Divorce discussion day. Decision day. Dreaded day. Call it what you want but I was sure that he was going to be a step closer to making a decision about a future with me following this discussion.
Recently he was contacted by yet another ex girlfriend: this one is the one before me. I knew little about her until this point, only that she existed. Maybe because the other two have been in contact more, I know.more about them. He assured me they were just friends, that all his relationships have ended with conversation and not fighting. He is happy to be friends with these girls, but that is all. I’m not sure how much they realise that.
After some questioning, he told me that she had loved him – loved him a lot. When I asked about his feelings, he paused. He said that he had felt something for her when he was with her – visiting her in her city (about 3 hours from his) – but when they were apart he forgot about her and felt little. I asked why they had separated and he said there were problems that were hard to explain but that they had talked and agreed it was for the best to end the relationship.
So, maybe you can see why my nerves have been heightened.
I don’t know whether he considered marriage with her or not. I know he didn’t with the other two and he made that clear to them. With me, he is clearly thinking about it and deciding whether it is a possibility in the future. He asked when we met whether I would consider it as a possibility in the future, because that is what his culture dictates. He didn’t just want a casual relationship with me. If I had said no, I wouldn’t be with him now but it doesn’t mean that we will definitely get married either.
His culture does not have arranged marriages as such, or as we in this part of the world imagine. But they do consider the suitability of matches closely. He has been offered girls as prospects for marriage. “I have a daughter, would you like to meet her?” That type of thing.
Maybe that seems strange to us. But not too far in the past, that’s the way English couples would consider marriage – the suitability and benefits of two families aligning. My beloved Jane Austen and Charles Dickens novels say it all.
He is of a modern generation where he wants to marry for love but at the same time, I am aware that his culture dictates that he considers the suitability of a marriage more closely than we do.
Do we even consider that? From my experience, we fall in love and that naturally progresses to marriage. It’s what we all want, isn’t it? Do we ever sit and really discuss and consider our future? Our expectations and what we want? I’m not sure how many of us do. I’m not sure how many of us ask these questions of ourselves. Not when we are young, anyway. Its definitely something you do as you get older and after a failed marriage.
So when those feelings of falling in love fade, which they naturally do, we are left with the hard work part of making a marriage work. But if, fundamentally, those people are not a good match, then no amount of hard work is going to be successful. That’s what I believe. That’s what I have learned.
In today’s society, I don’t need a man. I have a good job, a home, a car. I could be single and society doesn’t expect me to remarry although they may ask the questions. So, in that case, marriages ending are more acceptable.
In his culture, I guess it is different. There is a strong emphasis on family, extended family and marriage. The family work together even when a child is married. There is mutual support. Divorce happens, but there are more rules and laws around it than here. It is not surprising then that he wanted to know more, understand more.
We had the conversation yesterday. It was difficult.
The summary is…he couldn’t understand if I was saying that my ex was not the right person for me, why did I stay with him so long and have three children? I explained that I was young, he was a good man and I didn’t want it to fail. I wanted to work on it. That there were periods of good times but they never lasted. But ultimately, it was never going to work because he wasn’t right for me. I admitted that it was mistake to stay for so long. I should have left much sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I felt like he was disappointed with me because I didn’t leave after my first child when I knew things weren’t right but then because I stayed he was disappointed with me for leaving at all. I couldn’t win. I stayed for the right reasons and I left for the right reasons. I should never have got back with him, I know that. But I got my son from it so I will never regret it.
I told him I didn’t want him to think bad of me and he said he didn’t. I tried to reference my decisions into his own – he hadn’t married the other girls because they were not right for him. I tried to stay in my marriage for my children but he wasn’t right for me so it didn’t work. He couldn’t understand why I stayed, why I had three children and why i wasn’t happy if I said he was a good man.
I told him that I never felt for my ex like I feel for him. That I know what I want and need now. Life is too short to be unhappy and the longer we were together and tried, the more unhappy we were. I talked of the atmosphere and the arguing. I told him that he was a much better match for me, he understood and inspired me.
Sadly, I have no idea if he truly feels the same way. I guess he does, but I don’t know. Am I enough? With his experiences and expectations and cultural differences, he seems to be making a decision to whether I can be that person he is looking for. With his age and experience and culture, can he (and I) be sure that I am the one? He didn’t openly confirm either way which left me feeling anxious.
If I am not, then I will just be another ex girlfriend who loves and lost him.