I made a startling revelation on the way to work today.
I know, right? Sometimes I do my best thinking when I am sitting in my car stuck in traffic.
(What is it about Tuesday Traffic? Always the worst day of the week for me)
I’ve been living with Mr. J and the kids for a couple of weeks now.
Un-officially, it’s been longer than that.
And while it is not without its issues – it’s been going great.
Until there’s a lot of talk about The Ex. And her feelings. And her issues.
It frustrates me to no end when I hear that she has once again told Mr. J that she is ‘having a rough time’, or that she is ‘struggling’.
I want to know if she also tells him that she’s fantastic. Or that she had two orgasms last night. I mean, if you are going to share this stuff, why always share the struggle and not the good right?
Yes, that is totally not going to happen, but you see my point. She tells Mr. J when she’s having a rough time but neglects to tell him when she’s happy, or excited about something not related to the kids.
In other words, she continually reminds him that her life is so hard. She struggles so. Please pay attention to me. (I’m totally putting words into her mouth here. But this is how I see it from my point of view.)
And so this morning of course on my drive to work my mind wandered, as it usually does. But this time it wandered to thoughts about The Ex. And why I have such strong feelings about the situation when it’s really none of my business.
Well it’s not really none of my business. I realized that there is always a part of me that is scared that things will change for Mr. J, and he will realize he’s not really happy with me and that he wants to get back with The Ex. That even though he thought I was what he wanted, what he really wants is to have his family back together again. And that all the pain of the last two years was worth their working out whatever issues they had.
I worry that when she tells him she is struggling that he will break down and give her what she wants – his sympathy. Which will in turn open up old wounds and before you know it – he is missing her.
I know, I know… it’s not likely to happen. The Ex is the one who left. I think Mr. J will always have unresolved feelings for her because things didn’t end for him because he stopped loving her – it wasn’t his choice to end things. So of course he will be conflicted at times, especially given their long history together.
A history that I cannot compete with. 11 months is nothing compared to 20+ years and two children together.
And then it hit me – I have to stop competing.
I thought back to my past relationships/marriages and made the realization that I was ALWAYS jealous of the ex. No matter how long they had been apart, the jealousy was always there.
So the problem really isn’t with them, it’s with me.
I am the problem.
I have such low self-esteem that I am always putting my hackles up with the exes. It’s like I am predisposed to hating them because they came before me, and therefore are better than I am.
(Better at what, I wonder? Love? Sex? Marriage? Relationships? Parenting? Being a human being?)
Which I know isn’t the case. No matter how their relationships ended… they did end. And yes, in my last three big relationships, there were children involved. Meaning the ex always had a presence in our relationship.
But that stops now.
I am now aware of it. I see myself repeating the pattern, and I’ll be damned if I am going to do it again.
To be honest? She is not worth my effort.
I don’t wish ill of her of course. I would never wish that.
But that blind jealousy I feel whenever she texts Mr. J, or whenever he brings her up has got to stop.
Because if it doesn’t, it’s just going to eat at me and turn me into the person I became in the past – which I really don’t want to happen. I don’t want to be that same old person.
Mr. J makes me want to be a better person.
Because I am the one he loves.
I am the one he is living with.
She might be his past… but I am his future.
And he is worth it.