Well, I wish I could say this issue was as easily decided as deciding to get divorced was (since I wasn't involved in that decision), but it definitely was not.
I actually never officially moved out and still live in the house. As my prior piece describes, first I lived in my car for about a month, not because of financial reasons, but because I refused to admit that it was really over. Since I refused to get my own place (not out of stubborness, but more out of weakness), my ex decided to rent a small apartment that we shared, which is not recommended and did not go very well. From the beginning, we both agreed that the kids and their physical and emotional stability was more important that our problems, so we agreed that each parent would switch days at the house until better arrangements could be made. The ex is much more into living in the material world that I am and our house was no Taj Mahal, so it was no surprise when she decided to be the one to officially move out and get a new place. The process itself was pretty interesting though, because it took about 2 or 3 months before we were physically "separated," even the the emotional separation was done by then; and according to the ex, had occurred years ago (see "Making the Decision"). I am currently living in our "Marital Home" and we have split custody of the children. Their living arrangements are the same as always, but mine is quite different -- amazing how different the same house can be -- I guess life really is nothing more perception and there is no one reality in this world. I am living in the same house, cooking in the same kitchen, working in the same yard, parking in the same driveway, and sleeping in the same bed (and not always alone, so ha ha!), but it is NOT the same house at all. It might look the same to other people, but I can sure tell the difference; there is just something missing??? Not sure if anyone here listens to country music, but there is a song by George Strait called "just give it away" and it basically goes through the visual process of being left by your spouse/partner of many years. I think this song pretty much sums up how I felt after she finally moved out! Throughout the song, the singer asks his wife well, don't you want your this or that, "that picture from our honeymoon.. your half of everything?" and she simply says "Just give it away," which is the attitude of my ex. She essentially took her clothes and personal effects, and left all the other crap that you accumulate over that many years. The final chorus goes something like this: "I've got a furnished house, a diamond ring, and a lonely broken heart, and I can't even give it away..." In other words, what do you do with all the junk that holds your memories with somebody that you loved for over half your life? Nobody else wants it. I figure many people choose the bonfire technique, which is probably an act of great relief. However, I live in the city, so a bonfire would probably get me arrested and I definitely could not burn down the whole entire house, so I eventually chose to do a massive spring cleaning to get rid of all the bad energy left behind. I think I still have to burn some sage to clean out the negative energies, but I suppose I am reluctant and want to be sure it really is OVER for EVER. From my perspective, being the one to move out is probably the easiest and most theraputic way. A divorce is obviously not only an ending, but a new beginning (once you are able to get beyond the sadness, rejection, pain, etc., etc.) and staying in your same surroundings after something like that can carry its own pain and holdbacks. Personally, I am looking forward to moving at some point in the near future; just to finally rid myself of all those memories. Shoot, I might even get a new job, might as well go all the way with the new life idea. It's kind of like going off to college, you pack your suitcases with all your worldly possessions and just start over. What a relief that will be and must be for the ex who gets the privilege of moving out first! I know most people in the divorce process fight tooth and nail to be the one to keep or stay in the house, but I am telling you that the house you are fighting for is no longer there. Poof, it's gone!!
11/5/2007 3:57 PM
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