Telling It Like It Is
My ex-husband called me, which in and of itself seemed strange because I haven’t spoken to him in months. He is, after all, living with another woman, and according to them, they became engaged four days before he and I even separated. I’m still trying to puzzle out how it’s possible to be married to one woman and engaged to another at the same time, but I’ll leave the details of their romance to them. His call, however, really became odd when he said, “Yeah, me and Donna broke up.”
Donna is his fiancée, who I have come to understand cherishes him with all her heart. She and I have talked twice, and she’s made it clear he is her man. Ironically, he’s indicated he doesn’t feel quite the same and isn’t sure what he wants for their future. All of this is to be taken with a grain of salt because he is not a stand-up individual. He says what needs to be said in order to get by, without letting his emotions (if he has any) get in the way. In other words, he puts himself first. So it’s unlikely he would tell me how he really felt about another woman because he wouldn’t want to lay all of his cards on the table.
Still, I was taken aback when I learned of this break-up. Despite myself, I asked him what happened, and he proceeded to tell me she and her three children are more than he can handle. He said they eat on the couch without using napkins or paper towel, leave messes in the bathroom, and refuse to clean up after their dog. So, he gave them all their walking papers and is now single again.
While I listened to all of this, I couldn’t help but think yet again of what a bad guy he is. He had absolutely no right to call me, his ex-wife, and complain about his fiancée, a woman who evidently loves him to pieces. I have to believe something is wrong with him.
But something is wrong with me, too, because, rather than hang up on him, I simply listened as he rambled. It was exactly like our marriage: His needs (in this case his need to complain) came first. What I really wanted to do was shout into his ear, “Don’t ever call me again, you’ve caused enough pain in my life, find somebody else to whine to.” But I didn’t, and now I’m angry with myself.
I don’t want him to continue thinking it’s okay to call me when he needs a shoulder to cry on. I no longer have to serve that role, and, when it was expected of me, he sought solace elsewhere – in the arms of those he had affairs with. So I have made it my mission, my personal goal, to tell him exactly what I think of him the next time he calls. I have no doubt he will indeed call; he’s not capable of maintaining a normal relationship because he always wants more. He used to tell me I didn’t give him enough attention, and, when I spoke to him on the phone, he said Donna didn’t give him enough attention either. So I’m confident he will indeed call.
But as my commitment to honest living, a commitment I have just decided to uphold so I feel better about myself, I’m going to finally tell him he needs to remove himself once and for all from my life. And, in the future, I will find other areas in which this same endeavor needs to be undertaken. I don’t want to spend another day tiptoeing around other people because I’m worried about their feelings; I want to say what’s on my mind, in a polite way, of course, and bring the situation to a head for resolution. My new pledge to honest living is telling it like it is.