"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Doing It Wrong

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

Drake (featuring Stevie Wonder)

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.”

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Comments on: "Doing It Wrong" (13)

  1. I think I have to let this stew for a while before I know how to react…

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    • It’s part of my process of coming to terms with myself. I wasn’t ready to think about this until my divorce was final. There is no hurry, but perhaps one day in the future you might want to think about it. This has only helped me grow and understand how NOT to repeat the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. I agree, it is important to accept one’s responsibilities in a relationship’s demise, if we want to not reproduce what went wrong. I am trying to do the same thing. I think my ex is struggling a bit more 😉
        Maybe if I have time I’ll get back to comment on the actual post tomorrow 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like it just wasn’t meant to be.

    Yes, it’s a long time to spend on something that isn’t working but I don’t think being with my ex’s was a waste of time – I learnt more about myself after being with them. Sounds like you have as well 🙂

    So maybe it’s all worth it in the end to be the wonderful person you are today, with the cute bf and the amazing sex. And just think – some people are stuck in an unhappy marriage until they die! You raised your kids and got out of there, you’re one of the lucky ones 🙂

    So don’t beat yourself up that you ruined the marriage. Relationships are made up of two people. You two just weren’t properly compatible, it’s no one’s fault. The little stuff won’t ruin it (eg. My bf has put on 30kg since I first met him and I’m still around!), it’s the bigger compatibility issue that ruined it.

    Relationships aren’t perfect, I’ve recognized this and taken bf along for couples counseling before, but it’s all about happiness vs unhappiness. If you’re unhappy more than happy, there’s no point staying with that person. I broke up with an ex because of this – I chose my happiness.

    You’re happier now and it sounds like he is too (somewhat) so thats the important part 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trust me, I am not beating myself up but simply taking ownership of my contributions to the relationship’s demise. My ex’s shortcomings are extensive but my blog is about me and not him 😏. We did several rounds of couples counseling and I did individual counseling also. The counseling was only a bandaid on the core problems. I had my reasons for hanging around which mainly involved my kids.

      As I told the Hunter today, the first 50 years of my life were about other people. The next 50 are all about me. In order to continue growing and learning, though, I need to examine the past in order to avoid repeating it. I don’t want to dwell on it though, so tomorrow I’ll be back to writing about great sex!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha don’t let us stop you about talking about emotions, we’re not just here for the sex posts! 😛

        Well I’m glad you’re not feeling sorry for yourself, you had me worried there. You’re using self analysis to help you learn lessons for the future so that’s definitely a good thing.

        “The first 50 years of life were about other people. The next 50 are all about me.” Love this!! Good on you, you bloody well deserve to be happy and carefree! Xx

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  3. Annie B said:

    Thank you for sharing this, Maggie! You will help so many trying to find their way and understand how it all goes wrong and the parts we play.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment and reading my blog! I find that relationships are quirky, unique things specific to the parties involved. I think my biggest error in my youth was under-estimating the impact sexual compatibility has on a relationship.

      But I also believe things happen for a reason. I needed my ex in order to have the amazing kids I have and for the life experiences I have had. Now it is time to move forward having learned the lessons of that relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve noticed that I idealize a great deal about my marriage and my ex – I tend to remember the good times and his positive qualities, even after he acted like such an asshole while ending the marriage and afterwards. I was also trying to be compassionate and caring towards him, as I know that he has limited emotional and communication tools since he refuses to work on himself. However, that is not working for me anymore – I continue to be kind and loving towards him and he ignores and avoids me, which is hurtful. I had to have a stern talk with myself – even if he were to ask to move back in and to work on the marriage, is that something I even want? The answer is no – I don’t like the man he is. Yes, he has good traits, but so many things about him and the way he related to me and the children caused so much pain while we were together – I don’t want that ever again. So, I’m being polite, but I’m not initiating contact with him, making care packages for him, etc. I’ve got to make that break from him in both my mind and my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your thoughts! Relationships are interesting creatures. I still consider my marriage a success even though it is over. We were married 25 years, had great kids, a great life from the outside. Over half of my life was spent with this man and virtually my entire adulthood, so he will always be a significant part of my life. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to idealize your marriage because in many ways it’s better than clinging to the negative emotions. I would suggest that you clearly recognize the bad, but why dwell on it? Learn and move forward. Thanks, again!

      Like

  5. […] years I had no interest in doing much of anything nice for my Ex. I guess I should add that to my list of things I did wrong in our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I did nice things for my Ex frequently but either a) they went […]

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  6. […] she notices those things. I laughed and told her I wasn’t surprised at all. Then I told her about my lunch with him back in February. She commented that people, especially men, need to spend significant time alone after a divorce so […]

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