Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Those pesky exes

Ranger has not been divorced as long as I have. I remember being at the same stage, where you're working out how much you hate this person, who isn't entirely stable, and you still have kids whose well-being you have to think about.

Whew. It's not fun.

He's been back and forth with the "don't call me unless it's about the kids" thing. She gets nasty and awful, and he goes back to that. Then, something happens with the kids and she's back to calling again.

I've done the same thing. I understand.

The trouble is that he's become her personal counselor. She has dating trouble and calls Ranger about it. She doesn't understand why men are only interested in sleeping with her, and not in relationships. They send her clear signals that they aren't interested in anything but the "benefits" (not even the "friends" part), but she still pushes for more and is upset when she doesn't get it.

And this is what Ranger is hearing over and over. It's disturbing for him because this is the woman his teenage daughter looks to for an example of how women should behave with men. His ex makes no effort to separate her dating/sex life from her mom life.

She's been asking questions about me. She saw our profiles on MySpace, where he refers to me as the love of his life. She sees our pages on Facebook. She actually added me as a "Friend" on Facebook. We're all one big Friends list now, with Ranger, me, her, their kids, and my kids. My daughter and his have fun chatting.

Kinda weird, isn't it?

His ex laments, though, that it's not fair that he found the relationship she thought she was going to have, once she divorced him. See, she divorced him because she started having an affair with a friend of his. She fell for him and decided that it was what she really wanted. So, she divorced Ranger. And the new guy backed off. He still doesn't want a relationship with her, but they still see each other.

She left Ranger all alone in Utah. Ripped his world out from under him. Shattered him. And didn't care one wit how he'd deal with it. Now, the irony has come home to roost. She turned him loose, and he found the kind of love he'd been missing all along. She is the one alone, dealing with an impressive series of mistakes.

It's not fair, she says.

Here's where I get antsy, though. These personal counseling sessions are happening very often. Sometimes, they are lengthy conversations. He never answers when we're together or on the phone already. One night, I told him to answer because she called and left a voice mail about their son. It was an urgent need concerning his children, but she was surprised I "let" him answer the second call. Why wouldn't I?

She's a little surprised by me, by how open I am. I apparently caught her really off guard when I called during the trouble in Utah. I was a little too resourceful in finding her number, it seems.

Anywho.... The thing is that, well, I'm afraid. I'm scared that she'll call before me in the evenings and hear about his day, then he won't talk like that with me. This happens with my son. The first person to talk to him gets the whole story, and no one else does. A few nights, Ranger has been fairly silent, and I've wondered if it's because he's already talked out.

So, I told him this. He assures me that's not the case. He's making an effort to not answer each call from her. He doesn't want her to feel like he's there for her at all times. He's making sure to tell me about each conversation. Still, I worry. This is someone he has a long history with. Children with.

"I'll never go back to that," he assures me. "You've shown me how love should be. You've allowed me to love with abandon, and you love me back that way. I could never go back."

You all know my history, though. So many times being bitten in the ass by this kind of thing. My fears aren't really rational, but they are there. Maybe it's a matter of unlearning what I've learned from bad relationships, to truly believe a good one is here to stay.


Fire Byrd said...

communication and trust are the difference that makes you and ranger work. specially after earlier in the year when you sorted it out. there is no proof that it will or won't work, you just have to make the decision to trust.
And maybe it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all as said by Mr Shakespeare.

Ronjazz said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

muse said...

Stick with it, he sounds like a winner. Trust is an evil beast, but you two have it right now. Don't let mistrust creep destroys everything.

Blogget Jones said...

Ah, Byrd, well-put. And you hit me with Shakespeare. I adore Shakespeare!

And it's true about the trust factor. I'm fighting my history. I'm accustomed to that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I need to get used to the idea that there's isn't another shoe!

Thanks :o)