Bug,  Family Matters,  Life Lessons,  Moody Blues,  Super Dad

State of the Disunion*

helping Daddy

Naturally, I don’t like to talk about The Divorce much on this blog. It’s not that I don’t like to share. I do. I share too much. It’s just that my divorce is as much of a mystery to me as it is to you and I don’t know what is okay to talk about and what is not. Mostly, I just want to tread lightly so I don’t break anything else. Everything feels so fragile.

Over the last few months things had gotten out of balance between Toby and me. Nothing serious. We still both put Bug first and that’s the most important thing but I was feeling like the arrangements weren’t so very fair. I didn’t know how to tell him.

I had to talk to a lot of my friends, I had to write that Sister Forever Friend post and get a lot of kind comments and emails. I had to pray and get up the nerve. It took forever for me to get up the nerve. Finally I just called Toby up and told him what was bothering me.

And guess what? Toby completely agreed with me. He didn’t fight me at all. I was expecting World War Three and there was no fight. Not even one harsh word. I was so relieved.

filling the bird feederhelping

So instead of our usual trek to the beach, Toby came out to visit us in the sticks. It was a huge lifesaver for me because I’ve had work coming out my ears, my car has been in the shop for some body work and I’ve just been tired. Too tired to clean the house. Too tired to get things done.

It was so nice to just stay home for the weekend for a change. I know this custody thing will always be hard. It’s the life a divorced person has to face but it was so wonderful to not have to give up Friday and Saturday for a change. Not that we’re changing our arrangement. I’ll probably go back to the usual trek. But Toby agreed that to make things fair he would come visit us once in a while instead. Bug still has ballet and gymnastics classes out in Orange County so we’ll probably just limp through the rest of this school year until we move back to the beach BUT it just felt so wonderful that he understood how hard it’s been on me. I guess I just needed that.

easy does it

Toby made us a bird feeder while he was out here. We took a family trip to the hardware store and made a day of it. It was lovely.

seed seed seed

warm spring weather

Now I have this really lovely birdhouse feeder tray thing to look at. The birds love it. The cats love it.

bird party bird watching

Bug loves it.

Three more months of this and then things will get easier. Maybe. But everybody is right. It does get better.

*Thank you Bethany for coining that phrase. I think we are going to have a State of the Disunion meeting every six months now.


  • Heather

    It sound like you’re doing really well! I went through this 3 years ago and I know its hard. Its great that you can talk and are working through it. I wish you nothing but the best. Hang in there

  • Ninabi

    It’s good that things are getting smoother- not perfect- but easier.

    You are braver than me- I faced a crisis late last year involving one of my children and even almost 6 months later it is hard for me to share and I hesitate to blog because of it.

  • TexasLea

    I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling relief from what has been hurting your beautiful heart so much Brenda! I think it is awesome you and Toby are working on things and both are willing to give a little to meet closer to the middle. Not only for Bug’s sake, but for the sake of an obviously important and treasured friendship.

  • bethany

    so very very glad that there’s progress! and that feeling of scraping together courage for something that turns out to be nothing … rare but so awesome. may all the hurdles shrink when you actually get to them :).

  • Kuky

    I’m so glad to hear things are getting better. And I think it is great how you and Toby can talk like old friends.

    You know, I thought of you twice today. Well technically yesterday since it’s 3 o freaking clock now. We passed by a freeway sign for Green Valley going up to the snow and I instantly thought of you. I almost texted you when I saw it. Then coming back down I thought of you again when I saw a Green Valley sign. And I’m telling you this because…? Guessing I’m tired and rambling…in a comment…

  • Jamie

    That is so great that you and Toby are still friends….you have no idea how much that will help Bug in life (now and the future). My sister went thru a very ugly divorce and her kids are good but you can see the problems that they have (inside and out). You may have some good days and bad days but from my outsiders view….you are doing fabulous…keep going girl! :)

  • sizzle

    It’s good to hear that you and Toby are able to still talk and hopefully be lifelong friends. I hope that same thing for my sister and her ex.

  • curliechic

    It is hard to ask for help in the divorce situation when you are keeping things amicable. My ex and I get along, 8 years later, he lives just streets away, he is friends with my new husband, good friends, heck his parents even buy my new husband Christmas gifts! But it’s still hard to ask for help when I’m feeling like I do everything while he sits back and enjoys the benefits. We share 50/50 but because of his work schedule I do most of the after school stuff even on his weeks. Last week we had 3 things on night and I had clients, so my new husband had to pick up the slack, and then we found out my ex had worked from home that day and could have helped with all the driving! Frustrating!!! I have to remind him about this stuff, and I hate doing it, but if I don’t I’ll just get fed up and explode. They just need to know when we need help, they just get used to us doing everything.

    Just keep talking, even if it’s hard!

  • Sarah

    I say well done to all of you for keeping it such a civil disunion. Talking and staying friends is clearly making a horrible situation a little easier.

  • Madge

    I’m glad you two are working things out. Maybe you could meet halfway somewhere and Toby can take Bug to her class? I’m sure that drive must be tiring week after week.

  • MintTea

    I’m so happy for you! Sometimes the mountains really are mountains– and sometimes they are molehills. And sometimes being told that makes me really ticked off and feel unsupported. But when it works out that things are easier than you dreaded… hooray!!

    And how great that you are able to stay friends. It is so hard to feel that vacuum when you lose that person who was once so important. To keep some semblance of that in your life just makes you feel “whole”. I wish that for you. Maybe going back to the beach in the summer will make you feel even more whole (is that geometrically possible?!)

    Congrats. Revel in some peace and get some rest. :)

  • BeachMama

    I am so happy to read this post!! Happy that you got up the courage to chat about it, happy that Toby agreed to meet in the middle a little bit, and happy that you are happy!! I keep praying that you will be back to the beach this summer, and can’t wait to get that final bit of news that you are!

  • KD

    I admire your decision not to share too much. Although it must be so very hard not to use your blog to vent or work through your feelings I think you are showing a huge amount of respect to both Toby and yourself by keeping such a personal situation private. You get to decide what is best for you and should you choose to share more details I wouldn’t think it strange or in any way out of line. The sense I get is that you are adhering to a ‘if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all’ philosophy which takes strength. Happy things are well.

  • Evilisa

    Wow! That was probably the best writing I’ve read from you. I could feel your sincerity and love. I totally teared up over that. Good post.

  • Heather

    Brenda, I know we don’t know each other irl but reading this post brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry you have all these feelings of failure toward your marriage and Toby. I just want to give you a great big hug and take all your pain away. <3

  • Divina

    I was served on 2/2. I thought this was my forever. I was blindsided. I am bungling through this thing like a blind person through a maze. Hope there’s light in the other side.

  • gingermog

    Huge hugs. I’m sorry you have been going though such a bad time, separation and divorce sucks. I have no wise words to say only it will get better some day. I love you.