She leaves on Tuesday

When you set your mind to something, achievements can be accomplished quickly.

On Friday, my wife, who I am calling Danielle for privacy purposes, made it clear that time was up, it was over.

This afternoon, she decided on an Apartment (a “flat”, to my European friends). It’s very nice: hardwood floors, granite kitchentop and stainless steel appliance, plenty of space (over 900 sq ft or 84 m2), walk-in closets, a wonderful view, etc. Frankly, if I were single with no kids, I’d be perfectly happy with it myself. And this is what she will be: single with no kids.

She moves in on Tuesday.

My new and different life begins shortly. I don’t know which way it will go, I know for sure I will not get it right first time, I am pleased that my mild depression has lost me 5 pounds since returning from Ocean City and I seem to have lost the urge to eat (don’t worry, it will be a little while before this is a problem as more than 20 years of marriage leaves you ‘comfortable’). Other than the issues of love and loss, I also have to take on more of the workload in a fairly big house (perhaps 3400 sq ft or 316 m2) set on a half-acre of land. Just keeping the yard/garden tidy at this warm and moist time of year requires Constant Vigilance (anyone read Harry Potter?). The chores might seem to be the least of the problems in a break-up, but washing, drying, ironing, cooking is — as almost anyone here already knows — not trivial. It sucks up a lot of time, and why should my girls have to take on a big share of all this when two are so young?

I worry mostly for the girls. I won’t use names this time, not even their Blog names. One told me she was pleased because there would a calmer house to live in. One burst into tears and needed comforting. One said little, but later threw a fairly impressive Temper Tantrum (yes, capitals are appropriate). They’re hurting in different ways, which means I need to magically arrive at three different strategies for helping them.

Anyway, that’s me for now. Forgive me if I seem erratic in both timing and content of my posts and comments over coming weeks.


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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12 Responses to She leaves on Tuesday

  1. Here is to new life, and living it to the fullest. Happiness will find you again…

    • Hi RNP,

      I’m sure it will. But I have some needs first:
      – Sleep. Oh, how much I would like to have a few nights of good sleep.
      – Time. If someone could add another 6 hours to the day, that would be great.
      – Distance. Do you think the kids would mind if I just moved everyone to somewhere remote and quiet for a few months? Yes, they would? Oh darn.

  2. Surrey gal says:

    You have very difficult times to come. But you must be strong for your children. It all shall pass. I know, sounds lame, but this is the way it is, time, time time.
    I still am trying to understand why your wife would want to leave her children… I personally can’t understand that.

    • Hi fellow English-person,
      (Although my English heritage is slightly mutt-like)

      The good news is that I’m busy with different things and this make time seem to pass faster. The bad news is I still have a LOT more time to go…

      You’re right. Why?? Our nice Lady E and I have discussed that very point. I don’t have a completely clear answer, except my standard refrain: she is ‘broken’ but without some kind of counseling, we may never know in what way.

  3. Jo says:

    I’m with you Surrey Gal (and I’m in Surrey!!). All the way through reading this, I can’t….simply can’t, understand how a mother can leave her children. Maybe there’s something wrong with me – but everything I know about being a woman, being a mother is thrown out by that. I know it does happen…but I really don’t get it. Maybe there’s a bit of this I haven’t read that explains it better.

    • Hi Jo (E’s friend, right?),

      No, you won’t find enlightment to the big ‘why’ anywhere, at least none that I have written. Sometimes, being on the inside, you can’t see what others see as obvious. The odd thing is that so many people who have found out about this in the last few days (it wasn’t broadly known before then) have commented on how perfectly suited we seemed. Hrrmmph.

  4. everevie says:

    What matters most is getting you and your girls through this as smoothly and painlessly as possible. You are doing a fantastic job so far and you should allow yourself a moment to recognize that.

    Every one of you will have moments of breakdown…even the daughter who is claiming relief…she is likely burying her feelings to cope…and she’ll need you when she breaks. And you know you’ll be there…just as she knows you’ll be there. Your sensitivity to them is evident in the fact that you recognize how they will all need you in a different way. And I have faith that you can provide what each of them needs.

    It’s not magic…it’s instinct, it’s love, and it’s commitment.

    You are forging a tremendous bond with these girls. And you are offering a model of manhood and fatherhood they might not have had the privilege of knowing otherwise.

    Let your wife go. Let her go and find her freedom. She may find, in time, that it’s really not all that grand out there. In the meantime though, the focus on the welfare of your daughters will be strengthing each of them to face whatever choice your wife ultimately makes.

    You are a good guy…a strong man…and a loving husband and father.

    (P.S. Mad-Eye Moody!!)

  5. Hi Evie,

    The smooth and painless option, I like that. But it blew up within a few seconds of her driving away, my oldest — Amélie — sobbed her heart out for at least half an hour. And I thought she was the one that didn’t care about my wife leaving. This morning — the day after as it were — little Brigitte was soooo unhappy and grumpy I didn’t pick up on what the problem was initially.

    For me, so far, it’s been easier with less-than-zero time to myself. (As I type these comments to all the nice replies, my oldest daughter is waiting patiently for me to watch a movie with her. I’m hoping to finish these before the end of the movie.)

    You’re right about the subtle reference to Constant Vigilance; I’m going to have pay much more attention to myself and how I respond to difficulties. Twice today, I’ve got angry at things I wouldn’t normally let bother me. That’s something to avoid. They need me to be the guy that doesn’t get mad over silly things.

    Re: “You are a good guy…a strong man…and a loving husband and father” … I think we can cross off “husband” from the list now 🙂 (Not that I feel I deserve the other accolades either.)

  6. kimberly says:

    i can’t believe the type of bond you post that you have with your girls, how they seem to adore you, feel safe with you, confide in you. we only know that to a certain extent around here. and i am floored with your recounting- helping her pick an apartment, the contract, trying to discuss, helping with moving?, you going to counseling *on your own??*… no matter what anyone thinks of it, just the effort put forth, literally- it leaves me speechless. according to the postings, you’re nearly the polar opposite of someone i know. i have to say, i am relieved your girls have you as dad.

  7. Pingback: Can I stop the runaway train of separation? | Four is a Family

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