real life

ANONYMUM: "How often is too often to think about divorce?"

Lately, I’ve been thinking about divorce. A lot. Like, a lot a lot.

And I’ve started to wonder how much thinking about divorce is too much.

I wonder if my husband thinks about it, and I wonder if any of my friends think about it. I’m starting to wonder if and how often every married couple I’ve ever known have thought about calling it quits.

I’m not sure when my feelings graduated from ‘far out I’m annoyed at the way you continually leave your crap lying around’ to actually wondering and sometimes, in my darkest moments, actually planning, how I could live as a single parent. I run through scenarios about how far away I could move without it being a problem.

But do I actually want a divorce? Or just a night in a nice B&B by myself and one million dollars?

I think the bit I’m hung up on is this: when is the drudgery of marriage and child-rearing just drudgery, and when does it become something that means you’re spending a considerable amount of time being miserable? I can’t work out if where we are in our relationship now – which, in a nutshell is effectively living as housemates in a very well run sharehouse – is just what happens when you’ve got four small children to care for? Or has our relationship (see what I did there?!) sailed and we didn’t get on board?

The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss the bride and groom who refused to acknowledge the ‘til death do us part’ in their wedding vows. Post continues after audio.

I’m not superstitious but we recently marked seven years of marriage – so could this patch be ‘the seven year itch’?  Just to be clear, I don’t fancy getting married to or even getting jiggy with anyone else, but I do wonder if we’d both be happier on our own.

We don’t have enormous fights or big blow ups and probably only give each other the silent treatment once a week or so. We’re exceptionally good at exchanging text messages about the groceries and kinder/school/daycare drop off and pick up arrangements, but not so good at communicating about what we actually want and need from each other in terms of love, attention and understanding.

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I can’t remember the last time we went to bed at the same time, let alone were intimate. Beyond a chaste peck on the cheek in the morning, we don’t have any physical contact.  We have a couch each at night time to scroll through our phones.  If our legs accidentally touch, we both (although to be fair, him more quickly) pull away. At this point I’d even be happy to be the big spoon if it just meant a cuddle. I’m 99% sure there is no one else for him, but you never know.  It’s been like this for so long, I don’t even know how to broach the subject and when I’ve tried, he just says ‘I’m tired’.

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No biggie. Apparently.

Most of the time, we’re quite polite roomies.

‘What do you want to watch on tele tonight?’

‘Oh whatever, you choose’.

The bins get taken out, the washing gets done, the bills are paid and we rarely run out of milk.  But it’s hard to shake the feeling that things are not as good as they could be or once were.  I can’t help but feel that instead of making each other happy, we just kind of make each other miserable, but the prospect of change is too daunting to consider.

But it’s exhausting living in a constant state of mediocre. Wondering if you’ve made a huge mistake, and if you should have got the number from the guy you pashed in a pub 10 years ago because you’re sure you were soul mates.

I can’t help but think that the grass might be greener on the other side and that maybe the kindest thing we can do for each other is to call it quits?  But is it grounds for divorce?  Is it irreconcilable differences or just a case of forgetting each other in the crush of life?

Maybe I’ll give it another seven years.

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