Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Am An Ex-Husband

     A pretty cool exchange of messages happened between my ex-wife and I at the beginning of this week.  It's a conversation I think the two of us should be proud of and since not much happens between a man and a woman in the aftermath of a divorce that they can be proud of I figured I'd take the time to preserve it here.  I hope my ex won't mind but since I don't want to call her at almost midnight to ask and since her part of this was a public post on Facebook, I'm going to go ahead and assume she won't care.  I often made mistaken assumptions during my marriage, though, so I hope I'm not wrong.
     Our son was with his mother last weekend and when I met them to pick him up we ended up eating together at Waffle House.  During the meal we were discussing another couple we know going through a nasty divorce and my ex-wife looked at me and said that she had come to realize in our situation that the divorce wasn't really either of our faults.  We just went through some terrible times and we grew apart instead of together and we just weren't there for each other like we should have been.  She said she wanted me to know she was sorry that it happened like that and that she was sorry for her part in it all.
     I really didn't respond.  I didn't want to get too deep into the divorce with our son sitting there because when you start a conversation like that with your ex-wife you never know which direction it's going to go.  Also, it just caught me off guard.  I hadn't expected her to say anything like that just then.  Mostly though, I didn't say much because I didn't realize it was a big deal to her to say something like that.  What can I say?  I'm a guy.  We're often clueless about stuff like this.
     The next day I got a few messages from some of our mutual friends on Facebook.  No matter how many times I tell some people I don't need to know someone always manages to inform me of things my ex-wife posts.  The weird thing is it isn't the same people all the time either.  I wonder if she goes through the same things with stuff I post here.  I'll have to ask her sometime.  Anyway, I guess I'm glad they informed me this time because otherwise I would have never known about her status update.
     "Just ate dinner w my Ex and apologized for my part in our "Falling Apart" after losing Three Babies. All I can say is God heals all situations if we forgive others#feelinglikeaputz# LOL"
     Then later in the comments she wrote;
     "I look back and realize that we should have handled ourselves better but Hind sight is 20/20. and Poor Paul tried his best with me. Looking back, how many 16 year old boys do you know that would wipe the tears away from their crying girlfriend after her Mother died a horrible death, stick by her, get married and not very long into marriage get news of cancer and how many 22 year old guys would work all night at a gas station during the midnight shift (after being at the hospital with their wife all day) and go right back to the hospital without any sleep, be there through radiation treatments, and then I have the audacity to blame someone for not being perfect after losing three babies? Now it's like I'm older and realize how ridiculously high my expectations were. Sure, Paul may have gotten comfy and taken me a bit for granted and he definitely made his share of mistakes, but geez, he probably deserved that in hindsight. All we can ever do is own up to our mistakes, apologize, and repent to God and try not to make the same mistakes ever again."
     Now yes, I am a guy but I would have to be a complete imbecile not to realize how big of a deal it was for her to write that and I felt like she deserved a response.  I probably over thought my response.  I wanted her to know that I appreciated what she wrote, that I'm sorry for my part in it too, that she is forgiven for her part in our marriage failing, and that I hoped she could forgive me too.  I couldn't just write that, though.  I felt like that wouldn't be enough effort.  Also, if I'm being honest, I probably think too much about anything I write before I write it except when I don't like right now.  Anyway, this is what I texted her.
     "Just wanted to say that I appreciated your apology yesterday. I just didn't want to start a huge discussion in front of Brad. I hope you know that I'm sorry for my part in our falling apart too. We both made mistakes and hopefully we have both learned from them. Also, I saw your Facebook post because of course someone would tell me to look at it and I want you to know I'm touched. It's good to know that you haven't forgotten everything I did for you Even though things fell apart and I hope you know I remember and appreciate everything you did for me. There was a period of time I don't think we would have made it through without each other and it's a shame we didn't remember that time when the going got rough again. There's no going back but it's good to know that going forward we can both put the past behind us and maybe be as good of friends as we once were lovers."
And that was it really. Things were said that needed to be said and then we went back to talking about our son and the things he needs and how school is going and how much of a pain in the butt he can be. We could rehash things endlessly and be angry and hurt but there would be no point in that. I think we both knew for a while now that we needed to truly let go and move on but we both had to be at a point where we were ready to do that at the same time and I'm proud that we got there. I'm proud of her too that she was the one that initiated it. Mark that on your calendars, folks. It isn't often that you'll hear any ex-husband say he's proud of any ex-wife for anything.
Just a few more notes. For the few of you out there that may be still harboring any hopes let go. None of this conversation means in any way shape or form that there's a chance of us getting back together. What it does mean is that we both know we meant a lot to each other and in one way or another are going to mean a lot to each other for the rest of our lives. I haven't given this post the title it has just because it goes along with the titles of several of my other posts. I gave it the title because the title is true. I was with Sherri for fifteen years and married to her for ten. As she often says, we grew up together. I can deal properly with her and the memories but I couldn't get rid of them even if I wanted to. Maybe someday I'll be a husband again but even then I'll still always be an ex-husband.


  1. Yep. I have thought this before-I won't ever not be divorced. Even if I got remarried, I'll always be an ex-wife. My kids will always have divorced parents. What a role to have to play.

    1. Yeah, it's just the way life is and we do the best we can with it.