Hi Katy! Thank you for taking the time to read this piece, as well as my first one!
Grrrrlll….I will admit that there are SO many times that I think in these terms about my ex, also. There are times when I get indignant and literally can’t believe his behavior.
But, the truth is, that if he is a monster, then it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to label me Dr. Frankenstein.
I can’t walk away from 17 years with someone without bearing some responsibility for how he turned out. He wouldn’t behave this way if I hadn’t taught him that it was okay and that I would put up with it and gloss over everything and make it all okay for him. I’ve traced this line back to where I fucked up over and over again and it’s right at the beginning when I said, “I do.”
Just like my implants, I married him for the wrong reasons. I stayed with him for the wrong reasons, too. My parents had a very contentious, bitter divorce and I would’ve done anything to “make it work” and avoid that kind of mess, including co-signing his bullshit. And that’s just one reason I stayed. “For the kids” was another. There’s a whole fucking list.
Cutting myself some slack, I didn’t know it at the time. I was young (21), and naive, and about as far from self-aware as a person could be. And maybe I’m infantilizing him a bit to take so much “credit” for his dysfunction. He’s a grown ass man and is responsible for his own choices.
He thought I would never, ever leave. I had stayed for so much crap, why would this be any different? After 16 years, I suddenly changed the rules. And I’m glad I did. I finally made the right choice. But he didn’t get it then and still doesn’t understand it now. And, like a child, he protests with his behavior.
I do not excuse his behavior — but I am starting to understand it.
Anyway, sorry for the diatribe! That was probably all TMI, but it felt good to get out.
I appreciate you giving me the opening to speak that truth and for reading these pieces. Your feedback is so valuable to me. :)