It's been nearly two years since Martin returned from L.A. with the news that he wished for a separation from our marriage. That was followed by many months of me pretending he hadn't said that in a very, "ignore it and it will go away" fashion. I experienced a moment of clarity in August of last year after insisting we go out to celebrate our 15th anniversary. We conversed in a rather civil fashion and while I took that to mean, "sure, I'm committed to this", by the end of the evening I realized in a gasping-for-air sort of way that, in fact, the train had derailed and that all my strength and will were not enough to get it back on track.
So I went to therapy a few months later. And I know she was trying her best to be objective, but in retrospect I can only imagine that my therapist was in disbelief that an able bodied woman couldn't muster the courage to put her children in school, get a job and move out on her own.
So here another nine months have passed and I'm finally getting to that place. There were a lot of changes for me to wrap my head around, so I'm not faulting myself for taking a little extra time. Kids in school. Check. Full-time job. Check. File for divorce. Check. Tell the kids. Ooops. We'd best address that. . .
So a couple of weeks ago I looked ahead on the calendar to see when I would have a free weekend that we could break our children's hearts. We agreed today would be the day. After lunch. You know I didn't sleep last night, right?
I must give credit to Martin for much of the ease with which the kids took today's news. He transitioned very smoothly from, "the landlord wants to sell this house" to "your mom and I will be living in separate spaces." I watched Emily closely and saw the moment when she clued in and she actually smiled. They immediately mentioned their friends who have two homes and how that was perfectly okay. Audrey later addressed a concern about time lines and wondered should she be packing. Martin merely suggested that she could start purging but that there would be plenty of time to prepare. I managed to interject what I felt compelled to say, but no one seemed bothered by the revelation. . .at any point during the day. I just put them to bed and all seems fine. I imagine there will be a greater reality to it when I move out (more on that soon), but they could prove me wrong again.
And I must admit, I feel a little empty that their reaction wasn't more dramatic. I think I needed today (which I had anticipated with much anguish) to be another big moment for me. And it wasn't. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful beyond words that they are, for the moment, doing quite well with the news. I had no idea what to expect. And I certainly didn't expect this.