The time I created serious drama with Bruce.

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My heart sank. OH FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK I thought. I texted back immediately “Oh shit. I’m so sorry.”

I was standing in my bathroom and steadied myself on my doorway as tears welled up. It’s over, I thought. I fucked up, doesn’t matter if it was an honest mistake. He’s going to think I’m crazy and now I’ve caused drama.

I took some deep breaths.

He replied: “No, my bad, don’t know phone numbers…”

“I was really worried about you.”

“Thanks for the concern, talk soon.”

“She has your name on the voicemail. I thought it was your # and you’d never changed the message. Look forward to hearing from you.”

I texted my Mom and the few girlfriends who I’d been talking to about this all weekend, to let them know.

He replied a few minutes later: “Nope I don’t have a home phone.”

I felt terrible. I didn’t know what to say other than that I was sorry. “I’m profoundly sorry if I’ve caused you any trouble.”

“Hmmmm. I’ll let you know when I’m done being accosted”.

At that point, I started to think… why is this such a big fucking deal? Yes, I made an honest mistake and left a message on his ex-wife’s machine. The address matched what he’d told me about his house. But (assuming he’s telling the truth) they have been separated forย two years.

I thought about what if it was Will and I. If a woman had left a message on my machine for him, I would have found it funny. Perhaps annoying and off-putting, but I wouldn’t be yelling at him. Will remained in our house for three years after we split and left my name on the listing. Had I lost my phone and someone called there thinking it was me, he wouldn’t have lost his mind.

But in our case, we were emotionally done with each other. Neither of us wanted to get back together. We each knew the other was dating.

So what the hell was going on with Bruce’s ex-wife?

More than anything else, I was concerned he was going to end it with me. I felt like an idiot. I didn’t think I’d overreacted by leaving him one voicemail – I hadn’t sent 100 texts (just one) and hadn’t called him 100 times. Once each day to his mobile, a few times to what I thought was his home phone.

But to have made a mistake in not considering it could have been his ex-wife’s house? That’s what bothered me the most: a fault in my logic may end things with him before we really started.

He said he’d call me and I did my best to not text. At 8:30 I caved and asked if he was still being accosted. He replied he was putting the kids to bed and we could talk afterward.

At 10 pm my phone rang. We spoke for thirty minutes.

It was no laughing matter and I had every reason to feel terrible. She lost it on him, in front of the children. Screaming about why some woman was calling him and what if the kids answered the phone. She wouldn’t listen to reason – before she mentioned my name he said he had no idea what she was talking about, certainly hadn’t given anyone her number, and it could have been work related.

Once she mentioned my name, he said yes I was someone he was dating (he admitted to me he tried to downplay it at first), he had lost his phone, I had expected to hear from him, probably looked up the number and assumed it was his. What he said to his ex was pretty much exactly how it went down – and this was without my explaining anything to him. While he tried to placate her, she wouldn’t listen to reason.

He told me once he knew it was me he started looking for his phone “in earnest”. She didn’t tell him what my message was, and he admitted he was angry at me when he thought perhaps I’d deliberately left some nasty message. While he said he didn’t think I’d do that, he didn’t know, especially since she was so angry.

He said once he found his phone he could see the one text from me and the low number of missed calls, not a sign I’d lost my mind and left some angry message. “No!” I said, “I was just really worried about you. All I said was ‘Hi it’s Ann hoping you’re okay can you give me a call.'”

He admitted to me that on occasion, she seemed to want to get back together. He said it’s not what he wants, not at all. He is the one that left, even though he stayed in the house. They still do a number of things together with the children, and live close to each other to make it easier for them. Their former wedding anniversary is coming up. She had been drinking.

Right. Of course. Now it was making sense to me why she was angry.

I am the first woman he’s dated since they broke up two years ago, and we certainly hadn’t dated long enough to warrant him telling her he was dating someone. It wasn’t as if I was about to meet the children.

So here’s a woman who may want her ex-husband back, she hasn’t yet had to face that he’s dating, and a woman leaves a message for himย on her fucking home answering machine.ย An answering machine that still mentions all of their names.

Jesus. What had I done?

37 thoughts on “The time I created serious drama with Bruce.

  1. You hadn’t done anything wrong. His reaction should tell you that. The way she chooses to react to this is her problem. And the kids couldn’t have answered the phone since they were with him and you knew that.
    Even if they had, you could have asked if their dad was around and that was that.
    Now, this said, I can also feel for Bruce. This sounds like the sort of thing my ex could pull off. Never mind he’s been with someone for over two years. If anyone tried to reach me at his house, he’d go nuts. Which is one of the reasons I don’t want him to know about The Dancer, hence don’t want the kids to know about him.

    Again, the positive about it is that both Bruce and you have the same outlook on things, the same trains of thoughts. And he didn’t lose it, he confirmed he doesn’t want to go back with her through words and deed. Those are pretty positive things to take out from this mess!

    • Well, I didn’t have to call that number. It was an honest mistake – there was no part of me that thought it was her number. I could have waited to call him but I was genuinely worried.
      Had his children answered (remember I thought it was his number) I would have simply asked if he was there. No drama. Kids shouldn’t know shit at this point.

  2. What a mess! But certainly not because of anything you did.
    I can easily see how two people split up and one or both don’t seem to be moving on with other people so it would be a shock to the one not aware that dating was a possibility. Still, it sounds like he needs to set some boundaries with the ex and make it clear that dating is his prerogative and her reaction was out of line.

      • No. There hasn’t been an impetus to do so. They’ve managed so far okay, but who knows maybe if/when he starts moving on with someone else it could change. Not a subject I’ve broached with him. Everything he’s said and done so far tells me it’s over with her… but only time will tell.

        • Oh boy. So he is keeping her as an option. When I was in this situation I told him either file or I can’t date you. He filed right away! Do you care whether or not he files? What is keeping him from doing so? He probably wants her to do it so it isn’t his decision. He could always go back to her (just like Tony). I don’t want to rain on your parade, I just want you to have a fulfilling relationship with a man who can offer you a future.

          • By the way, his wife had a boyfriend (the one she left him for) so the situation was a bit different.

          • Definitely not keeping her as an option. I was the same with my ex, we had sorted the financials and the custody and filing was an expensive hassle. Same with several of my friends who have sorted those things but haven’t bothered with the final paper: they are 1000% not going back. I have more to write about him and her… there’s a big difference between him and Tony. But of course, assuming things continue with us, I will want to have comfort that he is fully emotionally and practically available to me…. because I want what you are saying too!!

    • I agree, Tara. I suspect this would have been an issue at some point, but if I hadn’t messed up it could have been a far more gentle experience for them both. Hard, but not like this.
      I agree about the boundaries – I know he wants to see his children as much as possible but suspect perhaps this may make him realize that some boundaries are important, especially for his children. More posts coming!

    • It’s not a white snake moment lol… the piece of that song that resonated wasn’t actually the being alone part, it was the “here I go again” part, because I really like Bruce. But of course that doesn’t make sense with the song so I left it as is ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. It’s one thing to think your ex has moved on, another of course to have confirmation of it actually happening. I’m sorry she reacted so badly, in front of the kids especially.

  4. I seriously don’t understand the problem here. I don’t understand why people still have intertwined lives after two years. I get “kids” but ffs she has no claim after this period of time and he should quite bluntly tell her to mind her own damn business and while she’s at it fix up the message on her phone. I also don’t get the whole being previous about keeping kids totally quarantined from their parents’ dating life – it’s normal that parents will date and boy/girlfriends will come and go. Why is it new partners can only be introduced on the eve of the presumed wedding. Because we all know marriage is a guarantee of permanence. Rant over. Oops. Sorry.

    • I won’t introduce someone in the very early days where I’m still trying to figure out if I even want a relationship with them. That’s the place I’m at with Bruce. My child only knows he exists because we were together for 2.5 weeks and he knows I was speaking on the phone with someone – but I told my child it takes me a little bit of time before I’m ready to introduce someone to him.
      I also don’t agree with waiting too long, because I want to see how that person acts around my child. Usually it’s been a couple of months of dating when I think “okay this person has some real potential, let’s see how they are with Liam”.

What do you think?