Tag Archives: codependent

Living as a Chattel

Freedom not ownership

The other day I realised that living as a Chattel gave me certain freedoms, ironically as a Chattel by definition is being someone’s property/slave. 

Let’s be clear I do not want to be a Chattel and hate this Victorian law that labels me as my ex husbands property until I remarry, he settles or either of us die (although he can do what he likes).

However there are certain perks, the primary one is I don’t have to be anyone else’s chattel, I can not make the same mistake again. No rushing into marriage or co-habitation for me. My codependent and romantic nature cries out to be some bodies ‘the one’, but my chattel status removes my ability to form a committed relationship, so I don’t have to commit, or worry if I’m sure or doing the right thing and neither does a lover. The stakes are so high I can live in a permanent state of never having to risk being owned by anyone else.

I could remarry and lose the stake in a business I helped set up but I’m not going to give away what’s rightfully mine for a marriage that despite my commitment could be thrown away by someone else’s wandering cock, like last time. I don’t have young children and won’t have more, so the need for marriage isn’t there. I admit my conditioned nature of social norms sometimes dreams of marriage and happy ever after but my chattel status squashes that down to an uncomfortable niggle. People change and I’m not sure if I want to or need to take that risk again. My chattel status gives me (and any lover I have) the perfect excuse to never address the future, to live in the moment. 

When your options are reduced life becomes simpler, freedom? Why would I want that? 

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Free (5)

People started asking why his name wasn’t on the Christmas card. He hadn’t wanted anyone to know, so this was the first most people had heard of the break up. 

She was invited to a New Year’s Eve wedding. He had the kids so she was going alone to the evening do. She realised as she got dressed in her new slimline figure that she was free. She could wear what she wanted and say what she liked and behave in anyway for the first time in 25 years. As she dressed she reflected that before he would tell her what to wear and and while she put her makeup on he would be telling her what she should say. She would drive so he could drink. This time her friend had offered her a couch. 

She wore a tight black satin dress with dark makeup to hide the tear stains and new gauntness, as she walked into the party she felt the men looking at her. She saw their eagerness when she said she was newly single. To someone so fragile the flattery was completely seductive, a lad 10 years younger than her gave her plenty of attention but she had been warned he was a philanderer. She didn’t care, it’s not like she wanted anything serious, and heck he was fit and charming whilst her ex was a fat bolding accountant. As Big Ben hit 12 they only had eyes for each other and a passionate embrace and swapped numbers as he left. 

The party carried on and I could pretend the next didn’t happen but it did. A spliff went round an already drunk set of stragglers. This was new to her but life was being reinvented and when you get that low you are free to try anything. She was off her head, someone started kissing her and she responded. He walked her to a barn and there was a fumble but even in her state of intoxication she managed to say no and it went no further than a bit of a grope. She left and sat for most of the rest of the night talking to a lovely lady beside a fire pit. 

 

In the morning she could not recall his face and don’t think she ever knew his name, not even embarrassed she was so full of self hate she didn’t care.

Christmas heartbreak (4)

Its Christmas Day he asked to come for the day to be with his kids. 

She cooked for them all and in her head this was the deadline if he hadn’t decided by now she had to. He’d had plenty of time to think and if a family Christmas couldn’t persuade him to come back what would? 

After lunch the kids were playing and he wanted to talk. She asked if he was dating and he said yes. Shock. Oh – Have you slept with anyone else? – they had been childhood sweethearts and as far as she knew had never had anyone else – he blushed and said of course that’s what dating is about these days. 

Her world was crushed again and something died in her that moment. 

He asked if he could come back for Boxing Day. She said no.

The first few months after he left (3)

Over the next few months the bottom fell out of her world, she spent most of the day’s crying. 

Her sons 14th birthday was in 10 days and she had arranged a go-carting party for him. He said he was coming too, she spent so much energy gathering herself for the torture of that day.  

She fantasised that he would see what a happy family they were and turn around and say sorry, he’d been an idiot let’s make up. But nothing happened.  

She asked if there was another woman, he said no. Another wave of days over took her. It was a month till Christmas. She booked some counselling with relate but it wasn’t till new year. She found a lawyer. She worked on the house renovation she was doing. The plan had been to move in the new year and she focused on that. By Christmas she had lost two stone in weight without trying.  

Her friends were supportive and she had her first night out as a single mum just before Christmas. With her weight loss and devil may care attitude she danced the night away. Some bloke took a fancy to her and danced with her, oh she was so flattered, after her complete rejection that she thought what the heck and when he tried to kiss her she didn’t say no. Wow it felt amazing to be desired again, but when a friend pointed out he had a wedding ring on she was mortified and ran away.  

She sent out the Christmas cards without his name on and her new address, the first most friends knew of it, as he hadn’t wanted anyone to know.

She nodded as he lied to the children (2)

It might seem strange after such a short conversation to know it was over but she did. She told the kids dad had gone on another work trip, the kids were not phased he was always doing that. She met a divorced girl friend in the supermarket car park after dropping the kids off who just held her. She asked if he was on drugs, had a brain tumor or another woman. 

‘No no no he just doesn’t want me anymore.’

She googled what to do and decided that he had to decide if it was over and called him, he said it was but wanted some time to think about it. How long she asked? Six months he said, maybe more, she was thinking more like the weekend! She said if he needed that long he had to tell the kids. He agreed and came round in the evening and told the kids lies while she nodded.
‘It will be amicable’
‘I still love your mum’
‘There’s no one else’
‘If we split up everything will be divided equally’

I can’t do this anymore (1)

‘I can’t do this any more’
‘If you feel like that you had better leave’.
‘You mean the spare bedroom or …’
‘No. Just go’.
He left, it was probably their third or fourth major argument in their twenty five year marriage and still no raised voices. With the gift of hindsight she realised the argument a couple of years before was when she knew it was over, he had explained that he was only staying for the children. She thought it was just a blip. Now she realised he couldn’t even do that. She still loved him. He had been out the night before like he often did these days and when he got home she had complained that he never wore his wedding ring. She cried all night and in the morning they had this four line conversation and it was over.

rejection

My son spends more and more time with his rich narcissist dad. He doesn’t bring friends home to me, I can tell he’s embarrassed. I see pictures of him on Facebook with his friends partying at his dad’s house. I’ve got to the point where it hurts so much I just want to say to him go.

It’s money, his dad has a city centre mansion, loads of parking, a hot tub, all I can afford is a home in a town half an hour away with a bad reputation next door to the pub. Of course he is embarrassed.

I’m crying because I know I have to let him go, his dad can give him so much convenience and luxury. Abu Dhabi formula one with a pass to the Pits… I watch as he checks the sell-by dates of things in my fridge, my poverty means you eat things a few days past but he’s proud to admit he’s a foodo, he only eats the best. I had a chance for a few days away from a kind friend but refused as my son was home, now he’s off to dads as it’s just more convenient more logical. I missed that chance.

He’s got a few days at half term with me, but he’s in college doing extra classes, because he missed so much with holidays with his dad, I’m sure he’d have stayed with his dad but he’s away on his second ski holiday this year with his new family.

I am fed up, upset, crying, my ex sent me an email telling me he had won a year ago. He was right. I hadn’t even realised it was a war but I see now, he who has the money to buy what they want wins and I am a peasant squirminly accepting what crumbs my kids offer. What if I say NO? What if I live a life where I do what I want?  It doesn’t matter I take what’s offered but should I be brave and say to my son, it’s fine stay with your dad, it’s much more logical not to have the commute as your exams approach? It’s a sticking plaster, I’m hurting so much it might be easier to let him go with one last rip.