...emphasis on Ugly
So imagine this...we are in a beautiful hotel room in Cape May, New Jersey on the last night of vacation. Mission has been accomplished, my boyfriend and my children have bonded in a way I never thought possible. He stepped up 150%, was my co-pilot with the kids, and most importantly he struck the right balance of "parent" and "spoiler." The kids are having fun raiding maids carts in the hallway (we all have an unhealthy addiction to those little bottles of shampoo) and playing with a laser pointer out the window annoying children and parents below (that last part we finally did stop when parents started scowling at our window).
Then his cell phone rang - a highly unusual event - and I know "who is hurt or dead?" went through my mind. He looks at the number, and says "no, it couldn't be." And I knew. It was her, the ex-wife. Their end was bitter, they have no children - they do not talk. But she is calling. We are baffled and a bit startled. She leaves an incoherent message. I tried to call back twice - once I think she answered but then hung up. Why I did this I will never know.
And then, as if it was perfectly timed, a series of text messages started. "You were supposed to be my husband," one even eluded to their sex life. I think she mentioned words like "commitment", "forever." Some of it was very garbled and clearly she was intoxicated. My man was an ace, showed me the phone right away, asked me how I wanted him to handle it. Didn't try to hide anything. He was clear, we were going to take these next steps together. I encouraged him to write back to see what she wanted, better find out now than wait (we both hate waiting). At one point he typed back "what do you want?" Her last reply was completely incoherent, made a comment about wanting money, and we decided to stop.
Now I should point out a few things: yes, we were posting like maniacs on Facebook throughout the trip. We were excited that our relationship had progressed to the point where he was spending this type of time with my kids and I was jumping out of my skin that he was ready, willing, and able to do the big family vaca. We were whispering the word "family" to one another. He posted lyrics to a love song on FB and someone wrote the comment "when is the wedding." While she is blocked from his Facebook account, they have many mutual friends. The timing of her reaching out was too coincidental. She had been told or shown that he had not only moved onto a new relationship, but to a family.
When the first call came, and then the texts, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, adrenalin started pumping, and I pushed my crazy bitch-crazy girlfriend persona back into her cave (hey, I'm not getting rid of her completely, she may in fact come in handy one day). Instead I dug deep and decided there was a much better way to handle the mess.
First, I acknowledged that he still had yet to have the heartfelt appology he so deserved. You know I don't share initmate details of the demise of my marriage so I am certainly not going to share them of his, but he deserves an appology. I knew that while the apology would never erase the insanity she caused, maybe it would give him an ounce of peace. And I was hoping that with a short series of drunken texts, maybe she was going to go there. And maybe some remorse or acknowledgement on her end would help him heal a bit more.
Secondly, and you may think it is crazy, but, I'm not stupid: anytime an ex reaches out with a declaration of "you are supposed to be mine forever," there is a certain little ego boost that one experiences and I encouraged him to acknoweldge that was happening. Yes, this may sound strange but just like when you get hit on in a bar, when an ex circles back it feels good. And I am so secure in our relationship that I was fine with him getting the superficial boost. He's all mine and I know he isn't going anywhere.
Lastly, and I knew it had to happen, I did tell him that I did not want him to have any contact with her..no more texts, no email, no phone, no nothing. It isn't healthy for him, not healthy for our relationship, and well, honestly, I just can't handle it. Yes, I'm very very secure in our relationship, we've made the big commitment, I trust him enough to bring him into the lives of my children. And I know, he doesn't want her back. But that doesn't mean they should have contact, and even if there was some curiosity, I felt my request was completely reasonable. And he agreed.
I realize that I could have gone all bitch raging crazy on this situation...."why is she contacting you?" "Is this what you want?!?!" But I kept my cool. I sat securely in my relationship with this man that I love, and thought deeply and quickly about the best way to handle the mess. I thought about how I would want my boyfriend to act if the tables were turned and all that I would need to hear. I came from the greatest place of compassion, love and concern.
And so we lived to tell the tale - something that certainly shocked us both certainly didn't rock us. He was honest, upfront and didn't try to hide anything. I remained calm and focused.
Of course I can't help but to wonder what she wanted...does she want him back? Is she angry because he has healed and isn't pining away for her? Does she think that she could start some secret texting with him and drive a wedge in our relationship? Is she devastated that he has moved on and he is now part of a family? Oh wait, who cares, she's history....buhhh bye....