Today the house was sold.
There is an accepted offer, at any rate, which will most likely complete. When I look at the calendar I see that the house has only been listed for three weeks. It seems much longer– I think sorting through the physical remanents of a 30 year relationship, all the while keeping the house immaculate so hordes of people could walk through it, judging it, had an intensity that was difficult. I had a garage sale last weekend, getting rid of so much, and have been trying to sell items online as well.
So tonight I am taking a small break before I start packing what I will keep, and I drink a glass of champagne, all alone.
Now, I can finally let go of the past, and focus on the future. I can wipe my hands of the house, and the life and marriage it represented.
It has taken me a long time to realize the truth about my marriage. To my husband, it was a socio-economic partnership, focused on raising children and accumulating assets. It worked well for him: he concentrated on his work and his sports, and I took care of everything else. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that I was attractive, active, blindly loyal and very much in love with him. Perhaps when it started to really change was a few years ago when I stopped “protecting” him and started to insist that he be involved with the problems our children were having. When I started talking about what life would look like when we retired, when I started to insist that I should have some say in what we did.
I’m not sure when he stopped loving me, but I think it was a long time ago. In the bleak dawn I wonder if he ever did love me. But he kept up the facade, with cards and gifts and words and closeness as we sat or lay together, almost to the day that he first left, because he knew that was the coin I needed to be paid in. His dispassionate attitude for the six months when he came back, saying he had made a mistake, frustrated and confused me, but I now realize that after he left for the first time he stopped pretending. He didn’t stop lying, as he kept seeing his lover, but he stopped pretending he loved me and tried to show our relationship for what it was. I wondered why he came back at all, but perhaps he was thinking that I might accept the true nature of our association, or that if he paid his “penance,” our friends and family would no longer be so horrified by his actions. I continued to be blind, however, and friends remained wary, so I suppose he finally could not take it anymore, and left for good.
After the next week of packing and sorting, I will finally be free to let go of the past.
I will move forward, at last, into my brave future.