So a friend of mine and I have this thing we call “The Reminder”.
As I’ve said before, I’m very fortunate that the not-yet-ex and I have a surprisingly good working relationship. We have each other’s backs with the kids, and even manage to continue to be interested and support one another’s other endeavours. (It’s a bit unsettling to discuss his dating life – but it’s all or nothing, right?)
So it’s not unusual for things to go along swimmingly and to occasionally lose immediate focus of everything that caused the split. Then it comes….
The Reminder – it’s one of those moments that smacks you in the face and helps you recall why it is that you sit on a consignment couch in a relatively empty townhouse instead of on the much nicer sofa in the house you spent the past 12 years living in.
As I always say, I am completely certain that the not-yet-ex would relate similar.
We had one of those moments last night – he bowed out of hanging out with the kiddos while I closed the barn to support a family member in a tough situation.
I happened to get very bad news about a mutual friend – that I called to pass along.
….and had to stop talking about it to let him take a selfie while at a restaurant with said family member.
In the moment I was livid, absolutely boiling mad. I even made one of those passive aggressive FB posts I hate so much.
And he texted to find out what was wrong. Which I ignored.
And he called this morning to find out what was wrong.
I finally caved and told him – I’m angry. It was insensitive and it was wrong. This was important and about someone he knows and cares for. It was worth 3 minutes of his time.
And he got defensive. This is our MO – I tell him what upset me – and likely don’t phrase it in a productive way – and he gets defensive – and I get more angry – and we’re off.
But today an amazing thing happened. I stopped. I said, “You have every right to defend your actions. I have every right to be angry. The thing I don’t understand is why you care. I don’t understand why you care if I’m angry. This isn’t our thing anymore.”
And it felt so good. I have always played the peacemaker, which usually involves backing down for me. And I didn’t.
And the best part is that he backed off, not down. He said, “I didn’t call to fight. I called because I want us to continue to work well together and I don’t want anything like this between us. So I knew you were angry and wanted to clear the air.”
And it worked. We both let it go. We still disagree. But we got it out there, and moved on. I don’t want to hate him. He doesn’t want to hate me. So we don’t. We move on. We take care of the kids. We make jokes now and then.
I know I’ll get another reminder before long. And so will he. But we’re able to let them go and move past them – and it’s really not a bad place to be.