I happened upon an article online from Australia that gave a sneak peak at a new book by a Mark Tucker called “Single Father, Better Dad“. The article really really hit home for me. What he described was so eerily similar to my own divorce experience, that I immediately Googled the book title and saw that it was for sale from Amazon for $5 (Kindle Edition). It’s a quick read, but is very interesting from my post-divorce perspective.
Mark is a good writer. An Englishman living in Australia. He seems to be a very kind and very funny guy. His wife was something else. He provided for her for many years, and she ran off with her personal trainer… her “soul mate”. She tells the kids of her affair (that’s a first), she leaves… and he has majority custody of the kids. Again, all very familiar to me. But, this is where the familiarity ends and where ol’ Mark takes a turn down the wrong path.
He goes on two dates six months after his wife leaves. Both dates are a result of online dating. First gal is fatter than what he liked. He had the balls to tell her it wouldn’t work out. Good for him. No need to drag it out and hurt feelings and waste time. The second gal was too old, but he liked her. She then finds out about his kids and tells him it’s not going to work out. He ends the evening asking her if she would have sex with him if he didn’t have kids. Probably, she says. He asks for sex while dropping her off. No. Ouch, Mark.
He then meets a chick at his kids’ school. She’s pretty but has a ring on. He eventually asks her out, they go out, he asks about the ring. Oh, it’s a commitment ring…for a “special friend” she’s known for years. They used to live together, but don’t anymore. “I’m sort of single” she says. Jesus, Mark. RUN!
Nope, Mark sticks it out. He falls in love. Ugh. Some highlights of his relationship with the new gal, Allison:
- One night she drinks herself into a coma and goes to the hospital. This was at a family gathering.
- She already has two kids.
- They couldn’t complete their first sexual experience. They stopped mid-pump. No condoms. The moment had all the spontaneity and passion of a bridge game.
- They tell the kids of their relationship after two months. She moves in half the time (when she doesn’t have her kids).
- He tries to propose, but before he could start she cuts him off and tell him that the situation is not right. Not the right setting. Eventually he does it right, they get engaged and then waste no time getting married. He remodels his place to accommodate her and the new kids.
The book is peppered with little stories of what not to do in a relationship. Textbook stuff like her asking him where to go on a rare night they have with no kids. “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” I cringed at that and about 148 other little moments he describes. I was waiting for a “And all these things I’m describing are how NOT to date a woman!” moment, but it never comes. The poor sap is head over heels for her. Blind to all red flags.
He does cover some helpful things about divorce. Talks about how men are run over the coals in the process. He was divorce-raped, but it could’ve been much worse.
The most heart-wrenching moments for me were the very beginning (the story of the discovering infidelity and the break-up) and the very end.. where his daughter writes (very beautifully I must say) about her recollection of the day her mom told them she was leaving. That was, again, so much like my very own experience.