Part of the process is accepting that the Leaver is right. She was right about everything that was wrong between us, how I was the cause of so much of her misery, that I kept her hemmed in, that we were codependent and I was at the root of all her “bad habits” and “bad behaviours,” (her terminology, not mine), that our relationship was intrinsically neurotic.
Do I agree with the above. No.
I find her summation of events revisionist, patronizing and insulting. For starters, I think that trying to assign fault and blame is irrelevant and self-deceptive. I believe that when you love, you do what you can and sometimes it doesn’t work. But I don’t think there was malice on either side. I don’t think striving through difficult times is neurotic. I can’t accept a psycho-babble calculus that doesn’t realize that the sum of love is ineffable and much greater than its dissected rationalized parts.
However, what I believe is irrelevant. What we are living is her truth so I have to accept it.
There is no objective truth, no objective right. How can fallible human beings know or be certain of such things? So I can’t say whether my view on events is correct. What I can say is that there was a battle between truths and her truth won. Won in the same way the Canadian Woman’s hockey team beats the Italians: total, complete victory.
I like learning about theoretical physics. It’s a little intellectual pilgrimage I go through every half-decade or so. There will be some book or new TV series from Nova or the BBC with snappy animations and enthusiastic researchers with new metaphors. And I’ll feel like that kid in grade 8 who thought being Einstein was a good career path before he failed his first high school physics class because its hard to get to E=MC2 when you can’t remember the difference between numerators and denominators.
But I don’t apply relativity to my parallel parking. Schroedinger’s Cat doesn’t enter into whether I have a cookies left to put into the kids’ lunches. I open the box and check but I can’t honestly claim that it is because of quantum uncertainty that I am compelled to eat one just to make sure its really there.
My truth is as relevant to our situation as quantum mechanics is to making the kids lunches every morning. I suppose saying it’s completely irrelevant is a bit bitter. But it hardly makes a difference. We are living the Leaver’s truth. Everyone involved is living the truth that she has instigated: me, the children, friends, close family, the school (not the bank, yet, but it will) even the folks on the Christmas card list.
We are separated. And the track to divorce is fast and seemingly inevitable. So whether I believed that there are other ways to look at this, which lead (no not to getting back to together again, I’m not delusional) but to some sort of equanimity is irrelevant.
There is no room for compromise — it is total victory between one side or the other. After all, you can’t be half dumped. You can divvy up parenting and argue who has more responsibility or influence and such. But you’re either dumped or not. You can be in all sorts of half-assed relationships of varying degrees. But there are no degrees of dumpness. It’s a one-sided thing, and once it’s been communicated the only other option is abject denial.
Earlier on in this process, I thought that there were degrees of relinquishing connection, but I think that’s early on. Now it’s accepting another identity for her and me with her. She seems more and more a stranger to me now. To say she’s not the person I fell in love with would be a trite disservice — after all its been almost twenty years. I sure as hell hope she’s not the same person. But she’s changed within the past few years so much and this year particularly.
Does this mean I’m coming to a Socratic acceptance or am I just war-weary and capitulating. Wisdom or surrender? I think the former is functional. Maybe my defences have finally collapsed in the face of the last 2 hour, over-the-phone onslaught that explained what really was going on for the past three years of our marriage.
“Really, is that, what it was? Silly me, I thought we loved each other…” doesn’t hold up as much of a defense.
So, you won, fine. You’re right.
Can we get on with it, now?