Sunday, 24 July 2022

Onwards and Upwards

In my last post I discussed my estranged wife’s infidelity and our ensuing divorce. It turned out to be a cathartic exercise, which is what I was hoping for, so I’m going to make more effort to chronicle this particular shitshow more often. It’s not like anybody else actually reads this blog, so it can be a release valve for my anger, and maybe one day it will help if I have to explain to my kids what really happened.

Slowly rebuilding is definitely where I am right now; things have turned a corner recently. At work I’ve been given a twelve month secondment to the team lead role. My old boss suggested I apply when he took up a secondment to a role a band higher. This job is the same band as before, but carries more responsibility. I’ve done line management before, but this time I’ll have five devs reporting to me. Fortunately it’s two permies and three contractors, which makes the admin side a bit easier. I don’t mind leading a team, it’s just the admin I’ve never really had the appetite for.

Thing is, if I want to progress I have to do this, and the fact I was chosen demonstrates I have earned the confidence of departmental management. I’ve already taken on the role of  employee engagement champion and I’ve signed up to do some apprentice mentoring in September, both raising my profile. But this is more important for positioning the direction I want to take my career in. I’m looking to move into the data architecture side of things, which is both more interesting and more financially lucrative; I’ll need to boost my skillset over the next year or so but I’ve never feared hard work.

Last week my ex, our daughter and myself had a joint session with the counsellor my daughter has been seeing, to discuss her feelings towards me. It was quite tough, but one thing I’m now convinced of is that she doesn’t know about her mother’s affair, although the unacknowledged miasma it casts over the whole family is definitely a factor. What it did make me realise is that I haven’t been smart enough tailoring my efforts to demonstrate my love and affection; rather than there being a lack of such efforts. The counsellor suggested I write my daughter a letter, so that’s what I’ve done, and I’ve suggested some things we can do together as father and daughter starting with a trip to watch rugby league today. It will take time to rebuild our relationship, but this is a constructive start.

We have restructured the family holiday to Spain in August. It was booked before the split and my ex and I originally agreed to do it together for the kids, although I always suspected she would renege. Under the new arrangement I will take our son away for one week, then after we come back she will take both kids away for a week somewhere. Officially it’s because my daughter doesn’t want to go with me, but I always suspected my ex’s secret boyfriend might not have been that keen on her spending two weeks away with me. To be honest there never was any hanky panky when we were away with the kids, but the narky side of me was looking forward to sowing the seeds of doubt if and when her boyfriend finally steps out of the shadows.

I’m still working on the assumption that at some point her boyfriend will make an appearance, although the problematic nature of their relationship may delay it for some time. The shitty vibes I’m still getting when I see her suggest all is still not well in the garden of adultery, but it could be unresolved guilt, or even just the realisation of what she’s chosen? There’s definitely been a subtle power shift as we move closer to the house sale completing, I think she’s starting to comprehend that I’m slowly removing myself from the clusterfuck she’s created, and once the house sale completes a chunk of her leverage over me will disappear. High maintenance single mum with an absentee boyfriend might not be this year’s must have look after all? 

I’ve finally moved the larger pieces of furniture I’m taking from the house into a storage locker. It’ll end up costing me about a grand to store, but the stuff is worth far more than that, so I’m willing to pay. It means when I do buy my next flat I will pretty much have all the furniture I need and most of it will be top quality so there’ll be no trips to Ikea. Obviously, moving on the hottest day ever wasn’t part of the original plan, and it was squeaky bum time for a bit when the storage locker I rented had slightly different dimensions to the plan, which made fitting in the world’s most expensive super king mattress a bit of challenge. Fortunately the blokes I hired were absolute legends getting the job done.

Financially, things are looking a little better than I initially thought; I’m not exactly swimming in money, but I think I should be okay. My share of the house sale should give me a 60%+ deposit on a two bedroom flat (annoyingly up north I could probably buy a 2 bed house outright round the corner from my family), and even at a 3% interest rate a mortgage and service charge will still leave me two to three hundred pounds better off a month than I am now paying for rent and a storage locker. Although I still have eight months to run on the contract for my rental, it looks like the sector of the property market I’m looking at is fairly stagnant and could dip a little over the next four or five months when I’m looking to start the buying process. Plus, whilst this one bedroom rented flat lacks space, it’s probably going to be cheaper to heat through the winter when energy costs will peak.  

The heatwave played havoc with my fitness regime, I just couldn't find the energy to put into resistance training or jogging. I have been waiting till it’s cooler in the evenings to take a walk round the local aerodrome to help unwind for bed, but I need to up my game.

I’m off back up north next week, although I’ll be working most days I’m looking forward to Mum’s cooking and going down the pub with my Dad and brother. I won't have access to my weights, so I’ll have to do some heavy duty walking to burn off all the steak pies and beer I plan on consuming.

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