This may be news to some of you, and not for others, but I felt that I had reached a point where I feel ready to put some things down. I know this comes as a shock to many people, and it's easy to feel disoriented and demoralized. I hope that I can find a way to communicate some details to assuage these feelings.
Stewart and I are separating. This is a decision we made back in October, and we've been living with this decision and adjusting our lives accordingly since then. This is not a knock-down, drag-out, burn the bridges kind of situation. This was us (the two of us) finally come to terms with the fact that we do not really work together: specifically, we were not treating each other well and we were not effectively parenting. Nothing (I mean nothing) is more important to me (or Stew) than the quality of our children's lives. And while change like this is scary—it's the scariest thing that I've ever done—I'm able to go forward because I know in my heart that I want the girls to be happy, and part of that means that they deserve to have a mother who is happy.
No matter what, we are thinking of our children first. Our current situation looks like this:
We each have our own bedroom upstairs.
I stay home with the girls during the day (like I always have).
Evenings with the girls are split between Stewart and me, largely to account for the fact that I now have part-time job and am taking a class in the evenings. We also try to arrange some free time for ourselves in the evenings.
We still do things all together as a family when schedules allow (like taking Shire to “Charlotte's Web” or visit family over the holidays or going to birthday parties, etc)
We are planning on meeting with a lawyer to officially file for separation in the near future.
Divorce comes after that, but there are many legal/financial ramifications that need to be worked out before we would consider taking this step. Emotionally and mentally, we are prepared for this.
We are planning on all living in the house for the foreseeable future, and ideally someone will keep the house.
I know it's hard for people to picture how two people would continue to live together and not be married. But that's what we're doing. We're still there for each other (in a friend capacity) if someone is having a hard day. We do our best to be nice to each other (for lack of another word). And now that we're not trapped under the weight of a failing marriage, I feel that we both are able to just breathe easier. Tensions are not high, hackles are not raised, and tempers are not flared. It's pretty good stuff.
Meanwhile, life goes on. I'm doing a fairly good job of accepting myself. I know (in my heart) that we're are all going to come out of this okay, and that is a great comfort for an anxiety-prone person like me. It's been hard for me to feel like I've lost the support of people around me. I know this comes from lack of understand, not necessarily lack of love. But it's still there, palpably.
I hope that this helps you understand our situation, and that with understanding can maybe come acceptance. This may not be the path that you would have chosen, but it is the path that we chose. If this is the first you're hearing about this, I hope that I've managed to communicate this is a respectful, thoughtful way. If you already knew this, maybe we can start fresh?
Please feel free to comment or ask questions anonymously, and I will to my best to respond. And now, back to our regularly scheduled mostly-normal life.
A post not about Children
So this is just a little photo evidence for you to laugh at involving me doing stupid athletic things with some of my more athletic associates. This one was called the Rugged Maniac, and it's a 5k course with 18 different obstacles (a lot of climbing and crawling. A little mud, water, and fire as well). As of this point, Stewart has made the excellent decision not to participate in this kind of mass sado-masochist activity, but he might be convinced to do the next Zombie run with us next year. We'll see.
So I went to Wilmont, WI with Chuck, Katie, Galen, Beth, Chris, and Liam this weekend. Chris and Liam were just there as spectators (obviously, since Liam is 3). As far as I remember, I finished the race in around 54 minutes.
Here we are, being rock stars before the race. Can you tell how hot and sunny it was already at 8:30 am?
Showing off the backs of our shirts, which I made. They're supposed to be funny/awesome (that is, if you get the Magic: the Gathering reference...which nobody did other than the dorky guy working the front desk at the hotel).
At the starting line, waiting to go. Surrounding by other hot, nervous people.
Here I am going over one (of many) obstacles like this. Lots of climbing.
The next time the camera (Chris) saw me was after the 3-mile mark. Here I am after crawling through this tiny underground tunnel for what seemed like 20 minutes (dude, I'm completely clausterphobic for the record...)
Here we are after the race, under a tiny patch of shade, 80% passed out. Apparently I was the only person that had cleaned up at this point. And that was my weekend. I have a ton of bruises/scratches and every muscle in my body is sore, but it was a fun experience nonetheless.
So it's been busy. We had our 5 year wedding anniversary in June, and my 29th birthday was last week. Lots to celebrate and do, not so much time for photos. These pictures are going to go in reverse chronological order.
Finger painting with Liam.