Having watched the past carefully and lived in the present I am careful to predict the future with a bit of accuracy. Not so much exact accuracy but I can pretty much predict the level of happiness a person might experience.
Case in point. My parents have been divorced for the last 20 years or so. My mother is very pushy and demanding regarding how things should be. In my youth she was not content with our family dynamic and we were forced to endure years of "family therapy" with a therapist who eventually had his license revoked because he was a complete schlub in the field of family counseling and therapy.
Mom eventually filed for divorce because my father was unable to live up to the standards that she expected. The process of the divorce was long and Mom continually demanded more than she was allowed by law to receive. Dad relented on some points but it left bad juju for any sort of compromise in the future for anything. At my wedding they did not greet each other much less spend any time catching up. There was an uncomfortable tension between the two of them. I decided to not let that get in the way of having a good time.
Dad is a very accomplished lawyer (I have come to find out that he is highly respected in the state for his ethics and abilities,) and also just plugs along doing the best that he can. He has since remarried to a wonderful woman. They are both very much in love and even through trials and tribulations they are committed to each other.
Mom, on the other hand has no work experience save for some time working in an overpriced junk shop and for a large furniture retailer. She has had at least one long term relationship that crashed and burned since the divorce. She sets high expectations for others but is willing to let her own shortcomings become the excuse for poor behavior.
This is the dynamic that I grew up with from an early age. It was the basis of my own rage and addictions that I have since come to grips with and will continue to work on over the duration of my life.
Last night I get a call from Mom. Because of her refusal to listen to me or my brothers she has buried herself into a mountain of debt that has resulted in her receiving a summons from a credit card company to appear in court to settle the debt. She has no money and is in a panic. Mom wanted to speak to my father before going to a lawyer. On behalf of my mother I (reluctantly) emailed my father and asked him if he was willing to at least talk to Mom. His response was simple, "Don't expect a timely response."
I could see this coming. I think everybody could. One of my older brother's is making plans to have Mom move in with them as a back up plan, "just in case."
This relates to my current relationship with my ex-wife. She is much like my mother. Demanding of others but willing to let her own shortcomings take her off the hook for bad behavior.
The other day Jen decided that it was time to take my inventory because I had come up short on stuff that needed to be done to get the house up for sale. Since I have to pay half of the mortgage and second mortgage on top of my own rent and expenses and still pay child support I think I deserve a little slack as I have to work 3 jobs to make it happen.
Rather than just tell me what needed to be done she began to berate me for those things not being done from last year. I decided not to engage on her level and shut her down. "Don't take my inventory. It pisses me off and you are not allowed to do such things. If it continues I will not only leave this situation but I will forgo paying half of the mortgage and just pay you full child support and you can figure out how to pay for it."
I was not joking and she knew it. In matters of emotion and responsibility I do not fuck around.
I cannot tell what Jen's future is going to look like in terms of relationships. But if I had to go on what I see from the past, she is going to end up broke, alone and scared.
I am not sure if my response will be timely either...