All the things I’ve written about my separation so far have mostly been positive. Divorce isn’t easy, of course it isn’t, but for the most part for Will and I it seemed the right thing for us and we were able to remain mostly happy. This doesn’t mean I don’t have some bad times.
When we first separated my initial feeling was relief and peace. The decision removed so much stress, pressure and unhappiness for the both of us and the feeling of freedom was something I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager. But now four months down the line reality has set in.
I’m so sad that my children don’t get to wake up with their daddy every day. And I’m sad that on the days they do wake up with him, their mummy isn’t there. I miss the family breakfasts and cuddles in bed, even those 5am wakeups when it’s still dark outside and everyone’s rubbing their eyes (well, not the kids). I miss the coffee machine which I gave Will custody of when he moved out (stupid idea). I miss someone else having responsibility of buying the milk for the mornings, something I seem to keep forgetting.
I miss having someone around to bounce ideas off, especially when it comes to discipline. Someone to chat to when you’ve had a hell of a day and want to talk to a person who knows exactly how infuriating your gorgeous, beautiful children can be, and they know this because they are 50% them. Someone who will take over bath and bedtime for you because you just can’t take any more and need to sit in the garden with a glass of wine.
I miss having someone who knows me better than I know myself in the way that only your partner of 10 years can. I miss the camaraderie and companionship of sharing a life, two children and a home. I miss wearing my wedding ring and being able to refer to ‘my husband’. Most of all I miss my children having their daddy at home.
In the week that we have been filling out our divorce papers – I had to go through our ‘wedding box’ in the hunt for the marriage certificate which was particularly gruelling – I’ve been pondering what my wedding meant to me. You vow to be with someone for the rest of your life, in sickness and in health, til death do us part. It’s a bit embarrassing that I haven’t kept those vows. Not that I didn’t mean them at the time, of course I did. But does this mean I feel marriage is disposable? That it’s OK to renege on promises I made? I feel guilty that the sanctity of marraige, something I still believe in, has been tainted.
I’ve been finding it a minefield to read my old favourite blogs. I used to devour them like books, saving my favourites for nap times and bedtimes so I could sit down with a cup of tea and treat, reading them all in one go. But now each blogger’s account of a lovely family day out is a kick in the face. The smiley happy photos stab me in the heart. Because I won’t have that nuclear family anymore; mine is fragmented and separate.
Relationships with my old friends are difficult, too. Pretty much all our friends were – are – part of a couple. How do we navigate this situation? Do we both still get to be friends with the couple? Does he get the blokes and I get the ladies? Do we split the couples 50/50? As he lives in London now he naturally sees some friends more than I am logistically able to: will they forget me?
It’s shit, it really is. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions which isn’t helped by the early mornings and the full-on days at the coalface of parenting. But as bad as it gets, as tired as I feel, as much as I struggle to fit in work, housework, budgeting, a new social life… it’s the right thing to do. And it will get easier.