Okay, so Paul and I are getting divorced. I’m sure there is a contingent of the obsessed with my life #IStandWithYourHusband crowd out there who are doing cartwheels at me saying this publicly. But, it’s true – we’re separated. Living in the same house because we don’t have any other options, but separated none the less.
It has been an extremely long time since I wrote on this fucking mom blog. Is this a mom blog? I mean, I’m a Mom and this is a blog. But, is it a “Mom Blog?”
A lot has gone down since I last wrote about being sick or trying to teach Peej that iPhone cables are not binkies. I mean, I was SERIOUSLY ill for a very long time, all of January and most of February.
I went out on a friend date with a girl that I really thought was cool and maybe thought if I was single I’d like to date. Paul, slightly more aggressive, made out with some chick at a bar and then bought condoms which Peej (of course) found in his backpack and was running around our house screaming like a little crazy girl while waving them in the air.
The next day Chicago went into a forced lockdown.
Of course 2020 couldn’t get any worse. My immunologist says, “Oh hey you’re in the highest high risk category, stay inside at all costs.”
With that, I was locked into a 1200 square foot space with a screaming toddler (who could not understand why Mommie couldn’t take her to the playground,) a man who clearly was thinking about fucking someone other than me, his wife, and a dog who farts too much.
Things were actually okay-ish. We tried very hard to keep a stiff upper lip in front of Peej, as her reaction anytime we’d fight is to grab both of our hands and try to force us to hold each other’s hands. (While cute, quite heartbreaking for me.) But, in between – when she was sleeping, napping, playing in her room – our irritation came out in passive aggressive ways.
Like I’d eat all his trail mix. Or, he’d be deliberately loud when he got up to get ready for work, waking the baby at 5am.
Before we get any further, I’d like to say I think that I tried everything I know or knew how to do to save my marriage and then some. However, I think that back in October when he first told me that he wanted a divorce that he really had made his mind up and that he barely went through the motions because I convinced him that it was important to try to fix this mess because we have a kid together.
I was right, it was important to try, he at least admitted that to me a week or so ago. I was right.
So, on April 28th while I was sitting across the table from him at dinner and he was grumping about one thing or another while we were trying to get the baby to eat something other than cheese (how this kid poops is beyond me,) I casually asked him if he was okay or if something was bothering him that he wanted to talk about.
He said, “I think you know what’s bothering me.”
I said, “You don’t want to be married to me or anyone else, blah blah blah… you want a divorce.”
(Literally I said it EXACTLY like that. This is how tired I was. I had been trapped in my home for nearly 60 days at that point AND I gave up drinking after Christmas, so I was weary and had nothing to numb my frustration.)
He said “Yep.”
And, I said, in classic Kate form, “Fine. Consider yourself no longer married to me. Let’s get divorced.”
He took his shit out of my bedroom and started sleeping on the couch, I avoided him as much as possible – though in a moment of weakness I did have a discussion about how we could be friends with benefits until COVID-19 was over – a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
Thankfully, my parents agreed to play host to myself and Peej for as long as it took for the COVID death numbers in Cook County to start coming down, and for as long as it took me to get Paul out of my system. The anger, the sadness, the abject terror at what was going to happen next.
We had a lovely month. A very lovely month. I was allowed outside and I took advantage of that and helped my Mom garden, played with my kid, went swimming in the lake, generally annoyed my Dad (my favorite activity.) I got some sleep, I picked up some freelance work, killed it because I had my Mom and Dad to free up some hours for me to actually work, and continued to pull in client work. I made a plan. A short term plan and a long term plan.
Mostly, though, I just enjoyed watching my parents with my kid. I snuggled my sister (the black lab,) and checked in with my biological father to make sure he knew first hand what was going on. (‘Cause I knew it would cause drama if he heard it from my brother.)
Then in the middle of that, George Floyd was killed, and the country erupted in riots. Rightfully so. Fucking enough is enough. But, it made it complicated as to when to come back to Chicago. Were I not immune compromised and if I did not have a 2 year old who literally depends on me for her life (we’ll talk about parenting responsibilities some other time) – I would have been out putting my body in front of the riot pigs so POC could protest and have their voices heard. #whitepeopletothefront (If you don’t understand the reference in this hashtag, in the 1960s during civil rights protests women were called to the front of and to surround protests to allow POC men to protest peacefully because pigs were less likely to turn hoses and dogs on women and were less likely to beat them down with batons. Now it is white people’s turn to put their bodies in the front so all POC can be heard and can peacefully protests police brutality and the system of racism that has dominated our country for 400+ years.)
Short term plan: Despite not wanting to be married to each other, Paul and I recognize certain facts about our familial situation. I have not worked since October (because we moved to Chicago so I could be a stay-at-home mom.) He barely makes any money. We don’t hate each other the way that you think of when you think of people divorcing like in War of the Roses or the Betty Broderick story. I actually love the dipshit, which sucks for me, because he doesn’t love me. (And, apparently never did, according to him.)
I am who I am. I’m not going to stay married to someone who doesn’t love me. Mostly because I’m not masochist, but also because I think highly of myself and believe I deserve to be married to someone who loves me for me and wants to be with me.
You know, like a normal person. At 46, I have ceased to have any daddy issues, and mysterious, aloof, emotionally unavailable men are a huge bore to me.
There are realities of our situation, though. We have a kid. I am a kid from a broken home. I felt like my father was not available to me emotionally and didn’t love me. Turns out he did, he’s just terrible at showing emotion, and he had a problem with alcohol for most of my childhood. ASIDE. I don’t want my kid to grow up feeling like she doesn’t have a Dad who loves her,
Especially because her Dad does love her. Very much.
So we talked and talked and talked and TALKKKKKEEEED about it and decided that our first attempt at being good co-parents was that we needed to find a three bedroom house or condo and try living in the same space, not as married people, so that Peej’s life wouldn’t be changed.
We haven’t found a place yet. But, Paul is prepared to buy one (he has dreams of being an apartment magnet in Chicago, anyhow.) For now I cannot use the living room after 8:30pm when it becomes his bedroom, and he cannot come into my room because I saged the fuck out of it and made a protection spell to keep his bullshit negativity out. (Well he can come in if he needs something from his closet, I suppose.)
But, in the back of my head he annoys me on such a regular basis, that I know that at some point – unless we get a mansion – that I am going to have to buy my own place for myself and PJ.
I’m in the process of interviewing for several jobs that I can do completely remotely, which would make that possible, plus I have a buttload of freelance work from my former employer (who still loves me, but just cannot pay me full time to dominate his communications department anymore.) One of the jobs would keep me in Chicago as I’d have to go into the office several days a week, but could work from home the rest of the time. (But, big bucks, ka-ching ka-ching.)
Thankfully, my Mom and Dad helped me think through a financial plan. Which is going pretty good. Half to bills, half to a savings account that compiles interest that Paul cannot touch.
Otherwise, while maintaining my near perfect credit, my goal is to save up enough $$ to buy a house near my Mom and Dad in Lakewood. Where I will work and play with my kid and have a nice Victory garden and be close enough to my Mom that I can have a cup of coffee with her every morning if I want to.
Paul can move to be near us if he wants, or he can stay in Chicago and see his kid whenever he feels like making the 8 hour drive.
But, that’s the nuclear option. I’m hoping that the living in the same house thing works and that we just decide to upgrade to a nice house from a crappy condo.
I want to be his friend, I don’t want to be his wife. I think it’s in my kid’s best interest that I’m his very good friend. We’re a family, we’re stuck with each other, we might as well try to redefine what divorce means and make the best out of it.
- Global Pandemic
- Civil unrest
- The Orange Cheeto was massively trolled by teens on TikTok and K-Pop stans. (This actually makes me happy.)
Annnnnnnnddddd…. I have my first date in almost 10 years tomorrow. Don’t worry it’s a socially distanced date. We’re going to take a walk, we’re wearing masks, and I’m bringing a tape measure to make sure we’re 6-feet apart.
I have no idea how Paul feels about it, it’s none of his business, and I’m actually a little excited/anxious about it.
That, as the kids say, is the happs.