I have found, as it relates to separation, that our odometers are set at zero the moment we leave our marriage, in our minds.
If you have been plotting to leave, needing to leave, wanting to leave your marriage for a long time, you are well down the road to acceptance and recovery. Miles upon miles perhaps. So that the morning after you actually separate, there is a relief and a clear vista of distance already travelled.
If you are left and even more so, left unexpectedly, your odometer is only reset to zero after you have accepted the reality of the separation. That is often why the couple can be at varying stages at the same moment in time.
It has occurred to me that the same is of any grief. If someone dies unexpectedly, odometers have the chance of getting set at roughly the same moment- depending on acceptance.
When death occurs after a lengthy illness, odometers are reset at vastly different times, depending on the pre death acceptance and grief.
At the same time, the road travelled is not smooth or even in one direction.
Some days it is 4 steps forward
and some days it is 12 steps backwards.
Resetting or tampering with your car odometer is illegal, with your life odometer, very difficult but ultimately necessary.