Thursday, February 08, 2007


Commentators on this blog have asked whether the decision to separate from The Husband is a final one. Yes, it is. And also yes, I do not want to try any more. I think that while love and romance are very important for a relationship, at some point, there also has to be a decision: this is the person I want to be with. I will make a serious, serious effort here. I could not bring myself to make that decision, sad as it is.

It is all only a few days ago (four, to be precise). The Husband has been away at work, avoiding me. Which I can understand. Our daughter misses him. Small as she is, she knows that something is up. She keeps asking for her Papa, and she keeps telling me how good he is at making pancakes: Papa kann super Eierkuchen machen.

Laura wrote that "relationship problems are nothing compared to single-mother problems". That has had me thinking a lot, and I will admit that during the long lead-up to this separation, I have had thoughts like that: I will then be a single mother with a small daughter, no time and no going out ever again. Thoughts like that are no reason to stay together, though. And on reflection, I do beg to differ: I will be fine. The Husband will not permanently withdraw from his responsibility as a parent. I have wonderful friends. There are two sets of grandparents here in Dresden. I have a roommate. All in all, there is a finely woven net that holds me and my daughter, keeping us happy and making things possible that may be out of reach to the average single mother.

That said, I sleep badly. When I am on my own, I can't eat. I worry. But no, I don't waver.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I should, perhaps, elaborate a bit. In doing so, I shall refer to a theory one of my friends recently told me about. In honour of her, I will call it Andrea's Three-Pillar Theory of Long-Term Relationships.

The theory states that for a long-term relationship to function, it must rest on three pillars:

1. communication
2. sex/tenderness
3. managing day-to-day life together.

I have personally had relationships that were almost exclusively based on one of the first two pillars: we would talk all the time while the sex was bad and/or nonexistent, or we would have sex all the time with short breaks for futile efforts to communicate verbally in between. In both cases, day-to-day life was my own responsibility.

Now, with The Husband, our relationship has for what seems like a long, long time been based on our managing everyday life together. Which we excel at. We are perfect parents to our daughter, we both go out and see our friends, we always have enough milk and the kitchen is usually clean. All this worked so harmoniously that people often said to me oh, I want to have a relationship like yours one day, you always seem so content! However, we somehow lost the depths and the intensity that keeps a relationship alive. We rarely talked. We haven't had sex in months. Somehow, we drifted apart, slowly, quietly with never a harsh word spoken between us.

I am not writing this to assign guilt. Of course, I could compound lists of where we both went wrong, The Husband could do the same and probably come up with completely different lists. Fact of the matter is that we have long ago passed the point at which we could have made things better. Fact of the matter is that the saddest thing for me about our conversation on Sunday was the realisation that our relationship had been over for a long time, trying to rest, as it did, on only one pillar.