Recently, I’ve been connecting with more and more remarried single moms via Twitter. It’s fun to share advice, but there’s only so much you can say back and forth with 140 characters. Which is why, after numerous Tweets to writer Judith Segaloff, I finally asked her if she’d be on my blog. Thanks!
Judy — the author of The Ups & Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child and Joining the Thin Club — was, as she puts it, “locked in a very dysfunctional marriage for 23 years.”
Her kids were 19, 14, and 12 when she left her marriage seven years ago. In the meantime, she got strong both emotionally and psychically. “I lost a lot of weight, exercised, and fought to come back to myself.”
And “come back” she did.
After separating from her husband, she wasn’t ready for a new relationship — yet. But she wanted to get her feet wet dating. “Initially, I just wanted reinforcement. My first husband had told me that I was worthless. So, I wanted to know: Was I really attractive? Would anyone really want me?”
Men DID want to meet her — and more. A year later, she got very close to a man she’d met who wanted to get married, but she doubts about him — and her kids were still working out their post-divorce feelings. “My children unanimously voted him ‘off the island. They really disliked him.”
As the years went on, Judy continued to date. “Let’s just say that I was the queen of the dating sites. I also attended singles events, but I found it very shallow.”
Then, Judy spotted David — a divorced dad of three kids — on a Jewish dating site (pictured below):
“I didn’t miss a beat,” she says. Besides the fact that he’s a pediatrician, Judy loved the fact that he was drying dishes in his profile photo.
“That made me smile,” she says. “So, I wrote to him, ‘You do dishes? I love to cook. Maybe we’re a match?’ ”
But there was a problem: Judy was a lifelong New Yorker and David lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I had no clue where that was,” she says.
Also, although they clearly shared many values and had a lot in common, David “wrote back that he was looking for someone younger because he wanted more children. I wished him luck and didn’t give it another thought.”
After dating a couple of younger women, however, David rethought his motive. He contacted Judy again, but she was dating someone else. “It took five months for us to finally both be available,” she says. “He came all the way from Michigan to New York to experience my cooking. I put him up at a friend’s house and introduced him to my oldest son and daughter-in-law that first weekend. They liked him — but I was cautious.”
Moreover, at this point, Judy had set up a few rules for herself to see if she was truly compatible with a man. For one, she told David that she wasn’t going to be intimate with him while they were dating. He agreed, and they had a long-distance phone relationship with many trips in between. (“It was VERY hard to maintain no touching on Caribbean islands but we did!” she adds).
What happened was this: their respect and trust grew.”The love came afterward,” Judy says. “I learned that David was a gentle but strong man. He made me laugh more than I ever did in my first marriage. He’ll just say one word that will send me into gales of laughter.”
Congrats to David and Judy, who got married 10 months ago. She relocated to Michigan, where she continues to cook up a storm… and he washes the dishes after dinner.
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