My ex is not my favorite person in the world. In fact, while I no longer harbor resentments against him in any regards towards the demise of our marriage, I also do not sit here and think friendly, loving thoughts towards him. I am not sitting here putting daggers in the voodoo doll of his memory either. I just don’t give him a thought at all. Let’s get that out of the way right now.
I divorced him for a reason, and I am very happy not being married to him.
I also do not speak much about him, neither here nor in my real life. He is my kids’ father, and I respect that. And when he is mentioned, it is because my kids have brought him up and want to talk about him – about their excitement to visit him, about missing him when they can’t see each other, or about an issue they’re having, etc. I have separated the lines between his role as my ex-husband and his role as my kids’ father. As far as I’m concerned, my ex-husband is dead. Yup, it was awful – by some flesh eating bacteria that rendered him pretty much unrecognizable. My kids’ father is alive and well, and a very real part of my kids’ lives. I can deal with my kids’ father. But my ex-husband is decaying in the ground as we speak, and every now and then I go and dance on his grave.
However, just when I think that I’m rid of the body his ghost comes back and haunts me, affecting me in ways of letting me know that maybe I do harbor some residual effects from being in a bad marriage. And just the simplest forms of animosity between us send me in a tailspin, mixed with emotions of fear, anger, loathing and resentment. And I find myself sick to my stomach over someone who isn’t even a part of my personal life anymore, but who will be a part of my life one way or another through our children – for the rest of our lives. And above all, it makes me upset to know that even when I have physically moved on with my life – through love, career, and picking up the pieces that were shattered in the beginning – I will never be free from the hurt and pain and every other negative feeling that comes from a bad marriage.
I will never be free from him.
Our conversation the other night didn’t go well. Or I should say, it didn’t end well when I found myself on the end of a phone with a dial tone, his last word given before he hung up and prevented any further words from me. It came without warning, no tense conversation to precede it. He had been done talking, and so I should have been too. And I don’t know about you, but for me being hung up on is by far the worst way to gain my favor. It made my blood boil. And in that moment, I hated every single part of him in an anger that only he can bring out in me. And the fact that he had that much power over me and my emotions only made me angrier.
And yet, even while fuming mad at my ex, I had to somehow address the infractions the kids had committed while at his house. Part of me felt like letting it lie. After all, whatever wrongs they did were at his house, not mine. From what he told me, it didn’t seem like that big of a deal. And besides, I didn’t call him whenever something went wrong here. I just dealt with it. So why did I have to deal with these things when they were at his house, when his complaints felt more like tattling than an effort to deal with it together?
“While at my house, YOUR kids did this….”
And truth be told, a big part of me felt like “GOOD, glad to hear our kids are paying you back for every time you have been a jerk to me.” And being that he had just hung up on me, that feeling was a bit overwhelming. But on the other hand, since I am the primary parent, I am the main guardian in charge of molding these kids into the adults they are to become. And this is where separating my ex from their father had to take place.
Of course, it had to wait until I had put some time and space between the phone call, as well as a bit of time to talk smack out of the kids’ earshot. But once done, I sat each of the kids down and we went over behaviors they should be exhibiting with a parent, or any adult for that matter. And then I kissed each of them goodnight, turned off the lights, and retreated to my room where I pulled out a little tiny voodoo doll and tortured it a little before I fell asleep.