Finding out your ex has a girlfriend is never easy, especially after a divorce. Being divorced for one year (separated for two), you would think that learning that my ex-husband has a girlfriend wouldn’t phase me at all. WRONG. But was it jealousy that was controlling my emotions or something else?
After my divorce was final, my ex and I were trying to learn how to be friends for our daughters’ sake. It started off with just small talk via texting. He would send me a “good morning” text every, single morning. He would tell me about his day, every day. The texts got more and more personal.
He spent Thanksgiving Day at my house and I cooked the whole meal. He came over on Christmas Day and we shared the holiday together as a family. He came over in February and built my fence for my backyard and then mowed my yard. Hell, we even went on a week-long spring break skiing vacation together!
About a week after the vacation trip, things heated up and we started sexting. Then had phone sex. It was awkward, but it happened. I finally got up the courage to ask him if he wanted to try again. If he wanted to, slowly, get to know each other again and see if there was a possibility that we could actually be together. His response was “I don’t know what I want right now.” But he knew.
We did all of these things as a “family”, add in the awkward sexual stuff, and I started getting the wrong idea. I wonder why? I started wanting him back. I missed having him around to do all of these things for us and I missed having him to talk to. Then I found out about the neighbor that he was screwing. Ouch. So I asked him about it. I asked him if he had feelings for her and his response was “we’re just friends right now.” Um…ok. I had gone from wife, to ex-wife, to friend/slut the on phone, to the back-up option. Fuck that.
I’ve always been a jealous person, I admit it. But learning about his new “friend” hurt. And it hurt a lot. Why was I feeling this way? I’m the one that divorced HIM! I didn’t want to be married to him anymore because he had been a narcissistic, controlling bully throughout our whole marriage! He was a genuine jerk and had placed all of the blame on me for the demise of our 12 year marriage. So why on earth would I want him back or think that I had feelings for him again? Where were all of these feelings coming from?
These feelings were coming from the overpowering mother instinct that I had toward my girls. I was their mom and some-ho-next door was going to try to swoop in and take my place! She was going to play house with my kids! She was going to marry my ex-husband and they were going to be the perfect little family and live happily ever after.
And I was scared to death of my girls liking her. Ok, I was scared to death that they would love her, want her to be their mom, and forget all about their real mom. Me. I wasn’t jealous of the new girl, I was scared of being replaced in my daughters’ lives. They were my world and it was terrifying thinking that they might like someone more than me.
Enter my best friend. She told me that I had to stop all communication with my ex unless it was about the girls because he was just using me to pump up his ego. ALL communication. She told me that he was only texting me out of boredom or when the other girl was too busy to text him. So no more texting him OR responding.
No more having him over for a holiday meal. No more having him over to my house. Period. We would have to start meeting at a public place for the girls’ pick-ups and drop-offs. He didn’t need to see inside my home or be involved in MY life at all. She also told me to be thankful that the girls liked the ho-next-door. Her exact words were “it could be worse. He could be living with some skank whore who didn’t give a crap about your kids.” This was true. But how could I be accepting of this ‘person’ when it seriously hurt?
It finally dawned on me that I hadn’t had closure and he had closed the book a long time ago. So, I did what any sane, non-jealous ex-wife would do… I wrote him a letter. I told him all of the feelings that I had and that I was sorry he couldn’t try again. I told him I was sorry that we couldn’t do things as a family anymore, but not for him, for the girls. And then, after I got all of the gushy feelings out of the way, I told him that we could no longer be friends. At all. And I told him that I was going to miss him.
I sent the letter and then I grieved. I finally went through the grieving process for the loss of my marriage. It hurt, but it’s much better on the other side of grieving.
So when my girls go to his house every other weekend and spend time with my ex and her, I’m thankful that she’s nice to them. I’m thankful that I have the best friend in the world who can knock some sense into me when I need it…which happens to be quite often. I’m thankful that I finally had closure. And I’m also thankful for my divorce. Without it, I would still be in a miserable, loveless marriage with an incredibly selfish man. And no one can replace me in the lives of my girls. Time to watch some else’s reruns!