It’s a modern world, and it ends by e-mail

Most mornings, my wife gets up before me. (For anyone new to the blog, she has moved into the spacious bedroom suite, leaving me alone in the upstairs master bedroom). She sees the girls and puts them on the school bus. In the USA, school starts so early that I consider it a crime against nature. My high school girl has to be outside for the school bus by 6:40am. My middle school girl gets a ride with a friend at 7:00am. Shortly after the kids have gone, my wife leaves for the office.

Sometime between 7am and later, I get up, check my e-mail (I love my iPhone — I don’t even have to get out of bed to find out if I received any urgent work e-mails overnight, and can check home e-mails too), see if I can find my brain cells (I seem to lose them each night), and get on with showering, dressing and the other necessary preparations for work.

Today, I got up earlier than usual so that a colleague could pick me up at 7am and we could carpool together.

Even though last night didn’t go well (see here), I wasn’t expecting an e-mail from my wife to say that she is now planning to move out.

There’s really no useful, witty, or touching comment I can add. I have been preparing myself for this, but hoped it wouldn’t come to pass, that perhaps it would sort itself out over time.

About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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22 Responses to It’s a modern world, and it ends by e-mail

  1. No name says:

    Oh no, I am so sorry to read this. You may think you have prepared yourself, but it always comes as a shock. Thinking of you

    • Struggling Dad says:

      Thanks very much for your response.

      You’re absolutely right. I thought I would be prepared but it’s a shock.

      As the working day goes on, I’m finding myself more and more distracted and unable to concentrate. In my last meeting, I was lucky that my involvement with the project is peripheral. No-one noticed that I was off in another world, sifting through memories and feeling overwhelmed.

  2. Grey Goose, Dirty says:

    So sorry to read this. Although impossible to wrap your head around now, it may actually make things a bit easier on you and the girls in the healing process without having her so close.

    Concentrate on you, the girls, what makes you happy and realize that if she chose to leave, then it’s her loss, not yours.

    • Struggling Dad says:

      Thanks very much GGD.

      I’m sure you’re right that the girls and I will soon be able to start on the mourning then healing process instead of just sitting around wondering if this for real or not. But, as E said in another post, “Ow, ow, it hurts.”

      I don’t even want to think yet of all the admin things that will have to arranged: furniture, bills, finances, his/her friends…this is going to get worse before it gets better.

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  4. everevie says:

    I was directed here via Grey Goose’s site…and I’ve been reading for the last hour or so. I still have a handful of posts to read…but I’m almost all the way caught up. Unfortunately…I don’t have much to offer in the way of advice. I’m like Grey, never married and no children.

    I am, however, a “child of divorce” and our situation was a bit like yours in that my mother is the one who left me, my brother, and my father. I was just a baby…so I cannot relate to what your daughters are going through. But, I have always respected and loved my dad because of the way he managed to stay so strong, so loving…and I have especially admired the way he has NEVER…not once in all my 38 years, said an unkind word about my mother to me.

    He remarried a couple of years later to my step-mom…so things normalized (somewhat) while I was still very young. Still, it’s his example of strength and solidity, forgiveness and compassion, that informs what I look for in a man of my own.

    If I had any advice, coming from my own unique perspective…I’d just say to continue to be a patient man with your wife, even if she becomes your “ex”-wife…and continue to be a loving father…a rock…for your daughters. I truly believe you will be repaid in the years to come with their respect and trust.

    I’m sorry you are going through such a tough time. 😦

    (P.S. I left a comment on Grey’s post-the “sitting on my laptop” one-about how to link your blog to your profile name in comments.)

    • EverEvie,

      Thanks for your insight into how I might be the kind of dad my daughters need right now. I *think* I was already heading in the right direction, but I can do it with more confidence knowing it has already worked in the past.

      Thanks, Sean.

      • everevie says:

        Hi Sean…I hope my comment didn’t come off as judgemental. I certainly didn’t mean it that way. But I guess my “advice” was stating the obvious. Based on your posts, I believe you ARE being an awesome dad to your girls, and that you ARE heading in the right direction. I just wanted to encourage you in what you are already doing. 🙂

        • Hi Evie,

          No, of course not, I didn’t think for a moment you were being judgemental. This is a place to share so I am grateful for your comments about how your parents’ divorce affected you, and how your dad made it work. I found that very helpful.

  5. I am just getting caught up on your story and I’m sorry for what you are going through. I don’t want to sound trite, and I know this is not within your focus right now, but it will be easier to accept and move on without her there. It will sort itself out over time, maybe just not the way you hope right now.

    • Thanks CF.

      Wait … you’re the “Click” that GGD referred to in a post. So, thanks Click.

      In a few days, I will have to go back and see what reference GGD made to you.

      Thanks for your kind thoughts. Although it’s going to cause all kinds of heartbreak to watch and probably help her move out, if she doesn’t want to be with us, then maybe it will ease the strains on me and on the girls.

      Thanks, Sean.

  6. Carlo M. says:

    Like you i saw it coming, life has started to turn when she got pregnant with our second child. We are both in our late 30’s and with 3 children of her own from a previous early relationship, it was both scary for us with a new baby boy and 4 kids. The 3 kids were entering their teens and is beginning to be a problem. Then i lost my job and then we had to work for her father… it went downhill from there.

    15 years of being together and 20 days ago, it all ended… this will be the second time for me, but it never gets any easier. I always think that the children will be more of the ones most affected. A lot of the times she will need space, a lot of the time she will feel that its all our fault, but really, in the end its no use thinking who did what. I found that if you both tried and it didnt work, its always best to sort out the “terms of surrender”.

    You got it via email, i got it via text. She hated me, said nasty things, and then a few days after it was over. Thru it all i stayed quiet and let her have her say. I was hoping that it will just make her blow steam, but it was for real and it was for good. So i let it be. I get to keep my two kids from her, she gets to keep her own kids. We provide for our own kids, we heal ourselves and said our final goodbyes. These were our “terms of surrender”.

    I believe there is a reason for it all. Looking back now it all made sense, and it will have to end this way. Acceptance is the key, once you have tried it all and given your best, it means you have done what you can.

    To be honest its scarier for me because i’m 40 yrs old with a 1 yr old son, no job, no social security and almost scraping the bottom of my savings. but i have learned to live for my sons. Its all about them now….

    hang in there…

    • Thanks Carlo.

      You’ve certainly been through the wringer and having no job just adds to the stress and reduces your choices. In many ways, I think you are going through a more difficult time than me. I still have some hope that my wife and I may end up apart, but that perhaps an ongoing friendship is possible. If this does work, it will be much better for the girls.

      Thanks for sharing, Sean.

  7. I am truly humbled.

    Two months ago, I had never read a WordPress blog and now I’ve encountered many nice and interconnected people who have helped me through a difficult day. (You might find it difficult to believe, but the day got worse as time went on. Something for another post).

    My heartfelt thanks to all who have offered comments. My very first post was titled “Am in the middle of the end?” and it didn’t really occur to me at the time that reaching the “end of the end” isn’t actually where it stops. Tomorrow, I have to start figuring out what comes next. I have to say that my girls have been so supportive and responsible (on the whole) that we have become a closer family unit through this.

    It’s just a smaller family than it used to be.

  8. presentimperfect says:

    My husband is thinking of leaving me. Before it happened to me, I used to wonder how people could love a person, and be married to them and not know they were the sort who would just abandon their families, or break up a marriage over text or email. I was honestly smug about how well I had chosen, what a good man I had married.

    I’m so sorry for what you are going through. It sucks and it isn’t fair.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for commenting. You seem to have a very difficult situation and there may be some solace in knowing that you’re not alone. In fact, there’s seems to be a lot of camaraderie here. Lots of people in different phases of the same kind of situation.

      I hope things work out for you.

      Cheers, Sean.

  9. Surrey gal says:

    You can never prepare yourself for that.
    But it is better if she doesn’t live with you. It is better for you and moving on. In the long run I think it will be better for the children too.
    Believe me, it will make the pain go away much quicker.
    My words are based, unfortunately, on my own experience.

    • Thanks SG.

      (One day, I’m going to figure out if using “SG” and “GGD” and so on are the best way of addressing replies. Since I rarely know real names, my choices are a little limited!)

      The pain has a weird way of coming and going. I’m getting tired of feeling tired and down, then feeling normal and happy, then down, etc. I want to shout at myself, “Pick a mood and stick with it for a couple of days!”

      • Surrey gal says:

        You wish! It won’t happen, don’t expect it. But if it’s of any consolation, we all go through this, it’s quite a common thing after a break up, so you are not alone 😛

  10. anne says:

    Yep, roller coasters are to be expected. Work and sleep and nutrition is not. Sorry SD… It is awful.

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