If I had to have a complaint, it's that I'm still contending with the emotional aftermath of a failed marriage.
Here is what I know. I know I don't miss being married to my ex (as I've said in the past, we are just two very different people philosophically - meaning we just had different priorities when it came to how either of us wanted to live our lives). It doesn't make one right and the other wrong. It just is.
Granted, it doesn't keep us from judging one another at times and the result can be considered an "argument". However, we've managed to keep things civil and at the end of the day, even if we just "agree to disagree" we can move past things... until the next time ;).
So, what am I getting at? Like I said. I know I don't miss being married to her. But, I do miss the feeling of what we had when it was working - a husband, a wife, two kids, dog... etc. etc. etc. Again, I've discussed this before and my hope is one day to have it again. But, I know after a year and a half of being out there that it's just as likely to happen as it is not to happen and I'm fine with that... sort of... Bottom line - I won't do it unless it really feels right.
But these are not new revelations - and I'm not here to vent tonight. I'm here to just express some sadness. Not because I think my ex set out to hurt my feelings intentionally. No, in fact, I think it's the opposite. I think she's dealing with things the best way she knows how (it may not be the way I would do it, but that doesn't make her wrong). One thing I've learned recently is to "never take it personally".
My ex turned 40 last week and as many of us do when we're 40 - we throw a party in our honor. When my 40th rolled around I had a dinner with friends - it just so happened to take place in the midst of my ex and I figuring everything out. Needless to say it was an odd experience. We kept up appearances and I had a very lovely time with some great friends.
So, tonight, my ex is out there with her boyfriend and having a party with her friends - many of whom I knew from my time with her (some of whom were at my 40th dinner) - and a few I still talk to time and again. So why am I hurt? Why should I care? Because as both my ex and I would tell you - we don't hate one another (at least I don't hate her - we're just different). I know the idea of having your ex-husband at your 40th (especially when there is a boyfriend) can and would be somewhat awkward. But still, we've spent nearly half our lives together, and so whenever something goes down and I'm not a part of it, it feels like a little bit more of me gets erased... not sure what that means exactly, but that's the feeling. Like a part of my life is continuing without me.
Tonight, another man toasts the woman I used to live with, had kids with, and yes, even loved -- and that is an odd, sad feeling. It would have been nice to be there, because she's a good person at her core, I appreciate everything she does for our kids, and once upon a time she was very necessary for me to have in my life.
There was an odd moment the other day. My son did something very dumb (as he's sometimes prone to do) and ended up in the ER (don't worry, he's fine... luckily). Since my ex and daughter rode in the ambulance with him (like I said - he's fine) they of course were going to need a ride home. They got in my car and I headed towards where I used to live with them. The sun was beginning to set and I had my iPod playing some hip-hop mash ups my daughter and I have been listening to lately - It's really cool stuff. My ex commented on how much she was digging it and was inquiring about it. Much like she would have years ago when I would enjoy introducing the family to the latest thing I was listening to. And truth be told, I put it on because I knew she would dig it (and I wanted to see if I was right)... I was.
And then it happened - for a brief moment the feeling came over me - I was driving home - the sun was setting, and we were all enjoying some music... it felt as if the last year-and-a-half was just some bad dream - and I had my family again... or rather the feeling of it... the feeling I had been missing.
...and as fast as that feeling had arrived it was suddenly gone when my ex's cell phone rang - She began chatting about something I knew nothing of (Was it her boyfriend? A friend gossiping about something? Her mom, dad - who knows?... I never will because it's not my business - it's not my life). It's gone.
THIS is my life now... not that moment. I pulled up to the house and dropped my ex off - after all, it's my weekend with the kids and I love the time I get to spend with them... especially the weekends... but tonight I take a moment to acknowledge a sadness (fortunately, it will be one that will vacate the premises quickly). I'm sure it stings because it reminds me of my 40th and what was happening then. Tonight, she celebrates her 40th without me (not because she hates me (I don't think), but perhaps because it would have been too awkward or sad or whatever to have me there. Only she could tell you). Regardless, I hope it was a hard decision to make, but I don't want to know either way... what's done is done. I just have to accept it.
The fact is we are no longer together and have both moved on as much as two people can who share two kids. However, it doesn't erase the memory of the past (that moment in the car proved that to me) - God, Eternal Sunshine was an amazing movie!
I think you get the point.
Happy Birthday, _____________!