Monday, February 04, 2008

About Face!

W hung a big ole’ “Texas Left” at lunchtime. Yes, in a frighteningly swift 180° turn he went from wanting nothing to do with N and his care to wanting me to allow him to stay in the house, continue on as we are, except that he and I would lead separate lives. See? I knew the whole thing was a ploy this morning to get me to back down. It didn’t work so now he’s going in a completely different direction and hoping to get to stay in the house, and my life, a different way. Damn it. This one brought me to tears. This one I could almost agree to do. . . IF I thought he really would be cool about staying out of my private life.

Then I remembered reading in another blog about someone who tried something similar for a while. If I remember right she had an agreement with her husband that she maintained a separate social life while they stayed legally married and continued living in the same house with their children. I know it ended up not working out well for her because she ended up divorcing him in the end. It occurred to me that I might be able to get some insight from her as to why it didn’t work out for them to live “together but separate” until it dawned on me who it was that wrote about that in her blog. Unfortunately, I probably shouldn’t be asking advice from her. Darn. Sigh. . .

Anybody else out there ever tried a “together but separate” arrangement? Did it work? Wanna share the details with the world? Leave a comment. Wanna share the details with just me? Send me an email to the address in my profile.


Bunny said...

We've talked about that option, but it's not really do-able long term. At least not for us. If a couple are truly good friends and there are no ongoing jealousies or resentments, maybe it could work. I don't see you and W in that category. He would drive you insane.

I think W is going through the stages of grief. He was in denial and now he's bargaining.

Bunny said...

Consider "separation counseling" or family counseling to help you all deal with these changes. An experienced counselor can help you to all work together productively to function as a separated family. It's kind of like regular marital or family counseling, but with a goal not of staying together but of separating with peace and love.

Cat said...

It doesn't work...for a million reasons. The 1st being we aren't made to be sacrificial lambs not even for our children. Sooner or later the day in and day out of living with someone you don't want to be with will begin to wear thin. Another big issue is doing something like that for "the kids"...they are very rarely fooled. And are usually better off in a stress free environment. One of you will meet someone you want to move on with and then your arrangement will only be messy and overly complicated to deal with. One of you will secretly want more sooner or later and be jealous. The list is endless.

When you say the words "I want a divorce" can you ever turn back and play nice? Less say live together?

Anonymous said...

I tried this with my second husband as he couldn't move out straight away for various reasons. It was utterly horrible. How can you really be free? And I don't think it did our daughter any good either - although her dad was around, the whole situation was confusing for her, and I think she thought we would get back together again in a real sense as we were still living together.

I agree that it sounds like W is going through a grieving process. To me, it sounds like you've already been through it some time ago - in your mind you've seperated already, in some senses.

Good luck honey, you've been strong and brave so far, stick at it!

Summer said...

I wouldn't go the together but seperate route. He will never leave. You all need a clean break.

Serenity said...

Best Quote Ever:
Letting go hurts. But staying, once you’ve decided the relationship is really over, means being buried alive. Face your decision with courage, kindness and a galloping leap of faith. Joy is waiting.
(Judith Sills)

Anonymous said...

This is definitely one of those not easy parts for you. Keep in mind that you are way ahead of him. You have been thinking about this for a while, and planning it out in your mind for a while, so you are mentally and for the most part emotionally prepared for the change. W has a lot of catching up to do, he is not mentally or emotionally prepared and seeing you ready and prepared will be very scary for him (don't ever try to get him to admit that though). Just like a Rattle Snake getting all scary when it is scared, he'll probably get a little bit scary too.
I think Bunny is right on with her suggestion for separation counseling. Things that can help him get caught up would be a really good idea.

Trueself said...

Bunny - Yes, he's already driven me part of the way there, and staying much longer would me right over the edge. I do intend to utilize counseling to help us through this transition. It isn't easy to leave a 20 year marriage, even when it's what you really want to do.

Cat - You are right. It is too late to turn back, and I wouldn't want to anyway.

Lill - You're experience seems to validate what I've been thinking and others are saying. He caught me at a weak moment, and I agreed to think about it. Now I think it's time to go back and say I've thought about it and no it won't work.

Summer - Or as clean a break as we can manage anyway.

Serenity - If only I believed that there really is joy waiting out there somewhere. . .

SM - I recognize that I am farther along in the process than he is. I particularly recognized that when I realized that his arguments do not have the same sway that they used to have with me.