Casualty of War


As I write this, I am on hanging up the phone with my husband coordinating the three ring circus that is registering a kindergartener for school. I kid you not – they are all terrorists until proven otherwise. Really.

Our oldest child starts school on Friday – and my son turns one this month. How much worse of an emotional month can this be, really?

On top of all of this, the separation of my husband and I has been – interesting.

I originally set this ball into motion thinking this would be a way for both of us to ease towards divorce without the shock to our kids and well, to us.

It has not even come close to that. I see my husband making a lot of positive changes. The problem inside my heart is believing whether or not those positive changes can be sustained. My therapist has been reminding me that the first thing in order of change is changing the behavior… then allowing the behavior to become second nature. I’ll agree to that.

However, amidst all of these miniature – and some not so miniature – crises over the last four months or so, I have ended up with Zoloft and a returned smoking habit.

Over the past month that we have been separated we have been spending one day during the week and the weekends together. We have made a pact to spend the weekends together doing things outside of our domestic life.

We visited City Garden the last two weekends, took the kids to Monkey Joe’s, did the drive-in theater, went for drinks and dancing at Fast Eddie’s. (“I require thirty feet when dancing!”), we have been to the park on the river for lunch, playing in the rain, scrapbooking together and catching up on recorded seasons of 24 so we’re ready for Season 8 in January.  It has been really nice, really different seeing Robert outside of his normal reclusive element and being a little bit more of part of my world.  I am an extrovert and I have an intense wanderlust. I long to be outside of the domain, seeing things, experiencing things, burning things into memory and taking pictures. That is who I am and it’s never going to change. Even if it’s just window shopping or having lunch in the park and taking pictures – or even a Sunday drive – I need to have plans to be doing something to keep me going throughout the daily grind. Something to look forward to to get me through, but Robert is not, or hasn’t been like that for… well, ever.

I am hoping that his old behavior and the old Robert is a casualty of war – and that it’s gone… but I know one thing for sure. I don’t love the old Robert anymore. I lost that love for him and it is never to be found again. If the old Robert were to resurface with his verbally combative nature, our marriage would be over and I would make a go of it on my own. If this new Robert can stick around, he might find that I could fall in love with him and he can be everything I want, everything I need… if he can survive this crisis and still be there when I sort through the wreckage.

Robert got the kiddo registered for school today, she is good to go – the old Robert would have been pissed that I even bothered to cut into his precious sleep time by adding something to his agenda to take care of in the morning before work. He would have become aggitated because I forgot to put the proof of residency in the pile with the rest of the documents. He would have sent harassing text messages about how he was going to be late for work because of my lack of attention to detail. He called and simply asked where one could be found at the house and that he would go back and get it, then continue the process. He has been overly helpful in raising his own children. I feel stupid for saying “helpful” because he is their father, it’s not helping – it’s him doing his job, his responsibility – but it’s so foreign for me to say that because I’ve been juggling it all for a very long time.

I do hope the old Robert stays long gone and this new one can join my three ring circus juggling act that I have perfected to nearly an art form over the last 7.5 years.

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