This coming Friday we meet with a divorce mediator. I am really happy to finally be moving on with this next phase of my life, but I am still really saddened that it came to this.
We have had our share of troubles, we have both brought up divorce more than once in all these years. I honestly wish I knew why we never went through with it before, and I honestly wish I knew why this time it is real.
I know people want to blame Allison, and that is unbelievably unfair to her and to me. The truth is, both of us have been unhappy, both of us have been putting up with a situation that we didn't want to be part of. This time it was her who decided to end it, and I thank her for having the courage to make that choice that I was too afraid to make, so many times.
Early 2010, Allison decided to go see a therapist. She had been noticeably unhappy for a while, and found a "life coach" kind of therapist. It seems to me that he helped her realize that she did not want to be married to me anymore. Like so many things here, all I can say is what it appeared to me, I am not saying that this is the factual account of things, just my perception of the situation.
It was around the time of the census starting that Allison told me that she wanted a divorce. Unlike the last time one of us brought it up, I told her that I agree. She seemed surprised that I would not argue, but I knew that she wasn't happy, and neither was I, so why fight it? She told me that she didn't have a timeline planned yet, but her hope was that once she started working for the Census, she could put aside some money, and she would move out, letting me keep the kids and house. She knows that I like my life: working, spending time with the kids, basic boring American dream, and I think she wanted some excitement. She felt really fulfilled when she went to Houston to help after the hurricane tore the town down, and while she was a full-time mom, that kind of adventure was too hard to justify. So we agreed to continue on the path we had long been on, living as roommates.
When she started real census work, she made fast friends with a bunch of co-workers, and seemed really alive for the first time in a while. I had a dash of a concern that one of her co-workers and her were getting very close, but between our discussion of divorce, and her happiness, I didn't fixate on it much. It turns out that they are very close, but still only friends. Being friends with him makes her happier than I have, maybe ever. Sadly, the perception a lot of people have is that he is the cause of all of this, but it isn't the truth.
That isn't to say that it didn't hurt. Really badly. Her wanting to leave in the unspecified future was very different from her being so much closer to someone else right now. It was a personal hell for me, and on top of my work situation, it was so damn hard to deal with. The worst part was that I was trying to be supportive of her, but kept messing up, getting her outright angry at me. All of this made me realize that as unhappy as we both were, for so long, I still love her, and will miss her dearly.
The hardest part of all was putting on a good front for people who didn't know anything was going on. I had told some of my family, but the kids and her whole side of the family was in the dark. When we told them all (after the kid's last day of school) I felt so much better. It was such a relief to be able to talk about everything without worrying about rumors getting to people before they could be told. The timing wasn't great for Allison, because of the perception of the "other man", I have been trying to dispel that as the cause ever since.
Now I have a couple of women's phone numbers, nothing is actually going on yet, but I feel ready to date. Allison is much happier, and might even have a place to live (that isn't with her soon-to-be ex-husband), so we, including the kids, can adjust to this new life before school starts up in the fall.