What Wasn't SaidbySlirpuff©
After almost twenty years of marriage my wife Ann and I separated three months ago. Ann felt that she couldn't resolve our issue with me in the house.
"Steve, I need to be by myself and to get my head around our problems."
"Ann, these aren't big issues, it should be a no brainer to work them out; unless there are things you haven't told me about."
"Steve, what are you insinuating?"
"Just answer me a question, is there someone else?"
"I'm not going to dignify that question with an answer. How can you accuse me of cheating after all these years?"
"It's just that I still don't know why we have to be apart? I love you, you love me; well I think you do, so make me understand why the separation?"
"Sometime, love isn't quite enough. We've started growing apart and I need to confirm my feeling and what I want going forward."
I still didn't understand it and I was getting angrier every time we talked.
"Well, you can tell the kids you moved out, not me."
"What do you mean? I just thought you could get a motel room or a short tem apartment and I could stay in the house."
"If you want the separation, you're going to be the one to leave; I'm not being kicked out of my own house," I replied.
"Steve, no ones being kicked out of anywhere. Why can't you understand it's just temporary?"
"Ann, what's temporary? A week, two weeks a month?"
"I can't answer that question right this minute."
"Well, if it's so temporary, you won't mind being the one to leave." That widened the rift between us.
"Fine, I'll find something and be the bigger person," Ann said starting to get a little testy.
"When are you planning this big move?" it was already Wednesday.
"If I get what I need, I can be out of here by Saturday."
"This Saturday? What's the big rush?" I said trying to get her to change her mind.
"The sooner I leave, the sooner I'll be back."
"Or not," I added.
"Steve, this is just temporary, why won't you believe that?"
"A lot can happen when two people split up like this; maybe we should have some type of agreement?"
"Steve, you're making too much of this," Ann said now starting to get concerned.
"Just the same, I'll have Hank, a lawyer friend of ours, draw something up."
"Steve, I don't want to broadcast this around."
"Ann, how are you going to hide it? Are you ashamed?"
"It's just that I don't want everyone to know our business."
"Just the same, I'll have him draft up something; he probably has a standard form for when people break up."
"How many times do I have to tell you, we're not breaking up," she said now visually angry.
"Well, when you leave, I'll sleep much better knowing I'm covered if something should happen."
"Well, have him draw up some damn agreement and I'll sign whatever."
That's how it went or should I say didn't go.
Believe it or not, Hank had a standard form just for this type of separation.
"Steve, it's pretty standard. You still split the expenses and since there are no kids at home we can take out support and visitation. In this, she will have to respect your privacy at the house and you hers where ever she ends up. That means no sneaking or snooping around," he said with a laugh. "I've left the initial time table open, but put a six month limit on it. Steve, if people don't get back together after six months they most likely never will."
"How about each of us seeing other people?"
"That's up to the both of you, but I can put in that there isn't to be any sex with anyone else if that's what you want?"
"Put it in and I'll let Ann be the one to object."
"Steve, that's about it, but I did but in a clause at the end that after six months divorce papers are to be automatically drawn up. This way it puts pressure on both of you to get your issues resolved. Believe it or not, it works in ninety percent of the cases. The other ten percent would have gotten divorced anyway."
I thanked him and took the original with me. I would have Ann sign it before she left and give her a copy so she knew what was at stake.
"I'm not going to sign this, it's like a pre-divorce agreement."
"Ann it covers the both of us and says what is and isn't allowed. I don't have a problem with it. Ann, unless you have ulterior motives, there's nothing in there that you should object to and unless you sign it, there will be no separation."
She got pissed and told me to give her that damn agreement and she scribbled her name on the bottom and dated it.
"Here, it's all signed; are you happy?"
"No, I haven't been happy since you first brought this up, but at least now I feel better that it's a legal separation and I'm covered if something happens."
"I've found a place, close to my work, where I can sublease on a weekly basis. It's not cheap but fully furnished. I'm just going to take some clothes and my personal items with me."
"Ann, you can take what ever you want of yours, I've got no objections."
"Steve, you still don't understand why I'm doing this and I hope that this will bring us closer together in the end."
"Ann, your right about one thing, I don't understand and I haven't a clue how this is going to bring us closer together; but I guess I don't have a choice, at least now," I said signing the agreement and putting it back in the manila envelope. "I'll have Hank file this with the court tomorrow and it'll be a done deal. To me, Ann was turning her back on our marriage.
All right I didn't handle the first month as well as I probably should have. I'd be damned if I was going to call her; if she wanted to talk to me, she would have to be the one to call. When she didn't I got even more pissed. I cooked my own means, laundered my own clothes and was bored as hell. That is until I found Netflix; then I watched a new movie every night. When I started stopping off to have a drink after work every night I met a whole new class of people, single and divorced men and women.
There were two types of divorced guys. Ones that were happy as a pig in shit that they were out of a bad marriage and the others that were pissed because they'd either been raked over the coals or they never saw it coming.
It was the same thing for the women with two major exceptions. There were the divorced mothers with small kids who were looking to latch on to whomever showed them the least bit of interest and then there were the lonely, bitter women over forty who would love to find someone but pushed every good prospect away with their attitudes. Me? I was just going with the flow; but it did make for interesting people watching.
I was sipping on a Corona, minding my own business when she sat down two sets away from me. I noticed but really didn't pay much attention because I was watching what was going on in front of me, and there was a lot.
"What a meat market," she said as she played with the salt ring on her margarita.
"A meat market," she repeated it again. "Look at them out there. Half of them looking for a good time tonight and the other half desperately looking so that they won't have to spend the rest of their lives alone; it makes me want to puke."
"Which half do you belong to?" I replied.
"Neither. I'm married to a shit and will be until the day he dies; or I kill him which ever comes first. What's your story, or are you just here getting your jollies watching everyone else."
"Separated. Wife left to find herself,"
"Shit, my husband couldn't find himself with both hands even if he tried; by the way, my name is Dawn," she said holding out her hand.
"I'm Steve," I said gently shaking it. "I come here a couple of times a week to have a beer or two and unwind before I go home to an empty house."
"How long have you been separated?"
"Almost two and a half months."
"How often do you guys talk?"
"Only when we absolutely have to."
"You can't resolve too much if you don't talk, but let me guess, you're trying to make her pay for leaving so neither of you call each other; am I right?"
"Pretty close. I still don't understand why she left and I'm starting to get to the point where I don't even care any longer. Anyway it has to end one way or another in three and a half months."
"What happens then?" she asked.
"Divorce papers are served automatically at that point."
"You've got to be shitting me."
"Nope, if she's not back by then we're done," I said ordering another round for the two of us.
"Just like that?"
"Yup, just like that. I didn't want the damn separation but she insisted, so I put in a fail safe clause at the end."
"She seeing anyone on the side? It seems like that would be a good reason to do something like this."
"Ann, that's my wife's name, says no, but I'm not too sure."
"You could always have her followed, you know, a private detective to follow her around at night; I did that when I thought my husband was fooling around on me."
"Too much money, and besides the agreement forbids the other from invading their privacy."
"Sounds like a stupid agreement," she said downing her first drink and starting on the other. "I'd sure as hell want to know. Hell, if I'd caught my husband cheating on me, I'd cut his nuts off while he slept. He's just damn lucky I'm understanding and not a vengeful bitch."
I laughed. "Dawn, I'd hate like hell to get on your bad side."
We talked until about seven and I told her I was calling it a night. "Maybe I'll see you here again," I told her.
"Maybe if you're lucky. By the way, thanks for the drink."
I got in my car and drove off, swinging by Ann's place to see if her car was there. I know I wasn't supposed to invade her privacy, but I could look anyway. Like always, her car was there.
We both continued to dig in our heels and not talk to one another. The only thing it was doing was to pull us further apart. Now, when we did talk, it was more like snipping at one another. When I called her, she sounded annoyed that I was bothering her and when she called I gave it back to her ten fold.
At four months I'd had about enough. We weren't getting anywhere and I was getting more pissed off by the week. When I got into an argument with my two girls about their mother walking out on me, I found that they'd taken her side and told me I needed to back off and to let her work it out. Fucking women, they all had their heads up their ass.
When I found out that Ann was sneaking into the house when I was at work to get more clothes I upped the anni; I changed the locks on the house. "That should get some type of response from her," I thought to myself.
"Steve, you changed the locks?" she shouted at me.
"I lost my keys and did it out of safety. How do you know I changed the locks?" I said innocently.
"I came over to get my black dress and couldn't get in."
"Ann, per the agreement, you're not supposed to be invading my privacy, don't you remember?"
"Steve, when I come over you are at work. I just let myself in and I'm out in less than ten minutes."
"So, this isn't the first time?"
"Steve, what's the big deal? It's not like I'm going through your drawers. I just needed to pickup a few things now and then."
"Well I'm sorry to say, if you need anything in the future you're going to have to call in advance so I can get it for you."
"Steve, just give me a damn key so I can get my stuff."
"I'm sorry Ann, if you need any thing in the future, give me twenty-four hours notice and I'll get what you need."
She started ragging on me that I was being unreasonable and being a total jerk.
"Ann, you wanted this, live with it," I hung up on her. Can you say widening the gap?
When I told Dawn what I'd done she called me an ass; I took that as a complement.
"You're going to drive her away if you haven't all ready," she said sipping on a drink.
"All I know for sure is that she's dating someone."
"How do you know that? I thought you said that you weren't spying on her?"
"I'm not. She picked up her black dress. She only wears that if she's trying to impress someone. It's her favorite dress and she looks super hot in it. I just wonder who the lucky guy is?"
"I thought you said you don't care?"
"I'll tell you and her that, but I really do. I thought this would have been over by now, but now that I know someone is looking to score with her it takes on a whole new meaning. From now on, I keep my eyes open; no more Mr. Passive."
"Why don't you just talk to her? I've never seen two more stupid people. Each one of you are playing tit for tat and trying to push the envelope as much as you can. You two are going to end up divorced and you'll have only yourselves to blame. I even talk to my asshole husband when he steps over the line."
"Dawn, I just want to see what's going on," I told her.
All right I broke the agreement after that night, I had Ann followed. I never would have thought it would be so damn expensive. After two weeks I got my report and pictures. I hit the roof; no I went through the fucking roof.
There are only two people in the world I can't stand. Let me rephrase that, there are only two people in the world I hate. One is the regional sales manager of our only competitor and the other is an ex-friend of ours named Richard Wagner; and who do you guess she was having dinner with in her hot black dress, none other.
He'd been hitting on and flirting with my wife since the first time we were introduced at a neighborhood party. He and his wife lived two blocks over until their divorce four years ago. It was at the next party that we came to blows. He was being his obnoxious self when he got a little too touchy feely with Ann. I walked over and told him; in I guess a too loud of voice, to get his fucking hands off my wife. When he gave me that stupid grin of his I kicked him right in the nuts. He dropped to his knees and started puking. I told him next time I'd cut the sons of bitches off. That was the last I saw of him. He sold his house the following year and I never saw him again up until now; and he was with my wife.
The pictures showed them out to dinner twice, dancing and even kissing on her apartment doorstep; I lost my cool. She knew how much I hated that son of a bitch and even the night of the party she said I'd over reacted. I felt like someone had kicked me in the nuts.
"Ann, if you want to pick up the rest of your shit, I'll have it packed up and on the driveway for you to pick up Friday."
"Steve, what are you talking about? What stuff?"
"All the rest of your clothes and personal items, I've put them in garbage bags and they're in the garage. You'd better bring a truck because there are eleven of them."
"Steve, what's going on? Why are you doing this?"
"Ann, since you've moved on and have no intension of coming back, I'm just getting a head start on separating our things so it'll go much faster, besides, Richard hasn't seen you in your silver dress yet and I know you don't want to disappoint him." There was silence on the other end. "Goodbye Ann."
I put all eleven gabs on the driveway Thursday night. I really wanted to put them on the front lawn and turn on the sprinklers but I figured I'd get in trouble down the line. I did, however, leave her the picture of her kissing dick head on the top of the pile. It was a good clear picture and she could probably have it framed for prosperity after the divorce. I made sure I was gone to at least midnight Friday so I wouldn't have to see her.
My home and cell phone rang off the wall Saturday and Sunday. I finally had to turn them off but Ann filled up my message center on each. I deleted them all without listening to a one of them. I then called Hank and told him I wasn't waiting for the full six months and to have her served as soon as possible. He must have argued with me for a half hour telling me to cool down and to talk to her before I did anything stupid. Did I listen? Hell no! Serve the bitch were my last words. If it had been anyone else but Richard I could have sucked it up, but like I said, he was one of two people I hated and he was now tops on my list.
I ducked her calls for days but then she started sending me e-mails to my work. Those were a lot easier to delete than the phone calls. With a click and drag, I could get rid of a whole days worth with one swipe.
"You're more stupid than I gave you credit for," Dawn yelled at me. "I thought you were going to cool it?"
"I did until I found out who she was seeing, I guess I lost it after that."
"Lost it, it doesn't sound like you ever had it."
I gave her the long version; I guess I felt she deserved it since she'd heard the rest of it earlier.
"I can understand why you're mad; and I thought my husband was the only stupid fucker around. She screwed up and you don't even know if she's slept with him yet?"
"If she hasn't yet, she probably planned to. I don't even know if I could even kiss her after that asshole's lips were on hers."
"You know if you divorce her, he wins."
"He's already won. She picked him over me, what does that tell you?"
"It tells me she's an idiot but doesn't mean she doesn't still want you."
"She could have called me."
"And you could have called her. Don't forget Steve, I know the facts. Didn't I tell you that if you two didn't start talking you'd end up divorced? Well, I guess my premonition has come true; I guess you owe me dinner or something."
"Well, she was the one to leave, I'm just glad I protected myself."
"A lot of good that will do you. Steve, it's a fifty-fifty state. Everything the two of you own will be split down the middle; you're both going to lose and the lawyer will be the only ones that make out." She was right.
"Dad, are you out of your mind?" Sherri my oldest yelled at me walking into my office.
"Afternoon sweetheart, long time no see? And how is my darling other daughter?"
"She'd be here too is she could get away but she can't. Mom called and said you are divorcing her. Have you finally lost it?"
"This is between your mother and I, it doesn't concern you.
"The hell it doesn't. You're both my parents and I love you both."
"But you sided with your mother. I told her this would only pull us apart but everyone knew better. I don't want to say I told you so because it'll just sound like sour grapes, but I told you so."
"Mom said you're divorcing her for going out with some guy you don't like; is that true? What are you some teenager with a hurt ego? Mom said she never slept with him either."
"Do you believe her? Because I don't. He's been sniffing around your mom for years and she knows how much I hated him; it was like she was rubbing my face in it. So honey, I'm sorry to say you're going to be from a broken home; just like fifty percent of the other marriages that end in divorce."
"That's it, your ego is bruised isn't it. Your throwing everything away because mom's been seeing someone you don't like. You're pathetic."
"Well Sherri, it's been a real blast talking to you and say hi to your sister for me will you? If you're ever in the neighborhood stop by again and if you give me notice, maybe we can all go to lunch," I said sarcastically." "If you've got anything left in the house come over on Saturday and get it, I'm listing the house with a realtor on Monday."
"I can't believe that this is happening?" Sherri said in a stunned voice.
"Honey, I didn't want it to happen but your mom has probably been cheating on me for a long time. I guess she left so she wouldn't have to sneak around behind my back anymore. I hope you like your new stepfather, I know he's an arrogant prick, but you're gong to be stuck with him just the same." She left but told me she hadn't heard the last of her. I hadn't heard from her since this whole mess started so I figured it would be another four plus months before I saw her or her sister again.