I’ve been markedly absent from my website lately, and I know some of you have probably been missing me. The truth is, I’ve been pretty busy. I have a full time job, have been working on two books, writing for Suburban Misfit Moms, and last but not least… my entire life has shifted.
How so, you may ask?
Well, let’s get the worst of it out there. After twelve years together, my husband and I decided to part ways.
It’s an amicable split, one that has been coming for a while, but no matter how much we still get along, it hurts. No matter how much we can talk and laugh with each other, the sting of failure bites at me. And no matter how much we know it’s the right thing, there is still true affection and love between us. We are, first and foremost, always have been and always will be, friends.
So why weren’t we able to make it work if we still have all that together?
The only answer I can give you is that as you get older, your priorities change. The things you want in life don’t always mesh with your partner’s desires. You find the ability to look at your life objectively. You come to a point where you either accept things the way they are, or you make hard choices.
For many women, it’s easier to accept things the way they are. They take the good with the bad, and tell themselves they’d be fools to upset the comfort and security they’ve found with their partner. They accept the status quo of their lives, and live and die that way. They find enough contentment in what they have, even if it isn’t really what they want.
Kudos to those who can do that.
All I can think is that maybe there’s something wrong with me because I wasn’t able to.
My children are grown now, young men on their way. Over the years, my husband and I had discussed the many things we would do when they were grown, the life we were going to experience when we had the chance.
The last few years of our relationship marked a changing pattern, one that seemed to take us away from each other. I tried to break through the barriers between us, rebuild the intimacy that had seemed to die, but often felt like I was alone in the attempt. Coupled with the realization that so many of the things we’d talked about doing after the kids were grown were just talk for my husband, I finally accepted that our relationship had changed. Possibly for always.
Still, I stayed. I stayed and I talked, and I tried different things to close the gap, and I talked some more. It’s very easy to stay with a good man.
Eventually, however, I didn’t want to try or talk anymore. And I think my husband was ready too, because the day I told him it was no longer working, he nodded in agreement and didn’t ask me to stay. He, too, saw the gap and knew there were just too many differences between us. And that if we wanted the opportunity to be happy, we weren’t going to find it together.
You see, we both realized something about ourselves. I am a wild woman, passionate and spontaneous, intelligent and a little crazy, creative and adventurous. He is a family man, kind and thoughtful, steady and compassionate, rooted in his life and routine.
Neither are bad, but trying to mesh the two became harder and harder as we got older. And once the kids were grown, well… as so often happens, it turned out they were the glue holding us together.
Part of me feels like I’m losing my best friend, and I suppose I am in a way.
But another part of me, this one stronger and braver and willing to take risks, knows without a doubt that I’m making the right choice.
The day I told my husband I’d found an apartment and apologized, yet again, for my failure in our marriage, he just smiled, shook his head, and said, “don’t. It’s like apologizing for being left-handed or right-handed. You can’t help it and neither can I. Maybe if you were a little more steady and I was a little less, we could have met in the middle.”
He’s a wise man.
In the end, I regret nothing. I have no regrets for meeting and marrying the most influential man in my life. I have no regrets for bringing him into my children’s lives, for giving them a man they love deeply; I know they will always be present in each other’s lives. I have no regrets for our years together. He helped me become a better person, and I hope I’ve helped him in some way too. I have no regrets for any of it.
Even as we sat down together the other day and filled out divorce paperwork, as I talked him, watched him, enjoyed being with him, I had no regrets for the choice we were making.
As I said earlier, my life has shifted. I’ve been working on the divorce, moving, going out more, trying new things, and living my life.
Now that things are winding down a bit, I’m hoping to blog more, talk to my readers more. I hope you’ll stick around, because great things are coming.
I’m certain of it.