There is no phrase in the English language more terrifying than “We need to talk”. What this really means is “I need to talk, you need to listen, and you’re not going to like what I’m about to say”. Even “The Dentist will see you now” feels like “Would you like another beer?” in comparison. About 8 weeks ago, I was greeted, if that is the right word, by that phrase as I sat down for what I thought would be a quiet night watching T.V. while the kids were away on a sleepover.
As it turned out, what “We” needed to talk about was that my wife had decided to divorce me. it came as a shock to say the least. When I heard the words my face flushed, my heart began to race and my breathing raced. On the other hand, I can’t say I was completely surprised. Her main argument was that our marriage “Wasn’t working” and that she “Wasn’t happy”. BREAKING NEWS. I haven’t been happy for the last 5 years at least, if not longer. However, as we have two kids who are everything to me, no matter how much they irritate me, I would never ask for a divorce as I always put my kids first, and regard my happiness as secondary to that of my kids. I’d be willing to accept any amount of personal misery if it meant my kids would be happy.
We decided on a collaborative divorce. I had the “Pleasure” of witnessing the most acrimonious divorce in history, involving a clinically insane party represented by the most incompetent lawyer in the great state of California (and that’s up against some pretty stiff opposition as you can imagine). There really isn’t much to argue about, to be honest. Neither of us will be fighting to the death over Auntie Maggies’ collection of Victorian sugar spoons. We have more than enough stuff to equip two households and neither of us wants the others’ stuff, so it should be fairly straightforward.
My wife took the kids out of town for the weekend and I went through all five stages of grief in pretty quick succession and pretty much arrived at relief and acceptance with most of my sanity intact. We agreed to meet with a counselor, and I didn’t exactly jump for joy at the idea, as you can imagine, but I agreed on the basis that it would at least do no harm. Two years of Leadership and Personal Development classes have at least given me the ability to deal with shit like this, and I have to admit that at least I am now getting my moneys’ worth from MKCs’ wisdom. Thank You LPD for preventing me from going insane through all this.
So where do I stand? I wanted to put this down in writing as much for my own benefit as anything else, as a way to keep track of the situation and perhaps gain some sort of perspective. I only thought of this today as the last 8 weeks have been a whirlwind and my energies have been focused on getting through the day, but if you were invited to read this first entry, then you already know some of this. Sorry if some of you feel short changed, but I have only told the people I appreciate, love and trust. I will be posting more over the next days and weeks, but just wanted to make a start. There is much I need to say, much I need to put into context, so bear with me if the next few posts are out of chronological order or seem to jump around in subject matter.