“We should go visit them after we move,” Max said.
I raised an eyebrow. “Umm, will that be weird? And are you sure they don’t hate me?” I asked.
He assured me that it would not be weird, and they missed me too.
|Maybe we'll be like Demi and Bruce.|
I picked up Max from the train station in what used to be his car and we drove an hour to our friends’ house. We chatted easily, asking each other about work, road races, his niece and my nephews and niece, and whatever else had occurred since we stopped living together. We did not speak about dating.
(Halfway there, I blurted out, “Oh shit! I forgot to put on deodorant!”
Max responded, “Don’t worry, there’s a CVS on the way. We’ll stop there.”
I mention this because Max, as my former husband, knows that I’m totally neurotic about deodorant. Telling me not to worry about it would be unheard of. It's nice being with someone who knows your quirks.)
After I bought an emergency stick of deodorant, we arrived at Evan and Kate’s house. It felt like no time had passed. We laughed about the same type of jokes. We ate Doritos. Max and Evan tossed around a football while Evan’s children tried to interrupt the game. Because things felt so familiar and comfortable, I had fleeting moments of wanting to grab Max’s hand or wrap my arms around his waist like I used to.
Burning Our Important DocumentsEvan has a fire pit in his backyard, so we mentioned that Max and I happened to have a big box of important documents in the trunk of the Honda that needed to be disposed of. So, we had a little Burn Your Important Documents party. We tossed in bank statements from 2005, my offer letter for my first job from 2002, condo board contracts (was Max supposed to give those to someone?!), and mortgage application materials. The kids took turns rotating in to toast marshmallows on our burning documents.
In the pile, I also found a copy of our marriage certificate, the paperwork from our mediators, the court summons for February 19, 2013, and the How To Get Divorced handbook from our state government. Kate and I exchanged looks across the fire as we continued to burn the documentation of the demise of my marriage. Oh the irony of watching all of this go up in flames. (I didn’t point these things out to Max. We still don’t use the D word.)
After pizza and s’mores, we drove another hour back to the train station. We hugged goodbye and wished each other a happy Thanksgiving.
Hanging Out With My Ex -- Was It Worth It?I spent the next day reflecting on my time with Max. We were now “friends,” though that word isn’t complex enough for what we are now to each other. How did I feel about it?
Here is what I noticed after hanging out with my ex-husband for the first time:
- I still find him attractive. He is a good looking man, from his perfect nose to his height (almost six feet) to his long black eyelashes. *sigh*
- …but I feel no attraction to him. I find him attractive now the way I’d recognize that my cousin is attractive.
- I still have shivers of sadness and frustration that he couldn’t fix his problems. If Max could've conquered his demons, I believe we could have fixed our marriage.
- …but I have no doubts whatsoever that getting divorced was the right thing to do.
- I still am not totally used to living without him. Yes, I was ready to pull out my hair with frustration during the months we lived together after our relationship was over. But the day after I saw him, I had an extra sad case of the Sunday blues.
- …but I’m adjusting and coping everyday. Yes, I miss him, but I feel myself healing and making progress as I get to used to him never walking through my door.
We emailed that Monday and agreed that it was a little hard for both of us, but at the same time it was really good to see each other. We intend to hang out again – no rush to do so though.
Have you ever hung out with your ex? Was it nice or sad? Did it help you or set you back in your moving on process?