Tuesday, January 06, 2009

No Time Wasted

My father-in-law called the weekend between Christmas and New Year's. He has done this once in awhile since Mrs. Joe left. After we shared how our Christmas' were, he told me that he seen his daughter earlier that day. She had taken Peanut & The Champ to see him at the store he works at.

He went on to tell me she looked tired and didn't have much patience with the kids. I replied that I knew where she was coming from. Handling those two little terrors alone will make anybody look tired.

He also asked how Mrs. Joe and I were doing. I told him that things were mostly the same but with the new year coming I had planned on making some decisions about us.

Basically, I got to shit or get off the pot.

He then surprised me by asking if I would be willing to sit down with him and Mrs. Joe. He felt that maybe he could try to straighten things out between Mrs. Joe & I. I figured I had nothing to lose. I owed it to him to at least do that. He has been a great father to me. I lost my own father in 1998, I was only 28, and he has done a fine job being someone I can look up to and has helped me be a better dad.

We planned on this past Sunday, here at the house. He would confirm with his daughter and call me back. Later that day, he called and said we were on.

So this past Sunday we met and talked for over three hours. Seeing that his parents divorced and he and Mrs. Joe's mother divorced, he tried to explain from experience what divorce could do to the two of us and to the kids.

He also talked about our expectations of one another, which is a touchy subject. Over time we have begun to differ with some of the others decisions regarding the kids and such. That has led to heated debates without resolution. He talked about compromising, which has been difficult on both sides. To me, that has been the hardest thing to overcome. As usual, it led to defensive responses followed by yelling from all.

He went to address Mrs. Joe's infidelity. She has always taken responsibility for her actions but I still don't feel a sincere feeling of regret from her. It might be me but a lot of therapy will be the judge.

What I did find out was that she is still seeing him, now a year later. And she stated she still doesn't know what she wants to do with either of us.

Hello, you said you wanted to come back but you are still seeing him?

The conversation ended with a plea from my father-in-law as he was leaving for us to get back together. Neither of us said yes but neither said no. It was a good talk, I feel. If my wife was going to listen to anybody, it would have been her father. She left after he did and I sat on the couch and thought for awhile.

Yesterday, as she called to say goodnight to the kids, I asked her to come over after I put them to bed. I told her I wanted to talk about the day before with her dad.

She showed up a few hours later and sat at the island in the kitchen as I made lunches for the following day. We talked about what her dad had said. We agreed with some things and disagreed with others. She mentioned looking into marriage therapy again. I told her learning that she still didn't know who she wanted helped me to decide what I wanted to do.

I told Mrs. Joe that I did not want to try therapy.

I wanted a divorce.

Thinking she has been with this guy for over a year now and still doesn't know what she wants makes me think that it is not as much who she wants but more of a failure to just choose. I think therapy, to her, is to help her choose. No way I'm taking part in that.

Along with that, what we have come to expect of one another has changed. I have found myself on a different path than my wife. Paths that are going in different directions. And good or bad, we are too stubborn to change. Compromise has been attempted by both but it isn't enough.

I assume we will try to go through the mediator again. If anything we will save money on lawyers. I think we are smart enough to do what's best.

New challenges, indeed.

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Anonymous TwoBusy said...

It's a strange thing to say - and probably highly inappropriate - but I'm psyched for you, dude. You made the tough call, and it's the RIGHT call.

Obviously, the end of a marriage is never a happy thing -- but the fact is that you've gone WAY above and beyond any rational breaking point in trying to keep this thing salvageable, and your decision at this point (after a full year of betrayal, heartbreak and endless indecision on her part) makes all the logical sense in the world.

Obviously, logic and emotion are two different things, and I imagine you're feeling both relieved and very sad at having come to this conclusion. But based on everything you've written over the past year... it certainly seems like the right conclusion for you.

For whatever it's worth, I really admire the way you've carried yourself throughout this whole ordeal.

(Damn. I just want to buy you a beer or something.)

Wed Jan 07, 10:04:00 AM 2009  
Anonymous movin' down the road said...

often, making a solid decision about something is the hardest thing and once you get past that, there are hard times but motion and progress and change help us breathe. good job.

Wed Jan 07, 10:30:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Em said...

Making that final decision must have been one of the hardest things ever...but you did it. I admire your courage. You know it will lead to a lot of tough times, but it will also, eventually, lead to a really good life for you. And hopefully for the kids and Mrs. Joe, as well.

Best wishes to all of you as you work through this and approach your new life.

Wed Jan 07, 10:49:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Debbie said...

Obviously, it would have been great if she had said it was over with the other guy and you two could work things out. However, if after a year she is still acting like this, seems like you made the only wise decision. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

Wed Jan 07, 04:49:00 PM 2009  
Blogger John said...

I agree that still being with the other man after saying she wants to reconcile with you would be a crucial factor in the decision. I would have a hard time trusting after a contradictory message like that. I think you were smart to cut your losses, so to speak...trying to work it out when she is so undecided would only be an exercise in frustration, likely ending in the decision you have already made.

Sometimes you gotta just rip the band-aid off and get it over with.

Wed Jan 07, 08:31:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Whit said...

You've been a bigger man through it than I could have been. For what it's worth I think you're doing the right thing.

Thu Jan 08, 01:11:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Woman in a Window said...

Firstly, I'm blown away by the level-headedness of your father-in-law. Wow. One cool and caring cucumber.

But mostly, I'm blown away by you. You are making the tough decision and although I wish it were different, I think it is the right one. I am dumbfounded with admiration.

Lastly, I'm so frustrated with your wife. Damn! She has asked for too much and given nothing.

My best to you, always.

Thu Jan 08, 07:42:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

Wow. Wow.

What a long road you have traveled, my friend.


Thu Jan 08, 08:08:00 AM 2009  
Blogger DiaperPin Up Girl said...

You made a solid decision after sitting in limbo for so long. I hope the two of you can come to a peaceful resolution.

Thu Jan 08, 02:39:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Angie in Texas said...

i think you're making the right decision . . . for you. not for mrs. joe, not for your FIL, not using the "for-the-sake-of-the-children' excuse either.

FOR YOU (and in turn and in the long run: for the kids).

trust me, i know the pain of making this kind of decision. just breathe. in. out. =)

Fri Jan 09, 01:23:00 AM 2009  
OpenID maplekimchi said...

Wow - you are strong and this whole experience has definitely made you stronger. I'm glad you took the power back to make a decision for your life and not wait around for her to choose (who the hell knows when or if that might be).

Dude - way to go!

Fri Jan 09, 04:59:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Mike said...

What is scarry and what keeps bringing me back to your blog is that you and your wife mirrored exactly what happened to my ex and I.

Her infidelity and her not being able to choose between us caused me to come to the same decision you have.

Hurts like hell in the beginning, but unltimately you not only survive, but thrive.

Got to love your Dad-in-law. He truly wanted to make sure you and the wife didn't go down the same path he did. It sucks as he knows, and now you.

Good luck...BTW I want to buy you a beer as well.

Fri Jan 09, 05:04:00 PM 2009  

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