Honest Living: Same Stuff, Different Day (Part II)
*Continued from yesterday's Honest Living post*
When I walked away from our marriage, it felt like I had escaped from a black hole. I had doubts when I was first on my own and would think sorrowfully, “It wasn’t really that bad, was it? What if you’ve made a terrible mistake?” But in time, I came to realize that nothing less than divine intervention had convinced me to divorce him. If I hadn’t, I would’ve once more been tangled in another of his webs, wound around him, his latest mistress, and myself. I’m pretty sure that would have been more than I could have handled. I’d survived it twice, but I couldn’t have a third time. It would have done me in.
Having said all of this, I want to make it clear that I’ve moved past the crash and burn of our marriage, but I still don’t want to be his friend. This doesn’t mean I want to be his enemy, either. Rather, I would prefer to be nothing more than a memory, a part of his past that helped get him to where he is now.
He, on the other hand, doesn’t see anything wrong with the way he behaved while we were together. As such, he thinks it’s perfectly fine to call me when the going gets tough. I always was his safety cushion, so to speak - the woman who was there waiting when he couldn’t find a girlfriend or needed a break from life in the fast lane.
But it’s not my responsibility to serve in that role anymore, and I don’t wish to turn back the hands of time. So when my ex-husband dully replied to my question, “Nicki (his fiancée) needs some time to cool off before I contact her again,” I immediately understood his actions had once more gotten him into trouble. Hence my earlier suspicions that he'd mess up pretty bad and that she'd left in a fit of anger.
I don’t care what he did to upset Nicki. Frankly, it's not my problem, and I don’t want to do something that would make it so. In other words, I don’t want to give him any ideas. So I spoke honestly to him and said, “I think you need to focus on getting your life together, with or without a woman in it, and I can’t help you do that.”
When we hung up, I knew he was angry with me. I didn’t respond the way he had hoped, with coos of sympathy and murmurs of encouragement. A long time ago, I would have, but not now. I don’t wish anything bad for him – in fact, I hope he learns to be happy – but similarly I’ll never let him use me again. This is, after all, the man who wouldn’t even pay for our divorce because he said he’d already paid enough during our marriage.
I’m pretty sure he won’t call me again. That last phone conversation felt like a door closing, so to speak. And realistically, we don’t need to talk anymore. It’s not necessary for us to call each other and ask how life is going. We don’t need to pretend that we’re friends or that our divorce was amicable, because it wasn’t. While neither of us wanted to be together any longer, we didn’t part on friendly terms. I was upset because I found out he’d once more lied to and cheated on me; he was upset because he felt I took all of the “good” things – some antique glassware, a television, and a few pots and pans – we had owned together during our marriage. These sentiments perfectly and succinctly reflect our relationship.
I hope my attempt at speaking honestly with him did finally put an end to all of the hurt and anguish. I’ve moved on, and he should do the same. And whether or not he ever repairs his ties with Nicki, I just hope he finds a woman who can keep him on the straight and narrow because that’s what he needs. As for me, I simply need some peace and love.
A little money wouldn’t hurt either.