When you think about it, parents lie to their kids more often than almost anyone else:
The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny.
"You're not hurt!"
"Mommy and I are just wrestling!"
In the spirit of 'good' parental lying, Gabbie and I have decided to delay telling our kids that we're splitting up for as long as possible.
Instead we're going to say that mom's job has become so intense that she must sleep away from the house several nights a week.
Think they'll fall for it?
Fortunately they are all self-absorbed teenagers...and we all know how dumb they can be. Also, to make the lie seem more believable, Gabbie has decided to sleep at home every other night. (Any bets on how long that will last?)
With the kids temporarily handled, the dark cloud hanging over Gabbie and I has been the fear of telling her mother that we're separating. Mommy is so involved with our daily lives that she's like our third spouse; she expects to be consulted about every decision.
Neither Gabbie nor I have been expecting mom to take the news very well. In fact, before we told her we each guessed what her reaction would be. We both agreed: Angry!
It turns out that our fears were unfounded. Mommy did not freak out. There was no yelling, bitter recriminations or guilt-laden criticisms. For whatever reason, mom took the news in stride. I guess she wasn't surprised.
Without any major objections from Mommy and with the kids sent on a mental trip to Fantasyland, both Gabbie and I feel some sense of relief. Breaking up, so far at least, hasn't been that awful after all.
There's still plenty of people to be told, but to insulate the kids for as long as possible we're not in a hurry to tell anyone else.
Both of us are simultaneously excited and afraid about the change we're making. Gabbie seems to be a little more excited and I am a little more afraid. After spending my entire adult life with her it's hard to imagine not having her as my partner. Yet, being able to openly date men...it's a life-long dream that's about to come true.
Part of me can't wait to post my first on-line ad or to attend my first gay social event. Another part of me does not feel at all ready to let go of my old life. I'm trying to find an equilibrium between those two opposing forces.
I think I've done that by creating a plan:
Gabbie is moving out on Sunday. From then until the end of the month, I won't do anything differently. I need to take that time to adjust. Starting in February I will turn my focus toward the future. In anticipation of dating I'll buy some new clothes, maybe get an expensive haircut, take some pictures, write a dating profile, and figure out some ways to make gay friends. In a month, on February 15th, I'll take the plunge.
Who knows...maybe by mid-March I'll have had sex with a guy for the first time in eight years.
Wish me luck.