Which surprises me somewhat, as we no longer see each other, and I don’t really think of him during my daily life that much. Maybe once or twice a week, when something reminds me again of how glad I am to be out of that situation, despite my continuing fondness for the idea of him (who he was when we got married).
But in the last few weeks, I’ve been having one or two “married” dreams per week, so OBVIOUSLY I’m still processing. Last night’s was a bizarre one: I was sitting with his parents and drinking caffeinated tea, which I don’t as the caffeine encourages migraines. I was so exhausted with the situation, with my life, I remember feeling an endless weighting drag of leaden bone and sodden spirit, so his dad reached over and handed me a Coke (one of my most beloved beverages of the Before Migraine Times). So there I was, feeling exhausted, with two drinks that were inimical to my health, and feeling so out of place and so marginal to the situation… then Ex shows up and we go into another room, where there’s a lovely blanket made of crocheted squares. I pick it up and exclaim at its beauty, and say I’d like to make one like it. His response was a brutal, sneering shutdown. “You think you could? I’m sure you’d just start and then drop it, like everything else. If you could even figure it out.” Such contempt. Such hurtful words. I said, “You think I can’t?” His response: “I know you can’t.” And then I woke up.
This was actually not an unlikely conversation for the end of our marriage. I engaged in what I called the “Clean House Project”, where I kept the public areas of the house immaculate for over a year, because he told me he didn’t think I could keep any part of the house clean for a week. Suck on that, oh naysayer.
We used to go to a restaurant where the many entrees were very similar – just small differences between them – and the dish names were in Spanish, of which he had a better grasp than I, and I would ask him “which one do I get? I can never remember.” His response was usually good-humored, so I didn’t know it was bothering him. Until the time he snarled it at me with an obscenity, and then added mean-spirited comments under his breath about how I could “just try f*$&%ing remembering it next time for a change, if that was even possible”. When I asked him to repeat what he’d said, he said it was nothing. Then went back to texting one of his girls, which continued throughout that lunch. So I put the name of the meal in a text file on my phone and never asked again.
There were a lot of little rituals I did to prevent him from being angry or discounting or simply rude, I’m realizing as those habits fall away. What a pleasure that they’re no longer necessary.
And how awful it was to live with someone (and work with another person) who treated me with condescending contempt so frequently. Who verbally doubted my abilities even to exist on the planet as a human without management, because I was such a loser.
In a completely related note, I love love love living alone. I’m no longer walking on eggshells, and it’s glorious.