Over the weekend, we moved all my large furniture out of my old place of residence and into a new one. My teenager and I now live with two other adults in a rather large house. We have rooms for everything- a book room, a game room, a drinking room, a media room, a craft room… we still need to set up our wall of swords and rack of video game consoles. We already have an open game of chess going in the corner.
When we went to combine groceries, we found that we all liked very similar foods (except for the teenager, who is made out of peanut butter sandwiches and hot dogs). When we went to combine boozes, we ended up with multiples of the same bottle.
So here I am, living with two people whose interests mesh incredibly well with mine, who have similar ideas on how the house should be run, on how to handle shared financial responsibilities, and I have to admit to myself that I don’t miss sharing a household with Bill. I do miss living with him some, having him *in* the same house. He has always been an emotional pillar for me, someone who’s supported my many projects and put up with a fair amount of anxious panic attacks. He is one of my best friends. And I am going to miss having him at hand, to talk about my day, to bounce ideas off of, to work with on projects at that moment.
But I will not miss the arguments over finances, the repeated attempts of each of us to change ourselves into people that weren’t natural to us to try to make our household go, or, even worse, the ignoring and avoiding each other. The truth is, I missed Bill well before we got divorced.
When we got married, these are the vows we gave each other:
I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.
And during our marriage, when we weren’t focused on household things, on trying to find that “domestic bliss” that people keep talking about, we were really good at this. But once talks turned to spending money or doing chores or other household choices, we were not. Not at all.
Now that we are in different places, running our own households in vastly different ways, I feel like we’re better keeping the vows we made the day of our wedding. Except for that whole “married” line, everything else still holds true. We still love each other, and comfort each other. Bill still inspires me to be better at comedy, at generosity, at kind words. And I will always hold him in the absolute highest regard.
But I can only do that if I’m not running a household with him. So here I am.