Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | June 27, 2010

Reality starts to settle in

Our impending divorce is starting to gain some traction.

Penny has been fixated on getting the house ready to sell. During a recent, very brief, conversation on the subject, I noted that there are currently no apartments available at the complex we’d intended to both rent apartments in… for at least another three months, if not longer. She made a remark about how she can’t afford anything anyway.

Which led me, in turn, to think that maybe she should be putting more focus on finding a better income instead of focusing on finding ways to be kicked out of our house sooner rather than later. But what I said was something more along the lines of: since we were already resolved to declaring bankruptcy, I’ve been thinking of the house as more of the bank’s problem. If we were to focus more on our long term income situation, you (she) could probably stay in the house another year rent-free before being forced to find somewhere else to live. She nodded that she thought I was probably right (and I think she even said words to that effect), but she’s still charging ahead with getting the house on the market, “because now is the best time to try to sell.”

I still don’t want to sell, as I’ve whined here many times in the recent past, but what’s been bothering me most has been her rushing headlong at breakneck speed to get the house listed, while my still-recovering-from-surgery-knee is unable to let me pull my own weight in that regard. And also her laser-like focus on fleeing this house without having a next step to go to.

Somehow, though, I managed to get a few moments of quality conversation with her about separating our finances and filing divorce paperwork. And much to my surprise, rather than her getting all knotted up and morose about how she has no future after such milestones have been passed, she acknowledged my points and seems to agree that we need to move on in those areas, as well.

So I should be jumping for joy, right? (Well, my crippled leg notwithstanding.) I should be glad because she’s still on board with an actual separation, not some weird perma-limbo state where we remain financially conjoined and legally wed, while I continue to live like a celibate monk in an apartment next door but otherwise enable her to enjoy the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed.

But, no. Remember: I never wanted to get divorced. I no longer want to stay married to her, which is a sad truth, but even now I realize that I still don’t want to get divorced. Rather, since she doesn’t want to make the marriage work, my desire is to make sure that we make a better divorce than we made a marriage.

Well, in that regard, at least, we’re on target.

Penny and I will have a “strategy session” soon to plan out our financial and physical separation. The proverbial rubber is hitting the proverbial pavement. I’d hoped to have that little session today, in fact, but instead I spent the better part of the day working on clearing up the financial picture for our business (which has had an awful June, by the way). That was necessary groundwork, with regard to our strategizing, so I suppose I shouldn’t get too bent out of shape that we couldn’t take that big leap forward today because some necessary little steps forward needed to be taken, first.

As our days unfolded, we ended up backed into dinnertime with her running errands with the kids downtown at the same time as I wrapped up my work at the office. We decided to meet at our favorite local kid-friendly restaurant and, afterward, walked around the California-style mall where the restaurant is located. The weather tonight was perfect. Warm and slightly breezy — perfectly comfy. The kids ran around the fountains in the center of the open-air mall, while we sat on the bench, watching. It was a perfect, family setting.

I wanted to reach out and hold her hand. But there was no point. There are not going to be many more outings quite like this. Soon, one of us (probably me) will be moving out, if not both of us, and the physical separation will begin. The loss of innocence for our children will begin. Nothing will ever be the same. It should have been such a friendly, family moment. But, of course, I found myself wistful. Still am, in fact.

It’s good that we appear to still be ending amicably. And it’s clear that the marriage is irretrievably lost. But it’s still sad that it has to end. If it weren’t for that one little thing, that fact that she just doesn’t love me in that way (and doesn’t respect me, for that matter)… we could pull this thing around. Financially, the rebuilding is already underway. We could keep this house. We could pull things together regarding the kids, etc.

And yeah, I know… we can’t, really, because she doesn’t respect me, and nothing I do will ever be good enough, and I’m tired of a life with zero affection or love or intimacy. But if only. If only. Because it seems to me, when you have two such capable people as we are, and if those two people share genuine love and affection, everything else is manageable. I firmly believe that.

But she and I don’t, and it isn’t, and while I have the children I’ve always wanted… I don’t have the family I’d wanted. And may never have.

I’m glad that we’re moving forward on moving forward. I’m glad to be getting out of a situation that has obviously been so poisonous for me. But still. I worry that I’ll never find a special someone. And I’m wistful for what might have been. What should have been.

I feel cheated.



  1. Ah…irretrievably broken. The words that while in one sense, are somewhat legalese, in another, are tragically true and stinging. I went through those same feelings…wondering the “if only factor, myself, but then when you step back and you see “just” a friendship at the base, you sort of know that the marriage part just isn’t going to work, especially if both parties aren’t willing to try, and for you, given Penny doesn’t respect you as well, just lobs on top of that. It is a tragic way to end things in a way, because most of it is working, or could work, but there are just some things that are absolutely necessary in a marriage, as you say, physically and emotionally. I am glad you seem to be heading towards something amicable and I wish you both a friendship post divorce that can be sustained and works well for your children too. You got this…just remember that. Slowly but surely.

  2. It sounds to me like you’re grieving, maybe not for the loss of Penny but for the loss of the promise that your marriage held. We’ve all been there. Standard advice would be to stay with those feelings – don’t push them aside but rather think through what you’re grieving about.

    And you’re right … the reality is setting in. The next few months will be difficult as you work through all the settlement issues. I know you mean well suggesting to Penny that she could probably stay at the house but she has to make her own decisions, unless it would directly impact you.

    Thinking of you,

    PS – how’s that laptop doing 🙂

  3. “I wanted to reach out and hold her hand. But there was no point.”

    yeah. know that feeling. it’s not fun. but it’s reality, just like you said…

  4. I’m so glad you wrote this post. I’ve thought of this a lot lately. When we have our family moments like that I can’t help but wonder if ony he would have tried…
    These are the moments that really make you think about how huge the word divorce is. How largely it changes your life and if you took every step to save it. Which I will walk away knowing that while I did, he didn’t. So what if he had?

  5. I know what it’s like to feel cheated and a whole lot wistful. Like you, I thought I’d only marry once. I thought that I’d live that picture perfect life.

    What I’ve learned is that too often, these things take care of themselves. The second time around is so much sweeter. And there are things in life that are so worth the wait.

    Be patient, friend.

  6. Mandy is the truth-speaker on this thread!

    But I’m concerned about your “schizophrenic” thoughts Your logical side recognizes the realities, but your emotional side is dabbling in “what if” and “oughta be” and other obstacles to dealing with what is. You need to get both halves of your brain on the same page of the script before something very troubling happens. You certainly have enough to deal with right now, and keeping Penny civil is vital to dealing with them.

  7. If you really, truly don’t want to sell the house, and your gut tells you to keep it… maybe you should listen to yourself.

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