Five more months, give or take a handful of days… Five more months until our 10th anniversary and we start the divorce paperwork. At least that’s what I asked Husband #2 to wait for, based on sound advice found all over the Social Security website. If you can hold out until your 10th wedding anniversary, the world of SS benefits from your ex-spouse opens up to you. It would be beneficial for both of us to hold off since we’re so close to that cutoff.
I’m thankful for the non-adversarial silence.
The vacuum in my life which Husband #2 and his business previously filled is now taken over by free time. I do what I want – garden, read, watch movies, cook, experiment, and reflect.
My latest book project is interesting, to say the least. Our Love Is Too Good To Feel So Bad, put out by the same author who wrote I Love You But I Don’t Trust You. As I plow through the love killers, I wonder how we lasted so long. For two “enlightened” people who had been through divorce before, we were doing everything possible to undermine each other, which brings me to Love Killer #5: Needs Disease #11: Loggerheads.
At the very end, Husband #2 and I were at loggerheads, engaged in a struggle of opposing needs. He needed very badly to live alone and not be part of a couple. His need flew in the face of my need for quality togetherness.
As Ms. Kirshenbaum spells out:
People who are at loggerheads typically threaten to end the relationship. Whoever makes the most convincing threat wins, and the other is left with a huge sense of an important unmet need.
It ultimately boils down to this: someone will win and someone will lose. Who prevails is determined by the answer to these questions.
- Who already has what he wants?
Well, that’s an easy answer. Husband #2 lives 700 miles away. He controlled our interactions, when we talked, how many phone calls a week, when we would meet up, and for how long. And whoever has his way now has a greater chance of getting their way in the end.
- Who cares most about the relationship?
“It’s my way or the highway.” While he never said these words aloud, the sentiment flowed under our interactions. I offered up compromises, some of them pretty drastic, but there was no budging from his mountaintop. I was willing to give up on some pretty important needs and desires to give us an opportunity to work things out, even a long-range dream, because those needs were secondary to the big issue.
- Who cares most about the issue?
I’m not sure who cared more, I can only tell you something I dreaded. The longer we stayed apart, the less I would love him. Not on purpose, but because of who I am. I’m a toucher. I love time together. These two things are the ways I maintain and build love with my partner. Absence does not make the heart grow fonder, it just shows me how much I can do without said partner. Eventually my love would shrivel and die if we stayed this way forever. I’m not cut out for 10% relationships and I know it. My past history is clear. Our situation wasn’t equal to a spouse in the military who is protecting his country. This was a husband who wanted to be single.
- Who can wage war most effectively?
Hands down, Husband #2 has this covered. He got his friends and family to agree with him, he would put a hand in the air and stop me if I wanted to discuss our relationship, where it was going, the likelihood of a future together, he was in control and I felt I was bowing to the inevitable.
In the end, Husband #2 won and I took the highway.