After seven months of separation, we've had several meetings to discuss the details of our divorce. It's something that I've been dreading for a long time and has been highly stressful for everyone.
Much hatred and bitterness still exists and will probably always be there. At the first meeting, there were many recriminations and the re-hashing of ancient history but no name-calling. As emotions were so raw, we limited the time of each meeting. Tears were shed on both sides but overall, it went fairly well.
By the third meeting, it was "all business." We came to a firm agreement on most items including all the major ones.
I recognize my wife's anger, sense of betrayal, her hurt at being abandoned at middle-age, the idea that her life has been destroyed. This damage is something which I can never undo. I don't think a coming-out, formerly closeted gay husband can ever truly imagine what it is like for the jilted wife to go through this.
In our province, mediation is required for every couple embarking on a divorce. A lawyer recommended that we start with these face-to-face discussions as the cheapest path to divorce. Once all our issues are discussed between us, we would then work with a mediator to finalize the details. One lawyer would draft the final divorce agreement, acting for both of us. We both are in strong agreement that this is our only option to preserve our assets for ourselves and our kids. In fact, fewer than 20% of divorces in my town ever reach a court room. In adversarial divorce, there are no winners, only different degrees of losers.
Our settlement involves:
- several houses changing ownership
- the purchase of house and the sale of another one
- the division of much "stuff" such as furniture, mainly complete
- everyone moving to a different home (sort of a swap)
- inheritance (some already received and some potential) which has been removed from the table
- pensions and retirement income
- discussion of a future marriage (for me, with another man)
- university costs .... a big topic!
Divorce never comes cheaply and this will be the biggest cost related to my coming-out. I have no doubts at all that it will be worth it; being finally free to live a truthful life.