The Last Days of a Marriage Part I

In about a month or so, the house I have been living in for 3 years, will have its sale closing and the following day I will finalize my divorce filing, if all goes as planned. Things that have been a routine part of my daily life during the past few years are taking on new moments of poignancy. 

The scent of the shower gel my husband uses, that is strongest when he comes from the shower still damp. I can smell it from across the room. It almost made me weep this morning. I left on another work trip today and I know the mornings are numbered when this scent will be in the air where I am. I know his routine and the sound of his shoes dropping on the wood floor when he goes to that same chair to put them on. With my eyes closed if I am still in bed I can picture him getting dressed in the morning. At some point I will hear water running from the kitchen tap. He lets it get hot to clean his glasses. I will soon hear the dog come running down the hall from outside, behind his footsteps as he gets pet food and treats. The dog will bark and whine for his treats and I will hear the clack of his nails on the kitchen floor. Then the sound of them both headed to the back door to go back outside.

These are just some of the moments I know are counting down. Even in the knowing the sale and divorce are coming, we are still polite. Anyone looking in the window would see two people on a Sunday morning, reading in bed. Looking settled into a life. But it’s not even close. 

I tried for months to find a way for us to be a couple even after the divorce is final. A divorce I had no choice about. Asset protection we said to the kids. Protecting me. I booked time with a counselor, we did homework, I tried to find all the bright spots I could to keep it together so somehow we could regroup. After all we have that recreational compatibility  and history as friends to build upon. But there needs to be trust and hope too in that mix. 

I had hope for many months in this limbo. Then one day in June discussing whether or not to book more counseling, he said, “why? It’s like setting up deck chairs on a sinking ship.”  For a moment I was speechless and then I said, “Even on the Titanic the band kept playing til the end.”

With those words, my hope went down like a sinking ship. I felt for the first time all my efforts, time, money, love and hope had been wasted. 

Just like it would be setting up deck chairs on a sinking ship.


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