We had our day in court. And we reached a settlement. I was not leaving till we had an agreement. On gray, rainy day in a non-descript 60s courthouse, we came to the agreement that I get 55% of the assets and 40% of his pension. It's not an overly generous settlement. I could have fought for more money. And I would still be here next year. FEX is buying me out. He has a mortgage in place and is ready to transfer the money any day now. I came down £30,000 and 5% of the pension share. But it's only money and it's worth my freedom.
That night FEX and I sat and watched TV in the same room and had a reasonably civil conversation. FEX said if I wanted he would look after my money. Then today I did some weeding in the garden that soon will no longer be mine. FEX came out and demolished a poor, innocent forsythia. At first I thought he was showing me and the garden who's the boss. Then as I saw him hacking away I realised he was working out his anger, despair, or whatever emotion he might be feeling. Tonight, the phone rang and I answered it. Someone sounding suspiciously like Lurch said, "FEX please." It was one of FEX's two friends, the one who's been through a bitter divorce, the one whose ex-wife had him thrown in jail, the one who's been advising FEX to be so aggressive. I could hear FEX re-enacting our day in court, only making himself and his lawyer out to be the heroes. And of course that's not what happened at all. What happened was two barristers doing a lot of math and going back and forth with offers and counter offers. We were there from 9 a.m. till 2:30. It was a long, exhausting day.
I had hoped the settlement would put an end to this bitching about me on the phone. But obviously it hasn't. So, FEX, no you may not manage my money. I don't want your filthy hands on it.
I went to a party last night and spoke to a friend I hadn't seen for a while. He and his wife, both lovely people, are separated (again) and divorcing. I can't take sides because I can see both sides so clearly. And I know firsthand the hurt they each are feeling. I advised my friend to try not to demonise his wife, that it will accomplish nothing. I suggested he find a counsellor to talk to about any negative feelings he might have. This couple separated last year when the wife moved in with another man. The guilt was too much, and she came back to try to make a go of it. But she couldn't do it. And I know how she feels. She is the sort of person who is always taking care of other people's needs. Her husband had a near-fatal brain tumour many years ago. It left him unable to work so she had to go back to work. And still manage the home because it also meant her husband has no short-term memory. I can understand her position. And I can understand his too. But so far neither one has gone around trashing the other. No nasty emails. No trying to get friends on their side. Unlike FEX.
People can be civilised and go through divorce. I've tried. I'm still trying.
So what about the kids? I think they're in a bit of shock. I think they didn't believe this would actually happen, that their father is basically kicking me out. Not that I'm fighting it. Not that I want to stay. I can't believe FEX wants to stay here. It will be so empty when I've gone. I wonder if he's thought about that.
Oh well. That's his problem. I have so many things to think about and do. I'd better get busy and start doing them.