I didn’t know that this day would ever come. No matter how much I wished for it and wished that things would or could change but here it is and what a weird night it feels.

Stu left 4 and a half hours ago. For good, with his stuff packed up and plans to return, in the not too distant future, for the stuff he is storing carefully in the loft. There have been so many times that I have thought of what this would be like. Having lived on my own for a long time before Stu and I got together, whenever Stu and I had a tough time or a falling out, I would imagine what life would be like without him – back on my own, in my house, which I had before Stu and I got together and before it could ever happen, something would bring us back and we’d continue in our relationship and be ok. This time it wasn’t something specific that happened and there was no coming back from it. Our relationship was done 6 weeks ago and the last 6 weeks have been leading up to this moment.

It’s weird – the last few days Stu has really stepped up to the plate – he has systematically organised his things, packed up, accessed what he has needed to and fully prepared to move out. Where the hell was this focused, organised guy when I was married to him? Then he started stripping the house of the surround sound system, my iPad, my iMac and there it was – the same guy he’d always been, someone who would value possessions over his family’s needs and comfort after all.

The day mainly felt industrious – Stu marching round the house unscrewing speakers etc, I offered to help but he kept brushing me away – a welcome relief as usually he flat out refused to do DIY and it was me who had to put up those speakers 5 years ago! I mainly tried to keep our of his way but be on hand should he need me to help out. Then came the lull…. a couple of hours during the time between packing and being industrious and his Mum coming to get him (Stu still flat out refuses to learn to drive). This lull was spent with Stu refusing to meet my eye while we had dinner with the boys and barely acknowledging my existence unless he needed my help with something.

Then his Mum turned up for him – she hasn’t entered the house since he told her we were separating but she has been friendly to me, from the other side of the doorstep. All at once, the car was loaded, Stu had said goodbye to Jago, given Dylan a super long hug and picked up the last of his stuff without looking at me and left. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes. At precisely 7:21pm my marriage ended. I had so hoped we would have a moment of mutual understanding, where we understood each other and parted with sadness but no animosity. Naturally, that didn’t happen. I reached out and stroked his back. An act that he ignored. I’m not surprised, I haven’t touched him for weeks for fear of it being mistaken as reconciliation. I have missed touching him though, I’m relatively tactile and it’s weird not being able to touch someone that you’ve been intimate with for the last 9 years.

So Stu left, I put the boys to bed, both of whom seem ok with this arrangement and then I came downstairs to watch tv. A couple of friends offered to call but I wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone. A friend came on messanger, who has been through this process twice before, and we have chatted all night. Life feels weird right now. The house seems huge (it’s not) without all Stu’s stuff. This is definitely a bonus. I try to stay on the side of minimalist and hated how much Stu always felt he had to collect things. The empty feeling is also attributed to not having his presence here, whether it’s upstairs in his office of downstairs along from me on the sofa. The boys went to bed and now it’s just me and the dog and I like it.

I didn’t know what to expect tonight and it wasn’t this. Yes I feel sad but as Stu walked out the door I couldn’t help but feel that now, (hopefully) he’ll access the help he needs and we’ll all go on to build stronger, better futures. So tonight might have an empty feeling to it but it also has a victorious feeling…. the first step to a better, more fulfilled life.