35 And Suddenly Single: The Separation Begins

14/08/2014 16:49 | Updated 22 May 2015
35 and Suddenly Single: The separation begins

He's moving out today. We decided it would be better if he took a day off in the week as I couldn't bear for it to happen on a weekend when I was around. I managed not to cry when we said our goodbyes.

We hugged, we said we loved each other and I told him to have a nice life and then I walked out and got the early train into work. Earlier that morning I was glad that I'd managed to busy myself with practical matters like finding bags and boxes for him to put his stuff in. I'd also put some of the more random stuff of his in a bag as I thought he might forget.

I even emptied the laundry basket of his dirty washing and thought how his Mum will be doing it for the next couple of months but not me anymore, ever.

On the way into work I had what could only be described as a strange sense of relief come over me. I don't have to see him again and so I can start getting over it, him, whatever... The last couple of days were nothing short of a monumental headfuck.

As the sun finally came out on a warm and sunny Sunday we sat in the garden together and drank white wine while reminiscing about our times together and what we planned to do next with our soon to be separate lives.

Sometimes we were sad and there were moments of silence but then we'd discuss something else and burst into laughter. Maybe that's the best way but it felt very odd, although I guess there's no real right or wrong way of splitting up.

On the final evening we sat on the sofa together watching the usual TV fare, made some small talk and even ended up draped over each other. We then went to bed in separate rooms and spent our last night together in the house - but fittingly apart.

To say our feelings have been mismatched over the last couple of weeks is to put it mildly. Whilst I've been shocked, heartbroken and very emotional he's seemed slightly detached from it all most of the time.

He says he reckons it's because he's known since January that this was coming and he's been dealing with it himself privately, but he only just got round to telling me.


He feels guilty for waiting for three months to tell me, but it's better than three precious biological years I keep telling myself.


To put our reactions in context of the normal relationship I was always the calm and placid one, and he was the one who always wore his heart on his sleeve and was quick to anger but also quick to get over it.

I'll never forget on our wedding day when we were saying our vows in church and his voice broke a couple of times and he almost blubbed, while I was as cool as a cucumber.

It felt like a strange turnaround that at the break up he couldn't force himself to cry once while I was bursting into tears almost every other sentence. I hate feeling like the weak one but guess it's just me playing emotional catch-up.

Anyway, now I must take a crumb of comfort in the slight feeling of relief I have, and in the knowledge that I can only look forward to the future. Never look back.

Melinda's first column is here.

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