Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Ex is much like Wile E. Coyote...

I watched a lot of cartoons when I was growing up.  In the 70s and 80s, they were always on TV.  We didn't have the Internet or other high-tech gadgets, other than electronic games.  If we weren't outside playing, we watched TV.  I liked Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, so I also managed to see a lot of Road Runner cartoons.  Although I never really liked the Road Runner cartoons as much as I liked Bugs Bunny, I saw quite a number of them during my childhood.

The Road Runner was a master at foiling his nemesis, Wile E. Coyote.  The coyote was "smart" and billed himself as a "genius", but he'd always come up with harebrained ideas that never worked.  Then, whatever his plans were would inevitably blow up in his face.


"I believe I can fly..."  Alas, no, you can't. 

Sometimes I compare my husband's ex wife to Wile E. Coyote.  She reminds me a lot of him, actually.  She's not a "dumb" woman in a traditional sense.  I've certainly met people who are more stupid than she is.  But she does some really dumb things and tries to employ unfeasible ideas... things that eventually blow up in her face, much like they always do in any Road Runner cartoon when Wile E. Coyote comes up with a "brilliant plan."

I don't know why this topic is coming up today.  It's not like I spend a lot of time dealing with Ex lately.  I think maybe it's because Bill recently talked to his daughter and it occurred to me that Ex's big plans didn't pan out the way she assumed they would.  Take, for instance, Ex's decision to join the LDS church.  This was a choice she kind of made unilaterally.  Bill, being a dutiful husband at the time, went along with her decision.  He figured it was easier to be Mormon and conform to the many lifestyle rules associated with that religion, than say no to his Ex's latest stupidity.

So they went through the process of becoming Mormons.  Bill gave up drinking coffee and alcohol, two of his favorite beverages.  He started attending many church meetings and accepting "callings", which ate up what little free time he had.  He talked frankly to church leaders about his "sins", and started giving 10% of his gross income to the church, even though they could ill afford to tithe.  He watched as his former stepson and two daughters became indoctrinated in religious dogma and allowed it, without complaint or dissent.

None of it was enough...  and when Bill decided he needed to go back into the Army and make some decent money with excellent benefits, Ex threw down the divorce gauntlet.  She later admitted she did this as a means of "forcing Bill to rock bottom".  She claimed this was her way of showing what he'd be missing if he didn't straighten up.  She admitted that she'd never actually wanted a divorce.  It was just her way of maintaining control.


Whoops!

But instead of humbling herself and admitting that she'd tried to manipulate Bill, Ex very stubbornly decided to go through with the divorce (and thank GOD for that).  To punish Bill, she came up with a divorce settlement that would keep him financially crippled for years.  Then, she set to work at alienating his daughters to the point at which they refused to have anything to do with him for years.  She also tried to damage his relationship with his family of origin, including his own mother.  Her plan was to force him to come groveling back to her, preferably on his knees, begging her to take him back into the family fold.  I remember she told him that "he'd always know where his family was."  Actually, he had to find them by employing the Internet.

It never occurred to Ex that another woman would want Bill.  She stupidly assumed other women would think he'd have too much baggage.  She naively figured that another woman might not see that the future would be brighter and he could recover from his years with her.  If it hadn't been me, it would have been someone else.  It might have even been someone even more fucked up than Ex is.  Trust me, when I met Bill, there were other women vying for his attentions.

She went forward with her "big idea", and it repeatedly blew up in her face.  Even her decision to join the LDS church turned out to be a bad idea.  It was the church that helped younger daughter escape Ex's control.  Church people helped Bill's daughter move across the country, go on a mission, and enter college.  Once younger daughter was away from Ex, her perspective became clearer.  She started to hang around other people and learned that her mother's version of reality was very skewed.  She probably began to feel better, too... much like getting away from toxic gas.

When Bill left his ex wife, he went through some very trying times.  But even as he sat in a drafty apartment in Kansas with little more than the clothes on his back, he felt better.  His self-esteem improved.  He befriended me and, after several months of chatting, told me what was going on in his personal life.  I will never forget the long email he sent, telling me that he and his wife had separated and would probably divorce.  I didn't think we'd ever meet offline, let alone get married.  Yet, here we are... in seventeen days, we will be celebrating sixteen wonderful years of marriage.

I'm not saying we're perfect.  I have my moments sometimes.  But Bill's situation steadily improved and his career began to take off.  Meanwhile, from what we've heard, Ex's three eldest children are realizing what they missed out on, thanks to their mother.  Two have already put significant distance between themselves and their mom.  One stays behind because Ex has her convinced she can't make it on her own and she's pretty much taken over raising the youngest child, a boy who will soon turn twelve.  It won't be long before the last two kids are grown and Ex will be on her own with her third husband, who is probably also sick of her shit.


I've heard Ex's legs sort of resemble these...

I still don't like the Road Runner cartoons.  I always found them kind of frustrating rather than funny.  I  could probably laugh at Ex's ridiculous attempts to control people, but I really just find it sad and pathetic.  It makes me sad that her five kids had to grow up with someone who was less interested in being a real mother to them and more interested in using them for her own harebrained purposes.  Why is it that the most fucked up people on the planet can so easily breed?  It boggles the mind.

Anyway, as much as I dislike Ex and the way she uses people, I don't take pleasure in seeing her do this dumb stuff and watching it inevitably explode in her face.  I wish she were more mature, if not for her sake, then for the sake of her children and grandchildren.  I wish Bill hadn't had to spend years undoing the financial and psychological damage he suffered at his ex wife's hands.  But I am gratified that I could be here to help him, as much as it was possible.  If he hadn't met me, I'm sure he would have met another woman.  Maybe she would have been a better wife than I am.  Or maybe she would have left him years ago.  

I'm grateful to be with Bill.  He's a wonderful husband, and would have been an outstanding dad, given the chance.  I think his daughter is seeing that he wasn't the one with the lion's share of the problems, back when he and his ex wife broke up.  Bill's mistake is getting involved with Ex in the first place and not valuing his own sanity and self-preservation sooner than he did.  At least he's learned the lesson, though.  His daughter, likewise, has recognized the toxic cycle that needs to be broken, once and for all.  

9 comments:

  1. I have to wonder why you see the need to publicly trash your husband's ex, repeatedly, on your personal blog. Why do you air such personal business? There is so much negativity coming from you in many posts, and SO much TMI info. So much of it is simply inappropriate. Just because you think it, doesn't mean you need to write it and then publish it. Write it to get out your angst, but seriously, let it go already. You come off as snotty, petty and bitter.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your input, Wondering Why. I appreciate the hit.

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    2. Dear Wondering,

      As a guy who also has a personal blog, I'd like to remind you that the key word in the term is "personal."

      My blog is primarily for reviews; I like to write about movies, books, music, and even old computer games. But every so often I feel the need to vent or share my thoughts about current events or stuff that I'm going through. In those rare occasions, my personal blog is the destination for that kind of post.

      So if this is isn't the kind of blog post you're looking for, move along. Move along.

      Delete
  2. I think the key word in your comment, Wondering Why, is personal blog... it's her personal blog, her personal thoughts. And the Ex has been a toxic part of her husband and her life for many, many years. As someone with an ex and a husband with an ex, I find her story very interesting and helpful to see how they have healed and gotten past so many hard things. I don't see her as snotty, petty, or bitter at all. I see it as introspective and reflective. I guess perspectives are different. But as it is her "personal blog", you don't have to read it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lauren. I am much more likely to take criticism from people like you, who I know have read more than a few posts. And actually, if she thinks I’m bitter and petty now, she should have known me when the Ex was a daily topic. :D

      As for why I publicly “trash” the Ex? It’s because she deserves it and I feel like it... and because it is my “personal blog”. Funny how someone feels the need to lecture me about being too negative by leaving me a negative comment.

      We teach best what we most need to learn. ;-)

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    2. Sorry to jump in, but I had to defend you! :) It was a very hypocritical comment and obviously not someone who reads you regularly or knows any history behind the story.

      I love your reply..."because she deserves it and I feel like it..." haha! Absolutely. I wondered if the commenter might have been related to the Ex... just seemed out of the blue.

      Personally, I enjoyed the cleverness in the analogy in your post. Keep being you, I enjoy reading your blog!

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    3. I appreciate that. I freely admit that a lot of people don’t like me, or my writing. It is what it is. I stopped trying to fit other people’s expectations of how I should behave a long time ago because most people won’t appreciate the effort. And also, I KNOW there are other people out there who are dealing with issues like mine and Bill’s and they need to know they aren’t alone.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is not the sunshine blog. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’d best be somewhere else. :D

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    4. I think this is one of the better blogs I've ever read. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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