I have never told the full story of my separation and divorce on The Entirety of Life. There are a few reasons for this, some of which are as follows…
I decided not to share what happened for the privacy of my ex. Strange as that sounds, and as I discuss in my book, I would never share all my own mistakes with the world, so why would I cast up his?
That said, the decisions he made were his. In writing ‘my story’ for Surviving Separation and Divorce, I was factual as I saw it from my perspective. I tried to reflect on my own shortcomings, as well as the actions that triggered the end of our marriage.
Why did I share it in the book? I felt it was important for authenticity, and also because many of my experiences reference what happened and because it had an impact on my interpretation of the world around me (sometimes even now).
I wanted to leave the door open. I wanted my marriage to work out. That said, I couldn’t fathom how I would ever trust him again, but I still wanted it to be saved.
By keeping our story private, I also made it more possible I felt, for him to return to our marriage without (to my mind) everyone’s disapproving eye. Once time had passed, our separation was ‘normal’ and people still didn’t know, there seemed little point in opening the can of worms that was ‘the story’.
I didn’t want people to read this and assume that my experience was unlike, or just like, theirs. Everyone’s experience is unique, although some are sadly similar. While my experience is common, I didn’t want people to feel unable to identify with the feelings and emotions purely because their experience wasn’t quite the same.
I was ashamed. I hated what happened and how it ended. It connected to all my feelings of ‘not-enough-ness’.
My ex had a relationship with someone else. When it came to choosing, he didn’t choose me and our marriage. That, in a nutshell, is it.
My story though, as you’ll know if you read my posts, is much longer, more nuanced, and complicated than that. There have been huge heartaches, lessons learnt and believe it or not, positive experiences. I have learnt an enormous amount about myself and who I am and want to be.
It has been a useful experience to connect with others who face the same ordeal. When I say ‘I know what you mean’, I really know what you mean.
It’s because of this, I’d love to feature the stories of others on this blog. Being able to identify with someone else is the reason I started this, and wrote my book. Surviving Separation and Divorce features the stories of five friends, each of whom has a unique experience and perspective.
So if you have a story you’d be willing to share or that you’d like to share anonymously, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you and share your story to help others in this situation.