Last Thursday, my husband of 21½ years and I cuddled up with kids in the bedroom and told them we are separating. There was surprise, some tears, but overall they took it shockingly well. In fact, it seemed like they were trying to make us feel better.

While we were having our family discussion, Our Best Friend lay curled up on the bed in the middle of it all. Every time there was a lull in the discussion, he whimpered softly. It was as if he knew there were sad times afoot, and he was afraid of what the changes would mean for him.

The dog, of course, stays with me. It was The Spouse who insisted on taking him in; it was The Spouse who insisted on keeping him, in spite of Our Best Friend’s many flaws. I never wanted anything this big or emotionally messed-up. But now it’s me who’ll have him. And I guess I’ll get custody of the dog park too.

In the three years that we’ve had Our Best Friend, I don’t think The Spouse has ever taken him out alone. He’s gone on walks and to the dog park with me and with the children, but never just him and the dog. Of course all my dog park friends know him, and thanks to Ronnie he’s become a Modern Family addict, but I’m the one blogging about it.  And it will be me who will have to tell our dog park friends about our split.  Not that I plan to go there with a sign around my neck– I just have to answer questions like, “How’s The Spouse?” honestly. Or even questions like, “What’s new?” or “How are you?”

I can’t help wondering how they’ll react. Will they be as shocked as my “everyday” friends have been? (We both have a horror of public displays of dissent; nothing is more off-putting than couples who fight in public. The sturm und drang all happened in private, behind closed doors, and never in front of the kids.) Or will they have seen a different side of us? Will they have noticed that I was the “park presence” and he was more aloof? Did they sense the disconnect when I would stop to chat with friends, and he would go sit on a bench, or be on his cel the whole time we were “together?”

The children want their father to get a dog-friendly apartment so he can babysit Our Best Friend when necessary. As he works 18-hour days, I doubt that’s realistic, but it’s cute that they’re thinking about it. Right now it’s very civil and I hope it stays that way. We have no assets to fight over, and the kids are old enough to have a say in their living arrangements. I’m even staying in school (for now), at his insistence that I have to build a life and future for myself, even if it’s hard and he has to help me.

And I still have a man around the house. Even though he has four legs, fur, and is lacking some basic male anatomy, he’s the best cuddlebug ever. He loves to go on long walks, and lets me cry on his shoulder. He’s loyal, faithful, protective, and loving. And he doesn’t complain about having to kill bugs or catch mice. Really, what more could a girl ask for? He’s truly My Best Friend.

About one person's view

I'm the mother of three girls, three cats, and a dog. All need constant attention, but only the dog likes to go for long walks!
This entry was posted in Blogging, children, Dog behaviour, dog parks, Dogs and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Changes

  1. Kristine says:

    I am so sorry. I don’t know if there is anything else I can say. If you ever need to vent, I’m just an email away. And I promise to respond this time.

  2. Jodi Stone says:

    OMG, I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I’m sort of at a loss for words, I don’t want to say the wrong thing.

    What I will say is that you will get through it and having a cuddlebug who is your best friend will help.

    I’m glad at least that it is civil, that makes it so much worse when there is discord.

    Right now I am sending you a giant cyber hug!!

  3. lexy3587 says:

    Wow – it really sounds like you guys are going through this in the least poisonous way possible. I’m sad to hear you’re going through tough times, and I hope everything goes smoothly and with the least amount of heartache.

  4. The Hook says:

    Your kids sound especially brave, resilient and loving. Good work!

  5. chesshirecat says:

    Be strong. And keep loving the fur baby with everything you have. Your the wiser and the stronger one for it. Be well.

  6. Chaya says:

    Wow. What a moving post. The first thing I thought when you told me the news was: she has never said a bad word about him! It’s really been a total shock. Just wanted to say I, and all your true friends are behind you alm the way whatever happens…more when we meet tonight.

  7. 2browndawgs says:

    So sorry to hear this. Best of luck to you.

  8. Pamela says:

    I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry for the stress I know your separation signifies. And I wish you all kinds of good things.

  9. Pup Fan says:

    I’m so sorry I’m seeing this post late, but I want to add my hugs and send you all sorts of good wishes. If you ever need anything at all, to vent or just to chat, please feel free to email me or message me. ((hugs))

  10. I’m very VERY late. So sorry to hear of the separation. 21 and a 1/2 years is a long time to be with someone and even if you’re ready to go your own ways, it’ll no doubt be stressful and painful. I’m glad you have YBF, and that the kids seem to be taking it well. They often understand and sense things better than we give them credit for.

    I’m afraid I’ve tagged you today. It’s a silly game that, given the circumstances, you can definitely ignore. But if you’d like to take your mind off real life for 15 minutes and vent in a different way…it’s there for you.

    BIG HUGS x

  11. thatjenk says:

    Okay, I’m not sure where I’ve been or how I could have possibly missed this – but I’m now reading this a month later and am clearly an ass.

    I was happy to read the separation is proceeding amicably and civially, and I hope it still is. I hope everyone is doing well, and I’m glad you have OBF to lean on. This is a tough time and a big change, so if you ever want to drop it all and hit up Calgary for a break, you know who to contact 🙂 Our spare room is pet-friendly.

  12. thatjenk says:

    Sonofagun. If my comment is not awaiting moderation and got lost in the internet ether, I am going to be grumpy about it.

  13. Pingback: Responding to Change | The Dog Park

  14. Pingback: Nostalgia | The Dog Park

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