Gosh, the timing of this Covid-19 situation is just awful. So, to keep you updated – here is my current situation. Decided to separate and divorce from my wife of 27 years for various reasons. This was at the end of November 2019.
We have been able to keep things civilized and went through mediation. Official filing date (including her being served) was in the second half of March. That started the 6 month + 1 day countdown for the divorce to become official. California requires the 6 months + 1 day – it’s not something we choose arbitrarily. All negotions were completed by early March of 2020 and the paperwork was notarized and filed with the local court before the whole pandemic went into high gear.
At least that portion of the whole process was done just in time and I am relieved about it quite a bit. The situation itself is already stressful enough and having the paperwork notarized and filed with the court is a good thing. I would not be surprised if the legal situation will drag on longer than normal, on the other side is our case probably one of the easier ones and could be signed and completed in time.
On to my personal living situation now. My soon-to-be-ex-wife and I are still living in the same house. Separate quarters, but we still live in the same house. I had originally planned to move out, but she decided that she wants to go back to Germany, where her parents live. This plays into the whole situation why I wanted a divorce in the first place, but I do not want to discuss this in this blog post. So, I changed my plans and decided to stay in the house until she would leave. The impact of her leaving the country will already be traumatic enough for our 15-year old son and I did not want to add to that by moving out temporarily.
She had booked her flight to Germany before the Covid-19 situation exploded around us. My son’s birthday was this week and she wanted to depart a few days after that, but as you can now imagine – the flight situation is not pretty these days. Air travel has been decimated to less than five percent of normal volume. I advised her that she might want to consider changing her travel dates and rather go a bit earlier, but she decided against it. She has a job lined up in Germany and needs to be there by May 2nd to start. Her original flight got canceled and Delta re-booked her onto a different flight – still for the same departure date. As of yesterday one of the connecting flights of her trip was canceled and now they rebooked her again for one day later and a different destination airport in Germany. I advised her again to call and see if there are any options to fly out differently, but pick what earlier flight date is available, but again she is not convinced and is not doing it. The government in Germany is now discussion a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travelers coming into Germany and this could impact her if that discussion turns into law. She is aware of it, but still not ready to call the airline to negotiate an earlier flight.
Five days and counting. I know it is a super-difficult step to go back to Germany and to leave her only child behind (with me). She always put her parents above our own family and I know that she is under the spell of her mom. A lot of things came to the surface during the divorce procedures and in hindsight I should have filed for divorce 10-15 years ago, but I cannot go back in time (unfortunately). Now I have to make due with the current situation and make the best out of it.
But man, I can tell you – this is pure stress. I mean, I am keeping my act together and try to help her with the final moving arrangements. I am even buying her car from her and will give it to my son when he turns 16 next year, but please just leave while you can. I am really concerned about her being stuck here and I do not think I can stay in this house for too much longer if her exit is suddenly pushed back a month or more. I am really at a point where I just want to restart my life and look forward. I am stuck in this situation where my past is not just hanging on, but pushed into my face E.V.E.R.Y single freaking day.
There is nothing of the usual stuff I am planning to do. There is no dating and meeting other women or whatever. At this point I just want that clean cut, work and attend to my son as much as possible and together with him make that transition into a new life as smooth as possible. That whole social distancing situation is not helping either. It would have been easier if I would be in the office all day and be separated from my issues at home, but here we are stuck in the same house. We are both working remotely – separated into different rooms on opposite floors, but run into each other all day long.
Update 04/12/2020 (while writing this blog post) – As feared, her flight got canceled again. She then called Lufthansa to see if they are still flying and they are. She could even leave tomorrow, but for whatever reason she is not doing it. She is also not booking for Tuesday (today is Sunday), her original day of departure but is now booked for Wednesday. I pointed out the additional risk she is taking as every day with Covid-19 could bring more global shutdown. This is so frustrating. It would be easier if we would not be living under the same roof.
The next 3.5 days will be a real test for both of us. I know she is stressed and the fact that she is leaving her son behind is adding additional pressure. But it also repeats what she has done for the last 27 years – she is not able to make decisions. Tuesday will be just a horrible day because she is not working anymore and all that self-doubt will creep up to her. I do feel sorry for her, but I did not make her leave and go back to Germany. That is her own decision.