Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An Open Letter About My Divorce

Our society has led us to believe it's our right to know what's going on in everyone's lives. We live in a constant stream of who cheated, who had liposuction, which Hollywood stars are dating, what actress overdosed, which athlete was arrested for driving intoxicated, blah, blah, blah... it's never ending. You see it in the checkout lane at the grocery store. You read it in the popup ads while you're scanning your email. Your friends share that post on Facebook, again. You can't escape it. In fact, like many others, I find myself avoiding social situations because of the constant drama. I don't want my personal business out there for the world to judge. I'm hard enough on myself; I don't need anyone else criticizing my life when they know nothing of my circumstances. 

I'm not one to share things from my real life, online or otherwise. My struggles and victories when they come at a personal level, are personal. Being an introvert, the attention is sometimes hard for me to handle. I have to remind myself quite often though, that God didn't make us to exist within ourselves. What is the point of my life if it doesn't impact others? And like it or not, beautiful or ugly, open or private, ALL of us impact those around us.

Messages have flooded my inbox lately regarding some changes that have just come to light. Many people are only now learning of my divorce that's been a year in the making. It's not because I've tried to hide it, but because in my mind, it didn't concern anyone outside of my ex-husband and our children. That isn't me being cold or distant. I know I have those who love and support me and who want to help me any way they can. I appreciate them so very much. Being who I am as a person however, I've learned to cope more efficiently on my own.

I've gradually come to realize though, while my desire to keep things to myself, it doesn't make up for the fact that my decisions impact the lives of those around me. So while the facts of the divorce can remain private, the impact most certainly cannot. My former marriage was perceived to be the stuff of magic. We were the "ideal" couple, the powerhouse duo. To say the news has come as a shock to most would be an understatement, because perception is reality. I've heard how many viewed us as this seemingly perfect couple and the heartache they felt at hearing the news. While my ex and I are handling this new situation with an ease that can only be attributed to God and the commitment to work through things for the sake of our children, I believe it's been as hard or harder on those around who love us -- our families who saw us together for 14+ years and our friends who knew us before we ever started dating ... it's an enormous change and incites a feeling of loss.

For that, I'm truly sorry.

It genuinely breaks my heart to have to share this news with those who have been there from the beginning. To those around us who viewed our marriage as unbreakable and rock-solid, I apologize for the pain our split has caused you. It genuinely hurts my heart that my own divorce might cause other couples to doubt their stability simply because, "If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone."

There is a certain awkwardness in knowing how to respond, act, or react now, I recognize that. And there is still some hurt among our friends and respective families. It's okay to be upset. I've lost some connections over our choices, and that's okay, too! But I want to assure everyone that even though we're divorced, he and I are getting along wonderfully. Our children, though there has been a time for transition, are thriving, happy and hopeful. I appreciate each and every one of you who have been kind and supportive throughout the process. I know it isn't always easy trying to navigate those waters of change when you don't have all the facts. It's human nature to want to "know," but you've respected my privacy, and I really can't thank you enough.