Since my ex-husband moved out almost a year ago, I’ve gotten really comfortable with not living with a man.
I wasn’t expecting that to happen. I had shared the same four walls with my ex for almost 18 years. I thought his absence would leave a void. I thought I would miss having a man around, but I don’t. Not even when there is something that needs to be fixed or I hear a strange noise that scares me. Not even when I’m feeling lonely.
When I’ve brought home men I’ve dated, I’ve found I enjoy the company, but I’m anxious for them to leave so I can have my own space again.
I love spreading out. I love having control of the television. I enjoy the sound of silence after I put my three kids to bed. I like having the thermostat all to myself.
My bedroom and living room now have hot pink accents. I sleep diagonally every night. There’s no snoring, no sharing a bathroom, and no folding men’s underwear. And I can walk around the house in my underwear without it being an invitation for sexy times.
Now if I crave sex, I can use my vibrator and then roll over and go to sleep. After all, I’ve never been much of a cuddler (it’s too constricting, and I get too hot).
I know this might sound selfish—or even a little bit mean—but I don’t know if I can ever share a space with a man again.
I adore not having to wipe up someone else’s coffee rings and stray hairs. I’ve always been a bit of a neat freak. I think better when there’s order, and I feel better when I’m not walking into a house with dirty dishes on the counter, jackets strewn on chairs, and piles of paperwork on every table.
While my ex wasn’t super messy, he didn’t have the same sense of urgency about putting stuff in its place as I do (I’m working on that, by the way). Let’s face it, most women notice things that need to be done around the house before men do, which can feel like a lot to carry. I often found it to be less work to tidy up myself instead of asking him to do his share.
I love being able to do my own thing without checking in with another person. I thought having complete control over money matters would be scary, but it’s been freeing and empowering. It’s made me wonder if I can ever share those financial decisions with someone again.
At times, I wondered if all this made me a horrible person. Or if I was being selfish. Or if I was too closed off or not capable of having a successful relationship.
Then I realised I’m not selfish. I live with three kids and a dog. I share my space and give up my time for people every day. My kids are the biggest mess-makers ever, and there are days I never want them to leave.
Without a man around to depend on and share household duties with, I’ve come to realise just how capable I am of doing things on my own. I feel a sense of peace I never had before.
While I love men and hope to have another meaningful relationship—possibly even a life partner—someday, I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to live under the same roof. Maybe I feel this way because I haven’t met the right person yet, or perhaps I am just one of those people who will be capable of love, so long as we live in separate homes.
I don’t have an answer now. Until I do, I am going to enjoy hogging the whole bed and calling the shots when it comes to spending.