It's so. It's been so, for
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.