She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.
~ Elizabeth Edwards
During my first divorce, Husband #1 moved out and left me in the house. Looking back, I should have been the one to move out and get my own place. I even had the perfect opportunity but decided to pass it up in favor of “saving my marriage”. Stupid girl!
I wound up carrying that house for 2 years, trying to sell it in a very bad local economy. In the end, I took a loss on the property but it was such a relief to be rid of it.
Originally, my plan was to stay in the house because of a myriad of reasons:
- I needed a place to live
- All my stuff was there
- It would have meant giving up on my share of the equity
- Leaving would have taken me out of the area where Husband #1 was living
That last reason is the one that carried the most weight. I was still in a state of mind that believed he would return and all would be well.
In reality, I had a place to live. My sister had generously opened her small home to me and the kids. It would have been tight, but it would have been free. And she knew what it was like to go through a divorce.
I’ll admit that I’m sentimental about my stuff. But I’m sure I would have gotten over losing most of it. I would have been forced to pare down to what was most important. I could have done that. Deep down, I know I can always get more stuff.
Giving up on my share of the home’s equity ended up being a moot point. When I finally sold the house years later, I ended up paying more than what I had invested. Who knew the bottom would drop out of the market? Not me. Ah well….
Leaving the area would have been admitting defeat, that my marriage to Husband #1 was really dead. I wasn’t ready to reach that conclusion. So I hung on when I shouldn’t have and stayed in an area that held nothing for me. I even passed up a great job offer with a super company and an outstanding boss so I wouldn’t have to move 4 hours away.
With Husband #2, I still live in the house but I have it ready to sell tomorrow if the moment is right. I make no plans and have no hopes for Husband #2’s return home. I operate as if he no longer exists. My new mantra is all about me (and my children, of course):
Survive. Be patient. Think through the decisions. Do what’s best for me.