August 25, 2013

Being the Dream

This is part two in the balance of catharsis.

My father was married for several years and had four sons with his first wife.  After around 15 years of putting up with each other, they called it quits, she remarried almost immediately, he moved on to bachelorhood for a few years.  Roughly 5 years after his divorce he met my mother, courted her, married her and the rest is history.  Now my mom is 16 years younger than my father, therefore roughly 12-13 years younger than his former wife.  After they'd been married for a couple of years, mom had my sister to keep her company while my dad was at work.  She'd get calls from his ex raging at her, sometimes for hours.  Mom said after the first couple of times it happened, she would simply put the phone down and go play with my sister or clean the house.  She'd come back after an hour or so and eventually ex would have yelled herself out and hang up.  Now why on Gaia's green Earth would a woman, who had voluntarily divorced her man and immediately remarried, rage at his new wife years after?  Makes no sense does it?

I suppose it does when you cast it in the proper light.  Let's imagine that life for that first couple.  They were young when they married, idealistic, she probably had a certain idea in her head of how married life would be.  I'm sure he had his own ideas, probably being the man, working, living, and coming home to dinner at 6 o'clock with the boys properly washed and tended to.  She got to keep that house running, tend to it all while he globe trotted and drove trucks for years.  Easy life?  I doubt it.  Reasonable divorce?  I'm sure.  Sometimes people are not compatible, no matter how you try to force it.  Sometimes goals and dreams are totally different.  Sometimes he's a jerk and she's a bitch.  You never know what truly goes on behind closed doors.  

So if the divorce made so much sense, and them both moving on was such a great thing...why would the old bride have any animosity toward the new one?  Well, let's break it down from a woman's point of view.  We are some convoluted creatures after all.  

*     As long as he was single he was still sort of....available.  If it fell through with the new husband she could always bat those eyelashes or say what she knew would work to get him back at the very least in her life if not her home.  He's still available for beck and call if need be.
*     As long as he's making money, some of it is hers.  She can use children, or poverty, or those eyelashes as leverage.  She can always say, "well the boys need clothes", whether they actually need clothes or not.  
*    As long as she has a child or children for him she's got a link to him.  There will always be that one connection to exploit.  She can keep the child from him as punishment, she can throw the kid at him when she's tired of said child, she can blame him for any and every ill thing the child does whether he's got anything to do with it or not.  
*    When/if he remarries or becomes attached to another woman, the comparison begins.  Heaven forbid if she's younger, thinner, or more attractive.  If she's fun it's that much worse.  Then the "why is he with her" bit starts.  What does she have that I don't??
*     The family begins to get to know and like said woman, old wife gets pushed out of the family picture and replaced at the dinner table.  She officially becomes simply...the mother of his child.  Nothing more.  
*     New woman moves into a house that perhaps the old bride lived in for a while or for several years.  She redecorates, fills the hallway full of pin up posters and rearranges all the furniture to encourage good Feng Shui.  In other words, she erases all signs that there was ever another woman in that house, thereby solidifying the fact that the original bride is no longer the "first wife".  
*     The new woman inspires him to do the things the original bride couldn't.  Maybe he loses weight, gets a new job, puts away his old ways, or loses that depression that plagued him while they were together.  Maybe he turns into that man she wanted...or maybe he always was and she could never see it or cultivate it.  
*    The child likes, perhaps loves, the new woman.  No woman on Earth wants her child to love another woman as much as they love her.  This alone, can make a woman crazy with jealousy.  

Wrap your head around watching someone else do all the things you couldn't do.  You begin to ask yourself....was I wrong, were my methods bad?  He just didn't know how to listen.  He was a jerk.  He was lazy.  What does she do and why does she get that privilege???  

I did this for a while at first when my ex left.  As much as I didn't want my marriage to be over, I didn't want it to continue either.  It's taken me a couple years to be able to say, "we were toxic, he's better off and so am I".  "She can deal with his laundry and his sleep apnea".  All the while he's saying, "he can live with her anxiety and hippie inspired hygiene".  

Did I go through and at least find out who he was with and who my child would be around?  Sure, that's normal.  But I know my ex.  He always had good taste in women, he likes cerebral women, smart, savvy girls.  Once I got names and a basic history...all was good.  I may not like my ex, but I do trust that he will take care of our daughter.  Was I excited that he left so far away from her?  Of course not, but I know when she's with him she's taken care of.  I have to trust it.  If I don't, I'll make myself sick and wear my own soul away worrying about something over which I have no control.  I'm happy enough that he moved on, I don't need it rubbed in my face.  I don't dwell on it, I don't obsess over it, I'm not friends with them on Facebook or any other social media site.  Why bother?  I did my time with him, now it's someone else's turn.  If she can do for him what he needs, then so be it.  I am content here in my own little home.   

I may not agree with the behavior but I do somewhat understand it.  Somewhat.  Inner contentment has a lot to do with the whole thing.  If you are satisfied and happy with your life and yourself, you don't need to make comparisons.  You don't need to Internet stalk, or attempt to acquire information from former friends of the object of your obsession.  You sit back and tell yourself, I made my own mistakes.  I've corrected the ones I could, made amends where necessary.  I've eliminated the toxic people from my life.  And I've created my own heaven, I don't need to cling to that illusion anymore.  It didn't work for a reason.  Don't obsess, and don't give anyone a reason or a way to call you on the crap that you cultivate.  

Then, you just let go. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Well, the end of an era is officially here, this fall we will be empty nesters.  Getting The Girl graduated was a hard job.  She was so focu...