A whirlwind few weeks, I was blindsided that after my New York trip with my daughter, I'd be dropping her back off at her dads for the rest of the long weekend and I'd be alone with nothing to do for the rest of the weekend. Normally, I'd jump for glee with a free day of nothing to do, but it bugged me this time. Memorial Day and other holidays are days to relax with the family or do family stuff. True, we were going to spend Monday together, go for a bike ride, and get ready for our normal "kid trade" transitional day. It's a day Mike and I come together with the kids and reaffirm that while we are separated and headed toward divorce, we'll always bear some semblance of being a family. I could hang around with them today, as well, but there is a balance I've got to maintain. I can't go hanging around the family, just like old times, without feeling like I'm leading a double life. To totally separate to the point of totally alienating the kids of opportunities with both of us feels wrong too, so I've settled on this balance of spending our "transition" day together to co-parent and be friends, at least.
I wish there was a better term to refer to Mike. I've settled on the inadequate, "soon to be ex-husband," for lack of anything better, but this is still not on the mark either, as soon denotes soon, but our divorce is moving very slow...part my fault and part his, but I have no clue when it'll be final. It's also using five words to describe one husband-like state. Eskimos have over 200 words to describe the various nuances and quality of different kinds of snow. Mike is still technically my husband, but that doesn't seem right, either, since I haven't lived with him in almost a year now!! Also, how do you refer to your new man, that's still mired in his divorce, is too old to be called a "boyfriend," and disrespectful to refer as a "main squeeze," like I'm just into him for his body. Hmmmm... Please help. I like having just the right word for refering to people in my life.
I met an interesting divorced mom on my daughter's trip. I noticed she wasn't wearing a wedding ring and asked, bold as all get out, if she was divorced. I knew she was the instigator of her divorrce--the "leaver" since she refered to the "year she left..." Her husband was lackadaisical and totally detached through the divorce, not even showing up for court dates. Shortly after her divorce, as many divorced men appear to do, he married a women that my new friend, interestingly, is quite grateful for. Once this new woman came into his life, he woke up to his obligations to his family and is totally cooperative. My friend regularly corresponds with his new wife, raves about how cute their new son is, while cooperatively making arrangements with the children they share. Goes to show that no two divorces are the same, that couples have very interesting post divorce situations and it doesn't necessarily have to be the traditional adversarial hateful scenario.
I guess I'm having a naive fantasy that my soon to be ex will move on one day, that I could have a working relationship with his new wife and Mike and I can still co-parent our children even if we both move on with other relationships. Problem is--I don't see Mike moving on with another woman unless she took off her clothes and threw herself at him so he couldn't refuse. He would submit under these conditions. A shy man, he doesn't put himself in many situations with brazen women. I'd even consider fixing him up, but is too weird since we're still married.
Many of my friends suspect that he still loves me, that he still watches me out the corner of his eye when I'm doing laundry at the house, packing the kids up for the week. I'm not sure that he does. Always a perceptive person, I've never been able to read my soon to be ex husband. I don't know if he's just making the best of the situation, or if there really is a part of him that's emotionally holding on. This is what kills me, what makes ending my marriage so very painful to me, because there is a part of me that will always love him for the man he is and as the father of my children, but to be authentically me... to thine own self be true, I can't be married to a man I can't connect with. It's not his fault. It's my fault, I guess. If I could wave a magic wand, I'd find him the perfect woman that would love him the way he needs to be loved, someone who loves music and football and all the same crap he's into...a sensible runner who feels satisfaction after a 3 mile run.