This afternoon, the ex will be coming by to pick up more of his things and visit with the dog. I have our separation papers for him to review before we sign in front of a notary. They are printing as we speak.
It’s so very strange to see myself listed as the petitioner and to see him listed as the respondent; to have a relationship that spanned more than a decade come down to a list of assets, debts and possessions, with neat columns for Wife and Husband. A life built together, neatly divided into his and hers, separate and apart.
“WHEREAS, irreconcilable differences have arisen in the marriage of the parties…”
Well, that’s putting it mildly.
Once we both sign these papers, agreeing to the division of our property, it’s all over but the waiting. On July 14th, 2010, I will file for my divorce decree that will legally change my marital status. A year and a day from the date of separation, and although all it really means is that I can’t remarry until then (not a concern of mine), it seems like a long time to wait.
It’s a very strange and awkward feeling, to go from feeling as if you know someone intimately, from having an intimate relationship like a marriage, to awkward strangers. Friends? No. Not right now. I think it’s probably impossible to move on, to move forward, to process the loss and try to be friends. Also, there are other reasons why I don’t feel like the ex is any friend of mine, really. I’m not angry or spiteful or bitter, but nor do I have much desire to maintain such a casual bond with someone who, for so long, my bond was anything but casual.
This isn’t just the end of a marriage, either. It’s the end of a dream. Lots of dreams. Dreams I had of bringing children into this world, of walking hand and hand into the sunset of old age with someone who had been there my whole adult life. The death of silver anniversaries and the obviously futile hope that at some point the drama and chaos and calamity would end and we would find ourselves on the same side of the fence again.
Make no mistake, this is what I want. It’s what I need, what’s best for me, it’s the truth of my heart and soul. I don’t love him anymore. He doesn’t love me anymore. When I look into his eyes, a cold and untrustworthy stranger looks back at me. I drive myself crazy wondering if it was his eyes that changed, or the accuracy of my assessment.
Still, in looking at these papers, at the cold and factual details of our dissolution, I’m driven to write my own papers. To bring the same sense of formality and finality to my leftover emotions. To say the things I will probably never say, both because he doesn’t deserve to hear them and because they’re my private thoughts and feelings, which he will never be privy to again. So, instead, I’ll settle for a little James Taylor.
Well, people got used to seeing them both together But now he's gone and life goes on Nothing lasts forever, oh no She gets the house and the garden He gets the boys in the band Some of them his friends Some of them her friends Some of them understand Lord knows that this is just a small town city Yes, and everyone can see you fall It's got nothing to do with pity I just wanted to give you a call It used to be your town It used to be my town, too You never know 'till it all falls down Somebody loves you Somebody loves you Darling, somebody still loves you I can still remember When it used to be her town, too It used to be your town It used to be my town, too -James Taylor