Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day 3? Day 6? Is anyone counting?

I have been incredibly anxious. My stomach is doing somersaults.  There are a number of things that could be causing it:


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I probably have more anxiety than the average resting person.


I don't want to talk about this in general, why in hell would I want to blog about it. I have a new job, which I like okay, but it doesn't pay enough and I can barely make ends meet.  Plus, it's not the kind of work I'd really like to be doing.


They're old. I'm looking forwarding to seeing them but there's lots of logistics to figure plus we're taking a red eye which isn't any fun.


It could be that.

In the "taking stock of my life" exercise, the best thing going for me is my two daughters and there's nothing else on the list that I can think of.  I really adore them, love their company. they're super nice to me. Through a quirk of scheduling I have Thursday (tomorrow) off and I asked their mother if I can have the girls on Thursday night. Thankfully, she said yes.  Mostly, I'm going to help them with their homework and try to get them to bed at a decent hour.

Here's where I don't do great as a dad.  1) I like their company so I sometimes let them stay up way too late.  Mostly on weekends, but still.  2) If I'm feeling lazy and/or unmotivated I will let them stay on their tablets or computers until their tiny unformed brains explode. I THINK their mother does a better job of regulating their screen time. But I could be wrong.  3) There aren't any vegetables in the house.  I'll go fetch them, and they'll eat them but it's a thing.

After my daughters, the rest of my life could use a lot of work.  For instance, this blog is the most creative thing I'm currently doing and I KNOW no one is reading it.  I don't mean only a few hundred readers, I mean no one.

I will throw some positive talk into the mix one of these days, but not today.

Rinse repeat

In case you were checking in to see how I'm doing, I'm still whining.

I hate grieving. I'm bad at it.  I have that voice in my head that says, "you're STILL upset about THAT?  Hasn't it been like over two weeks?  I think you're just wallowing in it."

The thing about grief that I hate - is you can tear off like the next 3 to 6 months - or longer - of the calendar and just know you're going to feel crappy during that time.

If you just read how I felt yesterday, cut and paste it into today.

Monday, November 26, 2018

How close did you shave? This close.

I had a goatee until a few minutes ago. Now I'm clean shaven. It's not a question of why did I shave but why did I have facial hair. Because she liked it. I always hated it.  Reclaiming my life, one face at a time.

Today went a little bit better, not too much better.  I still can't believe that she doesn't want to be married to me. And that she hasn't for some time. We probably first went into counseling over 10 years ago, the biggest issue being that I was a slob (let's not hire a maid when we can pay a therapist). So it seems the seeds of discontent were sown long ago.

Guys are given a bad rap. I went willingly to therapy. I couldn't have worked harder on the overall project. I feel cheated.

I really would like to not care who's fault was what and stuff like that and I'm angry that I'm thinking about it. Somebody took exception with me saying she bailed on out marriage. That's my perception. Suck an egg.

I have 2 girls and if they were the only decent thing to come out of our marriage it would have been worth it.

I feel a little like a dullard tonight, maybe I should wait for the Ambien to kick in and then WHO KNOWS what I'll write!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Day 2 of Something

I woke up at 4:30 in the morning in a panic. I was coming out of a nightmare, I was hearing noises in the apartment and I wasn't sure if I had remembered to lock the door.

But mostly I was feeling a huge wave of loneliness.  Even with daughters sleeping safely in the next room.

There was the day after she first told me she wanted out.

There was the first night that I couch-surfed as part of our "trial separation."

There was the day she told me she wanted a divorce.

There was the day I slept in my new apartment by myself.

(Jezus, I've had some crappy days)

The waking up and this whole day felt as bad as any of those days, at least so as I can remember.

I read in a "Divorced Dad" website that when women are done with a relationship, there's no going back for them. I obviously don't buy that.  But I probably should have in my case.  I could have saved myself a couple of years.

A sad fact - I don't really know exactly why she left. Which makes me feel like I'm a dipshit.  I mean I go to therapy, self-help groups, I occasionally blog, I really should know better.  It's somewhere in the vortex between sex and money but I can't pin it down for you.

I have my theories:  I had a rough jobless patch for a couple of years. I think she just stopped believing in me. That's what I really think but as I type it it seems like something a guy would say and a woman would say no, we don't think that way.  To put it another way, financially, she stopped feeling safe. And it would take a giant pot of gold to change that.

But what difference does it make?

So you don't repeat your mistakes with "the next one."  So you aren't deluded. So you could become a better person.  I have to admit, these last couple of years of rejection and rebuff have taken its toll on me. Should I have thrown in the towel years ago?  Maybe.  Do I feel better having given it my all?  Barely.

So I've been feeling super-anxious and defeated all day.  I'd like to think that I'll wake up tomorrow morning and this will all be in the rearview mirror.  But first I have the rest of this evening to get through.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Deed is Done - Part 1

I say Part I, because it always seems like there's more.

I spent the day co-parenting with my wife wondering why she had generally been ignoring my requests to talk.  Then at some point, early in the evening, she maneuvered us to be alone.

"So what do you want to talk about?"

Which wind-up do I want to go with short or long? Do I want to give her a chance to refute anything? I opened up my mouth and said, "I'm going to file for divorce."  She basically just said, okay.  Didn't look particularly upset or relieved. She's from the midwest and can be fairly inscrutable.

I don't remember exactly what she said or in what order. She wanted me to know that when she came to me in July to discuss possibly getting back together that she did so in good faith.  Whatever. You also didn't do shit e.g. see a therapist - together or alone - do any agreed upon written work, spend a weekend together to just hang out and talk without the kids around.  Which was YOUR idea, and when I'd offer a date you'd say, "you understand that we're not having sex." Twice you did that, zero times did you agree on a date. What I really believe is that you missed me and you wanted to try and keep me from drifting further away, but had no intention of reconciling. Yes, I'm upset.  I'm upset in the way that Charlie Brown got pissed at Lucy for pulling the football away.

She brought up how we spoke about a month ago and when I asked what was n her heart she said, "I'm conflicted."  I should have said what in the Sam Hill are you talking about. You're conflicted about what?  You don't know what you want after months/years of jerking me around?  And the other thing she said was, "we want different things."  Now I'm really baffled. I don't really want to engage but I'd love to know what different things she thinks we want.  I want a marriage, she wants to start a semi-pro women's softball league?

There was a year of "trial separation" and 6 months of "we're going to get divorced" followed by these last several months of, as you put it, "I want to see what it would be like if we were back together."  At every turn I've been trying to get her back.  Do everything in the service of our relationship.  Mostly feeling, for these last couple of years, that I've been in this relationship by myself.

Today was the first day I put a stop to it.  You win, you've pushed me away for good.  I hope this is what you want, because I'm not coming back. Unless, you know, you ask me to.

I don't feel relieved or empowered, just incredibly sad. And angry.

After that, I told her about my divorce plans. The discussion was amicable.  I told her I wanted to write up a letter of agreement where I outlined when I would try to accomplish in the divorce paperwork. From there I plan on filling out the divorce applications and have her and/or a lawyer go over them and then file for a default. Having our agreements in writing and saving ourselves another $435 filing fee.

I expressed that I didn't think there was much to discuss.  She could have everything in her house plus the car and I would just keep my stuff.  There isn't anything else, really.  She offered up that the piano in her house is mine. As long as Amalia is taking piano lessons, I'm happy to have her have it but, honestly, I see her dropping it soon.  She also offered to split the cost of the filing fee. Which was decent., I must say.

Overall, I feel shitty. Much worse than I planned on feeling.

You know what really frosts me?  That I have to act like our split was a "mutual decision" in front of my kids, I can't tell them that I'd prefer to stay married to their mother but that she fucked bailed on our marriage.  I can't remember who it was who told me that I shouldn't refer to it as her bailing on me or our marriage. If you have a better description for what she did, I'm all ears.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Just waiting for an in

I'm waiting for the right moment when I can be alone with my wife and tell her that I plan on filing for divorce.

I love my wife.  A lot.  I don't want to get divorced.

You have to know this is the first time in two years I've done anything like this. She's been driving the 
divorce bus and I've been standing in front trying to stop it.  

She may be surprised. And/or relieved.

I can't help but rehearse my lines in my head. Should I preface with a speech? Just lay it on her? Simple like, "I want you but I can't have you. So I want out."

How did I get here?

Vital stats: married for 13 years
Together for 2 years before that.
Two daughters ages 12 and 9.

Two years ago, we were sitting around and she seemed particularly pained. I might have brought up the fact that we haven't been intimate in 4 months. I asked her what was wrong. My crazy catastrophic thinking brain said, "oh no. She's really unhappy and wants to end our marriage." This time I was right. She told me she was in a lot of psychic pain and didn't want to continue in our marriage.
This was like a simultaneous shot to the head and stomach. My worst nightmare come true. I could barely think or talk. I said, "if I didn't ask, when were you going to to tell me?"

She said, "I wasn't."

I wrote her a Hail Mary letter. Coming clean about where I'd fallen short in our marriage and where I might improve. Also tell her how much I loved her. She thanked me and said the letter had some impact. She made us an appointment to see our couples therapist. I was feeling hopeful.

As soon as we got into therapy she tells our therapist, "I want out,". She asked my wife to be more specific, my wife answered, "I want a trial separation." This whole thing was a set up. She had no intention of us talking to the therapist about saving our marriage and the therapist just facilitated the separation. Not even a question of "why" or "are you sure". Just logistics. My wife wanted cover in case I freaked out on her or something.

Somehow, I agreed to leave our house. I mean, it was her separation I certainly was entitled to stay in the house and have beer be inconvenienced. But I just said I'd leave. Partly because of the girls. Partly because I didn't want to make her mad.

After 5 months of living elsewhere she invited me to come home.  Sort of.  After 8 months we went back to the therapist where she announced that she wanted a divorce.

This time I was done. I had spent over a year trying to convince her to work on our relationship, after awhile, I dunno, some dignity has to kick in.

I rented an apartment, about three blocks away -  so I could continue to see the kids.

And then in July she said she wanted to reconsider her decision.  But it hasn't been much entertaining.  I don't frankly know what she's been doing all this time, but it's not reconciling.  I've just had enough.

So a couple of days ago I told her I wanted to to make time to talk to her.  She said, "What about?"  I said, "us."  She said, "Thanksgiving."  Well, Thanksgiving came and went and I left her a text saying, "I'd still like to talk to you." So she just called me to talk about our various plans for the next few days.  I waited for her to bring it up.  She didn't.  i'll see her in a couple of hours and try again but, jeez, what does a guy gotta do to dump his wife?