It’s been six months since my husband left me.
I’ve lived a fairly public life for so long that I’ve been feeling a little dishonest not being transparent about it all, but sometimes things are even too personal for me to share. Crazy, I know.
As all married couples do, he and I went through a few rough years. Right when things got to their worst, we ventured into marriage counselling, and I felt like we were in a better place than we’d ever been. We’d recommitted to our marriage, and had, by far, the very best year of our lives together. I wrote about how marriage counselling saved us, not knowing the truth of my own circumstance. Not gonna lie: that’s a little embarrassing.
What caused the demise? I’m not sure. A slow dissolution, I suppose. This is, of course, an oversimplification. So much hurt over so many years cannot be distilled into a blog post. We just lost our way. I thought we’d overcome the many challenges, I thought we’d come out stronger, but one day he looked at me, said he was unhappy, and rented a place down the street.
I could be mad (and at times, have been absolutely enraged, I admit it), I could be sad (and I have indeed cried an ocean’s worth of tears), but when you all tell me I seem happier than I’ve ever been, that is my reality. I have never felt more alone, more heartbroken, more angry, more scared than I did in the last six months, but I’ve also never felt more alive.
I am so much stronger than I ever realized.
I don’t know what it was about me that smothered his ability to communicate with me, I don’t know how we got to where we were, but I strongly believe that we’ve only got one life to live, and I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t love me the way I need to be loved. We all deserve so much more.
I still don’t know exactly what went wrong. I don’t have answers, and it makes it difficult, but what I have is great love. I love life. I love my kids. I love him. We are good people who sometimes made poor choices, and I don’t regret a single moment of our lives together.
It’s been six months of self discovery for me. I’ve rediscovered the woman I once was, and despite feeling an incredible amount of shame over the failure of what would have seemed to be a nearly perfect marriage, I’m ready to move forward. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but there’s a real sense of empowerment in this new journey of mine.
Marriage is difficult. Parenting adds a new dimension to it that makes things even harder to plod through, and I guess perhaps we’re just another statistic, but somehow, it feels different. It feels like we’re doing this whole separation thing as well as can be done. And who knows what the future will bring? If I’ve learned anything from this experience, it’s that I know far less than I thought I did, and guessing about what’s to come doesn’t make it so.
The life you see me post about on social media isn’t candy-coated, it is our reality. We spend more quality time together now than we ever did before. We enjoy one another, and we put the kids’ needs before all else, ensuring that this transition is as easy on them as possible. We do tons as a family, and Ryan and I still do a ton together, alone, too.
It’s hard to explain to kids that even when Mommy and Daddy seemed happy, something was broken. It’s even harder because I never wanted this. But we do our best. When we put love first, even if the marriage is broken, the emotional bond is not. We’re a family. That matters.
So this is my confession, brought on by the fact that, as it happens, the world is much smaller than we think it is, and we didn’t want anyone feeling awkward. I know that sounds a little vague, but please know we’re both ok. Now that I’ve finally got this weight off my chest, I hope you’ll bear with me as I get all the words out.
It’s amazing how much can change in six months.