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  • angelahattabaugh

A String of Bad Break-ups, aka An Apology to my Children

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

If you are going through a break-up right now, or struggling through the grief of the aftermath of one, my heart is with you. Break-ups can bring about every emotion in the book, from despair to relief. I guess it all depends on if you are doing the breaking up, or if you are the one getting dumped. Yet in my multitude of break-ups, I've yet to experience the "good" one. You know the break up people talk about, where it's mutual, you guys still remain best buds, and even go get coffee together sometimes? those break-ups don't really exist do they? All of my break ups include ugly crying, vengeful thoughts, and embarrassment. After my divorce, I actually thought I had my life under control, but in retrospect, years later, I see that I was just one big fat mess, afraid to be alone, and building relationships with the wrong men. The real stinger in all of this is that I had two young children that had to witness these relationships and their fallouts. Consequently, this blog post is a proclamation of my mistakes, and a sincere apology to my children. And so, without further rambling, a shortened version of my post divorce break-ups:

Number 1, the "Let's move in together after 5 months of dating because I really love you (but actually I'm just broke and want to save money),"guy.

This happened in the first relationship I was in after my divorce. This man had just gotten out of a divorce himself and was clearly still in love with his ex wife. Yet for some reason he felt the desire to move in together. I think his job at Cheesecake Factory just wasn't paying the bills. At least I had the sense to say no to him moving in. But because of my decision to not shack up with the guy, he packed up his truck and moved back with his ex-wife! He was like- "move in with me or I'm going back to my ex." I mean, who does that! I'm so sorry children, for forcing you to hang out with his extremely annoying kids all the time! My son was only six at the time, and after a few months of me dating this man, he typed a text to him: "I hat you." He meant to type "I hate you" but didn't quite get it right. Son, I should have listened to your declarations more closely! I think I may have shed one tear for this guy....but mostly, I just felt relieved I didn't have to feel forced to make a life altering decision anymore. And come on, my son hats you! Moving on, bad break up number 2....

Number 2, the "I really love you and your kids, and will do anything for you (but I probably smoke too much pot, and lie about everything too much to ever get my shit together)" guy.

I thought I was really stepping it up with guy number 2, but oh was I wrong. This guy played the part well, and was actually too nice. But now I see why- he was a compulsive liar!!! The dude lied about everything, including his pot addiction. When I decided we needed to take a break for a few days, he butt dialed me and I actually heard him having sex with some poor girl. I'm not sure she was enjoying it however, since her comments sounded like she was reading from a porno script in a more than monotone voice. Yep, you can't make this stuff up. Needless to say, that was the end of that. I shed zero tears over this one; instead, I just beat my head against a wall because I was too blind to detect all the lies. Children, I apologize for bringing a liar around you so often and not realizing it. I should have stopped dating at that point, but nooooooooooooo- on to bad break-up number 3.

Number 3, the " I really love you and your kids (but actually I'm just a very immature, self centered dude that cares more about wearing North Face and being a wrestling coach than understanding your needs as a single mom)" guy.

Ok I have to admit, this one hurt. The dude was a pretty good guy overall, but was in way over his head with a single mom with two kids. This guy tried to make us a priority, but forgot that I was still doing everything on my own, and trying to keep two human beings alive. The really tough part was that my kids liked him; they got attached. And, He dumped Me! After a year and a half. I thought he might be the one, if he would have had the ability to grow up. I cried, was depressed, I even sent him song lyrics just about everyday that expressed how sad I was feeling. Are these normal actions for a 35 year old? Sooooo embarrassing. Kids, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for allowing us to get close to a person that wasn't ready for us. I should have been able to be alone at that point, but who are we kidding! Bad break up number 4 is on the way.....

Number 4, the, "I'm super handsome, nice, and funny (but I may be struggling with my sexual identity a little bit and am probably gay)" guy.

Alright, this one, I just can't, I really don't, I'm just not even sure how this happened. This one was super cute, sweet, funny, caring, and I'm pretty sure he was gay. However, the kids liked him, thought he was cool on a friend level. Our last "date" was when we went out for my brother's birthday, he got ridiculously drunk, and the feminine mannerisms just flowed out. I couldn't take it anymore. That was the last time I saw him- left him at the bar. I was more than relieved. I apologize kids for being a very poor judge of, well, anything at this point.

Proverbs 28:13 says "A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance." I'm hoping by admitting these relationship mistakes to the world, and especially my kids, I too can get another chance- to do better.

One great thing about all of these terrible break-ups, is that I learned what I didn't want, and couldn't stand for in a relationship. And just when I told myself I was done dating altogether, I met the man that I would marry. The man that blew all others away. This man has loved me and my kids unconditionally, and although we've had rough times and are still learning, we have respect, honesty, trust, and the desire to serve each other. We started going to church together after we had been dating for a few months, and the strength we get from God has changed everything. What we have learned about love and relationships through our study of the bible has kept us going through the toughest times.

Some advice I've learned through all of this:
  • Break ups are never good

  • For a relationship to last, you have to allow God into it

  • If you are a single mom, enjoy your kids and don't worry about finding a man. If it is meant to be, the right one will come along.

This last note is for my kids. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for the years after the divorce when I was a mess and brought different boyfriends around. I'm sorry that I was a very poor judge of character. I wish I could erase it all. But I can't. I hope you see that I am just a person who makes mistakes, but I never wanted to hurt you. If there are any positives from this, I'm praying that you have learned about what you don't want in a relationship and maybe how to make a relationship last. I love you both more than you'll ever know. Forgive me.

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