Category Archives: ex-hubby

You Wouldn’t Understand

“You wouldn’t understand. You’ve never had kids.”

“It’s not like you have kids or anything.”

Without a doubt, those are some of the most hurtful words I’ve ever heard.

I ended a 40 year friendship because of that remark.

Hearing my XH say those words to me marked the beginning of the end of our marriage.

And today I heard them from a co-worker.   From the last person I ever thought would say such a thing.  From someone who should know better than to say something like that to a co-worker. From the HR Director.

It may have been an off-hand comment with no intention to be mean and hurtful.

But it hurt.

And it seemed mean.

She didn’t know if I was “childless by choice”

She didn’t know if I struggled with infertility and was unable to get pregnant.

She didn’t know if I was able to get pregnant but not carry a baby to term.

She didn’t know if I was able to carry a baby to term but there were complications and the baby didn’t survive.

All she knows is “No, I don’t have children” and she used that information against me to prove a point in a senseless debate that she probably won’t remember tomorrow.

But I’ll remember that conversation for a long time. And it will affect me for a long time. And it will color my relationship and all my future interactions with her and will limit what kind of personal information I choose to share with her and, possibly, other co-workers.

And that will make me seem “standoffish” and “cold” and she’ll never understand why . . .

 

 

 

 

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That’s Why They’re Called Ex-Husbands

I had a small problem with a slow kitchen drain last week . . . I know I can’t fix it myself so I called the Lovely Plumbing Company that’s been so helpful with issues here at The Little House . . .

You know me . . . I always jump to THE WORSE CASE SCENARIO and was CONVINCED it was a broken drain pipe because of the ground freezing during the polar vortex that we had recently . . . even though every other drain was working just fine and the toilet wasn’t stopped up . . . I’m a hot mess . . .

Lovely Plumber arrived . . . listened to my description of the problem . . . assured me it probably WASN’T a broken drain pipe . . . and proceeded to work on the kitchen sink.

A half hour later . . . he was done, I paid the bill, and he was on his way . . .

The problem was . . . the drain pipe had frozen . . . seems that XH didn’t slant the drain pipe when he replace the pipes under the sink oh so many years ago . . . there was just enough stuff stuck in the pipe to have it back up a bit and the water froze around the stuff and caused the drain to be slow.  Another part of the problem was that XH didn’t vent the pipes properly and when the stuff was frozen there was not enough air in the pipe to help the pipe drain properly.  Quick fix is to put in a vent thing that will allow enough air to circulate to keep the drain flowing while keeping the smell away.

Curse, swear, filth, foul . . . many bad words were said after Lovely Plumber left that afternoon . . .

How in the world did XH live with himself knowing that he half-assed an important job like plumbing to the kitchen sink?  Did he truly not know how to do the job or did he not care?  As much as he complained and grumbled about doing the plumbing, wouldn’t you think he’d want to do it right so he wouldn’t ever have to do it again?

Once again, I’m worried about every home improvement and home repair job that he ever did . . . wondering when it’s going to fall to shit . . .

And I wonder why I have such problems with anxiety . . .

 

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Things I Learned This Week

That grief is grief is grief. Those who tell you it gets better with time are liars.

That no matter how you think you’re prepared for Ohio winter you’re never prepared for an Ohio winter.

That worry is a total waste of time. Whatever the worst case scenario is, your worry won’t help fix it and when it’s not the worst case scenario you’ve wasted all that time for nothing.

That family drama is actually entertaining when it doesn’t involve you.

And finally – there’s a reason why they’re called ex-husbands

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Every. Stinking. Year.

I’ve known my ex-hubby since 1982 . . .

We dated for 2 years . . .

Were married for 26 years . . .

We’ve been divorced for 8 . . .

and every year since we’ve been divorced he asks me for my parent’s address . . .

so he can send a Christmas card . . .

Mom sends him (and his new wife!) birthday cards every year . . . and Christmas cards!!  (She knows that my marriage was awful but she still thinks of him as “family” because he’s been around for so many years.  It speaks more of her character than it does of his. And that’s a story for another day.)

And because it’s easier to tell him the address than to get into why he should know it by now . . . and because I know Mom would be hurt if she didn’t get a card from him . . .  I give him the address . . .

But yet I always ask myself “how can he NOT know her address?!”

 

 

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I Woke Up Looking Like This

The usual weekend routine is get up, feed the dogs, drink a cup of coffee . . . after I’m up for an hour or so, I throw on some clothes and walk the dogs . . . no make-up, don’t even comb my hair most of the time . . . no wonder I get funny looks when I run into people . . . but we’re normally out between 8 and 9 in the morning so we don’t see too many people.

Today was a little different in that we didn’t leave the house until after 10.  What can I say . . . I was moving slow this morning . . . no biggie . . . a few people out but nothing out of the ordinary . . . until we cross the school playground and I noticed a car that did a u-turn to come toward us . . . and then I realized it was my ex-husband and his new wife.  The dogs were excited to see him . . . and I was happy for that . . . and then I realized that I’m wearing an old and horribly wrinkled t-shirt, have on no make-up and I didn’t comb my hair before I left the house . . .

A little background . . . ex-hubby lives less than 5 miles from me but he is rarely in my neighborhood and I’m rarely in his . . . he was in the neighborhood at a yard sale and just happened to be driving by as I was out with the dogs . . . he didn’t recognize me but he did recognize the dogs . . .

I can only imagine the conversation that took place in that car as they drove away . . .

 

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There’s A Reason They’re Called Ex-Husbands

I figure as long as I’m getting stuff off my chest, I ought to get something off my chest about the XH . . .

Our divorce was civil . . . mainly because I chose for it to be so. Once the divorce papers were signed, I rarely heard from him . . . usually when he needed or wanted something from me . . . and me being the silly goose that I am, would do be nice because I thought that “down the road” he would do the same for me.

It was never anything serious or important . . . usually dropping off mail that got delivered to me by mistake. Forwarding phone messages for him that came in on the house phone. Notarizing something or the other for him or a friend of his. I wouldn’t drop everything and run the minute he asked but I would find a convenient time to complete the task. Again, thinking that someday the favor would be returned to me.

Fast forward three years . . . to the day Prince Charming died . . . I had gone to the little town where Prince Charming and I grew up to tell the families the bad news. At one point, I realized that I needed/wanted to get home . . . to feed the doggies and to get away from everyone and try to make some sense of what had happened. My mom (bless her heart) didn’t want me to leave and said that maybe XH would go let the dogs out and feed them supper (both dogs were “his” dogs but I got them in the divorce – long story for another day!). In my heart, I hoped that he would agree to do this favor for me but, in my head, I knew that he probably wouldn’t. After all it was Monday night and he was at the bowling alley and, well, nothing interrupts bowling night!

I was right . . . XH couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t want to go let the dogs out. He was at the bowling alley. And he didn’t have a key to the house anymore. It was almost as painful to watch my mother’s heart break when he told her “no” as it was to tell her about Prince Charming’s accident.

A couple of weeks later, I had an opportunity to talk to XH . . . he needed me to notarize something (and yes, I agreed to do it only to ask him about the house key) and I told him he DID still have a key to my house because I still had a key to HIS house (which his current wife was totally surprised to learn). When he discovered that, in fact, he DID still have a key to The Little House . . . the look on his face was priceless . . . and the look on mine was complete and utter disgust . . .

What I wanted to say . . . but didn’t . . . and probably never will is this . . . I stood by your for 28 years. I dealt with a vindictive ex-wife and two step-children who saw us as their personal ATM. I tried to tell you that following your “dream” of “retiring” to build your own small business would bankrupt us (it did). I worked two jobs, took care of our house, and helped take care of MIL and her house to help make that dream come true. I helped you take care of both your parents when they were sick. I gave up more vacation, sick, personal time that I can ever count to take MIL to various doctors appointments; sit in hospital waiting rooms for tests, procedures, and surgeries over the 13 years she was sick and most of the time was there ALONE and most of the time they thought I was the daughter not the daughter-in-law. I stood by your side while you buried both your parents. Hell, I was the one that had to tell him his mother had passed away . . . and he couldn’t be bothered to do one little favor for me on the absolute worst day of my life.

There’s a song titled “Someone That I Used To Know” and that’s exactly how I felt that day . . .

He’s never mentioned Prince Charming’s death. He’s never texted or checked on me to see how I’m doing. Except for the one time he needed me to notarize something and one time he had a question about our past bankruptcy, I haven’t heard a peep out of him. He’s one of those people who is going to disappear out of my life until he things everything is “back to normal” . . .

What he doesn’t realize is that nothing will ever be “back to normal” . . . especially the person he thought he used to know . . . and this new person has no desire to ever know anything about him . . .

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Wedding Bells

No, this isn’t the announcement where I tell you that Prince Charming and I are getting married.

This is the announcement where I tell you that XH and GF are getting married.  In June.  And Prince Charming and I were invited to the wedding.

Now let me start off by saying that I’m very happy for XH and GF.  He seems happy in his new life and I’m glad he’s found someone to spend the rest of his life with.

I’m surprised that he’s getting married again, though.  I guess he’s forgotten the “I’ve spent 40 years of my life being married and neither marriage worked out well for me, so I’m not doing it a third time.”

I’m surprised that he invited me and Prince Charming to the wedding.  I think it was a pity invite – he only invited me because I was standing in front of him and he thought it was the “right” thing to do.  While I’m cordial with XH and GF, we aren’t best buddies by any stretch of the imagination.  Prince Charming has met XH and GF and he’s cordial with them, too, but he has issues with the way XH treated me during the marriage and how XH has treated me since the divorce.

So the $64000 question is . . . Are we going?  No . . . we aren’t.  It’s too creepy to think of myself sitting in the chapel watching my XH getting married to someone else.  I cry at weddings . . . all weddings . . . and I think me crying at the wedding would send a very bad message.  I also think it’s too creepy for me and Prince Charming to be at the reception.  I can imagine the whispers of “What’s she doing here and why did she bring him?”  I feel that our being there would take the attention away from the bride . . . and it’s really her day.

It’s just entirely too awkward all the way around and we aren’t going.

But that isn’t the reason I gave XH for us not being there.  I took the cowards way out and told XH that it just so happens that Prince Charming’s divorce hearing is that weekend . . . so it wasn’t a complete fib . . .

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Where’ve You Been?

Oh goodness . . . I didn’t realize it’s been a month since I posted.

I’ve been busy . . .

Prince Charming and I went to see the “Three Stooges” movie.

Prince Charming and I went to the Air Force Museum.

Easter celebration with the family.

Drama with best girl friend #1.

Drama with best girl friend #2.

Drama with Princess,  XH’s XW #1, and Grandson #2 and his little girlfriend.

Granddaughter #1 told me that I’m gonna be a Great-Grandma in December.

Happy developments with Prince Charming’s Beautiful Daughter.

Not-so-happy developments with Prince Charming’s divorce.

Working on Spring Cleaning To Do List.

Working on this years “Home Improvement Project” List.

I promise that I’ll share details later!

Oh, yea, and nagging Prince Charming about his guest post.

Life is good . . .

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Ghost of Christmas Past

Christmas is right around the corner.  One of the last big “first” for Prince Charming and me.  I’m so excited about Christmas that I can hardly stand it.  Buying presents.  Decorating the house.  Baking cookies.  Going to company Christmas parties.  Being with the families on Christmas Day.  Going to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass.  I feel like a little kid . . . and that’s a good thing because Christmas Spirit has been in short supply around here the past few years.

So you can imagine how excited I was to put up the Christmas tree and decorate the house last week.  Prince Charming and I got out the tree and the containers with the decorations.  He put up the tree and we put the lights on together. Then we started to put the ornaments on the tree.

That’s when things started to get a little strange for me.  See, last year I started to decorat the house and put up the tree and put the lights on it before I broke my arm.  After I broke my arm, I didn’t much care if the ornaments got on the tree or not.  Thanks to the Percocet I was on for my arm, I thought the tree looked pretty cool with just lights on it.  This is the first time I’ve looked the ornaments that XH and I had accumulated over the years.  I hesitated to open the boxes because I didn’t really want to face the Ghosts of Christmas Past.  But then I thought “Hey, it’s been a year.  It’ll be fine.”

Famous last words.  Each ornament that I pulled out had a memory attached to it.  It had a story attached to it.  Memories and stories that I had gathered up and packed away a long time ago.  So there the stories were . . . smacking me in the face . . . kind of like that TV commercial for the antacid.

Prince Charming could tell I was having a hard time but never said anything to me.  He just watched from a distance.  Until the last ornament.  It’s one that my Mom had made in ceramics years ago right before XH and I got married.  Two little mice in an old fashioned sled.  It has our names and the date on it.  It’s absolutely adorable and I have always loved putting it on the tree.  When I opened the tissue paper wrapper and saw what it was, I let out a deep sigh.  I thought “I can’t put this on the tree!”  I guess I had a funny look on my face because Prince Charming asked if I was okay . . . well that opened the flood gates and the tears just started to flow . . .

“I can’t do this.  It’s been a whole year! Why does this hurt so bad?  This is not how I wanted our first Christmas to be!  How can I put this ornament on our tree?”

Prince Charming sat me down and explained to me that it was okay to hurt.  It was okay to cry.  It was time to let all of this stuff out.  I’ve been trying to be wonder woman and hadn’t allowed myself time to deal with any of this stuff.  I can’t get past it if I don’t deal with it . . . because it’s always gonna be there waiting to jump out and get me.  I told Prince Charming that I want to take it all down and get all new stuff next year.  He laughed and promised me that we could get new stuff next year if I wanted . . . but he also asked me to do him a favor and think about it overnight before we took down the tree.  He promised that if I really wanted to take down the tree after I had a chance to sleep on it and think about it, then we would . . .

So I spent the day trying to avoid the tree . . . which is hard considering it’s in the middle of the dining room!  Then I stared at the tree for a while . . . and I remembered the stories and the memories attached to the ornaments.  And I came to terms with the Ghost of Christmas Past . . . that is what my life was.  Next year I’ll have a tree that reflects what my life with Prince Charming is.  And now I know that my past is what made me who I am today . . . and I can include that part of my life into this part of my life . . .

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I Should Have Known

When XH and I separated last year, one of my biggest fears was being a single girl living all alone in a older house.   The Little House was built in 1923.  It’s in good shape but sometimes things go wrong in an older house.  In the 20 years that we had lived in the house, Ex-Hubby had done all the home improvement projects – plumbing, painting, repairs, remodeling.  He had determined early in our relationship that I wasn’t “handy” and he didn’t have the patience or the desire to teach me how to do any of that kind of stuff.  Me being me . . . I didn’t question this.

When Prince Charming was here in November, somehow the conversation came to how the bathtub stopper thing wasn’t working and he taught me how to fix it!   It took less than a half hour, the part cost probably $10. It wasn’t hard to do.  It was wonderful feeling to know that I really could do the single girl living alone in an old house thing.

As excited as I was to have this new found knowledge, it got me to thinking . . . if it was so easy to do, why didn’t (ex now but at the time) Hubby fix it?  The stopper thing hadn’t worked correctly for a couple of years and when I told him about it, he said it was too complicated for him to fix.  He told me to go to the hardware store and buy a rubber stopper thing to put over the drain to keep the water in the tub.  Not knowing any better (and not having any reason to doubt his advice), that’s exactly what I did.  As I sat there in the bathroom with Prince Charming after fixing the tub, the little doubts about Ex-Hubby’s home maintenance skills started creeping in.  Did he really not know how to do it or did he just not want to do it?  We had a shower in the basement that we use most of the time.  The tub was only used if I needed to soak something or wash the dogs.  I’ve probably only used the tub three times since I fixed the stopper.  But nonetheless, it was a little unsettling to think that Hubby would choose not to do something because he didn’t think it was important.

Almost as soon as Prince Charming moved in, I started a “Honey Do” list of things that I wanted to change/fix/repair here at The Little House.  I’ve explained each project and his answer to each task is “okay, honey.  let me check it out and I’ll tell you what we need to do.”  Prince Charming has told me that he has lots of experience in working in old houses and Prince Charming’s Dad has verified that experience and has offered to help with some of the projects.  I know about Prince Charming’s Dad’s experience.  He’s was the “go-to” guy for the Community Involvement Group in the Little Place Where I Grew Up.  My Mom drafted all of us kids to help work events for the committee so I’ve seen Prince Charming’s Dad at work!  Since I don’t have a whole lot of experience, I have to take Prince Charming’s experience on faith.  Just like I did with XH.  Gotta admit it’s a bit of a scary feeling to know that I don’t know enough to tell if I’m being fed a line of bullshit again.

So Prince Charming has reviewed the “Honey Do”  list and he’s told me what we need to do for each project.  He’s also asked me questions about why things were done a certain way.  My usual answer is “I don’t know.  He always did that kind of stuff and I didn’t have any input.”  Prince Charming’s usual response to that is to fold his arms, look at the ground, and shake his head.  Evidently, XH’s skills weren’t all that . . . and it appears that XH was the king of the shortcut . . . get it done cheap/quick instead of get it done right.  Every project that Prince Charming and I are planning will involve some amount of repair to what XH put in before we can make the changes we want to make.  It’s been completely unnerving to hear what was done wrong, what shortcuts were taken, how simple/cheap it would have been to do it correctly.  It makes me angry.  It makes me sad.  It makes me weary.  I thought XH loved The Little House as much as I did but I guess I was wrong.  He didn’t think enough of The Little House (where he lived for 20 years!) to take care of her correctly.  He didn’t think enough of me to take better care of my beautiful little dream house.  Gotta tell ya, that realization took my breath away and made me cry like a baby.

So Prince Charming is teaching me.  About home repair – he’s giving me the skills I need to be able to help him properly take care of The Little House.  About trust in a relationship – his trust that I have the desire and the willingness to learn what he is teaching me and my trust that he cares enough about me and The Little House to do the projects the way they need to be done.  About letting go – I have to let go of my anger towards XH over this . . . XH’s lack of concern is just another sign that he was just as unhappy in the marriage as I was.

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