Saw an article today in the Huff… …and thought I’d respond:
Look – I get it. I really do. I have also been married before and I do have a slight grasp of what bitterness might entail as well as how it might just bring out the worst in us. I read your very well written article and I actually nodded in agreement, because I do see (I think) where you might be coming from. Having said that, I adore (no, really, I do!) my ex-husband’s new partner, and do you know why? Because she is wonderful to and for my young son. How I might feel about it never even entered my mind, so I can’t relate to you on this score. Sure, I was the one to leave the marriage (because it didn’t work, not because there was someone else – there wasn’t) and perhaps it is therefore easier for me to be happy for the man I once married now that he’s all coupled up with somebody new.
Hello there, not all that pleased to meet you Wife #1, I’m Wife #2. Scrap that, actually, I’d be more than happy to sit down with you and hear you out over a coffee or several glasses of wine, but I do surmise from what you’ve said that you have no interest in doing so. So my first question is why? Is my crime that I am the one he fell in love with after he left you? Or that I fell in love with him? You did once too, no? Does that mean that you are now dismissing me? Does that mean I don’t count? Trust me, I have had my fair share of reluctance and apprehension coming my way, and contrary to what you might think, it’s not always that easy being in my position. And here is why.
I met him when he was separated (I understand the ‘other woman’ you’re referring to may have been in the picture way before I was, but really – was her only crime falling in love with this man?), he’d left a miserable marriage that had been all but dead for the previous decade and then he moved on with me. So he somehow fell out of love with you. Does that mean that he is a douche-bag and the fact that I love him equate to me being some kind of devil woman? Does the fact that his feelings for you died and then came alive with me mean that he is scum and I am some less worthy individual?
A year and a half ago, I met my soul mate. He was recently separated after a long marriage. We fell in love and our life is so blissful I can’t now imagine how I ever coped without this best friend by my side. OK, you probably don’t want to hear all that, right? Point is, if we keep it somewhat brief, that I was single and so was he, albeit his divorce not being final (in fact, divorce proceedings only got started after we met). For all I know his ex is this dowdy, bitter, cold and as-far-from-sexy-as-you-can-get bore that he couldn’t wait to get away from. And good for him! Who would want to spend their life that way??
I’ll respond to each of your points in the order you put them forward:
1. Keeping out of your divorce stuff until it’s final.
I live with the guy. We’re building a life together. What happens with you guys I do recognise (and respect!) is not for me to dictate, and nor would I want it to be. But because it does affect us (‘us’ now being me and him, not you and him – sorry, but that’s how it is), I do have a say and an opinion. What you say and do affects OUR lives, not just his. Deal with it.
2. Don’t demand to read correspondence between you two.
Why, exactly? We’re best friends – like I share with him, he shares with me. Why is that a problem? And much less a surprise? Your partner is usually the one you share everything with. And yes, it does worry me and upset me when you send really quite nasty and/or unbalanced displays of utter viciousness to my BFF.
3. You wanting him back.
No, sorry luv, can’t say I’m worried. Your fake pregnancy alert (you’re in your late 40s and he’s had the snip – REALLY?) or any other desperate action only serve to make me feel quite sorry for you. Hell Hath No Fury. No, it doesn’t, but it’s also crowded with fools.
4. Imposing myself on my step-children.
This point I really do not get. My son is the centre of my universe, the sun around which I revolve. My ex-husband’s new partner is a wonderful stepmother to my 10-yearold son and I adore it. ADORE IT! It warms my heart that she is part of his life, and it warms my heart when he tells me about things the two of them do together and how on occasion I see handwriting in his homework book that isn’t my ex-husbands… ..it means this woman sat there with my son and took her time to help him out. I love that my son’s stepmum is involved in his life. Why on earth would you want it any other way? I don’t get it. My partner’s sons are adults, so I suppose I’ll never be their stepmum as such – I’ll be pretty happy if they can get to a point where I’m Dad’s partner as well as a friend. Either way, why on earth exclude – or want to – the people who come in to your child/children’s life? That seems crazy to me.
5. Don’t look too good.
I don’t do that to spite you, just like I’m sure you’re not deliberately a petite brunette (I’m a curvy blonde) just to piss me off.
6. Don’t look like a crazed inmate.
Your previous comment leaves me wondering which you prefer – do you want me to turn up looking like Cameron Diaz or Hannibal Lecter? Take your pick, I’ll do my best, but pick one damnit!
7. Don’t add your view.
I’ll have to disagree. Your ex is my partner and I am his. We have a life together now (hate it all you like – won’t change a thing) and unfortunately my voice does get heard. As does his. As do yours. It’s called moving forward. It’s an unfortunate result of divorce, but you have to face it.
8. My feelings VS your children’s.
I am so with you on this one. Never will I EVER allow anything to take precedence over my son’s feelings or needs. Glad we’re in agreement here!
9. Broke up your family.
No, I didn’t. I met my partner when he’d already left, so this I suppose does not apply to me. I get your point though.
10. Welcome to the douchebag.
Hm… Believe it or not – he isn’t. He happens to be my best friend. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you guys, but the man I am with I percieve to be the best person on the planet. Sorry to say it, but I do not see what you see.
I am sorry that you feel sad, angry and bitter. Truly. But I will not feel sorry about finding my best friend. I’m just sorry he wasn’t yours.
The New Woman.