Tides Happen For a Reason

When I was dating/ engaged to the ex, I was generously adopted into the family. My own family lives in Atlanta, so I had somewhere local to go on holidays when I couldn’t afford the flight home, people who called to check on me when they knew I was sick or had a big meeting, and occasional Sunday pot roasts on my calendar. Along with that came its fair share of family obligations – helping out with money when things were tight, doing everyone’s taxes, and taking calls from one sibling or another to complain about their mother or vice versa.

When the break-up happened, the ex’s mother insisted on trying to stay close. She would call me at work to chat on our lunch breaks. She would make plans for us to meet up for happy hour. She would drop off gifts picked up at a bargain store that reminded her of me. But the ex had a new girlfriend. And I kept reminding Ex’s Mom that the new girlfriend wasn’t a big fan of she and I being so close.

After a few months, the ex and the new girlfriend managed to get evicted from their apartment (glamorous, no?). It seems their loud late night shouting at one another led to one too many police calls for their landlord. So the ex and the girlfriend ended up moving in to Ex’s Mom’s apartment where months later, they all still live together.

Today’s 30 days of truth calls for “someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted”. I clung to that friendship a lot longer than was appropriate after the break-up. I pretended that I just really enjoyed her company, but I also really enjoyed Ex’s Mom’s willingness to dish on all the drama in Ex’s life. I didn’t necessarily want the Ex to be miserable, but since I was, a little schadenfreude made my days brighter. At least I had a roof over my head and no screaming underneath it.

Ex’s Mom and I didn’t so much drift- I pulled the plug. After running into the Ex and the new girlfriend out on the town one night, Ex’s Mom called me first thing the next morning to leave a ranting voice mail about how I was “ungrateful”. I’m not sure what I did to raise that flag to her, but then it occurred to me- she’s not my family anymore. I don’t have to have this fight either. And in the interest of keeping the Ex across town in Mom’s spare bedroom and off my doorstep, I don’t need to complicate matters.

I calmly deleted her voice mail. And the two angry emails that followed. And quietly de-friended her on Facebook. She’s someone else’s adopted mother-in-law now. Besides, I know how to make my own pot roast.



Filed under Building a Better Me, Family, Soul Searching

8 responses to “Tides Happen For a Reason

  1. Good for you. As I was reading this I kept thinking, she raised this man to be such an immature asshole, there must be an issue. And then, there it was… angry, inappropriate voice mails and emails. Glad this woman is out of your life.

  2. Good post. I have often suggested to people that there are some people who are just poison and you are better cutting them out of your life.

    I enjoyed the schadenfreude reference. But I will bet that not one reader out of a hundred knows what it means. I do because I lived in Germany for a couple of years and learned the language.

    What area of the law do you practice in, just curious?

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  3. jiveturkey

    Wow. Settle down, Ex’s Mom! I once went on one date (ONE!) with a guy who looked like Opie, during which it became apparent this was not a relationship I wanted to pursue (the fact that he had a jar of GOLD STAR JOCK ITCH OINTMENT in his possession and out in the open for me to see was…a clue). He kept calling me, though, and then his MOM got a hold of my number and called my freaking dorm room to explain to me — while crying — that her son really needed a girlfriend right now because he was dealing with some serious abandonment issues with his father. Uh…

  4. Ang

    I love schadenfraude. I don’t care who knows it 😉
    Good for you. I feel like meeting you for drinks and celebrating this decision 🙂

  5. Thank you for this.

    It’s so insightful but you stated it simply enough that I could understand and digest it.

    I can’t seem to pull the plug on certain relationships and in the past, I’ve often held on a little longer than I should. It’s nice to see someone else’s words to describe my own experiences.

  6. catherine

    Why did she call you ungrateful?

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