Big Choices, blog, Separation

Which page are we on?

This is a post that I found in my Drafts section.  I often jot down post ideas there to come back to when I have more information or a better plan on how I want a post to come together.  This one was particularly interesting because of it’s timing.  I’ll elaborate on this at the end, but for now he’s what I wrote:

“What do you do when you’re not on the same page as your partner?  Or, what seems like, you’re not even on the same book?

I’m definitely there.  We are definitely there.

It’s been several months now since my partner sat me down in front of a beautiful roaring fire on the day of our 14th anniversary to tell me that our relationship wasn’t working at all.  I stared at him dumbfounded.

Things were not the same, sure.  Having kids had put a strain on us, yes.  But things were actually improving lately as our youngest was almost 2 and we were emerging from the baby fog.  Or so I thought.

Well he didn’t agree.  And there you have it.  We’re not on the same page and I don’t think we even know what language each other’s page is written in.  He keep revisiting this topic of “everything is the worst” and I keep trying to convince him that “we’re on par with other couples who are at this point in their family and life is getting back to a new normal”.  And neither one of us believes the other.

I suggest we spend time together, go on some dates to reconnect.  He responds with, it’s too late for dates.  After, what I perceive as a pretty good few days, he turns to me angrily and spits out “I think we should go to counselling”, and I say “Yes”.  Nothing happens and we continue to keep living in, what seems like, alternate universes.”

That’s where my draft ends.   It ends there and is saved on a Friday.  I go away with my sister for the weekend with the kids, and when I come back on the Tuesday I ask my partner to leave.

Big Choices, blog, Separation

Big Leaps

I’ve been reticent to write about some of the leaps that have happened this year.  Well, one in particular, but it’s almost the one year anniversary so I can’t pretend it isn’t real.  Just the other day was the one year anniversary of when things started going really wrong.

The real anniversary isn’t until just after Family day weekend.  That’s when I entered into the most difficult talk with my partner to tell him I couldn’t keep living like we were.  He had been telling me for months how miserable he was, how miserable we were.  I insisted that we were not doing as badly has he thought.  That with two small kids and opposite work schedules that all we needed was more time to share as a couple and be more connected.  That we needed to stop ‘just getting by’ as a family.  His response was ‘it’s too late for date nights to fix this’.  But offered no other solutions, just unrelenting discord.

After three months I couldn’t take it any more.  We were stalled and my suggestions were falling on deaf ears, while he continued to make daily life miserable.  I told him we couldn’t continue to live under the same room and work out our issues.  I told him to leave, when he could.  He left that day without another word and didn’t contact us again until I reached out a few days later.  He left angry and it’s almost a year later and that hasn’t subsided.

And so this post is to say out-loud, something I haven’t said out-loud:  it’s over.  My relationship of almost 15 years, that brought two amazing kids into this world, that took me on travels to so many far away places, that I thought was emerging out of the dark difficult days having small kids, has ended.

Why has it taken a year to come to this conclusion?  Because I thought it would possibly work out.  That was the original plan: get some space to stop the negative spiral and get help and perspective.  Instead, I’ve been relieved and happy without him and he’s become so much more angry and entrenched in holding a grudge against me for ‘kicking him out’.

And also, because I have kids.  Kids who want their father home and who I haven’t been able to tell that he’s not coming back.  Not because I am too scared to have that conversation (I was the one left alone to explain the separation) but because I haven’t had it with my ex-partner.  We haven’t said it’s over and it feels wrong to tell the kids before then.  But then it seems like that’s what he wants; for us to live in limbo until I step up as the bad guy and deal the final blow.  He wants to be the victim.

A year is a long time.  Perhaps being the victim or the bad guy is irrelevant now.  It just matters that we move forward.