People wonder why I would post about my husband and my separation on such a public forum. Well, it’s pretty simple. I’m not a private person. I never have been. We’ve always had the little bumps and bruises through our sixteen years together, but when we first started having major troubles, I searched high and low for a blog or book of someone who had gone through what I was going through. And I didn’t find anything. All I found was divorce logistics and horror stories from ex-wives. That doesn’t help me in the slightest. I need hope. I need comfort. I need honesty.
So I decided to write what I need. I need someone to tell me what it feels like to live with such uncertainty, fear, and hope, all wrapped up in one. I need someone to tell me it’s going to be ok. That the Lord will take care of me and my children. I need someone to tell me that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and I am not stupid for not giving up on my marriage. Writing helps me clear my head. And since I’m literally in the business of strengthening families, lifting and supporting women, and showing the power of vulnerability, it seemed rather obvious that I would write about my experiences.
Since I’m also not out to alienate my husband, I did ask his permission before writing my first post. He didn’t hesitate in giving it.
Matt and I must be the strangest separated couple in the history of the world. This morning I helped him pack up his stuff from a friend’s house to move somewhere else he can stay for longer than a few days. We held hands and walked around Jersey City, alternately talking about custody options and division of assets, and where we want to live together when we are old and grey and the kids are far from home.
We still like each other. We enjoy each other’s company. We’re still friends. We still joke around with each other and quote our favorite movies. We’re still really nice people. But there is this thing between us now. An uncertainty.
I haven’t been sleeping or eating well. I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds in the last two months.
My kids are crazy. They are sad, confused, and out of control. And I just don’t have the bandwidth to handle it. So when Lucy starts complaining about Jack calling her “Lucille”, I roll my eyes, cry, and say, “that is the last thing I care about right now.”
I need to have more compassion for her. I know she’s suffering, too. We all are.
Spencer keeps asking Matt if he’ll be living back home by his birthday. I can see Matt’s pain when he says, “probably not”.
A friend came over today and I broke down. I feel an uncontrollable need to chuck at least half of our stuff. I feel the walls closing in around me and I can no longer handle piles of magazines, and too many cups in the cupboard. Furniture that I used to like, I now want out of my sight. It’s just taking up unnecessary space. I need my house to feel safe and not like it’s eating me alive.
I decided to try and be productive today, so I cleaned the bathroom. It felt nice to have something to do and to get something needful done. I wanted to move onto another room, but I couldn’t. I walk into my bedroom and see a pile of Matt’s bike magazines on his dresser, along with a jar full of his favorite chocolate, a mess on his night stand, and a pile of his clean clothes at the foot of the bed. What am I supposed to do with this? How can I clean my house? I can’t get rid of his stuff, but some of it doesn’t exactly have an “away”. The thought of packing it up makes me hyperventilate. If I pack up his stuff, it’s that much easier for him to leave forever.
The bathroom was easy. In the bathroom, I didn’t have to make any decisions. All I had to do was clean.
I’m still fighting. But it’s getting harder every day. The little things hurt the most. Things like, asking him to do his own laundry when he comes by to visit us. Or not following him into our room when he’s about to take a shower. I haven’t kissed him in five days. And it’s so hard. We still hold hands, but it’s always awkward at first. Tentative.
This morning he gave me a hug after he walked me to my car. And I started to cry. He asked me why I cry every time he hugs me. I told him it was because every time, I’m scared it will be the last time.
But I know my Savior will not leave me comfortless.