It always bugged the crap out of me how imprecise our language is for the relationships that commonly exist today. There was never a good term for “guy you commit to and have kids with while never getting married.” So really, I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s no good term for that same relationship once it’s over.
Ex-boyfriend sounds trivial. Ex-husband has the proper gravitas, but it’s just not accurate.
I think I’ll have to stick with “ex.”
My blog was never my diary or my therapist, even as therapeutic as it can be. So this may be surprising to those who don’t know us. Really, it’s not surprising at all. I’d rather not elaborate too much; just to say that sometimes you simply hit an impenetrable wall and realize that all the effort, all the therapy, all the sheer force of will you can muster just isn’t enough to get through it. It would take a battering ram and a battalion of tanks when all you’ve got a is a disposable picnic spoon.
Sometimes you realize that as damn hard as it is, it is essential for the greater good of everyone involved to put an end to something that’s become dark and broken and sad. Only afterwards, I realized I was wrong about one thing: We weren’t ending anything that hadn’t already been over for a very long time.
Nate hasn’t lived with us for the past month. It’s strange to fall into habits like sleeping on only two pillows when you can have all four. It’s more strange to lie in bed alone, feeling far less lonely than I did a month ago with someone in the next room over. I’ll take that as a positive sign of more beginnings than endings.
We’re both hoping to do this as amicably as possible, whenever possible. We will always be in each other’s lives. The most important thing now is that our girls know they have two parents who love them more than anything in the entire world. They still have a family, just a different kind of family. They still have amazingly committed grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts. They still have wonderful friends and loving teachers. They still have their flatulent cats. Maybe we can even be that couple you always hear about—but never believe—that somehow manage to show up at the ballet recital and actually sit together.
(My girls will read this one day. My greatest hope is that when they are much older, and they get to that paragraph, they will nod and smile with recognition about those recitals.)
Some things will get a lot easier now, and a whole lot won’t; I’m not stupid. But on the other hand, I can’t say there are regrets.
We created the most amazing children in the entire world–no offense to yours–and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It’s just that some couples are meant to be together; some couples are meant to be together, only not forever.
That’s how I’d like to see it.