Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | January 10, 2011

Our Last Week in Our Last House

As has been the case ever since Penny and I first had “The Talk”, things are moving more slowly than I’d expected and than I’d hoped, but are nonetheless moving forward.

We’ve broken the news to the kids that we are going to be living in separate houses. We have not yet used the dreaded “D” word, but that’s coming. As many readers have noted, the word is going to come up from other sources soon enough, and we also need to make sure they understand that this separation of the households is not temporary.

Although I’d hoped (and the mediator had suggested) that we would have financially separated as of the end of December, Penny has resisted, but is willing to make the cut-off effective as of the end of January. I don’t know that she has anything strategic in mind; I think, rather, she just wasn’t mentally prepared for the cold hard reality of being financially on her own without me as a back-up.

In the meantime, we chat from time to time about how we are going to divvy up the kitchen, the garage shelving, and so on. the details are coming into focus. And we’ve actually set a moving day. We will both move out on the same day — the big stuff, at least. My books will take a while for me to get packed up, but I can do those on my own. The same with clothes, her own books, and so on.

We agreed to the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Saturday before is not a good choice, because our oldest has a gym meet on that day. But the advantage to that Sunday is that the kids do not have school on Monday, so they still have a little time to acclimate to their Mom’s new home before resuming school. I have to work on Monday, but this nonetheless gives me a couple of days to get the house ready for the kids before I get them on Wednesday.

This is our last week together in this house.


This is our last week together in any house.

I had also hoped to have the initial paperwork filed with the courts before the close of December, and that didn’t happen, either. This was more a result of too much to do in too little time as the year came to an end, and while I still have too much to do, that particular chore has moved up on the To Do List. We have a mediation session this Wednesday. If it’s not filed by then (for various reasons, it makes the most sense for both of us to sign it, so what I’m really saying is: if Penny doesn’t sign by then), I hope we can resolve any issues surrounding it during our session so that I can file later this week.

Before we move out.

I have friends who continue to caution me that this is all going to blow up and we’re going to end up in court with a battery of lawyers and lawsuits. It’s hard not to let these dire predictions get to you when you keep hearing them. But even though things are going slowly… so far, at least, they are going forward peacefully. It may be too early to predict success, but I remain hopeful that we can get out of this marriage without a knock-down, drag-out divorce.


One last thought before I ring off tonight: thank you all for your comments and suggestions and your support. Whether it’s been posted as comments, or included in private e-mails, the occasional Twitter nod, or even just quiet lurking, the fact that you’re there has helped a lot. Your comments, both of support and of warning, are truly appreciated. I haven’t been responding as much as I used to, nor posting comments of my own on your websites nor sending e-mails as much as I used to. There is just so much to do these days as I prepare to finally extricate myself from this marriage.

But soon… soon I may actually be able to have some evenings to myself, and perhaps when that happens, I can once more return some of the bloggy love.

And I also look forward, as we advance through the new year, to blogging about more than past loves and losses, but also new loves and advances! Here’s to more cheer and new possibilities!

Thank you all for being with me in 2010. Here’s to a much better year for all of us in 2011. I wish you all love, joy, and prosperity as the new year unfolds.



  1. At last you reach the end of the first part of the journey: the physical separation. I hear your wistful thoughts for what had been, yet feel that you are ready to begin the next part, the legal separation.

    I don’t yet see that Penny is, but I am not surprised. Your descriptions of her behaviors and words tell me of someone who lets life direct them as a seed does the wind. Thus, your concerns about a nasty divorce are a realistic possibility. I would not dwell on that thought, however. IF that happens, you at least won’t be surprised.

    You have reported in your posts an ability to keep her somewhat grounded, and I feel you have been very generous at times in her favor. She may not notice or express appreciation for these considerations, but you do these things because that is who you are. Being a parent, you know about staying back when the first steps happen. You have to let the child fall a few times so they understand that falling is in itself not a big deal. You will have to do this with Penny also. She is taking her first steps as a single parent even though she has her own phobias regarding being an adult in the first place. You will have to keep Sir Galahad on the sidelines while she copes with her new experiences, stepping in only when it’s clear that the welfare of your sons is affected – and only until she’s regained her stability and begins taking those first steps again.

    I’d like to hear about how Penny handles this week’s mediator session and anything she says that you think might be significant. She can’t be totally unaware of what is coming, yet I’m sure she’s not yet emotionally ready for it anyway. How you handle and respond to her this week will go a long way toward determining how the legal separation goes. You will need to be cautious in what you say, and more importantly how you say it. Impressions of how you say something are going to be more important than the words you use due to heightened emotionalism as the separation progresses. The misunderstandings that can arise from these interactions are often the reasons for nastiness in divorce. You will have to work very hard at ensuring you both understand exactly what you mean to prevent this from becoming a problem. You will have to be more of a diplomat than a knight-errant.

    Good luck this week. Keep your center and take care of yourself. You can help no one else if you don’t. My thoughts will be with you.

  2. So much to look forward to. So much planning and preparations. I feel for you. It won’t be easy, but eventually, it will be better. I love my new life. (True, I have someone special to share it with, but you have the possibility of finding someone special now, too!)

    Big hugs. I’ll respond to your Facebook message soon.

  3. Everyone is going to throw their predictions on what you’re going through. They only have their own experience and/or an idea of what they THINK they’d do. Go with what you know. Everything will be fine.

    Excited to hear you moving forward. One more week…


  4. Hi friend!
    First, never apologize for not being able to read or respond to blog posts or emails right away, as it’s bound to happen, especially right now. This is one area that you can be lenient on, because you know we’re all here when you are able to come back to us (and can you help it if you are so popular? I mean really, you are the blogging phenom!), so give yourself a little break there, mmk? As for the moving out part, I think that could hit like a ton of bricks even if you are more than mentally prepared for it. I know it did for me. I remember sitting in my empty house, hearing the echos and seeing the last four years of my life there flash before my eyes. It was all I’d ever known for what seemed like so long. But then, a day or two later, when I was settled in to my new digs, it was such a wave of joy and success…and I can’t wait for you to feel it. I know you will.

  5. If you’re moving forward peacefully enough (especially given the difficulty of a situation like this), I feel pretty positive that it can continue to go this way. I’ve been warned of knock-down drag-out fights too but while that’s the reality for a lot of unfortunate folks, not everyone experiences that. My own terrible journey has been appreciatively civil and I’ve seen several friends also undergo similar paths. Hurt doesn’t have to translate to wanting ill for your partner. I’m sorry for your loss. ::hug::

  6. No need for apologies, it’s not as though we don’t know you’re busy. 🙂
    I won’t pretend I’m a little bit worried about you though, you know this being the “big” month for all the “big” changes and all… but we’ll chat when it’s over unless you feel the need to chat sooner. 🙂 Definitely looking forward to more skype chats in the future though!

  7. When my ex and I first announced to everyone that we were separating and headed for divorce, everyone told us to “lawyer up” because we’d most likely be heading for a battle. (Everyone seems to become an expert on divorce – whether they’ve gone through it or not!). Every situation is unique and no two divorces are the same, because no two people are the same. My ex and I get along better now, going through a divorce, than we got along towards the end of our marriage. There is no yelling, no raising of voices, we have been able to work out any minor disagreement on our own – and all in all – it has been as good as an experience as it can be, which has allowed us to do this on our own, without lawyers. So don’t wait for the other shoe to drop so to speak, if it’s been ok so far – it can be ok until the end if you work at it.

  8. it’s funny how the finality of taking those last steps – filing, property settlement, etc. – actually seemed to help my relationship with my ex-husband. we’re not anywhere near as warm and friendly as we were before we married, but we can get through a conversation without screaming at each other. we didn’t “lawyer up” – we didn’t have to, since i’m a lawyer and so’s his dad – but we didn’t really reach a point where that was necessary. thank god. we were finally able to buckle down and make the big decisions we needed to.

    and boy, do i second that wish for 2011. thinking of you as always.

  9. Step by step …. there were times during my divorce when I was frustrated that it was taking my ex longer to respond to something than I thought it should. Then I came to understand that the extra time was the emotional time he needed. If I pushed it to go quicker, the discussions wouldn’t go as well. So these things have a pace they need to move at and if you can respect that, I do believe the outcome is better for everyone.

    And right now … what’s the hurry – splitting finances at the end of January isn’t so different from the end of December, so long as it really does happen.

    Thinking of you,

  10. I see nothing but GOOD things ahead for you. I think that if Penny were going to implode, she would have done so by now. I sense she is fearful, and I think that’s normal. But, she has been basically calm and cooperative throughout this entire ordeal (as I have understood) and she is a GREAT mother, by all accounts. No, I don’t think she will want to drag the kids through anything unpleasant.
    You both took your time and the result is that your divorce is going to be much more successful than your marriage. Hey…at least you succeeded at something!
    Seriously, you got three adorable boys out of this deal, plus an ex-wife who seems to want to partner with you in child rearing…AND…any day now, you will meet a beautiful, smart, fun woman … who wants you naked in her bed.

    WOW…Don’t I make 2011 sound great?? lol


  11. Good luck with everything.

  12. Take your time processing everything – there’s much too much going on right now for you to swallow it all at once.

    Unfortunately, advice is great, and helps to prepare for what’s coming, but you do have to go through the day by day on your own. It’ll be foreign and tough but you have to pay the dues, and go through the grieving process in order to come out whole again.

    Hang in there – both for you and your kids.

  13. You are an inspiration. All the best to you and your boys.

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