Mia’s Story, Part II

by mssinglemama on January 29, 2009

I’m making all of the last minute preparations for my weekend trip! Mia is watching Benjamin (wish her luck). I know they’ll have a ball though. Benjamin absolutely adores Mia and Sydney. And who wouldn’t? As you’ll read in a second, Mia is fast discovering that fact.

I’ll have an update when I get back… in the meantime, please go vote for Matt Logelin in the 2009 Bloggies. He’s up for Best Topical Blog. 

For my new readers:

My best friend Mia recently found out that her boyfriend of 6 years and the father of her daughter is leaving, the catalyst is an affair with another woman. Here’s Part II of her story. 

Discovering Me

By Mia

So now that I am feeling better about what has happened to my relationship I seem to be strangely aware.

I am realizing that things are changing, along with the rise of my spirit.

Like roaches, I will notice things in the house that belong to him – shaving cream still in the shower, or his ugly computer chair. And before I know it his things seems to be scattered everywhere I look. A random sock in the dryer, his whiskers in the bottom of the drawer on “his” side of the bathroom. It’s like they come out at night and dirty up my clean floors and clutter my counter tops.

I think I have become an exterminator.

Everyday I pitch something or add it to the pile that will be packed, unnoticed by Sydney, into her “daddy bag” when she goes for her two days there (because even though he claims he shouldn’t have to pay me child support because he “buys her clothes too” I always send several outfits with her.)

I am not just spraying for his germs around the house though.

I am hoping to kill off the leftovers on me as well. I repeat, like a mantra in my head, my goal to be his friend so that we can parent to the best of our ability. Although, I have lessened the pressure to do so now – I realize it may take both of us time to heal and pushing it was only making it harder. Especially since he seems to have figured out, over the last four weeks since he moved, exactly how to articulate why it was he couldn’t stay with me – I am controlling he says (something I have never heard him say in over 6 years).

I think he is right.

I think I learned/was forced into a parental role with him. A controlling role. One I resented daily. I became his sounding board for everything in his life. He needed constant approval and reassurance. Always selling his ideas to me with conviction but no confidence. It is a full time job to be a parent to a child. Parenting an adult? Slave labor. So much energy put into him. And the left over? He put into his downtime.

I had lunch with an old friend today (a male, so I know this is not a gender thing) and I realized that the 10 or 15 minutes I talked to him about my job was more than I had discussed my work with my ex in probably two years! In fact, I think this person may understand what I do for a living better than my partner of 6 years did. Because he listened. And I felt listened to – a foreign feeling to me.

How could this be? How could I have not given myself enough credit to know I am more interesting than that?? Instead, I would ask him to ask me about my day. Or even remind him several times where I was when I went out of town for work to avoid the hurt I had felt in the past when he had forgotten. I also forced myself to forget that when we first met I had traveled the world for 6 months and when I asked him to look at my pictures he told me they were from my trip so they didn’t have anything to do with him. (Eventually he looked at some of them, expressing little to no interest about my life prior to him.)

So, he is right.

I made the classic mistake. The one I warn my girlfriends about. I hoped he would change- although I called it “growing up”. But he didn’t – and how could he with me in control? I handled all the tedious things in life, like insurance and dental appointments. I even made all of the travel arrangements for trips I wasn’t invited to go on with him.

So I get it. He wants to take control back. And by leaving me for her that is the ultimate control. My hope is that this decision, however painful for me, helps him to grow up. To take control and turn into a great man. I want Sydney to look at her daddy with admiration.

As for now, it’s spring cleaning time.

Pretty soon when I turn on the lights there will be nothing left to scatter. I will take a deep breath and know that I am in control of exactly who I should be — ME.

»Read Part 1 of Mia’s Story Here

Related posts:

  1. Mia’s Story, Part I
  2. This shit ain’t easy (a bedtime story).
  3. The long weekend, firefighters and iMacs – a video story.
  4. A Letter To the “Other Woman”:
  5. Joining the club.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Mia’s Story Part III
February 13, 2009 at 6:34 am
A Letter To the “Other Woman”:
April 6, 2009 at 6:51 pm

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

littlemansmom January 29, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Self discovery can be an awe-inspiring, inspirational and empowering experience. I’m so glad that you are discovering it… :)

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Ali January 29, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I really hope you keep writing.

You have come SO far, SO fast and you are amazingly strong.

There will be hiccups and bumps and days that suck, and my hope for you is that on those days, and all days, really…that you are sweet to yourself.

Be realistic about things, but don’t think that you need to carry the burden/blame squarely on your shoulders. You were both there and you BOTH created it. And happier times are ahead for you. You will be a better and stronger woman for all of this.

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christine January 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm

i am so glad you are sharing your story here. i relate so so much to all of this.

for me, it has been a great feeling, recognizing all the ways i sold myself short in my relationship. it gives me hope for something better, someday, and reassurance.

trying to be friends with my soon-to-be-exhusband is the hardest thing i have ever done. i would love to walk away and never see him again, but since we share two very young daughters, i know it’s not an option. and i know that they will be better off if we can be kind to each other. but sometimes doing the right thing, the better thing, still sucks.

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Tami January 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about all too well. Im controlling too, lol
I sure am Happier though since I made it to that calm, where its just me and my girl, and Im not worried about HIM, and HIS choices, and how they will affect us. It would be nice if he were a better father to my girl, but I do know one thing. Im raising one strong little lady!
Your doing a GREAT JOB Mia. You hang in there, and know that you will have days where your parachute feels stuck, but inside you, you have the strength to fly.

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Sheila January 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm

I know exactly what you’re talking about, Mia, and am so proud of you for coming so far. You’re doing great!

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Sara January 29, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Wow, you are really a talented writer! This is exactly how I felt with my ex, but could never put it into words. I feel like you gave me a voice, and put things in perspective. I controlled him because if I didn’t, mine and my kids life suffered. We are just strong women, that need a man, not a child that requires constant guidance. I am proud of who I am, and I believe that if one day I decide I want a man, it will be one that compliments my strength rather than requires it.

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PhenomenalMama January 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Mia –

Um….wow.

You have no idea how much your story spoke to me.

This past weekend I moved out of my ex-husband’s house. We’d been separated since August but continued to live in the same house for financial reasons.

One of the main reasons why I left was that I reached a point where I felt utterly smothered in my relationship, by this man who felt the need to “parent” and control me for the entire decade that we were together. There were other issues there as well, but this particular one surfaced in a big way.

The fact that you are able to look back on your relationship and take responsibility for what is yours is hugely inspiring to me…and gives me hope that one day, hopefully I will once again be able to be friends with the father of my two daughters.

It takes a strong person to be open to the lessons being offered to us by the universe. I hope that you feel proud of yourself for this.

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Zoeyjane January 29, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Mia, I identify with the relationship dynamic you just described so well. Being the parent to an adult. Waiting for him to grow up. It’s amazing that we do that to ourselves, sometimes.

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LiLi January 29, 2009 at 7:10 pm

“And by leaving me for her that is the ultimate control. My hope is that this decision, however painful for me, helps him to grow up.”

Gosh, I hope so – but it sounds like (and I’ve known plenty of these boy-men, believe me) just another way to *escape* having to grow up.

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Danahhi January 29, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Mia-
I know I am definatly in the minority here, being male and all. I hope this finds you in a comforting way. At one point I found just an incredable mate (so I had thought). I remember that one nite, crying and screaming almost uncontrollably with my face stuffed in a pillow (my cat thought I had surely lost it). I had found out that she was with another. I found out that nite/next year what it was like to lose someone so important to me. But, for sure, I have definatly learned from it! Being a man, I felt bad for laying my emotions out for a long time for all to see. I was totally lost. Bigtime. But today I can honestly say, I am a much better person for having gone thru it. I know more about myself and others than I ever thought I could! Wish I could talk to you more. There is always a positive out of every negative! I really do believe that. My heart healing goes out to you Mia. =)
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))

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Amber January 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm

This whole experience should never have happened to you, to any of us. But you are handling it beautifully. Being a parent is a selfless job. One that you dont even have to think about really. You just naturally, instinctively do what it is best for your baby. Putting your hard feelings aside is difficult to put it mildly, believe me i live it, i know. But your daughter will be better for it. And so will you. Because one day when the feelings of resentment and betrayal subside, you will be able to look back with pride intact and thank him for what he has done. You are a better person, a better mom, and will be a better lover because of his short commings.

Im amazed at how similar our situations are. Its almost like reading the story of my life. I hope that you keep writing. You inspire a lot of people. Good luck Mia!

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Dawn January 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

And the world blossoms again in reading this post, words spoken of a true heroine. I admire the firm ground you’ve found Mia.

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Laura January 30, 2009 at 7:28 am

Beautifully written.

You are a mother to the truest form…to have the wish that he will grow and become a better father for your child…I applaud you and have the greatest respect.

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Wyliekat January 30, 2009 at 8:29 am

When you’ve been made small by the role you play in a life with a man who doesn’t know how to let you be big and shiny and interesting and fun – it’s like a large exhalation when it’s over. It hurts. Gawd, it hurts. Because you let yourself be small for them. Unimportant. Uninteresting. But when they leave, after the hurt is gone, it becomes satisfying to remove traces of them from your life.

Have you bought new bedding yet?

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junctionmama January 30, 2009 at 8:43 am

wow, mia, it sounds like your ex left you for exactly the same reasons mine did!
if you read this, can you contact me privately? it almost sounds like you and i shared the same man, lol

jokes aside, i was with him for 10 years and i turned into his parent, i controlled everything in his life, not by choice, it just turned out that way, and i resented it, and he said that at the end he didn’t know who he was anymore, and left to find himself

of course the catalyst was an emotional affair with a coworker, and he denies being with her right now, i’m choosing to believe it but i wonder…

you sound like you are on the right path, you will find that person again, the person you neglected because he demanded so much of your attention and your energy.

thanks so much for sharing!

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Tina January 30, 2009 at 2:58 pm

It’s not fair when a man asks you to take control and then punishes you for it.
This was beautifully written.

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Elizabeth January 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm

It gets better. Little by little.

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M January 30, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Hi, not leaving my name but I wanted the same thing as your ex when I left my husband. Granted I was more grown up than him, he was controlling because he thought that was his job as an Italian.

My story with him is LONG over however. My latest breakup was confusing, heartbreaking and CONFUSING!

You see. My ex had been divorced TWICE from the same person. Both times she had left him for the SAME guy. Then SHE would dump him and divorce him for him, then he would break up with him. The second time he married her they got pregnant. The boyfriend made a comeback and she went back (which led to the second divorce). Again, she dumped him. During all this time we were friends. Eventually our relationship went from friends to more than. I bonded with his son whom he had shared custody of. (this was after the second divorce). Well when we made plans of moving in together. And she had again been dumped by the boyfriend. She decided that HE was putting his family aside and wanted him back. I laughed when he told me at first, because we had talked about the fool me once fool me twice thing.

Then it started. He started to do the MAN thing with being a total dick to try and get me to dump HIM. It didnt go over. He was too nice to push that too much. But I knew something was going on. Yes, he was cheating on me with his conniving cheating twice ex-wife who managed to talk him in to making it work again for the sake of the family.

I still think he is a great guy, and most definitely a great father because I dont think she could have pulled that crap without the kid as an incentive.

When he told me he loved her more than he loved me and he just HAD to try again it was like he stuck a knife in my heart. How could he love someone who had hurt him so badly? TWICE!

I am recovering, but still reeling at the same time. I had plans with him. We wanted a life together.

And I too tried to call to understand, but after he broke up with me he never contacted me again (assuming the wife third time has something to do with that)

I wish I had never became more than friends with him. Because the loss of his friendship was WAY worse than being dumped. He was a constant in my life before we took that next step. We were there for each other. Bonding with who I thought would be my step son eventually has broken me as well.

The kicker? When he broke it off he said to me that if things didnt work out with his wife three times now that he hoped that we could try and make it work again. In a moment of anger and sadness I lashed out and told him that I am NOT HIM. You dont get to do this twice let alone three times to ME. Then I called him a pussy. As it stands now I do in fact think he is a pussy and am glad I said it. I probably wont know if my prediction that she would do it again comes true because our friendship is broken now too.

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EB January 31, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Goodness lady, this articulation was beautiful and also it felt good to read as I relate to you and your ex’s dynamic BIG TIME! I was called a control freak after he left me. And just like your ex, he had never called me that before! I could go on and on but I mostly want to tell you how well are you doing- how you sound- is so coherent and self aware and mature. Keep on truckin’ and know that you can now be so much more productive now that you don’t have two children to take care of! YES!! XO

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dsc January 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Mia,

This might sound strange but don’t take his affair and leaving you too personally. While each relationship has its own unique dynamic, each person is ultimately responsible for his or her actions.

I went through a similar situation last year with my wife. She tried to deflect her guilt by pointing the finger at me. It was devastating. My road back to mental / emotional health started with a friend encouraging me to read the book ‘The Four Agreements’ It was an eye opener and actually has a lot to say about relationships.

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Katanya January 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Ijust found this blog throughout matt logelin’s site and it was a wonderful discovery, I too was a single mama (I now live with a new partner).

Mia you discribed perfectly for so many of us in this situation, my partner and I also broke up and later I discovered the same, he was with a younger (12 years than me) coworker..
It is now 3 years after that moment, I was devastated but I felt like you that I just wanted to get to the stage that we could be friends and co parent.

I can tell you life does get easier, I eventually forgave him and his girlfriend (he is still with her ) I actually think they are better suited than he and i were, and despite the beginning we all have moved on and try to do the best we can to parent together..

Many warm loving thoughts to you, once the numb feeling fades, and the anger fades.. you’ll continue to realise so many more things, so you are right, it really is the start of getting to know yourself again..

Life can only be lived fowards, but understood backwards…

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Win a Free Diaper Bag February 1, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I really enjoyed reading this story, and think it’s great that you’re sharing it. I bet there are a lot of moms out there in similar situations, and by sharing your story you can help them. Your little girl will grow up to be a strong and smart woman with you as her mom!

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Jaden April 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

You are so brave.

I landed here today by way of another blog and have quickly read everything I can find about your story. It is truly heart wrenching. I am married with a two year old daughter, and all I can think as I read is "What if it were me and her? What would I do?!"

I ache for you. I sincerely hope that you are able to find someone better suited, more loving and responsible and caring than him. I want so badly for you and your daughter to be happy, even though we've never met, even though I have just found you this morning through your writing.

Bless you. You are strong. You have a tidal wave of women backing you up here on this site, and I'm sure in your real life as well. Your little girl has an amazing role model in YOU. I hope you start your own blog! I'd love to read more about your journey.

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dating guide May 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

You are handling it beautifully. Being a parent is a selfless job. One that you dont even have to think about really. You just naturally, instinctively do what it is best for your baby. Putting your hard feelings aside is difficult to put it mildly, believe me i live it, i know. But your daughter will be better for it. And so will you.

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Gina March 19, 2012 at 8:23 am

What happened to Mia?

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cerenatee March 10, 2014 at 11:09 pm

I’m in a relationship like this now and it’s draining me. I’m leaving for 3 months to give him a chance to grow up. Hopefully he will or I’m leaving for good. I just can’t be the strong one forever.

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