Why My Divorce Looks Different Than Yours

Kate Mae
Written by Kate Mae

We can’t even divorce “normally.” And by normal, I mean actually get divorced, sign papers, move away from each other’s presence.

No, we have to be different. Not because we think we can divorce better than anyone else, or want to start a super cool trend. Oh, no.

In fact we know how hard it is to be the weird ones, the tree huggers, the go againsters. It’s horrible. Because the status quo is acceptable. It’s never questioned. Or given funny looks.

So when we came to the extremely difficult decision that our marriage was indeed over there was something missing. The hate, the anger, resentment and revenge. Not there.

Weren’t we supposed to be mad at each other? Wasn’t I supposed to smash things? Against his head? I’m not saying things weren’t thrown, but it was short lived.

The opposite was happening. We for the first, in a long time, were loving one another. We had held on to our hurt, and pain of being married in order to protect each other. Neither of us wanted to say how badly we needed out, but when we did the sun literally hit our faces.

Loving him, meant letting him go. But not far enough that he gets out of doing my dishes.

Yes, we are separated, by bedrooms. But we live in the same house. And we aren’t hanging around until lawyers set us free. We are choosing to be together, but apart. Because our kids. Our marriage failed, but it doesn’t mean we have to live away from each other. If it was better for us to be physically separated, we would.

For now, we work each day to be good to each other. We are learning to love each other in a totally different way: as parents to our kids. As human beings on this earth, who have shared many intimate moments.

Mostly, we are spending alone time healing our selves. We can finally use all the energy that was focused on fixing a sinking ship and direct it to the captains. I have learned that he isn’t in charge of my happiness. I am. And I won’t be happy with simply letting a new man in my life. I have to find it on my own.

Seeing him in a new light is really nice, I actually like him more. Not enough to ever be his wife again, but his partner in parenting yes. His friend, always.

And of course the most pressing question everyone has, is what about other people. Like, as in dating others.

As far as I know, I’m allowed to date. He is not. If I’m wrong about that, he can write his own blog.

Seriously, it is a bridge we will cross. I know that. It’s too soon to expect either of us to know the outcome of that. But like everything else, we will do our best to be kind to each other and ourselves.

About the author

Kate Mae

Kate Mae

Kate is a mom of three who is separated from her husband. And by separated, they live in the same house, but different bedrooms. And by bedrooms she means he lives on a pull out couch in the basement while she scored the King Size and Master. Hey, she birthed three huge kids, and needs to stretch. Kate writes about their journey and goal of living in harmony, together as a family. Sure, it's not the norm and maybe even a little granola, but it works for them. And it might work for you too.

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6 Comments

  • My ex and I didn’t have all the vitriol associated with a normal split and have remained pretty good friends through our split. We lived together for 6 months after deciding it was over but ultimately decided that one of us had to go. It was me because we weren’t actually married and the house was in his name. For us we just needed to be truly apart. He was ready to start seeing someone else and moving on with his life. That is hard to do when you still live together. I couldn’t deprive him of the opportunity to find happiness elsewhere. It wasn’t the easiest transition but we survived it.
    Selena recently posted…Because it’s complicated.My Profile

  • Good for you and especially for your children! That really is true love, loving each other enough to realize that it’s over but that you fell in love with each other for a reason and you fell in like with each other for a reason. You must have been very good friends throughout your dating process, it shows now. I think this is amazing!
    Mary_Mclaurine recently posted…Ebb and FlowMy Profile

  • Sooner or later the period of la la land will be over because he will want to be remarried or you will. And then the lawyers will come into the picture and then the knives come out because it is the job of a lawyer to fling as much shot as they can in the oppposing parties direction so they settlement will go in their favor. This sounds a bit like not so subtle manipulation. You’re allowed to date but he’s not. HeH good luck with that. A new partner who wants a half share to restart a life with him will have an input. Trust me on that. Sounds pretty normal to be two people holding their cards. Lose to their chest and playing friends to limit damage till they hit the courts.

  • I have a few friends who have managed a similar arrangement – nesting and coparenting cooperatively. It can only happen when both parents are willing to put their own needs aside for the children. And it sounds like you’re doing a good job of it. Congratulations!
    Liv recently posted…Pandora’s BoxMy Profile

  • hi, my wife and i just decided to separate but continue to live together for financial reasons i guess. we have no kids, but 2 dogs. we discussed one of us moving out and decided to try being roomies for a bit. since last august this has been building but it finally came to the forefront yesterday.

    i would like to stay married but she wants to explore her own life unattached, which i totally understand, i just love her.

    i will be going for my own counselling just to get an impartial opinion on all of this.

    what do you all think?

    tx!

    stephen