Scrub a Dub Dub, There’s an Ex in My Tub

by Nancy Wurtzel on April 18, 2012

Divorce brings up all sorts of emotions, and sometimes people find themselves acting  a little crazy.  Those who have ended marriages have their own personal divorce story — some are sad, some are scary and some are just plain funny.

My somewhat twisted divorce tale starts when I had been separated for about a year.

Hiking in a local park, I took a fall, landing hard on my backside. When I woke up the next morning, everything hurt.

I took some over-the-counter pain meds and then a long, hot shower. The shower simply didn’t cut it.  Don’t get me wrong.  Showers are great, but sometimes you just want (or need) a nice hot soak to help relieve those achy muscles.

So here’s the rub (sorry, but you had to know it was coming): My rented townhouse didn’t have a comfortable bathtub.  Yes, there was a tub in the guest bathroom, however it was one of those weird, plastic, molded, all-in-one shower and tub combos that is as ugly as it is cramped.  I’d tried taking baths in it and always end up disappointed.

It so happens I had to meet with my former husband (hereafter known as FH) at his home office to discuss financial aid applications for our soon-to-be-college-bound daughter.

You might recall FH kept the family home when we separated and eventually divorced.

By this time, my back was really hurting and all I could think of was the master bedroom just down the hall.  You see, if you walk through that bedroom, you get to the master bath, and in that master bath you will find an huge, amazing, oval bathtub.

I longed for that tub.

After an hour or so, FH had to dash off to a meeting, while I stayed behind to finish up my share of the paperwork.

Suddenly, it dawned on me: I was alone in the house and this was my chance.  Could I really cross that line?  Who would know?  Was this going to far….even for me?  Before I knew what I was doing, I was sitting on the side of the tub, stroking the pristine porcelain and imagining how good it would feel to sink down into a nice hot bath.

My inner voice said: “Stop, right there.  This isn’t your house anymore.” Dejected, I packed up my papers and slunk home.

Tossing and turning that night, my back was keeping me awake, and all I could think of was that gleaming tub.  By morning, I’d made up my mind.

Dammit.  That bathtub was mine for 16 years.  I needed it now and by god I was going to have it.

Learning that FH told would be out for the afternoon, I dug out the spare key to my old house and packed a small duffle bag.  Towel. Check. Bath salts. Check. Candles. Check, Check.

So how was it?

It was pretty much a slice of heaven — wonderful, relaxing and better than I remembered.  The water was hot and possibly (if I am being totally honest) tinged with a bit of revenge.  I didn’t realize how much I had missed that tub.  After it was over, I gathered up my things, wiped down the bathtub and quietly left the house.

The moral of my story is you can’t throw the divorce out with the bathwater.

However, sometimes you can momentarily reclaim what was once yours. Which surprisingly turned out to be very therapeutic.  My afternoon soak was healing to both my back and my psychic.  As I left, I closed the door on my former home feeling renewed and ready to move on.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Walker Thornton May 9, 2012 at 5:09 am

I’m here by way of Midlifebloggers. Here’s my version of how the story ended…since I’m new I had no idea of what to expect. The FH comes home, finds you soaking in his tub and promptly joins you and the 2 of you enjoy a one-time/last-time tryst after that luxurious soak…
Silly me. The story is however a good one–yours–all about reclaiming and dealing and closure. To get serious here.

I am also a dating single, starting out with a dating blog that’s advice oriented. Would love to hear your thoughts- http://www.thedivaofdating.com

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2 Nancy Wurtzel May 9, 2012 at 5:33 am

Thanks for coming to read!! I’ll check out your blog.

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3 Nancy Wurtzel May 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

Yes, that’s a common response to this post. Sadly/gladly, it is not how it ended! I’ll check out your blog.

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4 Marsha Canham April 22, 2012 at 8:04 am

Wild guess, but I’m assuming you’re on better terms with your Ex than I am with mine LOL I would have been tempted to do the Private Benjamin thing and pour a packet of blue dye in the shower head so he would know I’d been there.

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5 Nancy Wurtzel April 22, 2012 at 8:20 am

never thought of that! Loved that movie. Tx for coming to read and for the comment.

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6 Tina McGrevy April 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Very funny! You’re too polite~shoulda used his towels! And left them wet and on the floor…

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7 Nancy Wurtzel April 22, 2012 at 5:35 am

Ha! My daughter just told me that FH just discovered my blog. Yikes…naturally the first post he would see would be this one!

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8 DarleneMAM April 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Woman, as far as I can see you did EXACTLY the right thing.

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9 Nancy Wurtzel April 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Why thank you!! (low bow)

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10 Mary Benson April 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I was holding my breath until the very end–do you think he would have minded? I had the odd experience of my ex wanting me to experience how wonderful his new hot tub was when he first got it. It was outside, in a remote place, and he agreed to not watch or be present at the out-of-sight-of-the-house location.

When I raved afterward about how wonderful it was, he insisted on ordering one for me. You just never know. . .

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11 Nancy Wurtzel April 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Hey, thanks for coming to read and for the comment! Yes, one never knows what those former spouses will do next. Tell your friends about Dating Dementia!

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12 GeekandJock April 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I dunno.

You’re divorced. You once had a bathtub which no longer belongs to you, it’s now your ex-husband’s. For some reason, that FH allows you to have a spare set of keys to his house.
You get in cat burglar mode and go have luxurious soak in the ex-husband’s bath tub.

Nothing wrong here :)

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13 Nancy Wurtzel April 22, 2012 at 8:21 am

Ha! You get my humor. Appreciate you coming to read and for the funny comment!

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14 Nadine Feldman April 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

Great story! When you gotta bathe, you gotta bathe. I’ll move heaven and earth to get to a great tub!

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15 Nancy Wurtzel April 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

Thanks Nadine for reading….you are always so great!

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16 lisa weldon April 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

oh, I just knew for sure FH was going to walk in on you . . . and catch you! So glad he didn’t.

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17 Nancy Wurtzel April 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

Yes…but see my other reply about the dog. I think she was seriously traumatized!

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18 Spouse got the House April 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

Good for you!! Sounds like there was just one more thing you needed to get out of that marriage and you did. Your spouse may have gottent the house, but he didn’t get your spirit. Thanks for a humerous, heart warming story.

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19 Nancy Wurtzel April 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

Appreciate you coming to read and for the comment! Come back again.

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20 Mandy April 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

I felt for sure you were going to say your ex walked in on you .. phew!

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21 Nancy Wurtzel April 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

No he never foud out, but the dog was totally confused!! Good she can’t talk!

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