I will smack you like a bad bad donkey, ok?

The End and The Beginning

Posted by pete on August 10th, 2007

Over the past few days, my marriage has quickly unraveled. Honestly, though, it’s been unraveling for a few months, but Sunday was the tipping point. I don’t want to get into the details here, beyond the fact that is was Lisa who decided to end it, but neither of us is completely innocent. If you ask either of us, the amount and location of blame will differ some, but we mostly agree that, in the end, the love — the type of love that should be felt between husband and wife — isn’t there anymore. I firmly believe, that if Lisa were to reconsider her decision, we could get back to what we had with some work. Realistically, though, I don’t think that’ll happen. I need to look forward to this new future and cherish, but not mourn or worship the good stuff that we had. Most importantly, we still love and respect each other as friends and, really, that’s pretty great, since we still need to work together in dealing with Grace. She has been our biggest concern; how can we work through this with minimal damage to her?

I’ve got a lot of anger about the situation, what happened, and how things ended, but this is destructive energy that won’t help anything. I’m trying to find ways to deal with it, while still being constructive. To this end, I have an appointment with a counselor this afternoon. Hopefully, he’ll give me some suggestions on how this can be done. I’ve been keeping most of it in when talking with Lis. This has mostly worked, but every-so-often, something snarky and hurtful slips out. Lis is pretty good at taking it, but it does build up and it does hurt her.

Last night, after an especially nasty spat, we were able to collect ourselves and talk about where we go from here. Neither of us — right now, at least — feels especially pressed to leave. We’re still comfortable around each other, though we need to work out comfortable levels of modesty, touchiness, and personal space. We think that, for the time being, Lis will continue to live with us. She’ll take care of Grace through the summer, continuing to be a stay-at-home-mom. Next month, when G starts her final year of pre-school, Lis will look for a full-time job. Luckily, it looks like my job might allow for a certain level of work-at-home time. I need to talk this over with my boss, but I might be able to take her to school, pick her up, and bring her to daycare while Lis is at work. From daycare, I’ll continue into the office. Lis will pick G up when she’s done with work and bring her home. The money Lis earns will go towards daycare and savings. Unless her new job has outstanding healthcare, she’ll remain on mine for the meantime and I’ll continue to share my finances.

Eventually, Lis will have to move out, as the state of Virginia requires that couples with children must live apart for 12 months before a divorce can be issued. Hopefully, Lis will have enough time to save up enough money for a nice place with plenty of room for both her and Grace. The good news — to me — is that as of at least right now, this room for Grace will be for visits. I’ll have physical custody. We’ll share legal custody. We want to try to arrange things where Lis can have an active role in G’s everyday life, but still have her live primarily with me. For the time being, G and I will continue to live in our house, but I think we’ll eventually want to sell it. (Too many memories of dreams of a now-different future, yadda yadda…)

We’ve discussed the possibility of Grace and me moving out of state, probably to be closer to my family in Arizona. This will probably require a lot of planning as neither of us want to be part-time parents. If we do move, we’ll need to find a way for Lis to regularly — at least twice a month, hopefully — be with Gracie. Either Lis comes to us or, as G gets older, she goes to Lis. I can also see G going out to be with Lis for a month or so around the time her family has their annual trip to North Carolina. We’re also a bit concerned about the Arizona school system compared to the Virginia one. While the disparity isn’t as large as we thought, Arizona’s is still the lesser of the two. Regardless, all of this needs to be researched more as it could have a profound impact on G if done wrong.

Well, OK, most of this could have a profound impact on G if done wrong. Sadly, I’m told it has to be done, but if we can work together, we can try to minimize the chances of that happening.

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