A tightrope

My ex has been around a bit more lately. She has seen the kids twice in the past 3 weeks. So I have spent more time with her than before. (As she was just gone for half a year.) I felt like I should tell her that I was waiting for her, should she decide to turn her life around. After a week or so, she asked me what that would entail. And also would it mean she could come back and live with me. (I don’t think her current situation is very fun.) I told her she could not, and that a reunion would be a long, arduous process. She told me that she was surprised that I made the offer; she thought I had shut that door. I was surprised that she was surprised since I spent the last year and a half or our marriage begging her not to leave her family. Anyway; she wants me to put in writing what I think would be required to get back together.

So in a since, my worst fear is coming true. I really wanted her to want nothing to do with me again so the onus for our break-up would be hers completely. The fact that she is extending her hand -in however small a fashion- puts the ball back in my court. It sounds like I’m trying to play a blame game here, but I don’t think so. It’s more like a responsibility game. I really just want to do what’s right. I want God’s will to be accomplished through me, not despite me. Not because I’m afraid God will punish me if I don’t do the right thing, but because He has put a righteous desire in my heart, and I don’t want to betray that gift.

Now I have to decide what to say and how to say it to her. I have two things I know I want to avoid. One would be getting too lenient. I spent the last couple years of our marriage coaxing, coddling, urging, and enticing her past the limits of my dignity and our finances. I won’t ever do that again. The other extreme, and the one I’m probably more prone to at this time would be a hard-ball proposition. Just making the ‘terms’ seem impossible or demeaning for her. Since I’m only considering a reunion out of obligation to pursue what is best for my kids and a sense of honoring sacred vows I made, I’m afraid I might come off as an arrogant jerk who expects too much. I certainly can’t speak from a point of romantic love. I feel nothing for her that way. But the fact is that she would have to go through a lot of trouble and time to prove that she has changed her ways. I can’t think of a way to soft-sell that.

Although it’s probably neither here nor there, because she has given me no indication that she is ready to take any responsibility for her actions. And I guessing that a requirement to prove herself will only cause her indignation.

I find it interesting that this whole ordeal is coming up just as the abeyance from my feelings for ‘That Darn Girl’ is ending. I thought I had put that problem to bed, but it has slowly arisen again. The other day I found myself day-dreaming a fantasy of asking her father for permission to romantically pursue her. (You know, ‘cause that’s just the kind of gentleman I am.) I mean, I was going into all the detail… going through just what I would say and how to say it. Oh yes, this dream scenario happens two and a half years in the future, after most of the current hindrances to the possibility are gone. That’s right. I’ve thought it all through and concocted the perfect scenario that would end in our marriage. Yes, I am that pathetic.

So at the time I’m least open to the idea of reuniting with my ex, I am obliged to put the greatest effort possible into it. I’m quite sure the timing is perfect. I’m sure I’ll learn something, or someone somewhere will benefit from it all. In the meantime…. Yuck.


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