I promised a more in-depth post last time, so here it is. A common theme throughout my life is sitting back and not taking initiative in my personal affairs. Ultimately it has been a 50 year pattern of NOT making decisions, thus my WP user name, “dobetternexttime”. I really thought my affair with L changed me and I wouldn’t fall back into the same self destructive ways of doing things. I read other people’s sad tales of heartbreak, financial ruin, health issues, and terrible loss. I don’t have any of those. Well, maybe the heartbreak, but that has been so completely self-induced I feel embarrassed bringing it up.
When it came to ex-wife, L, and most recently Anna, I have been unable to make a decision preferring someone else to do the hard work. It came from place of insecurity and lack of self confidence. I wanted to leave my wife sometime after my oldest son was born nearly 20 years ago. She was cold, rarely wanted sex, emotionally unavailable and explicitly told me not to talk to her. I still loved her and didn’t want her gone from my life, which was too intertwined to break apart, but I was tired of feeling rejected and unwanted, at least most of the time. From about 28-33 years old I went through a very bad period in my life. I shouldn’t overstate it, but my health took a turn and for a long time I wondered if I’d ever be my old self. I also had made a shitty decision coming home to work at the family business, which weighed heavily on me as career options started to narrow with advancing age and family commitments. Once eldest was born I just wasn’t in a position to do anything about my situation anyway except settle in. The truth is that I didn’t think I’d be able to do any better than ex-wife, so I decided to persevere, hope for the best and enjoy the scraps of attention she gave me.
When L popped into my life she seemed to be everything I wanted, but I convinced myself not to take the chance in case it didn’t work out. Then I flip-flopped, alternately missing her and wanting her gone from my life telling myself whatever was necessary to justify my decision at the time. Again it was fear of unknown consequences that prevented me from actively making a decision and sticking with it. Same with Anna. She threw herself at me for 2 years, but I couldn’t bring myself to trust her. I futurized our relationship into non-existence. There were certainly external factors. Anna didn’t make it easier on me and my wife, acting in much the same way I was, hung on to “us” making it nearly impossible to break away cleanly and decisively.
Somewhere in this blog, I must have written about this, so sorry for the repetition. My first girlfriend came along when I was 24. She chose me when she crawled into my bed one night and given the apparent lack of other options (or experience) I went along with it for 2 years. I never properly broke up with her when the same thing happened with ex-wife. We were living apart, agreed that it was going to end, and she was already seeing a guy, at least I thought she was. Whatever the actual truth was, there was some overlap followed by some very hard feelings. It was good old me making decisions passively.
So now, after all we’ve been through, wife is leaving. For good. It’s not a bitter break up. I still need to support her until she gets on her feet and she’s been helping me too. She has a decent enough job, but is completely un-stimulated. Despite the good hours and pay, she will die if she stays. Ottawa seems like a dumb idea, but it’s not my decision to make for her or even have an opinion after everything I’ve done.
I am getting used to being alone, but I am afraid of it. It was my worst fear and why I clung to L longer than I should have, decided to pursue Anna after I’d rejected her, and came back to the comfort of ex-wife on occasion. Most days I don’t even bother turning my cell phone on since no-one calls. I live out in the bush, which is beautiful and would be the envy of some….if anyone came to visit, which they don’t……but now it’s time to actively make a decision on what to do with the rest of my life. I miss Anna and the companionship she offered. Also it was a pants-on-fire relationship, which was hard to let go of despite the problems. The problem is that being in a relationship, if I can find someone interested, requires just that, someone to be equally interested. Isn’t that the ultimate definition of dependency? I was dependent and needy with all the women in my life, which ultimately led to really crappy behaviour because of my inability to let go and move on. Is finding a partner worth compromising myself worth it? I don’t know. I for sure don’t want to be celibate for the next few decades, so there’s that. I would also like some stimulating company so there’s that too.
I don’t admire L and Anna for there morals and ethics. I was bad, but they both proved to be self-centered and lacking in any sort of empathy: classic narcissists I suppose, but that seems like a too easy insult people throw at their exes. Looking back I can see how they treated exes in their lives it would have been the same way they would have treated me if (for sure when) it ended in divorce. They were also very pretty, which clearly made it easier to move on since there was always someone else just on the horizon if it didn’t work with me. That is at least the story I tell myself, but they didn’t know they would find someone right away. I knew it, but they struck out on their own without that confidence in themselves. And I feel jealousy toward Ted, Anna’s new guy, but he’s in for a lifetime of turmoil with her so I shouldn’t be too envious. I’m pretty sure my best days are behind me, but maybe, just maybe, lightening can strike a 3rd time and if it doesn’t, well, I don’t know what to do.