Thursday, October 12, 2006

Basic Instinct

I touched on this yesterday but am really starting to get a handle on it. As I regain control over my emotions and start to feel somewhat strong again, my thoughts turn to B and how he is doing. I am not really talking to him now, as he doesn't respond to my emails and I don't usually answer his calls. I have more control over my thoughts when I write them down and reread them and at least for now, I can better communicate what I need to say in text, rather than voice. When we speak, I tend to revert to our usual roles and I find myself being his friend. And I probably shouldn't be his friend during this, as he certainly hasn't earned my friendship during the latter years of our marriage and separation.

This will be an ongoing struggle, as part of my rational brain wonders if it is necessary to completely separate our lives. That seems so drastic and yet, for almost every other divorcing couple, probably the only decision. It is surely telling that this is even a struggle for me. I am not under any delusion that I was the perfect wife and friend -- far from it, in truth -- but I was certainly a good friend to B over our marriage. I was his touchstone for the big issues and I don't know that he is actually talking to anyone about this divorce. I can't believe that I am still worried about B and whether he will emerge from this a better man, but I am. I want him to be happy, satisfied and at peace, no matter where he is or what he is doing. I don't (at least today) wish him any ill wil.

I have to believe that a complete separation of our lives is necessary for both of us, but especially for him. Our two-year separation wasn't nearly what it should have been. We generally spoke almost every day, I handled legal and personal matters for him and I was a continual source of support. That did nothing to help our marriage -- he got the benefits of our marriage without any obligation and gave absolutely nothing in return. He was still part of the "B&K" duo, at least publicly, while I gave up any semblance of that, save for our public events. I didn't discuss our separation with any of our mutual friends (save that one fucking bitch) and I played along with the myth that we were headed toward reconciliation.

I guess what I realized (and what many a wise friend told me then) is that B didn't have the opportunity to miss me or our friendship or marriage during the separation. Hell, I was in contact and in the loop enough that I didn't miss him the way I do now. Delayed suffering, I guess -- denial is a hell of a drug. We prolonged this for entirely too long, neither one quite ready to pull the plug. Now that we're finally doing it, I think it needs to be a clean break.

As much as it goes against my instinct to support and nurture B, I know that it needs to be a complete and utter separation. No sharing of war-stories -- we're both going through closings right now and when I answered his call today, we ended up chatting about his interest rate vs. mine, etc. I abruptly ended that conversation (he did say he would get the divorce papers to me tomorrow) and I could hear the exasperation in his voice when I didn't engage in further conversation. B wants me to behave during this time as I did during our separation and that was detrimental to both of us. I can't be the "cool ex-wife" as the counterpart to the "cool wife."

He has to experience the loss and learn from it. I have to keep my boundaries clear and not revert into the role of the supportive friend and spouse. B&K no longer exists. I will no longer be B's wife or part of that team. And I have to remain steadfast in separating our lives as much as possible. I guess what I've realized is that I have to surrender both the marriage and the friendship, even when it goes against my instincts to be a good friend to the man I married.

He hasn't earned that friendship as of late and, at least in the long run, I wouldn't be doing him (or me) any favors by making this incredibly painful and sad time easier on him. I'm going to be a better person when all this is said and done and I hope he will too. Just not with my help. Even if so much of me feels like I should.

1 comment:

Talix said...

I've been through a couple of break-ups where I was pretty much the only friend of the person I was breaking up with, or at least the only intimate friend (and know now that that should be a red flag). I went through some horrible times wracked with the pain that accompanied knowing how much pain the other person was in and how alone he was.

I learned that, despite what I thought were my good intentions, I needed a physical break to accompany the ending of the relationship. I also learned - the hard way - that there are some men in my life that I cannot be friends with, but that's another story.

I have no magic words. Just know that you aren't the only one who ever felt this way and there is another side. (And, as far as I know, they've all gotten on just fine with their lives [and there's a part of me that says "dammit" to that].)