Jim and I are getting divorced.
If you are stunned, or in need of explanation, then I have admirably done what I determined to do. No, it was not to perpetuate a lie on you, but to always cling to what is hopeful and good. My earnest desire concerning our marriage has always been for success and redemption, and my dearest hope was that it would come to pass. I am certain that what you put into the world, and what you focus on, often dictates the course of events. And in that vain, I have presented to you what wasn't the most true, but what I so much wanted to be true. Nobody is more shocked than myself that God did not redeem this union. It didn't occur to me, in my deepest heart that it wouldn't all work out in the end. Yet it hasn't. So I will tell you now what I can, to the best of my capabilities, to satisfy curiosity or confusion while trying to respect our privacy. I trust that you will show it respect as well.
Firstly, so that we are clear about it, our decision has not come about lightly, on a whim, or because of a specific incident or crime against one another. We are, it is no secret, faith filled people, and you must believe me when I tell you that what stands between my husband and I is literally a mountain of unanswered prayer and an ocean of tears. You must understand how long, and how sincerely we fought for our marriage, which has exceeded it's expiration date.
There is nothing in this world I value as much as my commitment to God, except my commitment to our daughters. Our marriage has been difficult from the first moment, and the challenges these last 11 years never eased. While freely admitting that we are a bad match, I believe down to my toes that God meant for us to be married for this season of life. Chiefly, because we created brilliant, empathetic, charming human beings. But also, I suspect, as a catalyst toward change in our own respective lives. I can speak only for myself here by saying that I learn the best lessons by trying. And often failing. By marrying people who were so obviously wrong for ourselves, and attempting to make them fit into what we desired, we have each suffered an enormous amount of pain. Yet, I would have never known what is right, until I so palpably experienced what is wrong.
Because of our desire to give the girls a stability and consistency that we feel we missed out on as children, we walked this road for far too long. When it became apparent that we were merely hanging on until it was the right time for them, and that we could not avoid causing them pain, we decided it was better to end this sooner rather than later. As we are not "plate throwers", and have done a decent job of insulating the children, this has come as a painful shock. However, by modeling for them a marriage that was tense, cold, and lacking in functional friendship (and then unceremoniously ending it when they were emancipated), we set up the likely scenario that they would, like us, choose the wrong people for themselves and pay much more dire consequences. It is an utter horror to perpetrate this type of pain on your own children, the worst thing ever to know it cannot be avoided no matter what is done. If you pray, I would be blessed if you'd consider adding their adjustment to our new situation, to your daily ritual.
Jim and I traveled life together as a couple for thirteen years. This road has now reached it's end. I recognize that there are many victims of divorce, besides the couple and their children. All of you, our friends and family, will have adjustments to make - as you may have allegiances and family bonds to honor. Losing someone that you considered part of the family or even just one of the gang can be confusing and painful for anyone. Worse, if you are "couple" friends, the terrible task of perhaps "choosing sides" comes before you. I want you to know that I have valued and treasured Jim's family and the friendships that we created together. But I completely understand and accept the withdrawal process that needs to take place. And if you identify more closely as "his" friend than "mine", I honor that and accept that you need to do what is best for yourself.
It should be hard to think of blessing during such dark times. The day we told our children what was going to happen was absolutely the worst day of my life so far, as I am sure it was their's. Yet. Yet I can look around and easily call out thanks for so so much. Thank God that He loves us. Thank God that there are two parents here who adore and desire relationship with these kids. Thank God that there are resources available so that neither of us will have to struggle with putting food on the table. And mostly, thank God for the absolutely incredible, supportive, loving friends and family I have, who have been walking through this tough time with me. Never running away from my pain or the ugliness, but daily encouraging me, expressing belief in me, and hope for our future. I am so so humbled. I am awed every day by it, and feel as though I can't possibly deserve it. I know I am being taught an incredible lesson in humility, and what real relationship can be. Thank you to my dear ones, you know who you are.
For now we know almost nothing. Where we will each reside and the division of our children's time remains to be sorted out with the assistance of the courts. But there is one thing I do know - one day, this will all be okay. One day, the pain will fade until it is merely a small scar; we will all be adjusted to our new lives and moving forward once again. More plainly put, what I tell myself is this: "Someday, I am going to be awesome. And my kids will feel awesome again." And with any luck, this will merely be remembered as a sad chapter in a very long and satisfying life story for each of us.