Unexpected Results

As you know, I have been wanting to talk to Mr. J about going forward in getting his divorce finalized.

And on Wednesday evening, on our nightly walk around the neighbourhood, he finally told me that he was ready to do it, that it was ‘time’.

But I’m not exactly thrilled on how he came to that realization.

You see, Sunday night I was lying in bed after a long day, reading.

And… I felt a lump.

A small lump definitely, but… a lump nonetheless.

When Mr. J came to bed I asked him to feel it. And he agreed that it was ‘something.’

As a woman, we are told to examine our breasts monthly in the shower, and I have done that on occasion, but really never knew what I was looking for.

So Monday during work I called to book an appointment with my doctor. Thankfully I was able to get in to see her that evening.

She agreed that what I felt was ‘something’. So she made a referral to have a mammogram and an ultrasound on my right breast.

On Wednesday, I received word that there was a spot open for next day at 8:20 AM. I let Mr. J know that I would be going on Thursday morning. (This is four days after finding ‘something’)

He told me he would try to take the morning shift off work to go with me.

We went back and forth about it for a bit, I know he had to take the time off unpaid, and I didn’t feel that it was altogether necessary for him to do that. It’s not like he could go into the appointment with me, he would have to stay in the waiting room.

Regardless, it was done. He booked it off to drive to the appointment with me.

The night before the appointment, we went for our nightly walk. And he said that this news had given him something to think about and that, ‘maybe it was time I got divorced.”

Now, those are words I have been waiting eight months to hear, but I’m not really thrilled with the reasoning behind it.

As he talked, I didn’t jump for joy. All I said was, ‘well you have to be sure this is what you want. Don’t decide to do it just because of what may, or may not happen after tomorrow’s appointment.”

“No,” he said, “it’s not that. It’s time. It’s been three years since she told me she was leaving me, and two years since she has been gone.”

And then he said the magic words, “it’s really time to go forward with US”.

The next morning we drove to the hospital for my appointment. Mr. J drove, thankfully. We found parking, we checked in. He sat in the waiting room when I went in.

I was given a gown and told to wait. Then ten minutes later I was brought into the room where a really nice technician asked me to step up and she started the process of the mammogram. Two films on the right breast, two on the left.

Then she went to consult with the radiologist. As I sat and waited.

She came back in about five minutes later and said she had to do more film.

“Not on your right breast, but on your left.”

Oh.

She took two more films of the left breast. Then I moved to the room next door for the ultrasound.

The technician did the ultrasound on my right breast. She focused on the spot where I felt the lump.

After some time she said, “I think it’s just fatty tissue.”

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then she looked at the left breast.

And looked again.

And kept looking.

And kept shifting me so that I was on my side, left arm up over my head. And I actually said, “draw me like one of your French girls.”

She snorted and said, ‘no one’s ever said that to me during a breast ultrasound before.”

Leave it to me to quote Titanic when being felt up by another woman.

So she continued with the exam. She kept using the wand over my left breast. On the side of it. Around it.

And then she went into my armpit.

After about ten minutes of imaging, she told me I could sit up and that she was going to have the radiologist look at the images.

The radiologist came in about five minutes later, and asked for me to lie back down. She used the wand over my left breast again and the two of them murmured together.

“So,” she said, “your right breast lump is just fatty tissue.”

“But there is a spot in your left one.”

Well. I didn’t see THAT coming.

“It’s very small,” she said, “but we are going to have you come back for an ultrasound guided biopsy, to see what it is.”

She reassured me that ‘it’ was tiny, and so because of that, I am considered low-priority. “Low enough that you aren’t urgent, but high enough that we want you to come back.”

So I probably won’t get called for an appointment soon, but I will be going back.

I thanked her for her work and went to change back into my clothes.

I met Mr. J in the waiting room. We took the elevator down in silence.

As I was paying the parking fee, I told him, “so my right breast is fine – it looks like a fatty tissue deposit or some such thing.”

And then I took a deep breath and said, “but they found something in the left one.”

We navigated out of the parking lot, which in itself was a chore. There was actually a valet trying to jockey the extra cars that were parked in front of other cars. Once we were clear, we decided to go for breakfast, since I’d not eaten that morning.

I don’t remember much of what we talked about on the drive to the restaurant. But once we sat down, Mr J said to me, “wow… that small fatty deposit might have just saved your life.”

I’m trying to not think of things like that. I’m trying to only keep it going one day at a time.  While we were at breakfast though, I did get up the courage to say this to Mr J. “I just really hope that, regardless of the outcome of today, you will do what you said you were going to do. I don’t want it to be like your passport: you decide it’s time to get one. You get the forms, you start filling them out. But then you leave it and end up forgetting about it and so for months it sits there incomplete. You know me. Now that you have mentioned it, twice, I know about it, and I am going to think that it’s going forward. I don’t want to be thinking it’s in progress only to find out six months from now that nothing has been started.”

Essentially I told him that I am not going to nag him about this. He said it’s time. He was thinking of me, and if there were expensive medications I might need, being on his benefits is the right thing to do.

It is the right thing to do, but I’m wondering if for the wrong reason. Even though I asked him and he denied it, I know that had this unexpected result not happened, he would be happy to continue on with things as they were.

It’s probably going to take him at least a month to bring it up with the Ex. And that won’t go over well. They had agreed to keep each other on their company benefits until they got divorced. She would be covered solo afterwards, unless she hooks up with The Boyfriend’s plan. (No news on their moving in together, we are starting to think that we might have misjudged that.) The children will continue to be covered under both of their plans.

And that’s where it stands. He knows what he has to do, and there isn’t anything I can do about it.  I am not going to hound him or nag him about it.

It has to be because he WANTS it, not because he feels he HAS to do it.

So for now, I wait.

I wait for an appointment that will tell me my next step in this journey.

I wait for Mr. J to put his ducks in a row and start making some phone calls/ sending some emails to get the ball rolling.

There’s not really more I can do about either.

 

 

Shine Bright Like a Diamond (or in this case, a Sapphire)

With apologies to Rihanna.

Since I last posted here, I had a birthday. And, oddly enough, I share the day with Mr. J’s father.

Since we were going to visit his family on my actual birthday, Mr. J surprised me one day last week. He bought me gourmet cupcakes, a beautiful card that brought me to tears, and an amazing gift: a set of sapphire earrings.

I was floored. Yes, he knows I like sapphires, and these are almost a half carat sized each. Studs, set in white gold, which I prefer over yellow.

I was baffled. Mr. J is very careful with money. These babies cost more than an iPad.

What does that mean?

Mr. J does not spend money easily. He’s not into high-ticket items. One of the reasons he doesn’t really like travel is he doesn’t like spending the money on it.

He is the first man to buy me expensive jewelry. For marriage 2 and 3 I paid for my own rings. (I am well aware of how pathetic that is.) Ring 2 is gone – sold at a yard sale as it was just a simple band with three tiny stones. Nothing to take to the jeweler.  Ring 3 I still have in a box – not quite sure what to do with it yet. I’ve toyed with the idea of making a new ring or necklace from it – and the wedding band – but I haven’t really given it much thought.

But no man has ever bought me fine jewelry before. Even my first engagement ring, bought by my now ex-husband in 1992, came from a mass department store and retailed then for $399. Solitaire. Square, yellow gold band. No bells, no whistles. But we were young, just starting out.

Back to the birthday….

So on my actual birthday, we spent it with Mr. J’s family. His two brothers, their families, and their dad spent the day eating burgers, drinking beer, and visiting.

I chatted a little with Mr. J’s dad. And he told me a few eye-opening things.

We had both had a few cocktails, so I’m not sure exactly how we got to talking about it. But I mentioned how I feel when The Daughter talks to Mr. J. I told Dad how it breaks my heart to hear her speak so badly to him, even though he just lets it roll off. I said that Mr. J has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known (and this is where I got teary eyed.) I said that The Daughter talks to Mr. J just like her Mother does, because it’s been a learned condition.

Then Dad told me the bombshell: that way back, 20 years ago on their wedding day, Dad heard the way she spoke to Mr. J; how in fact her whole family spoke to him. And Dad told me that right then he ‘had a feeling it wouldn’t last’.

ON THEIR WEDDING DAY.

Mind = blown.

Then he went on to tell me that he knew the only reason Mr. J married her was because he was lonely. His two brothers were married (or planning to be soon), and one was already starting a family. He was lonely.

Been there, done that, so I know how he felt.

Then Dad went on to say how he doesn’t see that with us. He sees us as ‘real’. He says he can tell the way we look at each other; even when we are working together in the kitchen to put a meal together, he can see how we care and respect each other.

Again, I got misty-eyed.

So after we had finished dinner, and blown out the candles on the cake, we were driving home the following afternoon. I had mentioned to Mr. J that I had a nice chat with his dad. While in the van, he asked what we talked about.

“Just stuff,” I said.

“Well, just so you know, my dad’s advice isn’t always the best”, he laughed. “He’s got about 50% good advice and 50% bad.”

“No worries,” I said, “he wasn’t giving advice”.

“So what did you talk about?”

“Well,” I began,  “your dad just gave his opinion on stuff. And seeing how it’s just his opinion, it’s wrong of me to talk about it. It’s just his view, his thoughts. That’s all.”

Yeah – like I am going to tell him that his father thought it was a mistake for him to get married all those years ago.

No way, no how. Not my place.

Perhaps they already talked about this, perhaps Dad had told  Mr. J during one of their many talks over the past two years. Regardless, it’s not my place to share this information, so I didn’t.

I’m just thankful that he trusted me with it in the first place.

 

 

(In)Significant Other

It’s like the hits just keep on coming this week.

Yesterday morning, I decided to treat myself and booked a pedicure for after work. So at 4:30, I was sitting in a big massage chair, my feet immersed in soapy hot water.

At 4:35, my phone buzzed. It was The Daughter. She asked, “When are you coming home?”

Now the only time The Daughter texts me is when she needs something, and it usually involves a ride somewhere. So I responded, “I’m at an appointment right now so I’m not sure.”

Then she wrote, “okay. The Son’s phone seems to be dead and I don’t know where my keys are.”

Dad nags the kids incessantly about making sure they have their keys when they leave the house. But as usual, sometimes they don’t listen.

The Son is usually home by 4pm, so The Daughter assumed his phone was dead as he wasn’t answering her, or he was inside the house, with headphones on, playing his DS.

Both would have been valid situations.

I responded that if he isn’t home, he might still be at school working on his project. There have been days when he stayed til five to work on his art.

Long story short, we texted for a while about what to do. I would not be home until at least 5:30, so I was of no use to her. She decided to go to a friend’s house and I would text her when I got home.

I texted at 5:47 when I got home. The Daughter had to clean her room, pack her stuff and eat before going back to school at 6:30 for a band concert.

She told me when she got home at six that The Son was at Mom’s house.

I find out later from Mr. J that Mom picked up the Son, they went to do an eye test and then picked out glasses; then he went to her house to work on homework.

I asked Mr. J if he knew about this before it happened. He said he did.

So at this time, had I actually KNOWN what was going on, had he actually told me, I could have told The Daughter at 4:30 what was going on. She could have gone to her mom’s house.

But also… The Son has his keys. Mom could easily have run him over to unlock the door then gone back. Instead, The Daughter was stranded – by her own fault of course.

And yet again I see myself being left out of the loop. Even when it comes to dinner – I had no idea The Son would not be there, and had I known, I would have just picked up a pizza on my way home after my pedicure, rather than stress about cooking something in 30 minutes before we had to leave.

And it gets better.

We sit through the concert. At one point there is an announcement that the Jazz band had won an award, and that they were invited to play at a prestigious local music festival in June.

I asked Mr. J if he knew about it and he said yes.

“Oh,” I said, “I didn’t.”

We talked briefly before the concert started about the lack of communication between us and nothing was really resolved. I can’t force him to tell me things, but seriously, whenever something good happens – especially the Jazz band news – would you not want to share that news with the person you are living with?

I was going to use the term your ‘significant other’ but in reality I am not significant at all. I think that is the biggest realization. Is he taking me for granted? I’m good enough to share bills and cook and all the other crap I do around the house but when it comes to good news, I am not important enough to share it with? Or is it that he hears it then forgets about it immediately?

His wife is still his significant other. No matter what the separation agreement says.

But I? I am insignificant.

The Acknowledgement

Last night did not go well.

I went home after work. Folded laundry. Washed dishes. Prepared dinner.

Chatted with The Daughter.

Mr. J came home. We had leftovers for dinner. He was tired, we didn’t talk much while we were eating.

I asked him what his plans were for the evening, and asked if he wanted to take a walk.

He thought about it for a moment and said, “I should probably go to Costco to return X and to look at Y. You can stay here and work with The Daughter on her homework.”

Um, pardon?

I can “stay home and work with The Daughter?” As her father, isn’t helping with homework your job?

I was hurt and angry. I changed then went out for a walk. I kissed him goodbye and said ‘see you later’. No anger. Nothing.

I walked for about half an hour, thinking of the situation. As I round the corner to head home, I see Mr. J and The Daughter in the van at the corner. He tells me they ‘won’t be long’. I say, “I thought I was helping The Daughter while you went to Costco?” As he stuttered his response I said, “Oh, I guess I misunderstood.” And kept walking.

They returned an hour later. I was watching TV. And fuming.

After ten minutes Mr. J comes up and has The Daughter’s homework with him. (She was supposed to have two people edit her work and then present the original, the one with our edits, and the fixed copy to her teacher. So, essentially WE were teaching her.)

When The Daughter went to shower I asked him if he had any idea why I was mad.

(To be honest, I don’t think he had a clue that I even was mad.)

I told him that he made me feel like the hired help. I relayed the conversation about walking and his response. I asked, “how do you think that made me feel?”

“Well I was getting ready to go and The Daughter saw me…” he started, and so I finished, “and so she asked to go with you.”

“Of course she did. Even though you had told me I was to stay home and work with her.”

He replied, “I don’t remember the conversation going like that.”

Then he said that I mentioned (which I did) that he needed to get dress pants that fit him for the wedding on Saturday, and yes, I asked that he not wait until the last-minute to do so. (He’s a man, he would have gone out on Friday night after dropping the kids off at Mom’s at eight pm, only to not find anything that fits. Because he is a last-minute guy.)

In this brief discussion, I also said that I didn’t know what my role was. I said, “I’m always the last to know plans. I’m never in the loop. It’s fine for me to share your bills, cook, do dishes, do meal plans, and be on call to take your kids (which I apologized for saying because he doesn’t like that word, he prefers using their names, so I corrected myself) for tutoring sessions and to school for band concerts. We don’t share anything else but that. So right now you make me feel like the hired help.”

There was more I wanted to stay but at this point I had started to cry, which I do when I’m in a highly emotional state. I’m not sure if I was angry, frustrated or sad. But I was all three when he replied to my rant, “thank you for telling me how you feel.”

Wow. Seriously? Is that supposed to make me feel better?

But I know that’s how Mr. J communicates. He thinks that it’s all good, because he’s acknowledging my feelings. He’s not admitting to making me feel that way, be believes that I am the one making me feel that way. But he doesn’t realize that I feel the way I do because of his actions. Or in some cases, his in-actions.

The rest of the evening was strained, to say the least. At 9:30 I went to get ready for bed, per my usual routine. I was asleep when he finally made it to bed – well, I was well on my way to sleeping actually. Not quite there but not fully awake either.

Our morning texts have not been our usually cheeriness. He started by once again thanking me for telling him what’s been bothering me. And again, no discussion about it or thoughts on how to proceed.

The Daughter has a school concert tonight at seven. I’m really not sure that I should go. Do I want to go? Not really. I’ve had my fair share of school concerts this year and I’m pretty tired of them. It’s funny that a year ago I was upset because I wasn’t asked to attend her concerts, and now I don’t want to go. The last time we went to a school function, Mr. J barely spoke to me; while we were in line waiting to go in to get seats he stared at his wife and The Boyfriend the whole time (they were about six to ten people ahead of us in line). And last night, since The Son was at Mom’s doing homework with her, Mr. J thought it would be best if the Son just spent the night there since it was 9:30 and there was no word on when he would be home. He messaged Mom and she replied that it ‘would be easier to drop him off after’ rather than have him spend the night. Reading between the lines this means that she was either going to sleep at The Boyfriend’s house or he was going to be there. Either way, Mr. J made a comment about it, saying it was ‘interesting’.

Why? Why should it be ‘interesting’? Why do you still care? You have a woman you say you love, living with you, lying beside you every night. Having willing sex with you often. Helping you function as a family in ways that your wife never did. And yet it seems you do everything you can to NOT let her into your life.

Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I am making things out to be much bigger than they really are. Are we going to talk about this again? Probably not. Simply acknowledging my feelings doesn’t make it better.

Working to change the situation might.

And I’m scared that’s not going to happen.

Share and Share Alike

I wish sometimes I could get out of my own head.

I wish I could talk to Mr. J about these issues that are bothering me.

But then I wonder, are these really issues? Or am I just making things up to make up drama to make myself unhappy?

I want to be part of his life. I want to be more than a ‘house mate’. But the reality is seeming to be more and more that this is all that I am. Except we sleep together.

I share his bed. I share the bills with him – except for food and fuel for the vehicles. But that is all we share. We do not share anything else. Oh – and I am on his cell phone plan, but I pay for my phone in full.

With his wife he shares two kids – although I realized this weekend that to them, Mom’s house is ‘Home’. I’m pretty sure that Dad’s house is just somewhere they have to go every second week. At least I’m pretty sure that’s how The Daughter feels. I don’t really know about The Son – but he did say once to us that he helps out more at Mom’s house because, and yes, I quote: “well, you have Anonymous, and Mom is alone’.

When asked for more information he said that he feels ‘sorry for Mom’ because she’s alone, so he helps out more with chores around the house.

I won’t lie, I walked away when at that comment. I let his father talk to him about that, and Mr. J said that he set a few things straight, mainly about how that was what Mom wanted, and that Mom isn’t doing everything ‘alone’. She had her Boyfriend put their beds together when they moved and he also hung curtains and pictures. So don’t feel sorry for Mom.

But I digress…

What am I doing? I am taking a perfectly normal, happy situation and am trying to fuck it up in my mind. I can go days being normally happy and then like last night when I couldn’t sleep, my mind was racing with the same thoughts as before. Thinking of everything Mr. J and his wife share that we don’t: children, dentist, benefits through work, financial advisers, bank accounts, financial and tax information….

We don’t share anything. Except a bed.  And even that bed frame he shared with her when they were together (thankfully the mattress is new). And some bed sheets are old as well, although I keep trying to bring in new ones to replace. I try very hard to only use my own towels that I bought with me. Weird?

Since we moved in we’ve bought nothing together. We eat off their wedding china every damn day. (It’s Denby and he loves it, so what am I to say about it?)

This week is crazy busy with tutoring tonight, school concert tomorrow night, then Mr. J books summer work on Thursday morning so he needs to look at that beforehand. We have a wedding to go to on Saturday (my cousin’s) so we won’t really have any time to talk until Sunday or Monday when it’s just us again.

I enjoy travel, and I knew going in that it wasn’t his thing. But last year after his concussion he had a scare – the doctor told him he thought Mr. J might have an aneurysm, but the tests came back clear. And at the time, Mr. J told me that the possibility kind of scared him. He realized that his life might be short – as his mothers’ was – and so maybe it was time to live more in the now. So we talked briefly about taking a little road trip this Fall. Just the two of us. (I’ve mentioned this is past posts.)

But last night he pretty much told me that thanks to me paying half his bills, his money situation is good now. He’s happy with it. But that he still doesn’t want to spend the money on travel, as he isn’t comfortable with it.

So there goes one more thing we could do to bring us closer as a couple.

Although as he said that, I did say that I wasn’t convinced that he would have been fully present on a trip with me anyway; that I wasn’t interested in spending my time waiting for him to respond to messages that had no urgency nor need for being sent in the first place. You want to send your children the daily messages that you do (which all go unanswered), great. Awesome. But the other messages from your wife about nonsense? Yeah, no thanks.

This weekend at my cousin’s wedding will be a test. To see how much of the day he gives me his complete attention, vs. how many messages he receives from his wife – and how often he checks his phone.

All of this has been written previously. I’m just recycling the same information over and over. Nothing has come of it because I haven’t done anything about it. I can’t fault him for that, as he doesn’t know how I feel.

He doesn’t know how I feel because I haven’t told him how I feel. That’s on me. So unless I am going to tell him, I can’t blame him for something he knows nothing about.

Time to make a plan. And hopefully something good will come of this plan. I just have to wait for the right opening, and hope I can do it in a non-accusatory way. The key is for me to learn patience and how to discuss this in a mature way. Or should I just say, “what the fuck, dude?”

Yeah. THAT will go over well.

 

 

It’s Been A Long Time

I’m doubtful that I have any followers left because I have been MIA for so long.

So for that, dear readers – I apologize.

In reality, I haven’t had the need to blog for a long time. Usually, my posts were about funny things that happened in my world of dating, but then I met Mr. J and things progressed to the point that I stopped dating – well, other men, that is.

We moved in together back in September and things have been going well for the most part. Mr. J and the kids and I seemed to get into a decent routine. I took on my share of household chores, especially in the kitchen and meal planning areas, which have given Mr. J a “better quality of life”. (His words)

We have had our ups and downs, as any couple would have. Kid issues, for the most part, have been few and far between, thank God. Definitely more issues with the Daughter but that’s normal, I think in any family.

But for the past few weeks, I’ve felt something I haven’t felt in a long time. The fatigue. The ambivalence.

The depression is back and has reared its ugly head.

And I can’t seem to shake it off.

Mr. J has asked if something is wrong, and I don’t know how to talk to him about it. Because the issue is with him this time, and I know I can’t change him. I can’t change the situation or make him do something he isn’t wanting to do and then that sets off the cycle.

I don’t know how to wrap by brain around it and talk to him about it in a way that is open and not accusatory or hurtful or full of blame.

Maybe if I come back to my way of writing it out, the solution – such as it is – will come to be.

But I know the bottom line is that I cannot change him. I am not a teenager, I know that you can’t change people – and you can’t change how they feel.

It started off a few months ago, after we had been living together for a few months. It happened so slowly I never really picked up on it – I was just happy and in love.

But then it occurred to me – Mr J is not fully engaged in our relationship.

We talked about it, and while he didn’t say yes or no to it, I know it to be true. He’s scared. While it’s all fun and games to live with someone, he is still holding out a part of himself from me, from our relationship. Deep down I think he is scared of being hurt like he was by his wife when she ended their marriage, so while he says he loves me – and I believe he does love me – he holds back just a part of that to protect himself.

A few months ago Mr J bought a new minivan. His first. Even though his kids are in their teens and will be out of the house in five years, he thought a bigger vehicle was necessary. And it was – with hockey equipment and with his family living out-of-town, it’s good to have a nice roomy vehicle for travel.

So I ‘bought’ his car from him. I sold my 2006 car and ditched my insurance. To save money on taxes, we agreed on a sale price for his vehicle and I am paying him monthly for the car but it is still registered to him. Since I no longer have a car in my name, I am now under his insurance as ‘other driver’ and will pay him for that.

This is all good. I get a newer, well-maintained car with really low payments and low interest (he calculated it at .99% which he got for his van). A much better deal than I would get anywhere else.

When he emailed the insurance agent she asked him what our relationship was.

He replied : “house mate”.

Swoon! Such a romantic.

And this began the issue. We had discussions, tears (on my part – and on his) and I was so hurt. I know I am not his wife. But I also know that he put me in his Will – he has left the house to me, and as well I am a potential guardian for his children as both of his brothers live out-of-town and the kids may want to stay where they are should something happen to their parents (this is only in the slight chance that Mom has passed as well obviously). It’s a moot point as it will never happen but the gesture was nice.

I know he was not being hurtful when he called me his ‘house mate’. His reasoning made sense at the time – but it just goes to add to the issue of his not being 100% committed to us and to our relationship.

He wanted us to sign a Cohabitation Agreement before we moved in together. To each protect our assets going in. Such as his house, his RRSPs, our pensions, etc. I know what splitting with his wife cost them both financially, so he wanted us each to be protected.

I totally agreed. I drafted it up. Got it ready for signatures.

And still it sits, in a folder on his desk, unsigned. Six months later.

So does that mean he thinks we will go the distance and therefore will never need to worry about dividing assets?

Or that he trusts that should something happen and we do break up, I won’t go after him for a share of the house?

Or, that we aren’t really in a serious relationship so why bother signing it?

After six months of living together I had hoped that we would be starting to build something together. We didn’t start off like most other couples; I moved into his space. He made some room for me and my meager possessions.

But we missed out on what I consider something important: the starting off new together.

We didn’t go house hunting together. We didn’t look at rentals and decide what we liked or didn’t like. We didn’t look to see where we could put furniture or buy new dishes or decide what colour to pain the walls. There is nothing of mine in the house – at least nothing more than a couple of end tables.

Six months later nothing in his house has changed, except he lost some space in his closet.

I’ve mentioned how I hate his downstairs sofa set and he agreed it was time to look for a new one to replace the one that was upstairs before the wife left. We talked about what we like, what we don’t like in furniture… and he said we should go out and shop for something.

That was over a month ago and we have yet to hit a furniture store.

We went to his niece’s Confirmation on Sunday in his hometown. I helped him pick out a cross pendant that was a lovely gift. I offered to pay part of the cost.

He said as Godfather, it was his responsibility to pay for a gift.

His daughter has asked both parents for some pretty expensive birthday gifts (her birthday is at the end on June). I offered to split on one of them with Mr. J.

He declined, saying it was within his budget to get that gift for her.

Is he being nice? Is he wanting to shield me from spending money on his family? I don’t know, because all I see is he is doing everything he can to keep me separate when it counts. Does that make sense?

I pay half the mortgage, and half of the utilities, even though every second week there are three of him (him and two kids) and one of me. I buy groceries on the week when it’s just us, he buys them when the kids are there.

When we tally up the bills at the end of the month, he tells me how much I owe him. I write him a check. And this is all done at the same time that he tallies up the expenses with his wife.  Then they figure out who owes what and transfers into their joint account.

We don’t share anything financial. Not a  credit card, not even a tiny free savings account for household stuff. We don’t discuss money, unless it’s him telling me how much I owe him for the month.

But then we are just housemates, right? Housemates don’t share things like that. I’ve already been thinking about next year, come tax time. Because of the way it works we might have to file our taxes together and that might affect us negatively. Unless of course he claims me as a renter and claims the rent I have been paying him. I’m not on any bills and so there really is nothing to say that I am NOT just a renter.

And at times, that’s exactly how I feel. It’s just another way to keep our relationship from being ‘real’.

But the biggest issue for me right now, the one that I cannot talk to him about and that has been stressing and upsetting me for weeks, is the fact that he and his wife are still married.

They have, on paper, been separated since Dec 31, 2014. Physically since July 2015. I have been living with him for six months; we are pretty sure the wife bought a house with her boyfriend, but we have not had confirmation of this. (We heard in January that the boyfriend had bought a house in the suburb where we live. Conveniently just a few blocks from us and still within walking distance of the school. He moved in April, and we assume she will move with the kids in July, but we are just speculating at this point.)

If Mr. J was so happy living with me… would he not want to file for divorce and officially end his marriage to his wife?

And you can see how I cannot bring that up to him. It’s not because I want to marry him – that isn’t the issue here. The issue is why he still wants to stay married to her.

And sadly, I know what he would say if I was to bring this up to him. He would say something to the effect of: “well, she wanted to leave so if she wants a divorce, she can ask for it.”

Sure. Makes sense. Until you realize that what you are in fact NOT saying is that if she wants the divorce she can ask for it but I don’t want it so I’m happy to leave it as is.

Which means he is happy still being married to her. He doesn’t want to be divorced and have that label attached. Regardless of the fact that he is in a happy relationship (at least I hope it’s happy), being divorced is a label he’s probably not anxious to wear.

And so he remains married. Likely until such time as the wife decides to end it. Because if it’s one thing I’ve seen in the past 18 months, he is content to let his wife make the decisions and he just deals with the results. But again this is just my observation.

But all these little factors, together, are constantly going around and around in my head. If he really loved me and wanted to be with me, he’d file for divorce, right? He’s pushing me away and avoiding anything that we would do together – buying furniture, paying for gifts together… but yet is content to be married to one woman and living with another. Which technically makes me a mistress.

What really capped it off was summer vacation time. He is extremely limited in his options for time off in the summer and I respect that. I however am forced to take a certain week off that this year does not coincide with his time with his children.

I had been asking him about the days he planned to take – if any – and he told me he had already booked them off. But he didn’t let me know when they were.

He said he did tell me but my memory is like a steel trap. However I gave him the benefit of the doubt in this. He says he did – fine. It doesn’t matter. So he confirmed the days he requested are in the week before my forced holiday, during the week he has his children.

An obvious, and good choice. When we were discussing it I said I would have to request the time off. And he said he wanted me to take the time off but ‘didn’t want to assume (or presume, I can’t remember which) and that he has to communicate better with me’.

My first thought is: why would he presume (or assume) that I would NOT take the same vacation time as him? Isn’t that what couples do? And then I wonder, what would he have presumed if his wife was still living with him? Would it not be presumed that she would take that time as well for them to spend it as a family?

We also talked briefly about taking a vacation together in the fall, when it’s easier for him to get time off. He also mentioned that he might consider it being just the two of us, actually going away together. We talked about taking a road trip to North Carolina, which I would be all for.

However I am highly doubtful that he would take that time and not spend it with his kids, whom he sees only half time now, by no choice of his own. So how can he in good conscience take a week away when he could potentially be spending it with them, seeing them before and after school each day?

But also then the issue of communication comes in – on the weeks when he does not have his kids, he sends them messages every few days, to let them know he is thinking about them. They usually go without a response, but he’s okay with that.

And so if we go on vacation, away for a week or so together, can he go that long without communicating with his wife, who finds reasons several times a day to message him about what I think are totally non-essential issues. If we go on vacation, I would really appreciate it if his time would be focused on me, and on us, and what we are seeing/doing, and not having to stop every five minutes so he can check his texts from her. We were shopping last week for the Confirmation gift and she kept messaging him while we were out, and he made a point to stop every time and check every one. His response to it was, ‘I should make sure that it’s not important in case one of the kids was bitten by a dog.” I responded, “if that were to happen again, I’m pretty sure she would call you – which is what she did when it happened and she was already on the way to the emergency room.” (True story.)

But it doesn’t matter. She messages him – he jumps to check it. It’s like a Pavlovian response. And I know I have no control over it. I cannot control what – or how frequently – she messages him, just as I cannot control him jumping to check and respond. But if we are on vacation, away from home and away from normal life I would hope that he could set all that down and just focus on us – but I really am not convinced he is ready for that, the same as he is not ready to be divorced.

He said to me last week that I improved his life – or some such thing. I took a moment and then asked how. How did I improve his life?

His response was that he now had a ‘better quality of life’ with me in it. That because I took over some of the household chores like cooking and meal planning, it gives him more time with his children and less stress on his life.

So, essentially, by being a cook, I improved his life. Wow. #relationshipgoals right there. (I’m being sarcastic). But you can see my point: instead of saying that he loves spending time with me, or that he laughs more with me or any other way he could actually compliment ME, he instead chose to say that it’s because of something that anyone he could hire could do just as well.

Nice.

Just one more way that we seem to have this divide between us, and I don’t know what to do about it – or how to bring this up since it’s quite a large issue, and one very close and personal for him.

I’ve written, edited, re-edited this thing a bazillion times (true story) and I know I am still leaving little points out. But the bottom line is that after two-plus hours of writing, and re-writing, I am still no closer to having an idea of how to figure this out, or how to move forward.

Or am I just making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill?

Maybe I should just pull up my big girl panties and just suck it up already.

 

 

Lyin’ Eyes

Well the bubble has burst big-time, my friends.

Last week I caught Mr. J in a lie.

A stupid, stupid lie.

And now I don’t know what to do about it.

The kicker is, I knew before he told me that it was a lie.

Let me back up, shall I?

Two weeks ago Sunday, Mr. J and the daughter were outside working on the car. He had forgotten to bring his phone out, so I grabbed it and was bringing it to him when he received a message, from The Ex.

Of course I glanced at it – not my fault he has preview on his screen, is it?

So the message had to do with her thinking about changing laundry soap because of allergies. Not rash-type, because I would have heard about that. All I have heard in the past from The Daughter is that Mom always washes all the clothes when the kids go back to her place because she ‘hates the smell of Gain’.

So, whatever. Wash if you like. I love the smell of Gain.

Then the following Tuesday, Mr. J and I were at Costco, and Gain was on sale. So I asked if he wanted to get some detergent. He said, “no – my friend Dave told me that there are some detergents that cause cancer so I’m thinking of switching.”

Now I work in a medical library. I know how to do research. And I knew he had been told stuff about cancer because he has a soft spot – his mom died young of cancer, and so he is really careful about certain things. He won’t microwave anything in a plastic container, for example.

So if you want to really make him think… that’s how to do it.

All I told him was, ‘where’s the research on that? I’ve never heard of anything like that, and if stuff was really bad for you, it would be pulled from the market. Let me do some research before you make your decision.”

So the next day I did some research. And I learned that there are a lot of sites out there that claim that detergents cause cancer. Most of those sites are not ones that I would say are valid resources though. But then I found a couple of articles in reputable sites that said that yes, laundry soaps do release a certain chemical that ‘has been linked’ to cancer. However, the article also stated that the amounts are so small that you would have to almost ingest the stuff for it to do any real damage. And on that list, Gain was listed fourth, after Tide and a couple of other name-brand products.

My takeaway from that is there is no real long-term chance of cancer from using those products.

In my email to Mr. J with the links included, I asked that he ‘change detergents because he wants to, not because someone thinks he should’.

(Meaning I know she is trying to scare you to do something she wants you to do.)

A week passes. The following Saturday, The Daughter is in the kitchen with us. She hugs her dad and smells him. Then she says, “did you change soap yet? You don’t smell like Gain now.” And then I heard something mumbled about Mom and I think ‘charcoal’ so I am not sure if she is using a charcoal detergent or if heard wrong.

The bottom line is, I knew that The Ex was asking him to change soaps, not ‘his friend Dave’.

I actually caught him in a lie. First time.

And the first time sucks.

I called him on it too, as he was still cooking dinner. His reply was that it was easier to tell me it was ‘Dave’ than to tell me the real reason – to avoid a confrontation, he alluded.

So instead of not saying anything about it at all, he flat-out lied to my face.

It’s been five days and I don’t know how to handle this.

I am so hurt that he lied to me – about something so fucking stupid. So now of course I don’t know how to trust anything he says. And I am constantly wondering if he’s lied about other things as well.

We had plans to go out that night, which we did. We met a friend of mine to listen to a band play. We talked briefly about The Lie at bar, with me ending it by saying, ‘you know that when you lied you put The Ex up here” – I raised my hand high, ‘but at the same time, you put me down here,” – and I put my hand to my hips. “You put her ahead of me” I told him.

And we haven’t discussed it since. The kids have been with us, The Ex had to talk to him after hockey this week (again – funny how on both occasions when we’ve been there together, she finds a reason to keep him late to ‘talk’), his father is visiting and it’s been hectic.

There are so many emotions I am feeling. Anger, that he lied. Hurt, that he did it in the first place – and the fact that he never apologized for doing it. Sadness that he doesn’t respect me enough to tell me the truth – or in this case, to tell me nothing at all. Seriously, why didn’t he just said, ‘nope, we have enough soap’ when I asked? Then none of this would have happened.

But the most I feel is real sadness. That again, a man has lied to me about something so incredibly stupid. This was how my last relationships ended… it all starts with that first lie. So easy to do, and once you start… will there be an end?

Now I don’t know how to go forward. Do I keep pretending it didn’t happen, or do I push him to talk about it? Or send him a text message?

How do I move forward and put this behind me? Do I trust that he isn’t going to do this again?

Fuck.