Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

The Benefits of a Divorce….

October 25, 2017


My husband, Frederick Wm. Bartels….We have been peacefully and happily married for 33 years.

I have been married a second time for 33 years.  I was married for 13 years to my ex, Mark.  The difference in these two men is enormous.  We were way too young when we married, early 20’s but it was more than that.  Mark was a product of parents who told him he was ‘smarter than 98% of the population on Earth.’  What was missing from him was integrity, plain and simple.  He was a rubber stamped upper class twit. When I look at my now- husband I see a man who had none of the advantages of my ex, who worked his head off to give me a good and comfortable marriage.  And he has.  And more, I have had the  breathing room to develop intellectually and artistically.  In my first marriage, I was told by his parents to put aside my own education so Mark could finish his.  To them, this was the ‘proper order of things’.  At the time I didn’t realize their ‘plan’ was for me to feed their spoiled son, to support him until he could leave.  The month Mark graduated from college, his parents helped him move out, gave him a sports car, a condo and a Club Med vacation.  I had been hit by a car and was flat on my back.  While I was in the hospital, Mark was attempting to date my nurse.  The ‘betrayals’ were constant.  He refused to work because he was ‘a revolutionary’ yet I worked the entire 13 years of marriage to support this brat. He used my money for prostitutes.  His parting shot:  His parents never thought I was very smart.

Well, I wasn’t.  I was a door mat for this boy. I can hardly call him a man, though we were in our early 30’s when we divorced.  A year and a half later I  married  my new husband.

It’s not that I knew what I wanted to do with my life back then, but I knew I had more inside than what I had brought forth.  The encouragement of my husband Fred and my Aunt Jean, who died at 102 in 2014, were the reasons I became a writer.  Fred made no demands upon me, and except raising our young son, Christopher, I had all the time in the world to venture into writing and poetry.  They believed I had a spark of creativity inside, and they just supported me in every way they could.  My father, who loved me, was dead,  Basically, there was no one else as family except my new mother in law, Betty, and my father’s side of the family.  Betty was intellectual, but with the kindness of eternity.   She died in 2005 from leukemia.  She was a very accomplished woman, who flew around the globe speaking of many medical issues.  She was one of the most wonderful women I have ever had the privilege to meet.

I am writing this in the very early hours of the morning, way before the birds start up, or the dogs howl to go outside.  I am writing this because I have friends, male and female, who have been divorced and now, in their 60’s they want a good relationship, but they don’t know how or where to find those good men.  I haven’t a clue, but I do know that it is worth the search.  Fred fell into my lap, or the reverse.  But just with his kindness and compassion and patience, he rebuilt my confidence.   I always knew that there was something more in life than I had know during the first marriage, and I never was suicidal.  I was deeply depressed, chronically depressed I am told by one therapist, but I can see the reasons for this.  We all make bad choices for ourselves at some point in our lives.  Or they are based in a rotten childhood.  We tend to carry over these things in a marriage, or at least that was my issue.

So, to my friends who are divorced, male or female, there is always hope.  You have to buckle on your two swords and go out into the world.  There are men and women all over wanting the same things of loyalty, comfort, devotion and love.

But a partner is not a meal ticket.  You pull the plow together and build a life that way.  Because of my husband’s loyalty and encouragement I have written and published 6 books in 7 years with a big novel to come (“Kimono”) probably this spring.  This will be my first novel.

I wish my dear mother in law Betty had lived to read the books, at least some of them.  I know she loved me and was proud of me.  Back then, I did little to evidence that pride but it didn’t matter at all to Betty.  Raising four children, she was always on the lookout for potential.

But she died.  Her youngest son has the spirit and integrity of his mother.  So, when you look for a mate, consider the parents.  In their lives you can see glimpses of courage.  It generally rubs off on the children.  If you are lucky.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2017

A Christmas Miracle and I Can’t Stop Smiling!

December 11, 2011

This will be a very special Holiday for us. We have one child, now off in the Navy, and for the past few years, Xmas has been rather bleak.  We haven’t even put up a tree.

This year promises a whole different holiday.  During the summer,  my husband’s son, Christopher, 29, came to visit for the first time.  Christopher works in Washington, DC, in the US Patent Office, as a Intellectual Properties Investigator. Three years ago he became a Mormon.

We haven’t seen this child in decades. Divorce can take its nasty toll on so many things, and  children are usually on the front lines.  We had just given up ever knowing this child.  But in through our front door Christopher walked and it was love at first sight.  He is a tall, handsome young man, and funny to boot.  He kept his arm around me and his father and it seemed that talking to Christopher was talking to my husband. They were so much alike.  The mystery of DNA will always startle me.

The last time I saw Christopher he was not even two years old….and still in his crib.  So seeing this beautiful young man who was so much an issue of anger and strife between his parents was a shock.  For some unknown reason, this meeting had nothing of awkwardness or strangeness.  It was just a father, son and step-mother having dinner and getting to know the other.  It was just an unexpected joy for me.

Our son in the Navy, also named Christopher (just 24), met the other Christopher this summer, and they have spent as much time together as possible.  He is an only child, and said to me recently: “Finally I get the sibling I wanted, no thanks to you, Mom.”  LOL!

They spent Thanksgiving up at Christopher’s and that was wonderful,  the mother down here, worried that her child would not have a holiday dinner, except the hard tack or whatever they eat in the Navy these days.

Friday night we were at a holiday party in the neighborhood.  It was held at a new venue for our neighborhood, an internet cafe, apparently owned by the Japanese. It is run by a woman who lived for many years in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese.  They are putting these cafes all over the country I have been told.  This was a lovely new venue for our neighborhood, and we were having a great time.  My husband Fred got a phone call from his son, and BOTH our Christophers are coming home for Xmas on a long road trip together from up there.

I haven’t been able to stop smiling since Friday.  I tore the house apart upstairs yesterday, can barely move this morning, giving up my large studio and office to make a ‘dorm’ for the ‘boys’.  I took another smaller bedroom and sqeezed my stuff in there.   I am so happy to have this task to do, and this ’empty nest’ stuff goes just so far.  It’s damn lonely actually, and having the sound and laughter of two young men, both related, in the house at Christmas will be the best gift of all. I have heard them on the phone, talking to each other, laughing and giggling, both computer nerds, and having that in our lives, even for a short visit at Christmas will mean so much to both of us.  Plus the wood pile will grow with two additional axes this winter.

Life is never predictable. We never thought this Holiday visit would be possible.  But life is also an ever-changing blessing.

Lady Nyo



  I saw the Cooper’s hawk this morning. She landed on the chimney pot, probably looking for my miniature hen, Grayson.  Four years ago she was a starved fledging who mantled over while I fed her cold chicken.  She’s back this holiday, my spirits lifting. A good Christmas present.

   In the middle of the commercialization of the season, Nature closes the gap.  I have noticed squirrels with pecans in mouths leaping the trees, hawks hunting low over now-bare woods, unknown song birds sitting on fences, heard the migration of Sandhill cranes as they honk in formation. You hear their cacophony well before they appear. 

   There is brightness to the holly, washed by our early winter rains and the orange of the nandina berries has turned crimson. Smell of wood smoke in the air and the crispness of morning means some of nature is going to sleep. We humans should reclaim our past and join the slumber party of our brother bears.

   Jingle Bells will fade and our tension with it. Looking towards deep winter when the Earth is again silent will restore our balance and calm nerves with a blanket of peace.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009, 2011

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