As MTL and I said to each other later, after biting our tongues (for the most part), there's also another way to never have an Ex: never have a relationship to begin with.
It's all about risk, really. If you're not willing to take the risks, you never experience anything at all--joy as well as pain. And I will say, failing teaches us the most about life and ourselves.
That being said, there are definite drawbacks to having Exes, especially the sort that don't go away. A friend of mine recently got divorced after only two years of marriage, with no children involved. I'll admit to some jealousy, not of a marriage doomed so soon, but of her divorce reality: she is not tied to that Ex for years and years to come. She can, if she so chooses, simply never have any contact with that particular man ever again. They didn't even own a house together, for goodness sake.
MTL and I are in the relatively fortunate situation of having Exes with whom we are amicable. Since there are five joint children involved and we are
But I'd much rather we didn't have to interact at all. I don't care how well we get along. I don't care how friendly we can be. I don't care how helpful we are. If I had my druthers, I wouldn't ever have to call or email or talk to or see either of them again. I'd rather not be Facebook friends with either of them--and interestingly enough, I am with both. (Don't bother telling me I can defriend them--there are reasons it's better to just keep things As Is. For one thing, it keeps them both thinking of me as Friendly. Heh.)
There are things that irritate me about each of them, enough to write a book. Lately, however, there's one thing in particular about MTL's Ex that has been driving me absolutely up the fucking wall, and I simply don't know what to do about it.
She calls him Almost Every Single Fucking Day. On top of the texts that I know she sends him, and which I don't see and honestly try not to think about. And yes, I know the kids are generally what the calls and texts are about, and yes, there has been lots of drama about The Dark One lately, and yes, I know that arrangements aren't quite as streamlined and clear as they are with me and The Ex and therefore there has to be more communication to handle things as they come up, and yes, I know that she doesn't really use email and therefore doesn't communicate that way as much as I and The Ex do.
I also know that MTL has absolutely no interest or romantic attachment to her whatsoever and generally finds her irritating and frustrating and doesn't particularly enjoy communicating with her. It's not a trust issue, not really. (Yeah, yeah, I know there's that infinitesimal part of me that has issues simply because they were married and have children as a common bond and spent way more years together than we have and all that shit. I'm working on it.)
I hate it when his phone rings. It's almost always Her. I would venture a guess that about seventy-five percent of the phone calls he gets are from Her. Sometimes he'll just reject the call when he doesn't feel like talking to her. Most often he answers, because it might be important.
He just got a call from her a little while ago. It's what put me over the edge into writing this post today. There was no reason for her to call--not a good one, at any rate. She has the kids this weekend. We aren't even picking up The Padawan today as we usually do on these weekends, because he has tomorrow off school and will be staying there until tomorrow afternoon. From the sounds of the conversation, nothing had happened with any of the kids. There was no pressing issue. She was just wondering about something.
I'm sure it was just a question that popped into her mind. So she picked up her damn phone and called.
That's what she does, so often. Almost every day. And every time she does, I feel that anger and resentment building up inside. Shut the fuck up, I want to say to her. Leave him alone. Leave US alone. Go the fuck away, you jealous bitch!
Because that's part of it, you see. Whether she wants to admit it or not (and she actually has, to MLT, a bit at least), she's jealous. It doesn't matter that she's remarried and even has another child with her husband. It doesn't matter that there's no way in hell they'd ever get back together. She's never completely let go of him. The life we're leading was supposed to be Theirs. The plans we're making were supposed to be Theirs. He was supposed to be Hers.
It doesn't help that we are, in pretty much every way, much better off. We have good jobs. We aren't wealthy, but we are comfortable. We live in a nice and (rather importantly) large home. And she and her husband? Well, they really, really don't.
From a purely objective place, I can understand the jealousy. From a more subjective place, less so.
And I sure as hell wish she would just give us space. Even when all I'm talking about is the interruption of two minutes time when we're just relaxing on the couch.
Because this is OUR time. OUR space. OUR relationship. And it feels, every time that goddamn phone rings, like she's shoving herself into it, with the constant reminder that we will never, ever, be completely free of her involvement.
I know that I need to just let it go. But that's just logic.
Emotion has never listened well to logic.
Maybe that's because they can't talk on the phone.