Life has been going well lately, but I've decided that living a content life just isn't chaotic enough... So, I volunteered myself to help my SBXH (Soon to be ex-husband) get the house ready for sale.
"Why did you do that?" you ask?
Well, this is the plight of the "nice girl".
I have a tendency to be helpful. Too helpful, to the point that it compromises my own well being. Yes, this may sound mean from an outside perspective. Maybe. Who knows what you're thinking right now. Let's go into the details of my relationship and demonstrate this point.
My ex, Jim is a very nice fella. He is outstanding as far as an outside person is concerned. He always works, and generally has a pleasant air about him. I've said it a million times, "He's a great guy, as long as I'm not married to him."
Jim and I had an interesting relationship. People constantly quote about surviving the tough times, and prevailing, this makes their relationship stronger. Good for them.
Jim and I struggled from the first week we started dating. At that point I knew, I absolutely knew drugs and alcohol were going to be an issue for us. Further into our relationship, we developed into spiteful people toward one another, and we would grow into the state which I called "purgatory"... Every conversation was a power struggle, and I would become introverted. He would become.. something else. We'll leave Jims issues out of this. I'll just say that I would wish my position on no woman, although in his defence I will say that I had the tendency to push him to his limits.
Jim and I would separate, he would see me become my happy, optimistic self again. I would see him become more affectionate and loving, and then we would get back together. Unfortunately, every time we did, the cycle would begin again shortly after reconciliation. We were poison toward one another. I became a person I never thought I would become... We brought out the worst in one another.
We separated last year. We were separated for almost two months. My mistake there? I stayed in our home. I felt bad seeing him alone, although he was not truly alone with me still there. Eventually, his proclamations of love for me and willingness to change made me return to the always open arms that I so desperately needed. I promised to change. He promised to change... we went on our merry way for almost a month, and then it started again. I remember the exact date. It was his cousins wedding. Since that date, I was introverted again. I drowned my unhappiness by turning to a depressant as well... I lived in purgatory for almost a year.
Then something happened to change it all. I was okay living in my stale "life" because there was nothing I hadn't compromised before... Then one thing happened. He made a mistake that I vowed I would never accept, and I took that as a ticket to my new life. I couldn't compromise any more.
I had always conceded to him. Always went back to him because I felt guilty leaving him to live on his own. To make his own way. I have a need to help people, to spare them from pain. I've wanted to fix that man the past seven years and ended up compromising every bit of myself, and he had never asked me to. I was a chameleon, changing myself to be acceptable to him, and I was so disgusted with my compromises that I couldn't even be who I wanted him to see. I was an absolute mess. Caught up in binge eating to stave off my unhappiness, then the depression associated with it and I withdrew from him even more.
That's where he made his mistake. I was no wife at that point, and he was seeking what I couldn't give knowing that I wouldn't forgive, but thinking that I would never find out.
So here we are. The actions that ended our marriage were just products of a seven year power struggle, and a life where both of us compromised so much that we both resented one another.
So back to my main story. The past few days I have been at my house, helping him to ready it for sale. The first night involved a lot of tears. We talk like civilized people. I don't hate him, it's just a damn shame that we didn't recognize our differences sooner.
The second night was strictly business. Painting, cleaning, taking my cats to my Mums house.
The third night, tonight, he started again. The terms of endearment. I started feeling sad for him again. I started feeling pity for leaving him alone, and feeling guilty for being the one that left. I always feel like he does need me, and he plays that part well. It does hurt me to hurt him, but this time I've kept my wits about me. I realize how we talk when we're in a relationship versus the tone when we're together but seperate, I recognize the cycle. But mainly? I remember I have one thing left to compromise, and I absolutely cannot become a chameleon again. I am Alex. I am going to stay Alex, and I am happier as Alex. Alex cannot remain "Alex" with Jim.
One of my goals on my "settle down list" is to quit smoking. I quit last Monday.
Guess this wasn't the week for that.