A new chapter begins for me, both in my life and dissertation as I come to the the close of both the life I've lived as a married woman and a student (very near the end of this monster project now). In my personal life, the man I am married to is moving out. He is signing a contract to rent a townhouse. At this point, the sooner he leaves, the better.
The marriage is over. At this point, I would not want to even try to work things out anymore. I am moving on, feeling good, feeling like there is, as Cher sings, "life after love," and joy after heartbreak. My soon-to-be ex wants to remain "friends." He wants to be fair to me and keep our joint bank account, make sure I have enough money to pay all the household expenses, etc. He said he plans to also share his retirement earnings with me. These discussions with him are so nice, so civil. Here's the thing: He is a liar. He lied to me while we were married about his invovlent with another woman, and two nights ago, he lied to me when I asked him point blank if he was seeing someone else. I didn't ask for emotional reasons, because I was worried he is, but really to see if he would be honest. I have some very strong albiet inconclusive proof in the form of a daily lowering Cialis count (he stil keeps his supply in our shared medicine cabinet) that he is having an affair. When I asked him point blank, he said "Of course not! I have enough on my plate with my job responsibiliies and my own life. How would I have time for anything else?" How indeed. He told me that since we have been effectively seperated his sexuality has been "bottled up." Bottled for sure, but wow, he's also reported eating quite a few dinners alone and coming home late, after 9-10 p.m. AND he's been so nice lately, so friendly, a little too nice, a little too friendly. He even said this morning he supports me 100% in my planned trip to France after I defend the dissertation and he will pay for it. Uh-huh. Like Hades he will. I will pay for that myself out of my teaching pay. And he wants to be so "transparent" about the money--the whole big picture of his retirement, to be fair to me too. Here's the thing. I know what (if not who) is responsible for his new good mood. I know what my rights are and that I am not powerless or dependent upon his generosity. I know that his good will could change on a whim or the influence of someone new in his life. And, I know that he is lying through his smiling teeth. It is not the infidelity that hurts me so much. No, not even a twinge of jealousy or pain there. The marriage is over and the romantic feelings I had for him, the pain over "losing him"? That's gone. What cuts me is the disprespect, the dishonesty, the fact that I have lost all respect for him. No matter what, I wanted to believe that, despite the dissolution of our marriage and his reckless, selfish actions, there was still a good man, a man I admired. Now what I see is a lost man, a deciever, a man unworthy of me. I'm not shedding any tears, but, as they say, this is the "final nail in the coffin" for me in terms of holding on to any vestigages of sadness that the life I have known is over. Today is the MLK holiday. Tomorrow I'm calling my lawyer for some advice. I appreciate his generosity, but I will not be dependent upon it or be lulled into complacency by any statements of intent to do what is right and fair. If I need to act to protect myself, my daughter from whatever he wants to do next, I will. I live in a joint property state, and so I'm not entitled to what he thinks is fair; I'm entitled to half, no more, no less. I don't want war. I don't want lies. I don't want bitterness or even anger. I just want done. And I want to move on with the busienss of living, of sponteneous laughter and wonder, with experinecing the gift of love, to reconnect with who I am (reclaiming my maiden name now even before any legalalities and want to see if that can be printed on my diploma this May) and I want to find out who I can become. Winter is here, but spring is coming. My only question, and it is a deep and troubling one is will I ever be quite so fully unguarded with my heart? Can I love again, learn to trust again ever, after this experience? Will I always hold back a little now, even if I don't want or intend to? I don't have answers to these questions, but maybe formulating them is also a move forward.
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