Last Friday I came home from work and found her gone.
No note, no explanation, just an empty house. I saw it coming but still I was unprepared for it. My wife of nearly 25 years left me. I've got to admit I had a few questions, right after I got over the initial shock. She warned me earlier last week that she was going to leave, she wasn't sure when, but she was leaving.
I can't say that I'm surprised though, all the warning signs were there. The kids have flew the nest, she's been coming home later, and it seems that there were more things left undone around the house. As of late there have been more and more suspicious phone calls, always picked up on the first ring. There were times that I walked into a room when she was on the phone and there was always that uncomfortable feeling that I wasn't welcome. I've picked up the extension phone and overheard her talking with other guys, laughing at the things they say, hearing her tell them she loved them. And I didn't do anything, no confrontations about these other relationships.
But to be fair she's freely admitted being involved in a number of relationships outside of our marriage and although it was hard at first to find out that I'm not number one I was getting used to it, she always came home to me. But now, it's been three days and I'm walking around the house racking my brain and trying to see what I could have done better, what would have made me number one.
What if I finished my projects faster, been more considerate of how they affected her morale, was it walking around with my shoes on in the house, or sitting in front of the TV for hour upon hour? Did I drink straight from the milk carton one too many times, did I take her for granted, what if I just said "I love you" one more time than I did? I don't know, I just did the best that I knew how. Where is the owner's manual on being a husband?
And what does this freedom bring to me? No one to answer to for my actions, I can work as late as I want, eat what I want to eat, when I want to. I don't have a partner to be my conscience anymore. I can leave my clothes lying around when I'm done with them, clean the kitchen on my schedule, put a plate into the dishwasher without washing it first. I've already started leaving the toilet seat up. I bought a gallon of milk and have drank half of it without even using a glass.
It's the little things that I miss the most, the way she laughed at my jokes, ironed my shirts, tried to pull a joke on me but gave up the punch line too early, and seemed to have a knack for finishing my sentences. Twenty five years of what I thought was happiness gone.
I am so beside myself.
It's been three days and I'm an emotional train wreck.
Good thing she comes home tomorrow night from Spokane where she's visiting her other loves, grandkids number 7 and 8. Grandkids 1 through 6 miss hearing her tell them that she loves them every day on the phone or when she visits their house close by.
As for me, I've got to remember to put the toilet seat down when I go to work.