Reflections on a broken marriage

It is one year ago that S and I officially separated. In NZ, you have to be separated for 2 years before you can divorce, irrespective of circumstances. And the only reason for divorce is citing irreconcilable differences. I think in the US you can divorce straight away, I don’t know about the UK, but Australia is one year. So two years seems a long time.

I’ve been through all the stages of grief, denial, anger, sadness, and over and over them for different periods.

I can still remember S telling me he didn’t love me when I got to Cambodia. My desperation to fly home and sort out the situation and him telling me he’d leave, he didn’t want me to go back. The shock of a marriage gone bad. Although we’d been drifting for some time, I never envisioned divorce in my life. That was something other people did. Surely we’d find our way back?

On my return, S seemed to think we could live together as flat mates. Which might have been possible if not for the fact he couldn’t hide his disgust with me. If I stepped close to him, his barrier was almost tangible. He looked at me with disdain. For me, I couldn’t live like that. I couldn’t pretend. My parents have a fake marriage built on familiarity and fear of the Unknown. I wasn’t going to have this half in marriage. Either we made it work, or we didn’t. In which case, we moved on. Which in theory seemed easy, but then there’s the emotional baggage. S made it clear, he was out. He was over this marriage. No tearful talks from me were going to change anything. So I engaged a lawyer. And why not? I don’t know my rights, I wasn’t going to be left without anything. S seemed to take the lawyer as a personal blow to his integrity. But I don’t regret it. She helped me organise my finances and his financial obligations and explained the house situation. Although S initially agreed to move out within a set time frame, he reneged. And I didn’t want the cost or pressure of going to court for an order. So I decided to move out. S can’t afford to buy me out of the house, and we want to sell later when prices have gone up, so it works for me.

I didn’t anticipate the emotional connection to the house though. Spending too much time up there blurred boundaries and made the separation process harder to accept. But then avoiding the house totally had the other effect of extreme emotional torture.

I’ve flipped and flopped with my emotions and there’s been no easy route.

I can finally say, one year on, I no longer have an emotional connection to the house. It’s S’s house. I sometimes go up there to look after the kids when he’s working late, but I treat it like a friends house.

There was no need for a custody agreement, S and I work well where the kids are concerned, as there’s 4, it’s hard to have them all here at once – my place is quite small. But I usually have 2/3 at any given time, weekends and during the week. My relationship with the kids hasn’t suffered.

S and I are moving into a new stage of our post separation relationship. The hurt has finally disappated. I never thought it would get  to that. But hanging onto the hurt was only serving to damage me.Bearing in mind he’s had longer to deal with his decision and feelings so I’ve found his coolness hard to bare. One result from this is there is no going back. I could never trust him again after all this hurt.  Not that going back is an option. He seems happy and relaxed. Probably much better than his good days with me.

I’m sad, very sad that we had so much history, so many stories accumulated over the years. He was my best friend and I’ve lost that. 

For the first time I find myself missing affection (we didn’t have that for a long time in our marriage, and as for intimacy, God knows). I miss the closeness of a relationship. It’s strange to think of dating again. 

Right now I’m focussing on my mental health, and my fitness. It’s time I took better care of myself as I fight this low. I’d also like to get back into my study again.

I’m enjoying my kids, and I’m more set in my ways now in my house. I didn’t think I’d ever feel like this. I know there will still be hard periods, and my body will crave the familiarity of a man I’ve loved for over a decade, but I know I won’t find my true happiness there anymore. 

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