responsibility and values

I kinda miss the bitch. There. I said it.

I’m still fucking pissed at her. And I don’t know how to begin to understand where she’s coming from. I’ve tried, so many times, to put myself in her shoes. Okay, I say to myself, so imagine you’re 21 and pregnant, a newlywed to a guy you barely know . . .

Then I remember: I was 21, pregnant, and newlywed to my boyfriend of 6 months. Been there. I know that feel.

It’s different, I argue with myself. John may have worked two full time jobs and you may have been struggling with post-partum depression — but at least he was there. Her husband was deployed, he was gone for the first year of their marriage.

But then again, he came back. As far as military marriages go, they’ve kind of had an easy situation: He commuted half an hour and was only deployed twice, for less than 18 months each time. I think one of them was around 6 months. The majority of their marriage, he’s been home.

Army hours are hard, I rationalize, and he was military police. I mean, everyone says the marriages most likely to fail are military or policemen, and he was both. The hours suck and the stress is high.

Yeah, military and cop marriages are hard . . . but it’s not like they have the corner on stress. Plus, I know plenty of military and cop marriages going strong. My in-laws have been married for something like 30+ years. Lady from my former church has a husband who made captain of the police force before he retired, and they’ve been married for 40+ years with six kids. Being military or cop doesn’t automatically equate to a marriage failing, it just means everyone blames it on the job when it does.

Okay, I say, still trying to see where she was coming from, communications had broken down. They weren’t talking. They weren’t being intimate. They were like roommates; two ships passing in the night. Different dreams, different goals, different hopes. 

Still not getting it. See, there’s marriage counseling or divorce. Cheating isn’t really necessary here. Plus, she’d cheated once and he forgave her and took her back and tried to work it out. It takes two to work on a marriage, and if she wasn’t trying and wasn’t acknowledging his efforts, why not just ovary up and get a divorce instead of cheating again?

Well, I remind myself, she felt like she was too young when she got married. She missed out on a wild youth. She wanted to play.

Then I remember: My man was fucking 19 years old when we got married. I was 21, the same age she was when she tied the knot. Don’t talk to me about losing out on your youth because you got married and had a kid too young. You fucking grow up. You be responsible. You honor your commitments, you focus on your family.

Once you have a kid, drinking and drugging every night go out the door. It’s time to leave the play behind and be an adult. No room for pot-dealing paramours, no room for bar runs every night, no room for clubbing every weekend. That’s no kind of parent for a kid, no kind of partner for a spouse. That’s selfish, and if you want to be selfish then don’t fucking get married and have kids. Being a parent, being a partner– that means being selfless, it means putting someone else first for once in your goddamn fucking life.

I try to see where she’s coming from, I really do . . . but all I see is selfishness and irresponsibility. At least when I disagree with my in-laws, I can understand why they dislike me and where the miscommunications are happening, even if I can’t see how to overcome them and make peace– they’re not malicious and selfish, we just don’t agree on solutions to our problems.

Her, though, I just can’t … I mean, it’s just fucking wrong. Cheating, lying, using her friends to cover for her without their knowledge, dividing two families. Using children as emotional weapons.

And the worst part of it is, I miss her. I’m so angry at her, but I miss her. I thought we were friends, but it was all a game and a joke to her. She never cared about me, she was just using me as a front to lie; telling her husband she was with me and telling me she was at school, having me watch her son while she fucked around on his dad. She lied to her husband, to her kid, and to me. She made me party to her deception, and an unknowing facilitator to adultery.

I wish she’d never pretended to care. I wish she’d never pretended to be my friend. I wish she’d kept me at a distance, so when it finally all fell apart I didn’t find myself missing the way she laughed or the goofy jokes she made or the way she rolled her eyes when she thought I was being really nerdy.

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