When we’re in the throes of D-day and writhing about in pain we are often told that Things Will Get Better and Time Will Heal. And both of these statements are true. But as I come up on four years since discovering my ex was a serial cheater I also know that while time will heal and the searing pain of being horribly betrayed will fade there will always be a part of me that aches, even if it’s just a bit and not very often.
This past weekend one of my kids was with his father and when he returned I once again was treated to My Life v.2, meaning that my ex seems to live the exact same life he lived with me – going to the places I introduced into our lives and engaging in the activities I always dragged him on – but with a new person at his side and my kid tagging along, confused by this strange turn of events.
It’s a bit of a head scratcher for me because when we were together he never wanted to do a lot of these things and since I left him I have made a concerted effort to do different things with my children, ones that are unique to the family we now have. Sure, we do some of the old stuff but in general none of us are all that interested unless those things are specific to me.
So all this wondering as to why The Ex does all the same things with his new family that he did with his old, such as going to certain restaurants in a city brimming with places to eat, or swimming at particular places that he always groaned about before, I realized that he does this because he never has any ideas of his own. When I look back on our 20 years together it occurs to me that everything we did was dreamed up by me and unless (or until) a light bulb goes off in his new sweet young thang’s head and she starts coming up with new things to do.
The twinges of pain and irritation I sometimes feel when I hear the stories are dampened by this thought: Why would I want to live another woman’s life? Why would I want to live in her old neighbourhood or drive the same car or literally sleep on the same beds she slept on over the years while doing all the same things she did for years and years? Sometimes I think it’s because she really did want my life, lock, stock, and barrel, and sometime I think it’s because she’s not the brightest bulb on the Christmas Tree and because she thinks she’s hit the jackpot with The Ex she’ll go along with whatever he wants. And then I realize, after a bit of a chuckle, that it really doesn’t matter.
In any future relationship I know that I want to develop something new with whomever that person will be, create new memories and visit new places. I’m sure I’ll introduce this mysterious and lucky, lucky man to things from my world, both past and present, but only as part of the fabric of the new life we’re creating together.
In immediate aftermath of getting together with Sweet Young Thang The Ex was all about her world and her interests and her activities and it was fun fun fun all the time. This made me feel boring and dull and old, particularly after he told me exactly how much fun she was. I realize now that it was classic Love Bombing, with him mirroring all her interests to lure her in. Now that she’s secured he can settle back into what’s comfortable, which appears to be the life he lived with me.
So while it does bring up twinges of pain when I hear about the fun times they’re having doing the exact same things we used to do as a family I know that he’s dull as dishwater and she’s either dumb or unimaginative. Or both.
And I look at my new life, set aside my worries about money and the future, and am very, very grateful that I’m not sitting around anymore trying to dream up things to entertain him while setting aside the things that interested me. These days I do what I want and I explore and try out all sorts of new activities, entertainment, even food.
So, Chumps, anyone else seeing the Happy New Couple live your life v.2?