I have got to get this man out of my life.
But he doesn’t want to loosen his grip.
For one thing, Angela is officially geographically impossible since I selfishly refused to uproot my life and go live in London so he could have access to Lilly while they got it on.
Now in his game of relationship tag – I’m “IT” apparently. First runner up. Lucky me.
And Pigs might fly.
Besides that he’s having his cake and eating it; He gets to keep leaning on his crutch (although that crutch’s hostility levels are reaching critical), he keeps the full time nanny, somewhere to drop in for regular dinners.
He gets to play parent less than 24hours a week; he doesnt do any of the heavy lifting. And all the while he lives his own life as he pleases, no questions asked and if the native over here gets restless, just leave before any serious talk starts up.
I know, I know, this is all happening because I let it. I am working on an ending but it’s hard. Sixteen years of old habits, someone very manipulative who knows all of my buttons and how to push them, fighting to retain control. All of this with the added complexity of mental health issues thrown in.
But I’m not giving up; Pollyanna has warned me that I will have to drive this; from emptying his remaining stuff from the wardrobe to divorce and settlement. Because he will not.
I did get him to attend a session with Pollyanna and I thought for a week that he was on board -saying stuff like ‘maybe she can help us find closure..’ I was happy – optimistic even…
But that wasn’t what it was about. Not for him anyway. I wanted mediation to take us through the formalities, yes -find some closure but he aspired to marriage counselling!
Pollyanna was wonderful though, she clarified to him that despite his laments of ‘mania made me do all that’ the real and permanent damage done to our relationship happened this year.
<sigh> I don’t know if he is a consummate actor or whether he’s told himself his own versions of his story so often he’s created false memories, but the way he portrays his ‘other’ relationship is a far cry from what they write to each other in emails. I actually built a graphic timeline of what he was saying to her and me during each month this year and I have to say it’s a trip! It would make anyone’s head spin.
I told him in this last session that he has given me no indication that he has any feelings for me at all, and I will not be the sentimental favourite, consolation prize, first runner up, or anything else. I told him If I were to be partnered with anyone again (and that is extremely unlikely) it will be because that person loves me to an almost impossible and unreasonable level and would move heaven and earth to catch and keep me.
I also told him that if Angela moved here, so long as she wasn’t further burdening our bank accounts and she was good to Lilly on the weekends he had her, that I would be really happy for him.
He was mortified. And he made it clear that sentiment didn’t go both ways.
He’s a territorial as a Miner Bird in nesting season.
Notice I didn’t say jealous?
Territorial is key.
With all his protestations and talk of how happy we were and our long history together I challenged him to declare his love. He responded by plagiarising me, saying ‘after all that has happened I can’t really feel much of anything for anyone right now.’ I was stunned.
Not because he seemed to be throwing my honest comment of eight months ago back in my face, but because he seemed to be genuinely passing off the sentiment as his own.
I still find that disturbing. He seems to be voicing what he thinks are approriate responses, forgetting where they came from, rather than being... what? Being truthful? Faking it in that way - yeah I find that disturbing.
Setting that aside, I addressed the 'how happy we were argument'. I told him his heartfelt confessions to Angela about how Unhappy he’d been - until he met her, gave me cause to pause and ponder that one.
I quoted him telling her he's looked all his life for the connection and level of intimacy and understanding that he'd found with her..'
He said ‘I was Manic and high on drugs – I didn’t mean any of that – it wasn’t true.’ I pointed out that he was still saying those things to her as recent as end of June this year (when he was no longer manic) and he denied it.
I may have to pull out the timeline graphic, print off some emails and use a highlighter pen to refresh his memory before I can herd him into the family law court.
When push comes to shove, he doesn’t want to let go, he doesn’t get that he blew his shot, early this year, at leveraging my abundant empathy to win me back, and that much dishonesty and deception just doesn’t dissolve.
It leaves a big ugly stain on a relationship that will not come out.
So you just can’t wear it again.