Just because I only complain about her does not mean that I fight with my room mate every day. If that was the case, I would not continue to live with her under the “Peace Treaty” that we bargained in 1997. That was when we both agreed that we were a terrible pairing and that we never should have gotten married, but we would stay together to raise our son. Originally, I was going to move out. I was looking for an apartment and had found a girlfriend, but I took a long look at myself in the mirror and saw that I did not want to be the father that left his son behind. There is a terribly sad song called “Seasoned Glove” by the band Paw, which I listened to many times during those early years of living with a woman that hates me.
It has not been easy, but it has been worth it. I think that raising a child is also hard on couples that are in love, not just broken marriages like my own. That year, 1997, was memorably painful. I might come across as cold hearted about my broken marriage but this is after having had 16 years for my heart to heal. I felt like a failure in 1997, and I hate being a loser in anything. The marriage was something that I had wanted to be successful, but I was only beating my head against a wall in a hopeless situation. I am pretty certain that I suffered a few nervous breakdowns these past 16 years.
Throughout his childhood my son did not know that the marriage was broken. We kept our problems hidden from him and we acted like a married couple. We did not introduce him to our lovers, or at least I know that I kept that promise. I am not sure about her. He did not see us fighting. I would have to look back on my blogging to remember the exact date that the cracks started to appear for him. I do remember the shock on his face when he heard his mother tell me to “Fuck myself” over some minor disagreement that we had. She was the first one to break the no fighting and cursing rule, but I have since launched the majority of the F-Bombs since then. Once she started taking our son on vacations with her family, and leaving me home, the illusion of the three of us being a family was gone. I am not in any of the family vacation photographs, and it pains me to see them when those pictures appear on her computer as a screen saver.
Last year I only lost my temper with her twice, and any sane person would have done the same. There was the unexpected tax bill when I should have been getting a refund because she had kept secret from me an inheritance that she received when her father passed away. I was not mad about the secret, but that I was expected to pay taxes on money I never knew about. She settled that with me, out of court, after a few weeks of brawling. I was happily surprised that we did not have the same argument again this year. I fully expected to discover that I still owed that tax, but apparently she paid it off out of the inheritance money which is what she should have done in the first place without my having to suggest it. The other fight was when she ruined my birthday dinner, and that was my fault because I never should have invited her. What was I thinking? This year, we did not have the tax fight and she did not fight with me after I refused to celebrate her birthday. That should mean no fighting between us this year. Am I ridiculously optimistic?
All I wish for is that we can co-exist as room mates. Two room mates that are not friends, with my son being the third room rate that the other two love. My ex and I have nothing in common and agree on very few things, but we do both want to provide a happy future for our son. I think we have been fairly successful at that so far.