So many posts I’m seeing with refections from the year that was and intentions for the year to come.
I’d have to say the greatest achievement of 2015/16 for me was separating.
My marriage ended.
After 14 years together and the creation of these two beautiful humans we decided to prioritise our own and each others happiness and live separately.
So here we are on holidays TOGETHER. This is our second holiday together since separating. We’re having a ball!! We are confusing the hell out of people around us with our ‘this is not what people are meant to do when they seperate – they don’t go on overseas holidays together’ There relationship must not be really over?!
It is. It’s over.
When our marriage ended I made a decision.
That no matter what I would make this the best separation and post marriage relationship possible.
This has not been easy. But it is possible.
I’ve noticed some really interesting things both about myself and about others when my marriage ended.
- How ill at ease many people are with the concept of a marriage ending. Like so many difficult topics people do what they do around hard stuff – they simply avoid it. (or discuss it in such a surface way you may as well not discuss it!)
- People give you ‘that look’ The look that they feel kind of sorry but you have sort of failed. You are not a person who could make a marriage work. Or the relief that it is not them because their marriage is still together therefor they are a ‘success’
. Or that you have given in. Or somehow not tried everything or hard enough. I’ve felt all these things and i’ve seen these things even fleetingly in those around me.
- When people are leaving a long term relationship and are incredibly disparaging of their ex partners – they are actually disparaging of themselves because the reality is it is them and them alone who chose that partner – so what does that say about your own selection process?
I’ve also been completely surprised by who has stepped up in my life to offer us both support during this time of painful transition. So grateful to those precious friends who supported us both.
The absolute best thing you can say/do to someone who is separating is not to offer them relationship advice, not to avoid it/ pretend it hasn’t happened but to simply say ‘I’m sorry to hear that – I’d really like to know how that is for you?’ and then let them speak without trying to fix/change/improve it. Truly BEING with that person wherever they are – with absolutely no agenda.
If you don’t know what to say – reach out and give them a hug. Don’t just avoid the topic because YOU are uncomfortable with not knowing what to say. Separation and Divorce is a fucking brutal, scary and lonely time. Acknowledge it! It’s been 18 months since I’ve even been able to write and share about this subject here.
I know there are so many complex issues why people seperate and remaining in connection is not always possible and to be honest our marriage could have gone down that road too without some very deliberate choices and effort.
This is what I decided to do. It was a clear, conscious decision of choosing this path rather than choosing blame and resentment (and boy do I have to work hard on not blaming!) #expert
I decided that I would focus on all the things I liked about the man I had married while we were separating.
To hold him in this place and focus on all the good parts of who he is. The things that I liked about him.
This has not always been easy to do. This has not always been roses (and still isn’t). This has not always been possible. But this has always been my intention that I’ve chosen to hold and return to.
Our marriage is over. We both know it and have known it for a while. So now we enter the next phase of our relationship. Because the truth is when you have children with someone your relationship never ends. It just changes shape and form… and we each have the choice to mold that shape into whatever we choose.
So we have decided to remain completely committed to each other and in the project or raising our boys and our new relationship post marriage.
This has been my greatest achievement this year and my goal for us to remain connected this way in the coming year. I am deeply committed to my ex’s happiness. He is deeply committed to mine. For us happiness is no longer being married. But happiness is doing those things that individually fills each of us.
So here we are on holidays having a wonderful time in this new phase of our relationship. We are experiencing a holiday with our children together.
We will always be a family despite the fact we are no longer together.
When my boys have sporting games, school concerts or any event they will never have to look for us on opposite sides of the room – we’ll be sitting together on one side. Their side. Every. Damn. Time.
I want to thank my (ex) husband for the gift of our beautiful children and for the successful marriage we had and the even more successful separation we’ve created.
Happy New Year to you all! Here’s to a brave 2017! Alisa x