Tonight is Stu’s last night here. The last six weeks have really felt as though they’ve dragged and all of a sudden time has sped up and tomorrow he will be off and we will be ‘officially’ separated. He started packing on Thursday (today is Saturday), ramping up the packing, sorting the loft, organising jobs in the house etc, yesterday and today he moved some of the bigger stuff (namely the massive floor standing speakers from the sitting room). It really is happening. He’s leaving. I still don’t question that this is right for all of us. Dylan has spent the last couple of days saying that he doesn’t want Daddy to go and has repeatedly asked me why he has to? (This is not helped by the fact that when Stu told him he was leaving, he said it was because Mummy doesn’t love him anymore so he has to move out, even though he doesn’t want to). My reply is the same each time – so we can all be happy. Dylan swings between questioning and then saying how cool it will be when Daddy has his own house and he’ll get to spend weekends with Stu, the same way his friend, Danny does with his daddy.

Stu’s and my relationship has changed yet again. I have worked hard to keep things amicable between us and we still speak about necessary things – what he needs to pack, when he’ll see the boys etc but the rest of the time we avoid each other. This makes me feel saddest of all. The loss of friendship is harder than the loss of relationship, which left a long time ago. It was always our friendship that kept us together and rubbing along ok and all of a sudden, just as I withdrew our relationship, Stu has withdrawn the friendship. It’s 1-1, although there are no winners in this situation.

I’m trying to keep things normal for the boys. For all of us really. Today the boys went to soft play with a friend. On Monday Dylan has friends coming after school. I haven’t made plans for tomorrow. Stu hasn’t told me what time he plans to move everything, what stage of the day he think he’ll be going in (today he waited for us to go out then moved his stuff). I’m finding it very frustrating not having this information, it’s not helping us to plan the final moments but I feel like this is the only thing he can control in the whole situation and I don’t want to take that away from him by asking.

Tomorrow’s going to be so hard. Handing over keys, crossing the threshold for the last time as someone who lives in the house. To be honest, I’m dreading it and dreading having to navigate the boys through the experience. I am getting through it by telling myself that we only have to do it once and then it’s done and every day that goes past is a day further away from the experience and a day more of healing. It’s Stu’s birthday on Wednesday. I said for him to see the boys then as they’d like to spend some time celebrating with him. Stu has already said he doesn’t want to do anything for his birthday. At some point he’s got to stop being selfish and realise that the kids need this, they need to be able to get excited and go and see him and share some cake on his birthday.

Stu and I got together 9 years ago today. I remember that night so clearly, never thinking that it would lead to anything, least of all a relationship, marriage and two beautiful children. As my Mum said – the idea of people getting together in their 20s and spending the rest of their days together is pretty dated and all relationships have a deadline effectively. For Stu and I, it is 9 years and 1 day.

See you on the other side.