I could have written this post months ago, but it never took shape. Alexandria Durrell did a neat blog post that spurred me to write this. Thanks @Clippo.
No one gets married with an end date in mind. I certainly didn’t. I actually never planned to get married. I didn’t consider it necessary, and was never sure I wanted kids. I’m glad all that changed. I’m also glad that my husband and I separated for six months last spring. It saved our marriage.
It’s different for everyone. Different reasons, different factors. Suffice to say we ended up in an unhappy place and mutually made a decision. We agreed to stay in the house for the time being, to reduce the impact on the kids. We commenced living as separate entities. It was terribly awful and awkward at times. Moderately okay and fine at times. We still laughed at times.
Everyone wonders about the logistics. He moved into the guest bedroom, I assumed full possession of the master bedroom and walk-in closet, because he had the downstairs office. We separated our finances, we told our immediate families and close friends. It would be an ideal story if I could say the kids never knew anything was up, but it wasn’t that tidy. Life rarely is.
It didn’t work. I don’t know why. I did try to figure it out, because we were often asked. All I can say is that we realized we like ourselves better as people when we are together than when we were apart. It helped that the basics never left. Fundamental ingredients like friendship, attraction, and shared interests remained. We decided we hadn’t tried counselling and we weren’t being fair to everyone involved if we didn’t try, so try we did.
Relationship counselling is simple, really. You take your guts and you spread them on a table in front of a stranger. Said stranger then stabs them repeatedly with a fork. Wince at any one spot, and the stranger will begin probing. We had some extremely touchy spots. Grass is not greener-spots. Fundamental differences between us as people-spots. It helped that we shared a leery impression of our counsellor. We opted to be mature about the whole thing and agreed after the first session he would be known as “Evil Matt.” That helped.
I’m not saying it was easy. I’m also not saying it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m just saying that after some work, our journey now sees us sharing the path again.
I don’t know how the story ends and I wouldn’t skip ahead to the last page if I could. The engraving in our wedding bands reads “pari passu” which is latin for “on equal footing.” It still works, after almost 14 years.