Thursday, 26 September 2013
The 6th of October is not far off. On that day in 2012, I was on holiday in Florence. I went there with my wife.
It was the third day of our holiday in Italy. After a good breakfast, we went to visit the monastery where Fra Gerolamo Savonarola had lived many centuries ago. It was shortly after leaving that place that the horrible news was delivered to me. The person with whom I had been married for just over 6 years and the close friend that I had known since I was around 20 years old informed me that she was no longer happy with me. She then added that a guy she had only known for a few months was madly in love with her. Aware of how miserable she felt, he bought her a plane ticket so that she could join him whilst he was on holiday in Spain. To my horror, she accepted. When we returned to the hotel, she packed one of the bags with her things and left. As one may imagine, the rest of my time in Florence was characterised by a terrible sense of sadness and loneliness.
Almost one year later, my ex-wife and I met yesterday in the presence of our respective lawyers. The terms of the separation agreement were read to us inside a small room in the Family Court. At one point, the atmosphere seemed a bit surreal as the person who read the conditions to us asked about how we met. When I gave her the brief version of the story, she said "How sweet!" Talking about how we met and evoking memories of those happy times did not appear to be particularly appropriate behaviour whilst reviewing the conditions associated with the dissolution of a marriage!
After we left the Family Court, my ex-wife asked me to have a drink with her. At first, I wanted to decline the offer, but I then said to myself that exchanging a few words might somehow contribute to my healing process.
We went to the Charles Grech coffee shop in Republic Street. We did mention some of the main developments that occurred during the last few months. I, however, refused to disclose anything which I considered as too personal.
On more than one occasion, she expressed the desire to keep in touch. I told her that I saw absolutely no point in doing so, especially after all the suffering that she had caused. I added that once the separation goes through, there would be no further contact. I said that she would die alone and that I would also die alone with no additional involvement in each other's lives. When I uttered those words, her eyes seemed to fill with tears for a few seconds.
Shortly after leaving the coffee shop, she repeated the desire to keep in touch. She said: "You know that I care about you!" I told her, "It is too late for that now!"
It still hurts very much whenever I remind myself that in October 2012 I lost my wife as well as one of my dearest friends. The decision to avoid further contact with her is painful, but necessary to protect myself. Given the current circumstances and especially the way in which she ended the relationship, there truly seems to be no point in keeping in touch. To talk about what? Her present life with her new partner? No thanks!