A Momentary Seesaw

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…

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14 Responses to A Momentary Seesaw

  1. Yep! Definitely wonder what happened to the man I married and had kids with. I tell people he was a fantastic Dad when he was with us… I still wonder how he could have switched off from that role so easily. He has missed so much… ☹️

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      That’s what happened with us. But I am grateful that he left, even though it still hurts my kids even years later. I don’t bad-mouth him to the kids but they are old enough to know what they want and remember how it used to be and see what is presently their dad. I just keep thanking the Universe that my kids and I are here together, bonded and working through it all one step at a time.


    • Ainsobriety says:

      I could have written exactly this.
      That said, my kids do not think he was an excellent dad. Funny how we even sugar coat to ourselves…


  2. Paula Light says:

    Totally get this. My first impulse would be to help him, but I don’t know who he is anymore. Luckily, there is zero communication AND he quit talking to my kids as well. MY KIDS!!! He doesn’t deserve the title of father 😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      I’m sorry to hear this Paula but we are in similar situations. The ex doesn’t really have much communication with our sons, but he keeps a thin thread open even though he often doesn’t answer them. I don’t really even think about him anymore unless something like this comes up. But then again, I said goodbye to him (in my head) awhile back. He isn’t allowed to rent space in my head anymore. Big hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  3. scr4pl80 says:

    You know, sadly, even though I am still with my husband, he has changed so much over the last 10 years that I feel like I hardly know him. I believe his changes were brought about by a back injury he had at work which led to a total lifestyle change on many levels so I don’t blame him really but I’m struggling right now with the thought of living this way for the next 30 years. I understand your reaction to how to answer the questions because I find myself trying to put a better light on the things my husband does. I’m now realizing that that is not helpful for any of us. Sorry…your posts bring these thoughts out. Glad you told the truth. That is the most important thing so that you feel good about you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thank you Janet! I imagine all of us go through something similar in relationships and it is hard when we love someone but something changes within the relationship – or they change and we can’t seem to find our way back to when it was good.
      I hope that perhaps when these thoughts come to you while reading my posts (because you know my intention is not to be a trigger) that it allows you in a safe space to think about how you’re feeling and what you want in your life. Perhaps there is a way together that you can bridge the gap between you.
      Sending big hugs as always!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. bone&silver says:

    We are generally too nice as women, esp to deadbeat men who don’t deserve it! I’m getting too old & too grumpy to put up with any more shit- I’m glad you didn’t sugarcoat him, he doesn’t deserve that. And you (& your readers who are struggling with bad husbands) deserve better


    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks G! It’s a shame that they walk away and lose out on their kids because any of the kids I’ve known (including my own) want a relationship with their dads but sadly the dads walk away (for whatever reason). I’m just happy that the kids are with me and we’ve got each other. And if he comes around one day, then I guess that will be good and if not, then that’s fine too. None of the kids are holding their breath waiting for him to want them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ainsobriety says:

    I’m like you. I do believe the best, and I did see a good person in my ex, over 25 years, who tried. But he did fail spectacularly in the end.

    I know little about his life now. I don’t need to know. I do find I defend him occasionally, but most people who know me realize the truth. People who move away and never see their kids are questionable.



  6. LA says:

    I can’t believe he used you as a reference


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