Saturday, 2 January 2016.
Things have been going quite well, but you won’t believe what happened! I was driving yesterday when Mr. Ex called, asking to book a time with me to sit down and talk.
“Ex, is it that serious that you cannot tell me over the phone??” — I feel furious for about ten minutes… Hey, that’s a new record for me, as I hate holding onto anger.
Then I get a grip and call a couple of friends. My best friend advises me to catch Mr. Ex off guard and really listen.
(Hmmm. Is he saying I’m a better talker than listener?? 😁).
We go to the closest Hesburger. I am feeling calm, but curious. Don’t ask me how.
“Anna, how are things?” — Mr. Ex attempts to small-talk.
“Just fine, thanks. But you didn’t bring me here to chit chat about trivialities now, did you?”
“Hehe,” — his fidgety laughter — “Eh, first of all, I just want to say that in all those years we were together, I never loved another lady. You were always the only one.
“Until now.” — dead silence for a split of a second — “But, I promised you that you would be the first one to be informed, so we need to talk.”
“Who is she?” — I immediately need to know.
Of course it had crossed my mind that he had another woman.
That’s an understatement. Of course I unknowingly knew it.
I just knew it.
We always know. Don’t we?
That time last fall when he insisted I not join him at the karaoke bar. He basically pleaded with me to go home and meet him later.
Or that other time when he wrapped his iPhone tightly with the cables of his earphones, putting the damn thing under his pillow and sitting on it, after I’d asked to look at my recent birthday pictures — what the heck??!
And that time when I asked him to please just tell me bluntly and he’d answered: “Annita, I’ve hurt you so many times in our marriage… I don’t want to keep doing it anymore!”
Men don’t usually get a divorce before they have found a new person.
Why would they exchange the comfort of a home with a wife, a friend, a mother and extra earnings for a new phase with less money, more responsibilities with the kids, and the added loneliness?
“Oh, Anna, she’s asked me not to reveal who she is to anyone yet. She’s afraid everybody will hate her and think she is culpable of breaking up a family.” — he tries.
“Who is she…?? — I pressure him.
“I accepted your decision to get a divorce, Ex, but I won’t take no for an answer now!” — I make it clear (and then try appealing to his logic) — “Ex, you and I have been great friends, hosts and co-workers, right? But on the emotional level our marriage hadn’t been OK at all for a very long time...
“So, I won’t blame her, you know that. Tell me! — he looks thoughtful and nervously laughs a little.
“Ex, you’ve got to tell me!! — he’s still silent, so I threaten him — “If you don’t tell me…”
“What?” — he looks alarmed for a second.
“I’ll just complicate every single thing I can, from now on.” — I smile victoriously.
He chuckles — “Yeah, I told her I was going to try, but knowing you, kind of thought I wouldn’t be successful.”
So, the truth is out. 🙁
He’s dating a university classmate of his…! The one who got really wasted at our place, when he cooked his classmates dinner a couple of months ago.
At the time, I’d thought, “Who goes to a family home for the first time and gets stupidly drunk?” After which she’d kept hugging me and telling me how beautiful I am — WTF?
E%ur#g!h, I hope Ex gets really fat and bald, fast!!! — is how it feels.
Nevertheless, I consciously decide to turn the other cheek…
But it stings — bad!
And to sadly wish them well.
I’m feeling subdued for a moment. Stupid life!
I’m so mad at him, but, but, but…
The guy has suffered his fair share on Earth – I’ll give him that. I’ve also caused him pain (he admits he’s caused me much more)! Why would I want him to be unhappy? When you really love someone, you want them to be well.
Mixed feelings. I’ve been experiencing relief and freedom, but this feels novel now.
This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to do this forgiveness thing my mother taught me — “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven” (Jesus) — For my own sake, not for his.
Cannot help but being myself, though, so I offer him some unsolicited advice.
“Hey Ex, I have some things to say now. Hear me out, OK? — He looks doutbful and it feels like a small victory that he’s stuck and has to listen.
“Be the best possible dad you can, focusing on the teens when it’s your turn to take care of them. If your new relationship doesn’t work out…” — at this point he rolls his eyes — “…your kids will still be there for you if you don’t neglect them now. You don’t want to become like your father……
“Hey, and don’t you abandon your faith! Keep talking to God. Your mother taught you that and it has always been so important to you. Even though it may feel contradictory to what you’re doing right now, and church people — especially — will most likely judge your actions… — (both of us grew up in ministers’ families).
“Finally, try to do things right in the relationship this time, will you please?” — I poke him — “Try to make her happy, OK? If it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll know you did all you could? The rest will depend on her,” I finalize it.
I mean all I’ve said, yet I know there’s a hidden complaint in my last advice…
He asks me if we can change the upcoming dates of childcare so he can travel to the Bahamas with Ms. Newbie this week.
That explains why he wanted to talk. Haha!
“Yeah, let’s help each other,” — whatever — “But remember this later on, when it’s my turn to travel!” — I’m hoping there will be a plane crash…
…But no, that wouldn’t be fair to the other passengers. 🤣😅🤣
He thanks me, wishes me well and we hug good-bye. Lightly.
Do I love him or hate him?? It feels like I don’t know him anymore. As if I’m hugging a total stranger: 22 years have amounted to this eerie moment.
Doesn’t feel normal at all – so much to process.
I’ll do that later.
That night I’m feeling a little annoyed. My ego is hurt and I have a serious change of heart: if Mr. Ex can fly to paradise and act like a teenager in love, I also get to have some fun and try out a few new things.
Staying single for a year? Ha! Ridiculous!
So, tim……….…ber with that plan.
No, Tin…der, here I come. 😊
© 2017 rf
Obs. Day 13 since moving out. New beginnings!