A few weeks ago the ex and I…ahem…ahem… I don’t know why. Moment of weakness…..ok, I do know why. I know that he still cares about me. I care about him too. I know that a part of him still wants me, wants to put our family back together. A part of me does too. For reasons that I can’t understand, he just can’t, or won’t, put forth any effort in that direction. There is something I want however, and I was not-so-subconsciously trying to maneuver him into a position to get what I wanted. I justified it in my head by telling myself that it didn’t mean anything; no strings, no emotions, no pillow talk please. (And in the back of my mind I said that if it did mean something that was ok because maybe I wanted it to mean something. Maybe. Tiny little maybe.)
Since then he’s been extra nice and rather flirty, but before this little “relapse” I met someone who has “potential.” At least I think he does, I don’t know yet. But I’m willing to give it a shot and go on a few dates and see how it develops. He’s nice, laid back, respectful, and I haven’t seen any signs that he’s playing me….yet. But what do I do about my ex? Because here I am a solid year and a half later and I still feel like we’re in some kind of relationship. And not just the parenting kind.
We live in the same town, work for the same employer in the same building, of course we share the same kid. He still hears about my social life from mutual friends and colleagues, I still hear about his. It feels like the only thing that changed when we got divorced was my address! I live on a busy street and he drives by my place all the time and always eventually hear about it if there’s a vehicle parked there that he doesn’t recognize, especially if it’s in the evening. So yes, we are divorced and yet our lives feel just as adjoined as they used to. It feels like one degree of separation – change of address – not change of life.
Of course I don’t have to do what he wants anymore but despite that I still take him into consideration on major decisions. If they affect my son then I feel like he has a right to know, and in some cases like I think he should have a chance to vote on something. So the question is: what kind of relationship do I want to have? Do I want to pursue things with the new potential? Do I want to stay open to a 50th chance in the ex-department? Can I do both? Ultimately what I’m looking for, the reason I took the low road in the first place, is to avoid some gigantic fight in court over custody when I move out-of-state one day. Because I WILL be moving out-of-state one day.
I have to ask myself though, if I take the low road even one more time, and attempt to [sexually] or in any other way manipulate him, will that not result in an even bigger fight eventually? I wouldn’t appreciate being manipulated and I would definitely fight back harder as a result. Sometimes I want to keep these strings attached though, for the sake of the strings themselves! I don’t want to give up sometimes. I want a 50th chance sometimes. I want my son to have both of us. I want my ex to still want me, sometimes, because then that means there’s still something there, between us. And I think I still want that. Sometimes. A very big SOMETIMES. I think I just want it for my son though, not really for me. I really just want my son to be happy and have everything I can possibly give him. But can I give him this? And if I don’t, how bad will it hurt him?
So it’s one degree of separation vs the full monty I guess. What’ll it be?