*For the month of April, I am going to purge my drafts of my off-and-on reconciliation attempts with my ex-husband last year. They are still painful, and will be incredibly rough drafts, as I am literally purging emotions and some bittersweet memories. I may also mix in some current stuff just to give myself a break, or to reflect where I am now.
** After we separated, I heard “he’s not that smart” repeatedly. From almost everyone. This was written three months after our separation.
Now, I did hear this a lot when when we were together, but I heard it constantly once we separated. Sometimes it was said as a comparison, for example, he wasn’t smart enough for you, or I don’t know how you tolerated someone so far below your own intelligence. Sometimes it was said as way of balancing out his better qualities to more neutral ground, for instance he was so nice but an idiot.
I am not discussing how he was an idiot for leaving me – though I heard that too. I am talking about his overall intelligence level.
What is it about talking about a person’s flaws and faults, or insulting them, after someone leaves them? To make them feel worthy of more? I felt worthy of him, and even at times didn’t feel that I deserved the happiness he gave me so would sometimes self sabotage the relationship. And by people critiquing him afterwards, they were still insulting my own intelligence by choosing him to begin with.
A far more productive comment I heard is that he would do (x, y, and z) which didn’t work with my personality, or which hurt me. Facts and actions, not judgments or opinions on character defects.
And honestly, I didn’t find him stupid – a fact even our mutual friends can’t believe (and didn’t believe even when we were together). So telling me that he is not intelligent doesn’t make me feel any better about separating from him- it actually takes away the validation of my sharing my life and future with him.
I may be guilty of this destructive soothing verbiage towards loved ones as well, but I hope I learn from being the recipient. It isn’t soothing, it’s insulting, and it makes me feel the need to defend him rather than make me feel better.