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Review of Book and Marriage

E Updated
Conscious that I have not posted on here for a while.  

Part of the reason may be that I am I suppose finally 'moving on'.  (The sad truth is that there is still some moving on to do.)  And part of the reason may be that I recently started a new blog.   It is not divorce specific.  It was started as part of a project (as yet not that fruitful) to decide what I can - or want? - to do to support myself  post divorce.  I do not write it for an audience, and I do not publicise it.  I find - as I do when blogging here - that writing things that people may read helps me to work out what I think.  If I don't write in a public sphere, my thoughts can remain wishy washy or slippery.  

It is a bit disappointing, therefore, when skimming some of that blog just now, to notice how often my ex features in it.  It's been a long, long time since I hoped we might get back together, and I really have very little curiosity about his current life.  Yet he comes up a lot when I think about me.  After all we were together over 20 years, and I sort of lost myself in my marriage - I don't lay this at his door, but at mine.  Yet I think often about how it happened.

Anyway, as I said, I was looking at the blog this evening and it seemed to me that one post in particular may be of interest to readers here.  It was written in a hurry when I had a huge shock reading a 100yr old work of fiction and saw my ex described there.  

Maybe some of you may find it useful, too, so I include part of that post here.  The rest of the post reveals how the book describes my ex to a tee, and is what stopped me in my tracks, but I'm not sure it would be applicable to many wikis (even though Arnold Bennet seems to think his character typical of a particular sort of fool).  The thing I think may have relevance here is this question of thinking your 'other half' must be right, and you must be wrong.  It's one of the things I have enjoyed about the Helen Titchener story (for any Archers fans out there) and I think it may not be that unusual.

Have you ever read Arnold Bennett’s The Old Wives Tale?  I’ve been reading it slowly but with enormous pleasure.  (It’s my ‘on the tube’ read, and I haven’t been on public transport much lately.)  The man deserves to be better known for this work, and not just for his omelette.

In the opening part of the book I fell in love with the character of the mother, whose parenting style made me laugh out loud.  Now the two daughters are grown up. One has run off to Paris with a lover. The man is not particularly interesting*. Then on the last tube home from a lovely evening with a friend, I was arrested by the following:

     ‘Her pride induced her to put Gerald in the right and herself in the wrong, for she was too proud to admit that she had married a charming and irresponsible fool.’ 

Is that what I did? And my ex is not even charming. Could he be a fool? Certainly there were times I felt he must be. Only yesterday I found by accident an old email to a friend, lightheartedly suggesting that he must be either an imbecile or on drugs.  Many a true word is spoken in jest. Because I don’t remember thinking anything but that he was terribly clever. Degree from Cambridge. Dean’s list at business school.  Able to spout on politics and economics and to recite great tracts of poetry and sections of the bible (catholic upbringing). Never given to self doubt.


*That’s interesting.

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Hi Eliza , it's good to see you moving on , writing down how you feel is a good way to acknowledge your feelings x
HI Eliza, I always enjoy your blogs. You definitely are moving on and only popping back to Wiki occasionally is a sign of progress. I'm in the same boat. However I don't think we will not still think daily about what happened still, or that it's such a bad thing. The marriages were such a huge part of our lives, and we are still connected through children / child support (or lack of it) to them. I'd rather be still pondering on how I ended up with a selfish cheater, and looking to fix those weaknesses, than have rushed into another unhealthy new relationship and be telling myself I had "moved on" like a friend did, or dismissing it as entirely his/her fault. Also we tend to have made new connections with others in the same position, and maybe like with me, friends and family get in touch for advice when there's another infidelity separation, so it's going to be in our thoughts more than the average person, even if we are doing OK.