Part of separation is figuring out if I want to be married at all, to anyone, ever. I know, I know, “I’m never getting married again!” is a natural response to divorce. And I know lots of people change their minds once time heals their wounds. But, for me, this is not about being angry or bitter and I have none of the “men are scum” feelings. My exish-husband and I are on good terms and trying to do this in a way that causes the least amount of damage possible.
The thing is, I am so in love with my new-found freedom that I have to wonder if I am just not the marrying kind.
I married my husband when I was 30 after knowing him for only 4 months. I used to joke that a “quickie wedding” was the only way I would make it down the aisle with anyone–no time for second thoughts. I don’t want to imply that I didn’t take marriage and commitment seriously because nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe that’s why it scared me so much. My husband was the first and only man I’ve lived with. I’d had plenty of boyfriends over the years and a few had suggested we live together; but I ended those relationships soon after the suggestion was made.
Living with someone was my version of saving myself for marriage; I didn’t want to do it unless I saw myself marrying them. Plus, I really like living alone. When you live alone you can invite friends over any time you like. But when you live with someone you can’t exactly ask them to leave for few days just because you’re in a bad mood. I have many days where I don’t want to talk to or look at anyone—usually about 3, every 28 days or so.
I’m picky and I don’t share my personal space well. I don’t like how other people do dishes or how horrible I sound when I ask them to do it my way. I don’t want to talk for the first 20-40 minutes of every morning and don’t want to feel guilty about it. (My kids are learning to talk among themselves until mommy has had her coffee.) I rearrange the furniture every 2-3 months. I alternate between extreme neat-freakiness and total slovenliness depending on—oh heck, I don’t even know.
I like the space and mystery that dating allows. Spending an hour primping for a date is a form of foreplay for me that gets ruined when my love watches me try on 57 outfits before settling on the one that looks smokin’ hot in that “I totally didn’t even try to look hot” kind of way. I’m perpetrating the lie as much for my enjoyment as his.
Living with someone kills the romance for me. If we know anything about each other’s bowel movement today, there will be no hank-panky tonight. If my man saw me pluck anything from anywhere today, there will be no horizontal mambo tonight. If I watched him cut his toenails, trim old-man hairs, or examine something he found between his teeth, we won’t be celebrating Humptoberfest. I’m weird like that. I can’t help it, I’ve tried to change, but so far no luck. So why not accept my particular fetishes of immaculate personal hygiene and men who can disappear before my coffee is ready?
My dad and his girlfriend have the kind of relationship I think I’d like. They have been together for years; are deeply in love; and do all the normal couple stuff like watch movies on the couch in their PJs, take vacations together, and lean on each other when life gets rough. But they have their own houses and so spending time or the night is always a choice. I think this is perfect. It’s not love I’m unsure of, just the cohabitation. Maybe my next house should be a duplex.