I always meant to write a post explaining the crazy soap opera that is the background with my Ex. I meant to do this when I started this blog. But then I got off track and time passed and I basically forgot. Lately, however, I’ve noticed an increasing number of readers sending me questions. Questions such as:
- You live with your Ex?
- You live with your Ex and have a child with your Ex?
- You live with your Ex, have a child with your Ex, and share a room with your Ex?
- How exactly do you define Ex, anyway?
It is about time I told the story, so put the kids to bed, grab some popcorn and take a seat. I doubt this is going to disappoint. Here goes.
My Ex and I met in college and had an immediate attraction. I fell for him fast. He fell (for my looks, anyway) fast. We began dating. A year or so later, when he realized he was not in love with me and that I was very much in love with him, we broke up (shortly before graduation).
I was heartbroken. Despite myself, I couldn’t stop seeing him. (Err, “seeing” him.) I told myself I could separate emotions out and that I wouldn’t get hurt, even as I knew full well that I was lying to myself. He began a relationship with a new girl while continuing to see me whenever we happened to be in the same city. Occassionally, we’d even fly to visit each other. During one such visit when he was in NYC (where I was living at the time), I got pregnant.
I found out and told him of my pregnancy a week before he was to leave for nine months in South America. He was panicked, upset, and very, very angry. VERY angry. He said he loved his new girlfriend and wanted to marry her some day. He said that if I were to keep the baby, I would ruin that. He said some very hurtful things, the things that someone who is very scared says.
I did keep the baby. I had had an abortion before – with my Ex – and swore that if I became pregnant unexpectedly in the future, I would not do that again. It was too hard. So I went through the pregnancy alone, while working long hours in Manhattan. Two weeks before our son was born, my Ex arrived home from South America and was at the hospital when Gavin arrived.
Realizing it didn’t make sense to raise Gavin alone in Manhattan, I agreed with my Ex’s recommendation to move to the West Coast where he was to begin his career. I quit my job, found a new one, and moved across the country to a city I did not know. My Ex and I moved in together and have been raising our now two-year old together ever since.
There have been many ups and downs. My Ex lamented the breakup of his prior relationship and blamed me for that for a very long time. Dating and social situations are stressful. Division of labor is stressful. Cohabiting and rebuilding a friendship after so much is stressful.
Today, I think we’re in a good place. We fought for a while (not surprisingly), but for the past 6+ months, we’ve started to gain a lot more respect for each other and the fighting has been minimal to non-existent. Gavin has the love and support of both his parents, and everyone, lately, has been pretty happy.
It’s a non-standard situation to say the least and it’s likely going to change in the coming years, but for now it works. And that’s really all that matters.