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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Not everything that ends is a failure.

I’ve been gone for a while. A lot has changed in my life and some of the more peripheral activities within it (like writing for this blog) have necessarily been on pause. But I’m returning to this space now that I have the time and energy for it. In the past many months, our one family has morphed into two families --my marriage of 12 years ended. This was after a couple years of marital therapy, a trial separation (in which we lived in separate homes) a few years ago, and a lot of tears, gut wrenching atrocious fights, heart ache, issues within ourselves, issues between us, commitment, recommitment, more therapy and then…our marriage needed to be over. I truly feel that we turned over every rock looking for a solution to it all, and one could not be found.

We are recasting ourselves in our roles as co-parents only, and perhaps someday we will recast ourselves as friends. I firmly believe that a marriage that ends is not a failure, that the standard of “forever or failure” is just…ridiculous.  Does a marriage have to be life-long to be considered a success? No, it doesn’t.  We did not fail. We had a successful 12 year relationship in which we raised 3 awesome kids, bought a house, overall had a damn good time-- and I’m proud of all of that. And I'm grateful for the years we had together and I wouldn't change anything--life unfolded as it did.

But after much soul searching and countless tears, I realized that despite every good intention (on my part and on hers), and despite every effort (from us as individuals, as a couple, and by those in our families/community supporting us), I could no longer be the person that I wanted to be in my marriage any more—and even worse than that, I was becoming someone I did not want to be because I was so unhappy. This affected me more and more, and it was time for a change. I cannot speak to her unhappiness other than to say I think it was profound. And all of our combined unhappiness affected our children, without a doubt. And that was not tenable. 

In the meantime, she has moved out (and lives nearby), and the kids have started living in two homes. There have been bumps in the road, of various sizes—of course there have been. But I have every confidence that we will survive and we will all thrive, as we find a more peaceful existence. Families have survived far greater challenges than this, and our three children have two parents who love them immensely (and grandparents, and friends) and who will support them in whatever ways necessary. I am hopeful. 


ZebraARNP

8 comments:

  1. Hugs to you. It is so, so hard. But definitely worth it. When you stop trying to fit yourself into a mold and let go of past ideas, life unfolds in so many wonderful ways. I was talking to a surgeon the other day who recently went through a divorce. It's like finally moving with the Universe instead of against it. And the more distance you gain, the more you see that what happened did for a reason. The relationship, the children, the heartache. Sounds like you did it in the healthiest way possible - therapy was also crucial to me for coming out on a good side. Here's to hope and new beginnings:). Good to hear from you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love your perspective. This piece reminds me of one of my favorite poems, if it will fit in the box:

    Failing and Flying
    Jack Gilbert, 1925 - 2012

    Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
    It’s the same when love comes to an end,
    or the marriage fails and people say
    they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
    said it would never work. That she was
    old enough to know better. But anything
    worth doing is worth doing badly.
    Like being there by that summer ocean
    on the other side of the island while
    love was fading out of her, the stars
    burning so extravagantly those nights that
    anyone could tell you they would never last.
    Every morning she was asleep in my bed
    like a visitation, the gentleness in her
    like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
    Each afternoon I watched her coming back
    through the hot stony field after swimming,
    the sea light behind her and the huge sky
    on the other side of that. Listened to her
    while we ate lunch. How can they say
    the marriage failed? Like the people who
    came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
    and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
    I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
    but just coming to the end of his triumph.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is just beautiful and perfectly applicable. Thank you.

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  4. Maybe it is a failure, but also it's ok to fail sometimes too. Nobody is perfect, and actually that's not only ok, it's better that way. Hang in there, you'll get through this.

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  5. Hi there ZebraANRP. I just wanted to say I'm with you. If you've read a bit of what I've written in the last year, you'll know I'm with you. And, also, there is nothing about this that is success or failure, good or bad -- I think it's just life. And life is big and hard and messy -- and it just is all too complicated to be black or white, right or wrong, or fit neatly into any divisive category. Don't put that added pressure on yourself to fit into a category right now. If I have any advice, as a person just a teensie weensie bit "ahead" of you chronologically in this similar story is that right now all you need to be is you -- and feeling all the feels of this difficult time will help you build resilience and strength and eventually you will find light in the darkness. And you will breathe again. Sending love and support. You are not alone. And I know so well that this is truly the hardest of times. Godspeed.

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