a brainy, tender,
obtuse, loving hypocrite.
is she who I need?
Let’s pro – vs – con this relationship thing with Michelle then Patrick and Rae.
- She’s smart
- She’s funny
- She’s tender, loving, and affectionate
- We laugh and have fun together all the time
- We never lack for conversation
- I’ve never been as attracted to a woman like I am to her
- She loves me
- She loves my boys
- The boys love her
- We are great in bed together (the best either of us have ever been with anyone)
- She’s complicated
- Her family is wonderful
- She’s ambitious and driven
- She’s the best friend I’ve ever had
- She’s complicated
- She can be selfish
- She’s obtuse
- She’s vindictive and cruel when she’s angry
- She won’t work on her anger issues (therapy)
- Those panic attacks
- She won’t work on her panic attacks (therapy)
- She’s a slob
- She doesn’t pull her weight with house work
- She doesn’t communicate her needs
- I lost most of my friendships because of my relationship with her (I defended her when they treated her poorly). She pressured to do that…was that some unconscious (or conscious) attempt to isolate me?
- She never defended me when her friends treated me poorly (does that make her a hypocrite?)
I started on the pros/cons with Patrick and Rae. Midway through realized I didn’t need to. I started thinking about the 14 years I’ve lived in Nebraska. My brother visits once a year. Rae has been up here once since I’ve been divorced (my 40th birthday) and twice before, when I first moved here. That is it, three visits in 14 years. The boys and I visit Arizona no less than twice a year, every year. It was important to me because I wanted to maintain the relationships with my family. Sadly, that isn’t a priority for them.
Fun fact, in the 3 ½ years we were together, Michelle visited Arizona (and my family) more than twice as many times as Rae has visited me the 14 years I’ve lived in Nebraska.
I’ve invited them for the holidays, nope. I’ve invited them to different vacations, nope. It’s not even like they have an apologetic…”man, we just can’t swing it” or “we don’t want to do that but what if we did this other thing that might be easier for you”. No thought to compromise.. They refuse to drive an extra few miles when we’re in Arizona to meet us. Instead it’s, “this is what we’re doing. If you want to see us and spend time with us, you have to do what we want to do.” They’ve actually said those words to me.
On balance, they don’t value their relationship with me or the boys. Contrast that with my parents. Sometimes I feel like they visit too much (I’m saying that in a cheeky way. I don’t mind how often they visit). They value their relationship with me and their grandchildren.
this relief hurts those
I love. is it selfish to
want this feeling?
Why am I so quick to condemn and write off Patrick and Rae but not my father. The answer is simple. What Patrick and Rae did was more egregious. Objectively that is true. Why is it true?
I think intent is the majority stake holder in culpability. Did my father intend to be cruel to Michelle? Did Patrick or Rae intend to be cruel to Michelle? I don’t think my Dad did. Rae is a different story. She went out of her way to inflict maximum damage. Patrick stood by, did nothing, and then piled on. Dad is a product the 40’s and 50’s. He sees the world through a different lens than we do. He has values that are slightly off. He gets a pass. His hurting Michelle was unintentional.
Rae is angry and mean. She and Patrick both lashed out at Preston last year about his girlfriend (Shelby). It was upsetting to witness. Michelle received the same treatment. They just were more circumspect about it, more chicken shit about it.
I don’t know what has happened to Rae. She and I used to be so close. I would call her every few days and chat for 30-60 minutes at a time. I don’t know where this anger comes from. I don’t know if she infected Patrick, he infected her, or if they developed this anger in tandem.
I don’t like writing this down. I can still picture the look on my parents’ faces when they read the email I sent Patrick on the 23rd. They were sad. It hurts them that Patrick, Rae, and I are on the outs. It hurts them we aren’t going to be together as a family during the holidays. I’m sitting here with my eyes closed trying to tap into how I feel about not being together for the holidays, not being around Patrick and Rae. I feel relief. It’s like I can breathe easier. I don’t feel tension in my shoulders thinking about it. It feels good.
That makes me feel bad. It makes me feel like I’m selfish. It makes me feel guilt.