I like telling this story – it’s full of unlikely twists and awakening.
Imagine a happy family. A man who obviously relies on the woman for everything, but all in all, she seems to be coping and happy with the three kids and him. They do things slightly differently than other people seem to, and they are in agreement about these things. Some people may see them as a mild form of hippies.
Actually, three months before the unexpected turn came, things actually began to get better inside this little family too. After 9 years of deprecating just about anything I did, this Mr Ex suddenly became (morally) supportive, positive about what I was doing and also slightly repentant about how he had been behaving throughout the relationship. (This didn’t change his level of involvement in the house work or anything – but it was such a change!)
I remember feeling insecure because all of a sudden he was actually thanking me for the meals I cooked instead of complaining about them. He was saying positive things about what I was telling him about work, instead of suggesting better behaviour for similar situations. Imagine my surprise and fright when he simply rolled over with an “ok I understand” for the first time ever, when I said I was actually much too tired for adult activities after lights out. I honestly thought there was a horrible surprise for me around the corner and was watchful and ever so careful for weeks after this experience.
I got used to this after a few months and eventually learned to trust the situation and to enjoy it. Then he started talking about polyamorous relationships. Fine for me, I wouldn’t have minded somebody else to take some of the emotional and physical load of satisfying this man’s needs.
So, we were both happy. He didn’t succeed in winning any woman he was interested in, but he felt free to, and I felt free too.
Then all of a sudden, I started dreaming. I never remember my dreams, and now I was waking up from these crystal clear dreams every night, scared that I might have been talking in my sleep. For one week, I had a dream about the same person every night. I hadn’t spoken to this person for 10 years – we had been in love a long time ago, and it had ended unnaturally. In some dreams he was just there – a figure outside the story line – in the others he was the main character. In the last dream, he had prepared everything to kill me, so that he could have me to himself forever. After the last dream I decided that this couldn’t go on and made up my mind to get back in contact, and just to find out what he was doing and how he was. I felt that this was no big deal, particularly as Mr Ex was busy trying to get several girls’ attention and I was only going to write a letter. However, I didn’t want to tell Mr Ex about this just yet, as I was almost sure that I wouldn’t get a reply.
While waiting for the reply, I found out that I was pregnant with the 4th child. This pregnancy is worth another blog post – it was very different than the others had been.
Anyway, one day, I had an email waiting in a private email box which Mr Ex didn’t know about (he read my other emails…) We started chatting via email – exchanging details about our current situations and catching up. After some time, he said he would be passing through the town I work in, and could we meet up?
I decided that this was a good point in time to tell Mr Ex that I was in email contact, reassure him that all communication was in the context of friendship and we could all continue to be happy.
That night I breached the subject – and Mr Ex exploded.
I didn’t have any time to explain anything. He decided within half an hour that this was it. He wanted to see the emails, which I refused. He then threatened to leave straight away if I didn’t delete the email account without any further ado. I chose to do this – only it didn’t help of course. Mr Ex spent the whole night worrying me, saying “what shall we do with the children now” and similar things. He came to the conclusion that he would take the caravan we had at the time and “move out” with the kids for a month so that “we could both think about our priorities” – meaning I should think about him, my only priority, of course.
That is what happened the very next day. As I had to work full time to support him and the kids, I couldn’t stay at home and look after the kids.
I missed him and was sad for 5 days. I missed the kids terribly – they were with me for the weekends only and were totally bewildered. After 5 days I realized how wrong the situation was and how wrong things had been in the entire relationship. How I was the one who adapted to all his ridiculous needs without him even being willing to help out when I was ill in bed, or I had just had a baby. How I was living 2 days in one – one full 8 hour day at work, and then another when I got home, because he never did anything. Sometimes I had to get the children dressed when I got back home in the late afternoon, because they were still in their night clothes. He never changed a single nappy in all the 9 years – it was a terrible state of affairs. But I had never had the time to ask myself if this was ok for me – I was always busy trying to make the best of it all and make up for all his shortcomings. After all – he had successfully convinced me that I needed correction and needed to prove that I was worthy of his love.
After he had left, I had time, and I thought about it a lot. In fact, thinking about it made me cringe in embarrassment at the person I had become.
I will cut things short here – this situation with him in the caravan with the kids went on for 2 months. I met up with the person I had dreamed about, and he turned out to be very important in those next few months, ending in more than the initial friendship and helping me rediscover myself.
Mr Ex began to show his will to change, and I gave him a chance. In the middle of all this, my 4th child came and went. After this Mr Ex spent 2 weeks at what I then considered to be my flat, and it became clear through all the pain that was happening at that time, that I couldn’t stand him anymore. He was pretending to have changed, but actually, he hadn’t at all. He finally moved out (without the kids this time!) 6 months after the initial explosion.
I have never looked back.
He told me I would be crawling back to him on my knees after 2 years – I never had the desire to do so, because however hard it has been, it has never been as hard and wrong as it always was with him.