It’s not going to get ugly here. He’s not likely to pull a U-Haul up and empty my place one day while I’m out and I’m not going to slit his throat in the middle of the night while he lies sleeping on my couch downstairs until he leaves, which has already happened; the leaving part, I mean.
He’s just going to pick up his things and leave my life as casually as he entered it. I’m not exactly going to go about pretending everything is as it was. That’s why he had a deadline (Friday) to get out and that’s why he slept on the couch; something he abhorred, which is why he left earlier than his Friday deadline. Well, that and some help from his parents. Things have changed, but they aren’t ugly.
After every breakup there is a period of grief, I think. Really, I’m only guessing at this. I’m no therapist. In fact, I need a therapist. But it sounds good, so I’m going with it. I suppose, if the relationship was horrible, one might be relieved or even overjoyed at the end of the relationship. I certainly felt that way after I left The Evil Ex. The saddest part of that relationship was that I’d wasted my time in it and was now older. Men can successfully pick up on pretty young things no matter how old they get. The same does not hold true for women. Even if you are very attractive, once you hit a certain age, men seem to become more reluctant to date you, choosing instead your 21-year-old daughter. (Well, okay, that hasn’t happened to me yet, but, I suspect it might if I were ever to go bar hopping with her…which I will be sure not to do. My fragile ego could not take it right now.)
Beyond the turmoil of disentangling two lives, there comes the task of figuring out life in your new reality as a single person. I’m beginning to move in this direction. All of my children are informed of the split (they are okay with it). I have told my closest friends, and after finding out that he was totally checked out on me, I changed my Facebook status to single. Essentially, I’m taking the steps I need to take to be free of this relationship which I’m now finding out was a sham for nearly a year. This is good for me. I’m trying not to be bitter and angry at the way he treated me, at the way I allowed him to treat me. I’m keeping busy. Making plans. I’m trying my best not to dwell on my loss and not to despair too much about the real potential of a solitary future.
As I go through my days, I consider all the positive aspects of this change in my life. This helps to keep my mind from wandering toward the sadder parts and becoming maudlin about the whole deal. Here are a few things I’ve come up with:
1. There’s a whole lot more room in my king-sized bed to sprawl out in.
2. I will now have a room to call my own, as well as a closet and bathroom.
3. Maybe now I can move my desk area downstairs and out of my bedroom…or maybe not. He will no longer be dominating my downstairs with his desk area. At least I will be able to choose.
4. I will no longer have to urge my kids to”Quick, let’s clean up before he gets home,” when there never really was anything to clean up to begin with because he won’t be coming home.
5. I will not have to wonder where he put the latest thing he cleaned up or what things of mine he threw out when he cleaned.
6. I might be able to do away with the storage unit. We only have it because he felt the garage was out of control. (It wasn’t, and his stuff is mostly what we store there.)
7. I’ll save money, since I won’t be paying his car insurance, gas, food and gym membership.
8. I will have more time to write.
8a. I will have more time to spend with my children that we won’t have to cut short because he suddenly walked in the room.
9. I can do what I want, when I want without criticism.
10. I can plan my own future and chart my own course.
Even though breakups are sad, painful and rough, there are some decided benefits, especially if the relationship was floundering anyway. I’m sure I’ll have my moments of feeling like a complete relational loser in the days and weeks and months to come, but right now I’m trying to stay positive and think of the benefits. The list I’ve created here only scratches the surface. I haven’t even considered things like how much more honestly I’ll be living because he’s not around, and how much less stress I will experience because he won’t be constantly criticizing me or my children. I haven’t mentioned how I won’t ever have to hear him infer that I am poor white trash (wait…who’s picking up your tab and paying all your bills while you channel surf all day?). I won’t ever have to be out with friends and experience his sneer of disgust when I say/do something he doesn’t approve of. In fact, the more I think of it, the better I feel about this. In some ways, it will be hard and sad. I think the saddest part of all of it is that I was too kind, too generous, and I wasted so much time in a dead end relationship. In more more ways, though, this will will be great. Once I get over my shock at what has transpired and how unexpected it all was, I’ll be okay. This is the right thing to be doing.
I’m sad it didn’t work out but, to be honest, if it wasn’t going to work out, the thing I’m most sad about is that I didn’t realize that fact earlier.