I keep asking myself why I don’t want to interact with my ex. Why I can’t bring myself to have the new age “divorced parents who are friends” type of relationship (like he thinks we should have – ‘for the kids’ sake). Why talking to him on any emotional level can send me into a tailspin of self doubt.
Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t effect me NEARLY as much as he used to…and I make an effort to not engage on an emotional level more often than not.
I realize he is much further along in his ‘coming to terms’ approach. He’s been in love with another since our split. He’s experienced a life separate and apart from the life he shared with me and the kids as a family. He’s accepted that “we weren’t meant to be together” and acknowledges that he is better without me.
While I know I am better without him as well, and I certainly DON’T want to reconcile with him because we weren’t really good together, I don’t feel that I have yet ‘come to terms’. And that bothers me. I still feel that I am the same woman I was with him, as I have been without him.
I spend a significant amount of time in my own head and with my thoughts. Analyzing and over-analyzing interactions and reactions…trying to come to a place of peace.
There was yet another “incident” yesterday. He continues to seek me out to “help him” figure things out. Earlier in the week it was
Please read these passages and advise if this describes me. Photos of pages to follow
then almost an hour later (without sending the pages) after I questioned if he meant to send this to me, and telling him I was busy at a friend’s BBQ I got this…
On hind sight I’m probably asking u for something I shouldn’t ask. I think I know the answer but don’t know where to turn. Sorry for the text. Have a good evening
I let it go. Like I have all the other “comments” that delve into emotional places of him seeking my help or compassion which result in him thinking better of it after putting it out there…
I feel like I’m doing something wrong not helping another in need…especially when he is reaching out and I know that I am probably the only person he has that knows him…and well, truly the only person he has. His family situation is lacking, and has been for his whole life. He hasn’t maintained any friendships really on any level below the surface. I guess he has his paramour, but they apparently “broke up” and he’s so broken hearted about it…
I have compassion for him. It just resides in a back corner…like in a closet and there are all these other things piled in on top of it that when you open the door to try and find it, all the other shit just tumbles out in your face.
And all that other shit? Well, it has points and sharp edges and can sometimes explode in your face…
So it makes me question myself. Why I can’t seem to clean out that closet of painful stuff to get at the compassion inside.
He made a good decision recently about jobs that puts the kids needs first, and I was hopeful. However, it blew up in my face when I tried to offer more suggestions about how he could further that decision and make it one that meant something more than just a show of good will…in the form of bringing to his attention a missed opportunity.
He was angered that I chose to tell him after the fact and asserted that I should have expressed to him BEFORE the event. He chose not to attend the “sending off” of our son who was going on a week long mission trip that he was really looking forward to…even though it was HIS weekend with the kids, it ended up that I picked up our son from his apartment to take him to the sending off. He and the girls ended up having a lazy morning. I expressed that him attending this event may have gone a long way to showing our son that he was invested in his life and was encouraged by his dad. My ex feels that it was my responsibility to tell him this before the event. He expressed that me NOT doing so was showing my own bitterness.
I still stand by my opinion that my responsibility as my son’s mom ends at making sure his dad has the information to know what events are occurring in his life, and that it is HIS responsibility to make it a priority or not. I spent a significant portion of my life as his wife trying to “train” him, if you will, to be a good father and show his kids the attention they needed. Obviously he has difficulties, that didn’t end with his abilities as a father. He was really unable to show investment in my life as his wife and partner either. Finally, it was the breakdown of our relationship because I felt extremely disconnected from him and only responsible for him. The loss of respect and love didn’t bode well for our marriage. I guess I feel that since he chose to “go it on his own”, then it isn’t my responsibility anymore to direct him in his actions.
My ex used this as an opportunity to call into question my faith and my “status as a Christian”. After attacking me on the phone, I asserted that this was the whole reason I didn’t tell him things like this, as it then gets turned around to being MY FAULT he didn’t do the right thing. Not to mention the attack of my character. I expressed that I need to stop having these conversations with him. He then immediately resorted to the apologies and the “I’m sorry you feel that way”s and how he thinks we should be working together for the best interests of our kids (I guess even when that means I need to tell him what to do to be a good father). He also asserted later in a text that I am
surround[ing] yourself with walls that limit the opportunities for positive experiences and relationships for u and the kids. I hope u find it in your hear to release the bitterness and forgive me…not for me but for you. It will forever hold you back.
I don’t feel that this is an action out of bitterness. Nor do I think it’s because I haven’t forgiven him yet. Maybe I’m just delusional and I don’t really want to see these traits in myself. Maybe I’m only trying to see them because HE sees them, so I think they must be present.
Regardless of the existence of the feelings, or the reasons behind the actions, this experience with the blame game and the character attack just gets shoved into the closet with all the other sharp objects.
…maybe I’ll be able to clean out the closet some other day.
It’s been almost two years of being separated and we still don’t have that “friend” thing yet. And looking at anyone we know that reaches that status quickly, it looks odd, tense and just weird at how they interact. It’s almost like they are trying too hard. It’s like looking at someone with a mangled limb that needs to be amputated, but everyone is pretending there is nothing wrong with it.
I can’t be fake for the sake of appearances…it has never been my nature. So I completely understand your ‘trying too hard’ element in those that have the cordial divorces. If I liked and respected you enough as a friend, then why divorce to begin with…isn’t your partner supposed to be your best friend anyway? I just feel it’s counter intuitive to expect friendship and parental unity after a divorce. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not enlightened enough.
After the emotional assault that you had, you have unmet needs of emotional security and safety. It is natural for you to crave stability and comfort; routine and order. You need your sanctuary and peaceful haven. That can be a physical haven such as a home, or an emotional haven (being unavailable emotionally). That is a normal reaction to trauma and make take some while to resolve. That is not deliberately ‘putting the walls up’. That is simply what you need to go through to heal. And personally I do not think he is in a position where he should be advising you what you should or should not do (forgive him etc) and whether that would be beneficial to you or not. Sometimes trying to forgive if you are not ready can be quite the wrong thing to do.
Thank you Elizabeth, as always. 🙂
I don’t struggle with the forgiveness of his affair or the end of our marriage per se. I struggle with the forgiveness of his failure to be the man that I had hoped he was all throughout our marriage…and maybe, truly, it’s a failure to forgive myself for picking someone so unable to be that person I desired and I’m just blaming him for my own failing. But either way, the forgiveness is on me and his assertion that I should do so (for my own good) is, in my opinion, his own desire for acceptance from me. If I would just forgive him, then maybe I would be “nicer” to him and do the things he thinks are my responsibility.