It has been a long time coming…I have abandoned the blog (nearly), the cello (almost completely), yoga and other exercise (just about entirely) as well as whatever else can fall away while I try to wrap up my master’s degree, prepare for a promotion at work, figure out a way to refinance, deal with the aftermath (and just general math) of a divorce, and come to terms with end of life issues for the dog and cat of my life. So I thought I would take a moment to post a little reflection, something I have been doing not much of lately.
My April Fools Day was quite unlike any other. I learned that this was the date I was officially an unmarried person. For the first time in a long time (the refrain of Josh Ritter’s new album about his divorce is ringing in my ears). I told husband, now ex, via email as he was anxious to have it all be done and dusted. I communicated with him on Tuesday and we met for dinner on Thursday to go over some more finalities (when will the finalities ever be final I ask myself?) and he showed up in a new car. I suppose he needed the final judgment before making a large purchase legally. So I end up paying for a divorce I didn’t want, the rest of my education, which we took on together because we could do it with his income without having student loan debt, and a house that was more than affordable when it was two. And now it is one. A new car might not seem so drastic unless you know the ex-husband. Never would he ever have purchased a new car. Not for us to share, certainly not for me, and not for himself.
Funny how these new priorities have come to the surface. I suppose they were always lurking and I am just now beginning to see what narcissism may look like in a marriage. I compromised, because that is what you do, right? Yes, okay, we will get married now. Alright, I’ll give up my apartment for your dog. No peacecorps, no world travel before we start working for the rest of our lives? Fine. Salt Lake City for the lowest paying job offer? Really? I’ll just start over again from the bottom every move. It’s okay because I can work anywhere. I guess I’ll be taking public transport anyway, so it doesn’t matter that I can’t reach the pedals in the camper van. It’s surprising because when we moved abroad, it really began to feel like he had started to consider me. Our marriage was a good one and I felt it improve. I felt like I finally had a say. You know what? I never liked church or felt comfortable there and still have gone with you for the past 17 years…Yes, England was good and we both felt perhaps we were moving back a little sooner than planned, but after all, it was Portland and I had always pined for Portland. And we were both excited by the prospect. It has proven to be a better city than either of us imagined. More than we hoped for. Thank god it ended here and not in the middle of London. I am here in the city I longed to live in, with a job I love and have progressed in, getting a higher education, in the perfect house in a great neighborhood with amazing people surrounding me. Did it suddenly become too much? Too much happiness on my part, too much permanence after 16 moves in 14 years of marriage? I don’t get it now and may never understand, but full mid-life crisis mode appears to be in full effect and our ending was appropriate as any.