Can a sufficient marriage result in a major divorce?

We sent text messages back and forth with delicate anger. He said she was just a friend, and of course he would have told me if something was happening. We agreed with this as the first rule. If something happens about a date, you need a conversation. We agreed that it would probably be the beginning of the end of this little life arrangement (and this is still our assumption).

A few months later, he was cleaning up after removing all the carpet from his previous room upstairs, now my new bedroom. Ready for the floor and painting was a surprise birthday gift for me. I was sitting on the floor and scrolling through my phone while charging, but realized that by our agreement we needed to tell him that we had joined Tinder that afternoon. So I did. “OK” was the whole of his reaction.

I never got to go to one real date, so I never told him what happened while I was using the dating app. The whole experience was very strange, theoretical and stupid. But one of the things he was most upset about when he read my manuscript for a collection of essays about divorce was the story of my dating app. He said, “We agreed to talk to each other if we were dating someone.”And I reminded him that he was mostly scammed by anonymous strangers. No Date. We agreed not to agree.

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Strange changes have occurred as our living conditions continue. We ask about each other’s days and share more than before. In most cases, we show a level of manners and gratitude related to long-standing friendships rather than long-standing marriages. After dinner, all four may watch shows and movies, but often with friends scattered around different shows, jobs, books, and Face Times. We are the home of four relatively independent people, and much of our lives today feels like a communal roommate.

On the other hand, I am grateful for its independence. Each of us has room to walk around in our home. But I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m sometimes worried about how this reflects my teenage years in a divorced home. I liked being independent to do whatever I wanted to do, but if I had too much freedom at that age, I might wonder if someone cares about what you’re doing. I have. But it hasn’t changed much for our children, except to see their parents learning to be real friends.

Our approach reminds me a bit of the awareness I had the day after I was fired from the job that underpinned my identity. I worked hard, devoted my life, and left small children for dinner and weekends for that job. But it was this peculiar idea that surprised me the morning after I was fired.

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