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

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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 slightly 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.

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 and resented leaving the family home. 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, in my case, 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 forward.