I was just thinking that this blog has been a tad a bit Anti-E so far. Whilst I’m sure most of you (especially my Mum) are now saying ‘Well….Duh!”, I did think it was slightly unfair to be totally negative about him and thought that maybe I should redress the balance? There were *some* good points.
Whilst I’m grateful that E is no longer my partner (it’s amazing how the ego thrives when you’re not constantly worried that your other half is boffing his students behind your back), I must reluctantly confess that there are a few things I miss about sharing my life with him.
Late Night Shopping
One of the downsides of a cheating partner is the endless, unexplained, late nights and multiple weekends ‘working’. For me though, the silver lining to this cloud was the fact that if I realised I was short of something (milk, bread, or more typically, ingredients for the cookery class that Youngest Son had reminded me about at 10pm), a quick text before I went to bed and I’d wake up to find everything I requested in the kitchen the next morning.
Of course, if asked, I’d have preferred the shopping without a side of infidelity, self-loathing and potential STDs, but hey – it just goes to show there’s a bright side to everything if you look hard enough.
E normally sees the boys on Saturdays. Again, there’s a bright side – he’s now doing every week what I spent years trying to persuade him to do once a month – having fun with the kids, going to the cinema, bowling, going out for a meal. I suppose I should be grateful – he’s finally doing exactly what I wanted but, in the way of the best fairy tales, it’s just not quite in the way I imagined.
In my head family weekends meant my happily smiling family of six striding blissfully through the park in our wellies, before returning to our beautifully kept home, lovingly playing board games (without anyone throwing the board across the room and stomping off in tears) then tucking joyfully into a lovely home-cooked family meal before curling up on the sofa and watching a film together.
In reality, they consisted of E spending all weekend sitting, like a bad-tempered bear, in the dining room glued to his phone/laptop whilst pouring a bottle or two of wine down his throat. I spent them working or catching up with the washing whilst making caustic comments about ‘not being the maid’ and eventually joined E in sinking into a bottle of wine whilst watching some anaesthetising weekend tv. The kids would largely be in their rooms, emerging only to go out and see friends, ask for money, or tell me they were hungry.
So, yes, weekends weren’t quite the utopian family dream that I had envisaged, but, imperfect as they were, they were still times we spent mostly together. Now they’re disjointed, I have to get the boys up and ready in time for E to pick them up, I never know quite what time they’ll be home or if they’ll need feeding when they get back (E never gives me a time or tells me what they’re doing). All of which means that I only get Sundays with my kids. Again – there’s a positive if you look hard enough – we cram a whole weekend’s worth of lazing about together into one day, and, vitally, we’re not all tiptoeing around E and wondering why he’s in such a bad mood and why he’s always looking at his phone (he even took it to the loo with him – which is downright unhygienic – I’m very glad it wasn’t me he was sexting from there).
The ‘S’ word
There is one thing that I miss in particular, something that was uniquely between E and I as consenting adults, and something that, for me, made our relationship complete. This thing relied on mutual trust and provided comfort when I was down and reassurance throughout the whole day. It made me feel comfortable within myself and with him and, I think, was probably one of the most important aspects of our relationship.
Of course, I’m a grown woman, and an open minded one, and I know that I can provide myself with this pleasure whenever I want, but, try as I might (and I really have tried), it’s just not the same.
I really, really, really, miss his socks. They were comfortable and warm and always there when I needed them. I still haven’t worked out which brand he bought (and frankly, I’m too proud to ask). When he moved out, the first thing I checked was his sock drawer and when I realised he taken EVERY SINGLE PAIR I cried genuine tears. P has custody of those socks now – I hope she treats them well and realises what she’s got.
If ever anything confirmed I was better off without him, this was it – what kind of person estranges his partner of 25 years from the socks that she loved so much?
Maybe one day time will heal, and I’ll find a plus side to this one too, but for now, I’m still coming to terms with my loss.
*in case you were wondering ‘socks’ ISN’T a euphamism.