some fun and continue to have adventures together. If it doesn't happen, we're still good friends and will continue to do stuff and have fun in lots of ways. I value the friendship more than any "benefits", at least right now.

I'm starting to realize that men can be friends with women without any pressure to be all romantic or having the complexity of sex thrown into the mix. My two best friends are female. My male friends are also my work colleagues, so its different. I told adventure girl that I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize our friendships and adventures, but do enjoy hugging but enjoy talking and laughing and eating and exploring just as much.

countrydirt posted 1/20/2021 11:27 AM

Adventure friend had a tough day yesterday with picking up her kids (middle son refused to go with her) so was in a pretty fragile state of mind last night. We were texting and I could tell something was off. So I called. She was crying. It hurt to be rejected by her middle son - but its been coming for a while. I could do nothing other than listen. I think that's important.

Jambomo posted 1/21/2021 10:42 AM

I've just been reading your thread and its so nice to read your positive stories about meeting people and managing to move on in someway. Due to Covid lockdown I am struggling with that at the moment so its nice to read that it can happen

Its natural I think, to feel some trepidation at thinking about new relationships and how they come about. Its also perfectly normal to be one step forward one day and two back the next - different parts of us will heal at different speeds. Just keep having fun!

countrydirt posted 1/28/2021 10:36 AM

I've just been reading your thread and its so nice to read your positive stories about meeting people and managing to move on in someway. Due to Covid lockdown I am struggling with that at the moment so its nice to read that it can happen
Its natural I think, to feel some trepidation at thinking about new relationships and how they come about. Its also perfectly normal to be one step forward one day and two back the next - different parts of us will heal at different speeds. Just keep having fun!

Thank you! It's so important to start building that new life.

Adventure girl and I are going skiing and hot springing this weekend. I'll chime back in later to give an update. I haven't been skiing in nearly 15 years, so I'll have to see how my knees do.

I also have tentative dates with a couple of other friends over the next couple of weeks. One is with a gym buddy who also happens to be a female iron worker and is just so very interesting.

No, I'm not tom-catting around, just trying to get out and have some fun and discover what life is like after 32 years of marriage.

Still feeling happy and smiling more than ever. I noticed that a few co-workers are sort of flirting with me. Who knows, they could have been flirting for years but I was never in a position to even recognize that. I don't think I would ever date a co-worker. I was married to one for a long time.

countrydirt posted 2/1/2021 09:30 AM

Wow, what a fun weekend. We started early on Friday with a drive to the mountains and the hot springs. We soaked for about 6 hours and both ended up a little sunburnt. After that, we had about an hour drive further into the mountains to where we were staying at a hostel. The full kitchen was nice and we made some epic meals.

The second day was all skiing, all day from opening of the lift to the last run at 4, except for cooking lunch in the back of the pickup. Back to the hostel for more food and since it was snowing, we grabbed our snowshoes and went for a moonlight hike in deepish snow and laughed and howled when the moon finally peeked out through the clouds.

Sunday was a half day of skiing then returned to our homes, tired but happy. We had so much fun and kept each other warm in the barely heated hostel room converted from a garage. But, we didn't slow down much to spend too much time in the room.

Adventures are therapy for me and her.

countrydirt posted 2/1/2021 21:58 PM

Oh and we discovered that morning wake-ups are awesome!

Marz posted 2/3/2021 22:58 PM

You got this.

You always did. You just didnít know it.

countrydirt posted 2/4/2021 09:29 AM

You got this.
You always did. You just didnít know it.

Back earlier in the friendship, I shared with her that I didn't know how to flirt or "put the moves on" anymore and was just confused most of the time. Her response was, "You'll remember when it is time, you know what to do, just take your time."

We were text chatting last night after she got home from work and she said she wished we were cuddling. I don't normally do much of anything during the work week, so was sort of surprised at myself as I packed a backpack with some clothes and my cpap and headed to her place. Her response? "You came over and you brought a go bag!" and a big smile and hug.

I'm tired at work this morning but damn, I can't wipe the smile off my face. I told my son last night that I was heading to her house and probably wouldn't be home. He grinned and hugged me and patted me on the butt and said, "go get it Dad!"

[This message edited by countrydirt at 9:31 AM, February 4th (Thursday)]

Justsomeguy posted 2/6/2021 15:48 PM

Dude! Loving this thread! I am very happy for you, and a little jealous... Your thread gives me hope, especially after my recent experiences with OLD. I'm hoping for good things for you.

countrydirt posted 2/6/2021 19:02 PM

Dude! Loving this thread! I am very happy for you, and a little jealous... Your thread gives me hope, especially after my recent experiences with OLD. I'm hoping for good things for you.

I think I just happened to be at the right place at the right time and the friendship started on her initiative. That friendship deepened over the 5 months that we've been hanging out and I do believe that is so important.

I think we met the week I filed for divorce or maybe the week after. We discovered after the first bike ride together that she could give me good advice on being single and I could give her advice on being a parent of pre-teen boys. Over the few months that we have known each other, we've shared some pretty intimate details of our lives and built a cool trust and friendship. She commented that we've sort of blew up some of the "rules" of fwb, with the emotional connection we made before we allowed the "benefits" to begin. I told her that I wanted to be certain the friendship was completely solid before I/we moved into that phase.

Honesty time...if the benefits were off the table, we would still be friends and still have adventures.

countrydirt posted 2/7/2021 09:49 AM

We're planning a longer weekend trip over Valentine's day/President's Day weekend. I even took a day off work to extend the weekend. More skiing and fun ahead. We stay at a hostel, so it actually is relatively inexpensive to be in a resort town and skiing. Plus we get to cook together - she's a real foodie - and make new friends with others who stay there. And the nominally heated and poorly insulated converted garage bedroom encourages "closeness" to conserve/create warmth...

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