The Stranger

I got into an argument with my ex-wife this weekend. I failed at one of my goals to approach situations like this calmly and rationally.

It's hard when you are suddenly put on defense unexpectedly.

When I noticed how our child was reacting to this, I realized my folly in arguing at this time, said goodbye to him with a hug and left. His parents may not have any love between them anymore, but he should not suffer for this.

What did I do wrong? I was looking in the house for a tape measurer. See, the boy needs his passport renewed and the page asks for the person’s height. Okay. I should have researched this earlier, I admit, but I didn't realize, and no one knew his height, and I figured one of the drawers would have a tape measurer. I was pretty sure there was one when I lived there years ago.

My ex-wife came home to me rummaging through the drawers and was outraged. Why would a stranger go through someone else’s stuff. I apologized, or did I? It's hard to remember after such an intense event, but said that I was doing it for the boy’s passport application. “Why didn't you bring something or go buy something?” Well, I messed up and didn't read the application beforehand. It's all done online. I figured it wouldn't take too much time. I didn't know I’d need a tape measurer.

Anyway, the same thing happened that happened every argument we had during our marriage which ultimately brought us to divorce. She accused me of something, I said my reasoning and she retorted by saying that I did the thing I did.

It always drove me a little mad. It still does, I suppose. I don't get it, but I’m not the one getting emotional about the situation. Well, that's not true. I'm not the one initially getting emotional.

Perhaps there was something in the drawers she didn't want me to see. Perhaps she just believes that as we are now divorced I have no right to do anything to her property. And maybe I don’t. I do watch our child at her house before she gets home some days. I was, perhaps stupidly, just doing my best to try to get a difficult process in motion. Should I have looked up the form earlier? Yes. Should I have asked earlier his height and when I received the answer that it was unknown procured a tape measurer and prepared myself? Yes.

Am I a stranger going through someone's things with malicious intent? I cannot agree. I was simply trying to help. Perhaps it did not seem that way. She's lucky I am not the type of person to pocket the bits of cash she had just left around the house, but then again it is fairly stupid of me to say she's lucky I am a decent person.

I pleaded my case that I was simply trying to get the paperwork done as soon as possible so I could take the boy to America this summer. (Let's not ask her what the progress is on her renewing his Japanese passport.) She called me a stranger and a thief.

That hurt. I was attempting to do the best I could, the soonest I could, for the child. Had I made mistakes in the process? Surely I did. Does a divorce make me a stranger and a thief? Does my explanation hold no ground because I am now to her, in her own words “nobody”? I don't know. I have trouble seeing how I truly erred, but I know my intents were only noble and she does not see them that way.

I have to remember to hold back, especially in front of my son. He doesn't need to see that. No one does.