I wrote this on Friday evening but chose to publish it today. I'm still processing many things but several of these fears are no longer valid. This is how I felt then, in the hours that followed...
My ex-husband asked if he could have the kids tonight instead of earlier in the week. It's my weekend but I certainly didn't mind having a Friday night to myself.
This afternoon, he left me a voice mail asking me to give him a call. When we spoke, he told me that he was going to pick up the girls from school and... that he thought I should know.... that..... well...
....I knew it was something big since he was stumbling over his words...
He let me know that he "popped the question" to his girlfriend earlier this week and they were sharing the news with the kids tonight. Her kids and our kids. I didn't even flinch. Of course a proposal was the next logical step. I've already written how he was acting strangely though this woman had been in his life for some time. I'd already written how I was trying to make her feel more accepted and comfortable around me.
I told him that I was happy for him. We discussed how he would handle any reactions from our children. I reassured him that they would handle it wonderfully since they'd already shared positive thoughts and feelings about her and their relationship. He told me that he'd told his parents today. They handled it well and are very happy for him. That made me smile too. I know how disappointed they were in our divorce.
Then, just as I was saying goodbye, I felt a heavy lump in my throat. Just as I hung up the phone, tears began to well in my eyes.
What the hell??!?
Why am I upset?! I certainly held no desires to reconcile our marriage. After all, I'm in a wonderful relationship and I'm very happy.
Then again, I had a strange premonition earlier this week that he was buying her a ring. And I wondered how different it would look than mine...
Part of me wonders what lessons he took from our relationship that would make him a better husband for her...
I remember always doubting that he really loved me. Maybe he does REALLY love her...
Then again, she may be a better match for him than I was.
... and I remember when he proposed to me... and we both just knew.
I joined some co-workers for happy hour and then went home to take a long walk. I analyzed my feelings. What else was upsetting me?
My kids... things are going to change for my kids even though they like having her in their lives, now they will have a step-mom... and a new influence.
He was already acting strangely as they grew closer these past few months. How much more of our current relationship will he sacrifice to keep her happy? Will he still work with me for the best interests of our children or will her interests come first?
For every major emotional trauma in their short lives, I have been there for my children. What if they're upset by this news and I'm not there to console them.... to give them security... to allow them a soft place to land? What if they need me tonight??
Gentleman Jack was trying to console ME by phone. He didn't want me to be alone tonight because he knew how I'd feel. My children are in process of building a new family... one that doesn't include me... and the man that I love, who warms my heart with his words and warms my skin with his arms, is 200 miles and a week away.
He pointed out that, when I know that my kids are with my ex... and her... I miss them, longing for them, ready for them to come home. He gently reminds me that I didn't do that before.
He's right. Maybe I'm still fighting with feelings that I'll be replaced by a new, cooler, super mom in a cool house with a pool... who likes to go do spa days and shop and may be able to provide more materially than I will. What do I do when they decide they'd prefer to live there than here?
How am I going to feel as they grow older...when they begin building a life without me?!?
It's 10 o'clock at night, nearly 6 hours since he told me and my head is still reeling. I'm not sure why I'm upset other than a whole manner of reasons. Change. The unknown.
My ex-husband is marrying a woman who, seemingly, doesn't particularly like me. How much will things be different? How much more "control" will I have to give up? Will this change who my children turn out to be?