There is no good way to ease into this.
My husband, Jared, and I have decided to separate for 3 months.
No, we’re not getting divorced. Yes, I understand that separation is, in many instances, the “first step towards a divorce”. And it is, if I’m being honest, a possible outcome here. But it is not, by any means, a certainty.
There’s very little that is certain right now.
I’m certain that I love my husband. I’m certain that he loves me. I’m certain that we both adore our children and want what is best for them in the long run.
I’m certain that we can no longer go on the way we have been.
Everything else is rooted in quick sand, constantly shifting and sliding and shape shifting from one moment to another.
People ask, What happened?
I don’t think it is ever one thing that happens. There are triggers, yes. There is a moment when the door is blown open and you can no longer ignore the question before you – “should we stay in this marriage?” But the moment is simply the climax to a long and twisted tale that spans years. You don’t ask your husband to move out over a moment.
Yes, I asked.
I did this.
This wasn’t a decision made in anger or made quickly. It was the product of long talks and extensive planning. You can’t split a life, a family, in two without giving agonizing attention to the logistics.
Because right now, this is the best next thing. It is the only step forward that makes sense. The reasons, the fault, the blame, the details of who did what to whom – those remain squarely between me and my husband.
And what about the kids?
My instinct is to say that the kids are fine. But, of course, they couldn’t possibly be fine right now. They are, however, as fine as we can make them. They have both their mother and their father in their lives on a consistent basis. They are loved. They are cared for. They are spending every night in their own beds and waking up every morning to someone who loves them and wants nothing more in the world than for them to be safe and happy and loved.
They are, at least, blessed to have two people whose love for them is bigger than any pain or disagreement.
They are not, and never will be, tools we use to hurt one another.
Why would I tell the Internet?
First, let me tell you that I didn’t “tell the Internet” until we had both told our families. No one deserves to read about their children’s marriages falling apart on a blog.
Not that I think that amount of discretion will matter, in the end. The vast majority of the loved ones in our “real lives” will never be able to comprehend why something so personal should become so public.
But, this blog is a living and breathing part of my support system. Because it’s part of my healing. Because it’s part of my figuring things out. Because it’s an extension of who I am, even if it doesn’t encompass all of me. Because everything I say on here is completely out of context without at least the basic knowledge that I’m not living with my husband right now.
Because this is, for better or worse, how I am wired.
And because when I wrote about my depression, a woman once emailed me to tell me that she didn’t commit suicide because of what she read here.
My instincts tell me that there has to be some record of this here. My experience tells me that those instincts live inside me for a reason – even if the reason is not always clear.
Comments on this entry are closed.
The bitch of needing to bleed in front of people is that you lose the right to say “it’s none of your business”. It’s natural for onlookers to have an opinion. But every time we peek inside someone else’s windows, we’re looking not only through their open curtains, but through a filter of our own accumulated experiences. We peer through a film of our own pain, our own joy, our own histories and desires and ideas of what is right and wrong and best for.
And on any given day, I can accept that.
But today, my strength and faith in my own filter is shaky. It has to be my voice that I heed right now – but knowing that and having the strength to act on that are two different things. Every image I see, every sound I hear, every value system I bump up against right now has the potential to drown out my voice and my values.
And there is simply too much on the line for me to pretend to be strong where I am weak.