tagLoving WivesI Want a Divorce

I Want a Divorce


"Jeff, I'm unhappy. I want a divorce."

Although Jeff was somewhat shocked, he wasn't totally unprepared. Darlene, his wife of almost 20 years, had spent a lot to time lately talking to her friend, and so-called marriage expert, Miranda. Miranda's expertise was based on having gone through three divorces.

"Jeff, did you hear me? I want a divorce."

"Yes, Dar, I heard you. But it's such a serious matter, I don't want to respond prematurely. I thought I have been as loving and loyal a husband as possible. I thought I have been a good father. You haven't mentioned there being any problems with our sex life, so I am clueless about what has happened. But after absorbing what you said, my response is that I can't stand to think that being married to me would block your chance to be happy. Although it breaks my heart, I will support you in getting the divorce. But could you tell me if the reason you're telling me now is something that has happened recently, or has it been something building for some time?"

Darlene responded, "Yeah, it's been building. I need some space, some time to explore other things, go out with other people. The way I understand it, the court requires that for 90 days after we sign the papers we are legally separated. At the end of the time, I might change my mind and want to stay married. We might not have to get divorced."

Her husband reflected, "That's close to what I've heard from other people talking about their divorces. In the 90 day separation period, BOTH of us get to see other people without it being considered infidelity. But at the end of the time, BOTH of us have to agree in order to stop the divorce. EITHER of us, however, can continue the divorce without the other party's agreement." Jeff figured that Darlene had not fully considered that he would have the same freedom she was wanting.

"I thought that if I filed the papers first, it was up to me to continue the marriage or go for the divorce." Darlene was wavering in her command of the conversation.

Jeff countered, "I don't think that's right but just in case I'll file also so that we are in the same position. Don't you think that is fair?"

Darlene stuttered, "Uh, I guess. Are you saying YOU want to get divorced?"

"Evidently, I have been under the wrong impression that I was being an adequate husband, father and lover. No, I do not want a divorce, but I will not stand in the way of what you want."

"Hon, I never said you were inadequate. You've been a great husband, father and lover. It's just that I want to experience some new and different things, spend some time with other people. That might make me feel better about myself. I just need a little time. Being legally separated will allow me that freedom."

"Darlene, your needing more than what I can give you is the very definition of me being inadequate." He let that sink in a while then continued, "Have you obtained an attorney and had the papers drawn up yet?"

She ignored his response regarding feeling inadequate. "No, I don't have the papers yet. I plan to use J.R. Lewis; he handled Miranda's divorces."

There. Darlene confirmed the source of this latest ploy to get Darlene to seek more for herself from her marriage. "Well, I will probably get my cousin, Sally, to handle my part of the divorce."

"Sally? The Bitch from Hell?"

"Now Dar, I know you don't like Sally, but she really is a nice person. Her reputation as a bitch has come from her courtroom demeanor. She really fights for her clients, whether they are men or women. It's ironic that after the last family barbeque, probably because she had drunk too much, Sally volunteered that if I ever needed a divorce attorney, she would handle it for free."

Jeff continued, "Wow. We have a LOT of things to talk about. I propose that we take the next two weeks to prepare for the separation/divorce. That way we can start our separation on the first of the month. Is that okay?"

"I guess. I don't understand why we have to do anything before the separation is over."

Jeff explained, "Well, I assume the purpose of the separation is to see what it would be like to be divorced so that we can decide if we really want a divorce. That means the separation period needs to be a "practice," so to say, of what life after divorce would be. Otherwise, we have more of a chance of not finding out until after we divorced that we really didn't want to do this or did want to do that. That could be really messy. Does that make sense to you?"

"I guess. I hadn't really considered that." Darlene's resolve was weakening.

"I tell you what. Why don't we go to the kitchen and get a legal pad and start planning what all we need to do? I'll put on some coffee." With that statement, Jeff got out of bed and headed to the kitchen leaving Darlene in a fog.

By the time Darlene made it to the kitchen the coffee was perking, and Jeff was busy scribbling on the legal pad.

"Okay," Jeff continued. "There's so much to consider, it's hard to decide what is most important to start with. I guess we need to talk about the kids first."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, we're going to have to tell them what is going on and we both need to say the same thing and try to make sure they don't feel our divorce is their fault."

Darlene became very concerned. The two girls were very emotional and might not take bad news well. "I don't see why we need to tell them that much. Can't we just wait the 90 days and maybe we won't have to tell them anything at all?"

"But dear, how are you going to explain it to them when they ask, 'Why doesn't Daddy live here anymore?"

"But . . . Why wouldn't you be living here? We will still be their mother and father. I figured you would continue to live here during the separation and that I, uh I mean we, would be able to go out sometimes without the children's lives being disrupted."

"I don't think that would work, Dar. First, that would mean we would have to coordinate our dating schedules. One of us might be mad at the other if one of us wanted to go on a date one night and the other said that wasn't convenient for them. We might think the other was trying to keep us from dating. Most importantly, how are you going to experience what it would be like if we were to divorce if I still do all the things you would have to do if we did we divorced? Besides, the kids might figure out or be told by others that we have been seen going out with other people. We not only have to tell the girls, but all our relatives and friends need to be told. Otherwise they might think we are fooling around on each other."

"The worst thing is that I'm afraid no matter how we explain it to them, they will probably think they are to blame. It's regrettable but from what I understand from child psychology, it is not possible to prevent children of divorce from feeling it's partially their fault. We just have to be sure to say the same thing and really emphasize our love to them. They are good kids and they probably will eventually adjust although it might take some professional therapy. Heck, they might even like having the extra grandparents they would have from your new fellow and my new girl. More presents at birthdays and holidays. Of course, we would have to really closely coordinate where and when we spend birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We barely can do that now with only one set of grandparents each."

"In addition, if I were to stay in the house, you would have to meet your man at his place or an expensive motel. It would not be right for you or I to bring a lover home with the other being home with the kids. Besides, we have to find out what having two households would mean for our finances. Obviously, it will mean we have less money to live on because we will be adding the expense of my apartment rent and utilities to our current expenses. You will have to get used to paying for and taking care of all the things we now jointly share, or I do by myself for the family. Joint assets are usually split 50/50. That means we will have to cancel all joint checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards and then there is alimony and child support. Goodness. There is so much to do before the first of the month."

Darlene sat shell shocked. She didn't know what to say. Jeff continued.

"I will try to get an apartment near work. Two bedrooms. That way the girls will have a bed when the stay over on the nights I have visitation."


"The standard for visitation in most divorces is that the spouse outside the home gets to see the kids every other weekend and every other major holiday unless the home spouse agrees to more."

"Jeff, I would expect you would see the girls a lot more than that. There is homework and sports and drama and other events they are used to you being around for. And you and they seem to enjoy your time together so much."

"Sweetheart, I will try to be as much a part of their lives as possible. You and/or your boyfriend/husband, however, will need to be ready to pick up some of what I have been doing. That's just the reality. Week nights for visits will be tricky because it would be better for them to be home since they have school the next day. If I find someone else, she might have kids and I might have to help them with their homework and extracurricular activities also. You might have to help your new husband with his kids. Then there would be the problem of keeping clothes and toiletries two places, school transportation since I might not live on the bus route for their school, and just the disruption of routine. It will not be easy on any of us."

"This is not going the way Miranda said it would," Darlene thought to herself. "She said her husband would fold at the mention of divorce and offer to continue to do all he did for the family but also allow her to date others on the side. I'm losing control of this situation fast."

"Jeff, I am overwhelmed. I need to sleep on all this. We can talk more tomorrow. I'm going back to bed. Are you coming?" She was hoping that he would come, and she would try using sex to get him to give in without all this assumption of responsibilities and splitting money nonsense.

"Sorry, honey but I have to jot down more ideas of what all has to be done before I go to bed. You know how my mind works. The more we get settled before the first of the month, the better we both will feel. Good night dear."

Darlene did not sleep much. She needed to talk to Miranda and tell her of Jeff's unexpected reaction. Miranda would know what to do next. That assurance allowed her to finally fall off to sleep.

She awoke to begin her day and immediately noticed that Jeff was not in bed with her nor did it look like he had slept there last night. "Good grief. That idiot has stayed up all night working on that separation list." But when she entered the kitchen, Jeff was not there. Just the pad on the kitchen table. Darlene looked in the guest bedroom and found her husband sleeping soundly. She walked back and started breakfast. While things were cooking, she looked at the pad. Under the heading "Things to change responsibility to Darlene" were: mortgage, homeowner's insurance, gas, water, electric, cable, cell phone, garbage, internet, internet security, car payment, car insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, Amazon Prime, Lifelock membership, Lifeflight medical evacuation, and the list went on. That was in addition to all the banking changes they had talked about last night.

On the next page was a projection of his new expenses related to his being in an apartment and a projected budget showing how much alimony/child support she would need to maintain her and the girls' current lifestyle. It showed they would be several hundred dollars short per month. He had also made a list of ways to cut expenses. Jeff would have to cut out his beloved trips to Waffle House and Starbucks. "That will really hurt him," she chuckled. Then it added her gym membership, the women's groups she belonged to, and eating out more than once a week. He even had listed some of the expenses the kids had since several extracurricular activities contained fees, uniforms, and other required material to pay for. The effect on the children was not part of the calculation of her divorce scheme. On another page he had a list of chores that Darlene would have to do with him gone or hire someone else to do. It included: putting gas in the car, getting regular maintenance on the car, which mechanic to call, which plumber to call, which heating and air conditioning repair service to call, lawn mowing, car washing, grocery shopping, etc. She had to put the pad down.

"Damn it. Why isn't Jeff acting like he is supposed to and give me what I want? I need to call Miranda before Jeff gets up."


"Miranda? This is Darlene. We have to speak quietly because Jeff is asleep nearby."

"How did it go last night?" Miranda's voice expressed excitement and an expectation of a positive response from Darlene.

"Instead of asking what he could do to make things better, so I wouldn't divorce him, he agreed to the separation and then he started making a list of all the things he does now that I would have to do if we were divorced. Jeff's planning to get an apartment and only taking care of the girls every other weekend. He says we need to actually separate and act like we really are divorced so we can make a more informed decision on whether or not to divorce after the 90 days. He's not acting like divorce is really scary to him. What should I do?"

"Dar, Dar, Dar. Silly girl. He's just trying to trick you. He's bluffing. There's no way he will sign any real papers. It's pathetic that he has to list all the little things he does to make you think you need him more than you do. Bottom line: You've got control of the kids and you've got control of the area between your legs. Those two things alone will keep him in line. It's all talk on his part, don't worry. Before long you and Robert will be doing the mamba in bed and you will still have your husband and home."

"I hope you're right and Robert better be worth it. Well, Jeff hasn't really DONE anything yet. I'll stay strong at least until I see what he's really going to do, if anything. Thanks, Miranda. He is getting up. I have to go."

Nervously Darlene asked, "Hey Jeff, you want some coffee?"

Her husband kind of staggered over to the coffee pot and said, "Having coffee that late last night was not a good idea. Barely got any sleep."

"How come you didn't come to our bed?"

"Well I was on the way, but I did not trust myself."

"What do you mean, hon?"

"I saw you there sleeping nude and I really got turned on. You are still the most beautiful woman I know. I'm afraid I would assume if you would have let me have sex it would only be 'pity' sex to ease my pain that came from your declaration for divorce. I couldn't trust myself not to give in."

"Sweetheart, we are still married. I am yours and yours only at least until the separation takes place. Can't we continue to act like man and wife until then?"

"I'm afraid not. I am more sure than ever that the separation activities we need to do must start as soon as possible. Even though the official separation will not start until the first of the month, it really started the second you said, 'I'm unhappy. I want a divorce.' It will be hard for me, but I truly want to see you happy even if I am no longer going to be a major part of your life."

"Jeff, you seem to keep forgetting. In reality, it's actually just a separation and we don't have to get a divorce. Relax. Give me some time to find myself and I bet we stay married and it will be even better than before."

"I wish I could believe that. I have decided to take the day off. Billy can supervise the repair crews for a day. That way I can some of the things set in motion for us to separate. These things will not take effect until the first of the month so that will give us 90 solid days where we can really experience what it would be like if we divorce. By the way, I will get us both more cash than normal. You need to use cash until we can get your own credit and debit/ATM cards. Thankfully we both have separate checking accounts besides the big joint account. I will transfer half of the amount in the joint account to each of our separate accounts. We need to do that now, so we can have the new cards and checks in place by the first of March. I will tell you tonight what all I have done and what you need to do to have control of your portion of the assets. Oops. You better hurry so you won't be late for work. I'll get the kids breakfast and see them off to school."

Darlene was not much good at her work as office manager for the State Farm Insurance regional office. Robert came by to flirt as usual. Tall, dark wavy hair and a smile that had women unbuttoning their blouse in hopes he would stop and talk to them. After telling Darlene how beautiful she looked and how unappreciated she must be, he asked when they could go make beautiful music in the elevator again. What she really wanted to tell him was when they might actually have the time alone where they could do more than they have done so far. Darlene began to get excited again and told Robert that it would not be much longer before they could be together in a more comfortable setting. She would call him later about elevator time today though. When he left, her concerns about her separation from Jeff were replaced by memories of Robert's kisses, fondling, and groping in the all too brief elevator rides they had taken in the last few months since he had come to work there.

Once home from work, Darlene could see evidence that Jeff had been there during the day. She felt better prepared emotionally to deal with him on all the financial mumbo jumbo he talked about. It was simple: I have 90 days to fool around, we stay married, and then I try to figure out how Robert and I can have sex after without getting caught. She sat down at the kitchen table and looked at the legal pad again. Jeff had added a few more items on the list. Then she noticed a new list. It was titled "Possible women to date." There were two columns: "Women who have already expressed interest" and "Women to see if they are interested." The columns weren't long but the names in the first column shocked her. One was her own sister Erica! "That witch!" Darlene called her immediately.

Erica answered, "Hello Dar. How's it going?"

"How dare you try to steal my husband! You . . . tramp!"

"Whoa, slow down girl. What the H E double hockey stick are you talking about?"

"Jeff made up a list of women that have told him they were interested in dating him and your name was on it."

"I don't know about any list, but I did tell him once, after a few too many drinks, that if he ever got smart and dumped your stupid, ungrateful ass, I wanted an application to be your replacement. Wait, what's going on that he would show you a list of women who want him? Are you telling me there's trouble in paradise? Did you catch him, or did he catch you humping someone else?"

"That's not it. I just told him that I, uh, needed a little space, some time to myself, explore new relationships . . . ."

Erica interrupted. "Aha, it is you that's getting some strange on the side. Who is he or are there more than one?"

"NO! I haven't been intimate with anyone else . . .yet. Jeff and I are just going to go through a 90 day separation and then decide if we want to stay married or not. It's no big deal."

"Obviously you have someone in mind, but I don't care. So, you're telling me that someday soon, you two will be legally separated and if any one wants to screw Jeff, you can't do anything about it. Let me know the date and I guarantee you that one second after midnight I will be on the phone begging for a date and making it absolutely clear that my body is his to use however he wants and that I am not my sister and I will be absolutely loyal to him as long as I live."

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bySkippy47© 121 comments/ 82698 views/ 99 favorites

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