I visited my son at college this past weekend with my wife and in-laws. Overall, it was a very pleasant trip. But there one part of the trip that particularly bothered me.
On Friday evening my wife and I went to a reception for freshman parents, hosted by the school my son attends within the University. When people asked where we lived, my wife would say, “We live in ….” And give the town where our house is located and where she currently resides. It was a strange experience. I don’t live at that address anymore and have not for over a year and five months. In a subtle way we slipped back, in front of a group of perfect strangers, to being husband and wife, and my new life was absent.
We did not know any of these people, nor would we likely see them again. My wife could have simply said, “We are separated, but I live in …. and my husband lives in …” It would have been fine with me to share this with the parents we met. But to deny my whole life and our separation felt somewhat oppressive to me.
At the end of the weekend, I was happy to return to my new life, which I hope is open and honest.