15 November 2007


Did I mention that Nimue and I are separated? But living in the same house? No? Sorry 'bout that.

It's so. It's been so, for going on 3 over 2 years. It was her decision. Something to do with giving better attention to her children, which I didn't really understand. She asked me to move out. Her request astounded and infuriated me.

When we married, she came with very little in the way of financial assets (but did bring along a history of two recent bankruptcies). I brought significant assets, the biggest of which was the house. It seemed like an ideal place for her children to grow up. So we agreed that we'd live here, even though it's the house I lived in with my first wife and in which Bitter Cookie and I raised our children. I bought out my ex-wife out and re-financed (which, among other things, means that my mortgage lasts until I turn 79). I moved back in shortly before Nimue and I married.

Now she was asking me to move out, to continue paying the mortgage and utilities, and to find a place of my own in which to live. I flat out refused. She wouldn't leave either, because "it's the kids' home and they don't want to leave," so she sleeps in what used to be the family room.

Shortly before she made her decision that we should separate, we had been seeing the therapist, Macron Larks. He'd been therapist to both of us from long before we got together, so he was a natural choice. She mentioned in one of our last sessions with him that she'd had this strong intuition that a separation might be good (for her children). Macron allowed as how it could be important to pay attention to such perceptions, but stressed that if we did separate for the sake of Nimue's children, it was very important for the marriage that she put set a date when the separation would end. When the youngest turned 18, or 21, or when the last one had finished high school, or college, or something like that.

I reminded her of this caveat a year or so into the separation—when we still seemed able to have rational conversations—and told her that one of my big fears was that she'd never set such a deadline, that one thing would always lead to another and there'd be no end of good reasons to continue the separation a little longer. At the time she allowed as how that was probably true. I remember how my heart sunk when she agreed so readily. It was like a punch to the belly.

All this came up tonight when she asked if I had decided about going back to see Macron Larks, something I had agreed to think about. I reminded her about his caveat. Now she has no memory at all of him saying it at all. "Besides," she says, "I have no control over when my children will be ready to leave."

I still can't believe it. As if my heart hadn't sunk low enough already, it has gone into free fall. A veritable body slam to the belly.


Anybeth said...

She absolutely has control over when her children will leave. After they are 18 they don't get free room and board, they can help with that mortgage of yours. If they don't like that idea, then they can move on out.

Namenlosen Trinker said...

<sarcasm>Gee, do you think so, anybeth?</sarcasm>

thejunkyswife said...

Wow. That sucks. I'm sorry you're stuck in one of those situations that feels all endless and bound and awful. Maybe going back to counseling will be a good thing...help jog her memory a little?

Peeved Michelle said...

Has the separation been better for her children? I don't really get how that works if you are all still living together.

sharonsjourney said...

I agree with anybeth, & it must be terriblely hard being separated living in the same house! You can't have your life, you need to get your life back. It sounds to me like she's using the kids for an excuse not to move out, & take responsibility for herself. That's what she needs to do, take responsibility for herself! In my opinion she was wrong in asking you to move out. I'd be furiated too, how dare her!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

You know, it's amazing how strongly I feel the impulse to jump in here and solve all of your problems, like the good codie I am. But that's just masking what I really want to say, which is what JW said, "I'm sorry you're stuck in one of those situations that feels all endless and bound and awful." And I wish I could fix it.

Smiles said...

Wow Crazy!! Hope you are doing well and hanging in there!

P.S. this is cookie m.

Piglet said...

my god trink, this really sucks.

i too tried that set up years ago, to break up but still live together and it was a miserable situation.

anna said...

That sounds very confusing. I've got all sorts of questions about how one navigates something like that, but none are any of my business. I'll just say I'm sorry.

thejunkyswife said...

You've been memed, by the way.

erinsav said...

I'm sorry...this comment has nothing to do with your post:

You've been tagged to participate in a recovery meme. Here's the rules:

Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
Post these rules on your blog.
List seven things you're grateful to have learned in recovery.
Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.