Dating My Ex-Husband

Yeah, you read that right.

The X and I decided that it would be a good idea to try dating one another throughout this separation. To see if there is still something here. To see if we could find that one tiny spark buried beneath the hurt, anger, and indifference. To see if dating one another would be that little puff of oxygen that could feed that spark and return it to the flame that it once was. We have both changed so much over the past 10 years, exponentially so in the last year alone. I don’t think that either of us recognizes the other any longer. But we are both clinging to hope that maybe, just maybe, the people that we have become could love each other like the people we used to be.

So on Friday we had our first date. And it really felt like a first date. I came home, showered, and got all dolled up in the hopes that I could make a good first impression. After all, they say you only have one chance to make a good first impression. I suppose that also applies to re-dating your ex-husband. I was full of nerves and my stomach fluttered like butterflies. I was overcome with anticipation of seeing him again, but for the first time. Like any other date, I wondered if we’d have chemistry? Would we have anything to talk about? But also feared that this would truly mark the end–that my first impression would be my last. That he wouldn’t like me any more than the last time we said goodbye.

We met for drinks. Him, a martini. Me, a dark and stormy. I ordered the caprese salad. He ordered the beef tar tare.

One of the things that The X didn’t like about me while we were married was my picky palate. I’m simply not adventurous when it comes to food. I decide by looking at something whether or not I want it on my taste buds. It used to drive him crazy the way I would turn my nose up at anything that looked weird to me. So when he asked if I wanted to taste his tar tare, I said yes. He spread a little bite on the bread, sprinkled it with salt, and then sprinkled it with pepper despite knowing how I despise pepper. I gave an inch and he took a mile. But I smiled and silently accepted his dare. I knew it was a test and all I had to do in order to pass was the put the tar tare sprinkled with pepper in my mouth and swallow it. Somewhere, in the deep recesses of my mind, I think I thought that this one bite of raw beef would make him like me again.

I tried to like it. I really did. But I failed when he handed me the napkin in which to spit it out.

The plan was to have a drink and a light meal, go see a play, and then grab drinks afterward. So from the bar, we headed to the theater. The play we saw was called The Last 5 Years. This is the synopsis:

The show follows two timelines:

Cathy begins at the end of her marriage and relationship with Jamie

and ends with the moment following their first date.

Jamie begins with the first date and struggles forward through the relationship.

Jamie and Cathy rarely appear or participate in each other’s scenes;

only as silent objects, props for a focus, or to provide a hint of what once was, or could have been.

The Last 5 Years asks many questions:

Why do we fall in love?

Why do relationships fail?

Why do people grow apart?

Does success for one mean loss for the other?

Suffice it to say that this might have been the worst idea I’ve ever had. Of course we both took something away, but the take-away wasn’t nearly as enlightening or progressive as I thought it might be. Instead, we were both left with an overwhelming sadness over the demise of our marriage. Could I have been more understanding? Could he have been more supportive? Or was it the other way around? One line in particular really caught my attention–“Why do I have to lose because you can’t win?” As we sat in the small, dark theater and watched a fictional version of our marriage unravel right before our eyes, that one simple line seemed to sum everything up. But, really, in the end it just makes us both losers. No one wins because we no longer have each other. It’s just so sad.

We both cried quite a bit during the play. There is one scene on their wedding day (the only point in the entire play where the actors are on the timeline) that really touched us both. We sat there, hand in hand, as we watched ourselves in the actor’s faces say ‘I do’ and share their first dance as husband and wife. The tears were unstoppable at this point so we both just let them fall. We both expected to feel was a sense of grieving for what was, but in the end we were simply left longing and wondering where it all went wrong.

By the time the play was over, I was entirely too emotional to go out in public, so we headed our separate ways. Me, to our empty home. He, to who knows where. That night I cried my eyes out over the immense sadness that riddles my heart. I sobbed for the profound loss of something that I have always held so dear. But in the end, I felt a flicker of hope that maybe this isn’t over after all. If there is still something there to feel, then maybe there is something there worth saving.

For now, however, we’ve both agreed to let him plan our second date. Perhaps something that hits a little further away from home….



16 thoughts on “Dating My Ex-Husband

  1. Wow that sounds like a thought-provoking play, but maybe not one suited for your first date with the ex.

    I bet that even though you spit the tartare out, it made him happy that you at least tried it….

  2. Wow!!!! This sounds like a lie. The play sounds like it brought a lot things to the surface for the both of you. I hope you both continue this to see if something is still there between you both. I’m sorry the first one wasn’t that easy, but maybe the next will be different.

  3. This kind of has me wondering if he is worth all this hard work. Because that’s what he sounds like… a lot of hard work. I thought he wanted to do a big motorbike trip or something? Has he decided not to? Good luck with the dates, lady. Are you still seeing the delightful professor in the meantime???

  4. You naughty naughty girl!! I feel like I should slap your wrists young lady. He does not deserve your fabulous self and if he intends to wiggle his way back in he has some serious serious work to do. Hummmm, I am not sure about this….. I am giving you the disapproving school-marm look over my spectacles.

  5. I’m so glad you did this! I do realize that he seems to have become a selfish man unfortunately, but he is still your husband. I’m all for not allowing yourself to be treated badly or walked all over by him, but undoubtedly, you are not that kind of person! I’m praying for you!! Oh, and WOWZAS to your last post….wheewww that was fun to read 😉 xoxo

  6. I love that play. I haven’t actually seen it but love the music. It pops up on one of my Pandora stations. I can totally see how that was difficult for you both to watch. Sending many thoughts as you figure out the direction to take with Mr. X.

  7. This is so heartbreaking, and yet so full of hope! I can’t put myself in your shoes… I mean seriously, I simply can’t imagine everything you’ve been through in the last 5 months. For one brief moment in time, our lives were aligned… beta an Nov. 2. And then things went berserk! I’ve accomplished nothing since then, and you’ve been through so, so, so much! It just breaks my heart. But I’m really happy to hear that you and the Mr are dating. It sounds like despite any of the other guys, you still love him a lot, so I’m hopeful that at the very least, there is healing for you in these dates. Thinking of you!

  8. The Last 5 Years. YOU SAW THE LAST 5 YEARS??? Ok, first up: I’m jealous. I saw that play about 6 or 7 years ago, and still can’t shake it. It’s amazing. I have all of the music. The moment they share together on stage at the wedding is heart wrenching. Wow. What a play to see with the Ex! I can only speak from experience and say…dates with an Ex are more often than not more painful than pleasurable in the long run. The play may have set the tone melancholy tone, but I doubt you would have been feeling any happier or better about the situation, even if it had played out differently. I think time really is needed to heal and clarify things in this situation. So sorry you’re having to go through the rollercoaster of emotion right now.

  9. Shoot, just catching up on all your posts now! Man, what an intense “first date”… I remember trying the same thing with my ex once (not husband, just a boyfriend) and it totally backfired, mostly because it reinforced to me why I ended things but just made him all the more upset that it was over. Worst. But I have a lot of hope for you two — and frankly, he can deal with the fact that raw meat isn’t your thing. 🙂

  10. Pingback: I’m Not Bitter In The Least Bit. Also: I Am Not Dead Either. | The Sub-Fertile Slut

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