Monday, January 11, 2010

If It Makes You Happy

Happiness……I want it for myself…..I generally wish it for others. The sticky part comes when there is an X involved…..and then “happy” becomes a relative term…. A state of mind dependent upon someone else…

Do I want the X to be happy…..of course…..absolutely…..positively….just….well…. I don’t want him to be happy-ier than I am…. As long as I am in a good relationship, financially secure…..hangin with my friends…. he can reach for the stars…succeed.. find love… enjoy life. If somehow, I am less happy, I seem more inclined to be judgmental….to stir the pot a bit…to remember what a jerk he was.

I don’t think this is just Diva-madness….I do think these feelings “happen” to other women I know (do men do this?? Not sure)…. Case in point:

A girlfriend of mine was recently in a funk….. Her X (who has been an X for a very, very, very, long time) has started seeing someone. Now my girlfriend….(let’s call her Charlie after the fabulous cheap 70’s perfume….which doesn’t say anything about her… I just love the commercials…boy, I am in so much trouble…) has long been over her X. Charlie has been happily married for a number of years and really bears no ill will towards said X. However, Charlie just discovered that the X is dating--benign information--that is, until she found out the girlfriend is younger and is actually quite stunning. Emergency girl time was scheduled…Martini’s flowed….. bags of chocolate were opened…..

Charlie is a smart cookie --- she does want her X to be happy….and even have a wonderful and attractive girlfriend - - just not as wonderful and not as attractive as she is. After much conversation, we concluded that we can take the high road….and be happy for our X’s…that is… long as the new girlfriends are dumb as a box of rocks, at least a jean size bigger, and have a few cosmetic flaws here and there. Of course, there ARE areas that the new girlfriend is “allowed” to be better than we are - - better at finding our X’s flaws, better at getting on his nerves, more skilled in the areas of nagging, complaining, whining, being late, talking with their mouths full… you get the picture. Somehow, as “evolved” as we may be as X-Wives, we still want the X’s to wistfully think of us as the one that got away -- the best thing that ever happened to them - - and remember how much they screwed it all up (that’s the important part!). It’s not that we want them to come back - - (Lord help us - NO) - - but the payoff for us is that they see their life as a little less brighter because we are not there (okay - a LOT less brighter).

Reality check - - the X will be happy….very, very happy. He will probably date a model who is a good cook, who never raises her voice and cleans the house in a regular basis. Our children will love her…..adore her even….. and she will look up at him in adoration with her big baby blue eyes…and we will want to puke.

I guess the key is to prepare myself for the inevitability… happy in my own life and resist the urge to compare. After all, the biggest lesson I learned in my divorce was that I am responsible for my own happiness. It is not contingent on him any longer.

However, I also need to know there are times when I will feel as if I was kicked in the gut…that he found someone better than me…..and it will feel like everything he said during the divorce was right…..that he can do much, much better. Those are the times best left to the experts - - those experts of encouragement and sympathy - - my girlfriends and their endless supplies of chocolate, wine, tears, joy…..and the ability to point out that, yes, her hips ARE bigger!


Anonymous said...

Very funny. I think most happily divorced people want their X-s to find love again - as long as new spouse is a trade down from what the X had with us.

Becky P said...

Exactly.......I find that quite amusing.....and quite interesting. Thank you for your comment and The Man and I love your blog!!!

Susan said...

Having gone through the same thing--even after 20 plus years--I want the X to be not so perfectly happy and still regretting he was such a jerk to me. HMMM, thought I was through this until your blog.