Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Showing love, in spite of

When Gentleman Jack and I initially began communicating, he told me of a great relationship with his ex-wife, mother of his 5 year old son, Fireball.

He still cared for her and her well-being. We shared many wishes for our exes, including wanting them to find happiness in the lessons learned, as we were. I was a tad jealous, at first. I think he was too. We talked about our feelings and both agreed that our exes were people we'd imagined spending the rest of our lives with so of COURSE some feelings were still there.

Sadly, over the course of our relationship, I've learned countless reasons why they're NOT together.

To me, she seems insecure, a perfectionist, a righteous, argumentative, high stress, blaming person who, I believe, still carries a grudge that their marriage didn't work out. I think she hates herself for it and likes to remind him that she should have never married him. She now lives with her boyfriend but seems very unhappy. It is very sad to me because she is also a beautiful, brilliant woman with a wonderful career.

I do realize that she and Gentleman Jack have a history that I'm not privy to. However, I have overheard phone calls where she loudly talked down to him or acted demanding or called him names. I've also witnessed her ungratefulness, first hand, when I've helped her with their son.

Gentleman Jack is no angel himself, and he'd be the first to tell you so. He is trying to break the pattern that destroyed their marriage, though, and build a healthy co-parenting relationship. He only communicates with her via text or email now. When he does talk to her on the phone, he calls me after to discuss what was said and asks if he handled it correctly. I am trying to help him to see her through her unhappiness and not allow himself to fall prey to her angry projections.

Not always an easy task to be objective.

So yesterday, when he told me of this story, my heart once again grew three sizes.

***

It is her week with their son. Gentleman Jack was at a client dinner and his phone rang. It was his ex-wife's boyfriend.

Gentleman Jack excused himself to take the call, expecting the worst. The boyfriend said, "We need you to talk to your son."

Both she and her boyfriend were at the grocery store with Fireball and he was throwing a tantrum in the aisle. Neither of them could calm him down so they chose to call Gentleman Jack.

Gentleman Jack's amazing and beautiful response was to talk to his ex-wife first.

"I thought that she must be frazzled. He's five. She couldn't get a handle on him? So I did what I thought was best. I listened to her and tried to calm her. Then I encouraged her. I built her back up. I did what I could to empower her so that she could catch her breath and convince her that she COULD handle this. Apparently, she is hurting and our son is taking advantage of that."

(I know this. He encourages me the same way all the time.)

He spoke with his son, talking him down and reminding him that he would never even try acting like that with his daddy.

"Then I told him to calm down, hug his momma and tell her that he loved her."

(Forget it. I was moved to tears by the time he'd said that last line.)

He's not even received a 'thank you' from her and as he said, "I probably won't. And that's OK. My boy needed me."

He's offering to take Fireball for the rest of the week so that she can get her bearings back.

***

Ya'll, please pardon me while I *swoon* some more.

I guess I was so moved by this story because as of yesterday, my girls hadn't heard from their father in over a week. I feel like I almost have to force the issue of his spending time with his daughters. I know he loves them, I do know this. I know he's busy traveling with work and then holing himself away from the world when he's not. Sometimes... he just lets ME down.

Gentleman Jack sharing this story reminded me again why I love my man. Dear lord, I love him so. And every day, I love him some more.

THIS is why I choose him day after day after day....

11 comments:

  1. wow..he sounds like a beautiful man and you are blessed! THEN again..so is he!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. she seems insecure, a perfectionist, a righteous, argumentative, high stress, blaming person who, I believe, still carries a grudge that their marriage didn't work out. I think she hates herself for it and likes to remind him that she should have never married him.

    ugh, i feel like you just described me. it can be so hard to let go of the disappointments and failures in a relationship, especially when it is one that bore children and was supposed to be "forever." not exactly the point of your post, but this is just another reminder to me to keep striving to better myself and move beyond the pain caused by my marriage. i don't want to be this same bitter and jaded person in 5 or 3 or even 1 year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And again why you two both amaze me. Great story and he is an amazing man!
    I am working on patting myself on the back everyonce in a while, so I am going to say that I am really good at dealing with my ex's. Once I let go of the anger and realize that I play a huge part in why the relationship ended, I am very good at civil conversations and being a good friend. My soon to be ex and I are amazing friends now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. three cheers to swoonage. I NOW get it. So get it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love those, "this is why I choose him" moments. It makes it all seem so very worthwhile...

    ReplyDelete
  6. OK. So this is where we are: His ex is a selfish woman who won't step up and relate to her own 5 yr old, and would probably rather not be bothered or reminded of her failed marriage. Your ex is in the same selfish pattern he's been in for 20 yrs and would rather not be reminded that he has 2 kids. Those tenuous ties to the exes that keep you in place are unraveling, so GET TOGETHER already!

    ReplyDelete
  7. He sounds like a great guy. I don't know if I could ever be in such a situation. I am more like the ex-wife I'm afraid. I am 100% better in terms of recovering from my divorce, than 1 year ago, but I don't think I'll ever be fully over my it. My ex is the one that filed. Maybe that has something to do with it. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ahhh B, thanks for the sweet comment. You made me laugh. It's not all about us, unfortunately.

    Michele and Christine, we're all "like the ex-wife" at times, aren't we? I get resentful and bitter sometimes too. Divorce sucks. We all think we failed. What helps me, when I can remember it, is to know that every relationship has lessons to learn and a purpose to serve. Those exes STILL teach us lessons, don't they? We don't have the same relationship with them but there is a relationship there, nonetheless. We're all making the best of it, aren't we?

    Awareness helps.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Managing the relationship with your ex is hard - adding support to a partner while they do it - even harder!

    Rascal sounds super awesome - but then we knew this already :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. There really isn't much out there that is better than a good Daddy. What a thoughtful way for him to handle the situation...it is so easy to get caught up in the blame game and forget about the kiddos. Mr. Rascal is making me swoon as well, you lucky girl.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was able to get my ex back after I followed the instructions at www.saveabreakup.com I totally recommend this site, saveabreakup.com helped me a lot, all I can say is big THANKS!!! I'm so happy now...

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving me some comment love!