Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Too much of a (not so) good thing

"Do you think you're spending too much time with him?" asked my girl friend last Friday night at the pub.
"No..well, yes we see each other regularly, but that's really for the kids...". She looked at me hard.
"I just think you need to think about separating yourself from him a little more. Just discuss stuff you need to about the kids, and that's it."

I thought about the past week. Last Sunday had been his birthday, and he'd come over for lunch.  Monday after work he mowed the lawns and stayed for a quick dinner (at our eldest's insistence). Tuesday morning he dropped around some emergency supplies ( chicken soup ingredients) when our eldest was sick. Thursday he took the boys to his place. Friday morning he swung by to pick up the baby to take her to day care. Friday afternoon he came around to mind the kids so I could go to the pub (see above). Saturday morning he picked up the kids for a couple of hours. Sunday he minded the kids so I could go to an appointment. Then tonight (Monday) he minded the kids so I could go to the movies with some girl friends.

Er...yes I realise that doesn't look very good in print. Last week was pretty unusual. It was also a very bad week for me emotionally which I'm starting to come out of...oh, now I see what my girl friend was getting at....

"How often are you seeing him?" asked a friend/natural therapies practitioner who is helping me with some meditating at the moment.
"Oh, the plan is for him to have the kids for two nights and almost half a weekend each week. But other things come up during the week...I'm probably seeing him a couple of times a week".
"That needs to stop. It's natural for you to want to see him and talk to him, but it's continuing to make you vulnerable."

I know if someone were in my position, I would be tempted to give them the same advice I've been getting from several friends. Keep it about the kids. Don't ask about work, mutual friends, don't make the idle chit chat like you used to, or like you do with a friend.
But it's so hard. Like a habit. And because, deep down, I still care for him. Sort of. I think. I don't know. It might be just the pain and the ache of missing someone talking.

On Friday night, when I felt at my most vulnerable, I had put my heart on the line and made it clear that I still felt for him. He knows me too well, so knew it was coming, and understood. Of course, it changed nothing, I learned nothing - oh, except don't do that again!

Tonight while I was getting ready in my (previously, our) bedroom, he came upstairs after arriving to say hi and talk about a problem with the sprinkler system. I lost it. I became angry. You don't get to leave me, and then still come upstairs and behave as if it is an ordinary evening pre-seperation.

When I came downstairs he apologised. It was just a habit for him, it felt natural, he wants us to be friends. I know that, and it felt nice, but it also hurts too much as it reminded me of our previous life. Those little interactions - sitting on the bed talking while someone is getting ready, asking to get zipped up or getting a second opinion on an outfit - they are now for him to have with her.

I believe he genuinely want us to be good friends, and there is also the advantage that it may also help to assuage his guilt. A large part of me really wants us to be good friends too, but my head knows that right now I can't. He doesn't get to leave me, start seeing someone else, while continuing to be my friend in almost the same capacity as when we were living together. I can't allow him to pick and choose the parts of our relationship that he can keep, when he's decided that I'm not good enough to stick around for.

I hope we can be good friends again. But right now we need to interact with each other as the parents of our children, and that's it. I told him that, and while I saw him wince a little, he understands it's the best thing for me right now. I just hope I can keep remembering that...

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