If you have been through a divorce or are going through one now, you have had to or will have to do some sort of division of assets. This is one of the hardest things I encountered (up to that point, anyway.Sharing my children is way harder).
Deciding who gets what, houses, cars, dishes, pictures, decor, furniture, tools, everything we had accumulated in 24 years now had to be divided. He did not play nice, either. Anything he thought I wanted, he wanted, all the way down to my jewelry and some things I inherited when my parents passed away. It was ugly.
At the time, I still resided in the marital house, so I was ordered to make a master list of sorts of all things in the house. Once the list was made, since I made the list, he got to pick first! We had to take turns choosing an item from the list. This process was not just painful – it took well over an hour, making it a long, drawn-out pain. At least I didn’t have to look at him since it was done via telephone.
I definitely struggled with him having anything. He chose to leave, so why should he get half of my stuff? Yep, you read that correctly – MY stuff. Didn’t he give up ownership and any rights to it when he walked out? In my perfect world, he would have gotten nothing. Especially since he walked out, moved into his own house and bought all new furniture. What does he need that he didn’t go out and buy? And why does he want it?
Well, as we all know, the world and our judicial system does not see it that way. Here in Arizona, he gets half. Yep, half of everything. So we took turns going through that list I created and broke up assets just like he had broken our marriage.
After dividing up the list I created, there were still things left that either weren’t on the list or neither had chosen. It was early in our battle and I still wanted things to be good so I left behind things that now I wish I had not. But there is no going back; what was left behind is gone.
Even if I left it by mistake, or he knew I should really have it, I will never ever see it again. He has given it away, sold it, or thrown it in the trash.
My ex now lives in our marital residence with his new family, and our daughter part time. It was my choice to move out of that house, as I didn’t want the expense associated with that extra large house and all that goes along with it. However, the part that bothers me is that when I walk our daughter to his door, everything is exactly how I left it. All the furniture is in the same place; all the knick knacks are the same; all the artwork is the same; and not just the same, but in the same place I left it. I can see two rooms: the entry and part of two more rooms from the doorway, and it is all the same! I see one picture of two of our children hanging on the wall that is new. How does he live like that? More than that, how does his new wife live like that?
My friends remind me that stuff is no longer mine. Why not? I picked it out, I worked hard for the money, I bought it, I placed it there – how is it not mine? There is a mural on the wall in the living room that I designed and had an artist paint. Parents of friends of our daughter have shared with me that his new wife will tell them that I had that done. Doesn’t that mean it is mine? That is my house, my car, my furniture, my painting.
1- If I want it, it’s mine
2- If it’s in my hand, it’s mine
3- If I can take it away from
you, it’s mine
4- If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine
5- If it’s mine, it must never appear
to be yours in any way
6- If we are building something together,
all the pieces are mine
7- If it just looks like mine, it’s mine
8- If I think it’s mine, it’s mine
9- If I give it to you and change
my mind later, it’s mine
10- Once it’s mine it will never belong
to anyone else, no matter what
I have moved on in my life. I have very little left of what I was “awarded” from the list. I gave to our kids things they wanted, and have begun to fill my house and my life with MY stuff. I love my new things, because they are mine and I picked them out. I do not buy just to buy; I wait until I find something that speaks to me or has a story to it. But I still have those fleeting thoughts when I walk up to the door – that’s my table!
Photo Credit: Cody Wiley Photography
Donna D29 Originally Published 7/2014