And this one is a doozy.
So, in the weeks right before and right after she served me with papers we did bits and pieces of couple's counseling. Invariably, she quit before anything could really get started, while I would continue to talk to the therapists and ministers we were talking with. But also, invariably, the counselors would come to two conclusions, that seemed rather obvious to everyone, apparently. Number one was that the two of us should simply never have been allowed to get married because it would NEVER have worked in the long-term between us.
That one I've thought about a bit. And it's true.
But the second one I've just ignored: that at some point, probably not too terribly far in the future, she would realize what all she was giving up and come asking me to reconcile.
That one I haven't thought about much, but I also know I have NO idea what I would say or do if it were to happen.
Because, on one hand, how can I NOT accept? Her coming back and saying, "Let's not break up our family. Let's try and make it work." How could I not try? How could I justify refusing her as the right thing?
Yet the fact that this might happen someday, and the fact that it would be the right thing to do to accept it doesn't negate the first point. And that one is pretty important. Marriage between the two of us will NEVER work in the long-term as long as she is who she is and I am who I am.
Over the last few months I've talked to a lot of people, and grown surprisingly close to some surprising people. There is one lady who used to work with Madam X. She and another woman worked very closely together, while the ex worked more by herself, but would stop by often to chat with the other two. After she would leave the two of them would sit there astonished and say, "Why would ANY woman talk that way about her husband? Doesn't she know how badly it reflects back on her?"
And these were pretty gossipy people anyway. And it shocked them.
The last six months before the divorce she would often come to me, angry, and say things like, "Nobody likes you, nobody likes to talk to you, everybody thinks your a jerk, I'm tired of people not wanting to hang out with me because of how badly they dislike you," and I would think to myself, "The people I talk to like me. It's just the people that know you better than me who feel this way. The problem isn't me, it's what you are saying about me to anybody who will listen."
But that's who she is. To this day she believes that NOTHING that ever went wrong in our marriage was at all her fault. At all. That all of it was my fault, and that all of it was caused by me being the wrong person. Her last grasp "attempt" to make things work before the divorce was to say to me, "The only way we can make this work is if you change everything about who you are."
What kind of person does that? What kind of person says that? About six months before the divorce she started seeing a therapist, and then she insisted I see one. But it was obvious that, to her, the reason I needed a therapist was because everything with me was wrong; and the reason she needed one was to learn how to deal with me.
That's a level of messed-up that's pretty amazing. I guess if I was some really, really awful guy that might be all justified. But I'm not. I may not be perfect, but I also know I'm, generally, a good guy.
But, then again, she never really wanted to be married to me at all. She's told me that, too.
So, when she comes back asking me to reconcile, what do I do? I know the first time she does it, she'll try to make it on her terms: "If you change everything about you then we can get back together." Sorry, but no. But what if -- and this possibility is a lot less certain -- she actually comes back more contrite?
I don't WANT to have her back. I'm really OK not being married to her. I mean, it is going to take YEARS to heal from how much she would tear me down constantly, but already I feel so much better about myself. So much more comfortable being me. When you don't have someone you love telling you all the time how much you suck, the world feels a lot better. I can't go back to that.
I can't go back if her attitude is still that everything was my fault, that she was perfect, and that all the change needs to be in me. That I will never sign up for.