I want to be divorced. Now is good. Tomorrow is okay too. Honestly, any day would be okay with me as long as I knew which day it was going to be and I could count on that day arriving and I would be, you know, not married anymore.
Not to him.
Not to anyone.
I know practice makes perfect but I’ve practiced this whole marriage thing and I’m not getting any better at it. I even took lessons at one point: They were called “marriage counseling” and they didn’t help one bit. And, yes, I did my homework: I read the books and took the quizzes. I think my time is better spent practicing other things. Knitting. Cooking.
If you are thinking, gee, she sounds a bit frustrated, I will let you in on a little secret: I am.
I just want someone to unmarry me. Why is that so hard? He can have his ring back. Not only that, I am willing to destroy all evidence that it ever occurred.
It was a Vegas wedding, it shouldn’t really count. We filled out the application for a license in pencil. Won’t a big eraser do the trick?
One day, I went through our shared tree on ancestry and deleted all his ancestors. All two thousand of them. It took all day and I think there are still a few stragglers, but really, he should be gone, shouldn’t he?
But he’s still here, and I’m still married to him.
We tried everything to get this divorce moving. It should be a pretty straightforward process in this state: No-fault divorce, property 50-50. One party files and from that point, it’s really just about who gets the Waterford and who takes the couch.
But there’s the catch. You have to agree who gets the Waterford and who takes the couch. If not, you go to trial, and a judge decides for you.
I’m lucky in that I’ve managed to avert trial – financial armageddon, to me – but just getting to this point has been insanely expensive. I am right on the brink.
I have been a reasonably careful person with money: Carefully laid money aside, carefully avoided debt, carefully made extra payments on the mortgage. I carefully built a solid financial house and then spent a year watching someone knock it down, brick by brick and bill by bill – financial vandalism.
And much like any other kind of vandalism, there is no reason for it: He gains nothing. There is simply less for each of us at the end. The course of events does not change; we will still be divorced and there is nothing he can do to prevent that from happening. We divide a smaller number by two at the end.
We are headed to mediation/arbitration, and it scares me – after nine months, we are no further along on agreeing who gets what than we were when he left so abruptly. If you talk about this, he talks about that. If you ask what he wants to do about something, he doesn’t reply. It’s like trying to reason with a toddler having a temper tantrum.
And in all the confusion, things get lost. What else will I lose before this is over?
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