I have been somewhat preoccupied lately with Mr. X’s relationship status.
I know, I know, I “shouldn’t” care, I “should” just move on, etc., etc. My wondering became just another mirror to hold up to my progress in moving on, or lack of it. My wondering became another way that I was failing in this whole healing process.
Let’s back up.
Before I left Mr. X, even before I had my grand realization and was able to name what was going on as abuse, he had been hanging out with a friend of ours (I’ve called her “Dolores” here before). Mr. X and I used to hang out with Dolores and her husband. They were neighbors, Mr. X had helped Dolores to convert to Judaism (he’s a rabbi, don’t forget), they had walked Miss Famous when we went out of town once or twice, we had fed their cat. At some point, Dolores and Mr. X’s friendship deepened and they started hanging out more, just the two of them. When he walked the dog late at night, he would stop by their place. He stopped by their place a lot late at night, but as I am an early to bed, early to rise person (and I had to be at work early), I rarely joined him in these outings. At some point there was a shift, and he would start hanging out with Dolores around the time I would go to bed (9:30-10ish). Sketchy, I know, but at that point, my life with X was all about survival. I would be relieved to see Dolores show up at different times, because it meant that X’s energy would be focused elsewhere (i.e. not on criticizing me), and he was generally nicer to me if we weren’t alone.
Apparently, there were people in the congregation who were already starting to wonder if something was going on between the two of them, but, like I said, I was in survival mode, and wasn’t really questioning much about their relationship.
The week before I left (the penny had dropped, as they say) I had a moment in which I realized that there was more to their relationship than I had allowed myself to see before. At that point, however, I was relieved, as I had been worried about Mr. X and how he would cope in my absence (this concern is a bit humorous to me in hindsight). On this particular day, they were discussing this a game that Mr. X was teaching her, and they were looking at a book she had about strategies for the game. I asked her where she had found it, and she got this strange look on her face, and said that X had gotten it for her (it seemed obvious that she thought I already knew). This guy who could barely have a civil conversation with me at that point had bought this other woman a gift. Now, if things had been better between us (him and me), his buying our mutual friend a gift would not have been a big deal. At this point though, it helped all of it to make more sense. I didn’t believe then (or now) that they were having any kind of physical relationship at that time, but there was definitely something going on.
So a couple of months after I left, I learned that she had left her husband and was getting a divorce. There were some other things I discovered (the temptation of internet stalking him was a bit too much at times) and so it seemed pretty clear to me that they were in some kind of relationship, but I had no confirmation of this.
He moved to another state, and my fac.ebook searches showed me that she became acquainted with friends and family of his, and started having friends in the place where he now was living.
I want to stop here and say that for anyone going through a breakup, I really recommend that you don’t do this. I always ended up feeling bad, but for some reason I would return to our friends google and FB to try to glean any information I could about what was going on. So not good for me. The not knowing was really tough, though, and my pride would not let me ask mutual friends if they knew what was going on (and I didn’t want to put them in a strange position, either).
I started talking to my therapist about this a couple of weeks ago, about how the not knowing was driving me nuts. It seemed clear to me that they had been in a relationship, but I had no idea if they still were. I didn’t want to care, but I did.
Well, a couple of days ago, I succumbed again to my baser urges, and was trolling search engines, trying to find any scrap of data that would let me know something.
Well. Dolores is now going by her maiden name only. (Before she was Dolores Maiden-name Married-name. Now she’s just Dolores Maiden-name). And she is living in the same city as X, at the same address. (Long story about why I know his address—I really didn’t want to know it,* but it showed up on a court paper that I received.) And they joined the same synagogue a few weeks ago.
Strangely, this news does not upset me. I was starting to have a sinking feeling in my stomach, and then I thought, “Well, they’ll have a hell of a “How’d you two meet?” story, and I just laughed. I laughed. That’s a miracle in itself, that I could laugh at this situation.
Since getting this confirmation, I’ve been able to picture their life together, and I feel so relieved that I am not in her shoes. I’ve remembered what it felt like to be in a relationship with him, even before the downward spiral, and it wasn’t good. I stayed on edge all the time. All the time I was worried, all the time I put my own needs aside in favor of his.
I have no illusions that I will never have any bad feelings about the two of them again, but for now, I am relieved to know, to not be stuck in the uncertainty.
*I know this may be hard to believe, based on all my googling and FBing, but I really didn’t want to know much about him, other than if he was with her. I’m a contradiction.