Saturday, March 27, 2010

Endings and New Beginnings

A little over a week ago my husband and I hired a babysitter, got in the car and rode off to a quiet parking lot, got out of our car and had a very serious discussion. After almost 9 years of marriage and over 11 years together we both realized we are very different people.  We both knew this was coming. Mercifully we also both knew that we no longer made each other happy.

We decided it was time to end our marriage. Divorce. I never thought it would happen to me. Ed and I have had a happy marriage. We have supported each other, brought three amazing kids into this world and built a life that from the outside looked pretty damn picture perfect. Ed has stayed home with our children since Molly was a few months old. I leave each morning, go to work, and return each evening allowing Ed to go work, he also works on the weekends. Sure, we've struggled financially in the past couple of years, hell, who hasn't? But we've managed. 

Slowly however, you could almost see the distance between us expanding, as a river erodes away the land, time had begun to erode away our marriage. It was a gradual process, yet, Ed even says he wonders what we really had in common in the first place.  We began to have separate friends, watch TV in separate rooms, take separate trips, alternate "babysitting" so the other could go out, really began living separate lives while under the same roof. We didn't fight much, an occasional disagreement, but not many real fights. We just found we had very separate interests.

I believe it is in the past year and a half as I watched my step dad succumb to brain cancer that I truly began to feel my marriage was not forever. Watching someone you love die is life changing. Watching my parents love story come to such a tragic end is heartbreaking. The pain in my Mom's and Dad's eyes as they knew their life together was coming to an end broke my heart, honestly, it still does. As I watched this process over the 18 months that it took from him to go from healthy and full of life to taking his last breath, I realized bit by bit, day by day, that I did not have this type of love. This love was rare.  However, I also didn't want to live a life that didn't include the possibility of this kind of love.

Am I romanticizing things a bit? Only in that I mention their love as it was at its best. They had struggles, they had fights, they had times it seemed they were polar opposites. The difference however is you could look at them, even in the throes of an argument, and you just knew this was a love affair of a lifetime.  You could feel their love for each other.

I think it is truly during this time when I decided I did not have that kind of love in my marriage. It took some time to let those feelings, those doubts, creep to the surface. I had buried them very deeply, as had Ed, and they had begun to fester. I began 2010 in what I feel was the beginning of a depression. I didn't want to leave the house and when I was home I didn't want to do anything. I wanted to sleep. I was tired all the time. I was empty. I cried as I watched my kids play and I didn't have the energy to do anything with them. I went to my doctor so sure something was medically wrong. She ran test after test only to discover there was not anything physically wrong with me.

I left her office and sat in my van and cried. How could there not be anything wrong with me? I didn't want to admit, even though I could hear a little voice in my head trying to tell me, that what was wrong was emotional. Gradually over the first couple of months of the year I began to let myself admit that perhaps my issues were with my marriage. That my issues were with this man I had built a life with, this man who was kind, loving, and an amazing Dad, this man that I committed my life to. I could see the love he had for me in his eyes, how do I break his heart and tell him, that while I love him I was not IN love with him anymore? That any dreams we had of raising these precious children under the same roof were over? How do you do that to someone?

It began to get more and more difficult to carry on the charade of happy wife and happy life. Finally Ed told me we needed to talk. I was floored. Could he be finally feeling the same thing? Could he have realized we weren't in love anymore? Could he possibly have decided HE deserved better? I was in knots as I awaited that conversation. 

The aforementioned car ride was horrible. It was quiet, uncomfortable and frightening. Were we really going to be on the same page? Is this an attempt by him to make things work or are we going to agree to dissolve this union?  When we started talking and we realized we had both come the same conclusion you could see the relief wash over both of us. Don't misunderstand, I cried, we hugged, kissed for the last time and decided no matter what that our children are our top priority.  

We are adults. We both know we aren't meant for each other. I want Ed to find someone that will make him happy beyond measure. He is an amazing man, he is an incredible father and he is a good husband. He is loving, dedicated, hard working and deeply caring. He and I are just not meant for each other. I am sure some woman will come along and think I am crazy for letting him slip through my fingers. I hope that happens. I wish nothing more for him than the happiness I was not able to give him. 

It is hard, however, I couldn't imagine things being more smooth as far as divorce is concerned. We agree on every point, separation of assets, custody, everything. He is in the process of moving out and we will begin this new chapter in our lives. I will support him and we will raise our children together.

I am big on symbolism. It was interesting to me that this decision was made the day before Spring began, on the last day of Winter. I think and pray that it is a sign of a new birth for us. That as the flowers began to bloom, we will also find ourselves blooming and thriving in our new lives. 

One last thought, please don't feel sorry for us, yes, it is sad, and it is painful, but at this point we are better friends than we have been in a long time. We know there will be struggles ahead, but we are taking things one day at a time, respectfully beginning to unbind the ties that have bound us for all this time. We will support each other and be the best parents possible. We are both happy and excited about what lies ahead.

When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn't a sign that they "don't understand" one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to.


duvetdiva said...

how courageous are you Lady ! Good luck to you for the rest of 2010 and i hope you will find happiness soon
I've been through it myself if you need to talk i'm here anytime

Anonymous said...

Wow. That made me cry.

I am glad for you both that everything is so amiable. That doesn't happen often. I hope everything stays on the smooth course it is on now, and that your children transition well.

You never know where life will lead, do you?

Will Shealy said...

Mandy, you were always the strong one. Our family has been through fresh hell - we'll survive this as we always do. Ed will always be a part of this family, and I know you intend for it to be so. Thank you for sharing so honestly what must have been so difficult to write.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I know this has to be difficult even though it's amicable. I'm happy you can remain friends. That's the best case scenario in this situation. {{{Hugs}}}

coachswoman said...

Let me start by saying that I am sorry for your loss. For even though this is something you have both agreed on and know it's best, it is still a loss.

After reading your post, it made me come to realize that so many people are not adults. I have many friends going through the divorce process and it's a dirty, nasty process. I hope that the two of you can remain friends and work through this together without the heartache of drama. You will be better for it, he will be better for it, and most of all your children will be better for it. After all, the children are the ones who will feel the greatest impact in this situation.

I wish for you courage, love, and compassion. Good luck to you and many blessings with your new life!

Jetsa said...

This is undeniably sad, but I'm so glad you are both on the same page and doing what is the best not only for you, but for the kids. And I wish nothing but the best for you in this new stage of your life. I'm sure amazing things will come your way.

Angie Mizzell said...

Giving someone your honesty and your respect is one of the highest forms of love, I think. Wishing you both the opportunity to experience Spring.

Jay said...

I'm glad it's amicable, but I'm still sorry to hear this. It's always difficult to go through these things.

Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

That's a beautiful and well-written post, Mandy. I wish nothing but the best for you, for Ed and for the three children.

VoteAudrey said...

Wow, I've been wrapped up in my own little world for a while, the distant stranger to all friends and logically I didn't see this coming. I don't know what to say, so I'll just say that I love you and we should share a hot cup of coffee and conversation soon.

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