My ex-husband found out about my blog.
Not a massive surprise really, although I had been blocking key people (our children for example, and his family members) from any posts that I thought were very controversial.
He sent me an email and he was obviously upset and angry. Which I suppose should also not be a surprise. He said I had publicly shamed him.
I felt terrible. I still don’t like upsetting him.
The ties that bind two people who spent 21 years together are very strong, even when things have got seriously messed up.
So I called him – from my new landline, so that he couldn’t ignore my call. He didn’t put the phone down when he knew it was me.
And I told him I was sorry he was upset. That I had not intended to upset or embarrass him, but that I am simply writing about my life. That I own my experiences and that it is not my job to keep his secrets. But that I was sorry I had upset him. And I meant it.
I don’t want to demonise him. He’s just a man who was monumentally bad at being married. He listened to what I said about my writing and at the end when I offered to remove the post that had most bothered him, he said no. I could tell he was upset but it was a good conversation and I think we both felt better about it afterwards.
It’s strange, but when you know someone that well, talking to them is always kind of easy, even though generally we try to avoid it. It’s almost like it all never happened – kind of. There is a weird sort of distance of course, but it’s like everything and nothing has changed at the same time.
The truth is, sometimes people do bad things. And the reasons for them are complex, but rarely evil. My ex husband did many things that hurt me. But he also was a man who cried with laughter with me at a game show called “what’s in the box?“. He was a man who organised a ’30 and 13 days birthday’ party for me – especially allowed by the ‘National Birthday Council’ because my grandmother had died shortly before my actual birthday. The first dance at our wedding was Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised it he doesn’t remember that – not because he’s horrible, but because that’s just not the sort of thing he would recall. He used to sit in the cot with our son and read him stories. He always said pizza was ‘a scrotty bit of bread with cheese and tomato on’ and couldn’t understand why they were so expensive. He likes 80s disco music (I hated it) and he properly dances like a dad. He’s a man who can’t stand anyone touching his adam’s apple, which always made me wonder if perhaps he had been hung or strangled in a previous life.
I used to tell him he was the best person I knew. He’s an actual, real person and more than the sum of his actions. I don’t want to spend the rest of our lives hurting one another or picking over past hurts.
It didn’t work out.
C’est la vie…
*he didn’t make me write this
** but I did out of courtesy send it to him before I published