Wednesday, April 22, 2009

arc three/unexpectedly free

I learned a lot about myself during that conversation.

Some of the things I learned from me:

It's not that I fault the FX for being human and reading my blog even though he swore not to. It's that one of the things that has kept me going the last year is the idea that the he has had absolutely no access to my thoughts or feelings. I've got a great poker face and for the most part don't engage in conversation with him. This is all, unfortunately, moot when all he has to do is boot up his computer to climb inside my brain. It's too bad he's a liar, but that's not exactly news. Strike One.

I'm almost less upset that he was reading it than about the fact that he had completely forgotten that he had promised me he wouldn't. Even though I told him at the time that it was really important to me, it had totally slipped his mind. Once again, a perfect illustration of our marriage. Strike Two.

I realized that I'm a lot more like my dad sometimes than I really want to admit. My dad could cut people off cold - and without a backwards look. When he was done, he was done. I always thought that was cold and unfeeling. But that was before I was done. Strike Three. You're out.

Some of the things I learned from the FX:

I am hopelessly stuck in the past, destined to repeat past behaviors indefinitely. When I get my act together and put the work into myself like he has, maybe I'll be able to move forward.

I'm narcicissistic and self-absorbed and it all has to be about me. The blog is a perfect example, and so is the fact that I always have to be right in every situation. My favorite thing, for example, is to not warn him that bad things may happen if he does (or doesn't do) certain things, just so if/when he fails I can tell him "I told you so".

The fact that he is in a "very serious relationship" and I'm not even dating is just more evidence that I'm the damaged goods here and he's the one who has finally gotten the wonderful relationship that he deserves.

I could go on, but really...why bother? Surely you get the point.

As long as he's in the hot throes of a new relationship he really could care less what I have to say. About anything. My feelings and needs are completely irrelevant to his life, and everything I say or do reinforces his image of himself as the put upon good guy. It takes a lot of work to get a relationship off the ground, and his relationships with everyone else were just going to have to take a back seat. I could care less about letting him in on my needs, but I mistakenly thought that after twenty four years together my feelings might still mean something to him. Stupid me.
What the hell was I thinking?

About five minutes into raving about his new girlfriend, about how she supported him in all his endeavors, how she let him be him, and allowed him to be free to pursue his own hobbies and interests, how she understood that he was "a work in progress" and that she "was there for him" at all times, and even that they "took care of each other", he told me that he had never expected to be in this serious a relationship this quickly. You can't choose, he said, when you meet someone. Then he asked me if I was seeing anyone. Pre-blog reading I would have told him it was none of his business, but that seemed kind of stupid now. If he's been reading then he already knows what my story is. I figured the hell with it and went with the truth.

"No, I'm not," I said. "Ask me why".

"Okay," he said. "Why?"

"Because I think you came out of our marriage with a much higher opinion of human nature than I did," I answered. "And if you shoot down anyone who asks you out, you can virtually guarantee that you won't meet someone who will turn serious too fast."

I wasn't done.

"You know what absolutely kills me?" I asked. "It's the idea that you fucked all four of us over completely with your selfishness and 'I'm the top priority here' attitude and you're the one who gets the happy ending. And you can rationalize all day long that you were completely blameless in our marriage because you've somehow managed to fall into a relationship that lets you feel like you're a good deserving person who just happened to spend twenty years with a castrating bitch like me."

The blog was a keg of dynamite, too. He insisted that he only read it to see what was going on with the kids. I said that was ridiculous, since I made a point of always keeping him abreast of kid happenings. Then he made the "You were a much better writer before you threw yourself a pity party" comment, which absolutely enraged me. On so many levels. "Well, which is it?" I asked. "Any posts where you might get the pity party idea aren't posts where kid events would be mentioned. So what's the truth? Did you just read the "pity party" posts to get off on my pain and anger? We already know you're a liar. Could you be just a little sadistic, too?And, by the way, if you were only in it "for the kids" how come you never called to check up on them when I wrote that they were having a hard time?" I also pointed out that the fact that he had to keep up with my writing indicated to me that he might not be as emotionally detached as he claims to be, an idea that he contradicted mightily.

There was more, but I'll spare you. It seemed that every time either one of us opened our mouths we drew blood, and we weren't going for small veins either. It was artery time, and eventually I felt like I had bled enough.

"You know what?", I said, "You just aren't good for me. In any way. And I know this is a really stupid thing to say considering that we've been divorced for six months, but I'm done. I'm completely done dealing with you. From here on out we discuss the kids and the house and that's it. I have nothing more to say to you and this will be the very last conversation like this that we will ever have. You can't hurt me anymore. I'm finished with you".

We ended the conversation right there. And in spite of the fact that I had, in the heat of battle, given him that glimpse of myself that I don't want him to have, it felt really good. Like a clean start in a way. I walked away from it knowing that we were both way beyond each other's reach. And that that was a very, very good thing.

I don't have to like him and I don't have to deal with him on anything other than my terms. I don't have to let him dictate my life and screw with my feelings and my kids. I will support the kids in every way I can, but I won't be the middle man anymore. He's on his own, and I sincerely hope he is smart enough to realize what he's thisclose to losing.

It has also become apparent to me with dazzling clarity that in spite of everything I've thought in the last year...I haven't lost anything valuable at all. And that it's time to let go and move on.

I'm ready.


sharon said...

Good for you! A fresh new start post-post-divorce is just what you need. Enjoy your freedom from the tyranny of FX's ego.

Rudee said...

I'm exhausted after catching up. And I'm a little annoyed with him-well more than a little. You need to let him go, and although you say you're done, you have to mean it. How about channeling your inner Arab? She'll get the job done.

ciara said...

my ex & your ex have to be related. seriously. he never once, and still to this day, took any responsibility for the breakup of our marriage. he moved on by getting back w his first x wife who he broke it off w to get w the current gf. he doesn't know how to be alone and it doesn't hurt the gf has $$. it was about 6mos after we separated that i finally let go, too. we got divorced after a yr separation. whether it's 7 1/2 yrs or 20something yrs, these guys just don't get it. i still have a conversation that he and i had not long after he broke up w the first wife stuck in my head. it kills me to think about it cos i could have been raked over the coals AGAIN like the 2nd ex was. i think it sticks w me cos i have no one to talk to about it, and i can't really mention it out on my blog. it sucks.

i'm glad that you are coming out of these with a lot of strength. you know in the end, the boys will remember who was there for them. your ex will screw everything up all by himself and then he'll wonder what the hell happened.

auntiegwen said...

Maybe the reason he's in a "very serious relationship" (and remember you've only got his take on that) says volumes about his need to be adored and not to be alone ?

Time will tell, I think you're doing good, baby, and I'm sure all your other blog buddies do too. xx

speccy said...

Yay!I'm so impressed by how articulate you are about all this stuff. I'd still be eating chocolate, drinking wine and trying to process, and you've climbed on top of it all! We all know FX is kidding himself, but it's great that you no longer feel you have to care about that. Hugs to you and the boys

Frances said...

No comment. There is nothing I can say about what you've written because you are where you are.
I'm hoping you are where you think/say you are and not going to circle round that tainted corpse for another nibble. At this stage - seems to me - it doesn't matter who's right or wrong. It is only the collateral damage from these battles and negative feelings that worries me.
Look after yourself and STOP scratching off the scab to see if you've healed.

softinthehead said...

Phew - onwards and upwards - with an uplifting soundtrack :) Great stuff RC. I agree with Frances - try not to look back, grab those boys and move on!

Cath said...

... and she metamorphoses into a beautiful butterfly, free as the wind, light as a feather...

(hug hug double hug)


Thalia's Child said...

Ugh. I'm glad you're able to see that you haven't lost anything.

LCM said...

Unbelieveable. It's really nice for guys to be able to run off and find someone who can just let him be his best... Meanwhile, you are mopping up his mess with you and the kids. Eventually his new SO will want kids and he will be right back where he started. Until he learns not to be so darn selfish, you will be dealing with him and his effect on your kids. I hope you can find a way for yourself to deal with him, so you can be there for your kids without wanting to beat the ex senseless...repeatedly.

Katy said...

Sorry it had to get to this point. I can completely identify with that conversation though. Time to let the scab completely heal. Let it take its time.

Marti said...

I am proud of you, RC. Hang in are headed down the right path

aims said...

Hooray! Nothing but Hoooray!!

It took a long time - but you've finally made it girl.

You're going to be just fine.

I'm thinking that he hasn't found his happy ending. He thinks he might have - but I rather doubt it.

You on the other hand are just getting started. Finally. Go for it RC. You so deserve it.

Mya said...

FX...who's that guy???

Mya x

Frances said...

By the way.
Just in case it isn't clear to you sweet woman.
We ALL think FX is a BASTARD!
That's the most ladylike version of what we can say about him.

Maggie May said...

You are well rid of him.
Glad you found some good things to answer him back!
You can move on now.
No wonder you feel better.

Mimi said...

Wow E! I got this and arc 2 together. You must be totally exhausted! You probably needed to get all that off your chest in order to move on. And I'm delighted that you know you haven't lost anything. Take care of yourself and your kids, mimi

Iota said...

"Let go and move on" - that sounds good...

Jenn And The City said...

Thanks for letting me be part of the RC Clique - I hope you get a chance to take a deep breath now and find a way to move forward.

Pamela said...

Is there was anyway that you could dispose of the house -- and have that part of your relationship removed.

The boys will always be there. But you need to be able to come home to your safe place.

That house will never be yours.

the rotten correspondent said...

Pamela - your timing is impeccable. I've been trying really hard to think of ways to remove the house from the equation, and your comment really hit home. You're right. It will never be mine, no matter what I do. I just really need the market to pick up.

Akelamalu said...

Pardon my French but - Fuck him!

You go girl!