If you are following this, you may understand that much of what I’m writing happened many months ago. I’m jumping around a bit. It seems right to disclose now that my mind is adept at forecasting far ahead and logistics. Perhaps this makes me calculating. You decide.
To recap my timeline:
- It was autumn (just over two years ago) when I saw my OB and had the major realization that it had literally been years since my spouse and I were friends.
- I stopped wearing my ring that winter, two years ago.
- About 21 months ago, in the spring, I decided finally that our broken marriage was irreparable. And I met Max.
During this time, I was making mental preparations, beginning to envision my life without this relationship, without the anchor…unfortunately, none of the ways I could describe what our relationship had become were positive. And if it sounds as though I was doing this work alone, I was. My husband and I had long since ceased to have adult conversations about difficult topics. He was unable to engage in calm and thoughtful discussions that required maturity. He withdrew, avoided conflict, or became angry.
So, given that I was going down this path alone, I created milestones, or hurdles:
- I would have to get through the summer, during which I had a demanding work load including a great deal of travel.
- My children were in different schools and, pending the outcome of an arcane lottery process, they might finally be in the same school, on the same schedule, in the autumn.
- And THEN I could ask my husband to leave.
Why not just cut it off quickly, move on, put an immediate end to the agony? Why all this planning and thinking ahead?
My spouse performed more of the physical, functional chores of parenting than I did: preparing meals, making lunches, driving the children. (I provided the nurturing, comfort, homework assistance; I read to them and tucked them into their beds each night.) My work was (and is) demanding. I needed to reach a point where I could envision managing the logistics of parenting on my own, while still doing my day job. I knew I couldn’t expect much partnership or cooperation in creating a schedule or shared responsibilities. And there was still the risk that he would fight for primary physical custody.
If I acted slowly and deliberately, that was by design. There was a lot to think through, create and plan for. Slowly was the only way I knew I could manage.