Okay.. so.. I had the 5 year anniversary of my father passing, which was the same day as my old wedding anniversary to my now ex-husband. If you are just joining this or don’t know the history, my ex and I were together for 13 years, married 11 of it and monogamous about 11 of it. We opened up and became poly, and he left me for his girlfriend that I had also been dating until he was too jealous of her and I to continue. He told me he couldn’t be poly, and then that he could, and again that he couldn’t. He began dating our old dog walker in secret while we were separated but talking about working it out. We have been apart about 3 years now and are divorced.
I did pretty well this anniversary and thought mostly of my father. I miss him, but it was somehow sweet this year to think of him, and not the aching pain of other times in my grief over him. It was good.
I messaged him and learned that he’d proposed to the dog walker and they were engaged. (He and the girl he left me for broke up in October of the year we separated and after we’d decided to divorce, and he’s monogamous with the dog walker since then).
You know. I felt happy for him. I hope it sticks this time or that he can be a different. He looks happy, and I hope it’s real. For a while now I’ve had a peace about everything that happened. I love him. I’ll always love him, but in a huge way, I’m super happy we moved on. Time reveals all things and most questions become answered.
I read through our old letters during this big house cleaning, and sorted all the old pictures. I’m happy that he and I had the love we had and I’m okay now that it’s over. I read all those poems he wrote me, and the letters we sent each other and all the years of cards. He wrote me so many poems! It was sweet to read them.
I found the letter he’d written to the women he left me for, with the recycled poem. LOL. And I found the proof on the hard drive of his affair. And even reading our letters to each other, it came up again and again.. how he’d been caught in a lie and was sorry, and I just hadn’t ever really wanted to see the truth of the man I loved so dearly. He loved me and I loved him, but he wasn’t honest.
Time after time and lie after lie and broken trust after broken promise, I ended up with a man of such little character that he ended our marriage the way he did. It is all there in black and white. And the weird part was the way it affected me to read this stuff, a lot of which I hadn’t seen before. I felt relief. I was relieved I hadn’t been crazy. I was relieved that I am better off. I wasn’t really angry or hurt. Of course I’d known. There are a million things I loved about that man, so many, so many still, but I do not miss his poor character. I think he means well, I really do. And his sweet nature and his earnest love made me let it go and let it go and let it go, but it took a toll. I’ve worked hard since our divorce, looking at all the ways I was wrong and all the mistakes I made and the things about myself I didn’t want to see too. I healed a lot and I’ve changed a lot. My relationship with myself is different.
Recently I caught Traveler in a lie and had that old cold dread. Thankfully he is a lot more honest, but it’s there. He’s a much better liar than my ex, so I don’t always catch him right away, and probably don’t always catch him. I know he tries to manage people’s feelings, and when it happens I ask myself what I really expected. I expected my ex to stop some time, to get better or grow out of it or something, or us to be in some place where he wasn’t like that anymore. But he never did. And I’m in a different place with it with Traveler. I hope and expect somehow that it will change, that he won’t try to manage anymore, but realistically, why would it? What so far would have affected that change? It’s not like he got counseling after the last time or something. This is a part of him that I accept and understand isn’t my fault. He’d lied about something super stupid too, just to avoid his thought that I’d be upset. I wasn’t and he didn’t need to lie.
He thought he did something that would be upsetting to me, or that he thought was wrong for some reason, so he lied about it. Notice he still did the thing he thought was wrong, or that he thought would upset me. He didn’t chose not to do it. He chose to lie about it. That was eerily familiar, even if it’s really a different thing with Traveler. More importantly though, it’s a different thing to me. I know it Traveler has a fault that isn’t my responsibility or my fault. I have lots of faults, but I don’t have HIS faults. He’s a grown man who can make his own bad choices.
Traveler is NOTHING like my ex. He doesn’t live with the same selfishness or disregard. I was ALWAYS shocked when my ex did it because it seemed so out of character in such a sweet man. And Traveler just isn’t that same way. My ex’s lies were never malicious either mind you, just different. He wanted to do whatever he wanted to do whenever he wanted to, and rather than not doing hurtful or dishonest things, he’d just do them and lie. I loved him then and I would have kept loving him with that cost, but it’s nice not to have to pay it so often. Traveler lies to save other’s good opinion of him, and to avoid causing hurt. It’s not a good thing, but it’s part of him and I can’t change it in any way. I don’t expect to.
It’s not that those letters or the hard drive made me really see my ex as some terrible person so that his engagement didn’t sting. It was a long time coming. And he’s not a terrible person. Evan has proposed to every woman he’s dated. He is the marrying kind. I’m actually more amazed he hasn’t remarried already. So yes, I expected that. But really it’s just that I feel a lot more settled. I’ve moved on and he has too. This wasn’t huge news. It wasn’t a surprise or rashly done. He’s been with the dog walker for 3 years. He seems settled and happy. It’s a natural progression. Being married to him was mostly very good, and I imagine it will be so for her too. I hope they are happy and have a long and wonderful time together. But I don’t long to be there anymore. In a lot of ways I’m a different person, and he is too. Maybe he is more the man who wrote the poems and less the other man. I hope so.
So.. here we are. It finally happened. My ex-husband is getting married yet again. We knew this would come and I kinda feared it, but the time came and I found it wasn’t that painful or hard or difficult. It feels a little strange, but mostly good. I hope he’s happy. I hope she is too. She seems like a pretty good sort, sweet and loves books and animals. I always rather liked her. She always seemed so kind. I hope they are really happy, and I’m happy for them.
It also really helped that he proposed to her when he did. It’s a little petty. I admit it. Guess he didn’t want to have to remember any new dates. Heh.