Untying the Knot: A Personal Post

One year ago, Gavin and I were basking in the Hawaiian sun, snorkeling alongside sea turtles, and dining in fine restaurants to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I felt so happy and in love.

 

Our marriage had been rocky, and after that trip I was certain we were on the road to recovery. I believed that together, we could work through any obstacle and grow stronger as a couple.

 

Then a few months later, Gavin told me he wanted a divorce. He said he wasn’t happy in our marriage and hadn’t been for some time. My heart plunged to my stomach. Even during our darkest hours, I had never considered divorce an option.

 

As a child of divorce, I had unconsciously vowed never to go through it myself. I knew marriage would take a lot of hard work and I understand that no one’s perfect. But I still believed in unconditional love and that when two people are devoted to each other, they can conquer anything. I fought hard to save the marriage, but ultimately, I was the only one in the ring.

 

He moved out of the house at the end of May. Since then, I’ve been quietly dealing with things in my own way. As someone who blogs and teaches about relationships, kids, and marriage, I’ve felt like a big-time failure (understatement), even though I’ve never held myself up as a model of parental perfection. I’m totally willing to highlight my mistakes so that others can learn from them and avoid similar ones in their own lives.

 

Keeping this news out of the blog felt inauthentic. I regularly open up about my family and expose us a bit, to provide examples of how to practice certain parenting skills. I’ve written about my marriage in the past because that relationship affects my parenting, too. The strategies I’ve written about, such as listening with empathy and disabling triggers, have served me well so far in dealing with this difficult time. I feel like a better parent, because even though there’s so much drama swirling around me, I’ve been able to stay calm and connected to my kids.

 

Until now, I’ve only told a handful of close friends and relatives. But it’s becoming more of a challenge to keep my marital status concealed — especially when Dalia announces to her class that she had a sleepover at Daddy’s apartment, or when people comment on the weight I’ve lost and ask, “Is everything ok?”

 

Parenting while going through a life crisis is extremely difficult. I’ve managed to stay pretty composed and carry on with a “business as usual” attitude, but there are times when the tears just come without warning.

 

As I continue to process everything and see my life from a new perspective, I realize that although I wish things could be different, I’m ok and my kids are ok. I’m grateful for my own strength, my amazing and supportive family and friends, and our two precious little girls. Life is good.

 

At the end of the day, less drama = more mama.

 

letting go

Showing 20 comments
  • Aleida Delgado
    Reply

    Pam, IN DIFFICULTIES WE GROW AND OVERCOME. LOVE IS LETTING GO AND KEEPING THE FAITH ALL ALONG. AFTER THE STORM OF LIFE, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A RAINBOW. MAY YOU SOON BRING YOUR BEAUTIFUL SMILE TO OTHERS WAITING TO MEET YOU. YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON & MOM.
    REALIZE THAT FAMILY AND FRIENDS LOVE YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY AND GIVE YOU INNER STRENGTH TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! LASTLY, KEEP FAITH AT ALL TIMES.
    LOVE,
    ALEIDA

    • Pam Howard
      Reply

      Thank you, Aleida, for your kind words.

  • Nikki Elledge Brown
    Reply

    You couldn’t have shared this more perfectly, Pam.

    Proud to know you, mama 🙂

    • Pam Howard
      Reply

      Blessed to know you, Nikki. You’re like a bright light in all the darkness. xoxo

  • Clare Greig
    Reply

    Oh honey I am so sorry to hear that. Well done for posting in such a beautiful way, we are all hear for you lovely. You are being incredibly strong. Time will heal x x x

  • Prerna
    Reply

    Pam, sending you SO many hugs and cheers as well for being strong, for being graceful and for being YOU…

    Namaste,

    Prerna

  • ArizonaTLC
    Reply

    Pam,
    I’m so sorry to hear this. I have yet to have my own children or get married yet, but I have been through a sudden & nasty engagement break-up. The only advice I can offer is to keep looking forward…once you get through it, you’ll wonder how you did it…and I know you will! A favorite quote of mine is ‘Sometime’s when things seem like they are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.’ Stay Strong!

    • Pam Howard
      Reply

      ArizonaTLC – That’s a beautiful quote and so, so true. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I’m sorry about your breakup, too. It sounds like you’ve learned and grown from the experience and that you’re a pretty strong woman yourself. Good times are ahead for both of us. Thanks for commenting. xoxo

  • Rhiannon
    Reply

    What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Thank you for being so open and for sharing your insights into such a challenging time for you and your family. Sending you love & kind wishes.

  • Kelly - Project Me
    Reply

    I am sending you the hugest virtual hug right now Pam. I commend your bravery in opening up to us all in your blog and I know you will continue to inspire us all with your authenticity and big heart. xx

  • Michael
    Reply

    If there was a practical way, I’d give you a hug right now.

    • Aunt Jessica
      Reply

      Ditto for me and lots and LOTS of L-O-V-E!

  • Sarah
    Reply

    Pam, you are a fabulous example of grace under pressure and pain and surely you’ll be even stronger on the other side. Thank you for sharing your struggles and being willing to be so vulnerable. You are a brave woman!! Bravo!

  • Jill
    Reply

    Pam, I’m so sorry to hear about the breakup, but I am SO proud and in awe of you for having the courage to share your story. There’s no better role model for your girls than you and it sounds like they’re dealing with this so well because of your positive, consistent parenting. Sending you love and positive energy.

    • Pam Howard
      Reply

      Thank you, Jill. Your words are very comforting to me right now. Much love to you.

  • Helen Butler
    Reply

    Dear Pam

    To me you are a strong, brave woman and I applaud your vulnerability and honesty in this post.

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with such a difficult challenge at the moment. I will send you as much light and love as I possibly can in my meditation tonight. Hopefully you’ll feel it around 8.30pm.

    Sending you a big virtual hug gorgeous lady.

    Helen <3

    • Pam Howard
      Reply

      Thank you, Helen. I’ll be open to receiving it at 6:30am my time:)

  • Kristy
    Reply

    Pam, what a candid and heartfelt post. I agree with Robin, being authentic and openly disclosing this takes courage but it also removes some of the unnecessary stigma associated with divorce and allows us to talk openly about it (and also helps you heal no doubt).

  • Robin
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! Nobody is perfect and it takes moxie to share your own relationship troubles with your readers.

    • Pam Howard
      Reply

      Thank you, Robin. I was practically holding my breath since hitting “publish” and I just let out a sigh of relief after reading your comment. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Leave a Comment