Hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary the other day. Nothing too glamorous. We spent a quiet day at home together. I took MIL to the bank and the grocery. He had an appointment with a physical therapist for his back. We had a nice quiet dinner at a family owned local restaurant. The weather was warm and sunny. A beautiful day. But that’s not the topic of this post.
When I met Hubby, he had recently gone through a divorce. He was adjusting to the end of a 10 year marriage to his high school sweetheart. He was desperately missing his kids. Jr. was 10 and Princess was 8. He was living all alone for the first time in his life. He wanted out of the marriage so badly that he gave The Ex everything – he kept the house, his car, his tools, and his dog. She got everything else. To say that he had some emotional baggage is an understatement.
I went into my relationship with Hubby knowing full well that The Ex and the kids were part of the package. I knew that because of the age of the kids, that we were going to have to deal with The Ex for quite some time. But I hoped/prayed that when the kids turned 18 and the financial obligations ended, then the drama would end too. What can I say. I was 19 and extremely naive. The kids grew up and had kids of their own. For the sake of the grandkids and family unity, we kept trying to get along with The Ex and Husband #2, Husband #3, Internet Boyfriend #1, and Husband #4. It was a losing battle. If we did something nice, we were trying to buy the kids love and affection. If we didn’t do something, we were horrible selfish people. And it’s not just The Ex that feels this way. Princess has been known to stir up drama, too. We can’t win, so we’ve stopped trying. We can’t stop the drama, but we can minimize our exposure to it.
We go for months, sometimes a year of two, between dramatic incidents. We relish the quiet times because we know how bad it can be when the drama starts up. We dread phone calls from The Ex. When we see her phone number on the caller id, we debate over who is going to answer the phone – "I don’t want to talk to her, you talk to her." "She’s your ex-wife, you talk to her." When her number comes up on the caller id, we just know we’re in for a rough stretch of road.
I’m getting a bad feeling that we might be in the beginning phases of another dramatic incident. But you know what, I’m tired of this cycle. After 25 years of marriage, I think it’s time for this crap to end. But I don’t know how to make it stop. I’ve done my time. I’ve paid my dues. I realize she’s the mother of his children, but do I seriously have to put up with her and her nonsense "til death do us part"?