I wake up the morning before Christmas in a full on panic.
Not about the holiday itself mind you.
Years ago my brothers and I stopped exchanging gifts because of the sheer angst and fights the event would cause.
Nope. My fear is entirely based on one frightening thought.
What if he doesn’t leave?
Now that I’ve gotten on the separation train, I’ve been impatiently waiting for it to leave the station.
But the doors are closing, and he’s still not on board.
Funny thing is. He bought the tickets!
So I do what I always do when I’m stressed or a little confused.
I make a list.
Posted by storm on April 15, 2012
“I’m not asking you to take everything that you own, just maybe take 2 large suitcases and your computer and your drives and your shoes and…”
“All right, all right. Stop.”
I had both of my palms up facing him in the universal body language for ‘no offense, calm down.’
I’ve swung to other end of the spectrum.
Now I can’t get him out of the house fast enough.
The dance continued until the week before Christmas when my mother had asked for the 10th time whether or not we were coming or not and could we bring our own food, since we don’t eat turkey and she has no idea what to make for us and my brother brought a gallon of soy eggnog for us and we had better be coming because Daddy’s not going to drink it.
So thoughtful, my brother.
Posted by storm on April 13, 2012
After weeks of going back and forth, we were living like boyfriend and girlfriend as opposed to husband and wife.
Oh wait, no. Boyfriends and girlfriends have sex don’t they?
So yeah no.
We were like roommates who happened to share a bed.
He would do small things for me, like paint things, but not pay any bills or make any commitments.
Although he’d asked for the separation…
In fact, most days, he would act as if nothing was wrong at all.
It was weird. He was still going to his part-time job, (I think.) Still working on his various creative projects. Acting like nothing was wrong to his family and friends.
He was still coming home every night.
He seemed to be completely ignoring the big-ass neon sign that was now hanging over his head like a mutant SIMS plumbob that read:
THIS MAN IS LEAVING YOU.
Posted by storm on April 12, 2012
He didn’t leave.
Not that day, not that week.
He didn’t even pack.
I wasn’t even sure where the suitcases were.
Are they in the basement or in storage with the summer clothes? Should I offer him one of mine? How does this work?
He was calmly going about his days as if nothing had happened.
And I was slowly going crazy.
I looked up the definition of separation in my computer’s dictionary just to see if somehow Webster had been brought back to life and had decreed that the word actually deemed a new meaning. Maybe there had been a moratorium on the subject and I missed out. Which is why I hadn’t been informed of the fact that the meaning of separation in the english language had now been rescinded, and the new meaning actually was synonymous with change-nothing-in-fact-feign-amnesia-and-act-as-if-nothing-is-wrong-and-maybe-she-won’t-notice.
Posted by storm on April 6, 2012
Over the next week or so my husband became increasingly helpful and thoughtful. Morphing into the attentive loving man that I had missed for months, possibly more than a year.
And I became more and more uncomfortable.
I mean honestly, the man told me that he wanted a separation. I wasn’t hearing things, I wasn’t drunk, I was wide awake when he said it. And I made him repeat the words out loud to make sure the he knew what he was saying.
However one week, four meals and a bouquet of flowers later, I came in the house after work one day to find him painting the stairs going to the ground floor.
I spoke quietly, using the voice I reserve for small children holding sharp objects or escaped mental patients wielding incendiary devices.
“What are you doing?” He looks from me to the paint brush in his hand and then back to me.
“Um…painting the steps.”
Posted by storm on April 5, 2012
The day after my husband told me that he wanted to separate, I stayed in bed late. Thinking. Calculating. Making lists in my head. It’s what I do to try to take control of a situation.
My process, so to speak.
Deciding that I needed sustenance in order to figure out how best to handle my soon-to-be status as a separated spouse, I went upstairs to our renovated Brooklyn brownstone kitchen and was greeted by the smell of breakfast and to the image of a bright sunny clean room, with my husband puttering around. When he saw me he smiled.
If this had been any other morning, I would have smiled back.
“Good morning!” He moved so quickly to kiss me I almost didn’t kiss him back.
I stood there taking in the whole scene, and wondered for one brief minute if I’d dreamed the whole separation thing up. But no, that would require me sleeping, which I definitely did.not.do.
Posted by storm on April 4, 2012
By the fall of last year, even I had to admit that my husband had been having problems. We barely saw each other and when we did we were living more like room mates than husband and wife. It had been going on for quite some time. In fact, my husband had spoken of separation months prior. But in a hysterical fit of panic and fear, I was incredulous.
It’s only been 3 years. How could you give up this quickly? You told me you were going through something, and needed space. I gave you space. What are you saying? What do you want me to do?
He demanded more attention.
I demanded he help pay the bills.
By Thanksgiving it was pretty obvious that things were too far gone for us to fix without help. I kept trying to talk to him, but he kept dodging me. So I waited until we took my car to the garage for inspection. I pretended that I needed his help and didn’t want to go without him. He was happy to help. I knew I’d only have about 30 minutes while it was up on the lift to get a straight answer out of him.
Or so I thought.
Posted by storm on April 4, 2012
Hey there. *waves* This is the first of a series of posts about the subsequent end of my marriage. Let’s get one thing out of the way right off. THIS BLOG IS NOT ABOUT BASHING MY HUSBAND. This is not going to be another blog about some woman wailing about how unfair life is and what an evil man her two-timing spouse is, or how she set fire to all of his belongings stuffed into his late-model luxury car in a vicadin-vodka-induced rage. (Although nothing about divorce is really fair, and I do reserve the right to wail at will). This is also not going to be about how you can “stick” it to your spouse and get him for all he’s worth if you too are going through this process.
This is a recounting, a journal, a memoir of sorts of what is proving to be one of the most difficult times in my life.
I’m just starting this journey.
Posted by storm on April 3, 2012