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Being Separated 101: The perils of being “Semi-Single”

Initially, I would panic when people asked how’s the husband. I wanted to respond “I don’t know and frankly I don’t give a f$#(! Why don’t you call him and ask him yourself.?”

Kineski's unofficial guide to being married but single, AKA SEPARATED!
Circa May 2014

Circa May 2014

In the dating world, when relationships don’t work out, couples simply break up. In the married world, there are two options: Divorce or Separation. Divorce is an ugly word that I am well acquainted with. Separation on the other hand is an ambiguous word that I learned can have a lot of different meanings. Sometime last month I was introduced to the word “Separated.” I woke up married, and I went to be a “separated” woman. Damnit! Talk about one helluva day! So I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what the hell it meant to be “separated.” My previous experience in the world of marriage was quite simple; we were married, and when that didn’t work out, we were divorced! Plain and simple. None of that in between shit. It was simply over. But this time, things were different. I knew how to conduct myself as a wife, and I knew how to conduct myself as a divorcee, but I had no idea whatsoever how to conduct myself as a wife, who was living alone as if she were single, who could possibly soon become a divorcee. Nobody prepared me for this!   Day One: I wake up sad as hell that my marriage may be over, but somewhat happy that I may be given another chance to find love. Yes, I said it. Im not going to lie like I wasn’t a little excited about starting over. But that excitedment was very short lived. I slept in an empty bed and that was strange! I wanted someone else in the bed next to me. Was it fair to feel that way? I don’t know. I just know that as a married woman, my bed shouldn’t be empty.

Day Four: It was pretty clear that he wasn’t coming home anytime soon. I had finally accepted that. Given the situation, I agreed we both needed time to reevaluate things. This was the first day that I pulled off my ring. Mostly out of anger. Yes, I was legally married. But, I figured if I would soon be getting a divorce, I may as well get used to not wearing my beautiful piece of jewelry. Shit! I hated the way my hands looked bare! I was gonna have to find an alternative to wearing my wedding set. I didn’t like the way my hands looked at all. Ill admit, I also took my rings off to see if any men would actually hit on me. Just my damn luck- After my rings were off, I was left with that infamous “Imprint”.  You know that indention around your finger that says “I used to wear jewelry here. And I wore it sooooo long that it left a permanent mark on my hands.” or “Im really married, but I just took my rings off a second ago.” Several days and weeks passed and the imprint did not go anywhere!

Do you see it. That indention on my ring finger. Hard to pretend you aren't married when your marked with one of these.

Do you see it. That indention on my ring finger. Hard to pretend you aren’t married when your marked with one of these.

Day Ten: By this time, id actually gotten used to being by myself. The initial shock was gone. Id allowed myself to cry a little while each night.  By the time I was nearing the two week mark, I was ok. No I wasn’t ok. I guess what I’m saying is, being separated has become my reality. I had begun to create some of my own rules. He and I had established how we would manage our lives while we lived separately. I can say I am married to a good man. He did what most men probably wouldn’t do. My biggest question now was not so much if we would or wouldn’t get back together-but instead, how long were we supposed to remain separated.  I made it clear that I was NOT  going to wait around forever for a decision about whether we would or wouldn’t get back together. Plus honestly, if we weren’t going to get back together, I needed to know so I could grieve, heal, and get back on the market. It may sound odd-but I’m being honest about the feelings I dealt with during this time. It was also during this time that I stopped giving a damn about other people. I stopped caring if people knew I was divorced. It was now ok for me to be honest.

Initially, I would panic when people asked how’s the husband. I wanted to respond “I don’t know and frankly I don’t give a f$#(! Why don’t you call him and ask him yourself.?

” But instead of speaking honestly, I’d smear a smile across my face and say “He’s fine, everyone is fine, the boys are fine, and life is fine!” Through a tight lipped smile and clenched teeth, I lied. But by day ten I was able to start speaking the truth, and it was liberating.

Day 15: I decided for myself that it was ok, to converse with other men, as long as they knew I was married, and as long as I didn’t “cross the line.” I still honored my vows, but hell if I wasn’t gonna wade in the water just a little. I smiled a lot during this time. It was also during this time that I felt like I could really get used to being single again

Day 15: About the same time I was getting used to being single. I really started to miss my man. Nobody really told me how to play this game. Was it okay to be sexually intimate with my husband while we were on a “break”? Part of me felt like I should punish him for leaving me, part of me felt like he was still providing for our home, so I should still provide for him. Was it ok to eventually see other people while we were separated? Where was the rule book? I needed help. In the midst of trying to create rules, boundaries, and guidelines. I still had to manage my emotions. I still had to manage the kids, as a single parent now. I still had to conduct my household alone, after getting used to having another adult to help. Its been quite the journey the past few weeks. And at some point I lost my focus, I simply stopped blogging, writing, pretty much doing verything I enjoyed. I gave a lot of energy to my situation. Overall I think I managed things well. Now I guess we will have to wait and see if Mister will come home, or will I become a bachelorette-again?

3 Comments on Being Separated 101: The perils of being “Semi-Single”

  1. I’ve experienced similar but without kids involved so we have a four bedroom home and I work two jobs, so my husband left and went to live with his sister I was in total disagreement because I feel as that once your married your married when my grandparents were feuding they didn’t leave home they had separate rooms if you need a break go on the other end til you come back around my husband and I have been together 10yr married 4yrs and 10mos. So leaving the house in my opinion isn’t good because depending on the situation it can raise more problems not to mention he still wanted to have sex while away so I told him no. What I look like having sex with my husband and u get up and leave afterwards, he’ll no!I feel ppl now don’t fight for their marriage like they should my husband had every reason to divorce me but I was not giving up on my marriage sure I played the field, I made that bed but who hasn’t sometimes we do stupid things, but I knew I loved my husband and I knew he loved the hell out of me and I refuse to start over. I thought about being single again but I remembered what it was like being single it was fun, and lonely. So we slept in separate rooms for a while then it worked itself out no matter if it’s in the next room or next street if your used to your mate being there beside u it gets lonely. WHILE we were feuding yes I still respected him and continue my wife duties besides the sex, I didn’t want the sex clouding our judgment when and if he come around I wanted it to be because he simply wanted his wife back. If you did something to cause the separation and if you want your marriage to work well I don’t think it’s a good idea to wade in the water because during this time he’s wanting you to show him how serious you are about your marriage when is a good time to start dating, when your divorced.

    • Kineski Howard // May 1, 2015 at 10:23 am // Reply

      Wow! Thanks for your honesty. And looking back I do agree that it’s not an absolute great idea to test the waters while being separated especially if you want your marriage to work. But u raise some good points. In modesty I didn’t want to go too deep into the sex issues- but since you took it there. Is it proper to have sex while ur divorced. We are sexual creatures and we have needs- so is it best to leave ur spouse vulnerable? I guess it boils down to what the goal of the separation is. Somwtimes people separate knowing they have no plans of re-entering the marriage, in that case I say sex should be excluded. But if you separate to actually work on some issues, go through counseling- I don’t neccessarily think its wrong to sleep together. But that’s for each couple to decide and everything is simple. I feel strongly that whatever is best for me will happen. I’m happier now than I have been in a while. my husband and I are doing well. Thanks for the Comment:-)

  2. Being a divorcée and remarried, I feel your point. It is up to each couple to decide whether or not to have sex while separated. Now I’m a little cold hearted so if this situation should arise in my marriage now, I probably would tell if that leaving me means you’re leaving “little me” too. The bigger question is though, why separate and date. If you’re going to date, does that not mean that you aren’t focused 100% on trying to fix what is broken? That’s the part that confused me in my first marriage. Moving on…love is love. Separated or not, you can’t help who you love. You may give your “little you” to someone else but if your heart isn’t in it, what’s the point???

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