Permanent Marker

I am married to a wonderful man, he is my best friend and a great father to our three children. I have heard many times over the course of our marriage that we look so happy .. the perfect couple. And for a long time we were.

Something changed between us. If I had to pinpoint a time or event that turned us to the path we are now on; I would say it was 5 years ago when we both lost our jobs, I lost my father, and we uprooted our family for new job opportunities to another part of the country. The events in that period of time redefined some of the fundamental elements of our relationship, and started us on a new course.

We have not lived in the same space for 3 of the last 5 years, the reasons were always work. We stopped going out and sharing time together recreationally, the reason was always time or money. We stopped talking about how we felt about what happened, because it had all been said. He was kind and supportive, always a hard worker and provider; but something was missing for me and for him too.  Sometimes when I saw him after time apart I was shocked at how stressed and sad he appeared.

I would guess that most couples talk about divorce at some point; either sharing what they have heard or witnessed from another couple, in the heat of an argument, or when things haven’t been right or things have been very good for a period of time. About three years ago during a fight I suggested we just move on without each other and instead of arguing why we shouldn’t he agreed that it might be a good option. I was surprised but also relieved that I wasn’t alone in the disconnect between us.

Fast-forward to now; he is living 700 miles away, while I live in the house with the kids, and I am ok with that. We have been talking about and working through how to separate since last fall and now we are actually doing it. We are both scared, but also believe that it is time to make a change. We have our moments of anger, grief, and resentment, but true to us; we both seem to be pretty good at being kind, and respectful, and step back when things get challenging to keep the focus out of the past and on the big picture and future.

IMG_4706We are still committed to each other and our goals; and sometimes the beauty of that aspect of our relationship makes me proud and scared at the same time. Proud because we have learned to be that together, for each other and those we care about. Scared because I realize there may come a point where he is sharing a commitment and goals with another woman and I may regret letting him go because those two things are so beautiful when they are shared between two people.

He told me a few weeks ago that he had met someone; and he wanted to share but didn’t want to hurt me. He asked how I felt; and I realized I was happy for him! That scares me a little bit, because in my mind it confirms the separation of my heart in a romantic way form the man I have been with for 26 years. Everyday for a week after that I would take time to think about it; and test my feelings, thinking about him with another woman, meeting his new interest, knowing my kids might spend time with them separate from me.. I rolled it all over in my head. Each time I landed on being ok with it.

We talk about the future, and the only thing we know for certain is that we are in each other’s lives no matter what as long as our children exist on this earth. I am thankful to have such a wonderful man as my partner thru so much. We have said many times over that we want to make choices that are good for us both; because we are not penciled into each others lives, we are permanent markered!  More to come….


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