My kids were so excited to plan for the beach trip with Mr. Brown, my boss-turned-lover. It was only April, and we still had May and June to get through before we left. The kids were telling me how cool they thought my boss was, and how excited they were to get away. But I realized that I had a problem on my hands. Mr. Brown and I could be together without sneaking around behind his wife’s back, which was great, but I really didn’t know what to do with my soon-to-be ex-husband.
Our marriage was completely dead and had been for a while, but we were still technically married. And even though he worked 50 to 60 hours a week, he still lived with us. When he spent time with the kids, it was always at “our” house. I had been talking for a while about moving out and getting an apartment of my own, but the mortgage was in both of our names. I also didn’t have the heart to pack up and leave the only house and life that my kids knew.
Back at work on Monday, I decided to just focus on the beach and all of the exciting things to come—until I got a text message from my husband. He was reminding me that we had a meeting with our attorney scheduled for tomorrow to discuss custody of the children and our outstanding bills, including the mortgage. We had to decide between two options: one of us could continue to make the mortgage payments and stay there, or we could sell the house and both try to find somewhere else to live.
For lunch, Mr. Brown decided that we should try the new Italian restaurant down the street, and I immediately ordered a glass of wine before our menus were even out. He could sense my tension and asked what was going on. When I told him about the meeting with my husband and the divorce attorney tomorrow, he asked what I was worried about. I told him that I wasn’t ready to just uproot my kids from their home, and that I was worried about finding an apartment close to my work and their schools. Mr. Brown had always taken care of me as an employee, as far as salary was concerned, but I still didn’t have the money to support myself and two children.
He told me that he was a lawyer and that we both worked for one of the largest firms in the world. He tried to assure me that I had nothing to worry about it, but it was easy for him to say. He was rich, and even if the firm closed tomorrow, he would be comfortable for quite some time. Unfortunately, what I had in savings belonged to both my husband and I, and we would need to split everything 50/50, including bank accounts and assets, like the cars, not to mention trying to divide parenting time—the thought of it all was making me sick to my stomach.
I asked for the rest of my lunch to be packed up. As we walked back to the office, I tried to remind myself that I didn’t have to worry. I knew that Mr. Brown would take care of me and my kids—it was just that I didn’t want him to. I still wanted a little bit of independence. While I thought about my future, I had no idea that Mr. Brown had plans of his own brewing. My wish was about to come true in a big way…