If you look back at the past couple of months worth of posts, you will see how hard I tried to see my ex-wife in a better light, and how hard I tried to make things right with her. And it always will be a struggle, as I’m about to explain, but I’ve come to realize it doesn’t need to always be a struggle in every way.
I really don’t want this to come across as spiteful, because it’s not meant to be. So, I’m going to start this by explaining something:
Two different things can be true at the same time.
It is true that since July, I began to understand many things I was wrong about concerning my ex-wife. I misunderstood a great deal, and I realized how I made things worse in a lot of ways. In fact, most recently, I realized I was wrong about how she acted during our last phone call. We’d had weeks of complete peace, and then I call to ask her something and she immediately has a piss-poor attitude, proceeding to raise her voice, sigh loudly, and force the conversation to be as short as possible. I thought that was intentional sabotage, but I was wrong, or so I think. I think that attitude was the best attitude she could have, because she is emotionally compromised, just as I had been for most of the time since we separated.
Here’s where two things can be true at the same time: I did make mistakes, I have been wrong about a lot, and I misunderstood her greatly …….. but some facts still remain true about her core character nonetheless.
She says she needs to heal. She says the way she’s been acting is the best she can do until she heals. But there are two problems with this: 1), She justifies everything, no matter how malicious, by feeling sorry for herself, and 2), things would hardly improve even after she heals.
I never hit my wife, I never raised my voice at my wife, I never condescended my wife, I never threatened my wife, I never coerced my wife to do anything she didn’t want to do, I never physically restrained my wife, I never destroyed my wife’s belongings, and I never tried to impose rules for my wife. There was one exception, and that is that I made a rule that she can’t eat ramen noodles (her favorite food) while pregnant. Literally the only exception to anything here. If that makes me a monster, go ahead and call me a monster.
Divorce made us both worse for sure. I did start mildly condescending my ex-wife, but only when it was over between us, not when we were together. That’s really the only thing that ever changed after we split. I still have never raised my voice to her, or anything else on that list. I have been thoroughly recording as much as I can since our separation so that I can prove everything I’m saying here.
So, what does she need to heal from? My best guess is that she needs to heal from how ugly things got since we separated. But if her meaning is that she needs to heal from our marriage, then I have no idea what she would need healing from. Since our separation, I’ve picked up tiny hints of what was bothering her during our marriage. Whenever I get these snippets, it makes me think, “Why didn’t she communicate this when we were together?”
In a recent previous post, I talked about how she was raised by her stepfamily, and how they, from my perspective, failed to teach her basic things like communication. But I think there’s a fine line between how someone is raised and who they are underneath. Who we are underneath always comes to the surface, regardless of our upbringing.
Regarding the subject of who people are underneath… My ex-wife doesn’t seem to understand that I’m not a bad person. I’m not a monster, I’m not an asshole. I am honest. And even when we were married, I filtered a lot of what I said to her, because with your spouse, you have to make exceptions like that. What my ex-wife doesn’t seem to understand is how easily … very, very easily … my path in life could have gone in a completely different direction. A very dark direction. It’s not rare at all for people with tremendous emotional pain, who have been abandoned and betrayed more times than they thought they can handle, to give up being a good person.
Statistically, my life choices should have made me a far worse person. Statistically, I should have wound up in prison by now, been a smoker, done drugs, have multiple children with multiple women, gotten into at least a few fist fights by now, etc., etc. At the very least, I should have had a few tattoos by now.
But I chose differently.
Recall the list of things I never did during my marriage. It’s not as if any of those things are physically difficult for anybody to do. But they’re not in my nature in the first place. So, why did I deserve to be divorced? Why did our daughter and I deserve to have our family broken up permanently?
I am faithful to my loved ones. My romantic partners have never worried about me cheating. My ex-wife herself said outright during our marriage, “I KNOW you would never cheat on me.” I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I very rarely drink, I have never been part of a gang, I don’t have a gambling problem, I am not impulsive… Is this list missing something that I also don’t do?
My point is: I wasn’t a perfect husband, and I’ll never be a perfect anything, but our problems as a couple when we were married could most certainly have been fixed with some proper communication. That’s really all it took. And communication must be applied at all times, not just at the end when things are starting to fall apart. Communication, at all times, can fix 99.99% of all marital problems.
If I didn’t abuse my wife, if I didn’t have any problematic habits, if I didn’t have a criminal history, if I didn’t have problematic friends, if I didn’t have even the slightest tendency to be unfaithful….. then there is no good reason on Earth that my marriage had to fail. And yet it did. Not by my choice, but hers. This isn’t playing the blame game, it’s an objective fact: She chose all of this, I didn’t.
She chose to end it even before seeking marriage counseling. After 2 years of her avoiding communication like the Plague, when things were starting to fall apart, I felt I had to virtually force communication. I had to insist that we talk things out. But she countered by saying she doesn’t believe in talking things out, because she, “Deals with bad thoughts by letting them stay in her mind until they go away on their own.” (I’m completely serious; she really said that.)
Now, it’s nearly been 2 years since we separated, and nothing has changed. She still avoids communication like the Plague. She never wants to talk anything out. She literally goes to the law before trying to talk things out, or ask me questions, or even bother to tell me how she feels. In court, the first time she brought us to court, the judge explicitly said she is giving me ample parenting time because my-wife demonstrated that she had no intention of being fair or working together. The judge outright said that if I’m not given ample parenting time, my ex would undoubtedly shove me out of the picture of our daughter’s childhood.
My ex-wife says she needs time to heal, and I believe her, but absolutely no part of me believes she would be a better person once she heals. This is what I mean when I say two things can be true at the same time. I certainly made mistakes and misunderstood her after we separated, and before, but my ex-wife is still that same person who did not take the right steps to keep our marriage healthy while it was going, and quit the marriage before so much as seeking counseling. She has outright told me we will never be together again. We went to counseling, but only after she already made her decision and her family told her to have counseling first.
She is extremely self-important, she has no humility, she does not forgive, I have never once seen her even try to see things from other perspectives … and there is one problem that stands out far above the rest:
She refuses to improve her character.
She has told me she is getting professional help and has gotten help ever since we separated, and I mostly believe that, but I can’t help but think, “It sure as hell isn’t working after two years.” There’s a reason it isn’t working. She doesn’t want it to work. At least, she doesn’t want to do what it takes to make professional help work. She wants to keep being her old, usual self, without changing anything about how she thinks or behaves, and still expects her problems to magically go away. That is why, no matter how much professional help she gets, for 5 years, 15 years, or 50 years, nothing will ever change as long as she refuses to be honest with herself.
Actually, I’m almost completely convinced that she’s either not getting help from a professional at all, or that professional is terrible at their job. All my ex-wife has done since we separated was develop a victim complex, blame even more of her own problems on me, and she believes more strongly than ever that she has contributed nothing to what’s gone wrong. It’s as if the person ‘helping’ her only tells her what her ego wants to hear.
On this blog in the past I’ve talked about the sisters I once tried to help break free of their drug addiction, and how they didn’t change because they didn’t want to. This is just how human beings work. People don’t change, for better or worse, unless they want to, unless they allow themselves to. Those sisters also taught me that no matter how much someone needs to change, that doesn’t make them any more likely to want to.
So, here is what I have come to realize. Here is the epiphany that came to me after so many sleepless nights:
I need to get my daughter a better mother figure.
A real woman. A woman who is capable of communication, who understands the importance of communication, who can admit mistakes, who does everything it takes to keep her family together, who always tries to improve herself, who is capable of putting others first, who wants to make the world a better place and doesn’t just live for herself, who doesn’t try to use our legal system as a weapon with which to get everything she wants (like someone else’s money).
What can my ex-wife teach our daughter besides basic things like manners, walking, and saying words? What example can my ex-wife set, besides showing our daughter that it’s okay to never apologize, never admit you were wrong, never change, etc.?
I have tried to apologize for countless things. I’ve apologized so much it’s annoyed my ex-wife. I can only wish that someday she’d annoy me in the same way. She has outright said she has never done anything she needs to apologize for. She also has literally never apologized to me for anything more serious than … being late for something. I know I’m far from perfect, but one thing is absolutely undeniable: I’ve been trying. I’ve been trying to communicate, and I’ve been trying to figure things out despite the fact my ex-wife refuses to communicate. When I get things wrong, I own up to it.
Don’t believe I’ve been trying my damn hardest? Click here and read the many posts I’ve written about trying to make everything better between us. I will keep these posts up, despite being obsolete now, so that people can always see how hard I tried.
She says she needs space to heal, and says that distance from me is the only thing that can make her heal. That may be true, but the fact still remains: She has done terrible things and doesn’t feel an ounce of remorse for them. I’ve been through more emotional pain than she could ever understand, and those experiences still didn’t chisel away at my conscience. Trying to rob a man of his child and reduce him from a father to a visitor, is evil. Taking someone’s money every month, when they have always done their fair share of all the parenting responsibilities, is evil. (I will have our daughter MORE than half of every week after she turns 3 years old. Will my ex-wife stop taking advantage of our state’s biased custody laws and allow me to keep all the money I make? We all know the answer is no.)
Again, I was not perfect… But I know I never deserved everything she’s done and will continue to do. So many other ways this situation could have been handled, but she is 100% convinced her way is the only way. My lawyer said those exact words during our trial, saying, “She has made it clear that it’s her way, or the highway,” and our judge agreed. Everyone can see her behavior for what it is.
She doesn’t even have the decency to tell me about the guy she’s living with right now. There’s a man she’s constantly bringing around our daughter and she actually believes I don’t have a moral right to know literally anything about the guy……. I can’t put into words how unbelievable that is.
When I compare a real woman I’ve known my entire life, named Lana, to my ex-wife, it becomes obvious to me that my ex-wife will never even come close to being as humble and wise as Lana. Not when she turns 30, or 50, or 70. My own mother is 63, and according to literally everyone I’m related to by blood, she is still the same person she has been since she was a teenager. My ex-wife is 24 and still has the maturity of a teenage girl.
So, I need to get going right now in finding a better mother figure for our daughter before decades pass and it’s too late. My baby needs the best influence possible, as early in her life as possible.
I’m not talking about trying to shove my ex-wife out of our daughter’s life. I would only go that far if I thought my daughter’s safety is at risk. If she keeps bringing men around our daughter and doesn’t tell me a single thing about them, I might start fearing the worst. But in the meantime, I won’t try to do what my ex-wife tried to do to me. Still though, from now on, I also won’t give another inch unless I have to. No more offering her extra parenting time for any reason, no more going out of my way to keep her informed about anything she doesn’t need to know. If we go to court a 3rd time (and we all know my ex will make that happen), and the judge goes further than before, and reduces my ex’s parenting days to just 2 days every 2 weeks, like what she tried to do to me the first time, I won’t have a problem with it. I won’t push for it, but I won’t have a problem if that is the result.
I am convinced she is pretending to live alone, and pretending not to be in a relationship, so that when she drags us to court for the 3rd time, she can claim she’s done a lot on her own. Time has proven, beyond any doubt, that she never learns, and she never improves her character, she only changes her tactics.
I no longer believe being back together with my ex-wife is what’s best for our daughter, because my ex-wife still, herself, needs to be raised. Like a child. She still needs to grow up, and I cannot raise them both. I don’t have the wisdom to raise an entitled, stubborn girl in her mid-20s who thinks she is always right and I’m always wrong. I also don’t have the strength, or the desire to.
When our daughter turns 3, I start getting her for most of the week. I think the sheer fact our judge gave me four days per week with our daughter is testament enough to the kind of character my ex-wife has. A judge, a woman, who only knew me a couple of hours believed I was a better influence on my daughter than her own mother.
As much as it hurts to admit, I made a big mistake in the woman I chose to be my child’s mother. She will always be my daughter’s mother, but she doesn’t have to remain the best motherly influence in my daughter’s childhood. I need to choose a better woman to help me raise my daughter. My ex-wife will always be her true mother, and we all know how I feel about step-parents, but I see no better option. This would not be my first choice, not by many, many light years, but it is the best choice I have. My ex-wife won’t change, she won’t grow, and she has nothing of true value to impart on our daughter. I could be wrong about some of the things I’m saying, but I know my ex-wife will never believe what’s best for our daughter is if we are all a complete, wholesome family again. That tells me she’s in this for herself, not our baby.
I don’t want our daughter growing up believing it’s acceptable to keep those kinds of secrets, to lie, to throw people away as soon as they are no longer useful, to believe apologizing is something she never needs to do, to use the law to take money from a devoted father, etc., etc., etc.
She needs a far better female influence.
For the sake of keeping an open mind… If by some MIRACLE, my ex-wife turns her behavior around, and actually becomes mature and humble and communicative, I will change my mind about this. But I have no faith whatsoever that can possibly happen.