Saturday, August 26, 2017

Wifey And I Have Separated...





I spoke at 3 different autism events back in July. At each of them I did my presentation “Top 20 Things Nobody Ever Told Me After My Kid Was Diagnosed”. This is the presentation that I've been doing around the country the past few years. And all three speeches went extremely well, but it was really, really difficult for me to get through them these last three times. The reason? Well, number 2 on my Top 20 list is that “Your Marriage Can Survive & Get Stronger” and then I list 11 tips to a strong autism marriage. And unfortunately this part of the presentation isn't true anymore. You see wifey and I have separated. Yep, you read that right. After 20 years of marriage, after 14 years of raising a kid, and after 12+ years of being autism parents, we have separated, and are working with a mediator on a divorce agreement. So, if you’ve been wondering why I haven’t written much lately, now you know why. I’ve been dealing with this. You don't need to all the details. It’s none of your business anyway. :-) Just know that no one cheated on the other, no physical or mental abuse. Let’s just say that we drifted apart. That’s the official story. Again, I won’t give you all the details, but I gotta tell you that I didn’t see it coming. It came as a shock to me. I have written tons of things on this blog and on my FB page saying what a great autism mom wifey is. And all of that is still completely and utterly true. I have also written lots of things on this blog & FB page about how great our marriage is. And I thought that was true…it was true for me... but I wasn’t seeing things clearly.

Wifey wasn’t happy. And according to her she hasn’t been happy for a long time. Maybe in a weird way our kid having autism and epilepsy kept us together longer than we would have if we had typical kid(s). I honestly think that the reason that this is happening now is that the king is finally in such a good place with his health and his personality, and his school situation. He is in such a good place that we both have had a chance to breathe for the first time in YEARS. And we are looking around and realizing that we have a lot less in common than we did years ago.

And I was fine with the status quo, wifey was not. This process really started back in the winter, but it became more “official” a few weeks ago when we started living separately. We have a 50/50 custody schedule with the king. So he’ll live with me half the time and wifey half the time. That's pretty much it. That's really all I have to say about this situation right now. And I'm only posting this now because I have more speaking gigs coming up, and after speaking at the events in July I realized how much my blog/ page means to people. And how my brutal honesty resonates with people. And for the past few months I haven't posted much because I wasn't ready to let you all in on this new reality in my life. There was one part of me that wasn’t ready because a lot of our family & friends read the blog, and a lot of them don’t know yet. However, we are now living separately, so I think it’s time to let people know. There was another part of me that was embarrassed to let you into this new part of my life because I spent so much time writing about what a great marriage I had.

However, after speaking at those three events in July i had so many people come up to me afterwards and tell me how much my writing means to them and how me talking about the difficult times makes them feel less alone. And those people coming up to me made me realize two things 

 1) that I was somewhat being a phony by still talking about how great my marriage is in my presentation
2) That It's my brutal honesty that got me here with the blog/page. So if I'm going to continue the blog/page honestly then I need to bring you all along for this new ride of my life moving forward. And I know that lots of you will have questions. I'll answer the ones I feel like answering right now: 1) What about the king? How is he handling / gonna handle all of this?
That's the huge unknown. We've been talking to him about this for a while now. We assume he's grasping it and we are watching for signs of regression and aggression. And we will continue to watch for them now that he’s living in 2 places.
He's been pretty easy going and malleable lately. In a weird way this may be the best thing for him. The reason I say that is I think wifey and I will work extremely hard to make sure he has a great time when he is living with each of us. Maybe we've gotten lazy & complacent when it comes to engaging the king (I'm more guilty of this than wifey). However, now that we are living separately I see us both really going overboard making sure he's engaged and busy when he's living with each of us… I can't speak for wifey but for me maybe that's partially out of sense of guilt, and partially out of a sense of competition with wifey. Regardless of the reasons, the king will reap the benefits. 2) You said you were shocked by this separation. Where do you stand now? Yes. I was shocked. I keep using the term “blindsided”. However after going to a few sessions of marriage counseling and a few sessions of individual therapy I've learned that in cases where there's no adultery or abuse one side is usually blindsided by the other. So yes I was angry for a while. It took me a few months to come to grips with what wifey wanted / needed. However, I've turned a corner and am excited to start this new chapter in my journey. 3) Do you guys still love each other? How amicable can things be. We are trying to be as amicable as possible. As I mentioned earlier it took me longer to get on board because I didn’t see it coming. I had my good weeks and bad weeks. However, for the king’s sake we will be amicable. I'd say that we still love each other. Yes. However maybe we’re not in love with each other anymore. Look, we are both 47 years old, We've been married 20 years and have been “together” for 24 years. That's a long ride. Maybe it's just taken its course. ---------- So that’s all I’m gonna say right now. Maybe I’ll give out more dribs & drabs of details moving forward, but i felt this was important to do now because I want to keep writing about my reality. And moving forward, my reality is going to be me only being with the king half the time. I want to write about how that feels. I want to write about being a part time single parent half the week. I want to write about how it feels to live alone the other half. I want to write about how it feels to be out to dinner with friends and have no one to check in with, no one to rush home to. I want to write about the ups and downs. I want to write about it all. So I’m hoping that this blog post will open up the floodgates and get me writing & blogging & Facebooking again. And the last thing that I will say is please do not bash wifey in the comments. I will not tolerate that. There is no bad guy here. It takes two to tango. You don’t know what our marriage was like. I know on the blog I may come off as a superstar, but if you read between the lines, and read everything I write, you can easily see that I’m no picnic to live with. I can be extremely intense. I have lots of self doubt. I've written about how I went on antidepressants back in 2009. However, I probably should have been on them as far back as my 20s, way before the king was born.

So as much as I felt blindsided and as unhappy as I was with how it all went down, let’s just say that wifey had her reasons... So please no wifey bashing in the comments. And also please don’t ask a lot of questions in the comments. This is all I want to say right now. So please don’t ask additional questions because I’m not going to answer them.
We’re going to have family & friends & coworkers reading this and gathering this news for the first time, so this is how I wish to present it at this time. THANKS FOR READING AND THANKS AS ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! THE END -- If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the search box above or by going to http://www.amazon.com/?tag=a050ef-20  This way I can make a little money to help pay for my son's after school & weekend therapies.  This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!

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