My husband and I were anxiously awaiting the "talk" last night but our kids just wouldn't settle down. The two older ones were at youth night and our youngest had gotten back from scouts and had a desire to hang around with us and watch cartoons. How can we say no to such a cutie pie??!? : ) The older kids got home around 9:30 and none of them seemed to want to settle down. It's Christmas break, so I struggled to demand that they all go right to sleep. Hubby and I finally decided to drive to Walmart for some supplies and to have our talk, uninterrupted, at that time. I'm glad we did!
We sat in our warm van for close to an hour. I went over all of my experiences in the past week, which included finding a friend to share intimate parts of myself with, having deep conversations with my mentor, and finally having my new eyes opened to our truths. I shared with him everything that I was feeling and had experienced. He listened with his heart wide open. When we were done with story time we sat in quiet for a moment. He then said, "Lately I've realized that it's no longer a question of "if" we get divorced, but "when." I was shocked! "Really?!" The answer was yes. I told him that even I hadn't really considered divorce until this week, after realizing that our future will probably always be filled with new women who enter my life, and new desires and the need to become my whole self. I had thought that IF we were to ever separate it would be when all three kids had graduated and moved out...but I didn't necessarily think it would even happen then.
We both cried buckets of tears, facing a future of uncertainty. We both believe that getting divorced is in the cards for us, but neither one of us wants to face that reality. While we were sitting in the Walmart parking lot my daughter texted me. She knew we were having a deep conversation. "Are you and Dad getting divorced?" "No honey, now please let us talk." "Okay, because I really don't think me and the boys could handle that." "It's okay, just relax. We'll be home soon. Love you, Sweetie." "Love you too Momma." Sigh. I feel as though I lied to her. But how could I really have had that conversation with her through texting? I couldn't. And for now we're not divorcing, so it was kind of the truth. Until Dad and I make some decisions, we're not going to involve the children. At that point we will sit them down and express our love for them and each other and we will explain, to the best of our ability, what our futures will look like.
Hubby was amazing. He always is, so that's not surprising. At one point I said, "Why is it that we always talk about MY unhappiness? YOU have to be unhappy as well, whether or not you recognize it. There is so much more for you out there. So much joy and love and fulfillment. It's not just something that I deserve, YOU deserve it just as much!" He hesitantly agreed. Both of us want to hang on because it's safe and familiar and convenient. We don't want to be "those people." But I know we both want happiness as well. We also agreed that we're not teaching our children to be happy and that was a difficult conversation to have. We are good, good parents, with loads of love for our children. We have done right by them in so many ways, but we are failing them in the long run. They wouldn't believe that, but it's true. They deserve a better example of what a husband and wife should be. They deserve every bit of happiness that they can find. We need to teach them better.
It comes down to this. We have agreed to sit on it for a little while. When thoughts and worries and ideas enter our minds we are going to talk to each other about it. We both feel that when the time is right, we will simply know. We know it's coming soon but we're not sure what it's going to look like. The one thing we've decided is that we want to stay together to raise our children. We will have to figure out separate living arrangements, which is possible but will be a headache. We have an empty, unfinished basement that he's willing to move into. At that point we will proceed with our divorce and then remain best friends and committed to raise our children together. Neither one of us wants to be apart, but we're agreed that we are NOT husband and wife other than on paper. It's time for us to stop pretending, which causes confusion for our kids.
Change is hard. Not only is it hard, it scares the hell out of me! And my husband. And we're not ignoring the very real fact that the kids will experience a fair amount of fear themselves. But I have to keep reminding myself that the only thing that will change is our living arrangements... just separate bedrooms. He's agreed to still do my laundry!! : ) Seriously though, change is never easy but I am finally recognizing the fact that it will be best for everyone involved. Not much will change, except the fact that we will both be able to be free to find happiness in whatever form that may be.
I am so grateful for an understanding husband who wants to avoid future resentment, so that we can live happily as co-parents and best friends. We will always be a part of each other's lives. And our plan is to remain as roommates. I truly hope our plans will work out best for everyone involved, especially our sweet children. I have no plans to run out and find a girlfriend, but knowing that I am free to be my whole self and to someday find complete love in all its forms is very exciting to me. Maybe I'll never find it...but there is very real value in being able to stop hiding and worrying and stuffing my feelings.
Today I feel closer to being free, while also feeling scared out of my ever living mind. Such is life.