I read a blog today from a writer with a very terrible, bullish, narcissistic (aren’t they all these days?) ex and she made a comment that she wonders why couples who can co-parent so easily are even divorced. That is a valid question from someone who was in such an abusive relationship. But why did I get divorced?
90% of the time, Stanley and I get along just swell. Even when I hate his lazy ass, we still manage to co-parent in a civilized manner and can occasionally even share a joke.
(Just to be clear, he probably hates my overfunctioning ass, too.)
Those sort of statements or questions make me feel even more of a failure for getting divorced.
For about 5 minutes. Then I sit myself down and give myself a talking to.
No. To my knowledge, I wasn’t betrayed and he was not unfaithful. But he wasn’t faithful. He wasn’t interested in me or engaged with me. He is much more faithful to his beer hobby and he is a faithful father. He is there when he is supposed to be and does his best to be a good dad. His best isn’t always great but he is better than a whole lot of people. There are bloggers here on DivorcedMoms who have been betrayed and share their recovery from infidelity. TThey suffer. I acknowledge that I have not been hurt like that. My life wasn’t turned upside down in a single instant. I can’t imagine. My heart goes out to every one that has to live through it.
Nor is Stanley mentally ill. It seems now everyone has an ex that is a narcissist. Maybe they are. I didn’t marry a narcissist probably because I dated one so I learned my lesson early. (I then turned around and married an avoidant). I dated a narcissist when I was in graduate school for my MSW. I would sit in Psychopathology three times a week and cry.
There were only so many red flags I could ignore. Narcissists are mean. They make you doubt every little thing about yourself and you cry. You cry a lot.
Personality disorders are diagnosed when a person has so many of one type of characteristic or trait that it interferes with their daily functioning. We all have some degree of narcissism (Exhibit A- the selfie), or at times are avoidant (Stanley),
or histrionic (who me?)
We aren’t all mentally ill, but statistics show that nearly 10% of the population could be diagnosed with a personality disorder. Worse than that, treatment doesn’t usually work, not that they would go, nothing is ever their fault. So, nearly 10% of the population are pathological assholes that are going to stay pathological assholes.
Al’s ex fits into 4 disorders that I’ve recognized and I haven’t even met her yet.
So, what about people like me? I wasn’t betrayed nor emotionally abused.
I was merely, unloved.
He didn’t want to talk to me or care if I was upset, he wasn’t engaged, and he didn’t want to work on our relationship. I was taken for granted like a pair of old comfortable shoes.
I was like a Hushpuppy.
(but I’m kind of histrionic so I sparkle a lil bit. I’m the most comfortable shoe, like, ever.)
Successful (and even easy) co-parenting is awesome. I’m very grateful that there wasn’t a betrayal for either of us to have to recover from or mental illness that interferes with our co-parenting. But successfully co-parenting with someone isn’t like being successfully married.
I can think of a whole bunch of people that I could successfully co-parent with but couldn’t be married to. Srsly, a whole bunch. I can’t really think of anyone I want to marry but the obvious and we aren’t there yet.
Stanley and I weren’t cheaters or lunatics, but we weren’t partners, lovers or even friends.
That was not any sort of marriage for either of us.
I guess I will be the first member of the plain ole Unloved Club and be grateful he’s sane.