Tuesday, October 10, 2006

An Apt Observation

You take your humor where you can find it in these sorts of situations, particularly when you realize something obvious has been staring you in the face.

B and I didn't fight about normal things, at least, as far as what I've heard. We rarely fought about money, although interestingly, we sort of are now ("you take this", "no, it isn't mine, you keep it"). Looking back as objectively as I can these days, we fought about (1) cleanliness of the home (I might have mentioned he likes things to look like a museum, not a home); (2) what to do investment-wise (I am pretty conservative and hard to sell on riskier propositions, he flies by the seat of his pants with a better-than-average success rate)' (3) emotional vs. physical intimacy (this one will need to be fleshed out later, as right now it seems too personal to even write down) and (4) social things -- it was bad if I had a few drinks, it was not if he did (another topic to be more fully explored later). In any event, our fights usually culminated with me in tears and him sort of apologizing later. I diffused tension with tears, although they were usually appropriate.

What this brings me to is our current means of communication. For a while there, I was an utter wreck and couldn't make it through the day without a really powerful sob session. This was exacerbated greatly by telephone conversations with B in which we discussed practical matters, as the indifference I heard in those discussions was gut wrenching. Whatever strength I was mustering, it would dissolve upon talking to him. I can't explain why -- I just have loved him for so long and always believed that we could weather anything. I guess it was an unanalyzed "love will conquer everything", but with a little more reality. We built a life together, a rich life, and I couldn't imagine dismantling it like we are now. I couldn't imagine that he would want to abandon all of that, either.

To regain some semblence of comtrol, I started emailing him and designated that as my preferred means of communication. I have control over my emotions and thoughts in that medium and can start and stop as needed. I have posted many of those emails here -- in fact, I usually wrote them here first, just to collect my thoughts. I got out some healthy rage, pain and hurt in those emails, but in a more productive way (most of the time).

The first one I sent was the Top 10 list about how to communicate with me. To say it provoked a reaction is quite an understatement. In the 14 years I was with B, I don't think I ever was that direct and never did I have that palpable of rage in any communication with him. He called me three times before 8am and I finally answered on the third call. He was angry, defensive and probably a host of other emotions. He kept saying "that was a fucked up email....I have never read such a fucked up email and I've read a lot of fucked up emails....." Yadda yadda yadda. I finally asked him which part bothered him the most (I knew the answer) and he said he wanted to talk later. I was on my way to work, but when I got to the office, I emailed him and told him there was really nothing more to talk about and that we just needed to move forward with the divorce.

He responded to my email about dividing up the art collection (also posted here) with a plea to talk on the phone again. He said he hated that email and apologized for the pain and hurt I was enduring. I didn't want to talk to him, as the time prior, I broke down in tears again. B had told me that he would communicate with me however I wanted, but after that one, he didn't want me to email him again. Oh well.

I emailed him again (posted here - the Finish Line one) and he didn't respond. I waited until today and emailed him twice about wanting our signed papers and other remaining items. His response? To call me. We communicate about as well during this as we apparenty did during our marriage. I want to talk via email, as it affords me a place to separate emotion from practical matters, and he wants to get me on the phone, where I revert to his best friend.

The number one killer in relationships is communication. Here, I want to communicate via written words and he wants to do it via voice, where I am vulnerable.

That is funny shit and I can't believe I never noticed it.


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