Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Just a few questions

• Why does my husband want to attend his ex-girlfriend's wedding?
• Doesn't it matter that she cheated on him in graduate school?
• Shouldn't it matter that she was (in his presence) as cruel as possible to me?
• Is it "unforgiving" of me to think that we might have left her in our past?
• Am I "suspicious" to be hurt by the fact of their renewed email correpondence?
• Does it matter that she's now a tenure-track professor in my husband's field?
• When my husband tells me that he needs to support this woman because she has "commitment issues" on account of her parents' 1986 divorce, am I a bitch for feeling zero sympathy?

Inner bitch does the math: "Been divorced" trumps "your parents' 20-year-old divorce." (Give me a f-ing break.) You made my husband cry, which means I don't have to be friends with you. Meanwhile, does the fiancé know that you're working out those "commitment issues" by calling up old boyfriends?

P.S. to husband: The nicest thing I can say about this is that you are as noble as you are insensitive.


At 6:40 PM, Blogger Yankee T said...

Yes, it should matter that she was nasty to you (in his presence or not). You are not suspicious, you are uneasy, and rightly so. Yes, divorced trumps parents' divorce. Yes, you should be able to feel that you have left her behind.
Sorry about all this. Noble is good, insensetive is less good.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger ~profgrrrrl~ said...

Oh dear. I'd be none too thrilled about that ... but while married I endured something fairly similar. Only since then (and it was not related to the breakup at all) has he come to realize how insensitive he was.
Ex now claims it is all about wanting to think things are all good with all of the ladies, even where there is no intent there. Just an ego stroke, y'know?

Hope it all smoothes over.

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Men like to feel needed and noble (strokes their egos). Particularly if the person doing the needing is an ex-girlfriend who cheated on him or broke up with him 'cause it's a tacit admission that she was wrong back then (in the minds of us men, anyway). Men can be pretty thick-headed about these things, can't they/we?

--Been there

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Anastasia said...

I don't know why divorce has to trump parents divorce. It seems more significant to me that it isn't his business or his job to help this women with any kind of issues she has. I think you're right to be uneasy about it.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Thanks, all, for your input. I was starting to think that I was crazy to be uneasy. (A much better word, Yankee Transplant; you're right.)

Oh -- and Anastasia, I'm sure that my comment about divorce trumping parents' divorce does seem odd. It stems from the conversation I had with my husband, in which I (as a bitter joke) suggested that if this chick wanted real trauma, she should try growing up with parents who had a wonderful marriage, and then leap blindly into marriage herself, only to find that good marriages aren't nearly as easy or plentiful as they once seemed. "Now THAT will give you commitment issues," I joked. Don't mean to downplay the obvious pain that accompanies a parents' divorce, but I was marshalling every emotional response I had against this person. Am over it now, I think.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Anastasia said...

I see. thanks for explaining that. well. I dont think you're crazy in any case.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger What Now? said...

I'm kind of with anon/Been There on this. Even if he is totally happy with you, that doesn't mean his ego got banged around with this woman, and so now he can be in the powerful position of having an explanation for her cheating that isn't about him (i.e., her commitment issues), of being stronger than she is (i.e., he doesn't have commitment issues, witness his marriage to you), and helping her out from his position of greater strength. Perhaps it speaks poorly of me, but I think that would be very soothing! I occasionally still google a couple of people who trounced all over my heart back in the day, just to soothe myself with the knowledge that my life is oh-so-much better than theirs. (Yeah, I'm real nice, aren't I?)

Now, all of that is an entirely different matter than his response to your unease about this. Given how unhappy you are about his attending the wedding (and is part of your unease is about her tenure-track position? perfectly understandable, of course; I've been there myself), I would think he would let this go. Your happiness is obviously more important than this other woman's!

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Dafina Girl said...

Oh boy, been there, done that, but from the ex's point of view and yes you should be uneasy (nothing happened). But at the same time, I think marriage is one of those deals where you go to uneasy spaces with your partner in full acknowledgement of being uneasy but then together you come out of a tough moment stronger. Particularly if he can tell you what was going on with him and why and you feel like you're getting the full story.

People keep going through stuff after they've committed fully to someone else, and people commit fully to other people when they have unfinished business elsewhere.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger Norma said...

Call me crazy, but isn't there a lot of hugging, kissing and dancing at weddings--even with the bride? Is that too obvious?

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Manorama said...

Interesting to read, since I'm currently working through issues with an ex who is very dear to me. Husband Figure is not always happy about it, but we both recognize that part of the fiction of something called marriage is the notion that married life closes other emotional doors. This stunts important connections in sometimes really unhealthy ways, and when those doors are slammed prematurely, the ex tends to haunt the relationship like a constant specter. It's better to let one another work this stuff out when it arises; otherwise, both people will be sorry later. (I know because my own ex has been a specter for a couple of years now; only now has Husband Figure reached a point of understanding that I need to explore that relationship in order to be happy, and in order for our partnership to be in a better place.) So much of the problem, I've discovered, comes from trying to follow some abstract rules about how our relationships should be once we are "married." It can be really useful to interrogate those.

One thing I do know is that this isn't easy, ever. I respect your feelings.


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