What happens when two men who have been together for seventeen years fall out of love? Sivan Cruz, a set director in San Francisco, and Walter Wainwright, a big shot Bay Area lawyer, find out the hard way. Walter loves Sivan with all his heart but rarely talks about it, and Sivan needs to hear the words. The language of the love they have shared for so long, that has enabled them to build a life together and raise two children, stops working. They become—still. When Sivan asks for a divorce, Walter doesn’t know how to say no. They separate, but while Sivan sees the relationship as over, Walter sees only a temporary setback. He has never lost his passion for Sivan and decides he has to say something before he ends up loving his husband in silence for the rest of his life.
I USED to be so normal. I had a minivan. I drove children to school and soccer practice and karate lessons and football and ballet. Even though I’m only an okay cook, I did it. I picked up dry cleaning and took the dog to the vet. I have countless videotapes of swim meets and football games, piano recitals and camping trips. There was never enough money to blow, and some things that should have been repaired or replaced were not, the money going instead to pay for braces and prom pictures and saving for college. We turned a blind eye to whatever wasn’t an emergency. As a result, the house deteriorated, the car suffered, and in the end, most of all, a marriage crumbled.
Life is less about time and more about patterns. We step into familiar interactions with people, and regardless of whether they are healthy, we tend to stick with them until the day comes when we can’t stay silent or blow up or yell and scream even once more. On that day you stop, realizing you’re doing things because of comfort and convenience, not because you’re in love. In that moment, you look across the room at the person in it up to their eyeballs with you, throw up your hands, and call it what it is, the end.
“What?” he flared from where he leaned against the kitchen counter.
I felt a surge of feeling for him at that moment. He was my war buddy. “Honey, let’s get a divorce.”
Long silence, and for a split second I regretted my words. We had seventeen years together, after all. We had struggled together, raised two beautiful kids together. We both had known that we were done for so long,…