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Sin of Omission

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Jul. 24th, 2012 | 03:36 pm

Every night before I go on stage, I call my director. Preshow pep talk, a couple of quick notes, a little ritual of “ting!” as if we’ve linked pinkies in person and touched wedding rings.

My ring lives in my iPod case. His stays in his wallet. Both of us scared to stop carrying the badge of ‘death do us part,’ the bonds shifting from lover, spouse, betrayed to friend, confidante, director.

He’s still the person I’d most like to write a children’s book with, the co-creator I can yield an idea to, the person whose acting notes I most easily receive. And after eighteen months of courtship and thirteen years of marriage and five years of separation, he is still, on paper, my husband. There are no children, no desire to remarry or even co-habitate with someone new. So far, we do not see a reason to file papers.

He lives in Las Vegas. It would be so easy.

My lover’s Dutch Reform Christian parents welcome me through the language barrier. We have let them assume I am divorced, barely acceptable, instead of separated, which would not be.

My lover jokes “Don’t let my wife find out!” when I touch his leg in the car. I don’t realize that he thinks this growing-tiresome canard is a joke on himself, and he doesn’t tell me until this morning that it’s not a big thing, but it’s a thing, he doesn’t like sleeping with another man’s wife.

I go to Vegas to rehearse, and pull in one morning to the parking lot of E-Z DIVORCE! The black and yellow sign promises satisfaction, in an afternoon, for three hundred dollars (no kids). We would not fight about the house, we do not want to divide things up, sit in a pile of CD’s and books and negotiate, sign papers as thick and horrible as a mortgage, determine cat visitation.

It would be so easy.

It would be failure.

I can’t get out of the car.

We sit on my husband’s sofa and do joint taxes. I am bossy about food, mildly contemptuous of the grubbiness of his bathroom (from which he still takes out the cat litter every time), I still have more money and lie about my personal life. He still spends hours online, can’t find a job, can’t pay me back. We know these things still matter, but while we are separated, they matter less. I am grateful he is in school, making something of himself without me there to shove and nag and tear down everything about him that needs wifely support. I am grateful I do not have to tell him more than, “Remember that guy? We’re an item.” That neither of us wants to take hurtful action.

Having unburdened himself about the joke, about the thing, my lover is lighter and so am I. I still know I will never say “I love you” until he does. I know now he will never say it until I am divorced, though he does not set that condition. I know I want to hear it, I want to say it. That I have finally come up against a “reason” for a person who doesn’t want to get married again to get divorced. I know he still may never say it. I know that if I do it now, I will always wonder who I did it for.




__________________________________________
whipchick is in Winnipeg, which saves having to decide right now.

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Comments {26}

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - yeah, you get so much of what I'm trying to express, and I like the words you put it in.

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unmowngrass

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from: unmowngrass
date: Jul. 24th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for sharing more of your story. You have written it down very well.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for reading :)

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notodette

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from: notodette
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC)
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I loved this. Completely loved it. Absolutely.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:42 pm (UTC)
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Thanks :) I'm still wanting to do another draft, I think this one's a bit detached, but maybe I need another step away before I can get there :)

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Kizzy

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from: xo_kizzy_xo
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
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The detachment makes sense, though, given where both of you are in your relationship -- you definitely know you're not meant to be together, but you still have that indefinable bond. OTOH you also both have your own separate lives, and with so many unsaid omissions (as it were), I think the detached quality of this speaks much more than you think :)

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - I'm really glad that came across, it was hard to write.

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jacq22

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from: jacq22
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 08:47 am (UTC)
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Yes I loved it too, because its real and rings true, life isn't perfect and neatly stacked in boxes, it is messy. Lovely story.

Edited at 2012-07-25 08:47 am (UTC)

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC)
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Thank you - your life experiences have been so interesting to me, too - I'm glad this resonates for you!

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alycewilson

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from: alycewilson
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 09:23 am (UTC)
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Wow. I feel for you. It is difficult to deal with the conflicting emotions around a marriage that's ending, but it sounds like you're beginning to work it out.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Bit by bit :) Thanks for reading!

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Myrna

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from: myrna_bird
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
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You really punched me in the gut with this-in a good way. Powerful. Well said. I hope things resolve. Sometimes when we are not sure what to do, it is best to do nothing. Hugs.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :) Yeah, right now stasis seems to be working :)

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

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from: halfshellvenus
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
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This is such a sad situation, all around.

Is there some reason your husband hasn't filed for divorce? It seems like this is a situation that could continue to hurt him, unless he really isn't holding out hope that you'll come back for good. But I always wonder... so often, people say they're okay with a bad situation when the truth is that it hurts but they haven't yet given up. My older sister went through a string of men in this fashion.

I know he still may never say it. I know that if I do it now, I will always wonder who I did it for.
So much emotional complication here, which is so very true and so human. Sometimes, the true declaration of love is a process of unspoken negotiation. I think you've mapped out the rules for this particular circumstance completely-- you know them, even if your lover doesn't.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I think we both can't bear to move on even though we know we can't go back - it's the finality. On the up side, we're more and more becoming friends outside of what our relationship used to be, and my hope is that the friendship will develop into something worthy of having on its own, regardless of the other tie.

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

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from: halfshellvenus
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
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From what you wrote here, it seems as if that's already happening. That's nice-- even when the marriage is no longer really alive, having a solid, lifelong friend (on both your parts) is such an amazing and wonderful thing. :)

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m_malcontent

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from: m_malcontent
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
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These decisions are always hard. Much love to you as you work through it.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :)

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Andrea Blythe

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from: blythe025
date: Jul. 25th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
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Powerful post. Gave me chills.

From the outside, it seems like a complicated situation, one I'm not sure I would settle into (though I acknowledge that it's easy to say that when you haven't lived it, and having never been there, I can't really say what I would do).

Choices, choices. Should I stay or should I go. And there is no right answer, no wrong answer.

Beautiful writing, regardless.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :)

Yeah, I think the challenge is, one never sees it coming - like, if I'd said five years ago, hey, in five years, wanna still be in an unresolved situation? I'd probably tell myself no. But one wades in gently and before you know it you've been swimming for awhile :)

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Shar

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from: sharya
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC)
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What a frustrating situation to be in, with no good answers. It sort of sounds like your marriage could actually work itself out...

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for reading :) Yeah, I think that's what's the most challenging part - we didn't separate because we hate each other, but the marriage wasn't working. And it's tough to separate our liking for each other from our lack of tools to make a relationship function. On the up side, we're both in a much healthier place :)

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basric

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from: basric
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Sometimes our past refuses to release us to our future. Sometimes its just fear. Either way my heart goes out to you. It is terrible to be so torn. Well done and brave to put inn into words into the ether of the internet.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :) I don't know how much is inertia and how much is fear and how much is a longing for a past that never really was.

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blahblahblah, whatever

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from: kathrynrose
date: Jul. 26th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
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He’s still the person I’d most like to write a children’s book with, the co-creator I can yield an idea to, the person whose acting notes I most easily receive.

This sentence feels like it's saying more. I wondered if it's me reading in things or if you were saying it on purpose?

Honest and real and well done as always.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Aug. 14th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
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Tell me more about what you mean?

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