So I was making emotional progress. But I wasn't as perfect or well-adjusted as one might think. Let's face it, my EX and I were most definitely soul mates but that didn't necessarily mean we should've jumped the broom. But we did. And we did promise one another the respect of fidelity along with open and honest communication at all times. Nevertheless, he betrayed me with a drunken one-night-stand and kept it a secret. And on top of that, he had the nerve to have an affair at the end of our marriage that I would never have known about except for the power of the grapevine. So I was most certainly entitled to anger flashbacks and a few remnants of hate no matter how "evolved" I was trying to be! And it was one anger flashback in particular that forced me to learn the hard way that quick-tempered texting is just as bad as drunk dialing; especially when you hit "send" and realize you've accidentally sent a passive aggressive verbal assault to your EX. Even if you hate him in that very moment. Lesson learned. The next time I wake up all angry and hateful, I'll remember to start my day writing morning pages rather than typing furiously on my Blackberry. But, being a lightweight when it came to handling my blood-anger levels, I sent a message to my EX that was intended for my 'lil sis that went a little something like this: "Today I hate my EX and wish I had never gotten married!" One press of the "send" button and a quadruple take later, I realized that my message was bypassing its intended destination and on its way to my EX in warp speed. I couldn't delete it, deny it or retract it!
Now I've never hated anyone -- EVER -- in my life. I felt so horribly guilty even if my EX represented the porcelain god I was puking my guts into. My stomach tightened, my mouth watered and my spinal muscles seized up reminding me that, just 'cause I landed a fierce sucker punch, didn't mean I had the backbone to pick a real fight. I waited nervously for the knockout. I braced myself for a merciless jab below the belt that would send me flailing into an emergency therapy session like a tattered rag doll. In all eight years together we never really fought. We'd bicker. But we never fought. And we most certainly never said anything to intentionally hurt one another. And there I was, nullifying our entire eight year relationship in one simple text. Had it been me on the receiving end, I would've been gutted. I was gutted at the mere thought of hurting his feelings no matter what he had done to me.
Waiting for his response was like medieval torture. There was a three hour time difference between NY and LA so I paced my apartment with feverish palms while spewing the details of my latest faux pas to my BFF who thought it served my EX damn right to hear how I felt; even if this hateful feeling felt fleeting. She thought I had already been far too merciful and forgiving. That he deserved some type of ramifications for what he did to me. That he needed something to jar him from his complacency so he could fully wrap his mind and heart around the impact his actions had on my present state that fluctuated between evolved and crazy. Because it was quite obvious he had cautiously manipulated the end of our marriage to minimize his own shame. He thought he could cleverly get away with dissolving our marriage without me ever knowing about his extra-marital affairs. And once he got rid of me as painlessly as possible (for him) he was off the hook and free to fuck whichever miscellaneous chicks he damn well pleased... with no regrets. No more accountability, responsibility, compromise, joint decisions or partnership. He was inde(mother-fuckin')pendent! And then there was me, completely blindsided as my marriage came to a sudden crashing halt. I simply complied to a divorce under the false pretense that things between us were peaceful and amicable. Married life just wasn't for him after all. But we were still friends. Of course, I knew nothing of his duality yet. I simply fled the state in search of happiness and purpose; only to find out later what really went down. OOF! Other women in my situation would've ripped him a new asshole, tried to damage his reputation, deplete his funds, key his car, taunt his mistresses... I mean, some type of retribution! But me? I took it up the ass like a champ. So, according to my BFF, this innocent texting mishap was completely excusable. My 'lil sis and therapist co-signed that assertion which should've made me feel better. But there I was, all concerned about hurting his feelings.
I knew he was most likely in a deep and peaceful slumber as my text message lay in wait of it's prey. Little did he know that he'd awaken to my fangs penetrating his jugular vein, seeping venom into every ounce of his sober ego. Each vibration of my Blackberry sent a shockwave to my heart like a code red signal warning me of my EX's imminent wrath. When the hit finally arrived, it came via text message in disjointed threads. But the message was clear! His counterattack came in the form of a guilt trip; sarcastically reminding me and enumerating the reasons for which he was sorry. "I'm sorry you ever met me". "I'm sorry that I loved you so much and still do". "I'm sorry you're the only woman I've ever wanted to marry". "I'm sorry I believed we could defy the odds of a failing institution". But the real whammy was this: "I'm sorry you married such a failure and a fuck up and a disappointment. I'm sorry I got depressed and lost myself. You didn't deserve that".
WOW! Was there a hint of conscience in there? A little remorse? A sense of wrongdoing? It made me realize that, while I had to excavate through the hurt and the pain of his actions, he had to excavate through the guilt and the shame of his actions. I wondered what it must've felt like to be him, facing his demons in the mirror daily. I mean, how do you make peace with yourself after cheating, lying, finally getting caught and losing the love and respect of someone you treasured most in your life? He could only rely on alcohol and meaningless sex as temporary analgesics for so long before his downward spiral would become too slippery a slope to recover from. If he ever wanted to move forward in life, truly find himself and re-discover his purpose, facing his guilty conscience would be an unavoidable pain he'd have to endure. I was hoping for that. I still wanted him to be happy even though I was absolutely no longer in love with him and wasn't even sure if we could ever be friends again. Call me crazy but something inside of me still cared deeply for him and his well-being.
My EX's response to my quick-tempered text made me pause in my hate and anger, realizing just how damn shitty and toxic he must have felt inside to harbor lies and deceit for so long. My hate and anger began to shift to pity and even compassion because it finally hit me just how weak and defeated he felt; not just because of our failed marriage but because he felt like such a failure in life. His characteristic confidence, ambition, passion and drive were gone. He was a mere shell of the man that I met and fell in love with. It was then that I realized I was actually in a better place than him. In fact, I was better off without him. It was almost as if he had done me a favor by letting me go because, how can you sustain a relationship with someone who doesn't love themselves?