Well, here it is. The first holiday of the holiday season. I’m coping knowing that Bennett and I are ending. Not great exactly, but just fine.
Thanksgiving is probably the easiest holiday because it’s not a hugely important holiday for me anymore.
While my mom was alive, and the early years my brother was married, we had a large Thanksgiving dinner. I loved it even though it stressed me beyond belief. I loved the hustle and bustle and I’m a pretty fierce cook. I loved the house filled with family.
Even if my x and I fought like cats and dogs every year, I persevered because my parents and kids loved it. My mother loved my pecan pie and my Dad my cheesecake. So I cooked and baked everything from scratch, soup to nuts. It was exhausting and wonderful.
Then my mom passed and my brother started going to my in-laws for every holiday. Mothers seem to be the ones to hold families tightly together. My in-laws would and my Dad still came but the three years after my mothers death were never quite the same.
One year I had an all out battle with my x-sister-in-law and kicked her out of my house for good. It was the Thanksgiving before the end of my marriage. She was every and cruel and 20 years of her punishment was enough for me.
The first Thanksgiving after separation was weird but palpable. The x and my Dad came over, for a while it was ok. The kids were satisfied and that’s all that mattered.
Last year the x cancelled on us at the last minute and went to celebrate with his family instead. My Dad and my kids were disappointed. Thanksgiving was a large, loud family event. It had deteriorated into something much less fun and I didn’t want it to feel that way. Holidays are for family and laughter, in my opinion. Our family had shrunk too small that year and created nothing more than a normal Sunday dinner.
This year I suggested to my children to go with their Dad to his family. They still have large, loud family gatherings and I knew my kids would feel at home there. I offered to bring them to my cousins home, but I know they are not as comfortable. They were not happy about separating from me for the holiday, but I thought it was the best solution for everyone. It was a good decision.
I found out that my x brought his girlfriend-not-girlfriend to his family home for Thanksgiving. My kids didn’t seem to affected by it, though they did want to talk about it. They implicitly assumed if the woman was there for a major holiday that she was probably his girlfriend and he is still lying to them. This upsets them but they don’t feel like their Dad will tell the truth. I don’t think it matters if they are friends or not, the kids perceive it differently than what he is telling them and they don’t like feeling uncomfortable with their own family.
I did let their Dad know what they told me. While he doesn’t communicate with me regarding any “talks” he has with them, I have always believed that parents need to be transparent so one knows what the other is doing/saying so they can be aligned. He doesn’t subscribe to this belief and it’s one of the reasons we didn’t stay married – the communications master doesn’t know how to communicate. I try not to let his style force my style anymore.
I had a really lovely dinner at my cousins home. I helped prep and clean up, but my cousins husband did all the cooking and it was fantastic. My kids would have loved the food. We were a nice size group of about 15 or so, and more friends and family followed after dinner.
Bennett had been chatting pleasantly throughout the day and I suddenly reached a point where I couldn’t manage the “normalacy” any longer. In my head a tape was playing “why are we talking like nothing happened, there’s a huge elephant in the room!” Further, the fact that neither of us took initiative for having lunch Tuesday and neither of us were about to take initiative for seeing each other Friday before my 2 week business trip told me that we had pretty much come apart at the seams. It was simply a stalemate with no resolution.
I sent a text:
Maybe it is time to say goodbye. We can’t solve this. We are at a stalemate that cannot be resolved.
I love you so much ❤️️
His replies were:
I love you too.
I’m not having this conversation over text.
Enjoy the time you have with your cousins.
And that’s been it since dinner time last night. No good morning.
I feel numb.
Sometimes I feel like crying. I feel an immense sadness. But nothing is coming up. I want to reach out to him but know there is nothing more to say. Nothing can be done.
I don’t expect to hear from him for some time. He will be mad at me for writing goodbye in a text. Just as I am mad at him for not “fighting” for me by “figuring out” how he could spend quality time with me around the holiday if he wanted me to wait for him.
It’s such a strange feeling. But I just can’t compromise this time. I don’t have it in me. And that’s a brand new feeling.
To put it bluntly, I am worth his time and if he can’t come to that conclusion on his own, then he’s not worth mine. I am sure we could have built something amazing, and he’s said that for longer than I have….so it’s time to put action behind his words.
And it was time for me to put action behind mine.