We Became Pronouns to Each Other in That House
My husband and I spent weekends and holidays in the log home at the lake we built in 2001. We had good, quality family time there until 2015 when my husband co opted the house for his use when he decided we should separate. He moved in, but we figured out a way to share the house even if we are never there at the same time.
Usually, we alternate weekends at the lake. He will stay in our marital home where I live full time to visit with our two sons and I will stay at the cabin. We are both involved with new relationships. Spending time at the cabin with my boyfriend instead of my husband can present some awkward situations. I imagine my husband faces similar odd circumstances when he entertains his girlfriend there. It’s almost as if the house is haunted by the ghosts of the family that once was and exists only in fragments now.
My boyfriend has met my husband and likewise I have met his girlfriend. Everyone knows everyone’s name. Yet, I still find it unseemly to talk about my husband when I’m playing house with my boyfriend for the weekend. Especially since we are still legally married. I don’t want to give the impression there is any chance we might reconcile because I believe there isn’t. We are on good terms, but completely disconnected as a couple.
Each of us has a definite presence in the cabin. The place was mostly his since 2001, and he took over the decorating early on. My involvement was very limited. So it looks like “his” house, and in many ways, it is. He lives there full time. I am an occasional resident. I have some personal effects in the house, but they often disappear or are put in less conspicuous locations.
I think my husband has tried to make it seem that he lives there all alone to his girlfriend. Maybe he made it sound like he is a really nice guy and lets me use the house sometimes, but I don’t know.
I tried to add some decorative touches here and there, but they were removed. Sometimes it feels like my history and presence there are being erased.
But, I persist at enjoying our vacation home because it is really nice and I am entitled to do so.
When I’m there with my boyfriend, we usually refer to my estranged husband as “He” or “Him”. For example, “He told me to change the sheets.” or “Did you ask Him if we can use the kayaks?”
I imagine when I’m not there, I have probably become She who has left Her underwear in the drawer and forgot to bring Her wine home.
I suppose it’s possible I’m never talked about when I’m not there,but I find it hard to believe that my presence can be completely ignored.