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May 12, 2010

Thank you for all your comments on the last post…I feel a bit guilty, however (and this is not because I am some sort of addled Patty Hearst figure, I promise) for giving the impression that my ex-husband is an unmitigated ass. I think he is truly clueless, as one commenter suggested. I also think he is still somewhat adrift since the divorce, which makes me sad. The fact that I endorsed the dream cottage by wanting it meant he didn’t have to think–meant it came pre-approved for habitation, if that makes any sense. Yes, it is infuriating, because I wanted to live there. But I don’t think–I could be wrong, of course, but I really don’t think–that he cackled and plotted to screw me over. I did tell him about it, after all. And he was considerate enough to promise that if the house sells in time, I can move in.

The house won’t sell in time, of course, but if it does, I’ll move into the cottage. If it doesn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to move into it in any case. And maybe, if he has the lease, something can be worked out in the future–he can hand it off to me, perhaps. (Although, having seen what he’s done to the house he’s lived in for the two years since we separated, I’m not sure I’d want sloppy seconds anyway.)

I was, of course, bitterly upset, and shocked, when he suddenly announced he was taking it. But let’s look on the bright side, shall we? The kids will get to live there some of the time. Better SOME of us live in that adorable place than none of us, right? And my life will be easier, since the cottage is a two minute bike ride (a ten minute walk) from the marital house. “Go get your own damned cleats” will therefore enter my lexicon.

The house I live in right now isn’t a hovel. It’s lovely, really. It’s just too big. It was too big even for the four of us, and it’s certainly too big for the sometimes-three/sometimes-one/sometimes-none of us. But it’s nice for the sometimes-six, and my quiet professor tenant will be back in the fall. The yard is huge. I have a screened-in porch. It’s really a very lovely house, and I should be grateful.

And, having insisted that I be the one to stay in the marital house when first we separated, I can’t be too indignant that I have to lie in the bed I made. I haven’t gotten to that particular chapter yet, but stay tuned.

(My mother, by the way, insists that my ex-husband has some mild form of Asperger’s. I disagree. “Maybe he has Ass-hole-er’s,” I muttered once, to her great amusement. I think he may be somewhere on some kind of spectrum, but I also think he may just be used to being selfish. Not malicious, but self-interested, and completely indifferent to other people. What’s that called?)

13 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2010 9:46 am

    Oh. Good, (Well, not GOOD. Relatively good.) I would prefer to think he hadn’t muscled in on your dream out of spite. Cluelessness is a different, more forgivable kettle of fish. And he did offer to let you have it, if the house sells.
    I do wonder about some people though. They, (men mostly, to be honest, though some women too), just don’t see through things. They just have no awareness of any subtext. It’s so odd.

  2. May 12, 2010 9:46 am

    What’s it called? Hmm. Maybe, “male?”

    (I’m loving your blog, by the way.)

  3. May 12, 2010 10:22 am

    Really I think he’s either on the Asperger’s spectrum (very high functioning clearly) or he’s an asshole. In this case, while I agree about a lot of your silver lining things, what he did was insensitive and he shouldn’t be let off the hook completely for it.

    All that being said, while reading your blog descriptions of him I’ve always wondered if he was on the Asperger’s spectrum but it seemed impolite to ask.

  4. Apple permalink
    May 12, 2010 10:46 am

    “The fact that I endorsed the dream cottage by wanting it meant he didn’t have to think–meant it came pre-approved for habitation, if that makes any sense. ”

    Makes. Perfect. Sense.

  5. May 12, 2010 11:37 am

    I also wondered about Asperger’s – or something in that vein.

    Love your writing. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Celeste permalink
    May 12, 2010 8:47 pm

    I guess you could say he doesn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence. Perfectly functional people may not be great bonders or connectors because they lack empathy for others’ feelings. This is frustrating, but I guess it beats a Machiavellian sociopath.

    I’m still sorry. The cottage was more than a dwelling. It was a fresh start away from lots of memories. I think you make some excellent points about the ways in which it will be good for your children. Mostly I hope the market will turn and you can make a profit on the house. Soon.

  7. May 13, 2010 12:35 am

    Sometimes that is called Asperger’s Syndrome. Sometimes we are surprised when our husbands turn out to be Aspies.

  8. May 13, 2010 8:23 am

    Is he an only child? I’m an only child, and sometimes I forget other people have… feelings. Well, not since having kids. But it might be different for men…

  9. Anne permalink
    May 14, 2010 1:44 pm

    That’s called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Axis II in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-Text Revision.

  10. Katie from Sydney permalink
    May 16, 2010 5:06 am

    Aspergers… my husband is undiagnosed but a definite. My son is on the spectrum and I have decided to get myself tested. That sort of total indifference is not natural (but could work out for you because at least the house is now in the family…so to speak!)

  11. May 17, 2010 7:10 pm

    That’s called ‘my’ ex-husband.

    When I got married, I thought it was for life. But the nice judge gave me a full pardon.

  12. December 9, 2010 9:23 pm

    One of my former therapists seemed determined to diagnose everyone EXCEPT me – & from my description, she was convinced my ex had Aspergers… I respectfully disagreed. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing, how best to hit hard & strike low (figuratively speaking; it was all emotional abuse until the threats near the bitter end) – an unapologetic narcissist. Too bad he didn’t fade away & become disenchanted w/the co-parenting routine, as my attorney predicted.

  13. Sarah permalink
    March 11, 2013 1:34 pm

    Re the Asperger: I had the same thought as your mother too after reading your post about taking him to the airport. And this post kind of confirmed it somehow (in my image of him, not necessarily the real him). Because he sooo sounds like my father and my brother. With both of them one is never sure whether their lack of basic concerns for others, their failing to pick up the nuances of ones feelings, their matter of fact attitude come from the spectrum or from deep, rooted selfishness.

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