I literally just said goodbye to Kevin, my husband of 18 years. As much as I still love him, and hope to stay friends of the deepest nature, I need to love myself enough to leave him.
Last year I shared my reflection and intentions for 2017, and determined that it would be a year of “Miracles and Transformation.” I could have never ever predicted just how much that would be true.
In my post about Marriage and Mama Bliss, you didn’t need to read between the lines too much to understand just how ready I was to end my marriage. You could tell just how “done” I was with trying to fix my marriage, which I had struggled in for more years that I care to admit. The truth is that my posts barely skimmed just how much I wanted to shine my light, and how deeply I felt that that I couldn’t become my true/evolved self in my current marriage.
So, after a full year (plus!) of working to empower myself to the point of feeling enough strength and clarity to know that I needed to start 2018 by sending a message to Kevin, my husband of 15 years and life partner for a full 18 years, to let him know that I need to separate. Funny enough, I’ve had a practice that came from one of the first meditation tracks that I ever used regularly of saying “courage in action” to myself whenever I send an important email.
I’m going to keep the details brief and mostly private (I plan to write my midlife memoir this year, but I want there to be some distance before sharing anything potentially sensitive), but essentially after a week of many intense messages/discussions, we have become amicable again and have at least agreed on an initial path forward.
As much as I had tried for so long to hold on to the dream of staying in Astoria, I’ve determined that I need a new version of my dream. As ready as I was to create a new 2.0 vision for Northwest Parenting, I have given verbal notice to Clatsop County. I will be moving back to Portland by the end of the month to start the girls in the new school term. (I’ll be looking for new opportunities and will reach out to my network to help me find the best place to serve).
Naturally, I had first envisioned me leaving with all the kids, but I have agreed that it’s best for Kieran to stay with Kevin until the end of the school year, as he is absorbed in soccer, wrestling and baseball and simply thriving in middle school. It would have been much to quick of a departure for him, and given that it took him a few years to finally “fit in” to Astoria, I think we both owe it to him to let Kieran be the growing boy that he is (at not quite twelve, he’s just outgrown me). Plus, Kieran has skipped a grade level in math and has a very supportive teacher.
The girls, on the other hand, are thrilled be moving to Portland. Makenna will get to celebrate her 9th birthday with friends just before we move, and her only spoken fear is that the boys in her new school will think she’s cute and like her too much (mine too!). By miracle, Teagan is taking the last slot at Aprende Con Amigos, a Spanish immersion preschool just two blocks from our old home (and a mile from my sister’s place, where we will be living). Teagan’s cousin Clark is already learning a ton in the younger classroom, and I can hardly wait to see them bond as the near siblings they were to each other in their first year.
For myself, as surreal as this transition time is, I have felt so much more clarity and strength since pushing the “end” button on my marriage. As huge of a life change as this is for everyone, our family feels resilient and ready for growth. Yesterday we talked with the kids in the morning about our plans to separate, and last night I cooked Kevin his favorite home cooked dish of Italian stuffed shells (now it’s Kieran’s favorite too, and it felt good to put the leftovers in the freezer for a night when they miss me). Then, after ice cream sundaes, Kevin and I went out one last time to celebrate his birthday. After a week of a great deal of heavy conversations, it felt good to laugh over drinks (while talking about how we have never understood each others’ humor…and how much my first loves made me laugh). Even though we need to end our traditional marriage, it now feels possible for us to be partners in a new and more positive way.
Yet, when we fell asleep together for the last night, I couldn’t help but notice that we both had a very deep and rhythmic breath that was exactly opposite of each other. It felt like a metaphor for our relationship of extreme opposite who attracted, but who can no longer grow into ourselves together. We woke up this morning to do a Deepak/Oprah meditation together, which of all things had an intro that talked about accepting ourselves as radiant beings who are perfect, healthy and whole, just as we are. I believe that our relationship would/could have been very different if we had accepted each other for who we are, rather than trying to change each other, and far too often rejecting and controlling each other. Thankfully, as surreal as it is to end our marriage on such a positive note, I know that I am making the right decision for myself and our family, and even Kevin will flourish from no longer working overtime to try to make me happy. Instead, I believe that we will each thrive by truly loving and accepting ourselves, and supporting each other in healthy ways.
Lastly, I know that not everyone, especially Kevin’s family, may not understand or respect my choices and decision to end our marriage. I hope that time will heal any wounds, for all of us.
Peace and love,