It’s time to acknowledge a very large elephant in the room for me. One that’s been standing next to the table I write on, this whole time. I need to talk about it, not to turn this blog into some kind of therapeutic confessional, but because that elephant is just sitting there, blocking my light and every other damn thing.
Put simply, my marriage is breaking up. Except, as everyone who has ever experienced it knows, it is never simple. The heartbreak of those young loves are but a scratch in comparison. Even the more painful breaks of the twenties and thirties – with the what ifs and maybes – are nothing like this wound.
Under the circumstances, we are lucky, if there is such a thing. So far, we are friends of a strange kind. Finances have compelled us to remain under one roof until now. Truces had to be called on the battlefield, for the sake of our son. This gave way, from occasional sniping to peaceful coexistence, peppered with brief moments of tension. Somehow we have muddled by, still spending time all together, as well as more apart. The separation was out there, in the future but not yet real.
Now it is. He will move out next month, and now all the hard stuff begins again. Telling our son is going to be the worst thing of all. Deep down, I know that he will cope and eventually be okay. He will be loved just as much as before, with lots of time with both of us. Young kids are resilient and two loving parents apart is better than growing up in an unhappy marriage. That doesn’t stop the pain and the guilt I feel about it. That we are about to make the first dent in his safe little world.
This post isn’t about the he said/she said of my marriage. All that stuff is personal and private, but I will say that there were more good than bad things about it. In the end, we were just too different to make it work. Sometimes you’ve got to know when to call it quits. Before things go really wrong and horrible things happen. Instead, you might retain some love as a co-parent and friend.
It’s a glib summary. It doesn’t convey the immense sadness I have felt since the move date was confirmed this week. Or that even with the certainty that this is the right thing to do, I am liable to cry when I think about it. Work is fine, because I am busy with lots of things to organise. Home is different. There you are confronted with the rawness of things. The sadness is about the future imagined, now lost. The breaking of the family unit. And when love fails, it is always a loss.
So if it’s private, why write about this at all? Because I had to. Even if people had guessed it to be the case, my not acknowledging it by writing about it was like a big weight on my chest, stopping me from writing anything. I don’t plan to keep posting about this, but It’s a big context. And I think some of us, at least those raised by an older generation of Catholics, feel shame about separation and divorce and don’t talk about it. Well I am feeling a ton of things right now, but shame isn’t one of them. I met someone I will always be glad to have in my life and who I made the most amazing child with. Where’s the shame in that?
This is not a rosy view. All is still pretty shit. But it’s not the end of things.
I’ll open the Window
By Anna Swir
Our embrace lasted too long.
We loved right down to the bone.
I hear the bones grind, I see
Our two skeletons.
Now I am waiting
till you leave, till
the clatter of your shoes
is heard no more. Now, silence.
Tonight I am going to sleep alone
On the bedclothes of purity.
is the first hygienic measure.
will enlarge the walls of the room,
I will open the window
and the large, frosty air will enter,
healthy as tragedy.
Human thoughts will enter
and human concerns,
misfortune of others, saintliness of others.
They will converse softly and sternly.
Do not come anymore.
I am an animal
Until next time,