"Alone, even doing nothing, you do not waste your time. You do, almost always, in company. No encounter with yourself can be altogether sterile: Something necessarily emerges, even if only the hope of some day meeting yourself again." (E.M. Cioran)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Never Trust an Ex


Still a little freaked out. Just can't get a grip on what happened - over two weeks ago now. My best friend, who happens to be my ex-lover, finally felt it was time for him to meet my new lover. It had been years since we'd been intimately involved and I had been with my new partner since last year, so it had been getting a little difficult for me, isolating the two of them from each other and seeing them separately.
My ex and I had talked clearly about it - how we really wanted to remain friends (we do genuinely like each other, after all!) and how, since we consider ourselves older and more mature now, we would rather expand our friendships, rather than reduce them. He had told me he was ready and invited us both for dinner, along with a couple of his other (female) friends, who I am also familiar with.

I should've known something was up after an hour or so, when my ex was clearly having problems getting started on dinner - so that his friend (who'd been at his flat for 4 hours previous to our arrival) actually cooked the food. But aside from seeing him 'drift away' to somewhere in his head sometime after eating - which isn't exactly unlike him - I thought things were going nicely. But then, after one person left (the cook), my ex surprised me in the kitchen as I was tidying up a bit, telling me how difficult it had all been for him, and after this sat down in front of the final three of us and, across the coffee table, proceeded to tell us - almost aggressively - "this has been really difficult for me, you know ...... after seven years ...... seven years ........ but you two, you're good ..." Added to this condescension, was an implied suggestion that he was handing me over to the new person. OK, so it'd been difficult for him. If he'd said this once, it would've been alright. But he just kept repeating it, necessitating a hasty exit on our part. Were we supposed to just sit there, feeling ambushed, tipsy with booze, food and a few hours of pleasantness, and then have a 'deep and meaningful' with him about his feelings? And what made him think it was appropriate to say these things to my (horrified!) new lover, who barely knows him and whose comfort (in this situation) I was responsible for? I felt hurt and betrayed that he would put me in such a position, because I had always felt I could trust him more than anyone else.

He's not around at the moment. When he called - 2 days after the event - and discovered I'd been upset by what had transpired, he was defensive at first and then avoided seeing me for the next 10 days (even after I'd suggested - via an email - that we needed to talk face-to-face about how to move on from there) and then went overseas for his planned 17-day holiday/visit to his family on Tuesday the 1st of April. However, he (predictably) phoned on the Sunday evening before leaving and left a message on my machine and then phoned me the day before departing - no doubt in an attempt to put his mind at ease for the good of his holiday. In the aftermath, he seems perplexed that I should feel this way. He appears to think it was big of him to do what he did and ask us over for dinner. He thinks it was all about him and his feelings - clearly no one else's. But it's not as if he'd been rejected or dumped or cheated on.
Anyway, I couldn't answer my phone, because I suddenly don't know how to relate to him any more. The person I thought I knew doesn't appear to exist.

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