My wife said recently, "I want us to end up being friends." and later, "I don't want to fight with you." We have come a very, very long way!
Just eight months ago, I was on the receiving end of screaming, slamming down the phone, thrown furniture, and my wife wishing I was dead and threating to burn down my house. I never thought we would ever reach this relatively friendly state, let alone so quickly.
I told her that whether or not we end up friends depends entirely on her behaviour. If she continues to behave appropriately, then yes, we can be be friends. If she is critical, erratic, unreasonable in her demands and abusive, I wouldn't cross the street to help her. She knows darn well that I mean it! The single most remarkable change since our separation is the honesty with which we can now speak to each other. This sort of conversation would never have occurred before our marriage ended.
Our best friend recently predicted that when my wife is 90 years old and senile in some old folks' home, I will be the one looking after her well-being. We both feel that she may be right.
Yesterday, we talked on the phone for over an hour and didn't mention my gayness, our separation / divorce or division of assets once. My wife's family is seriously f*cked up (her words) and she needed to talk to a supportive friend who knows all the people involved. I'm the only person who fits that description!
There is always much drama with my passel of worthless in-laws. This week's conversation centred on:
- A disabled sister who had a very serious psychiatric episode while out in the community while babysitting a toddler grandchild. She was taken into police custody and then hospitalized. The sister also smokes marijuana and drinks to excess.
- A father who is in the final stages of a severe psychiatric disease, first diagnosed twenty years ago after he was apprehended by the police.
- A niece who has constant relationship problems and is on a six-month stress leave from her job.
- A nephew in his early 20s (a father of three) has been cooking crack cocaine in the family's apartment and is presently in drug rehab.
After these conversations about my in-laws, I constantly marvel at how normal my own family is; my children, parents, siblings and myself. Gosh, we're boring!!