Dead Girlfriend Fights

Three things first:

  1. J and I have worked through an awful lot in our month-shy of 7 years of marriage and I’m choosing to write about perhaps the most sensitive issue of all of them today.
  2.  The title of this post is cold-hearted.  I know it is and I mean no disrespect to anyone involved.  It may seem like I have no feelings of sympathy at all, but that’s not the case.  I am actually grieved to this day that I never got to know D; I suspect we could have been fairly good friends.  The title is about the fights, not the deceased.  It is me admitting freely my jealous and insecure nature, along with the fact that “dead girlfriend fights” have happened at all.  Thankfully, J counters my jealousy and insecurity with love, compassion, and more love.
  3.  Yes, my J is a saint, for those of you who know him and have wondered whether that is the case.

I don’t play fair when J and I fight.  It always comes back to the same thing, ultimately, at the bottom of all the angst that wells up for me behind whatever little irritation is going on with the fuss of the day:  my feeling of being passed over in favor of the dying ex-girlfriend, the fall and winter of 2003, when we met.

Because there was, indeed, a dying ex-girlfriend at that time.  And my perception was (and to a certain irrational extent, still is) that J was passing over spending time with me, choosing her instead.  I thought he was still in love with her.

It’s irrational and I know it is and not fair at all to J or to the girl in question.  I mean, J and I were spending inordinate amounts of time chatting online, via e-mail, and on the phone.  I’m talking, like sometimes as much as 8 or more hours a day, despite the fact that we didn’t even live in the same region at the time.  We’d already said the “L-word” and were discussing long-term commitment logistics.  I definitely had the man’s heart, no question.

I was not the first girl J met on the internet.  Neither was D, for that matter, though D was the one he still spoke with on a regular basis.  D had cancer and it was well-known that it was bad and only getting worse.  J’s only wish was to be as supportive for D and her family as he could be, given that he didn’t even live in the same country as D.

So…there were the odd nights where we’d be chatting and J would go abruptly because D hopped online, or we’d be talking and there would be a scheduled phone call with D, so we’d have to end our talk.  I didn’t take it very well.

Keep in mind that I was 24 and very, very scattered to say the least, with maturity issues, a colorful romantic past, and a very passive-aggressive nature, on top of bipolar symptoms I worked very hard daily to suppress.  “Sure, it’s fine if you go talk with D.”  I mean, who can compete with a dying girl?

I took it as well as I could (which was worse than when he’d cut conversations short to talk to her), when J wished to go see her again.  And selfish me, I took it equally as well when he wanted to go to her memorial service alone.  I was livid and very, very threatened by the idea.

So that’s how it happened and it’s documented, as I made a folder up of our first few months’ worth of e-mails and chat sessions as a Christmas present for J our first Christmas.  That’s how I decided to write about this subject, as I got out that e-mail folder for some reminiscing time this afternoon. (For the record, there’s a lot of good sentimental stuff in the notebook besides the fight record).

It’s not fair to J, I suppose, that I’ve hung onto all of those notes for so long.  I included the ones about being upset about D because I wanted to be comprehensive, but now I think it’s time to be a little editorial with that book.  Something to talk to J about later, maybe.

At any rate, it’s definitely not fair to him, though, that I’ve hung onto the hurt for so long.  I know it and I know how unfair it is that with a lot of our fights over the years, I’ve brought it back up again.  It’s happened in the last month, even.

I recently made a promise to J that I would work on losing the insecurity issues and anger about the past, especially since they so clearly reflect my previous relationships, not my relationship with J.  He’s had plenty of time (and reason, some might say) to get out of his relationship with me and I think he’s made it clear, he’s here to stay.  But whenever I get upset about whatever I’m upset about and this issue comes up, he just hugs me and tells me it will be fine.  I’m thankful our marriage is so strong.

J and Me at Thanksgiving, 2003


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