Today, I got an email out of the blue from my ex-husband. After not hearing from him for about eight months, I wasn’t actually expecting to hear from him again, but today I did and it was the email to end all emails.
We used to exchange emails every month or so and I’d call him every now and then, but over time the emails got fewer and farther between and the calls stopped. Last year, for the first time ever, I didn’t send him a birthday card. I followed that up by not sending him a Christmas card and completed the ‘you no longer exist in my life’ ritual by not sending a new year’s greeting either. I figured after not receiving a reply for my last email and not getting anything from him for xmas or my birthday, that it was time for closure and that both of us were moving on.
Then today the email announcing that he was getting married arrived.
The title of the email – An Announcement – had my heart pounding in a “Oh, crap” kind of way. I’m not exactly sure why but I had a feeling it was going to be one of those earth-shattering announcements like ‘I’m becoming a woman’ or ‘MI5 is revoking my license to kill’. A few things ran through my mind, but none of them about marriage and as I read his words I got a bit teary, relieved, happy and jealous all at the same time.
It was weird. I can’t even understand why I would have a care factor, but I guess the only thing I can say is that some people get under your skin and stay there. I mean, I did marry the guy, he was someone I loved and someone I shared a great portion of my life with, so I guess it’s only natural for me to have some sort of a reaction.
I understand the happiness I felt for him and the relief that finally he’d moved on because I’ve been feeling immensely guilty for the greater part of the last four years over the way in which I ended things, but what I don’t quite understand is the tears and jealousy. What the hell is that about?
I think the tears are disappointment that he is no longer ‘mine’. He is no longer in love with me and no longer wanting to get back together. For about three of the last four years, his contact with me had always included tantalising morsels of his feelings like, ‘Are you thinking about coming back?’, ‘Do you miss Japan?’, ‘Do you miss me?’ stuff that made me think he was no-where close to moving on and hoping that I would somehow return.
He has a ‘normal’ life and is happy, while I’m still here trying to figure out what the hell I am and what sort of a life I want to lead. He has it all worked out and his road is set before him. I imagine after marriage there will be kids, a stationwagon and a dog a three-seater bicycle and lots of overtime to pay for it all (this is Japan we’re talking about remember…) He’ll be finally managing to get all the socially accepted notches in his belt of life, and I’ll be…well…leading a not-so-socially-accepted life with none of the socially-accepted rites of passage to show for it.
I know who he is marrying. She was his girlfriend before he started up with me and she was a guest at our wedding. In his email he said she “understood” my “situation” and that if we met up for a chat it would be as friends. I’m not exactly sure what he means by her ‘understanding’ me, but somehow I don’t think it means that she knows about me wearing a shiny thing around my neck. I’m thinking it’s more along the lines of she has reached an internal level of peace with what I did so that she won’t feel the need to kill me on sight for emotionally fucking him up so much.
Now I’m wondering whether I want to meet up with them while we’re in Japan. I wasn’t planning on it and hadn’t said anything at all to him about our trip. Part of me thinks it would be good closure, but part of me thinks it would be incredibly uncomfortable sitting around chatting with my ex husband and his new wife, me being the slave and my owner. Could you imagine what we’d be saying?
“Long time no see. This is my new wife.”
“Nice to meet you. This is my owner.”
“That’s a nice ring.”
“Thanks. That’s a nice one around your neck.”
Bizarre. Just totally bizarre is what it would be.