I suppose that every married person thinks about and makes a decision regarding their marriage after the kids have flown the nest. We'd been married for twenty four years and our youngest, Beth, was a sophomore in a junior college and she was essentially gone from our home except during the summers. Our oldest of three, Jim, was graduated and working. The middle daughter, Karen, was a senior at the state university.
It may come as a stray thought or you may actually sit down and think about it, depending on individual circumstances. The thought is usually part of the old mid-life crisis and is expressed something like this:
I'm still young. Is there something else I want to do with the time I have left on this earth? Do I want to stay married or should I get a divorce to pursue what I've always wanted to do?
Most of the time the decision is to continue on and grow old together because there isn't something else you want to do that bad. But every once and awhile one partner decides to do her/his own thing. That's what happened to me but I had extenuating circumstances that pushed the issue.
I was sitting quietly reading the paper one Friday evening after dinner while my wife, Jill, cleaned up the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, we share household duties since she works too and I'd done the cooking for the two of us. Jill works as a licenced real estate broker for one of the big franchises in our area. She does quite well at it and we can afford to have two kids in college. Our kids are smart and had scholarships to help pay that exorbitant college cost and so we.ve established a pretty good nest egg with Jill's goal of retiring early. With this scenario in mind what my wife hit me with when she came in and sat across from me was a shock to say the least. I'd already made my decision on the rest of my life thing so it shouldn't have come with a shock really.
My name is Bob by the way and its Robert C. Morris on our checks. I'm 47 and 5'10" weighing about 185 lbs. I'm not the handsomest nor the ugliest, just average I guess. I workout and run to stay in shape so I only have a small pot-belly.
Jill is 46 and stands 5'7" at 140 lbs and with her long brunette hair which she keeps wound up around her head a la governor Sarah Palin. She's an attractive woman and works out regularily too.
"Honey, can we talk for a minute?"
"Sure." I said as I put down my paper. I noticed she appeared to be a little flushed and nervous that triggered an oh, oh thought in my mind.
"I guess there's no way I can put this except to tell you I'd like a divorce."
I stared at her for a few seconds before responding. This was almost surreal in my mind.
"I beg your pardon. Did I hear you correctly? You want a divorce?"
"I'm sorry, but I need to do something different now with my life. We've raised our kids and they're gone. Now it's my turn and I think you should have your turn too."
I tried to be dispassionate about this new revelation in our lives as there were suddenly questions I needed to ask to gain some perspective on this and to appear concerned although I was feeling a sense of elation.
"Can I ask what brought this on?"
I don't know whether you've noticed but I've been unhappy since the girls went back to college. Maybe it's the empty nest syndrome or something like that but I want to do something different with my life while I'm still relatively young ... I want to live a little and being married would not allow me to live life the way I want to."
I waited a moment before responding.
"Being married would put a crimp in what you want to do?" I questioned her. "So who is he?"
She looked embarrassed before responding.
"I don't think this has a bearing on the issue. It's just something I feel I have to do."
I looked at her calmly and then got up from my chair.
"Alright, I'll call George Albright Monday." I told her. George was our lawyer.
She had a look of intense relief as she responded.
"Thank you honey. I was so afraid you wouldn't understand."
"Oh, I understand alright. Maybe more than you know."
It was her turn to be shocked now as I left the room and went upstairs to pack.
I had known about Jill and her boyfriend for several weeks now, ever since I'd received the phone call from an old friend who had told me about her trysts with her latest lover. Her job in real estate allowed for some discretionary time that she took advantage of by meeting several afternoons a week at the new Howard Johnson motel out by the interstate. Jill and I hadn't had sex since I found out. It was a testimony to her enthrallment with her lover that she hadn't noticed the lack of sex between us I guess. I had the PI's report, video and photographic proof of her adultery. The graphic proof came when she and her lover spent a few days in our bed while I was away on a business trip. The PI had wired our house for a candid look at her indiscretion.
Our relationship had been going downhill for the last few months and my attempts to restore our marriage had been ignored or dismissed so I suspected something was wrong. The call from my informant just confirmed what I'd already suspected and cut the emotional ties we'd had and I began to plan my life without her.
Her boyfriend was a fellow real estate agent, Max Turner. He was ten years younger than Jill; tall, handsome with wavy black hair and single. He had the reputation of being a real womanizer and had pursued and seduced Jill without much effort I'd been told by my informant.
I suppose that her lover had anticipated that if he talked her into divorcing me she would walk away with half our assets but we were living in a state that didn't subscribe to that no-fault crap if one partner was caught cheating. The adulterer's portion of the assets would be adversely affected if he or she were caught. This of course would depend on unquestionable proof of infidelity when the subsequent divorce was brought to court. That's why I hired a PI who was bonded and licensed. It would be difficult to discredit his evidence in court.
I would be proceeding with the divorce on Monday. I'd had the papers drawn up and they were ready to be filed and served with the stated cause as adultery. I'd made my decision regarding the 'rest of my life' before she had entertained going for a divorce and I'd been making my plans to limit my financial losses accordingly. She could live with her lover after we were divorced but I wasn't going to pay for it.
I really wondered though whether she thought a player like Max was going to settle down so they could get old together. Jill was usually pretty sharp and I wondered how she might have been taken in by him. Well, it was no longer a concern of mine. Our children would be disappointed but they wouldn't be traumatized by it. I'd have to call them soon and let them know what was going on.
When I finished packing and came downstairs with my suitcases she looked surprised.
"Where are you going? I didn't expect to separate right away."
"I don't think I want to live with you anymore Jill. You'll be hearing from my lawyer, George Albright, soon, I expect." I told her as I went into my den and picked up my laptop.
She just sat there with her mouth hanging down as I left and headed to the apartment I'd rented near my work a week ago. I'd already started to furnish it and had started moving my personal stuff over to it while she was at work or fucking her lover.
When I got to the apartment I settled in by unpacking and then making myself a drink. Setting up my laptop I opened up our financial accounts and made some transfers to the new accounts I'd opened and then made myself another drink before watching TV for awhile.
Monday morning I called George from work and asked him to begin the process of filing for divorce. He told me he'd have them filed that morning and ready to serve by afternoon. I asked him if he could have her served at her and her lovers favorite motel that afternoon and he told me it could be done, He'd just need a room number and he'd see that it was done.
The PI had reported that the lovers had been meeting every Monday at the motel and I checked with him and he said they usually used room 121 from 12 to 2 as it had a Jacuzzi. I passed on the information to George and returned to work. I smiled as I thought about what was going to transpire that afternoon and regretted I wouldn't be there to watch. Then I had a second thought and determined it wouldn't be too out of line if I took the afternoon off and went down to the motel to watch.
So here I was sitting in my car in the motel parking lot where it couldn't be spotted easily but I could see room 121. At ten after twelve the lovers arrived and went straight to their favorite room. I watched as they entered the room and waited for the next act. At ten after one another car drove up and parked in front of the room. A man got out carrying a large manila envelope and went and knocked on the door. A few minutes later the door cracked open and I saw Max peek around the door. It was obvious he was hiding his nakedness behind the door. I couldn't hear what was said but Max went away and Jill came up behind the door. She reached out as the man passed her the envelope and the door closed. The man got in his car and drove away.
I watched for another ten minutes and then the door burst open and the lovers hurried out and got in Max's car. They seemed to be talking animatedly waving their arms and gesturing at one another as they got in and drove away. I was satisfied the job was done and returned to work. I think Jill was going to be disappointed if she wanted to contact me. I had cancelled my cell phone and my number at the condo was unlisted. She would probably try to call me at work but I'd instructed my secretary, Betty, to refuse all calls from Jill and to just give her George's number.