I’m done, I’m done, I’m done, I tell myself. I have no feelings left for this man. We split up because we couldn’t make it work out. No matter how much we tried, we kept coming back to the same reality: we are not suited to one another.
So I called up the paralegal today to see if there have been any new developments on my case or if they need the remaining balance paid to get this divorce done.
The friendly assistant tells me they just got the signed paperwork back from Mark a few days ago. Now, they need to prepare the judgment, have both of us sign it, and then send it off to court for finalization.
“If we email it to him, will he do the necessary signing? He needs to have a notary present for the signature,” she asks.
“Why? Was there a problem? Did he delay getting the paperwork signed and returned to you?”
“No, no, nothing like that,” she assures me. In fact, we sent it through snail mail so that would account for why it took so long.”
Well then, I figure, he’ll cooperate on the rest of it. An email is fine. She needs the remainder of the balance I owe to prepare the judgment, and I give her a credit card number. Okay, all is well. No problems. I hang up the phone, numb.
What is bothering me? Why do I feel tears threatening to form in my eyes? I’ve already resolved these questions. This marriage is over, and it’s not a problem. Or is it?
I think it’s time I remind myself of who each of us was during the marriage. What better way than to reread some of the little “letters” Mark brought to me after one fight, then another?
I fish through the nightstand, where I’ve deposited several of these hand-written “love letters.” I read them. There are three, plus one little note on a scratch sheet.
Everything was MY fault, he says in the letters. What drove him away from me was my constant hostility, my refusal to take into consideration his feelings while spewing forth my own, my uncanny ability to twist everything around so that I made it about how I was the wounded animal.
Oh yeah. Now I remember. Gosh, he was good. He was the ultimate victim to my anger, according to his perspective. He only took responsibility for his occasional depression, his miserable social skills, his inability to express his feelings.
I fold up the papers and slip them into the other end table on the side of the bed where he used to sleep. I’d throw them out, but I might need to reference them again in a weak moment.
I really don’t feel resentful towards him. He does seem to struggle with that inability to feel his feelings and to share them with me or anyone. I suspect that’s been true his whole life–and through each of his previous two marriages. I suspect he’s already searching for the next woman to sweep off her feet with roses, endearing comments, and the “I love you’s” after only a couple of weeks. How sad it is that he wants so desperately to find love and to be in love while having no clue how to do it.
I’m no pro either. But when I reread those letters, referencing some of my remarks to him, I see that I did one thing differently from him. I admitted it. I accepted responsibility for my share of the problems, and I even asked his help for us to make it through working it out. I’m not blameless, but I believe I was as emotionally honest as I knew how to be. Maybe that’s how it was for him too.
“You can’t give away something you don’t have,” I hear often in meetings. How could he give me his love when he didn’t know how to access it or how to open up his heart to me and reveal himself?
I bear him no ill will. Still, I don’t want to know when he finds his new Miss Right. I wish him happiness, but I don’t want to hear about it either. That’s the best I can do for today.