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.