Great expectations

26 Apr

It would turn into, for me, the epitome of putting all my cards on the table.  It began on January 11, 2011.  My ex-fiancé wanted my engagement ring back.

I had known for months that it was only a matter of time until that much dreaded email arrived.  I had willed myself on numerous occassions to make a decision and reach out before he did but it just didn’t seem important.  The ring was in a security deposit box at the bank; I wasn’t holding on or avoiding the guaranteed flurry of emotion.  I simply wasn’t interested in dealing with it.  His email was short and it was clear; he felt he had given me enough time and he wanted the ring.  After going back and forth a few times, I mentally and emotionally gave in.  He could have the ring.  But not before I fired off one more email.  This was it; undoubtedly the absolute last time we would ever communicate.  I wasn’t the heartbroken pushover of last summer, and I was going to make sure he knew that.

I told him that my having the majority of our once shared belongings wasn’t a valid argument for why he should get the ring.  I told him I hoped he would have never thought, let alone said to me, that somewhere in the mess of our broken engagement, having these possessions should leave me feeling “financially compensated” for what happened between us.  I told him that he has spent, and continues to spend, ten-fold the amount of time discussing these once possessions than the 45 minutes he afforded to announce that everything was over.  I told him that although I truly believe we should not be together, it does not sting any less knowing that in the aftermath of our five-year relationship he clearly cares more about a TV, a nightstand and silverware than my feelings.  I told him I could not imagine where this was coming from.  Who he had become.

I told my ex-fiancé  that I found myself at a place in life where I don’t need the emotional security that I once mistakenly thought he provided.  But that I had to be realistic and recognize that I am on my own.  And that I had found myself here overnight and without warning.  I didn’t like that at the center of this tiny piece of financial cushion was the ring that once meant so much to me, and yes, that he had paid for.  But I just couldn’t shake the notion that he was the one to walk away; and that’s not even considering the manner in which he left.  He could say it wasn’t “fair” or “right”, as he did in previous emails, but really, are those words that could ever be used to describe any part of this mess he created?

I asked him to give the situation, and my recommendation to split the resell value of the ring, the decency of some sort of agreement.  I asked him to avoid any further contentiousness; to not make the situation any more heated.  Then, as painful as it was, I asked him not to make our relationship, and that last five years of my life, any more regrettable than they already were.

I told him all of this without checking with my best friend or my mother.  Without letting my closest group of girlfriends know he had reached out.   I knew, eight long months later, what I wanted to say.  I was no longer concerned about presenting as the “bigger person”; the events of the last eight months had made me that person.  I said everything I did to my ex-fiancé  expecting his response to demand the ring.  And I was going to give it to him.  Not only because I had said everything I needed to but because I could feel myself being sucked back in…and I refused to let things go that far.

Why he finally agreed to my idea on what would constitute “fair” or “right”, I’m not exactly sure.  But he did.  Within 24 minutes of that final email, I had gotten what I “wanted” – half the value of the ring that once meant so much to me and had (mis)represented my future.

When I heard from the jeweler earlier today that the ring had sold, I felt overwhelmingly…overwhelmed.  It wasn’t the relief I had expected; relief in having dealt with this final piece of my former life or relief in knowing I would truly never have to communicate with my ex again.  It wasn’t a sad nostalgia of sorts; it wasn’t a feeling of loss.  As tears welled in my eyes, I almost had to laugh…except I felt confusingly numb to every thought and emotion flooding my consciousness.  I barely made it to the bathroom before throwing up.

So apparently sometimes getting what you thought you “wanted” doesn’t have the anticipated effect you spent months preparing yourself for.  Sometimes it makes you sick to your stomach – literally.  Sometimes it turns you into yet another cliché: the girl who hawked her engagement ring.  And sometimes it makes you crawl into bed and bury yourself in the covers because, despite all your efforts, you definitely got sucked back in.

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8 Responses to “Great expectations”

  1. Kristin May 5, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    You are right Kate! I am also finding this out. I have been waiting for a court date to start my divorce proceedings so that I can move “forward”. However I found out I got my date and I am completly dreading it. It just means one more step that my marriage is over.

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