Okay so you asked some questions. And I believe I shall answer most of them.
First: Sam! Sammy! Sam I love you! Don’t be sad alla
time. Why you sad? Stopit
! I know, easier said than done…but know that you’re loved, girl. You deserve happiness.
Okay the separation:Justabout
30 asks: When? Why? How?
I say: Well doesn
’t that just cover a LOT of ground? I’ll be brief.
When: Nearly a year ago.
Why: Oh God. Okay well it’s hard to be brief here. There are a million reasons and yet I can’t bundle them all up into one neat answer for you. Jim’s a great man…a wonderful father, an excellent friend, and just generally a good person all around. But we aren
’t compatible as a couple. Never have been, really. Without going into too much detail (partly out of respect for Jim and partly because it’s unnecessary) I’ll just say that we’ve
never really gotten along(Jim has asked me to add that there indeed were some good times sprinkled in there, too. Fair enough. :) )…AND we’re both REALLY stubborn. We decided when we were very young that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together no matter what. Even if we…didn
’t make a lot of sense, does it? We were young. Very young…and my parents were divorced when I was twelve. I was determined not to do that. What I lacked, though, was the wisdom to be determined not to be unhappy…
We don’t want to be miserable anymore…I don’t want to be miserable and I don’t want Jim to be miserable.
talked about it for years. When we finally decided to do it, we determined some things…some rules, I guess. First, the kids were and are and always will be priority number one. All of our decisions take them into careful consideration. We decided to live together for a while (for as long as we could stand it, really! Haha
) and raise the kids together, for example. Second, we determined to be 100% honest with each other…and to respect each other’s feelings and needs. So far, it’s worked very well. Third, we decided the practical things like how we’d split up our time with the kids and our time outside the house. In the beginning, we weren
’t sure of the days we’d need, but we decided we’d be allowed equal time away from the home to go out with friends or date or play sports or whatever. Fairness is important to us. Sounds easy, huh? It hasn
’t been. It’s been very tough. I was physically ill for months afterward. The discussions that Jim and I had/have are hard. And getting to these nice conclusions has sometimes taken weeks. The good thing is that both of us have always wanted to work very hard to do this right. If only we knew what “right” is…if there’s one thing I’ve
learned through this, it’s that things you thought were black and white seem to turn to different shades of grey…nothing seems solid anymore…mamatulip
wants to know if we’re all okay. We are. It’s hard, but it’s right. Jim and I get along better since the pressure of trying to make a doomed relationship work has been lifted. The kids are happy…as happy as ever. Maybe more. I am. Thank you, mamatulip
. You’re sweet.
Anonymous asks: Is there someone else?
I say: Yes. Yes there is. And I’m smiling as I write this. It’s new, still, and I’m holding it very close to me. I find myself in disbelief sometimes, that I’ve
been so lucky to find someone like him. Now I think you’re asking all kinds of questions. You want to know if Jim knows. Yes he does, and he has from the start of it a few months ago. What about the kids, you ask? They know, too. They adore him. You have more questions, huh? Ask, if you like. That’s all I’ll say for now.
Another anonymous says: had a friend do the same, leave her partner after 16 years; i am curious how women are so confused for so long about who they are ... and how that changes...?
I say: Obviously I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I will say that I wouldn
’t call myself confused. I think I’d say I was determined…stubborn…maybe a little blind. Jim and I were together for 17 years. I was 14 when we got together. And like I said; Jim’s a great guy! We tried really hard for a really long time, but you know what? People don’t change. We’re both good people, Jim and I…but we’re two people that shouldn
’t be together, and no amount of counselling or discussions or date nights is going to fix that.
I’ll also say that I’ve
always known who I am…and I’ve
always known that Jim and I aren
’t great as a couple. But let’s go back to that stubborn thing. I was determined that it would work, and so was he. But staying together just to stay together…well it isn
’t a good reason to stay together!
Now I’ll tell you that I’ve
painted a rather nice picture here. Explained things pretty well, I think…but like I said, it’s been tough. And because I was the one who finally said, “ENOUGH”, it’s been tougher on Jim. I’m sad about that. I’ve
also lost a friend and a relative because they simply cannot understand what we’re going through.
So there we are. I’m so conflicted about whether hitting that “publish” button. This is my story (well, Jim’s very much involved, so I’ve
let him read this first) and I know that sharing it invites comments and advice and whatever. But if you are going to comment, I’ll ask you to keep a couple of things in mind: if you’ve
never been through this before (and even if you have, but you were in a different situation, which you most likely were, because let’s face it, no two situations are exactly alike), you simply cannot understand it. I remember when I was quick to judge people’s decisions…that was back when things seemed so black and white, you know? So clear-cut. But things aren
’t like that in reality…
Also, I’m posting this for people who know us and love us and are a little confused. I hope this makes things a little more clear.
And…things are okay! Things are BETTER than before. We have plans for the future and we’re working together. We’re not good at the spouse thing but we’ve
got the parenting thing down.
To those of you who are concerned: thank you! I love you! And…don’t worry!
So much for being brief, eh?