Lovers and Liars
Oh, sure, there’s been stuff going on in my life. Most of it is pretty boring stuff, though. But yesterday, I learned that my ex and his current girlfriend are moving in together.
Now, for the record, Highlander and I moved in together before we got married, too. I discussed it with all of the kids, and asked for their feedback (and approval) beforehand, and then I discussed it with my ex. I suppose that last wasn’t “necessary”, and it certainly wasn’t to get approval (or to “poke him with a stick”), but I thought that he, as their father, should be aware that his kids’ lives were getting ready to be impacted. And, I had enough respect (both for him and for myself and our kids) to discuss it with him personally, instead of letting it trickle down.
Of course, when I did discuss it with him, it was met with all kinds of furor and resistance and threats of legal injunctions. It was fundamentally wrong to live together without benefit of being married and there was no way he was going to allow me to do that. You think I exaggerate here, but you are wrong. When I pointed out to my ex that he and I had lived together before we married, he eschewed that stating that we didn’t have kids, and that having kids in the equation completely changed it. I disagreed, totally...and I am pretty sure that he didn’t believe his own argument.
But despite me pointing out how hypocritical it was of him to say that cohabitating was unequivocally wrong, he stood his ground. It was bad for the kids and set a bad example. (As an aside, it was my beloved grandmother who encouraged me to move in with my ex before getting married, telling me that “you will never really know if you want to spend your life with someone until you live with them”. It’s something I’d encourage my own children to do, as well. Because...well...I believe its good advice.)
So, of course, when I learned, yesterday, (and not from him) that my ex’s current girlfriend was moving in, I asked him if he was getting married. He looked at me (somewhat taken aback that I knew, I guess) and said simply “no”. I told him I was surprised, given how vociferously he had defended the opposite position just three years ago, that he no longer believed that it was wrong. Sure, maybe I should have just let it go. I mean, I know he didn’t really believe it then. I’m sure it was just more of the “he’s hurt and jealous” stuff. But he put us through a lot of shit and if he didn’t believe it, he should be a man and own that. He should say “look, I was in a bad place and I know I was wrong and I’m sorry for behaving that way”. The likelihood of that happening is none. I know this because his response was, “well, since you’d already exposed the kids to the situation, I knew it didn’t make a difference what I did...the damage was done.”
And me, totally missing the best opportunity for a line EVER, didn't say "so, I guess I should just let them smoke pot since you've exposed them to THAT lifestyle"...but I didn't.
Simply put, boys and girls, today’s lesson is “A principle is worth defending to the death...until it negatively impacts your own lifestyle”. Nothing has changed. Either you believe it is fundamentally wrong to do something, or you don’t. It’s as if you believed that it’s fundamentally wrong to hit someone, but when you find out someone else did it, you figure "why not?".
Up here on the high road, we call that a failure of character, a lack of integrity. Of course, for someone who said that they have no problem lying to people they don’t like and respect (and don’t see that lying is a reflection upon them...not on the people they are lying to), the armor was already dinged up pretty well. Of course, it could be that he still believes that I have to live by one set of rules and standards, and that he has an entirely different set he's established for himself.
I feel particularly sorry for the girlfriend. My kids like her well enough, so, for that, I am grateful. And she seems to be, by and large, good to them. But I don’t think she knows what she is getting herself into with him. Or, maybe she does. Maybe she has more experience with addicts and liars than I know. She definitely seems to be an enabler and that will certainly appeal to him. I don’t envy her what lies ahead. But I do like her enough that I feel sorry for her.