Awhile back, I wrote about Another Hard Part of Divorce and how I was anxious to see my former husband whom I hadn’t seen in a year and his family at a school function for our kids. I went on to write another post about how my plan was to Drop The Mic.
Well, let me tell you how it went…
Yes, I made sure that I was dressed in something that made me feel happy and confident. I think that was a good starting point for me considering I hadn’t seen him in a year and well, old habits may never die – I wanted to feel and look good for myself. I wanted him to see that I was ok after all this time. And no, it wasn’t like I wanted him back. Nope. But maybe (wink wink), it was I’m good without you and maybe an even I’m not only surviving, but I’m happy and it shows! And without sounding braggy, mission accomplished. Insert big grin.
It was awkward at first. My former husband was unsure how to greet me and ended up giving me a tip of the fingers handshake. It wasn’t quite a real handshake (which is bizarre anyway), but he only grasped my fingertips. I followed his lead because he had his family with him and I was alone with our other kid. My ex-MIL wasn’t very nice to me. In fact, she turned her back when I approached her and so I let her be and greeted my ex-FIL who is always loving towards me. Then as I turned back around to greet her, she acted surprised to see me. I found it disrespectful at first, but then I saw the humor in her idiocy and laughed. She can’t help herself. She loves me and hates me at the same time. I wrote about her here and how I’m cutting the ties that bind me. And I have continued to be kind to all of them, even under the stress that they have put me through over the years. I haven’t changed and she knows it.
After the festivities, it was time to take photos and me, being authentically me, I called his family over so that we could all take photos (separately of course). Over the course of making mindless chitchat, it was finally time to leave. Surprisingly, we hugged. My former husband reached out to hug me and I hugged him back. Briefly, we connected and we both knew it.
Because I was feeling centered, I watched him and it was really interesting. Once, for a brief moment, the mask of the stranger slipped and I glimpsed that piece of him that I once knew. The man who was sensitive, kind and caring and who was vulnerable and loving. The authentic interaction briefly reminded me. I felt compassion wash over me and gratitude that he hasn’t completely slipped into the stranger. Quickly though, the mask came back and the new persona was firmly back in place. But it was nice to see that that piece of compassion that has held firmly in me wasn’t wrong. Whatever has happened between us is water under the bridge, but I wasn’t wrong in marrying him and I wasn’t wrong in divorcing him. Yay!
Thanks for letting me share my story today.