I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting.
After my last article, I knew there would be shock and dismay and understanding and a flood of “I’m so sorry’s” and lots of love. And I was right.
What I was not expecting was the outreach.
Much like when we had our miscarriage in between our kids’ births – people came out of the woodwork. I couldn’t believe how many others had had miscarriages at that time and I didn’t know. Some of them much further along than me…and some of them multiple times.
It was like a secret club that you didn’t even know existed – and certainly never wanted to belong to.
My article about my divorce did the exact same thing.
I spent the majority of the long weekend on the phone, texting, and out to coffee with women – lots of women – reaching out. In support, in understanding, and in search of answers for their own situations.
Of which I had none.
Except to say this: You are not alone. Each and every one of you who reached out to me: all I want you to know is that you are not alone. And also that I have no answers.
The decision that we made for our family was based solely on our own circumstances and as we all know, everyone’s circumstances are different. We didn’t make our decision lightly – I don’t imagine anyone does. And if you ask me “why” or “how we knew,” I can’t give you a quick, one sentence answer. It’s just more complicated than that – as I imagine it is for any couple who makes the decision to complete their marriage.
All we knew is that we both wanted to navigate the end of our marriage in a loving and conscious way and do our best to keep our family – and our family’s love and safety – intact.
But I want you all to know that I hear you, and I see you, and I will hold your hand through whatever you need me to hold your hand through. At least as much as I can while I am still navigating my own murky waters.
There were a handful of people who were there for me – and I’m sure for my husband – in the same way. And I will forever be grateful to them. Because how do you even begin to approach such a sensitive, personal subject?!
So while I definitely don’t consider myself an advocate or proponent of divorce – I also don’t believe in staying in a marriage just for the sake of longevity. We were married for 25 years…and I know what a big number that is for a lot of people. It’s more than half my lifetime. But we sure as hell didn’t want to be married for another year – let alone another 25 – if we were only surviving, and not thriving.
Just because he is an amazing guy, and I might be somewhat amazing, too — doesn’t mean that we are amazing together. And beyond that, what were we modeling for our children? That idea, especially, stuck in my head.
I have always been fascinated by love.
When I was in my early 20s and new to Colorado, I remember buying books about “big love” and what made love last. I even routinely quizzed people where I worked and asked them about their marriages. And I’m not gonna lie – most of the time, I got responses along the lines of, “Well, I would die without my children, but I could give or take my spouse.” No joke. I think that one was an exact quote. And it broke my heart. I didn’t want that. I wanted more. I wanted bigger.
I even had an ex-boyfriend tell me once that I supposedly “cut him loose” because I apparently thought we were good together, but I wanted great. He insisted that I wrote it in a book that I gave to him. I don’t remember doing any of that – but it totally sounds like the stupid, jerkface kind of thing I would do. (Also, I was an idiot.)
So even though people had their own ideas about our marriage, obviously no one knows the whole story of anyone’s marriage but their own…and we simply didn’t want to model marriage for our kids in the way that we were. We wanted more for them.
And we wanted more for us.
I am so grateful to everyone who reached out with love and support. And so many questions. And even more love and support for our kids.
For those who reached out looking for answers about their own situation, all I can do is encourage you to listen to your own heart. Because your soul already knows what it needs.
And if you do choose to complete your marriage, I will be there for you.
And if you choose to do everything in your power to make your marriage better than it ever was, I will be there for you.
Because all we can do in this life is support each other and love each other through our toughest times.
But if anyone calls my marriage – or yours – a failed marriage…I will throat-punch them. Because 25 years and two amazing kids is anything but a failure. We learned everything we were supposed to learn from each other in marriage – and probably have a whole lot more to learn as we move through this next season of nesting and conscious co-parenting.
But I’m not worried – we got this.
Just like you do, sisters.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom.
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