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danger: whinging about my first marriage

People who haven't known me for long probably don't know I was married before Dr C. In fact, today is the 20th anniversary. I remember it well. Two step kids. Good times. We held it in the backyard. Despite the threats for rain, it completely missed us.

I also remember at nearly the 5 year mark, she declared it was over. We were at a nearby park.

"I don't know how to say it"

"Just be blunt"

She had on mirrored sunglasses. I had to stare at myself as she said she'd been unhappy for a long time, stopped loving me and was no longer attracted to me.

Because I'd been expecting a serious talk for 2 days, I took with calmness. I made some entreaties. References to positive moments in the past. She said there was no point to counseling. She tried counseling and separations before and she knows when it's over. At some point, I said this gives a bad message to the kids. She said it would be worse for them to be dishonest.

I said I didn't want to be where I wasn't loved and I should move out while they're at the Florida dance competition the following month.

I made some monologue about how she made me feel like a stranger in my own home, which was never mine and though they'll forget me within a year, I'll never forget this. "Have a happy fucking life" and walked back to the house. Her brother pedaled up to me on his new bicycle to say hi.

"Hey Steverino. Just trying out my new bike."
"Monique just dumped me. She's at the park."
"Oh shit. What? I'm really sorry Steve. She's at the park?"

I saw him comforting her at the side of the road. She was sobbing in his arms.

I then went into the back yard and threw all the furniture against the fence. Resin chairs explode in a pleasurable way, PS. I then pulled a log out of the fire pit I made and somehow it made all the sense in the world to throw it at the picnic table her ex made until it was splinters. The picnic table sitting on the spot where we exchanged vows. I barely gouged that fucker before I got tired and lost interest.

I left and visited my sister who threw a kitten in my hand "Hold TJ! You can't be unhappy while holding a kitten". I watched Mulan with my niece and nephew.

M and I had agreed to tell the kids together. She broke that promise, too.

First, I wanted to remember the details. Then I realized that that gave me no solace.

So I tried to forget and then I felt guilty for forgetting. If someone doesn't remember, what's the point to anything? It's just the awful unresolved feeling. Like not enough was done. Something was missed. If I had been a better person everything would work.

Christmas was Hell. I had called the kids to see if they wanted to meet. I could feel their discomfort over the whole thing. Who am I to them? How can I be a part of their lives?
It was then that I decided to see a therapist. I'd bent enough ears. Plus, everyone had mixed opinions.

I dated someone a year later. She was so sweet but it was impossible and she ended things when she needed to. And it hurt so bad. Hurt more than with M. Hurt because of M. I know because I was talking to my therapist about the recent break-up when I somehow transitioned to "and I begged and pleaded and I said all I wanted her to do was hold me and tell me she loves me and she said she couldn't!" and my heart broke like it had never broken before and I sobbed and sobbed. But I felt better. I mean, 15 years later, I'm still hurt and angry. But honestly, it wasn't until then that it *finally* dawned on me that what *I* want has zero effect on the world.

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I’m sorry. I can’t imagine your pain and the difficulty in overcoming such an experience.

Thanks. I don't even touch on how much I missed the kids and the guilt for not fighting to stay in their lives.

Breakups are something everyone goes through. Maybe this was politer than most. "Her loss", I say. "I'm a better person for it."

Took me a while to learn C is not the same person as M. But I still get paranoid "is this a warning sign of the end?" feelings.

Took me a while to learn C is not the same person as M. But I still get paranoid "is this a warning sign of the end?" feelings.

I can't imagine not having those feelings after what you went through. I'm glad they're very different people.

Your entry touches on a lot of things I've just gone through. Especially the phases of not wanting to forget because that means the relationship was not significant. I recall the deep pain I experienced right after being dumped in February, and the fear I had in the back of my mind that if I didn't work to remember the relationship, it would all evaporate into the air which would mean it wasn't an important decade in my life.

I remember my one meeting with my ex after he dumped me (when he picked up his stuff) and crying, asking him how we envision the future. Do we try and stay in contact? And if not, how devastating. Because 10 years. 10 years and then nothing? That seems so scary.

But now, six months out, I don't wish to remember. Maybe this is unique to me, but I'm quite gifted at deleting from my memory bank people who have acted inappropriately with me, who have hurt me. It's a pure defense mechanism, surely, but it is very helpful for me.

So soon my memories of P will be so very frayed and faded and he will be as if dead to me. And that's a good thing. Because if I hung onto the memories, it would only serve to reignite the hurt. This is why I no longer tell the story to new people. It just anchors the memory more deeply into my brain and I don't want that.

I agree that seeing a new person thru the lens of the old person is a risk, and something I'm experiencing. Less and less, however.

Anyway, I share your emotions over this and just want to say that you aren't alone in your experience.

Thanks for reading. I put the warning so you could choose to skip over.

M, she was unhappy for at least 6 months. She was distant, as work was messing her around, but I didn't clue in until she started to get outright mean. And when I tried to address it, she pulled the rug, I know P was a complete surprise to you, and that's on him. He's an idiot.
I had warnings I failed to notice. And as a result, I've become obsessive with the feeling everyone knows and sees something to which I'm completely oblivious. So, I'm hypersensitive to subtleties and patterns. C and I communicate, though. And we argue. Something Monique and I never did. But I feel parallels. M went through 5 years of stupid bureaucracy over her job. After it was finally settled, and her mood didn't change, I rocked the boat and it flipped. C's in constant post-doc anxiety and she's miserable and I worry the moment her career gets secure, I'll get turkey-dropped, again. (excuse the trite metaphors) and I should have known better. It's OBVIOUS to anyone.

Gosh you must have been young.

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