Gah, someone tell me the whole Ex husband thing gets easier at some point. Or maybe typical ex husbands aren't as dramatic and immature as mine.
Mr. Wonderful has been very slowly, one by one, getting to know my kids (as Mommy's friend). Two of them had soccer games this weekend and they have been asking me when he was going to come to one. We felt like now might be the right time for that. I emailed The Ex ahead of time to let him know he would be meeting Mr. W.
First of all, a little background. My parents divorced not that long ago, after 30 years of marriage. Within months of the divorce, both were remarried. The divorce was every bit as bitter and angry as one can be, and there were major feelings of resentment at both remarriages. SO. FUN.
My parents were able to avoid each other except for one venue: my son's baseball games, every weekend for months. I would be sitting happily, watching my son play, chatting it up with my friends, and then each set of parents/spouses would arrive and it's like a dark cloud moved in. Every second felt like an hour.
Nevermind that I wasn't even adjusted to the idea yet that after 30 years of my life, my parents weren't together, much less not speaking to each other. That was enough to try and wrap my mind around. One parent would make a well meaning gesture towards the opposite step parent and that would be greeted with a snide remark. Both parents strained for my attention. I literally made sure I was sitting equal distances between the two or they would be offended. I made sure I was splitting my conversation up equally. My Dad's wife loved to make mean comments about my mother within her earshot and I just wanted to DIE and also slap her at the same time (but would risk hurting my Dad that way)
After some time, when they would show up, I would get up and walk to the baselines to watch the game. I just quit trying. I loved my son's games, and they ruined it for me.
So, that being said, there was good reason that I was so incredibly anxious about these two meeting. I knew my ex would act aloof and distant. It's his defense mechanism. Mr. Wonderful is polite and mature and I knew I would never have to worry about him starting anything.
My ex brought his ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY. I guess as a buffer??? Who knows. We walked up and as I was running through in my head how to introduce the two of them, Mr. W walked right over to my ex, put his hand on his shoulder, extended his hand and introduced himself. The Ex looked surprised, barely said a word back, turned around and ignored us the rest of the game. Really, not too bad.
Then, at the second game, my mother started acting a little weird. She hates my ex and I guess was trying to "rub it in"?? And made big loud statements to Mr. W about "let's get together soon" and gave him big hugs and laughed loudly at his jokes. My youngest (who LOVES Mr. Wonderful) started asking him to play and jumping to him from the bleachers and laying her head on his shoulder. No one said anything but you could feel the stares and the tension from The Ex and his extended family.
After the game was over, I took the kids over to The Ex's car, which was parked a good two rows away. He got them in as Mr. W and I walked back to my car. We had driven separately and stood at my car for awhile talking about how things had gone. I noticed The Ex drive off so we got a little more snuggly. After 10 minutes or so, Mr W looked over and saw that The Ex had come back, a row away on the opposite side of us now. They made eye contact, and The Ex drove off. Weird enough, then 10 minutes later The Ex shows up on the road directly behind the both of us. Stalking maybe??
I hope not. But as I told Mr. W, The Ex gets very emotional over things, and I could see him seeing us together the first time as a big trigger for him. He loses control of his boundaries and goes a little nutty, like he did when he first found out I was seeing someone. I hope that was the extent of it and that it's over now.
I wish so much that The Ex and I were more amicable. We are civil. But I HATE HATE HATE all this tension. I hope it was just the first time and that over time things will change.