I got an unusual call yesterday from a man who was investigating the ex. While I daren’t go into more detail, I will say that it amused me greatly. Because funny enough, the ex had to put me down as a reference. Really? Seriously?
At first, the wife in me thought perhaps I should give the ex a heads up that I got this call. But my kid talked me out of it. His clarity and reasoning were spot on. How funny that he could see what I could not. And so, I didn’t.
But for that brief moment, I fell back into the protective mode of wife/mom for the ex-husband. I’ve been thinking about that today because the ex and I have zero communication and he’s been a deadbeat dad and not been kind, nor considerate when I have tried to be. He made sure that the rules didn’t apply to him by not complying with the divorce agreement. But it was as if I were balancing on a seesaw – part of me remembered the good in him while the other remembered the awful that has gotten even worse over the years. Strangely, it was the good that was outweighing in that moment.
I’ve often thought that I am healed from the divorce scars and I believe I am. But this momentary tug that came without warning to help him startled me. After talking with trusted friends, I realized this: I am authentically who I am – Janie – who wants to help when asked and who values choosing the higher road when in conflict.
When I spoke to the investigator, I told the truth. Plain and simple. But I did not sugarcoat as I might have if there hadn’t been so much ugly between the ex and me. When asked about his character, I made sure to include that I could only speak of who I knew when I was married and not after the ex left us. The present ex, well, that shell of a man I do not recognize nor pretend to know.
The caveat was that the investigator told me that the ex would be able to read my answers so I stuck to the truth (because that’s who I am) and when I needed to gather my thoughts, I just laughed because I found some of the questions to be funny. Example: Did I know his current marital status? (No. All I know for sure is that we were officially divorced three years ago.) Or with whom he lives? (No clue.) Had I been to his present home? (big burst of laughter, No.)
I’m not here to bash the ex. It’s just that: Don’t you sometimes wonder what the hell happened to someone whom you loved? I spent a lot of time trying to figure it out, but now I don’t waste my energy there. There’s that teensy soft spot for who I thought he was back in the day. I guess I’ll never lose that even though it’s been covered with all sorts of revelations in hindsight. And while I would never want to be back with his narcissistic self and family, there’s that tender spot for the man whom I thought I knew and loved and who was the father of our kids.
And life goes on…onward and upwards…