Taking things well…

I don’t think I have taken a comment from a posting and turned it into a new posting before.

The original comment is here.

Specifically, BornAgainSingle said, “…you’re handling all the things that keep coming at you…”

This post isn’t to dwell on any superhero stuff. Me? Ha! Frankly, what I have been coping with pales in comparison with what wives typically have to cope with when a husband walks out.

For me, it has been much easier in many ways:

So far money hasn’t been a problem, local friends haven’t turned against me or been forced to swear an allegiance to one or the other of us, and I am assured that my job is safe despite my recent difficulties.

Having these kinds of things off the table, which is often not the case for other people, has meant the pain has not spread to too many parts of my life. It has been focused on (a) my feelings for my wife, (b) trying to support my girls, (c) trying to rearrange my life to be a single dad instead of a married parent, and (d) all the other things that I can’t remember right now because it’s almost midnight and I’m tired.

Re (a): The feelings for my wife have been on the back burner most of the time since she hasn’t been around much for months now. Living in the basement bedroom suite before moving out meant I rarely saw her. She has been sociable more often than not when I have seen her. The recent discovery that there might be a third party has changed this.

Re (b): Until recently, my girls have been both supportive and in need of support, and we have been a cohesive team. I hope that the recent problems are only temporary and we get back to working closely together to buoy each other. Not only are the three of them my favorite people on the planet, I want to try to limit the effect of my wife’s departure on their lives. I want them to feel fulfilled and happy and loved as much as I can.

Re (c): Rearranging my life has been much harder than I thought. I have had to seal off so many emotions to switch to be ‘single dad’ and ‘stay home guy’ and, because of (b), I’ve been Ok with it. The sheer volume of work is daunting, however. It hasn’t helped that my day-to-day stuff has to fit in the context of a Master Plan to be able to sell this house this summer if I am forced to. This requires me to worry about washing, drying, ironing, cleaning, cooking for the kids (although they help with all of this now), but also figure out what major projects (like the basement waterproofing project I have whined about for a while now) have to be done to get the house in better condition. It’s funny how we don’t think twice about the old bathroom until we think about selling, then realize — wow! — that stuff is more than 50 years old! To cope with such large things, I have really had to bottle up emotions and focus on planning.

As a number of people have told me now, there’s an upper limit to how long this can go on before a fuse blows…I just want the strength to get through June, then I can have some free time for a leisurely breakdown!

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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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10 Responses to Taking things well…

  1. Jo says:

    May I make a small (possibly useless) suggestion? If money isn’t too much of a problem, how about getting someone in to help with cleaning or ironing or something. Sometimes just knowing the bathrooms have had a proper clean and you don’t have to worry about getting round to it can be a help with the mental load. Even if its something small, like an hour of ironing – just knowing someone else is doing a little bit of it and you can just not think about that; could give you a bit of a break and could make the practical stuff at least not feel like such a huge, daunting pile?

    • Hi Jo,

      Whoever and wherever you are (probably England, by the ‘voice’), thanks for an excellent suggestion! The funny thing is that when Danielle (her blog name) started work and continued to clean the house and do many of the chores she did when was at home alone, I made the same suggestion. I thought it would give her free time.

      The *really* funny thing is that I said, if we didn’t get someone to help and we don’t split the work more evenly among everyone, she would eventually have a breakdown and THEN she’d listen to me on this topic.

      I didn’t expect that she would have the breakdown, but leave. That caught me by surprise…

  2. Lady E says:

    I would definitely second Jo on this. Get all the house-work you can afford, it makes a world of difference…
    Otherwise, you’re such a project manager at heart, it makes me smile. Keep going!
    x

  3. John says:

    I sincerely hope that (A) is not actually happening. Having to live with a spouse while they are cheating is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I know that it seems difficult, but it might not be a bad idea to keep a journal of suspicious activities of your wife for any attorney you may hire if it does come to that(which I sincerely hope it does not).

    (C) is probably a good thing, though I do agree that if you can afford it getting someone to help with basic housekeeping tasks do it. At least you have something to plan and focus on to help take your mind off of what else is going on and gives you something to do with your time than to just sit around and think.

    Good luck, you are not alone.

    J

    • Thanks John. I’m still amazed to see so many people with the same basic kind of problem, just all on different timelines. Hope you’re getting into clear waters now. Be strong.

  4. Surrey gal says:

    I just would like to say that providing that your split happened so recently I’m shocked how well you are handling everything. It may perhaps blow when it all hits you. Or maybe not, I don’t know, I’m not you so I don’t know what and how you really feel. But I remember myself and for first two months after my husband left (or maybe it was a bit more?) I was so depressed I didn’t want to get out of bed (I did because of the children), I disappeared from the world to my friends and I was in pieces. You seem to pull it all together, at least that’s how it looks here… Stay strong.

    • Although I haven’t talked about it, I struggled with clinical stress for a while back in about 2003-2004. But I knew that giving in to it would mean I lost the job, lost the house, and would have had to leave the country. Faced with that back then, I just ploughed on and kept going to work because there was no other reasonable choice. It toughened me up. I think. Either that or I’m about to break…time will tell!!

  5. I still admire you no matter what 🙂

    Maybe things are different in the States than my home country, but when I look at the people I know I think most men would have a much harder time being left with the kids than most women would. I guess your kids are just lucky to have such a strong father.

    • I think I’m lucky to have such nice kids! If I had 3 teenage versions of me, I’d never know where they were, what they were doing or drinking, if they were still going to school. My main ‘communication’ with the kids would be the regular report cards from teachers… 🙂

      I wasn’t a horrible teenager, but I lived a very free and and easy life. A combination of completely naive and clueless parents (not dumb, just no idea of kids because neither of them got to ‘be’ kids themselves), good friends, easy access to parties and alcohol, and other things. It was a different age….

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