I knew today was coming for about a month. I tried to prepare for it, in every way possible. I tried putting it aside and ignoring it, crying about it, being angry about it, embracing it…hoping that one of them would help me be ready. But – it didn’t. Today, my wife moves out. For the last few weeks, the house has been cluttered with boxes as she packed her things. Things that we’d purchased together, things that I purchased for her. All of it went into boxes. For the last few days leading up to this, I went kind of numb. I stepped over boxes and bags, walked around piles of her/our things and went on with my day. On my way home from work last night, I was actually anxious to get home. I tried my best to look forward to spending time with everyone, but I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it. I wanted to eat dinner at the table as a family one more time, and it didn’t happen. Everyone scattered like they always do. I didn’t want to eat anyway. Perhaps it is best that way. Maybe once more would have been harder. One more memory to have in my mind. My wife and I talked a fair amount. At first it was small talk, avoiding the elephant in the room. But once the kids went to bed, I brought it up. I apologized for my role in getting us here. I wish I would have done more. She again said that how I feel now is how she’s felt for years. She tied her self worth to making me happy, and when she couldn’t do that it ruined her. She needs to leave to figure out who she is. She admitted to being a little excited about her fresh start. A chance to be herself without fear of what I’ll think or say. No more worrying about whether or not I’m happy. I completely understand that there is a sense of relief for her. It sucks. I did really well for a few weeks with not harboring guilt and being pathetic. That’s all out the window right now. I will say that our conversation last night and this morning were good ones, or as good as they could be. Neither of us were angry or confrontational. This morning we talked one last time before I left for work, and we both cried. I apologized again, and we actually hugged for a few minutes. We both said we were sorry that we got here. I told her that I was going to continue getting help for myself, because I know I need it. And I do. And I will keep doing my counseling and medication. I have seen benefits in the last month or so, even though today you’d never know it. I just asked her to keep an open mind to the fact that over time I hope to get better, and I hope to be an option when I do. That’s all I can really ask her. I know that her apartment lease is 8 months. So, that means that by the first of the year I’ll know if we really have a shot to reconcile. I am trying hard not to think of it as me getting better just for her, or our marriage. I am honestly trying to do it for me, since I know that the chances are that once she leaves – it’s over. But I was honest when I told her that part of me being happy includes her, and the kids for me. I can’t imagine being truly happy and whole when I’m doing things on my own. One of my fears is that once she’s on her own, she tastes “freedom”, and doesn’t look back. I recognize that as a possibility. I’ve been told that I could be the same way, and I know that could happen. Right now, I don’t think so. We’ve been together for 15 years. I can’t just walk away and turn my back. Obviously things were not good for while, and I don’t want to continue down that road. If we are going to be together, I want it to be good – and be right. I know I am hoping for a lot of things in this post – but again, I’m hoping I continue to make progress, and that she recognizes it and is open to “us”. Each time I think that, a few minutes later, reality sets in.
Then there’s the kids. Last night when they went to bed, it was incredibly hard. I knew that was the last time that I’d see all of us in the same room. I don’t have the best relationship with my oldest, which probably deserves its own post one day. I’ve tried to talk to him several times since this all started, and he has nothing to say. He says it’s ok with him, and he doesn’t have any feelings to share. The other two have been open with me, and told me what their concerns are. I appreciate that. I talked to the two youngest kids last night, and it was incredible hard to hold it together. Walking into their rooms and seeing boxes packed, and listening to everyone talk about “mommy’s house” in a casual tone ripped my heart out. Even my wife was making jokes with them about what they were taking, and where it would fit. I just sat there listening. She’d try to include me in the conversation, but I just had nothing to add. I felt so awkward and left out in my own house. Everyone was packing for a new adventure, except me. I was going to be there with the memories, good and bad, while everyone else started new. Yes, the kids will be with me part of the time. I have a huge fear that it will be a chore for them. They’ll have new things with her, new memories. When they come back with me, it’ll be back to the house where things went bad. The site of fights and stress. I’ll do my best to make sure that they enjoy their time with me, I really will. But my time will be limited, and I know that even when they are with me, they’ll still want to see their friends and do their own thing. As I sit here and look at the calendar, I won’t see them until next Wednesday. I work one job during the day today, a previously scheduled class tonight, other job tomorrow, class all day Saturday, and then she’s taking them for mother’s day weekend. Then I work one job Monday, the other job Tuesday, class Tuesday night, and other job Wednesday daytime. I am going to ask her if I can just stop by for an hour on Saturday and see them. Even if I bring over pizza. She is not sure if they will be able to stay with her tonight or not, because she may not have their beds put together. So, she may have to bring them back to the house tonight to sleep. Unfortunately, I won’t be getting home until after 10:30 because of class – so I won’t really even see them. If she does get their beds together, I’ll get home late tonight to an empty house for the first time. I guess it is a good thing that it’ll be late, and there will be less time to fill. Saturday and Sunday nights will be my first real challenges. Full nights home in that house, without them. Not even the dog. Luckily, my mom is going to be staying with me Saturday night. So, hopefully I’ll see the kids after class for a little, then have my mom meet me. We are going to go do some shopping for things I need at the house. Then on Mother’s day, my mom and I will be going to visit my siblings. That will be nice, but I know I’l be distracted. I imagine my first full night alone will be Sunday night. I can’t expect my mom to stay with me all of the time. I have to get up early for one of my jobs Monday morning anyway. So – as much as I am looking forward to time with my mom and siblings, I am dreading Sunday night. Urgh. I keep looking at the calendar and seeing nights when I’m alone. I just wish things were different. If I’d tried a little harder, gone to the doctor a little sooner. Just maybe.
As I sit at my desk, I’m back to where I was two months ago. Looking at the clock and seeing that it’s only been 5 minutes since I last looked. The day is crawling. As I sit here, I know she’s finishing putting the dishes away. By now, her parents may even be there helping to start moving boxes. When I get home late tonight, I know everything won’t be gone yet, but there will be a good dent. Tomorrow and Saturday while I’m away working, things will be disappearing a little at a time. We haven’t told many people, at least I haven’t. I wonder what the neighbors will think. Will they even say anything to me? Will she say anything to them? We aren’t exactly close with them, but we know them. They’ll know enough to see her van missing in a day or two. I don’t want to have to explain or discuss anything. But I know I’ll have to face it. *I* don’t even want to acknowledge it. So I’ll put it on auto-pilot for the next few weeks, and hope that each day will get better. Since this started, I was down nearly 20 pounds. I’ve put some back on, but not nearly all of it. I imagine I’ll lose a few more over the next few weeks. If there is one good thing about working two full-time jobs, it keeps me busy. More so than I am going to want when it comes to the kids.
I have a therapy appointment this afternoon at 2pm. That’s probably a good thing. I need someone to talk to right now. Just sitting here alone in my office, I feel like I’m drowning. Oddly, I have nowhere else I could even go. My home is being torn apart, and like I’ve tried to explain before, I don’t want to really wallow with my family. I love them, but I don’t want someone to tell me it’ll be okay. It won’t. At least not for a long time. I hate being sad and depressed, much like anyone would. Tomorrow is a new day. Maybe that’ll bring some relief. In my typical fashion, I’m sure I’ll post several times today. I apologize to anyone who reads this, I am not trying to be a downer, but this is my outlet. Even in a small way, I feel better at least getting it out.