This morning my mother called my husband an imbecile, which, first, made me want to laugh (imbecile? really?) and, second, made me want to cry. The conversation went like this.
Her: Are you ever going to tell me what he said?
Me: Didn’t you read my blog?
Her: Yes, but what did he say?
Me: He said nothing had changed and he still isn’t sure if he wants to be married. I don’t want to talk about this.
Her: Okay. (Pause.) He is an imbecile.
Me: Mom! Please!
Her: Sorry! (Pause) But he is.
It didn’t occur to me until later that I’m not the only one affected by this divorce. My mom, my siblings… they all had built relationships with my husband. My brother lived with us for nearly two years. My husband, naturally, played a father-figure-ish role in his life. My kid sister spent more time in our apartment than anyone and we have dragged her along on more than one excursion. The two of them have spent hours upon hours laughing, playing video games, going places, doing things, bonding. And now what? We’re over so… they’re over?
I wish I would have realized it sooner. If I had, I wouldn’t have involved my family in our getting-divorced-but-still-married-and-sorta-dating relationshit of the last three months. But I did. Because I thought, I ASSumed, that things would end differently. As in, not at all.
My mom came out and played pool with us one night. (Well, with him.) (Me? Not much of a pool player.) (Not really coordinated at all, as a matter of fact.) Throughout the evening, she kept saying, “You guys can’t get divorced! You’re too right for each other!” Probably because we were teasing and touching each other and laughing as if we had just fallen in love. I’d have thought the same thing. Oh, wait. I did.
And then, just a week before The Talk, we spent the day with my sister. We went to the fair, barbecued for dinner, jumped in the pool. That, more than anything else, made me feel as if The Husband and I were on the right track. We had both already declared, albeit hesitantly, maybe a little nervously, that we wanted our marriage to last, but now it felt like it was actually going to. We would come out on the other side of this a stronger, more united, couple. (Gag me.)
I know, ultimately, it was my family, my responsibility, and no matter what I thought or assumed or hoped, I shouldn’t have involved them again until I was sure. But I wish he hadn’t suggested that my mom come out and join us. I really wish he wouldn’t have encouraged J to come to the fair. And I wish he’d never bought her that season pass that implied more than that one visit.
Consider this lesson learned. A divorce is so much more than the end to one failed relationship. I didn’t expect that. And it’s really freaking heartbreaking.