Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh, dear

So, I finished my ex and the Saturnine Thespian's (the new guy's) shared blog Wednesday night, after my last post, something like 36,000 words. The parts where they were sharing things that I'm not into, I could rejoice with them the most. The parts where it was stuff I would have liked to do but she'd never open up with me? There was jealousy and anger. And there was some sadness from all of it.

At first, I was pretty distraught; I called up Determined Guy and Determined Girl and asked if I could come over for some company, not to be alone. They said yes, as I was sure they would, they're good people; we talked about it a bit. And I thought about things I had read the next day. How much love and devotion is in S.T.'s writing. How familiar my ex's love-and-devotion-promising responses sound, under the fet trappings. How her writing has tapered off much more than his since it started. How he apologizes for the lack of content, and she doesn't. How much he reveals of himself, his conventionally embarrassing kinks, his awkward adolescence; how she reveals nothing of her past but a vague reference to how she always had dark desires but was trapped by the vanilla world into hiding them. Her preposterously ironic (to me) musing on the beauty of devoted marriage that no one does in the modern world, delivered without the faintest hint of self-consciousness. His most recent post, talking about how his dreams are falling into place because of her.

And I thought, the poor guy.

And I thought about how most people have never heard her seriously admit a failure, and me only once. And how surprised she was at the idea that my family might be mad at her. And I thought how her memory seems to be run by the Ministry of Truth. And I thought about the times I've met him (S.T.) recently; I was extremely intent on showing that I was not a threat, not full of hate; but how from the very beginning he had none of the defensiveness that I would expect from someone meeting a distraught jilted ex-husband who is carrying a gun.

And I thought, how was all this presented to him?

And I thought, I probably owe her first husband an apology.


  1. "Now that I see him Sam, I do pity him."-Frodo Baggins

    I've had that nerdy thought about ex-girlfriend's partners once I'm over them. This seems a hopeful mental step to me.

  2. Thanks, Odysseus! Yeah, I'm not feeling so attached at the moment, so probably a good sign.

    I don't think the Saturnine Thespian deserves the Gollum comparison. :)

  3. I was more comparing your ex to the ring, it was HH's first thought on reading this too.

  4. Hello M - Even though the reading was painful for you, I think you did the right thing in that you've gained clarity and are moving toward closure. The next step in the capability to assess romantic partners that you are building, is to similarly assess new applicants. One of my childhood friends who is a successful international business man has done much the same as you. First analysing why the first marriage did not work and then when meeting potential new partners, looking for the deal breakers and addressing them together before he commits his heart. He also consults his friends frequently to gain extra insight, just as you are doing ...

  5. Odysseus: Ah, I see! Well, my guess it's the chameleon thing again. First she will try to be his perfect woman; then she will try to be the perfect something based on her ideas of what he's supposed to like (with me it was conservative Christian wife); then she will realize all this has not made her happy and will start unconsciously looking for the next guy and role. But that's all a guess, of course.

  6. Candice, I do similarly assess new applicants in intention, but I don't think I do it at all right yet, which is why I'm still staying alone for now. :)

  7. It's probably a good idea - detachment does not happen overnight - perhaps 2 years total ??? - similarly I am avoided major decisions until I get used to the new hormones regime! Praying for you! :-) C

  8. The platitude is that it takes half as long as a relationship lasted to get over it. It's true of me - I was married for nine years and I didn't start feeling really over him until at least four years after the breakup.

    Although I should add that in my experience, you don't have to be completely over your last partner in order to be with someone new. I feel I was ready for - and would have been suitable for - a new relationship around two or three years after leaving my marriage; I only stayed single because no good candidate presented himself at that time.

    My personal list of Signs It's Okay to Date Someone New is:

    -I've stopped comparing and contrasting new people with my ex; each new suitor I meet is judged entirely on his own merits.

    -I'm no longer bringing up my ex at the slightest provocation ("Yes, we are having nice weather lately! Y'know, my ex had a funny saying about weather...")

    -I have a good idea of what went wrong with my previous relationship and how to avoid repeating the same mistakes; I've worked on any issues I had that may have contributed to the breakup.

    -I feel happy and confident as a single person, and am seeking a relationship out of a desire for companionship and because I have a lot of good things to give a partner - not because I feel incomplete or need rescue or validation.

    -I know that my last breakup was a necessary thing, no longer feel any attraction to my ex, and wouldn't get back together with him even if he asked me to.

    Ummmm I think that's it.

    The remaining pieces of the puzzle, for me - the things that completed my sense of being "over" my ex - were a) not mourning the divorce anymore (I was really pissed off about it for a long time, even though I knew it was for the best) and b) not really caring that much what he thinks of me (we stayed friends, after a fashion, but for a long time I carefully avoided mentioning anything in my life that wasn't going well; I wanted him to think I was totally cool and in control all the time. Now I don't give a shit).

    So, that's the pattern things took for me. I'm really glad it took me so long to meet my Minx; being single for so long gave me levels of inner strength and self-awareness I never would have believed possible. I think I would've missed out on a lot of personal epiphanies if I'd entered a relationship any sooner than I did. I think you'll end up really glad you waited, too. <3

  9. Actually, depending on your definition of "over", I'm still not over my marriage; I still get pissed off thinking about some of the shit my ex did to me when we were together. Some kind of closure might help - for instance, if he acknowledged how fucked up things were and apologized - but I'm pretty sure that'll never happen.

    If I ever stop being pissed off about the past and hating my ex for the things he did, I'll let you know...that would be the real final piece of the puzzle. Right now it feels like I'll never be able to let go, but hey, I'm only 38...I could live another 30 or 40 years. So you never know.

  10. p.s. Word verification on that last post was "paings". Hilarity!

  11. PerverseCowgirl, thanks for all your thoughts! The figure I usually hear is that it takes 25% of the time you are in a relationship to be ready for a new one.

    I don't think I really compare new people to my ex.

    I totally bring her up at the slightest provocation, I always thought my bad motive for that was to show how forgiving I am.

    In some cases I'm working on the issues that contributed to the breakup, in others I'm identifying them as non-negotiable. One I'm working on (which I have observed lots of men have) is a tendency to turn into hermits after marriage. One I've identified is my absolute need for frequent sex with affection, I will never get over that.

    I do have a real need for validation.

    My head realized I should never get back with my ex a long time ago; my heart seems to be starting to get it.

    The thing that prevents me from letting my ex know how bad I've been doing isn't that I want her to think I'm doing so well, it's that I'm convinced she doesn't want to know. She wants to think that she made things clear and waltzed off, no harm no foul.

  12. I'm a woman, and I do want men who want me to want them, and I'm creeped out by those that want me regardless of what is in my pretty littel head. The first one sounds like the recipe for fun consensual sexytimes, the second one, f or rape, as in, real and not fantasy-rape. Ugh.

  13. oops, I wanted to pout this commenti under a different post, the one about not being into women who don't want you. the basic feedback loop of "I know that you know that I know... that we want each other" is such a delicious thing.