I spent most of afternoon and evening with my friendly ex husband. He was very nice. We met for a drink at two and I thought that was because he was not free in the evening. But after about three hours, he said: ” Where would you like to have dinner?”. I was free, and it was a nice afternoon;so we moved to our favourite Bulgarian restaurant and carried on talking.
My husband and I somehow managed that oxymoron, an amicable divorce. We remained friends.
It was him, who after being faithful to me for 9 years when we lived in two different countries, stopped being faithful and found someone else. That was perhaps not surprising. Neither was the fact that I let him do it for so long, pretending it was not really happening. He was nice when we were together and I was hoping he might change his mind.What WAS surprising was the fact that he could not understand why eventually, after he has been living with another woman for ten years, I wanted a divorce. Somehow, he liked being married to me.
We have been divorced for 4 years now. One day, I flew over to Prague, we signed the papers, he bought me a nice lunch and a glass of wine and I flew back to England. Very civilised.
But although he has now been living with someone else for many years, he kept blaming me for the divorce. Last spring,when he kept mentioning how traumatised he felt because of the end of our marriage, I was starting to wonder if we can really stay friends. ” It was you, not me, who was fucking someone else for 11 years,I was faithful!” I felt like saying. I never did. I never make scenes, not even when some of my friends claim I should. I let him change the subject. But I started to avoid him on my frequent visits to Prague.
My ex husband is a smart man. He got it.
So today, we had a very good time. We talked about our family, friends,travel, politics, books. “Not to have anything to talk about” was never a problem in my marriage. He asked if he could come to London for couple of weeks in the summer. I said ” Of course”.
He asked about my book, but I was evasive. I never told him my pen name. He might know more than I think. At one point this afternoon, he was suggesting to me a story to write about, about some friends with rather complicated marriages and love life. My ex husband surprisingly always believed in my ability to write. Not sure why, we never used to write letters. ” It could be a great book, better than a pornographic novel”. he said. I did not rise to that ( I told him once that he should not read my book because it is rather sexually explicit. It is not pornographic, it is not even Erotica).
My ex husband would not like my book.But I am thinking about that quote I liked on Goodreads:
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
— Anne Lamott
I changed the subject, I asked him what he thought of my new amber earrings.“You have a bit of a Byzantine tendency to large jewellery “, he said. I always used to take my husband seriously as a fashion adviser, so he made me doubt my looks a bit.
However,I like the way I look in dangle earrings. I also remembered how one of my friends told me about her now ex husband telling her once that he did not like her dress because it looked ” too sexy on her.” So I wrote a note to my workaholic American partner and asked him to be brutally honest.Because although my ex husband has a good fashion taste, I wonder if the way I look now shows too much of those personality traits that I was always trying to suppress when I was still married to him.
I love my American partner and I want him to like and approve of the way I dress. And of course, I am with him so rarely because of the ocean between us and his work, that I can always wear my Byzantine jewellery and bright colours when he cannot see me. Win win.
My facial bruises from skiing are slowly fading. Make up helps,too.Prague is fun, almost as much fun as skiing and it is safer. Seeing many different friends and family, shopping, going to galleries.
I will be going skiing again in March,but I will try not to kill myself. I want to enjoy life, my retirement and my writing. I have that half finished sequel to my novel to work on!
My life is happy, I am in love,and I did not completely lose the man I was married to for over 30 years. Whatever you might think,I think that is a very good thing. Amicable divorce- an oxymoron? Nope. A special friendship.