Closure

Posted on | October 9, 2011 | 20 Comments

You may remember that my Ex requested to “date” me a while back.  He swore he’d changed.  He swore things would be different.  He swore, as he has since the beginning, that there was never really anyone else.

Part of me wanted to believe him.  Part of me thought maybe we moved too fast, got divorced too quickly, left without really trying to make it work.  He asked to come spend a weekend with J and I and I said no.  I told him he could come for  a day and spend time with J but that a weekend involved too much time together.  So he came on Saturday.  He took J to the park and to lunch.  He was charming and sweet, much like the man I remembered falling in love with.  He still doesn’t have a car-seat in his car so he drove my car and left me his for my errands.  I had to pick up milk, so I drove to the grocery store in his car and then, in a moment of kindness, thought to myself “He struggles financially and I have $10 in my wallet, and he did drive 2.5 hours just to come see J for the day…” So I stopped at the gas station and put gas in his car.  Just a gesture to say “I see that you’re trying.  I’ll try, too.”

After putting gas in the car, I started to tidy it up a bit, because there was a bit of trash scattered on the floorboards.  I opened the glove box to put something away and then it happened.

Closure.

There was a card in the glove box.

A Father’s Day card.

And it was not from me and J.

My heart flipped sideways, over and under, landing somewhere in the pit of my stomach.  She used my son’s name.  In a Father’s Day card.  To my Husband.

And she signed it “I love you.”

Our divorce was final in August.  We separated in April.  Father’s Day was in June.  Somewhere along the way, my husband not only met another woman, but convinced her that he loved her.  He convinced her that he loved her enough that she gave a married man a Father’s Day card.  With my son’s name on it.

If I hadn’t already had a stomach problem, I would have after that discovery.

I’m not embarrassed that I cried.  I am a little embarrassed that I ripped the card in half and wrote “SLUT” across the handwritten note. But everyone is entitled to a childish moment here and there.

Last night, when I thought about those words she wrote, I ached. I ached for the part of me that thought maybe, just maybe, we would find our way back to each other.  I ached for my son and the fact that someday, he will ask about this and I will have the choice of either lying to protect his father, or telling the truth to protect myself.  I ached for the fact that even after divorce, he found a new and terrible way to twist the knife into my heart.

But then this morning, I woke up to the sound of my son singing.

We got up and made orange sweet rolls and pumpkin spice coffee and snuggled on the sofa to watch Beauty and the Beast.  And suddenly, it didn’t seem so bad.  Suddenly, I realized that the worst part is over.  There is nothing left to remove.  He has successfully slaughtered everything that was left of my love for him and for our life together.

And amazingly? I’m still here.

There will be more heartache, I’m sure.  I know the first time he takes J to meet another woman will sting.  I know that our anniversary, coming up on Thursday, will ache.  I know that Christmas will feel different, Valentine’s Day will feel lonely, and J’s birthday will be hard.

But the wondering “what if” and the questioning my decision has been sealed shut.  I feel secure in the life I am beginning for myself and for J.  I feel right and good and solid, with my feet firmly planted where they need to be, pointed in the direction that is true for me.  While it may be different tomorrow or the next day, for today, I am not worried about his face in the rear view mirror.  I am not concerned about what I have left behind.

For today, I will giggle and run with my son.  I will bake sugar cookies and maybe work in the yard.  I will be free to be myself, no strings attached, no questions asked, no concerns warranted.

Today I have closure.

And the freedom of closure? Well, that is a wonderful feeling.

Comments

20 Responses to “Closure”

  1. Carm O
    October 9th, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    Bitter sweet to read because I soooo wanted you to walk into the sunset with him and everything be alright, but I must say that finding that card was a blessing. Now you know. I would have also had the childish moment. 🙂 You are going to be ok girlfriend. xo

  2. Kimberly All Work No Play
    October 9th, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    I think that some higher force made you find that card…you needed to find it.
    Look at how far you’ve come without him.
    And look at how better you are without him.
    My heart aches for the pain he put you through but also rejoices because you’re surviving. You’re making a new life with your sweet child.
    You’re doing everything you need to do.
    Keep looking through the windshield and forget about the rearview.

  3. Jana Anthoine
    October 9th, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    That was there for you to find. You needed it physically, emotionally, in every way possible. Today is a new day. A new start. You’ve had other new starts but today it REALLY begins. And after Thursday? It’s all yours. Like I told you on Twitter yesterday, hate him but do NOT hate yourself for any of this. You’re awesome and ONE DAY I’M GOING TO COME HANG OUT WITH YOU!

  4. Janet
    October 9th, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

    It takes little things like the card to erase the doubts. In your heart you knew. Focusing on the future is a good thing for you and for J. My ex is remarried and my children have to go stay in their house and blending a family is tough. But it’s not tough for me- I’m the one at home thankful that “the other” has to deal with him now. Going through all that pain made me a better person and better able to help my children.

  5. Erica
    October 9th, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    How does that go? No good deed goes unpunished? Don’t ever clean someone else’s car out if you’re not prepared to find what’s there? However you look at it, you 100% officially have closure. It is finished, and you have your son. Ultimately blended families happen…I am one with my husband, stepdaughter, and two children of mine and my husband’s. My stepdaughter lives with us, and visits with her mom every other weekend. We make it work, we try our best, between the four of us (naturals and steps) to raise a good kid. I h your ex and whoever he choses to have in his life will try their best because your son deserves nothing less. But you, yourself, personally…smile, keep your head up, your chest out, and know that the most significant of your experiences will be in mothering that sweet little boy you have, NOT in the strength you had to get over the hurt and betrayal that your ex put you through. Strong is good…but Mom is better :). Enjoy it! <3

  6. facie
    October 9th, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    I am so sorry you had to find that. I felt sick just reading your words. But as others have said, you needed to find it. You had been debating if you should date your husband again, wondering if you would regret not doing so. But now you have your answer. Your closure.

    I know it did not turn out the way you wanted it to, but I am certain this will be better in the long run. It just has to be.

    Keep swimming.

  7. Debbie
    October 9th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

    Hi there … First let me say how much I enjoy your blog. I recently subscribed, and you are an awesome writer and are always bang on with your observations and thoughts.

    Today was different though. Forgive me if I am incorrect, but from where I sit, I think you’ve made a few assumptions. Just playing devil’s advocate here … just because the “SLUT” wrote “I love you” does not mean in the least that your Ex ever told her that he loves her! Many women are so need, so desperate to have a man in their life, they will do and say ANYTHING to keep the man. Kind of pathetic, but true. As well, most men are so ‘out to lunch’ and forgetful … I bet ‘Ex’ put the card there cuz he didn’t want to look at it in his home or office, and FORGOT about it!! I don’t think he planted it there for you to find. Honestly. I don’t know the guy, and I have no reason to defend him, but most men are just very ‘simple’ (feed me, f*&k me, pass the remote).

    Would you broach the topic with him? Communication is always the only way to know anything.

    Do I think he had an affair? Yes. Do I think he regrets it? BIGGER YES! Do I think he could change? Only you and he and a trained professional would know for sure.

    From personal experience … Affairs ‘happen’. And they happen for reasons other than sex. They fill a void (whether it be your Ex’s feelings of inadequacy in his career, feeling inferior to your success, feeling unheard). An affair is never done to hurt the faithful partner that is sitting at home. Affairs are to put a bandaid on the low self-esteem of the person who is engaging in the affair.

    If you think that there is any hope, any shred of re-building your trust, I would encourage you to pursue. Marriage is hard. Divorce is harder. Read up on affairs, on “After the Affair” and you may be surprised what you find.

    If I had it to do over, I would have worked on myself, built my own self-esteem, gone to marriage counselling and not had the affair. Unfortunately, my persuasive pursuer saw the vulnerability in me, treated me like a Queen for 4 years, promised me the sun and moon, and then moved on.

    You are bright, you are successful, you are talented, and you are an amazing Mom.

    If I could save one person from the heartache of a split family, dating in our 40s (UGH!!!), the sting of split holidays and new partners, then I will have done a good thing.

    Having said all that, you and ONLY YOU know your Ex and your circumstances. And most of all …. lose all your pride … who gives a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks of what you do or don’t do? They all get to go home to their lives and you get to live yours. On your terms!

    Write On … you are amazing!

    🙂
    Debbie
    Toronto, Canada

  8. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    Thanks Debbie. I think what stung was the realization that he was still lying. I always felt like there was someone else but he always denied it. And you’re right, I certainly do not think he planted the card for me to find, that would have been ridiculous and would have defeated his entire purpose of coming to see us. I also believe the affair is over, which is why he is suddenly more attentive to J and I. Regardless, what happened between us was a culmination of things. This was simply the final straw of “He’s still lying. He hasn’t changed.”
    Thanks for reading!

  9. Jennifer Williams
    October 9th, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    This is what I want to know, which probably won’t make it better… WTH did he tell her to make her think she needed to send him a Father’s Day card with your son’s name on it? Like you wouldn’t get a card for J to give his dad? That totally pisses me off.

  10. Anonymous
    October 9th, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

    Oh it wasn’t from J. I was just irrationally mad that she felt comfortable using his name while ending his family.

  11. Abigail
    October 9th, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    I’d hate her and call her a slut too. I’d want to go round to her house and write the word on her lawn with bleach. But deep deep down I’d be hiding the denial that he was the guiltier party.

  12. Abigail
    October 9th, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    Well, sorry to be blunt, but ” Good!”

    That discovery just saved you months off the time it will take to get your life back and $$$ off your therapy bills.

    I am 99.5% in your camp. The 0.5%? I would not clean my husbands car unless we had agreed that I could do so. And I trust him completely. It’s more that the car is his personal space and if I go around cleaning it up, I feel like that is saying he does not keep it good enough. Which is actually what I think. But it’s his car so I respect his right to decide what to do or not do with it. I would certainly have put the gas in though!

  13. Anonymous
    October 10th, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    LOL touche. Though in defense of my 5%, I left out the part of the story where I was locked out of my house and had nothing better to do while I waited for him to come back to the house with my keys. After 15 minutes and repeated unanswered calls, I got bored…. but yeah, I totally kicked the hornet’s nest.

  14. Kpiccini
    October 10th, 2011 @ 7:27 am

    I believe that things happen for a reason….maybe not always a good one, but in cases like this, it gave you the closed book you need to open another one. You are a fantastic mom and an incredible person…no matter how you move on from here..it’s the right way. Xo

  15. Kristinayellow
    October 10th, 2011 @ 9:37 am

    I am hurting for you. I just cannot believe that; then again, you are right. Maybe this is the thing that will finally, after all the pain and worry and questioning, free you from doubt. You are strong, you are moving forward, and you will find someone who loves you fully and wholely. I’m so sorry it had to happen like this. Ugh. I would seriously be bringing you a huge chocolate cake and a bottle of wine if I was closer.

  16. Alecia
    October 10th, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    I’m sorry..I know this hurt…terribly. This all happened for a reason..you found that card for a reason. I friggin PAINFUL realization, but in time you’ll be glad for this closure. Girl, you need a martini and a girls night out!

    Alecia

  17. monk
    October 10th, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Love you!

  18. molly
    October 10th, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

    I’m not going to say what I think about that letter. It won’t help anyone. But I just want to say, I think this is the corner. And you have turned.

    Stay strong, my friend.

  19. Kristy
    October 11th, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    Ugh. This makes my heart ache. I’m so sorry this happened, but it sounds like it helped you make a decision that maybe needed to be made. Good luck to you and your sweet boy.

  20. Heather Griffitts Clark
    October 11th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    You know the thought going through my head? Your ex’s behavior now makes sense. It always seemed weird to me that he just up and decided he didn’t want to be tied down if he wasn’t also having a relationship (of whatever nature) with someone else outside of his marraige. It just seemed fishy to me. Gut instincts almost always are right, it would seem.

    And you know….what a loss for your ex. His inability to work within his marraige cost him so, so very dearly. I don’t know that he’ll ever see it…but it cost him those mornings of waking up to his son singing, the day in and out of life with his son.

    Don’t get me wrong, your ex’s actions cost you too – cost you pain and turmoil too – but his loss? It’s immeasurible. You still have J. He has nothing. I think there should be some sort of comfort in that. Knowing that in the long run, he caused his own punishment. He thinks he has something, but at the end of the day when he’s old and looking back at his life he’ll see that he lost everything. He may well clean himself up and change his ways and follow a life path that included integrity and honor. I’ve known men and woman who have – even after they’ve been the cheater.

    But those moments with their child? They are never replaced.
    That realization your son will have that his dad caused this sort of hurt and pain? It can never be stopped.

    What a huge, huge price he’s going to pay and it’s his own damn fault. I can’t imagine how it’d ever be worth it.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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