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a note of a most personal nature...

I used to be impulsive.
I used to be the kind of girl who never walked but who ran full steam ahead.
Patience was not my virtue.
I used to be a free spirit.
Yet I sweated the small stuff every day.
I knew what I wanted but was too fearful or too intimidated to go after it.
Or perhaps was too afraid to fail.

And then I had children.
I had to slow down.
I had to learn to lead by example.
I had to learn to become more patient.
I had to learn to stop sweating the small stuff.
I had to learn to stop being intimidated or afraid.
I had to learn to accept failure from time to time.

As a mother I was still incredibly creative.
As a mother I was still incredibly passionate.
As a mother I was still incredibly appreciative
Of the beauty of life and all around me.
Perhaps even more so.
As a mother I saw things differently.
As a mother I started to see things from the eyes of a child.
As a mother I started to see things in a new light.

Even now I am still eternally optimistic.
(Some may call me a dreamer.
Some may say I have my head in the clouds.)
Even now I can still see the silver lining.
Even now I still see my glass as half full.

Motherhood has given me more confidence.
Motherhood has made me more determined.
Motherhood has made me stronger. Fiercer.
Motherhood has given me the courage to stand up for myself.
Motherhood has given me the strength to roll with the punches.
I have always had a powerful voice.
Motherhood has taught me how to use it.

I used to let life happen.
I have learned that in order to be really happy I must make life happen.

A year ago I started to realize that I was not really happy.
I started to realize that I was going through the motions of living but I wasn't really living. I was becoming a spectator and I wanted to be a player. I had all the wonderful "things" a person could want. But we all know that material possessions cannot buy happiness. I felt terribly for feeling and thinking the way I did. But these feelings started to grow and overwhelm. I could ignore them no longer. I was forced to take a good long look at everything around me and realized, although I had known (but not realized) for a long time, that my marriage was not working. We were failing. We were falling apart. A small crack had started in the foundation years earlier. Suddenly the entire home was crumbling. I felt sad and trapped and lonely.

I struggled for many months to figure out what to do. I couldn't possibly break up my family. I had three young children. This would devastate my husband. So I plugged along. But the more I knew that the marriage was broken the sadder and sadder I became. I could ignore the feelings I was having and just keep my unhappiness to myself and go through the motions for the rest of my life so that my family could stay together.

But deep down I knew this was not the right thing to do. I would be up nights crying. Many many nights. For months and months. The more I cried the more I knew I just couldn't go on. I sought help. I sought counseling. In some cases marriages can be fixed. In some cases they can't. They ought not to be. This is one of those cases.

I do not want my kids in a broken family, but more importantly I do not want them in a bad marriage. To stay together for the sake of the children is just wrong. I have been told this by numerous people and professionals. As much as I did not want to hurt my husband I knew, eventually, what had to be said. What had to be done.

I thought of my grandmother, La Jolie Grandmere, as I so often do when I need advice. She lived life. She lived it well. She lived it on her terms. Even from her wheelchair. She never would have settled. She never would have continued living in a manner that would have made her unhappy. She never would have settled. I really hate that word. I just can't think of another right now.

It's been almost a year now. It's no easier now than it was a year ago.
It takes two people to make a marriage. It takes two to cause it to fail. (For you all wondering, there was never an issue with betrayal or infidelity.) Our marriage simply stopped working. The love had been fading for years. My heart is still breaking over the pain this has caused. But in the end I know that my children will be happier and healthier. And in the end I think my husband will be too. He truly deserves someone who can love him madly, deeply. As do I.

I remember clearly in one therapy session. He said he had tried to give me everything. He wanted to give me the moon and the stars. I know he did. I know. I think about this daily. This still brings tears to my eyes.

I explained it well to the children, I think. You can have two people who are wonderful on their own. But together they are like water and oil. They do not mix. They do not compliment one another. We both love our children very, very much. Our children know this. We are sure to tell them as often as we can.

This was not an easy decision. This is certainly not the easiest path to take. There is pain daily. The tears are still there, almost daily.

I am not writing this to vent or air any dirty laundry. I am not writing this to hurt anyone. I do not want to be nasty. I am trying my best to handle my situation with grace and dignity. I am writing this for others to read partly to explain the reason behind some of my posts, and partly to give others some insight. And partly to inspire others by telling my story. The more I talk the more I know you are out there like me.

I do not advocate divorce. It is long and tough and grueling. But sometimes it truly is the answer. It is not something to be afraid nor is it something to be ashamed of. We all deserve the best and we all deserve happiness. My children do. My husband does. I do.

the greatest gift

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