Today I spoke to my wife for the first time, since our separation two years and three months ago, about my desire to begin the process of moving towards divorce. I have put off this conversation for a very long time, but I held it today, and I am proud of myself.
I have found a divorce mediation firm near our homes that I like. I feel that it will be a respectful process. I’ve asked my wife to join me for a two-hour information session. She said this had not been on her mind, which I believe. She wanted time to think about what she wanted and look at the website for the mediation firm.
I am concerned about her getting advice and lawyering up but we will see where this goes. It will depend in part how much she trusts me, which I think she does.
I feel good. I feel proud that I had the conversation. It broke the ice and will hopefully make the next conversations easier.
For too long I have not wanted to break the silence between us about divorce, not knowing what breaking the silence would bring. When I moved out of our home there was no detailed planning except to agree that I would pay the bills and life would continue as before. We only spoke of divorce once that I remember. It was a very short conversation about our mutual desire to use a mediator rather than waste money on lawyers.
One of the questions my wife asked was, “Why do you want to begin this now? Has something changed?” There are a few answers to that question.
One reason to start the divorce process now is my work. I work as an executive in a mid-sized corporation and I am tired. Days begin at 8 AM and go without a break, from meeting to meeting, until 5 or 6 PM. The work is complex. The job is high pressure. I am not sure how much longer I can continue to work at this level and this hard.
I also see signs that the man I work for may retire in the next year. My commitment to myself has been to stay in my current job until my boss retires. But his retirement opens the door for me to make a change in my work life. If I take a lesser job, the money, which has made our separation so easy, drys up or gets smaller. Since my wife has chosen not to work, it is my salary that pays my bills, her bills, for two homes, and our supports our son at college.
I resent that my wife has decided not to work and that I am the only one supporting the family, but I have chosen to ignore it as the price of my freedom. But if I take a lesser job, I do not want to use my savings to support her. It will have to be a shared responsibility.
A second driver of ‘why now’ is the relationship with the man I have been dating since January of this year, almost nine months. He means more and more to me as time goes on. For the last two weeks, he has been away on a long-planned cruise, and we have had minimal contact. I really miss seeing him and being with him. I am excited for his return on Monday. While I do not like to over-plan the future, I see our relationship continuing to grow, and want to clean up my marriage so that we will be free to make whatever choices about our relationship that we choose to make.
I married my wife because at the time I loved her. I still respect her but feel very ready to move on with my life. The time has come to move forward.