Had a tough day yesterday. Had a long chat with Anne about things and the subject of Abi kept on coming up. My wife feels that I wouldn't be considering leaving if it wasn't for her. I still can't fathom to what extent this is true, because of course it's hard to separate that from all the other stuff such as 'deserting' one's family, leaving the comfort of a comfortable home, facing financial insecurity etc. In any case, even if we did separate, it would be some time before anything significant happens with Abi because she lives 200 miles away and has strong roots down there.
Anyway, this 'conversation' went on until we had to break off to put the kids to bed, but during that period, Anne went and said some things that shouldn't have been said in front of them. This was both disappointing and a worrying forewarning of what may be yet to come. I honestly thought we could be different from so many others going through separation and remain cooperative and supportive - or am I just being naive?
She was much better this morning, still probing and asking questions that really put me on the spot but otherwise very reasonable. Still nowhere to move to. I'm quite prepared to move out if she really wants me to and can, as a last resort, sleep in the storeroom of the business we run together. When I got home (home??) today rather late (9:30pm) she was really nice and polite and I couldn't help but hold her and express how appreciative I was that she was trying so hard to be civil. After we'd put the kids to bed we sat down to talk about where I was in terms of what I wanted to do. I said that I'd always felt a trial separation was required for us both to get some clarity (I need to be clear that I'm leaving her not just to be with Abi but because our marriage cannot be saved, I also hoped she would see that life could be better without me, that new opportunities could open up). As we spoke, I moved significantly to the view that the separation will be permanent and that it's probably best that I end the limbo we've been in for so long, so that we can both move on with greater certainty. Although saddened by this sentiment, she was also pretty accepting of it. This was a major obstacle I had overcome: I just didn't want to say "that's it".
Anne has been wonderful today. I so much hope she finds the 'pipe and slippers' man she feels is right for her. I promised her that I would support her as only a very special friend would, that I would be there to help out, be flexible to her needs and not let the new relationship (be that Abi or whoever) get in the way of my support for her and our family. Thankfully, I'm very confident that Abi will understand and accept that.
I'm very lucky really, to have two such amazingly tolerant, supportive and loving people in my life. I promised Anne I would leave it two months before I contact Abi. Hopefully as the reality sinks in and she starts to move on, Anne may grant me the opportunity to contact Abi sooner. At least with her being 200 miles away, the impact of such meetings will not be significant.
One last thing. Both my children went down with tummy bugs tonight. To my delight, it was me that my daughter called up for help. After she had been sick, it was my son's turn. He unfortunately knocked his bowl of sick over and it went on the bedside cabinet, sheets, floor, rug etc. I was really happy though: here was chance to show that I was still the same loving, supportive dad I've always been. I've been up twice more since (it's gone 1am now) to help the, be with them etc. It's like a friend said to me today, your kids never stop loving you, no matter what.