Posted in Separation / Divorce

Five Years Hence: Living Together

Pardon my reminiscing this month, I promise I am not brooding. But as this would have been my fifth wedding anniversary, I can’t help but reflect on what has happened in the sixty months that have passed since my wedding day of an ill-fated marriage that should never have taken place.

As readers from my previous blog will know (and some who have joined since), I moved to another part of the country to be with my ex. I was some 80 miles away from where I was born and some 150 miles away from where we studied (where I would have preferred to remain after graduating our Masters’ Degrees). I remained living with my ex-wife for almost a year after we decided our marriage was over, some 18 months after she commenced her virtual affair. There were many reasons for this:

  • I couldn’t really afford to move out until my student debt level reduced enough to make it viable
  • I spent that time in hope that getting a job back near my family was only a matter of time. I was travelling back for at least one interview per month – this took its toll on my mental state, the job I had (but my manager was completely understanding of my need to leave) and of course my finances
  • Living on my own then would have been disastrous to my mental health – as it proved to be when I did move out in the summer of 2012

This means that we had to do our best to remain civil while our break-up went on. It did go well, mostly. When times were hard and we bickered and argued, they were really hard. I felt resentful of what she had done and the casual disregard she had for me and our marriage; I was resentful of our situation meaning I was trapped there with nobody to turn to and I was resentful of the sometimes callous way she treated the years we had had together.

When the times were good, and we were getting on well, it was difficult in another way – that’s when I took to hoping things would improve to the point we would want to give it another go and shelve the divorce proceedings. We would go out for lunch for example, or to the pub and I would sometimes forget things for a moment and stop myself from taking her hand as we walk in or out of the pub. It wasn’t easy, and in fact I would say the good times often made it harder than the bad times because then my brain would tug at hope. Later on, she would confess to occasionally having those feelings too.

As you may know, my ex-wife and I remain in contact on a strictly friends basis – it was hairy for a while – and I would say she saved my life September 2012 by being the person who booked me an appointment to see a Doctor, taking me to the appointment and sitting in there with me knowing I was at rock bottom and barely able to function. Despite everything, she was a far more supportive friend then than Miss X turned out to be. People ask why we are still in contact. I don’t expect anyone to understand, but that was just one of them.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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