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!
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?