I'm-a talk about my ex. B. Among other things.
She has this step-sister who she visits periodically, and this step-sister was one of the people in her family who was opposed to her marrying me. Every time B went to see S, I knew she would come back with some kind of bullshit I'd have to wade through.
I know: warning sign, right? The problem with being in love is it short-circuits just about goddamned everything in your brain that's connected to common sense.
Here's the deal: S calls herself a lesbian, and insists that C is the love of her life. C, however, has a bad back, and it interferes with her ability to have sex...and so S has a boyfriend, J, with whom she gets her jollies, since "the love of her life" is incapable of giving them to her.
(No, don't ask me. I don't f-ing know.)
At the time B and I were going out, S and C and J all lived with C's mother. S herself was unemployed and wanted B to move in with them, and "just pay the cable bill as your part of the rent!" Their cable bill is $150 per month because they have (had) all the channels. WTF.
And why did S want B to break up with me? Why, because I was unemployed and lived with my mother, of course! I guess it's because I didn't live with my lover's mother that I didn't get a pass from someone in exactly the same goddamned situation.
(Other warning signs: S had convinced B to break up with the boyfriend she'd had before me, too.)
So B would go to visit S, and come back saying, "I want to break up" and/or "I don't want to get married" and I'd have to spend an hour on the phone with her discussing it and finding out why she was saying that and defending myself against her step-sister's accusations, and eventually B would come back around. (B told me at the time that she thought S was after a threesome--S, J, and B--and didn't like the idea.)
And of course, I was the bad guy for "talking her back into it". It's perfectly fine for everyone else to talk her out of stuff, of course.
I think that's why the "one rule for thee, another for me" kind of hypocrisy makes me so angry: it's the one I've faced personally the most often in my life.
* * *
"I don't like X, therefore you must not like X either."
I don't insist that my friends date/marry people I like. I don't insist they keep those people away from me, either. When my friend X is with some woman who is the devil incarnate, I am nice to her, because X is my friend and that's what friends do. It can only go so far, of course, but there is little you can do about the outcome. If X chooses to be with that woman for the rest of his life, it's not my life and it's not my choice, even if she ends up cutting him off from all his friends.
I've had two friends just disappear from my life because they married insecure women who couldn't stand the thought of their new hubby having any sort of relationship with anyone other than her, particularly ones which predated her place in his life.
But thinking about it, I now realize that the engagement to Marlene, in the Philippines, failed because of an iPod. Specifically the iPod I did not buy for her best friend.
Marlene had been specific about me getting pasulubong--introductory gifts--for her family members. I recall that her best friend had asked for an iPod. A freakin' iPod? At the time, the cheapest iPod you could find was $90, and that was the 1GB Shuffle. (Or maybe it was 2GB in 2007. I don't f-ing know; it was three years ago already.)
Marlene had said that the actual content of the gifts didn't matter much, as long as I got something decent for people; and I was trying to keep the pasulubong tab as low as possible because I'm not made of money, and Marlene expected me to get gifts for a lot of people. Her immediate family and a couple friends, IIRC. Mom, Dad, brother, other brother and sister-in-law, and their kids...and the friends. Eight or nine, then; at around $20 per gift I was already looking at $160+ precisely when I couldn't afford it because of the plane ticket and the luggage I needed to buy and the money for food and.... Marlene said it would be fine to substitute something cheaper when I told her what an iPod cost.
Apparently Marlene didn't warn her friend, though. The day I gave Marlene's friend her gift, she looked at it with this dour expression...and the next day was when Marlene told me her friend was annoyed with me, but told me it had been over something I'd said at the restaurant we'd gone to for lunch.
End result: I think Marlene's friend opposed the marriage because I didn't get her an iPod.
...when Marlene broke it off, she wrote an e-mail accusing me of not doing A or B. When I told her that I'd offered to do A or B and she'd declined, then suddenly it was because I hadn't done C or D. (Which, I informed her, I had also offered to do, and which she'd also declined.) It just sounds like the friend told her these things, and she repeated them to me as justification for her decision.
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. If she had really loved me, she would not have just given up on our relationship the way she did. She was after money; and nothing emphasized that point quite as well as her last e-mail to me, in which she essentially told me she could continue to be my fiancee if I'd send her $300 per month.
"If you're saying that our relationship now depends on my sending you $300 per month, I don't know what to tell you," I said in my last e-mail to her.
* * *
The common thread in both of these relationships, though, is that after the emotional gyrations died down I realized, That bitch did me a favor by breaking up with me.
In Marlene's case, I have no idea WTF she was after. Did she ever love me, or did she just like my status as an American citizen? Was it me, or could it have been anyone? Would our marriage have lasted past the birth of our first child? Whatever she wanted, it's not my problem.
In B's case--oh Lord. First off, the woman cannot make a decision and stick to it, not even to save her life. She's started a home business--the same one--at least half a dozen times, and given up on it an equal number of times. She started it again during our relationship, stuck with it for 2.5 months, and then decided to give up on it yet again.
Second, she insists on her way all the time. She does it in a "soft" fashion so it's hard to notice, but if you don't do things her way, she gets upset. I lost my job; she expected me to find a new one right away. In August of 2009. Even if you accept the most liberal interpretation of how the economy has gone in the past year, August 2009 was right in the freaking middle of the worst recession since 1930. My reasons for not looking for one--my reasons for wanting to wait just a couple weeks to start looking--fell on deaf ears.
Third, she had absolutely no faith or trust in me whatsoever. I repeatedly had to explain to her why I am where I am, what I am doing, how I am planning for my situation to change, and not one word of it stuck. I'm caring for an elderly parent who can't drive or do heavy work (such as mowing the grass) and because of those responsibilities I can't work full time...ergo I'm a lazy, shiftless bum? I know I'll be working full-time in the future, but right then I could not...and because of that, she was unhappy.
(...and while we're on this point, why in the everlasting fuck did she agree to marry me in the first place, if that's what she thought of me? Why were we even going out?)
Fourth, B broke up with me the first time we were a couple because I'd said (in a moment of pique) I wasn't sure I wanted to get married. The second time around, I was supposed to just accept that from her and end the engagement and keep dating her? Um, no? Because (just for one thing) you don't end a betrothal and continue dating. If the betrothal fails, the relationship is done. And if it was heinous enough a sentiment to end our relationship last time, when I said it, why does she get a free pass this time?
Her mother--her mother is a freaking harridan and the entire reason I don't think much of Mensa: because they let that woman in? She's a mendacious, small-minded, inflexible bitch. She can't be happy that her daughter wants to get married; oh no. She's got to throw every possible road block in the way she can.
So B did me a favor--a very large favor--by ending our engagement. Why? Because by doing so, she insured that I will never have to marry her. I can short-circuit the "falling in love" short circuit of common sense and go right to, "Sorry; you and I were engaged, you broke it off, and there are no tap-backs. Do have a nice life, and don't call me again."
* * *
Okay, maybe there isn't as much whining in here as I'd thought there would be.
* * *
One of my friends who disappeared--before they got married, there was some kind of fight and his fiancee threw the ring back at him and ended the engagement. She later apologized and they made up and the wedding went forward as planned (something like eight months after that incident).
If he had been smart, he would have said, "Er, no, I don't think so. If marrying me means so little to you that you can arbitrarily give it up, maybe we're not right for each other."
Problem is, love short-circuits common sense. It has to; otherwise the human race would have died out a long time ago. But although this is a feature, not a bug, it's still a royal pain in the ass.
The point that B could not seem to get her head around was that you can't end an engagement lightly. You can change your mind; but if you do, you never, never, ever get a second chance.
At least, you have no right to expect one.
I don't like being draconian nor do I like making hasty decisions, but when you're engaged it's a trial run for marriage. If you can't handle being engaged, there's no way you can handle being married. People tend to repeat their past behavior; if you don't take your engagement seriously, why should anyone expect you to take your marriage seriously?
I certainly do not.
If B and I had gotten married, instead of "I want to break up," every time she visited her step-sister she would have come back with "I want a divorce". It's no way for a man to live. Let her find someone who doesn't mind her girlish whims. He won't be any nicer to her than she was to me, but it's all she really deserves, anyway.
* * *
Heh. That was pretty cruel, wasn't it? Oh well.