I have a unique situation with my ex. In the 4 years we were together we raised several foster children together. One of those children was adopted by by my brother and his wife, which is great because that child is still a part of my life. At the same time, it’s a bit awkward, because my ex will be at any events for that same child. What can you do, amiright?
I started seeing a woman a couple of months ago. She is sweet, funny, kind, smart, and we share a lot of the same interests. She, however, had a major problem my ex was still a part of my life. She is also extremely sensitive and easily hurt.
None of this is an issue by itself. The problem is how she acts when she is hurt or angry. She says hurtful things. She yells. If I try to speak, she cuts me off. Eventually she just leaves. I spent nine years of my life tip-toeing around a volatile woman to avoid outbursts like this and I was not going to put up with this.
Last week it came to a head. There was a birthday party scheduled for my foster-daughter-turned-nice. I explained to my girlfriend that I wanted to check with my sister-in-law to ensure it was okay to bring my girlfriend. I didn’t anticipate my ex causing a scene or anything, but my sister-in-law and ex are still good friends and I wanted to ensure she was okay with it. After all, it wasn’t my party and I wasn’t hosting it.
What should have been absolutely nothing was a spark that bloomed into an explosion when I informed my girlfriend I wanted to check before inviting her. Evidently, I didn’t “care about her feelings”, was “putting my ex’s feelings ahead of hers”, “hiding her in the back”, and some other crap about “should’ve known I’d get treated like this.”
I tried to explain that my only concern was not ruining my niece’s birthday party, but she didn’t want to hear that. She was convinced I was trying to protect my ex’s feelings. I tried to cut the conversation off at that point because she was angry, but apparently pointing out that she was talking to me like I’m a piece of shit hurt her feelings.
At that point, I told her to stop, and thankfully she did. A bit later I told her my sister-in-law said it was okay and she was still welcome to come. I probably shouldn’t have extended the invite after what had just happened, but I was hoping she’d realize at that point my concern was my niece and my niece only.
I gave her a day to cool down before telling her that I didn’t appreciate the way she treats me when she’s hurt or angry and that I was no longer going to tolerate it. I told her if she wanted to continue the relationship she would need to work on how she behaves when she’s upset. I was hoping for some sort of discussion, but what I got instead was a voice message saying she’d come to get her stuff out of my house that instant.
I was, and am still just a bit, shocked. She told me she loved me repeatedly, but I guess not enough to make an effort to not treat me like an old McDonald’s cup on the side of the highway. I mean, not only was she not willing to make any effort to change her behavior when she’s angry, but now I felt pretty worthless. Why am I not worth the effort of trying to control your anger? Just days before she was going on about her mom’s anger management issues and how she was worried she was becoming like her mom. She was concerned enough to change for herself, but not for me? Which, in turn, would benefit her?
A couple days later I see this posted by her on Facebook…
I didn’t make an effort? I didn’t make an effort??? Every time she got upset I tried my damnedest to figure out what I’d done so I’d know not to do it again. I tried to console her. I tried to comfort her. I made room for her in my house. I cooked for her. Bought her things. Spent as much time with her as I could. Let her vent to me about her job constantly.
I’m not sure what she means by “no effort” unless she’s referring to my refusal to be a punching bag any longer. If that’s what she considers “no effort” then fuck no I made no effort. Why would I fight for someone who takes out their anger on me? Who doesn’t care enough about me to not lash out at me any time she’s upset? Who (multiple times) accused me of “not being over my ex”, not caring about her feelings, trying to hide her from my family, and whatever other things she said that I can’t recall. Why the fuck would I make an effort to keep that in my life?
Ugh, but I ain’t mad. Honestly, I know she’s had a hard life. She’s been abused and traumatized. I was hoping she’d see what she was doing to me. When she’s calm she admits to it, but when she’s worked up…not so much. Frankly, I can’t deal with it. It’s like walking around a grass field expecting – but never knowing – when you’ll step on a land mine.
I’ve spent the last few days fighting back tears. Most of the time we got along great and, other than the times she was upset, had an amazing time. I miss her. Depression has hit me hard this week, but I don’t regret taking a stand. I deserve better.