When the Past Calls….

voicemail

We all have ex’s whether they are spouses or dating ex’s and even in this big world, it’s likely that one’s path with cross again with an ex, especially with the explosion of social media and texting, where you can still be in touch but not really speak.  Well my past came knocking several times last week and I think it was because of Valentine’s Day and because most of the men I dated since my divorce are still single and looking.

I dated several people during the 4 years from the time my divorce was final until I became ill.  I was dating someone for 2 years when I was diagnosed and I tried to keep the relationship together for a while but it just was to hard to do.  There were  2 others that made it past the 3 date point but not to the year anniversary.  I am in touch with these 3 men, all with different levels of contact, as they  live very close to me now.  Funny how often they ask me, “So are you well enough to date yet?” as if I would date them if I was.  I realize that I get attention from these men, when they are in between relationships or when their relationships start turning sour.  They think of me as a backup, but I am not their backup.

On Friday, I had 2 offers for Valentine’s Day.  One was last minute as his current dating partner ditched him and the other was a little more thought out, but I don’t commit to plans well in advance, as I don’t know how I will feel on any particular day and I’m tired of dealing with the disappointment from the person when I do have to cancel at the last minute.  People take it personally and don’t see it as me trying to manage my illness.

It’s funny that while I was dating these men, I was always worried that they would meet someone else as I believed they were real “catches”.  I did the online dating thing and met them on a dating site, which makes meeting multiple people at the same time very easy.  Nowadays I realize that they weren’t such catches as they all are still not in serious monogamous relationships and I know so much more about them than I did when I was dating them.

These men  have shown me in different ways that they couldn’t have dealt with a partner becoming ill as they all are too immature.  One of them stated that he won’t date any runners as she could have bad knees down the line.   Another won’t date anyone with children that aren’t away at college because he will get too little attention.  Do these me sound grown up to you?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have dated them  if I knew then what I know now about them.  Their mental states are not what I initially thought and even one of them I’ve come to find out has had several breakdowns.  Another one I think has anger issues and the third should be on lithium as I believe he has bipolar tendencies.  How come I didn’t realize these things while I was in the midst of a relationship with them?  Is it that I was seeing them with “rose colored” glasses or that I really didn’t know them well enough to see who they truly are.  I had thought that you knew a partner well enough when you were with them for 3 months, but maybe that’s when we were younger.  Dating in your 50s is more complicated than dating in your 20s or 30s.  We all have so much more stuff that we carry around and so many more experiences that shape us and made us who we currently are.

So while at times I do wonder “what if” with these men, I know there will never be a future with any of them, even when I do feel well enough to reenter the dating scene.  While I do enjoy an occasional phone call or an occasional lunch date, the possibility of a romantic hookup is non existent.

The “EX” Factor

exhusband

Since I  have a lot of time on my hands and can’t physically do much, most of my activity (when the brain fog isn’t present) is in my head.  I think about the past and about forks in the road where decisions could have been made differently and maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now.

I was married and have been divorced since 2006.  I was on my own for 3 years prior to getting ill and really hadn’t thought about my ex husband much or missed him.  He was a nice enough guy, but lost interest in our marriage and became almost nonexistant.  He was retreating from life and knew he needed help but refused to seek it out.  He also had “mommy” issues, which is where he wound up living after we divorced and to this day is still living with him mother and recently I found out that he is also her full time caretaker as she had a massive stroke.

A while back, I was on the computer and someone was trying to IM me.  To my surprise, it was my ex husband.  The first words he typed were an apology to me, which kind of through me for a loop.  He did owe me an apology for how he was at the end of our marriage, but I had long ago written that off and really had made closure with him and my marriage.  We chatted briefly on IM and he told me about his mother and I really didn’t feel anything but sadness for him and the choices he made in his life.  His mother controlled him throughout our marriage but I didn’t think it would go as far as it did.

When I think of my current situation and wonder if it would have been better if I was sick and had a husband, of course the answer is yes. When I see healthy relationships, like the one my sister has, having a husband to help with the everyday issues and emotional support needed when dealing with a chronic condition is a blessing.  But if I think about having my ex husband in my life right now, it would have been anything but a blessing.  I would have had to take care of him and support him, even in my fragile disabled state.

He had a business when we were married, but most of the money he earned was sent to his mother.  By the end of our time together, he was unemployed and lied on the couch from morning to night.  I went to work early in the morning and returned most nights after 7pm and he’d still be lying on the couch in his pjs.

So when I think about this choice to end my marriage, even though it was hard to go through at the time, it was the right choice as we weren’t right together.  Being with someone and feeling alone, is so much more lonely, than actually being alone.