(NB. I wrote this and the next couple of entries while in a resort in Cuba. However I did not have Internet access there so have only posted them now. Thus the discrepancies in the dates being referred to.)
I’m going to try to stop caring that I’m no longer liked by the person who once was the love of my life.
No mean feat I’m sure. It’s hard to accept that I can’t convince her otherwise. Rationally, I think this should be temporary; as distance increases and we go on our separate lives we can escape the auto combat mode. For the present, however thisisvery difficult to imagine.
But fighting the antipathy, trying to convince the Leaver that she can still have some sympathy and empathy towards me, is just a trigger for instant hostility and deep suspicion. She’s just constantly on a war footing with me. I tried again to make a foray into what I thought was some sort of healing, but to her seemed manipulation. On a balcony in Cuba I pleaded to her to look me in the eyes and recognize that it’s still me. Pretty much the same guy you married — with all the faults and foibles associated with that to be sure — but I haven’t turned into an ogre since she told she had to leave almost 4 months ago now. I haven’t gone throwing crockery, declaring her a harlot, shunning her or hiding her from the children, closed bank accounts and change locks. Sure I’ve lost my temper, I’ve insulted her, I’ve pushed buttons as she has — it’s an emotionally wrenching time. I’m quite ashamed of things that I’ve said and done and I wouldn’t condone the aforementioned list of behaviours. However that list are reasonable acts of unreasonableness. People do that sort of stuff under these circumstances. And I think, honestly, that I’ve avoided a lot of the stuff that would almost be expected.
But, you know, so has she. She hasn’t changed the locks, called the lawyers, slagged me off to friends. Most of what I find difficult to handle in what she has or hasn’t done in this process has revolved around her inability to not only say she’s leaving but do the next steps and therefore take full responsibility and ownership of what she needs to do. But I haven’t turned into a dick. She hasn’t turned into a jerk. We still live under the same roof and manage to take care of our children without tearing at each other.
Trying to convince her of this on the balcony at a resort in Cuba was no more a success than at any other times. I suppose it didn’t help that she was inebriated at this point, however when she’s completely sober, she can’t seem to stand even the tone of my voice. So trying to find a good time to talk is a bit like trying to find just the best position from which to observe the majesty and physics of avalanches.
Unbeknownst to me, the Leaver declared that we are not even supposed to discuss the upcoming departure at all on this Cuba trip. This astounded me — since if she’s taking possession of an apartment August 1st and we want to give the children at least 1 months notice of what’s going on and we will be back on July 1st, it begs the question — when do we talk about this. She told me that her mother, who is with us on this trip, is looking forward to an opportunity for me to talk to her (that is her mother, not her, the Leaver,) about what’s going on. I thought that was fine. We have a good relationship with a lot of mutual respect. And its fantastic that she came along. This is important. I then proffered, “well we’ll have a chance to talk too about what’s going on…” and, well, that was about that, its avalanche time. She said through gritted teeth with unnecessary adjectives she already told me what was going to happen. I was surprised. I asked for specific dates. She spat out two that we’re not possible because of obvious reasons that we both knew and we were in World War III with hushed tones and a child in the next room all over again, but now on a balcony in a resort in Cuba.
It is a very hard thing to let go, the fight for empathy and sympathy but I just have to raise the white flag and withdraw from that field. However I really don’t want to be in perpetual combat either so is there an in between place? An emotional demilitarized zone if a formal truce is still impossible.
When I asked her to remember that person that she married, to give the benefit of the doubt that I’m not playing silly buggers and gas-lighting her that she really hasn’t told me how all this is going down, her response was “you want me to feel towards you like I did when I married you.”
Well I’m pretty sure she’s wrong on that one. I don’t. I would settle with her treating me as a decent stranger. But, I’m realizing, in writing this that I’m probably going about it in exactly the wrong way. If I make her think about the person she married then she can’t see that person as anyone but the person that she wants to get away from. That is the point after all. So she has to be hostile, suspicious etc. The only way she can treat me with the decency she would offer a stranger is by detaching and distancing.
And I suppose I too have to stop thinking about her as having any relation to the person I’ve married. It’s a lot of double think. Or is this a sort of healthy denier? Or just necessary denial (what’s healthy about any of this?). I don’t want to be married to her anymore, but I want her to be connected to my family and that wouldn’t be the case if she wasn’t still that person. I want to sympathize and empathize and I can. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be helping.
So… Well…. Hell…. I just don’t bloody know.