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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
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Friday
Jun032011

So I Cancelled

And here is why: it's about respect, not trust. Although Serge told me to go I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable with the scenario. Were the roles reversed and I was slightly uncomfortable with him meeting up with an ex I would hope that he'd respect my feelings and choose not to go on his own because I would never outright tell him not to go.

I trust him implicitly, but I don't really even think meeting up with an ex is about trust. That's implying there are sexual or romantic feelings and just adding a whole bunch of bullshit that isn't necessarily there. Whether an ex feels sexual or romantic isn't my concern. Were an ex to hit on either one of us, well, I'm a big girl, Serge is a big boy and can deal with that kind of shit. Married people deal with that kind of stuff all the time whether it's an ex or not. At least married people like Serge and I do because we're so beyond good-looking and get hit on nearly every day.

Just now, typing this while in my kitchen in my pajamas I had to turn down three dudes. How did they get in here?

Nonetheless, there is nothing missing in my life that I needed to see the ex, Serge never told me not to go, he doesn't need to be "coddled". Our initial disagreement was good-natured and mostly centered around whether society deems this kind of thing appropriate or not - which is why we took it to the blog - we were curious as to your thoughts, but it isn't like I'm some mindless drone that will just do what the internet tells me, as someone suggested.

Well shit, the folks on my blog said I should go so I guess I have to, even though I really don't want to.

Come on. You know me better than that, don't you? I read all of your comments and found them fascinating as they're colored by your own relationship experiences and I'm voyeuristic like that. I'd probably watch you and your partner have sex if I could, that's how nosy and creepy I am. The comment that resonated most was a simple one from "badger":
I think you should go...I would go out of curiosity anyway. Besides, you're moving away - It's a one-off. I guess it's important to consider how you would feel if the situation was reversed and if you're totally cool with that then go ahead.
Mostly, I was curious and I think the ex, who just got a divorce, was curious too. And it's nice to be on good terms after a decade of ill will. I don't think either of us thought it absolutely dire to meet up. It would've been cool to meet, say hi and catch up. Like I said, if the situation were reversed, I would tell Serge to go. However, if for whatever reason, I expressed any discomfort with it, even though I told him go, I would hope that he'd cancel out of respect for my feelings - which is how I think every couple should handle this kind of scenario... But, you know - to each his own. Or her own, as the case may be.

Reader Comments (12)

I agree 100%! If you don't trust your mate to meet up with an ex you shouldn't be married. Married people have to deal with sexual advances all the time (even me and I'm not as good looking as you and Serge) so it's more about respecting your mate's feelings and obliging even if you don't feel the same way.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara J

You're coddling! (joke) I think you made the perfect decision for your situation, and it was really interesting to read all the comments. Your explanation was quite eloquent, in your Monica way (with curse words, oh my). Interesting that The Ex is recently divorced. -ahem You didn't tell us that part.

Anyway, thanks for bringing the subject up; it was interesting to ponder. I was one of those who did not give you The Business, and thought it was just fine to go, but every single person and relationship is unique so I thought you made the right decision for you and The Surge.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

Love this response to the whole thing... trust and respect are two very much overlapping yet different parts of a relationship and I agree that it was the respectful thing to do in your situation. I hope you and Serge make some awesome boom boom to celebrate such a great ending to this situation... :) Its Friday... I'm allowed to be inappropriate.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeg W.

I am in total agreement with the cheeky and self-deemed "inappropriate" Meg W. ....I hope you two go make some awesome celebratory boom boom and live happily ever after. I'm also hoping for some mock American Gothic photos once you've settled into PA.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJuli

I was curious to see what you would do bc I'm still not sure what I would do if I was in your situation. But I think it's a good decision. And yes, have some boom boom.
And because I can't comment on the video of Violet below, I'll say it here; that video is the cutest thing in the whole freakin world. Her tone and inflection sounds just like someone reading, I love it.

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCristin

Hi Monica,
I'm new to your blog (just finished reading the story of how you two met - such a fun read!) and don't usually comment on blogs, but for some reason I feel compelled to right now.
I would have agreed with your decision either way. I will say that I am more happy with the decision you finally came to though, and I think you will be too. I was in the exact same situation you were in a couple of years back. My husband is super supportive and not at all jealous, and when I told him an ex from waaaaay back, who lives about 3 hours out of town and I hadn't seen in about 10 years, was in town and wanted to meet for lunch he was completely supportive.
I went to that lunch... and I will forever wish I hadn't. It started out fine, but in a similar fashion to your situation, he was recently divorced too. And, although he knew I was married (and happlily so!) he was still slightly inappropriate at the lunch. He was a bit suggstive, and at first it didn't bother me. Much. I was kinda flattered in fact. NOTHING inappropriate happened, but the e-mails and phone calls continued after the lunch and it was quite clear that his intentions were not at all good. I honestly believe it was no different from your average, pre-marriage booty call.
I am so glad that I did not let anything inappropriate happen, but I honestly wish I hadn't have gone. After a short while the e-mails and phone calls made me quite uncomfortable and even after making it very clear that I would never, ever, ever cheat on my husband he continued to make inuendos (sp?) and advances. Eventually I had to ask him to stop e-mailing and stop calling. He felt like shit and now I've lost a friend that it was really fun to reconnect with.
No matter how good your own intentions are, you never know what someone else might have in mind. And, it's always safest to not put yourself into that situation in thefirst place. They're exes for a reason, after all!
We all have our own inner voice and I'm so glad that you listened to yours.
Enjoy your husband and your family and have an amazing weekend!!! Don't ever look back and wonder if you made the wrong decision here. You didn't! :)
Thanks for some fun reads today... when I really should be working. Ooops!!

June 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKerri

This post seems defensive and argumentative which are two words I NEVER associated with you. If you asked us for advice, it seems unfair to say we think you are a mindless drone who needs her readers to decide her life decisions

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMegJ

I don't feel defensive but maybe that's how I sound? I asked for opinions, sure, but some people commented about how inappropriate it was for me to let the internet make the decision and I was responding to that. That's all. Didn't mean to sound argumentative.

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

@MegJ - Also, thanks for giving Serge a chuckle when you said defensive and argumentative are two words you never associated with me. He begs to differ :)

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Girl Who...

Well said, Monica. Yeah, I think when you show a man that you actually prefer him to anyone else, that you care about his feelings and are taking his advice seriously, and then publicize it, you are not only giving him respect, but adding another tie to the bond you already share with him. Builds him up and he loves you more for it. So a sutuation which could undermine everything you've got going is actually used to bring you closer together like cement. It's one of those things which you have to keep doing throughout life because there will always be those smelly little foxes which will try to sneak in and upset your marriage. Even when it doesn't start out that way.

PS You sure know how to hit a nerve!

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

:) sometimes I think I know you both better then I should... the word [or internet] is a straneg place [thinking to myself].

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranajo

monica! its steph bletzacker (hammond) i have NO idea how i found you. i was reading on some pregnancy blog and looked over at the sidebar and saw your photo as a writer for the blog, then it sent me here. hello old friend! so good to see you again. i read a little of your blog, saw some adorable photos of your two babies, and caught up a little as to what you're up to. you look amazing (as always) and i'm so happy to see you happy and in love and surrounded by little ones! you can keep in touch with us here... www.belablueandvantoo.blogspot.com all the best! steph

June 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersteph

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