Tomorrow- today, technically, but I haven’t been to bed yet, so it doesn’t count- is going to suck. I know it. I feel it in my marrow and in my blood. I have to share space with the ex and his gf, and there is so much pent-up hostility there I’m surprised I haven’t lit buildings on fire when I think of it.

But I’ve realised something. Just now, in fact; just a minute and a half ago, or less: it’s going to suck, but that doesn’t matter. I’m better.

I have to put up with the ex and the sour piece of uptight upholstery he’s saddled himself with, but that doesn’t have to bother me as much as I’ve let it. He’s lost everything over the past few years, and I’ve only gained.

He’s lost three houses, his jetskis, and a car because he couldn’t pay for them. He lost his swanky job, the one he was going to get rich in (he was selling mortgages, btw. For Ameriquest, briefly. This should tell you everything you need to know about the man). He’s living in a small apartment in a relatively cheap portion of town, selling cars and barely, as far as I can guess, making his bills. From comments my kid has made, I suspect he’s turning into a functioning alcoholic. I suspect, after having the pattern of his actions pointed out to me, that he’s miserable right now, that he’s using the fact that the divorce isn’t final yet to avoid having to marry the woman he shacked up with.

And I’ve only gained.

I’ve gained self-respect.

I’ve gained confidence.

I’ve gained a good job that, if all goes well, I should be able to hang onto through the current economic hosing, and although things are tight, I’m doing better than a lot of people.

I’ve gained a girlfriend, someone who loves me warts and all, unreservedly, without insisting I change things to suit an image, rather than the twisty-turny, slightly warped, constantly-shifting reality of me.

I’ve gained the best dog in the whole wide world, a smart, sweet, pretty, loyal, funny boy who learns tricks and loves me and keeps me safe while I sleep.

I think I’m finally starting to come around to the proper perspective, the proper way of looking at how I relate to the ex.

I’m happy. I’m finally happy. And he’s a sad, struggling, self-absorbed, close-minded, selfish, small man. He wants success and he sabotages himself. And he’s getting older without getting further along. And I feel sorry for him.

I’ll probably hate him again tomorrow, when I see him with his gf, with matching smug expressions, but tonight I feel sorry for him. I knew him before he turned into this person that I hate, and I know he could have been so much better.

And there, as the adage goes, but for the grace of God, go I. I can only be grateful I got out in time, and that I learn, and grow, and that I can be happy.