My husband and I decided to separate in October and it took us until February to tell our children. It was a long, hard, tense road. One I don’t think I could live through again.
The fear of telling our kids kept us living together a little too long if I am being honest. And when we finally sat down to tell them, it was enough to make me say, “Oh, never mind, we are not separating. It will be okay.”
I came so close.
Having a teenager and two tweens, I knew they would take it harder than they would have if they were younger. The understand the weight of the situation more now than they would have then.
My 13-year-old son struggled the most, and it wasn’t something I expected. He is stoic and doesn’t seem to get rattled easily. I knew he would be sad of course, but I thought his two younger siblings would be the ones I had to comfort the most; they are more emotional, get upset a bit easier, and don’t have the social life that he has to distract them.
But I was wrong. He immediately got up and left the room. I gave him a minute then found him in the corner of his room crying. I have not seen him cry in almost two years. I broke right there in that moment. I knew I could take his pain away for a spell if I kept on living the lie that was my marriage.
I so desperately didn’t want to be married anymore I was finding it impossible to breathe. I knew I would only inflict more pain and discomfort on my kids I if I stayed living in a life I didn’t want to be in. Not to mention what I would be doing to myself.
And in that moment of seeing my son sob, taking away his pain was only thing in the world I wanted to do; I wanted his pain gone that much.
We have come a long way since that day; all of us. I still have so many moments where I am lost.
I know full well I am not supposed to be married to the same man any longer, but I am lost when it comes to trying to make our new normal feel comfortable for my kids; I am consumed with it. Maybe that is what we latch onto in order to survive as parents.
I want to take it away; all of it. When you end a marriage and have kids, you are left to deal with your emotions and your children’s emotions It doesn’t just affect you, it affects the ones you love the most.
I wanted something different for my kids; I did. I thought I had found my happily ever after when I was wrong.
I tried as hard as I could for almost six years after my husband confessed to me he was having an affair while I was home taking care of three small children thinking he was working extra long hours.
I have done a lot of healing since that day, and I have come to realize I don’t just want more for my kids, I want more for me, too.
And maybe, just maybe, we will all end up with even more than we did when their dad and I were married.
To see the ones we love happy is truly the best gift. I know I can deliver that to them as a single mom much better than I could have being married to their father even though the future feels uncertain.
I know we are all going to be okay.