I found out recently that my Ex was getting re-married. The news wasn’t a big surprise to me as it has been in the works, so to speak, for quite some time. However, being notified of an actual date in the not-too-distant future when new knots would be tied has unsettled me, and a feeling of irritation, like a scratchy tag in a new shirt, is present in my psyche. What is annoying me the most is that I can’t seem to identify or name the reason for my disquiet.
Am I sad? No. Remourseful? No. It’s not anger, or frustration, or regret, or any of the other negative association emotions that come to mind. Nor am I particularly excited or thrilled about the pending nuptials. I feel benign…emotionless, about the situation. I think I should feel something, don’t you? I mean this is the father of my children, the person with whom my life is entangled on some level until one of us departs this world. But I feel…nothing.
Remarriage After Divorce
Which begs the question: if I fundamentally don’t care if he’s getting re-married, then why is the thought of it so present in my mind?
I’m not worried about the children. They are happy and secure in their lives. I like the woman he has chosen to marry, and if circumstances were different, I would likely seek out her friendship. I am happy and loved and nurtured in my own relationship, so there isn’t a case of woulda/coulda/shoulda at play. There have even been a few moments that felt like liberation, knowing that he, too, is settled and taken care of by someone other than myself. (Those roots of guilt run long and deep!) So why this pervasive malaise?
I wonder if it has to do with competition. Always fiercely competitive, my Ex and I were constantly jockeying for position on the slopes, or the courts, or in the game of life. His getting married is a declaration to society of his relationships status, a demonstration of achievement – in this case love. I have chosen a different path, and decided to set different rules and standards for myself and my household, yet I still, in some respects, judge myself by the same criteria that I did in a former iteration of my life. Does his getting married mean that I’m the loser?
I recently cut my hair to a style that is shorter and requires an unfamiliar styling method. I like it, but it’s different and I haven’t yet become familiar with the image that greets me in the mirror. I keep touching the back of my head where there once was a ponytail, feeling instead the recognizable texture of my hair, only much shorter. I’m the same, but not exactly.
This is what his engagement feels like; nothing is fundamentally different. Our dynamic is the same and the interactions will likely continue as they have for the past several years. But there is a newness, an unaccustomed energy to air that exists between us.
He is the same, but not exactly.