A~ and I are very close to settled. Finished, except for a few niggling details, with negotiating our financial and physical separation. It feels good, though scary. And surprisingly, even though I have to work hard to explain why what I ask of him financially is fair, there is no hostility. Even so, I choose to let him off the hook in some ways in favor of the much greater value of being done.
I told A~ about my first visit to Family Court the other day. I was braced for a horrible experience, since our recently divorced friend, E~, warned me that it was a horrible place, that he'd rather spend three days at the DMV then three hours there. But the clerk was friendly and informative and I was on my way out in less than ten minutes. As I strode toward the door, divorce papers triumphantly in hand, I was struck by a surprise jolt of happiness. I am so fucking happy to be done with this marriage, I thought. As I recounted my experience to A~, he burst out in appreciative laughter, and so did I. Wait a minute, I found myself thinking as we quieted, It's been only two months. How is it possible that there's no resentment here?
But then again, when I think of A~ in the context of my ticking biological clock, anger and grief rise in me. No one forced me to stay with him, or to believe him when he said he truly wanted to be with me. But those were a lot of years slogging through anguished relationship limbo. If I never have children, I will blame myself, but I will also blame him.
Meanwhile, there is J~, and continued tentative steps into a future together. Yes, relationship limbo it is, yet again, but in such a much much better way. These steps are not heavy. Even the work is a pleasure, and we're so often exactly on the same page. It's like dancing. I don't lose track of that ticking clock, which I'm not saying isn't hard, but I'm okay with it. I'll tell you why:
If J~ and I get too old or if we go our separate ways or if we stay together but rule against baby-making entirely, it will be because we've decide a child would subtract more than it would add. There will be no great tide of anger or grief. A little sadness at never having been a parent, perhaps, but a much more palatable reason for it: I was having too much fun.