My son got married last weekend. It was a beautiful ceremony followed by a lovely party. Several members of my far-flung family attended, and I got to meet a number of my new daughter-in-law's family as well. Everything was perfect.
Well... except for the ex.
I have been divorced from my children's father for about 10 years. At the time we separated I was pretty well fed up with him. I'd tried to make it work for years and by the time I realized it was a losing cause and made the break, he acted like he didn't even know the end was coming. He fought me every step of the way. Even went as far as doing lunatic things like calling off Christmas (!!) and telling our children not to speak to me ever again. (Which would have been quite difficult for my daughter, considering she lived with me...) Needless to say, by the time I was finally able to let go of the entire relationship, he had destroyed any good will that had ever been built between us.
I moved on with my life, got a good job, bought a house, started long-distance dating a wonderful man. I had met my Sweetie through the ex many, many years before so subsequently knew him quite well. Apparently the ex thought that he had an exclusive right to that relationship because he decided that I should not be friends with him, much less date this man. And it irritated him severely that I refused to acquiesce to his request for me to terminate the relationship.
In the meantime my daughter grew up, graduated high school and also moved on with her life. I grew tired of the long-distance thing and of living alone in the small town in which I had spent so much of my life, so I packed up everything I owned, loaded it in a truck and moved across the country to be with the man I now knew that I loved. Oh boy, did that twist the ex's shorts in a knot! My children were not thrilled with this development either... My daughter because I was going to be living 2500 miles away, but especially my son who was under the misguided notion that men don't "steal" the womenfolk of their friends. (Wonder where he got that notion?) Never mind that I was no longer his father's woman - ugh, still makes my stomach turn just to think of it - nor the fact that the ex had not even been in close contact with my Sweetie for a number of years.
So imagine the drama when we - my Sweetie and me - moved back across country, this time to Las Vegas, and took the plunge into marriage. Our reasons were pretty simple: we were going to stay together anyway, he wanted me to have health insurance, and we wanted the advantages only married couples can enjoy. The kids eventually got over it. The ex must have had apoplexy.
Sweetie and I had dinner with the ex a couple of years ago, as he held out the olive branch. We're not the sort to hold grudges so we accepted his invitation. It was an uncomfortable affair, punctuated by the fact that he was apparently looking for friendship, but chose not to follow through because he didn't contact us again. That was okay with me, I had no desire to attempt to have a casual relationship with the man; there was too much water under the bridge, too many hard feelings, too much drama. He has this tendency to want to be the martyr in most situations - and I have no desire to be the Pontius Pilate to his Jesus.
Fast forward a couple of years more and now our lives have led us to Ireland. The ex asked once why we would want to live in Ireland; can you imagine? My answer to him was, why not?! He obviously thinks we're crazy - however, it leaves him in the catbird seat, as he gets to play hero for the children full-time.
So there we were, interacting for the benefit of the children, playing nice in order to make our son's special day as perfect as possible. And the whole time I was squirming inside. He wanted to stroll down memory lane, as if there were places and times in our broken marriage that I wanted to re-visit. I'm not saying the entire marriage was a bust, but it's kind of hard to remember the good times when they were whitewashed so thoroughly by the bad times. He tried to destroy me because of his depression, our marriage was broken for a very long time before I finally put the proverbial bullet in its brain - and now I'm expected to look back on it as if none of that happened? Nope. Couldn't do it. I was civil, polite, made small talk. But nostalgic? Hell no. And he hasn't changed at all, not one whit. 10 years of being single and he hasn't learned why. He still talks of the same things, continues to re-visit the past, for some reason refuses to move into the future.
No, sometimes you just can't go back again.
1 week ago