Posted by: Tricia | Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chapter 2: Potential Unrealized

I don’t really think about him in an emotional way anymore. Well, not so much. It doesn’t really create a physical reaction like it used to. The fact is, this was nothing as earth-shattering as my divorce was. It was pretty easy for me to continue on with life as usual.

But I missed the text messages we’d exchange all day. So many of them, in fact, I had to increase my text plan from 300/month to 1000. I’ve heard some people express their dislike for texting…how impersonal, blah, blah, blah, it is. But I think it’s a deeply personal and intimate way of communication. I started feeling this way when I was able to sneak a peek at the IX’s phone at one point while he was still living here, and read the intimate texts between him and her. It made me extremely jealous…the type of jealousy that it should be me he’s sending those texts to.

So when P and I got into this texting thing, I loved every bit of it. The fact that wherever he was, whatever he was doing, he could open his phone and find a note from me. It’s not as obtrusive or potentially inopportune as a phone call. He could read it when it was convenient without interrupting anything. No one else would see it, and everyone would wonder what it was that brought that smile to his face. He could be right in the middle of a meeting at work, sitting on a plane before the cabin door was closed, sitting on a plane just after landing…turning his phone back on and finding it. Or them. Just a wonderful little way to let each other know we’re in each other’s thoughts.

One of my favorite and most memorable text exchanges (besides this one) involved him sending some totally disgustingly sappy expression of his love for me. Then he immediately sent another one that said something to the effect of, “Can’t you feel the love?” To which I replied, “Yeah, so much so I’m about to lose my lunch.” His response to this was, “You are AWESOME.”

We loved making fun of ourselves, because we both acknowledged the fact that our behavior was what we always make fun of in others. Such a blast.

He got me to play poker for the first time with some of his buddies at work. It was a lot of fun, even though I came down with a stomach bug while I was there and felt like total shit the second half of the night. He drove me home, stayed by my side, and took care of me in my pathetic and completely unattractive state the whole next day.

I helped him with his English, and he helped me with my Spanish. He frequently spoke of taking me to Mexico to meet all his familia. And to the beach.

We were completely capable of expressing anything that was on our minds.

One way we did that, (again with the disgusting sappiness) was through sharing songs with each other. He had a folder on his computer filled with all the songs that made him think of me. The name of the folder was “Texas.” (That was his nickname for me. Well, one of them. The other one he gave me while we were in Chicago. “Guera”, which is a nickname Mexicans have for those that are fair-skinned.)

We discussed in-depth what we should to for birth control. It was unanimous that condoms SUCK. (My mom says they’re like taking a bath with your socks on.) We decided I was going to get an IUD. Fine with me…I loved the idea of ‘set it and forget it.’ I even had made my appointment at the doctor’s.

So then towards late April, I started catching a different vibe from him. I could tell it from his texts. (I guess this is the part that will offer evidence for those who decry the medium so much.) So he ended up texting me that things just weren’t going to work out between us, and that I did nothing wrong. This was a Sunday in early May, and he was flying out the next morning for work. I asked him to talk about it with me, and he said he’d call me when he got to his hotel room the next night.

What our conversation boiled down to was that he was worried about his girls (still very young…kindergarten and preschool-aged). He said he’s had some red flags go up from what they were saying about life at their mother’s house, and that he wanted to devote all of his attention to them. He was going to lobby his ex to begin taking the girls every weekend.

Now I had already started letting him into my boys’ lives. I spoke about that earlier. But I had been noticing that he never made any plans with me that would bring me around the girls. I didn’t really care too much about it, because things were going so well between us otherwise. I just thought that it just wasn’t time for him yet, and I was OK with that. So now he’s to the point where he wants to start keeping the girls every weekend, and it turns out there’s no place for me in the equation at all. He said he’s just scared. I have no choice but to accept this.

So I start noodling around the dating site again, and here’s where his reason was revealed as an excuse.

Yup, there he was.


I sent him a long email calling him out on it, and how he had proved himself to not be of the character I thought he was. I apologized for anything I might’ve done or not done that led him to this, and I thanked him for everything…my birthday weekend, and the amazing generosity he had demonstrated with me throughout the course of our time together. I closed it by saying,

“I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I sincerely hope you’ve done the same.



I still think often about what in the world could’ve caused him to do this, and many different ideas enter my mind. The most prominent one, however, comes from an incident that happened one weeknight a few weeks earlier when he came over for dinner.

I was not in the greatest state of mind, thoughts of what a failure I am swirling around my head. My kitchen was a total mess, and that, among everything else I felt like I was failing at around this house, got the better of me. I sorta wigged out in the kitchen. The RK was working on his homework at the dining table, and P was on the couch watching TV. It made for a very awkward tension in the air for P. (A few days later, I asked the RK how it made him feel, and he didn’t feel the same way. I guess he had just gotten used to it happening from time to time.)

P & I talked about it that night after the boys were in bed, and basically I told him that he needs to let me have my bad days. He agreed that’s true.

I guess the one thing that I would want from someone close to me would be not for him to freeze up and let the awkwardness take over, but to come to me and address it right then and there. Offer his assistance; be it encouragement, comforting, or helping me get it all done. But he just sat there, feeling awkward.

And I think that even though we seemed to discuss it completely, it was never settled in him.

That’s my main theory, anyway. All the other ones I have don’t make as much sense. They’re trite and shallow and not even worth mentioning.

I tend to think it was either theory #1, or something I know nothing about.


I still think we had so much going for us. I think there was much fun to be had, and a bright future for us. But again, I’m saying this without knowing the whole truth about why he ended it.

I wonder how things went on his second adventure on the dating site. I wonder how the new people he met stacked up against me. I wonder how & when he thinks of me now. ‘Cuz I know he does. We had something amazing going, and I bet he’s at least slightly haunted by the memories we made.

I still wonder, but I moved on. Now what mostly resides in my mind are the questions. But I have faith that it’s the right thing, even if I don’t understand why. My time will come. My prince will enter.

I have faith.



  1. Good for you for moving on, with grace. I promise you that whatever happened was not about you. Know that. As you well know, guys have issues, too.

  2. I have a couple of theories, but mostly I just think that men are a bit cowardly when it comes to certain things, ie: a womans true emotions.

    I myself am truly jaded when it comes to men, relationships etc. It’s also a double edged sword as far as letting them meet your children.

    If you establish a committment first, and then find they can’t or won’t like your kids, or vice versa, then you have heartbreak.

    If you let them meet your kids first, and everyone gets along, then later it is over, you have heartbreak.

    But really I don’t date that many men, so personally I’d rather them pass the Walter inspection before I waste my time.

  3. I think you're better off without him, Tricia. He doesn't seem very dependable to me. I know I'm a little harsh on men sometimes in that I seem to expect them to be oak trees that never fall or even waver in a storm, but at the very least they should be honest, forthright, able to take a woman having a bad day, and not leave her wondering what happened when he up and splits.

    So yep, he's not worthy. I know he's nice and good, but still…he's obviously not worthy of you.

    I'm sorry, sweetie. I hate that he was so disappointing. It makes me want to kick him for you or something >:-(

  4. Thanks, girls! Deep down, I know all that you said already, but it’s encouraging to hear it from outside sources. Because while it’s easy for me to tell myself those things, there’s still always a bit of a lingering thought of, “What if it was something about me?”

    Not to bury myself in worry or guilt…just want to be able to look inward and get rid of as many undesirable qualities as I can. Just always looking to grow.

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