In thinking about leaving my wife I always thought of my two daughters and my need to ensure that they have all the things they need. I always thought to myself that I will live in a hovel, some terrible place so that I can still afford to keep them in the nice house, in the nice neighborhood and same school.
While that’s still true, them having a nice place and having a decent place to live for me are not mutually exclusive goals. Add the fact that it is better for THEM and me to have a nice place to live and I had to figure it out.
It took weeks but I found a one-bedroom coop rental literally five miles from the house. I lucked out for a change and it had just been completely redone. Everything is new! The carpets, the paint, the kitchen, everything! The appliances had never been used, the dishwasher had some samples in it !
I did not sign the lease until the day after I left. While I knew what I was going to do no matter what was said on the day I left, I think it was better “for the record” that I did not do it until the next day. I stayed on a friends couch that first night.
I had nothing. No furniture, no plates, nothing. The only thing I had were all the clothes I filled my car with on the day I left… before the kids came home.
I think it was really important that the kids know where I am, that I’m safe, and that they belong there too. On the day I moved in the kids were at school. I went to CostCo during the day and somewhat stocked the kitchen. I got 2-3 key items that they liked and put them prominently in the fridge and in the cabinets. I out their pictures on the walls and their art work on the fridge. I called the house and invited them over.
I went to the house and out everyone in the car… Including the new “x”. I drove them over and we all went inside for a tour. I pointed out their food… Their drinks… Their pictures and art. When we got to my room, I went out of my way to tell them it was not my room, it was theirs… And this is their place too.
I had no furniture… Not a chair in sight. The only thing I had was an air mattress I got from the house that I ended up sleeping on for a week. Did I mention it had a hole in it? Good times.
We all sat (including the x) in the living room on the floor. We joked and laughed a bit while my younger one did cartwheels.
Mission accomplished, they know where I live and that they belong there too. Baby steps.