The length of the average marital separation? For me it’s been 1,825 days and still going.
Today was a very special day for me. No, it wasn’t my birthday. Not Valentine’s Day. Not a holiday, or my wedding anniversary either. Today was the anniversary of my legal separation. 1,825 days. That’s right. 1,825 days of being not quite married but not divorced either. 1,825 days or five years ago today, my spouse and I became legally separated. I am trying to be patient but c’mon. Really? Why does a simple court proceeding in a no-fault divorce state take so very long?
For comparison, what can be accomplished in that time? Completing my divorce has taken longer than:
Building the Golden Gate Bridge. That took FOUR YEARS.
The Eiffel Tower took TWO YEARS to complete.
It only took Michelangelo FOUR YEARS to create his statue of David and that was carved out of f’n marble for Christ’s sake!
So why can’t I seem to end this separation? I could blame the family courts in California, yes it’s true that there is a huge backlog of cases and you have to wait a long time to get a date. I could blame my spouse, but I know that I take a lot of the blame. My fault? I just got tired. I got tired of constantly trying to move my divorce forward. Fed up with divorce attorneys, paperwork, filing, all the hassle of trying to bring my divorce to a close.
I just let it slide. It was easier in many ways. I got tired of the emotions, and knowing that it would cause the relationship with my spouse to go from congenial to combative. That happened every time I brought up finalizing our divorce, and we’d resort to only communicating via email or texts. Finalizing the divorce became that thing that I dreaded and could put off indefinitely, kinda like emptying out all that crap rolling around in the trunk of your car. You’ll get to it eventually. And eventually isn’t any time soon. I know pathetic.
I don’t know what the longest marital separation is currently on the books in California, but I’m betting that my divorce is near the top of the list. Maybe we’ll get a special prize or a spiffy certificate suitable for framing from the state of California once we finally get a divorce decree. Maybe a coupon for a free car wash. Or maybe just finally being either fully married or fully divorced will be prize enough. 1,825 days and still counting….