Friday, March 23, 2007

You Four, Please

It is no big secret that my relationship with K started as an affair.

Cast stones if you must, but it is the truth.

I was married to someone else when I hired K to work for me.

I was K's married boss when we met.


My first husband and I were college sweethearts. We met when we were 19.

Our relationship was one of great sturm and drang. Always the great drama.

After college, he came south to attend medical school and I followed.

We married right after he finished medical school and divorced right after his residency.

Our relationship was a perfect statistic.

K came to work for me at a time when my first marriage was faltering.

Husband #1 and I weren't communicating except to degrade and humiliate one another.

We had a juvenile way of relating, probably because we never grew out of the teen age communication style that was all we had when we met.

We were complete failures at resolving conflict with each other.


When K came to my office to submit his resume, the staff person he gave it to tracked me down, handed it over and said, "Interview him! He's HOT!!"

I shrugged.

I was impressed with K at his first interview. He was trained in conflict resolution and did intervention work with men who were batterers.

During the second round of interviews I knew he was the candidate I wanted to hire.

It wasn't until his first week on the job that I realized I was in way over my head.

I wouldn't describe our affair as torrid. In fact, our physical contact was limited and quite tame.

There was no denying my heart though.

I fell for K in a way that wordlessly communicated the finality of our marriage to my first husband.

He was furious, betrayed.

He moved out.

There was bitterness.

He left the south and ended up in the Pacific Northwest where he met his second wife.

About two years after we split up I got a phone call from him and he said he had news he wanted to share.

He told me that he had been seeing a therapist.

"I blamed you for the end of our relationship, but I realize I was equally to blame. I've never apologized to you for my part in it and I want to do that now," he said.

I almost fell over.

Wow.


Then he told me he was getting remarried.

After he left, I often wondered what it would be like to hear that he found a new partner.

I was so relieved to realize that all I felt was glad.


Enough time had passed for me to understand that he was a good person, worthy of love, but that we were just not the right match.

I hoped he would be happy. I wished him well.

A few more years passed and we were invited to my friend Laura's wedding.

To this day, Laura is one of my few friends that remains close to both my first husband and me.

I knew K and I would see First Husband at the wedding and was a bit nervous.

We had never been in his presence as a couple before.


I was a bridesmaid and my maidly duties kept me away from him- though I spotted him in the crowd - until well into the reception.

Finally, K and I each took a deep breath and decided that we couldn't stall any longer. In the interest of politeness, of white-flag waving, of friendliness, we had to speak to my ex and his wife.

We walked over to them and got as far as "hello" when the wedding photographer snuck up behind us and said,
"Okay, you four -- SMILE!"


(See Julie, it was way, way too long for a comment!)

99 comments:

Attila The Mom said...

Kind of funny how the road of life twists and turns, isn't it? :-)

venessa said...

I think reconciliation is great. I am no longer bitter about any past relationships, and I think that is a good sign that I am indeed happily married to the right person.

Robin said...

Oh, my! A moment to remember, I suppose. Glad it all worked out for both of you, though.

mommiebear2 said...

So I am curious, did you ever get to see the picture?? Did you all look like deer in headlights?

100 Words said...

On the mantlepiece, I'm guessin' ...

Patience said...

Wha?!? Could this mean that you . . . weren't . . . a virgin . . . when you & K got married . . . !

slouching mom said...

What a great story. One to tell your grandchildren someday!

canape said...

Thank God for second chances in life.

shaz said...

this sooo reminds me of my parents! they divorced when I was 12, similar story... my dad even called her as well, years later. they are both remarried and happy now... I think that's all that matters. btw.. similar thing happened at a wedding they both attended too!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oooh Mrs Joys, it's been ashamedly ages since I dropped by. so much reading to catch up on! this is a cracker. weddings can be fraught at the best of times...

btw love the concept of confetti poo in an earlier post. I've just been talking to a friend of mine who is a jeweller. he said he was reading an interesting report about gold, in which some scientists believe that gold is... compacted bacteria poo! yes! there were pre-historic protozoa which excreted gold as their waste product.

so my friend is actually a poo-smith. we laughed about that a lot. we laughed more as the night wore on and more wine was drunk, I can tell you.

and we can all be in admiration of a creature whose normal state of waste disposal is precious and sparkly ;-)

Nancy said...

You can't deny what the heart speaks. Please track down that photo, I bet it is priceless!

thordora said...

It's so nice when adults can breathe free enough to act like adults. :)

Lord knows I'd have trouble doing it. :)

Grim Reality Girl said...

Great story -- but I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to see the photo that goes with it!!!

Sayre said...

It sounds like your ex finally grew up... big enough to admit that there was plenty of blame for everyone. And you and K probably relate well because you were both adults when you went into the relationship and didn't have a history of relating as "children".

I wonder if MY ex ever did...

Lindsey said...

Total surprise ending. Total. I was expecting you to say something else.

That's what I'd call awkward. And one more vote to see the photo.

Undercover Angel said...

I get along with my ex's but I can't see myself posing for a picture with them...That picture must be worth 1,000 words...

I'm so glad that everything worked out for both of you.

Bon said...

Dave & i were both married before...and i guess our relationship did kinda start as an affair of the heart, though there was a profound no-touch taboo between us until after both were free.

this past summer, i was maid of honour in a wedding where Dave did the sound (beach wedding, so he had to stand up in the dunes and make sure all the cables stayed plugs) and the ex was the photographer. it was all very civil, and even cozy, but at one point in the very religious vows that this very NON-religious friend had chosen, i looked out at the small crowd and saw dh and d-ex standing together up by the sound system, the only people in the crowd reflecting the slightly bemused look on my face.

life is weird...but good. i think the twisting paths make us more human.

and this is another vote to see the photo!

The Queen Mama said...

God, don't we all have a hairy ex story like that? (Hairy story, not hairy ex.) I could totally hijack your comments with mine, but won't.

I won't cast stones, it's not my style. Anyway, it all worked out for the good. Did you ever see the photo? Or did you not want to?

Kyla said...

Oh wow!! What a story!! How incredibly awkward...but a gem of a story for those of us NOT involved. *lol*

Jenny Ryan said...

Oh man, that sounds like the kind of stuff that happens to me! :P

Augs Casa said...

That was a good read. I really enjoyed it.

d. chedwick bryant said...

I cast no stones,

closure like this is a rare treat.

Iris said...

This reminds me of what someone said to me last weekend. I was talking about my past relationships and my new relationship.......the lady I was talking to said, "It is refreshing to hear you talk about your exes and not be angry, mean or bitter"...... it made me feel good, that I wasn't showing the stereotype.

Mom on Coffee said...

Oh Boy! I have a wedding story myself, ex's included. Oy! How life can be so strangely funny...

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Wow.
That's a great way to gain some closure.

Nice job on all of your parts.

No stones are cast from this glass house.

Little Monkies said...

I love this story. :)

Diana said...

Whoa- what are the frikkin chances?!? I can imagine the awkward look on your face when the photo was snapped-because closure or no, that was some strange timing on the photographers part.

Nancy said...

Great story. My current relationship started out as an affair as well. I was the married one and he was my boss. We've been together for 7, very happy years. :)

Jackie said...

Loved this! Thanks for sharing :)

urban-urchin said...

wow, that's pretty amazing that he called to own up for his own part in the crumbling of your marriage, and to say sorry. reconciliation is a good thing...

mamatulip said...

Life always has a way of keeping you on your toes, doesn't it?

Damselfly said...

Did you count that incident as one of life's cruel jokes, or did you go celebrity-ape-on-paparazzi and slug the guy?!

QT said...

Been there, done that my friend. I did my divorce first, alone, and that was tough. Then I met the BF, who was in a sitch similar to yours. Ugliness ensued for many, many months.

I am thankful for second chances, that is for sure.

SciFi Dad said...

Wow... while not a secret it is news to me. As is often the case, I am impressed by your honesty and candor.

Jennifer said...

That is one cool story. Love the ending...

nikki said...

Oh, I do believe that takes one of the top ten most Awkward Moments Award. Followed closely behind is calling out the wrong person's name.........

karrie said...

I enjoyed reading this. Bet it's a great picture.

I ended up being very good friends with one of my ex-bf's, and often forget that we were ever'together.'

Plain Jane Mom said...

That is definitely a photograph I'd love to see!

TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre said...

Isn't closure wonderful?

Dirty Birdie said...

I cannot cast stones. I met my late fiance when I was still married to my ex. We didn't have an affair per se, but he was the final push for me to leave my ex.

The Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Funny ending! If I had any stones, I wouldn't throw them. Right now, they are all in the pockets of my boys' pants.

I'm curious...ok, nosy. Did you get a copy of that picture?

g-man said...

I'm sure that will make for an interesting photo. I hope you can get a copy, if for no other reason to see the look on your face. :)

My current wife and I were friends (we played online backgammon) for years before I got divorced from my first wife. We had not actually met in person until after I moved out. No stones from this kid.

Mamma said...

God you're a terrific storyteller!! What a perfect ending.

But I want to hear more. Was he pleasant? What did you say? How did he look? Was he bald?

Nancy said...

No stones from this girl. Wouldn't want them thrown back at me ever. ;-)

Wow, what an awkward moment at the wedding. I bet though you handled it with grace -- and possibly some stiff drinks afterward.

Paige said...

couldn't cast stones at you if i tried. not a chance...

you and k are such a wonderful love story.

Natalie said...

I think it is great you can talk about the experience so well. My current boyfriend is an ex of a friend. They had been long broken up and she and I were on the outs for about a year before he and I ran into each other on the street and things started. sometimes good things happen in "bad" ways.

jess said...

Hmm, I had a similar weird situation with an ex-bf's wife at a Tupperware party, of all places. It was incredibly awkward but actually cleared the air in a strangely good way and we ended up being friends.

I used to teach their kids in sunday school. Bizarro. That's one of the nice things about living clear across the country from the tiny, tiny (tiniest!) state where I grew up. Stuff like that was hard to avoid there.

Momish said...

Totally my luck. But, I am glad that you got the closure in the end. And it was captured on film. Oh, lucky you!

jen said...

Wow. I love this. K scored the boss. Go K. Any inter-office dangerous liason type stuff...? you know...on a desk?

ok, never mind. out of the gutter to say yes, it's amazing when things go full circle, isn't it. in the middle of it it seems impossible to get to the end and then somehow we do.

Mel said...

Argh! I was squirming at the end of that post. How did it go?

carrie said...

It is so nice to hear of a divorce story that didn't end up disasterous. I applaud all of you for being grown-ups!!

Carrie

Aliki2006 said...

I, too, would love to know if the photo was taken and, if so, who has it?

Wow--what a tale!

Theresa said...

Great story. I'd love to know what type of work you did back then.

I am in matrimonial law so I love good endings to the divorce stories.

Ortizzle said...

Truly a Kodak moment. Did either couple get a copy of that photo?!

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

I say hurray for closure and being grown-ups.

But I'm also with everyone else. I'd pay to see that picture!

theotherbear said...

HA! Love this story - you hook us in with the dramatic beginning, then just so we know it's all ok, you make us laugh with the ending.

NotSoSage said...

Wow. Not the same thing, of course, but I was e-mailed a photo, today, of Joe and I at the wedding of an ex-boyfriend...another ex of the ex's is in the photo with her girlfriend. People thought it was strange that we were all at his wedding, but I've never been one to dump someone completely out of my life. Your situation, I think, would be my exception.

ash said...

my parents are the product of an affair as well. They were both unhappily married, their respective children even played together and were family friends.
They finally divorced their first spouses and married, and I am the product of that.

they're still sickeningly in love and happy after 25 years.

Carmi said...

Sometimes, fate just takes a little longer to work.

You write so masterfully about it that it's easy to see that it was meant to play out exactly as it did.

amyerj said...

Oh I just love a happy ending.

Slackermommy said...

That's a great story and the ending is the best!

Mrs. Chicken said...

My husband's mother and her husband met in a similar manner. It is hard for me sometimes not to judge them for wrecking Mr. Chicken's life (he was 4 when his parents divorced) and making mine exponentially harder as the wife of a child of divorce.

I fear I often uttered hard remarks about infidelity.

Thank you for showing me the other side of the coin. And for showing me, also, what grace looks like.

notfearingchange said...

1. I hold no judgment.
2. Relationships are twisted and weird and they grow together and apart....i too know of this.
3. That's screwy with the photographer.

honeykbee said...

What a great and wonderfully written story! No stones thrown here.

deb said...

I didn't realize that's how you and your husband met. It must have felt so good to hear from your ex and have him acknowledge his part in the end of your marriage. It's nice that you can wish him well and want something good for him.

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

Wow!

Glad things worked out so well.

flutter said...

When a heart speaks, it certainly is hard to ignore. I am so glad you found the person who makes your heart sing.

Lux Lisbon said...

Life would be so dull without these types of stories.

Alpha DogMa said...

68 comments and no stones? WHAT?! Where are all the Right wingers? Off blogging about the genius that is Focus on the Family?

OTJ, I love you. You are the only person I know who could weave humour and personal revelation into a such a seamless post. No stones from me.

I'm amazed that the ex called and inspired by your graciousness to approach him at the wedding. I have an admittedly unhealthy tendency to excise people from my life. I think it adds to my mystique. Or my stomach ulcers.

Groovy Lady said...

No stones being cast from this direction.. I'm one of the ones that was foolish enough to stick it out for the kids.. HUGE & BIG mistake.

You're a smart lady for seeing that your soul mate was someone else and an even smarter lady by choosing to grab your second chance at happiness and run with it.

gingajoy said...

hey! My husband was married when I first met him too;-) Starter marriages we call them.

Great story.

Mrs. Chicky said...

I saw my ex-husband for the first time after our divorce at my mother's funeral. Honestly? I think a wedding would have been more difficult. At least he left his new wife at home.

Pendullum said...

So do you still pretend to be K's boss?
And how does he get a raise???

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I think this is my first time commenting, but that deserves a high five.

Ryan said...

I'm still trying to outgrow my teengage methods of communicating. Luckily I found someone who communicates in the same fashion.

It's a real wreck sometimes.

All that really matters now is that everything is good with your new hubby K.

bubandpie said...

Wedding photographers! They are evil.

Velma said...

This is exactly what happened with my sister a few years ago. It took meeting someone else (someone who worked for her) to show her exactly what she was missing in her marriage. It's nice to hear that he is happy and moving forward with his own life. I hope that someday I'll be able to say the same about my (ex)brother-in-law.

Miga said...

We've all got our "not so proud" stories. I met my current DH right after I had separated from my now ex. Ex went to jail before I could get the divorce papers to him so I had to wait until he got out. Current DH went with me when I picked up Mr. Ex to drive him to the lawyer's office to sign the papers. Talk about awkward....but 10 years and 2 babies later we're still together and Mr. Ex is a distant memory. Last I heard, he was in jail again.

BionicBuddha said...

It is bizaare, but I suppose all things happen for a reason!

Becky C. said...

I think that is a real nice story.

~Becky

The Sour Kraut said...

The Swede had this same sort of starter marriage. It was his ex-wife who had met her now husband before the marriage ended. Infidelity is an easy thing to blame divorce on when, in reality, there is usually so much more to it.

We are lucky, everyone is better off now.

Chaos Control said...

Classic!! You're so mature to have approached them. I would've likely done my best to avoid the entire night. I've clearly got some growing up to do!

Tabba said...

Holy Cow. Can you say: Deer In Headlights??

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Great story! Glad you are in a better place now.

Lawyer Mama said...

What a great story! No judgment here. It takes 2 people to keep a marriage going and 2 people to destroy one. It's just so amazing to hear about an ex taking his share of the blame in such a mature manner. Man, would I love to see that picture!

mothergoosemouse said...

I can't help but wonder what they did with that photo proof. I'd be really impressed if they were cool enough to send it to you and K.

I admire you and K for going to the wedding. And I'm sure that you did smile in the photo. Bygones, as Richard Fish would say.

Jenny said...

Right or wrong, you can't fight destiny.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I bet that pic is one you bought and framed! :)

Mr. Mayhem and I ran into my ex ( never married him....even though he asked me.....thank goodness for small miracles) at a wedding.

My relationship with "Mr. Ex" was pretty much over 6 months before Mr. Mayhem and I started dating. Yet it was more like the sick, codependent, friends with benefits, still talk everyday kind of over.

When Mr. Mayhem and I started dating, I put a stop to all of that...and Mr. Ex did not take too kindly to that, or MM!

So, I was also very nervous when we saw him at a wedding with his new wife. It ended up that he, Mr. Mayhem, and I stood outside of the reception and chit-chatted for over 30 minutes. At least twice during this conversation I asked about him going to find his wife, to which he replied " It's fine....she's not high maintenance....LIKE YOU!" (ass)

Well, when he did take us to meet her....she was so angry that she stormed off and left the reception, AND him standing there looking like an idiot!

I ASK YOU.............That's not high maintenance? HMMMMM

PS: I did the vacuum post...check it out!

Kristin said...

Oh, how I would love to see that photo...

But, you saucy thing...

Lisa Milton said...

I read this post a little late and was ready to cringe at some nasty comments - but you got some good people here. My husband had a girlfriend when we first met...it is not the first thing we tell people, but in the end, she found a great guy and everyone ended up happy.

(After she terrorized me for a year or so.)

Love the candor and graceful writing...

Lisa Fine Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

I am so glad you have all found happiness. That's so funny about the photographer for sensing a "moment."

Lisa

Abbynormal said...

Oh wow....

That's crazy. I try to think about what it would be like if all the guys I've ever had any type of relationship or relations with were in the same room- what it would be like. I think scary as hell. Most of them probably hate me and even more so probably haven't given me a second thought.

I dont' cast stones. I'm congratulating you on being happy. I'm scared as hell that the marriage I hope to pursue isn't the 19 yr old marriage that most people have. I want it to be mature and I want us to both be ready. Any suggestions?

Girl con Queso said...

Holy Cow. I love this story.

Lotta said...

Great story! Having married my childhood sweetheart I can say that being with someone for that long of a period is tricky - even if you are meant to stay married. And clearly you and K were meant to be together!

Mad Hatter said...

Just finished getting caught up on my reading. Boy, you sure know how to build suspense.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

That was great (I have never read this and linked from your recent post). I haent written about it (but have an unfinished post) about how my marriage was faltering, Chef and I knew each other, and our relationship began as an affair as well. It was a symptom of my failed marriage, not a cause, but it was still an affair. More later on that one in my blog sometime soon. You inspired me

Rusti said...

No stones coming from me... reminds me of my sister's 5-year relationship with her exBF... it took her now DH to get her to see how bad it really was, and that there was better out there. I'm glad you found better Jess. You deserve it.

Velveteen Mind Megan said...

Somehow in my torrid love affair with your blog, I never picked up on this part of your relationship with K.

I don't know why, but this story gave me butterflies in my stomach. It was, well, I don't know how to put it.

It was real. This is the way love works. I loved it.

kellypea said...

Good story. I met my husband while married to another and fell hopelessly in love with absolutely no behind the scenes hanky panky. It was painful, but the last many years have been heaven.