Friday, September 4, 2009

Still Blindsided even 2 years later (or 13 depends on how you count it)

The other day I was sitting out front in the grass, under the gorgeous September Sunshine, enjoying my wireless connection and doing research for a brief. Lovely all around - I could hear lawn mowers from a neighbor's yard, Stinky Butt was busy chasing bugs around, Queen Bee lounging in the shade of the japanese maple, crickets chirping and birds singing - a picture perfect day.

I laid back on the blanket for a moment and was struck with the most bizarre thought - what if Ex walked over with two glasses of champagne and offered one, with a soft kiss?

Now this is bizarre for lots of reasons:
  1. Ex has no clue how much I love champagne as I discovered it "after";
  2. Ex is at work;
  3. I lost any desire to Kiss Ex years ago;
  4. I am generally and almost totally glad to be rid of Ex;
  5. Contrary to someone-close-to-me's thoughts, I stopped loving Ex ages ago.

So where does this come from? And how does it manage to bring tears to my eyes in 3.2 seconds?

And I don't know that answer. Perhaps because I still hate being divorced - not that I want to be married to Ex (or to anyone in particular) but I am still saddened that my marriage ended in divorce. That's not how I was raised, that's not how I dreamed things would go, that's not how things are in my neighborhood or among most of my friends. And so as I sit in my neighborhood among the beautiful homes and acres of yards and flowers and families, I feel the failure. And I think how lovely it would be not to be divorced.

I hate filling out forms that ask marital status and hate checking off the box "Divorced."

I hate looking for colleges as a single parent.

I hate having a great reference for a divorce attorney based on personal experience.

I hate when people ask how come I don't wear a ring.

I hate referring to my kids' father as "my kids' father."

I hate saying, "My former in-laws."

All this despite the fact that he asked me for a divorce 13 years ago. Despite the fact that I am managing life, finances, fun all by myself. Despite the fact that he made me miserable and we made the kids miserable and I made him miserable. Despite the fact that at least once a month something happens which screams, "VINDICATED."

I wish it had worked out so that we could have liked each other.


Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I have two questions:

1. Is that wireless connection secure such that the next-door neighbor can't piggyback or access your network?

2. Were you drinking Champagne when you thought of him offering you a glass and kissing you? ;-)

I also have observations:

1. You aren't a failure.

2. You're inspirational and a success!

3. You took charge of your life and happiness.

4. You and your children are a family.

And, last but not least, I have a wish:

1. I wish for you to find peace and pride in what you've done, who you are, and where your life is going.

Anonymous said...

Ah,that's a tough one. You aren't a failure and did what you had to do to keep your sanity but I somewhat understand what you mean.
I was widowed in 2003 after 15 years of marriage (my daughters were 3 & 5)so it's a bit different for me,but had my late-husband lived, we would not be married today. I can't say we should have never married b/c if not, I wouldn't have the same children I cherish every minute of every day but I can say we were not a good match. We started dating when I was 14, married when I was 20, which I felt was "the right thing to do" after so many years of dating.
At least you knew when to cut your losses and move on. Some people never do.
Ame in TN

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wow. I hope you eventually get over these thoughts, especially about being a failure. You did the best you could. You probably gave it more effort than someone else did. You still have a life to live. You still have love in your life. SO that 'one thing' did not work out, look at how much you have going in your life. You have a fantastic career (you can support yourself and your kids!) you have great kids, you are a great MOM!!! Most people can't say ONE of those things.
Throw those thoughts out with the trash this week.
Hugs, Suz

Myra said...

You know - we all do the best with what you have. You're no failure. Look at your kids. They should make you feel good about where you are now. And you're strong and self sufficient.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I think Cheri and Suz covered it really well--but I can see where the feelings could come from. I hope they are fleeting.

Fantastic Forrest said...

I'd like to echo all the supportive things that everyone has said. You need to move on from this feeling of failure. Assuming you've described your situation accurately - he suddenly decided he no longer loved you but wanted to stay married until the kids were raised, you couldn't take it any longer after many years of a loveless marriage - you made the right choice. I hope that in as soon as your kids are in college, you move into a new neighborhood where you can start fresh.

We've seen a lot of efforts here in the NW (and I'm sure in other places too) attempting to define family as "one man/one woman." Screw that. You are part of a family. Checking "divorced" on a form doesn't make your life a failure. Just as writing down a number for one's age can make them feel old, it's really in how one lives their life. I know a lot of people in their eighties who have more vibrant, fun-filled days than many in their forties.

I know it's sad when a marriage ends in divorce, but it's far better than pretending there's a marriage. That is just living a lie, trying to keep up a facade when there's no love. How many of those beautiful homes and acres of flowers are just window dressing for something ugly? Think about what's real, instead of regretting something that isn't worth another moment of emotion.

Be well.

Persnickety Ticker said...

I never check divorced. I check the single box. I refuse to let my ex rule over my checking of boxes. And really? Who is going to do what to me for not checking the divorced box? Sue me?!

Sometimes, when I am feeling especially feisty, I check the MISS box. Because I? Still a teenager in my own mind! (that drives a mini-van and grocery shops and stuff, but meh...I still feel young and have every right to flirt with the teenage bag-boy!)


You are not alone in the whacked out uncontrolable weird-assed fantasies about your Ex. I get them occasionally about even the worst of the men of my past. I just laugh it off as temporary insanity due to all those drugs in the 1960's. (Even though I wasn't born until '76, but hey...gotta blame something...)

Chin up.

Sabrina said...

Wow. I asked for a divorce 7 years ago but am still with him, in love with someone else and terrified that I will have those same feelings one day. I admire anyone who is strong enough to go through with it, I keep hoping my day will come.

You should be very proud of yourself. In my opinion, instead of being a "failure" you did something to prevent becoming a failure by ending a bad situation. I feel like a failure for still being miserable and married so, good for you!

3 Peas in a Pod said...

You are so many things I can only hope I will be. I admire you so much. You're doing it and you're doing it on your own. You are a strong woman.

I'm going through a divorce and although I know in my heart it's the right thing for my kids and me, it still makes me sad. I was miserable with him, he with me, we were toxic together. Why then am I still sad? The loss of a dream that I've had for 40+ years is the only answer I can come up with. This dream can never be duplicated. I'm still searching for a new dream. An improved dream. One that's attainable and realistic. One that fits me and one that fits my kids and me. Divorce sucks and hurts everyone. I'm still hoping to be friends with my soon-to-be ex but it's not looking like that's going to happen.

Much love from NJ,

ChiTown Girl said...

Oh, Sista, I know exactly where you're coming from. There's absolutely NOTHING weird about your "bizarre thought." I have those thoughts far more often than I'd like. And, listen up, Lady, you are NOT a failure in any way, shape or form!!!!

SabrinaT said...

Failure is the LAST word you should use. You are living your life, on your terms. I would venture to guess that you and your kids are a lot happier now.

There are a lot of people who stay, keeping the kids in dysfunctional homes because they don't have your courage!

dkuroiwa said...

So...I'm reading through all the comments and shaking my head and agreeing with every single one of them.
Failure? Schmailure! HOney...I've seen failures and you? not. even. close.
Look at all you have and what you have not a failure.

I think that we all have those moments of self-doubt, what-ifs, being blindsided by nice memories/fantasies....but...those just make life interesting...they keep us on our toes...And help us remember that reality is oh so very much better.
and yeah...what suz said...throw all those negative thoughts out with the trash!!

(and really...what a great support system you have here!!! very cool)

~annie said...

You are not a failure. What you've done does nothing but show how strong you are! Those thoughts you have about him? Yes, they feel strange and can really throw you for a loop. They might keep cropping up for a while, but eventually they do stop or at least do not derail you as much. Be kind to yourself.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I totally identify with this.
On Facebook, I see old friends who married around the time ex and I married, and are still together. I get a pang every time. It's not that I want to still be married to HIM. I just envy them still being together, having had a successful marriage, and being together for their kids. And apparently, making a better choice way back when.

ModernMom said...

I'm with Busy Bee Suz....ditto to everything she said! Hugs to you and your many success as a powerful, strong, wonderful mother and woman.