I work in retail, and today I ran into my soon-to-be-ex and his affair partner (ex’s best friend’s girlfriend) while on my break.
We’d been married 23 years, he felt the need to find himself, felt her up while doing so, but lied, lied, lied… You hear this everyday, I know. But, our 90-day cooling off period has come and gone, the papers are signed, and I am literally waiting for him to take them to the court house. (Uncontested divorce. I chose to leave crazy, and Lord knows you can’t fight it and the guilt-ridden agreement is very satisfactory.)
I’m still waiting. So imagine my surprise to see them at the mall today! But more surprising is when he left her and ducked behind a pillar as I walked past! He waits, then scoots to the escalator with her, she turns to him and says “who were you looking at?” So, of course, I turn and follow them up the escalator (righteous, pissed off, pick me shoes ON! Not proud.) I confront him as they exit, of course after exchanging pleasantries (I can, and have had to fake it before…) I inquired as to the delay in completing the process! A hundred excuses later, I made sure to state, clearly for the love-deaf AP to hear: “We should have been divorced a month ago! Why are you holding this up? Let’s get this done!” Exhausted from my fake nice song (and dance), I leave. And laugh, laugh some more, then start shaking.
I guess the question is — what does “meh” truly feel like? Because although today’s exchange was ridiculously funny, I do not feel any better for it. If anything, it just drives home harder that I was married to a coward, someone willing to hide behind a pillar rather than be civil. A mall rat of the worst variety. A waste of 23 years. I’m sad I gave my youth to this man. I have to see them again at a family event where I will be the one to avoid him this time, it would be easier with a dose of meh. Please, how does one get there?
Thank you so much!
It’s impossible to feel “meh” when you’re still going through the divorce process. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die, as the saying goes. You’re still hip-deep in the suffering stages, sorry. And your not-quite-ex is prolonging this swan song.
Why would he do that? Because the cake-y deliciousness of power and control is hard to give up. Because he might not really be feeling so generous after 24/7 life with the OW. Because he’s really used to agreeing to things he has zero intention of committing to (like marriage vows and/or divorce settlements).
Do you have a lawyer? Why does HE have to take it to the courthouse? Or is that just shorthand for “he has to sign it to finalize it”? I’d be looking at ways you can start applying some pressure to push this thing through.
One tactic my particular divorce lawyer tried (I also had one of these divorce-phobic cheaters) was to simply ask for more and more the longer he waited. Didn’t matter if I wasn’t legally entitled to it. Didn’t matter if it was unreasonable. So were his delay tactics. You want to communicate: “The window on reasonable settlement is CLOSING. Now I want your federal pension and collection of Franklin Mint collector’s plates.”
If you stupidly and chumpily tried mediation and expected him to keep his word? How’s that working for you? Get a strong lawyer.
I think confronting him in front of the affair partner was a terrific way to exert pressure. Well played, Pondy. These fruit-loop OW often demand commitments from cheaters. (Baffling isn’t it?) You’ve let her know the hold up isn’t YOU, it’s HIM. But remember — he’s playing the power and control game with her too. She wants a commitment? He’s not going to give it to her. She’s not the boss of him! Oh sure he’ll make all sorts of promises, but he has you to play Obstacle to Their Happiness. You just publicly renounced the role of hypotenuse. Good for you. I’m sure he feels utterly fucked. (And so does she at some level. “Who are you looking at?” I wonder how often she says that…)
Now then, about that meh. Acceptance takes time and distance. And you cannot distance yourself from a cheater while you’re still at the bargaining table with him. So just keep trudging through this crap and remember that the pain is finite. You will get to the other side. And your ex will still probably be lurking around a pillar, skulking away from responsibility. Leave him at Cheaters Bargain Barn. I hear they’re having a sale on fuckwits.