Well, This Will Be Different

Many of you either know me in real life or follow me in the Mr. Money Mustache forums, so you already know my sad news. For those just joining in: After 15 years of marriage (that’s ages 20–yes, 20–to 35), Mr. FP and I are divorcing.

It’s amicable and mostly mutual and sad and painful.

The effect on my self-concept has been swift and startling. Among my many roles–mother, professional librarian, daughter, middle sibling–was that of Respectable Wife. And I tried to be a good wife. I worked part-time and made a home. I washed my husband’s clothes and ironed his favorite shirts. I reduced the amount of onion called for in recipes by at least half, maybe two-thirds, and what onion I did include was food-processed almost to the point of puree, because that’s how he tolerates onion. I have a killer recipe for cornbread. I brought home Cadbury mini-eggs from the store every spring the very first day I saw them for sale.

If there were some sort of spouse achievement scale, I would score average to above average for sure. But none of those things made me the right wife for the man I was actually married to.

So I’ll need to cross Respectable Wife off my mental list of Roles I Play. Now, all my other roles also involve relating to and doing things for other people, so I guess I’ll take some of the time and intellectual energy I was devoting to fulfilling my role as Respectable Wife and spend it on being Myself more fully.

Aside from using larger chunks of onion, I’m not entirely sure what that means after all these years, but I’ll be interested to find out as the dust settles.

We are selling the house and I’ll be living, at least temporarily, in something like a one-bedroom apartment, and the boys will be living with me about half the time. That should add up to much less cooking, cleaning, laundry, and general homemaking, so my use of time will be quite different.

Solo adulting and single parenting will present all kinds of exciting new frugality possibilities and budgetary challenges, so I hope you’ll stay tuned.


About frugalparagon

I'm a part-time librarian and mom to two small boys. I blog about striving for the long-term goal of financial independence while running a tight ship at home.

10 responses to “Well, This Will Be Different”

  1. Melanie says :

    I am so sorry to hear about your divorce, Jamie – what a roller coaster. I just got divorced this year too, although with only 3+ yrs of marriage and no kids so fewer challenges that come with that. I’ll be thinking about you and I’ve you ever want to talk just let me know. This seems like the year of the divorce – or couple years – among my peers and friends. Also, I recommend the book “Crazy Time” – it was way more helpful at different points than I expected. Although many of the stories in it are focused on adultery, ultimately the stories pull together the unique aspects of divorce and, at least for me, made me feel like I wasn’t crazy… Or at least if I was, everyone else in divorce is just as crazy or crazier!!!

  2. Kay says :

    So sorry to hear about your divorce!

    To more onions, way more ME focused time and much more joy in your life!

  3. Moonwaves says :

    “But none of those things made me the right wife for the man I was actually married to.”
    I think this is a really important point – I may not be married but even so, keeping a variation of this though in mind might save me some anguish in the future. It certainly would have in the past. Very interesting insight.
    Here’s to lots of meals with onions that ever increase in size!

  4. Sara says :

    De-lurking to say I wish you the best and I look forward to hearing how things go in the future. Hugs!

  5. JTL says :

    Blogger, voracious reader & lover of books, weightlifter, trivia expert, editor, bike mechanic, seamstress, someone who’s always ready to experiment and try something new. You’ve been these things already on the road to being More fully Yourself – I’m thinking of you as your journey continues!

  6. Mrs PoP says :

    I am still amazed at how strong and composed you’re being through everything. Things will be different going forward, but I have no doubts that your future is bright. Your sons are lucky to have a mom like you!

  7. frugalparagon says :

    Just a quick thanks to ALL of you for taking the time to send me your kind words and good wishes. I am optimistic and kind of excited but I know this is going to be a HUGE adjustment for all of us and your words of encouragement are so welcome.

  8. NZ Muse says :

    I’m very sorry to hear this (as someone who came pretty close to divorce this year and who knows, we’re not totally out of the woods yet). You are strong and capable and wonderful. May you both be able to grow as you each need.

  9. Hayley says :

    Random lurker here to wish you the best on this exciting new time. Here is to a new chapter with time for personal development for you and plenty of time for books!

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