Met with Mr. Hate last night for coffee (though I had tea, and please, for the love of Gawd, next time I have a pot of tea at 6:30 at night, remind me to order the decaf!). And we actually managed to talk some stuff through. At least he talked, and I mostly listened. That was really, really challenging for me and my monkey mind. There is SO much I would like to say, so many Al-Pacino worthy speeches I have composed in my head, so many Norma Rae moments I have scripted, that it was arduous to sit quietly, never mind the visions I had of pouring the scalding tea on his lap. I spent quite a lot of time writing before I went to this meeting, and a good amount of time in meditation and prayer. Isn't that sad, a little? This man used to be my heart's delight, and now he unnerves me no end. I realized that it is not him so much I am afraid of, but my reactions to him. And I held it together, and for that I absolutely thank my God who met me when I wanted to be excellent, and gave me the strength to make it so. I really can do all things through Him that strengthens me, and I need to remember this and lean on it more. and more. and more.
Now I did have a slight advantage here, as I had a looooong talk with one of his relatives who had sat with him last week, and listened to him sling absolute lies for over an hour. So basically I went in to the conversation knowing that a) he was told to apologize to me, and b) he is a delusional liar, and I needed to keep that in the forefront of my mind the entire time.
But I would be lying if I didn't admit it was really, really good to hear him say "I am sorry." And he did say those words. And I asked him exactly WHAT he was sorry for, and he said he was sorry for not being up front with me, and for what he did to contribute to the breakdown of our marriage. And here's the weird thing. He kept saying things like "but you know, our marriage wouldn't have worked anyway, because we didn't communicate well" and "you know, I really was interested in reconciliation" and I just baffle at that because, I mean, HE IS GAY, so really it didn't matter how well I communicated, and how much love I showed him, because our marriage was just not going to work, was it?
And I basically called him on it, and I also told him he needed to pay my legal bill. And we will see if he does. He paid for my tea. Hey - it's a start, right?
He danced all around what he kept calling his "situation" his "revelation" his "discovery" and it was a good twenty minutes in to it before he actually said the words "I am gay" and to my knowledge I am the first person he has said it to. And if any part of your mind thinks it is easy to watch and hear your husband's mouth say those words, you are wrong.
In the overarching sense I do see what he is trying to say about our marriage. There certainly were communication issues between us, and of course I had things I could have done better. But does that excuse him making me sit through years of counseling, blaming me for everything that was wrong with him? And that he would not apologize for. He just kept yammering about how he really was interested in reconciling, how I wasn't very nice to him when he first left, how I was so angry, etc. And maybe that's partly true, but you know what? HE's GAY. Doesn't that rather trump the rest of it? He still won't admit that he should not have bought the house the way he did, and he should not have blamed me for him being in the hospital that time, and many other things he did that were just WRONG and so very painful. And part of me knows he is completely full of it, and I am betting this whole attempt at being nice was just because he is working some angle, and he just is not capable of actual, real, honest relationship.
But, what if he is at least trying? My brain knows all evidence points to him being completely full of shit. Oh, but my heart, my poor broken heart needs a rest. Can't it just believe, even for one second, that maybe he really is sorry, at least for the things he said he is sorry for? See, part of me sees the discrepancy already. He says he is sorry for the things he did for contributing to the breakdown of our marriage (say it with me - HE's GAY) but when pressed, he apparently would still buy the house the way he did, and would still blame me for what he said to me that day in the hospital. So what has he learned? And what have I learned?
My major concern from here out is my children. I don't know if he heard me, really heard me, but he has GOT to stop using them as messengers. I asked him how he ever got the idea that he should tell the kids first, and he said "Larry." Ah, Larry, the eternal blame-taker. Larry the therapist who also, apparently told Mr. Hate to leave me, told him to buy the house, told him every other piece of crap advice that Mr. Hate has used to justify his actions. I have never met him, but I have to say, I think he is probably the worst. therapist. ever. That, or he has the worst. client. ever. who does whatever he wants and then blames it on Larry. Whatever.
I just don't want him to do that anymore. The kids have got to come first. He needs to stop forcing them to spend time with him, and to try to actually connect and make relationships with them. And there he is basically doomed to fail because even with the latest bit of self knowledge, he has no idea who he is. How sad is that?
The financial piece is where tempers flare, even now. He did not do right by us, and I told him that deep down I hope he knows that, but I doubt it.
I told him I had lost all trust I ever had in him, and that he needs to acknowledge, to really hear that it is a direct result of choices he has made. He lied to me over and over and over again, and that will take a long time of excellent behavior on his part, and he could start by paying my legal bill. (See what I did there? Repeat repeat repeat....)
Hearing that he had taken up with Roomie before we were divorced was very, very painful to hear. Adultery. Ta for that.
And of course, he wanted a complete list of all the people I had told of his situation. And I didn't give it to him, but I told him this was his news to carry, and I was not going to do his work for him here. But I reminded him that he told the kids it wasn't a secret, and they told their friends who went home and told their parents, and we live in a teeny town, so basically, his work is done.
Look, the basic take away is this. I miss having a friend who knew all about me for over 20 years. He is a bullshit liar and delusional and the weakest, most cowardly cheap bastard narcissist ever, but he is also my children's father, and for their sake I have to be more than excellent. Do I want to bury a hatchet in his head? Honestly, yes, a little. He has hurt me beyond what I thought I could endure, he has damaged my children, and he has told more lies in three years than I will in a lifetime. But he is the father of my children. How does it profit them to live with hatred and scorn?
I have read the Bible cover to cover and forgiveness is on almost every page. It's time to put my faith into actual practice, and I had better figure this one out for the sake of my own soul. Could I actually do that, knowing that Mr. Hate still thinks his life is my fault? Could I actually forgive this man, who has caused me to suffer more pain than I ever thought I could feel and survive?
I think I would be very proud of myself if I could do that. Oh, the relief from putting down the burden of burning anger and walking away!
What would my children see? It's such a difficult question. Will they learn that forgiveness is divine and a healing option, or will they learn that mommy was such a doormat that she let their dad walk all over her, treat her worse than dirt, and still forgave him?
I need a time-turner, a crystal ball, a guarantee. And that is the one thing I will never have. Feh.