Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

The Close of Business Between Us: Taking Back the Heart of Darkness

Conduct your ex-wife transactions as if they are a clerkIt wasn’t too long ago, six months I guess, that I was feeling a moment of pause, reflection, and doubt. During a kid drop off moment, I had the idea, “If I’m going to start completely over with someone, I’d rather start completely over with my ex-y.” Not to remarry, or move back into my old house (we’d certainly gone to far for that) but to actively date for a bit. She was still the one person I wanted to chat with more than anyone. And it wasn’t about sex, although at that moment I had not been with any one else.

I wrote her an open email about where I was standing. Professed my continued love for her, and proposed we discuss, imagine, see-if something like “dating” would appeal to her as well. I was pretty sure at that point that her “other lovers” totalled about 2, but only one had been confirmed.

But it wasn’t from a place of weakness or sorrow. Actually it was a place of great strength. I was thinking, “I’m big enough to tell her this.” And a funny thing happened when I sent the email. I was actually able to let go of any expectations of what the result would be. In fact, in many ways, I was releasing her with one final ask, “Are you sure this is what you want. Because it is STILL NOT WHAT I WANT.”

The silence was deafening. About 36 hours later she responded with, “I’m very touched by your offer.” And some more blah blah blah. It was a resounding NO.

“Think of your ex as a convenience store clerk. You are there to conduct business and leave. You don’t need to exchange pleasantries or ask how things are going.”

But even before she responded I was feeling a huge lift. In a way that I had not felt since she asked for the divorce, I was feeling free of her. I clarified after her ho-hum response. I was not looking to move back in, or really change the current living or even kid schedule, I was merely imagining that we might want to spend some time getting to know each other again, before we truly moved on.

It was clear from her lack of follow-up that I was the one still wanting to get to know her. Her last missive on the subject alluded to how I was a “very desirable man” and … blah blah blah… She was not interested.

A few weeks later we made plans to do the kid’s Christmas presents together in my house. She would come to my house, since I had the first half of the holiday in our schedule. I could not have done this had I not had this release.

At the end of the 2nd message I put something in there about going out on the open dating market for the first time. (I don’t know why I needed to put that in.) And sure enough within a few weeks I was aligned with my dog-loving ice breaker.

Today, many months later, she has let me know she has been seeing her new lover since Dec. At least that gives me the idea that she was really in a place to consider my re-connect offer. Who knows.

And as she has now discovered this blog (Thanks to Google+ and Google’s advertising efforts) I now have even less to talk about. I don’t disdain her. Far from it. But there is a completion to my process with her. I don’t really want to see her when I drop off the kids. I don’t like her renewed fantastic shoe fetish, nor her recut short blonde hairdo. I’d rather not… Not even imagine.

And a helpful concept from the divorce recovery class comes to mind often in our “drop off” encounters.

“Think of your ex as a convenience store clerk. You are there to conduct business and leave. You don’t need to exchange pleasantries or ask how things are going.”

In fact, I’m best not knowing any of the details of her life.

So six months ago, I negotiated our final close of business. And now we are free to date, love, enjoy. And, as she has been in this entire process, she’s still just a few steps ahead of me.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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image: I found this black half-heart stone on my walk today, it’s on-top of the check I am writing to my ex-y for child support this month.

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2 Responses

  1. It’s really sweet that you reached out to your ex in that way. I’m the one who sought to end my marriage and I wish my ex had reached out in this way to me. He made a suggestion along these lines, that he should get the opportunity to date me as well in an attempt to save our marriage, but he never followed through with it. I wish he had.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    • thewriter

      Thanks Jessica. It was a moment of great strength and release at the same time. I was hopeful and yet already knew that she would not respond. But it allowed me to walk away with a renewed sense of having done EVERYTHING I could. Thanks for your comment.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

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