Quite a busy day, yesterday. We had the first of our “Four Corner Meetings” involving me, my lawyer, STBX and STBXs’ lawyer. It sounds like the negotiations at the end of the Viet Nam war, but really, it worked out pretty well. We went through the agreement document clause by clause, which basically states that we agree to play nice, and then we moved on to “High End Goals”. Very LPD, if you ask me, and not at all uncomfortable. Thanks, Mary Kay, that’s one more pint I owe you. At this rate, you will probably spend the next 3 intensives completely s*** faced.
On the way into the city, I got a phone call to say that if I want, a place I looked at is mine. It’s a two bed, one bath apartment that is fully furnished and includes all utilities. I’d prefer to stay on in town, but a fully furnished place for $500/mo less than an unfurnished place nearer the kids is too good to pass up. I am more than a little drunk right now, so excuse me if I wander. I spent a good three hours ( in every sense of the word) with my good colleague JC. Once the Laphroaig came out, I knew I was in trouble, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for professional therapy.
I have to say that it was a very stressful experience at first, sitting down with the lawyers. We were both on edge and it showed. However, once things settled down there was a measure of progress and mutual acceptance that made the whole thing bearable. I’m glad that STBX and I share several of the same High End Goals, as it makes it easier for both of us to work towards an acceptable solution. For those of you not familiar with the collaborative divorce process, we both agreed not to even threaten to go to court, which is a hell of a thing, when you consider how nasty a divorce can get when even one of the parties puts their mind to it. Two and a quarter hours sounds like a long time, and it is, but considering the amount of progress made, it was time well spent.
My main struggles now are internal. I need to throw out all the baggage I was carrying regarding the past, and accept that my subservience was as much a contributing factor to my unhappiness as STBXs’ controlling nature. I also have to deal with my current situation of wanting to be authentic, but not wanting to create awkwardness at home. Let me give you an example. Very recently, I met a very intelligent, beautiful, charming, witty young woman. However, I am still married and will be until 90 days after we file the paperwork with the court. S, if this young lady may well come to the conclusion that I am some sort of odious, disingenuous creep. I realise that many of you have already come to that conclusion, but hell, you’ve met me! ( My marital/familial status never came up in our conversation) STBX and I are in agreement that neither of us will start dating until after the paperwork is filed, so how do I square this circle? How do I say to someone “Hey, I’d like to spend some time getting to know you, and by the way, I’m still married, but getting divorced” without having her run for the hills?
Seriously, I’m asking for advice here. I want to be totally honest in all my future actions, but don’t want to do anything that will hurt my kids or cause upset during what is a very difficult period of negotiation. I’m still in the house for at least a week, so I don’t want to add to the stress level by saying to STBX “Hey, I’m off to have a few drinks/dinner with **************. I don’t know when I’ll be back, but it will probably be pretty late”.
I have to sign off now. The booze is finally catching up with me and I need to do some game playing.