I’m starting a new series today featuring Judy, a remarkable lady who had no desire to end her twenty-eight year marriage but seven years ago her husband started to talk about wanting to move out, wanting a divorce, and one day Judy came home one day to an empty house. Here’s Judy:
He had been talking about looking for a job elsewhere for a while. He had come to hate our community and I kept saying,
“We don’t have kids at home anymore, where do you want to go?”
And it was no. He didn’t want me to go with him. So he got this job and just upped and moved. He didn’t tell me he was going. Just one day, I came home and he was gone.
The house was empty.
There was no note, no nothing. I wasn’t surprised. He had talked enough that I knew what was going on and it didn’t really surprised me.
That was less than a week before Thanksgiving and then I was kind of at a loss. My eldest daughter wasn’t coming home for the holiday but my youngest was and she’s very good at jumping in and saying, “Let’s do …”
I had been talking about painting the interior of the house and I was going to do it over the summer but then all the upset with my husband had started and there was no way I could do it. So when my daughter arrived she said,
“Mom, let’s paint!”
And we did. We pulled all the furniture around and we started painting. The living room is connected to the dining room which is connected to the hall and she pulled it all out and said,
It was good therapy. I was in that “whatever” zone so when she suggested moving the piano and the bookcase, I just said,
Then come Christmas, both my daughters were home. They just sat and let me cry. We’ve always stayed here for Christmas and my two girls held me up. But I knew all along it wasn’t about me.
The Divorce Coach Says
Even though Judy knew her marriage was in trouble, and wasn’t totally surprised that her husband left, I can imagine how she felt coming home that day and realizing he’d gone. I would have found it hard to focus on anything, difficult to settle down always hoping that maybe he was just late and not really gone.
Coming home to an empty house reminds me of Lorraine – she loved being married but came home to an eight-word note and an empty house. Although her husband had been acting weird for three months, she had no idea he was having an affair and wanted to leave. And for the opposite perspective, it reminds me of Emma who’d been married for just a year so very different circumstances from Judy but Emma’s departure was triggered by just one word.
Judy believes her husband’s desire to divorce was related to health issues – depression, bi-polar even male menopause and she’ll be talking about that in the next post.