I feel it's only fair to share this since I've shared years of whatever the complete and total opposite of "nice" is. Please don't get me wrong, I appreciate "nice". I deserve "nice". I have longed for six and a half years to be treated nicely and with respect. I'm not perfect, but I didn't fuck up the biggest wedding vow of all. The big whopper that we promised in our church, in front of God, our families, and a soloist we paid far too much for. You know the vow, the one that goes something like... I promise to not knock up another woman and leave you alone to raise our infant child and be the biggest cold hearted douchenozzle possible in the process. Amen. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Even when he broke that vow I still deserved nice not only from him, but from her.In fact, especially then.
It's six and a half years later and something has changed. It's nice, but for some reason the abrupt and sudden about face has given me emotional whiplash. It's weird. Or it could be the fact that I find it weird means I'm even more cynical than I thought. Either way, I'm more shaken by the emotions that this sudden niceness has brought to the surface than I am about the weird and creepy niceness itself. I know in the past year he has reconciled with his parents after not speaking to them for five years, they began going to church regularly and I am now guessing it is in fact quite possible one, or both of them, have been returned to their mother ship and have been replaced by actual human beings. I'm just... confused.
I've always believed that some degree of anger as a reaction to a marriage that ended in adultery is healthy. It enables self preservation. Anger protects, motivates and in some ways helps heal a wounded ego and heart. I'm not saying anger is good, but I'm not saying it's bad. Anger is heavier than loneliness and pain, it lays on top of it and covers it in darkness. I didn't even realize this until the campaign of niceness began in the last few weeks. I've become comfortable with anger. Righteous indignation has been my way of post divorce life, it's been my battle cry, and now the cold war is over.
And I am ashamed, and embarrassed, to admit that I don't know what to do with that. I thought I was past feeling anything about this. At six years I should be past it.
I know and understand that our being "nice" is the goal and has always been for the sake of our daughter. She is, and always will be, the single most important thing in my life. I've wanted "nice" for years but never got it. Now I have it and I don't know what to do with it. I'm in an stew of unexpected emotions. I find myself now being the difficult asshole desperately clinging on to some completely illogical need to be less "nice" just to keep my peculiar emotional universe in balance. I'm afraid of the feelings that might replace anger and that is the most frightening thought of all. I can't go back to the feelings of loneliness or pain. Anger is empowering, pain is debilitating. And that is fucked up but it is the truth.
I keep finding things to be angry about. I recently received an email from Mrs. 2.0 saying how she hopes we can become more than cordial and that they'd like to have me over for family get togethers in the future. It took all I had to not email her back and tell her that if she wants to sit around and braid each others hair I'm going to need her to first apologize for fucking my husband. But I didn't. Six years ago, or maybe even one, I would have. Instead I politely answered the non-related question she had and ignored the olive branch part. The fact I did not beat her with said branch shows progress.
Evidently it was not to be ignored. A week later I received an email from my ex inviting me for a family dinner to celebrate our daughters birthday, Easter and, wait for it... his birthday. I sent a short reply telling him I appreciated the thoughtfulness but that I'd have to respectfully decline. I admit, I am not a big enough person to sit in a family gathering on his family turf with his wife, their children and our daughter. I'm great with neutral territory, not this, this is too much out of nowhere. An 180 degree abrupt change with no warning.
I'm jarred, and I feel selfish. And angry that I feel this way. And jealous. And angry that I'm jealous of all that he has - a spouse, happiness, a family around him, no scars on his heart from our divorce, no weight on his shoulders - he's free. And happy.. And then I feel anger again, I'm angry that I'm angry. And angry that what was the most thoughtful and kind and right thing for him to do made me feel lonely. Not lonely from the want of him, that has long passed, but lonely from what could have been, what was but is no longer, what he has that I don't and that nothing, nothing at all, has changed for me. And mostly, most importantly, that I am now acutely aware that I am angry at myself for all of this because the place I'm in is my fault alone now, not his. Not hers. It's all mine. And now I truly know what it feels like to be killed with kindness. As a device of torture, kindness, is in fact stunningly effective.
To keep the universe from imploding I asked that he keep to our birthday visitation agreement and bring our daughter home by 3pm next Sunday for her Birthday. I can't do his family gathering that day but I do want her back home by the time in our parenting agreement set for her Birthday. He responded that because it's his year for Easter and her Birthday is on Easter this year that makes the agreement "nebulous". Then I couldn't help myself. I clicked respond and earned myself a one way ticket to Hell by quickly engaging in the below with him...
When Jesus spends four days in the hospital in labor, with three failed epidurals, then his resurrection will take priority over the birth of our child. I'd like her returned home by 3pm, the time in the parenting agreement, that is kind of why it is in the agreement.
Jesus would be very unhappy you said that. How about 4:30?
Yeah, but his mother just gave me two snaps in a Z formation. How about 4?
Fine. But you pick her up.
Wait a minute, this means I have to pick her up at the family gathering that I already "respectfully declined" because I was a selfish chicken shit that chose self preservation over self torture.
Vengeance is in fact yours. Well played, per usual.
I'm fairly certain I'll regret sharing this and that I really should just set fire to my laptop and save myself from... myself. And for those of you not yet as far out in the "process" as I am please do not be afraid. Most people have their shit together by now, you'll be fine. I'm just your cautionary tale.