When you’ve just been dating for a while it is easy to break away with platitudes of ‘it’s not you it’s me’, or ‘I just think we want different things’, but marriage separation is a whole different ball game that sucks monster sized nuts.
You know exactly why it’s ending and there is no way to gloss over it. Your short comings are hashed out, your personality flaws are highlighted and exactly what went wrong is discussed, often in the company of a relationship counsellor who drives you insane with knowing looks and probing questions about said personality flaws.
Ending a marriage is like breaking up on steroids and even fairly amicable separations have whale ass sized sorrow and pain attached to them.
It’s been a tricky couple of years for us, really. The year leading up to the separation was hard for all of us, trying to hold on by our fingernails, trying to talk it all out and change who we are because our pieces didn’t fit, but as you know, we didn’t make it.
And now we’ve been apart for 12 months.
ONE WHOLE YEAR
At times in the last two years I thought my world was coming to an end, but I have been known to err on the side of the dramatic. I wondered if I would be ok, how I would survive on my own with two kids.
Regardless of my own personal survival, we also needed to survive as co-parents for our children. It hasn’t been an easy road this last 12 months but now I realise that I’m not on my own at all.
At first we were really pissed with each other all the time and conversations were filled with tiptoes on eggshells or straight up animosity. Easy communication seemed like a distant dream.
We did some stuff as a family unit for D Man’s birthday this weekend.
We went for a pizza and cake one night and carb loaded till our top buttons groaned, and the following day we took a trip to the zoo.
The zoo was great. Lions and tigers and (sun) bears, oh my.
The kids loved it and everything just seemed normal and easy and everything was the same. Sharing sandwiches, eating ice creams and cruising the hilly terrain of Taronga- him pushing one whining kid in a pram and me carrying another kid begging for a toy on my aching shoulders.
We looked just like a normal family.
We were just like a normal family… except at the end of the adventure I drove home alone to my house and he took the kids home to his and I got really teary because sometimes life just isn’t how you anticipated and even though you’ve made peace with that fact it still sometimes makes you sad.
It’s a work in progress this separated family business, and although everyone appears to have come through to the other side more or less unscathed, there are still moments where it’s all really raw.
But I think we actually are on the other side.
I think we made it through to the place where civility reigns and friendship can grow and our children can see that we’re intelligent and emotionally balanced individuals who may not have made it as husband and wife, but as their parents we are rock solid.
I don’t think we’ll be tasking a family holiday to Fiji any time soon, but pizza and the zoo felt like a really worthy start.
I’m not bragging and I know every split marriage situation is different, but I will say it feels a whole lot better than the other option which was exhausting. And poo.
Poo in your life is exhausting so a life without poo is really a good thing to aspire to.