I wrote this post perhaps a week ago, but for some reason, never hit Publish. Now it’s all pointless, as you will see in my next post. But I wrote it, so you should see it.
Trains have momentum. Once they are moving, they’re not easy to stop.
I think that the path to separation for my relationship is like a runaway train.
On the one hand, I have a wife who has started us down this path to formal separation. In technical terms, we have already been formally separated for almost 3 months now. Because she is still living under the same roof, albeit on a different floor to me, I sometimes forget the ‘already separated’ thing. My wife is not a bad person, she is not necessarily someone who even wants to be on this path. Maybe she cannot find a way to stop this runaway train.
On the other hand, I have tried to open a dialog with her that would let use outline our concerns, our complaint, and our obstacles to making this work again. I have been supported in this by my good friend (who has had not any success with a successful dialog with her partner either). There seems to be a reasonable case to be made that if my wife and I could talk, maybe the situation could be calmed, maybe cooler heads would avoid a more complete separation.
But it’s not working. I can’t say it simpler than that.
My efforts to talk have all failed.
Often, it is too late at night for her to have a difficult conversation. OK, no-one to blame but me for that.
Other times, the realities of parenting mean that kids, phone calls, or timetables get in the way and stop a discussion before it has settled any issues. If you don’t want to get interrupted for 20 years, don’t have kids! 🙂 So, no blame being cast around for that one either.
There are also occasions where we do get some time to talk, but a fictional past is invented that usurps serious discussion. For example, apparently I am disengaged and unwilling to make this work, and for three months have not tried to fix this. Well, hold your horses there! I was told that she needed the space, needed to be independent, and she has shut herself in her bedroom suite for hours at a time. Not exactly easy for me to engage or fix anything I think. So, when I point out this kind of obvious rebuttal, there’s immediate annoyance, and it’s less than a minute before the conversation is over.
There are always two viewpoints and only mine is presented here.
When I am on the other side of a closed door (which is presumably locked, but I’ve never tried to force my way in), there’s not a lot I can do. Banging on the door might release some frustration but it would only escalate matters without improving the chances of success. Being patient has been an abject failure so far.
There was a point in time where my wife recognized that her distance from me and from the girls has resulted in all of us closing ranks to protect our feelings. That has now been twisted into us not liking her or wanting her. It’s not true, but trying telling that to a closed door. I would send an e-mail, but then none of my last half-dozen have been opened or read as far as I know. And they were administrative ones that needed some minor action on her part. What are the chances she will even look at one that tries to repair this relationship…
There was a point in time where I would have considered or made many sacrifices to make this relationship work again. But I have had to change my life in many ways for the separation. I have had to force myself to accept likely failure and start to think about how to cope with it. I have dealt with sobbing children who don’t understand what their mommy is doing. I have had to hold my tongue when I really wanted to make it clear what I really think, or tell my kids to hold theirs so they wouldn’t needle their mommy further. I have had many chance to shut the door on this relationship and have left it ajar.
So, do I get to say enough is enough? I want to. At least, in some ways.