Tuesday, 12 November 2013

He's my "ex"

P and I have not been broadcasting our separation to all and sundry. It's not something that is easily dropped into a conversation. It's not news that we're excited to talk about. And sometimes we're just not up for the well intended questioning or concerns that people have.

Up until now I have managed to refer to P by his name or as the father of my children - as in "the boys are with their dad this afternoon". While our separation has been constantly occupying my head, P hadn't yet taken on the title of the "ex". But today I found myself needing to describe P's relationship to someone I had just met and the most appropriate way to explain it was "he's my…ex. We separated just recently."

For some reason using the word "ex" makes it sound a lot more final than "we've separated". Is that because it's a noun and not a verb? Or is separated an adjective?

In some ways it feels like normal. Like P is working his usual long days, or is out of town for several days for work. You see I'm used to dealing with the night time wakings from the kids by myself. To juggling after school commitments, dinner, bath and bed time unassisted. To get them all ready for the day while I'm fortified with coffee, porridge and a little sleep. Answering the boys questions of "is dad home for dinner tonight?" in some ways is just like before - no, he isn't. But instead, now P will not be coming home late from work tonight.

Now there is no one to chat in the morning with about what our days have in store for us.
No one to debrief with at the end of the day, share a glass of wine with, and wish each other good night.
The trivial conversations about housework, after school commitments, reminders about groceries to be bought and bills to be paid.

Instead today there was:
My own fly buys card arriving in the mail.
And the letter confirming how much child support my ex would need to pay me.

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