My wife and I were married for 14 years. We were happy in the beginning but kids and life got in the way and unfortunately we just couldn’t keep it together.
We tried though. We went for therapy and tried to rekindle the fire that had died. We had date nights and vacations but in the end we just couldn’t make it work.
Through our therapist we decided that our marriage wasn’t working and the next logical step was to split up.
We agreed in therapy to leave our marriage with the same respect we entered into it.
We agreed with our therapist that we would tell the kids and that we would continue to live together while the kids digested.
WE agreed that we would each hire counsel and determine what would make the best financial sense for all of us. Maybe we would sell the house, maybe one of us would stay in the house — we were just going to take it slow.
I really believed that we would have the divorce of all divorces, and that people would envy us when they saw how easily and amicably we would dissolve our marriage.
After telling the kids that we were separating, my wife “decided that it was best for me to get my own place right away. She told me she was ready to moved on and didn’t want to see me every day and that it was best for the kids.
I was completely shocked and reiterated what we had agreed on with our therapist. Turned out she was over the therapist and just wanted me out. I quickly called my lawyer who instructed me not to leave the house. Apparently the days of changing the locks were long gone and I had just as much right to stay in the house as she did. In fact, if I left the house without a separation agreement in place it could have an impact on my future custody of our kids.
My wife didn’t care. She locked me out of our bedroom and told me if I wouldn’t leave she would pretend I didn’t exist. From there things got ugly. I began to fight back but quickly realized that it was my kids that I was hurting.
So I packed my stuff up and moved into our basement. Living in the basement was awful and demoralizing. Seeing my spouse everyday and dealing with the emotions surrounding the separation, was extremely challenging. My wife was miserable to be around and tried everything to get me out. For the sake of my children, I chose to deal with this temporary situation with clarity and logic. I refused to let my emotions dictate my behavior while hammering out a separation agreement and still living in the same house
I now have my own place and have my children living with me every other week. There are numerous challenges and emotions I still face when dealing with my ex and the divorce process. I continue with that clear and calm mindset so that my children never have to navigate and feel the uncomfortable experience of being in the emotional crossfire of their parent’s divorce.