When a good thing goes bad it’s not the end of the world
It’s just the end of a world, that you had with one girl
And she’s the reason it happened, but she’s overreacting
And it’s all because she don’t want things to change
So cry if you need to, but I can’t stay to watch you
That’s the wrong thing to do
Touch if you need to, but I can’t stay to hold you
That’s the wrong thing to do
Talk if you need to, but I can’t stay to hear you
That’s the wrong thing to do
Cause you’ll say you love me, and I’ll end up lying
And say I love you too
I had a very pleasant lunch with my ex a couple of weeks ago. It was an interesting lunch because I was comfortable with being alone with him (albeit in a public setting). We mainly talked about the kids and some issues/planning around them. However, our lunch was before Valentines, so he asked me if I had plans and I said yes. Then, of course, I asked him. He laughed and said he did as well. I see a couple of women on his Facebook, so that was no surprise. This lunch was good for me because I was able to talk to him about two things that have been on my mind.
The first was an apology from me. I apologized and told him that I knew that I did things that undermined and eroded our marriage. He waved off my apology and didn’t want to further discuss it, but I think it surprised him. The other was a question for him. I asked him that now that he has moved Downtown, no longer has the hour commute or the big, empty house, was he happier? He said no. He still wanted us to be together. He said that a couple of trips and not having the kids would have solved the problem. Sigh. He is oh so wrong. However, since he didn’t let me divulge how I ruined my marriage, I’ll share it with you, dear readers.
I would not have provided this reason to my poor Ex because it would have been too cruel, but first and probably foremost, we weren’t sexually compatible even prior to marriage. He never could make me cum. If we were in bed and I suggested something or asked him to do something differently, it would create performance anxiety in him. He was not coachable. How we have two children is a miracle. Dan Savage always says that sexual incompatibility will doom any relationship unless it is addressed and even then the relationship will be on shaky legs. I agree 100%.
I was young, only 19 years old, when I met my Ex. I was promiscuous but a bit inhibited about experimenting. He couldn’t get me aroused, so I didn’t enjoy sex with him. I am a completely different person today but that is due to age, maturity and a whole lot of self-study. In any case, I would turn him down when he tried to initiate sex and that lead to him being angry and the anger creeping out into our relationship in other ways. Bad sex created a vicious circle of hurtful emotions for both of us.
Another way I ruined our marriage is that I stayed in mommy mode and this is probably because of the bad sex. I didn’t encourage the date nights and other things couples do to keep their intimacy alive. He tried; I have to give the man credit. I rejected it usually. Now I know how important that connection is for keeping a relationship strong.
Then to make sure that he found me unattractive, I got fat. I ate my emotions. When he was being nasty and mean, I ate. When he was out late drinking and carousing, I ate. When I was lonely without girlfriends or the gumption to stand up for myself, I ate. I also wanted to make sure that other men would find me unattractive because I really didn’t want to stray outside of our marriage. After I did it once, I realized that I could destroy too many lives, so I got fat in order to hide from other men.
Another way I contributed to our marriage’s demise was that I didn’t stand up for myself. This was evidenced in two ways. One was that I didn’t insist on keeping girlfriends and having me time. That would have really helped my sanity. Instead I kept my emotions in check and I allowed him to bulldoze me. This goes back to my poor communication skills. Once I learned that he would react like a keg of dynamite, I would keep my mouth shut or lie if necessary. Anything to avoid the fireworks.
I was stubborn. Sometimes I was stubborn just to piss him off. I wouldn’t read his books or watch his TV shows just to annoy him. I didn’t like him to have control over me to that extent. I refused to learn a second language – he speaks three fluently. This actually hurt my children because they would be at least bi-lingual if I had learned a second language. It’s clear that children more easily learn a second language if the mother teaches them.
I talked about work a lot (I still do) and it bores people. I find myself with the Hunter stopping mid-sentence and ending the work talk. I brought this up with the Hunter because we both recognized that I bring a different energy into the relationship when I walk in the door from work. Now I have asked for a little time and routine to get me out of that work mode. I change clothes and walk the dog for about 20 minutes. The change of clothes and being outside helps me shift gears more readily.
In my marriage, I handled the money. He unquestioningly handed me his paycheck and expected me to make the right decisions. For the most part I did, but I also make some expenditures that are still costing us, like the horse. I bought my daughter a horse 18 years ago and we still own him. He is at a retirement farm, but I cut a check every month for his upkeep. Don’t even ask how many tens of thousands of dollars that has cost.
Over the Christmas holiday, I spent time with him because of the kids. What a difference a year makes. Last year I was angry and didn’t want to deal with him at all. This year was better. His family was better (in small doses). I was better. He was better. He did a plethora of fun things for the kids. He took them to an NBA game and other fun activities. He is smart, generous and funny (although sometimes his humor is at the expense of others). But I don’t want to go back. It’s time to move on, but I need to always remember the gifts and lessons he gave me during our 25 year marriage and 28 year relationship. These gifts include amazing children, a stable home along with friends and family who all loved me.
I also remember why I needed to leave. As we sat at lunch recently, he launched into his usual “woe is me” soliloquy about money problems, business trials and tribulations and I thought, “Yep, I don’t miss this at all.”