I don’t know what to make of it, and I’m still, in my Bad Divorce PTSD way waiting for the other anvil to drop, but I am basking in Prince’s cease-fire. For reasons not at all clear to me, my ex’s incendiary e-mails have dried up to an occasionally imperious jab. When I told him Atticus and I were splitting, he didn’t harangue me for a second divorce. Instead, he said: “Oh, that’s too bad. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.”
When I told him I could no longer afford to split the cost of Franny’s tutoring, he didn’t balk, or threaten to take me to court. He didn’t accuse me of mismanaging money.
A couple weeks ago, after Franny’s school performance, I stood next to Prince while we were waiting for her to come out of her classroom. We exchanged logistical information when it hit me: talking to Prince felt easy and devoid of tension.
For the first time in ten years, I feel that we are truly divorced. Because there’s nothing like ongoing litigation, or post-marital mud-slinging, to make you feel joined at the hip.
I still don’t trust this peaceful punctuation, however, so I find myself wondering why Prince has cooled his fighter jets. Perhaps it’s the fact that he has essentially full custody of Luca. Perhaps it’s the fact that he no longer pays child support. Perhaps he was happy to see Atticus go. Or perhaps he’s happily remarried and finally ready to move on with his life.
I don’t know what’s changed for him, but I do know what’s changed for me. I have learned to detach from my ex-husband. Some days detachment comes easier than others, but compared to how tangled up my psyche was with Prince’s a few years ago, I am more zen than I ever dreamed possible.
I attribute some of my new stance to maturity, but more so to this blog. Over the past two years, I have blogged my way out of the codependent morass — “if I could just get him to do xyz, my life would be so much better!” — we existed in when we were married. And I have blogged my way into a place of relative balance: what my ex thinks of me is about him, and is really not my business.
Still, the potential for Prince-shigas is ongoing, and I can’t completely let down my guard. I just hope, should the next storm cloud appear, that I will remember to do the only thing I can control: take cover under my umbrella of detachment.
Today, I’m thankful for Peace — outside and in.
Elizabeth Aquino says
I am so glad.
lisa thomson says
Congratulations, Pauline. That must feel like a significant milestone!
Thanks, Lisa. It does indeed!
I know what you mean– it’s bizarre when all of a sudden things are calm and flowing smoothly. Unfortunately for me, this never lasts TOO long… The other thing to consider, and I have a feeling you’ll laugh, is age. He might just be maturing a bit. Supposedly, it happens.
I think you may have hit the nail on the head – money – isn’t that what his whole family is about anyway – now he doesn’t feel like your “taking” his money and he “won” the custody battle so he feels victorious so he can afford to be magnanimous now…but ultimately like you said it doesn’t matter what he thinks or feels you are reaping the benefits of a better relationship with your son and less stress
These moments sometimes feel few and far in between. Some days it’s calm, peaceful and borderline friendly when we’re communicating.. but other days the chaotic undercurrent of bitterness, resentment and other feelings are present.
I’m happy to hear about this experience and I completely understand the feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Oh this post gives me so much HOPE! I have been divorced for 6 years and it is still filled with drama. I feel so much better when he leaves me alone. I cringe (with the Bad Divorce PTSD thing) when he calls. In four years, both of the boys will be away at college and I might potentially be FREE of the ex-drama. Thank you. I hope it stays this way for you, but even if he snaps back to his usual unpleasantness, you can look back at this post and know that it can be better.
This makes me very happy.