It is now once again even more official that my parents marriage is beyond any hope of resurrection. Not that there was ever any hope for that, but now one of those tiniest and most remote slivers of a chance has died because last evening dad gave me a ring to tell me that he had a new girl-friend.

"Jealousy and Flirtation" depicts a ...
Haynes King, “Jealousy and Flirtation”  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a woman that he met through a client, and they’ve seen each other for some months, and last weekend they decided to try to form a relationship. That lead to the phone call.

And now I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react to that. I feel a bit guilty for not being happy for him, and I feel a bit confused about why I feel a bit dismissive.

Shouldn’t I congratulate them? Or should I keep a distance? Be angry? I don’t have any claim to my parents lives, and they have to do what they have to do to be happy. I don’t feel anger or jealousy. I think. So what am I feeling? I don’t have the best relationship with my dad, so it’s not like this woman is going to be a huge part of my life.

She did not get off to a good start because she insisted on talking to me to promise me that she wasn’t trying to get between me and mum. In this complicated triangle that I, mum and dad have there’s no chance of that, so why even say it? She’s dad’s girlfriend. I have a good relationship with mum. This woman is, as far as my life is concerned, still a nobody. She doesn’t threaten any balance between any of us. If I want to talk to mum, this woman will be far from my mind. So why say something that silly?

But there’s also this, when I told Mark about it, he questioned me why I was so dismissive, and asked point-blank if I was hiding some jealousy. He said she just wanted to be nice because sometimes new partners do disturb settled things. Maybe she just wanted to defuse things from the outset, Mark says.

I do have a problem with jealousy sometimes, but so far that has only involved Mark. Why would I be jealous of dad? Or her? This doesn’t feel like jealousy. This feels like… mild annoyance. But maybe I should be happy for dad because it’s not likely that him and mum will ever get together. And why would I even want that if they’re miserable together?

Am I really this selfish that I just project well-wishes, but secretly even to myself I want them to be lonely so that things doesn’t change – worsen? – between us? Or is it just another aspect of mine and dad’s passive-aggressive relationship?

I feel like I’m being horribly unfair for no good reason, which I can’t even understand. Nope, I don’t understand myself at all. I make no sense. Dad makes no sense. Nobody makes any sense. I just want Mark to daub the drool off my chin when my head hurts thinking about these things.

Dad is coming to England at the end of October or the beginning of November, and then we’ll go to London and meet up. He’ll bring her, and we can meet and go shopping together. Hopefully dad won’t be too busy, and hopefully he won’t find cause to stay at the office for the entire trip. With him, you never know.

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