As a child of divorce, I grew up wanting a differentlife. I swore I would never have a family and putthem through that mess. I would do whatever it tookto stay with my spouse for my children.
One day, when I was running errands with my kidsduring a particularly horrible rough patch with myhusband, I was deep in thought about how to fix oursituation. Then I saw mutual friends of ours, whowere going through a divorce, were in a gas station parking lot, trading off their kids. Their painwas palpable. After witnessing the way they looked at each other, I thought, that can never beus. I wouldn't be able to bear it.
We dug in our heels for another six years. We tried and tried and ultimately failed to repair ourmarriage. My ex and I found being together more unbearable than trying to stay under one rooffor the kids.
When we first talked about separating a year ago, the room felt heavy with guilt, regret andshame. If I am being honest, I still have lots of guilt, even a little regret. But I had to let go ofthe shame. I needed to stop taking other people's advice: "Try this counselor," "Take avacation together" or "We went through tough times, too. You'll get over it." It felt like a formof shaming. Maybe it wasn't ...
Through the process, I realized everyone's relationships were different. I haven't told anyoneevery single detail as to why my marriage was falling apart simply because I didn't want to. Andthat is OK. I don't owe that to anyone.
As a writer, I have been very open about my divorce, although I initially didn't think I wouldbe this way. I figured I would only tell a handful of people and try to keep it quiet as best Icould because I was ashamed. I changed my mind one evening after walking through my ex'snew condo. While I was trying to get used to my new normal, I felt the need to reach out toother women who had been through the same things I was going through.
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