Baggage Check

I as a person on the verge of getting engaged have some mysterious baggage to check with whomever is supposed to take it, dispose of it, or put it to rest.

After being married for 10 years and sharing a child, my ex wife and I are extremely complicated and well, probably not in the place we should be.

We have been separated for 5 years as of July and come November we will have been divorced for 4 years. As a result of just frivolous dating on my part until Stephanie, and none on her part, we have occupied this weird space of “we are still a family, but we are not together.”

There is absolutely no residual romantic feelings on either of our parts. We are glad to be divorced and both know it is for the best for each of us. It did take me longer to get there but I am there 100 percent without a doubt. Even without Stephanie I know I don’t belong married to my ex wife anymore, and I have harbored these feelings for well over two years.

The problem comes that we both love our daughter so much and we both want to spend as much time with her as we can. As she is now 13, she is inclined to spend quite a bit of time with her friends. When she is available or we say this is a family day, we inadvertently spend it all together because to break up that time would be minuscule and Bella loves having her two parents together.

For our daughter although there have been changes, it is not like she comes from a traditional broken home. My ex wife still loves me as a person and I love her as a person although my feelings are growing in a different direction lately. We were best friends when we got married and the affinity towards each other is still there-we both like the same things and have the same values. We argue about the revisionist past she concocts to make herself feel better, but we don’t argue to argue and we always have gotten along and agreed about Bella. We never have had a major disagreement about Bella-ever. Sometimes I am a little late getting to the party like when a bikini was deemed okay, or going to the waterpark with all those leering male lifeguards was seen as acceptable. I have been shocked by these decisions but not angry, mad or wanting to change them. My ex wife has a better idea as to the pulse of what parents are letting their kids do, and we certainly don’t want Bella to be ostracized or left behind. Having an only like Bella, she is sort of our little “kid experiment”.  A lot of times we find ourselves in new territory, and have to wing it the best we can.

Bella is getting smart and is finally playing us off one another. It took her many years to figure out if my ex wife says no to teeth whitening than go ask mommy which is exactly what she did in August. It got to the point where she wanted to keep it from my ex wife as if teeth whitening would go unnoticed! That’s when I call my ex wife and hold my breath…..I was fine with teeth whitening I know her friend just had it done and her teeth look beautiful. I wasn’t for the strips Bella was asking for I wanted it done professionally. My ex wife thought she was too young and wouldn’t brush her teeth as well because she had them whitened. I had to explain the whole sordid situation to my wife and have her promise not to take her wrath out on Bella. I don’t want to lose Bella’s confidence in being able to talk to me, but once it involved going behind my ex wife’s back I knew I had to discuss it with her. Bella is a very honest kid and if I had gone with it she would have eventually outed herself to my ex wife and I would look like and be the ass. So we circled the wagons and waited until we were both with Bella at dinner. I brought up the teeth whitening and my ex wife’s concerns which I agreed with. My ex-wife put it on Bella; call your pediatric dentist and see if you are old enough and is it safe. We really are good like that when it comes to parenting. We don’t want to have to say no to Bella and my ex wife hadn’t noticed Bella’s friend’s teeth so after that was uncovered she was more open to at least putting the decision in the dentist’s court.

So that is some of the dynamics and baggage associated with my ex wife. For years after we separated we still talked every single morning. That has gone away and Stephanie doesn’t have many issues at all with my ex wife and myself. It really is about parenting Bella and being Bella’s parents. Yes we could do it separately but it wouldn’t be in Bella’s best interest and I think we both rely on one another as co-parents.

I also have quite the storied past besides my ex wife. I played and I played hard. That bums Stephanie out although there is probably one girl with a baby on the way that I remotely text with. I do have the utmost respect for Stephanie, our relationship, and all that we share.

Lastly for baggage is my family; my parents and siblings. Ever since I have been divorced things with my parents have been different. My ex wife initially thought I cheated on her, WHICH WAS NOT THE CASE NOT EVEN CLOSE. I was friends with a beautiful woman, named Daniella and everyone thought I cheated with her. The idea got planted in everyone’s head and never seemed to quite go away despite numerous attempts on my part to clear the air. From my bff since fourth grade and her large family to my parents, I was put through the wringer and demonized.  Never quite shook it, and it is only time that has healed some of it, but my parents are still unhappy with me. They worry about the anorexia and now the injuries and have far too great an impact and say on my life.

This has got to change. I shouldn’t be demonized anymore and they need to respect me as an adult who can take care of themselves. For some reason they don’t think I am capable of taking care of myself. This is on me to manage. I need to change the tides with my parents and get us to higher more respectful ground. My anorexia is a HUGE part of it which followed right after my being demonized for cheating in my marriage. I owe it to myself first and most to rectify this baggage and I owe it to Stephanie, who is going to be my new wife.

In all honesty where is the baggage carousel I can toss my luggage on and forget all about it?