Occasionally, Mr W asks about whether his dad and I will ever get back together. Up until yesterday, they were the distracted questions of young kid. Last night, though, he asked as though he thought I'd say, "Yes, that's a good idea. Let's try that". It probably makes perfect sense to him - x and I are in the same town, we talk amicably when we see each other, why on earth would we not just all live in the same house?
This bugs me for two reasons. The first is, of course, that I have to tell Mr W that it's not in the cards, now or ever, that his dad and I will be getting back together. It was a fairly clean break (although see reason #2), and not only has the offer never ever been put on the table, I wouldn't go back if I could. It pains me, though, to see his disappointment in my denial of what he saw as a pretty reasonable request.
The second reason is that I have to come up with kid-friendly reasons as to why the marriage ended in the first place. And that is hard to do, given what actually happened. I can't say, "Well, he had an affair so I was forced to take the drastic action of divorcing him", or, the real zinger, "Well, he refused counseling, and had absolutely no desire to reconcile". No, those things aren't fit for a 9 year old who needs a functional dad in his life.
I'm sure as hell not going to be the one to tell him what his dad did to end the marriage. But anything else makes me look like an equal partner to the end of it, and I think that sucks. For now, I told Mr W that his dad and I had problems getting along (even THAT is so chicken shit), and we decided we'd be happier living apart. It really minimizes what marriage is supposed to be, and I don't want to delude the kid that people stop being married for no good reason, which seems to be the case here.
Typical of a 9 year old kid, we talked about it for a couple of minutes, and then he abruptly wanted me to continue reading the bedtime story. This won't be the last time it comes up, though, and I need to come up with a better response.