Now, I do desperately love my Unsupportive Louse, despite any minor flaws he may, at some inopportune moments, exhibit. The thing is, he’s very different from the previous Mr. Penney…VERY different – macho vs nerdy, clean-shaven vs scruffy, illiterate vs bookwormy, lightweight vs alcoholic, EAE sports player vs role playing gamer. So many important ways that they’re so very different. But really, on almost all counts, the Unsupportive Louse is a better pick, and I’m not just saying that because he might deign to read my measly little blog one of these days, no, it’s really true.
However…the Macho ex-Jerk was far and away (I mean, by like…a billion times) better at communicating. Oh yeah, I know, I went to marriage counseling, I KNOW communicating is one of the MAJOR “needs be” of marriages…the Unsupportive Louse just happens to suck at it. He does try, he really does, but when you start from next to nothing, trying doesn’t get you much better too fast. And the thing is, the Macho ex-Jerk LOOOVED to talk. He was one of those who’d call me on his way home from work (which was a 10 minute drive) because he had SOOO much to talk about (even though he’d called me three times throughout the day), and then he’d still be talking to me as he walked in the door and never stop while he hung up his phone. We talked about anything and everything and anyone and everyone and all their anything and everythings too. Now, I’m not saying we never fought, cause that’d be just one huge f-ing lie, but we’d talk about it afterwards anyway.
So every once in awhile I start to question myself, if I couldn’t make a marriage work with this guy who was GREAT at communicating (though, as it turns out, talking doesn’t necessarily equate to communicating…), why oh why do I ever think I can make it last with one who is just absolutely terrible at it? Which gets me into the what-ifs. What if it was actually all my fault? (which, clearly, it isn’t, since after all, nothing is…but for the sake of argument, I let my brain ramble on occasion.) What if I had realized sooner that he’d stopped talking so much; what if I’d realized that the lack of talking was a sign of distress in the relationship and not just due to the overuse of his cell phone minutes that I bitched him out about a time or two? And what if, on some very critical day six years ago (because this kind of willpower couldn’t have lasted longer than a day), I had decided NOT to be a demanding, obsessive compulsive bitch…would that have changed everything? Would I have never had to go through the devastation and depression of that divorce? And if I hadn’t…would I be happy now?
And now, that’s the key question. Where my what-ifs really get me. Could I have been happy forever with the Macho ex-Jerk if things had just been a little different? Because the thing is, I’m not a quitter. I’d have never left even if I was slit my wrists miserable (and I was close there near the end), but it’s just not my way. I’m damn stubborn when I want to be, and getting divorced?? NOT on my list of things to do. I HATE the fact that I’m divorced. Even though I’m happily married again, I can’t stand anyone knowing this huge failure in my past. Plus, I did actually love the dipshit. So I’d still be there if he hadn’t made his fateful pronouncement one gloomy night…
So my damn overactive brain starts wondering the what-ifs on occasion and my damn overactive guilty conscience (thanks, Mom) starts telling me I’m an ungrateful wife for even considering the what-ifs (because, believe me, I’m much happier now than I ever could have been stuck on Long Island – forgive me if you’re unfortunate enough to live there – with the Macho ex-Jerk for the rest of my life.)
Recently I had the wonderful fortune of remembering all over precisely why I still love the Macho ex-Jerk so much.
The Macho ex-Jerk’s best friend, the best man at our wedding, the only guy to do more than slap him on the back when he told him we were getting married, the guy close enough to him that they both asked each other to check up on their wives while they were sent to die in Afghanistan (don't worry, they didn't die), the guy who actually teared up at our goodbye party… just had a baby. Let me add here that he totally cussed the Macho ex-Jerk out for his dumbassed-ness when we were separated, and TOTALLY chose me when we divorced (you KNOW you have to split up your friends in the divorce papers as well as the towels, the photo albums, the gigantic plastic souvenir cups, the toothpaste...)
So, MeJ’s best friend had a baby who came 8 weeks early and weighs only 2lbs13oz, is doing well considering, but they’re asking for everyone’s thoughts etc. (And by the way, he e-mailed me to tell me, because I still have custody of his friendship, even if I no longer have the towels, photo albums, toothpaste or gigantic plastic souvenir cups.) I think to myself, perhaps the Macho ex-Jerk would like to know this, would like to send his wishes. So I forward the e-mail. What a nice person I am. I’ve done my good deed of the day. I pat myself on the back and begin to think some what-ifs just to get a healthy dose of guilt.
Macho ex-Jerk e-mails back, (and I quote)
“That’s nice. We don’t talk anymore.”
Because I can’t handle such a stupid response, and certainly can’t let sleeping dogs lie, I write back
“Uh, duh, that’s the point, I thought you might like to send your regards to your BEST FRIEND. Fuckhead.”
“I’m glad he’s doing well, but I’ve moved on in my life.”
Yes, and moving on definitely means you can’t be a nice person for three goddamn seconds and send well wishes to the best friend you ever had when his first child is in danger of DYING*. And all because he told you you were a dipshit for divorcing your gorgeous, intelligent, far too good for you wife five years ago. (And since MeJ’s best friend is now my property, I know from him that this is indeed the only rift that caused their best friendship to completely crumble.) What an asswipe.
And this makes me realize what a good man the Unsupportive Louse truly is, who would not only never be stupid enough to divorce his gorgeous, intelligent, maybe not quite too good for him wife, he would also never give up his best friend in the divorce (unless, of course, I really wanted her) and even if he did, he’d never be so much of a dick as to ignore the peril of her as yet unborn children. Which is why I love the Macho ex-Jerk so – he’s able to remind me how much better my life is now and how absolutely miserable I would have been if all the “what ifs” were “indeed trues.”
*Author' note - Baby is actually doing great, not dying, just a bit of overdramatism. I'm sure you're not used to it, since it so infrequently occurs in my blogs.