I think what bothers me the most, other than knowing how fast my Ex moved on to someone else, is that I feel like a giant failure. And not just now, after the fact, but during the entire course of my marriage. Whenever something went wrong I always blamed myself(eventually) and, for the most part, I blamed myself for the marriage's eventual demise. I say "blamed" because I'm sort of beginning to wonder if the whole thing was necessarily all my fault.
If you were to ask me if I had any faults I would say, "no, of course not" and then laugh hysterically while I handed you the laminated list I carry around in my purse. I've always been very aware of the fact that I have many faults. I generally alternate between trying to better myself and not giving a shit. It's a good system.
What I have come to realize, however, is that there is a HUGE difference between being consciously aware of your own faults and accepting them/trying to change, and having someone else constantly tell you how you could be a better person.
Very early on in our marriage, after one of our soon to be frequent fights, I remember sitting in our bedroom. I was on our bed and my husband was sitting on the floor giving me a "talk" on how I could be better. He is very religious and I am not at all religious and the lesson basically was that I should be more positive and loving and accepting and, if I were to do that, I would be happier and, in turn, so would he. I remember sitting there and making a list in my head of all the things I would do to improve.
That was basically how my marriage went. As the year went on, I did my best to be the person he wanted and, in the process I turned into a person that I didn't want to be. For everything that I did right, there would be something I would do wrong. And of course, every time I did something wrong I would get angry at myself which would result in me getting angry at everyone else and anger is WRONG and BAD and NEGATIVE. Do you see where I'm going with this? It was frustrating and exhausting and very emotionally debilitating. Every once in a while I would just get so frustrated that I would say FUCK IT and be the worst person I could possibly think of being. As you can imagine, that always went over well.
At the end, when the decision was finally made that neither of us were happy and we could no longer exert the immense effort it took to keep the marriage afloat, I asked him why, if he felt from the very beginning that I was the type of person that couldn't make him happy, did he even bother? He thought he could change me, he said. He thought he could make me into a better person. I guess I'm not the only one who failed.
The thing is, I do have a lot of bad qualities:
- I'm loud
- I gossip
- I'm short tempered
- I swear like a sailor
- I drink
- I judge
- I'm extremely impatient
- I often don't give people the benefit of the doubt
- I'm negative
- I'm short tempered...oh did I mention that already? SO WHAT?! SHUT UP!
But I also have some good ones:
- I'm nice to people
- I'm funny
- I sponsor a World Vision Kid(and if that doesn't get me into heaven, nothing will)
- I'm fun
And who cares if the second list is shorter. I'm working on it. By myself. At my own pace. And that's how it should be.
I've learned a lot of lessons from my failed marriage and the most important one is that I should be myself no matter what. And if people don't like it? Tough shit. And so what if it means that lately when I meet guys I try to be as raunchy as possible so, on the off chance we hit it off, they're not disappointed in the long run? I'll get over that. I hope. I'll be ready for a healthy relationship eventually. Maybe.
Until then I'm going to continue to be inwardly bitter and pretend it doesn't bother me when I see my Ex and his new girlfriend at the bar. And I'll continue to pretend that I don't wonder what she's like. And what qualities she has that make him happy. Because I would sure like to know what those qualities are.
And oh please don't get me wrong, I am truly glad that he is happy and I in no way want to be with him. At all. It's just hard you know? It's just hard to know that someone else exhibits all the fine qualities that I do not. And what a coincidence that she is right here in our city and he doesn't have to go back to Chile to find her. I'm so glad I was able to participate in their relationship by funding his trip here.
See? Bitterness is fun!