Awhile back my attorney asked me if I missed my ex-husband; my answer was an immediate and resounding “No.” Here are more reasons why.
I don’t miss the tantrums he threw when he ran out of Diet Mountain Dew. I must have dozed off during the part of the wedding vows that said it was my responsibility to keep him afloat in the stuff. That damn neon green soda made me jumpy for years — and I never drank a drop of it.
I don’t miss the way he never put a new roll of toilet paper on the roller bar in any given bathroom. We had three kids, and those kids were all toddlers at one time. How many full rolls of toilet paper do you suppose were tossed into the toilet because he left them on the counter instead of putting them on the roller thing?
And who do you suppose fished them out of the drink?
Yeah, not him.
When the kids outgrew throwing rolls of toilet paper into the toilet bowl, there were always the cats. Know what a loose roll of t.p. is to a cat?
Prey to be pounced upon and killed/shredded all over the bathroom.
I don’t miss the empty beer bottles and cans left lying on the coffee table and floor around the family room sofa every morning. This was a bigger problem when the kids were little as I was always worried one of them would try to drink the last little bit left in a can. It was like living in a frat house.
I don’t miss the thunk of my stomach whenever he came home from work.
I don’t miss the dread I felt when I’d pull onto our street and see his car in front of the house because he came home early from work.
I don’t miss knocking on the (open) door to the computer room and pausing to give him a chance to pull up his pants and minimize the porn video on the computer. (I gave up telling him to close the door, for G—‘s sake, we have kids in the house. He never did.)
I don’t miss hating the summer because he didn’t work and was home for three months straight. Griping about the Diet Mountain Dew, playing World of Warcraft, and watching internet porn.
Most of all, I don’t miss MY learned helplessness and martyrdom. I recently realized that when I got married I had a mental movie of gender role expectations. I really did, however unconsciously, expect my ex-husband to take care of the things my father did. Wheeling the trash cans to the curb; dealing with whatever bugs and rodents made their way into the house; the taxes, all of them; the cars, from maintenance to registration; making sure all the doors were closed and locked every night.
My ex-husband didn’t do any of those things, even after I asked. It took me awhile to come to terms with the fact that if I wanted those things done (or I didn’t want to get thrown in jail for tax evasion), I needed to do them myself. And while it turned out that I was perfectly capable of doing all that and more, I resented the hell out of it. I martyred myself to his indifference.
It’s taken some time for me to settle into my competence, even though I was doing a yeoman’s job when I was married. What I did wasn’t validated and I allowed myself to feel “less than” and angry as a result. Now I just get stuff done and move on to whatever’s next.
I don’t miss him. Not even a little bit.