We’ve probably all got them–exes. This is not a post disparaging exes, that’s not my style. It is about disappointment and learning to accept that you cannot control other people’s actions or reactions, just your own.
Maximus has two ex-wives. He was married for 25 years to MOC (Maximus refers to her as this, not to her face, short for mother-of-children, but i always use her name, except for the case of posting for anonymity. i never have wanted to slip and use MOC and hurt Maximus’ kids’ feelings, so i just don’t call her that at all.). They had four children who are now all in their thirties and live nearby. MOC lives next door to their oldest daughter and family. Maximus had an affair with JB, divorced MOC, and was married to her for eight years, didn’t have children. i knew JB while they were married as we all met at M&S’s swinger parties.
i feel very blessed and fortunate to have a great relationship with Maximus’ children and grandchildren. We do things together a lot and spend a lot of time with the grandkids. We babysit very frequently and oftentimes i watch them alone, without Maximus. It makes me feel good that they trust me. Last weekend we watched the youngest daughter’s 10-month-old overnight, the first overnight for her baby away from his parents for anyone, and Maximus learned from His son that the only reason she was okay with it was because of me, not Him (yes, that’s right, the childless woman in her 40s was picked over the grandfather who raised four children!). It’s not a contest, but it is very special for Maximus that i have a good relationship with His kids, something JB did not. He made sure i knew what a unique thing this was.
We also had his oldest daughter’s two kids stay over that night. Maximus’ kids were going to a Christmas concert downtown and we offered to watch the grandkids so their parents could enjoy some needed together time. A while after their folks had dropped them off, Maximus’ granddaughter told me that her grandmother (MOC) had been sitting in the back of their minivan while everyone else came inside. This was a shock to me because we visited with the kids for at least 15 minutes–all the while, MOC was sitting in a van in 25 degree weather! i felt awful!
After everyone left the next morning, i shared what i had learned with Maximus. We both felt terrible that MOC had sat outside in freezing weather instead of coming inside. i told Him that i wanted to send her an email to let her know how sorry we were to have later learned that she sat outside and to invite her to always be welcome to come inside in future situations. He wanted me to talk to His oldest daughter about it, but i really didn’t want to make her feel like she’d done something wrong and it was important for me to let MOC know she was welcome. So He agreed.
The next day, well today, on my way to the swimming pool, i stopped at a store to pick up some Christmas light supplies for Maximus and there was MOC walking into the checkout line next to mine. i called out her name, smiled, and waved, like i always do whenever i see her, and told her i was planning on sending her an email. She asked what it was about and i replied that we could visit after we both checked out. We met shortly thereafter and i told her we were so sorry to learn that she sat outside in the cold for so long Saturday and that we wanted to let her know she was always welcome to come inside with everyone, that we would like that. She replied, “Well, it wasn’t very long.” To which i replied, “It was 15 minutes and so cold out. Really, we would love for you to come in.” She abruptly replied, “It makes the kids uncomfortable” and shoved off with her shopping cart to the exit.
It just makes me sad. i know it’s not the kids being uncomfortable–the kids who invite us all to birthday parties, baby showers, family dinners and barbecues together. It’s her who is uncomfortable, despite me being friendly. i didn’t have an affair with her husband, i’ve not been rude to her family. i’ve tried to visit with her at family events, only to have her leave the room when i walk in. i’ve visited with her mother, who is lovely and seeks me out whenever we are both at the same event. i’ve tried. And i guess that’s what matters.
i can’t imagine being rude to my exes partners. i’ve been to weddings and sat with my partner’s exes, visited with my ex at social functions, even chatted with my exes besties who showed up at a swinger party (didn’t play with them though). OneGuy’s girlfriend sent me a Facebook message not long ago about a friend request, which i’d not sent, and i was very nice, thanked her for the message, noted that i had not sent her a friend request, but hoped she had a great day (turns out she was mistaking the People you Might Know as a friend request). i don’t want to be Facebook friends with her, but i certainly don’t need to be rude about it.
It is MOC’s problem. i know that. It still hurts though and is disappointing. i’ve done my best, been nice and will continue to be nice. She may never come around, she might always be rude to me. But i will be there with my smiling face at every shower, wedding, family dinner, at her oldest daughter’s house next door playing with her grandchildren who love me. i cannot control her actions or her discomfort. i’m sorry she feels this way.