In 2009 my husband of 16 years, boyfriend for the six years before that, told me he was done. He wanted a divorce. He actually said he wanted a divorce for the last ten years but put up with it all because, well he didn’t like confrontation. He thought we’d been such good “roommates” for the last few years that he would simply move into the guest room and we would continue that arrangement for, oh, say another five years. By then he would be ready to leave.
A lot more was said, but I was in such shock that I don’t remember a lot of it. As you might imagine, while he was being a good roommate, I was being a good wife. I put up with a lot, supported him and protected him while we were waist deep in his crap. I believed I was making an investment and the payoff was just around the corner. At some point we would be happy again; we would look back and laugh at these hard times.
So my investment went bust. Well, I couldn’t wait for him to be ready to move out, who wants a bad investment lingering around sapping resources? So a few weeks after he dropped his bomb, I found myself tossing his things into his car and watching him drive away. You see, that afternoon he left with the kids for lunch and the park. He came back at 8pm. It seems he had a glass of wine with lunch, never made it to the park, and drank straight through to dinner. Then he drove home. With the kids. I was angry and rather than suppress as usual, I called him on being irresponsible. He became enraged at my lack of gratitude for taking the kids out for the afternoon.
There was a time when I would stand there and take it, back before we were roommates. I never would have confronted him. I would have apologized for appearing ungrateful and told him he misunderstood. But you know, that November, I’d had enough. So when he told me I was ungrateful I took a deep breath and defended myself. That’s when he threatened to leave. And I started to laugh. Like divorcing me wasn’t enough, wait, there’s more! He might actually leave! It was ludicrous. He was ludicrous.
I remember it was scary and exhilarating. This man who I couldn’t imagine spending my life without… in a matter of days I suddenly couldn’t imagine spending another second anywhere around him.
Well, because he doesn’t like confrontation, and he doesn’t like to be wrong, and he doesn’t like paying his debts, we still aren’t divorced. My attorney told me last week we have a mandatory settlement hearing first week in February. We must agree to the dissolution that day or the judge will end it under his own terms. So I’ve been reflecting a lot these last few days.
I’ll finally be divorced first week in February. For the right things, I am very grateful.