I spend a lot of time thinking about the what-ifs associated with ending my marriage. What if my husband tries to turn the kids against me? What if he stops paying his portion of the bills and I wind up with a house in my name that I can't afford to pay? What if he fights for custody and wins it?
Awhile back my husband and I were sitting in a coffee shop. I laid it all out on the table for him: "If we do wind up splitting, can we both remain civil to each other? Can we still co-parent, just not as husband and wife?" I implored him to promise me that the two of us will always put the kids ahead of any disagreements we may have with each other. I asked him to assure me that if we can't pull it together to save our marriage that maybe we can at least make it as painless a process as possible.
No, I don't think that the end of a marriage is "painless" by any stretch of the imagination, for the couple or for the kids involved. My hope, however, is that it's possible that two people can remain civil and end the marriage without all the what-ifs coming to fruition.
So on the one hand I can foresee a life without being married. If I take away all the horrible what-ifs I've had running through my mind then it would probably have the potential to be a really pleasant existence. Somehow, though, I doubt that our promise at the coffee house will hold. Emotions will bubble over and the man who doesn't want to let me go will get frustrated, angry, and will have a very hard time being civil.