So it's been twenty-one months since I sat here and wrote about my family. We've been through some major transitions. The main one being the breakdown of mine and Stig's marriage.
Stig and I had ten amazing years, followed by five not so amazing ones. When I say not so amazing what I mean is a gradual, torturous decline to a place where neither of us recognised ourselves or each other anymore, let alone the wonderful bubble that our marriage had once been. The problem is that when you've had a relationship so good for so long, you find it impossible to believe that it isn't coming back; you hope that one day one of you will find an answer, or that you'll have that one enlightened conversation that will make sense of the place you've found yourselves in, and be able to start to fix it. It's unthinkable that it is beyond repair. In our case it took five years and a lot of toing and froing to finally accept that it was over.
The final year we spent time apart, Stig moved out into his own place and we tried to be both together and separated during this time. We were both beginning to move on when I completely and unexpectedly freaked out. I just couldn't believe we were giving it all up, despite how bad things have been. So we talked and I basically pleaded with the poor man (who's never been great at saying no to a crying woman) to give it one last shot, which he agree to do. Three weeks later, on New Year's Eve as fate would have it, we had a huge argument, impressive even by our standards, and Presto... it was over.
But what that final few weeks gave us was a clarity that a lot of couples never get to walk away with. We had done everything we could, tried everything, exhausted every last avenue and ourselves in doing it. We had nothing left to give and we both knew with absolute certainty that we were done. Although I didn't see it at the time it was a blessing and, I believe, the thing that has enabled us to be where we are now, in such a relatively short space of time.
Where we are now is 'getting there', which is a bit cliché, but true. We have both moved on but we are closer than I ever could have hoped. One of the things that horrified me when we were going through all this was the notion that we might come out of the other side of this like polite strangers who tolerate each other for the sake of our children, I couldn't bare that. More fool me because it most definitely isn't like that. We see him very often and I get to be as exasperated with him as I always was, mostly in an affectionate way, and sometimes actually wishing him bodily harm. Some things never change. But some things do, and now I get to share my exasperation with his girlfriend, who is amazing in every way, and far more tolerant than I ever was. God, it is fun watching her roll her eyes and tell him off, any ex-wives out there may understand where I'm coming from.
We got complacent, for a while there we thought we were invincible, but shit happens and our handling of it, and the way we treated each other, fucked things up even more. Who knows if we could have saved our marriage had we acted differently. It's not a question you can give a lot of thought to without sacrificing your sanity. Truth be told; it is a long time since I've wished for a different outcome to our relationship, for many reasons. I still think the whole thing is so very, very sad, and such a waste of what was a very special thing, but I've come to realise that it wasn't everything, and neither should it be. And what we have now is special in a different way. Stig and his girlfriend will be spending the night here on Christmas eve and we will all wake up as one big happy family on Christmas morning to watch the kids open their presents, and it's things like that which make me so proud of all of us after everything that has gone before.
Our family is now an even weirder evolved entity than it was, but somehow we've come through it. The kids have obviously had a lot to deal with, putting them through our relationship breakdown is something I'll always struggle to come to terms with, but they are good, they are 'getting there' too. If I can stave off the writers block, I have tales a plenty of my wonderful offspring and my continuing descent into psychosis.
Oh, and just a little advice for those of you who may have recently gone through a painful separation; getting a dog and going gay aren't necessarily great ideas but man it doesn't half shake shit up a bit! Till next time...