"Are you clear on the decision you're making? Because whether you choose to stay or choose to go, there are grave implications either way."
This is what my closest confidante stated as I sobbed after revealing to her all that I'd held in my heart for the past few years regarding my relationship with the man I had married over 13 years ago. I'd just told him a few hours earlier that I was "done", that I wanted a divorce, and I knew that I'd have never uttered a word of it to him if I wasn't confident in my decision.
And she knew it too.
She then told me : "Stay focused. Keep your eye on the end goal of getting out of this relationship. Get angry later. Funnel that energy, that anger, into being productive, being strength and structure for your children and taking care of you. Stay focused and keep your goal right here" and she gently placed my clenched fist directly in front of my eyes, blocking out everything else in the world.
My decision to divorce wasn't made on a whim. It wasn't a "this is the easiest way out" sort of thing. It was something I'd contemplated for over four years - and it was contemplation that I'd done entirely on my own.
No one knew how bad things had gotten between me and my husband. No one knew I was even thinking about this. Because I knew that I was the only one who could contemplate it - and I knew that the only one who could help work on the relationship was said husband.
Serious contemplation was prompted by consistently having to fight for air, importance and recognition in our relationship and the nagging feeling that there was no happiness to be created in what we called a marriage.
Called a marriage. What a joke. What I believed a marriage should be - a heaven created by two people who mutually and genuinely want the best for one another, who face the same direction and walk side by side encouraging one another in the path to their dreams because they believe in the wonder of that person and the beauty of the heaven the two of them have created. That's what I thought he believed a marriage should be as well.
Instead, however, our "marriage" began to look like something completely different - not lovers, sweethearts, best friends, not even co-parents but roommates. What was left of our relationship four years ago had rapidly begun to deteriorate as we spent considerably less time together because he focused on oh, let's loosely call it "work" (because I now know otherwise what he was doing at the office for 10 hours a day) and I was left to raise the children by myself.
And it was one day, near what would be the end of those four years of contemplation, while I was watching my then five-year-old daughter joyfully, gracefully dance around the room with her two-year-old brother in tow, the two of them taking in life, enjoying it, letting it swirl inside them and then giving that energy back to the world... it donned on me: I wouldn't in my wildest dreams wish a relationship like this for either of them.
But what was I doing if not encouraging them to seek it out later in life if I stayed and continued to exemplify it to them?
They don't deserve this. No, I realized: they deserve so much more. "And I'm not going to be the one to teach them different than that."
After that realization, it's like I took a deep breath, steadied myself, and leapt. Those years of contemplation had slowly led me to that moment of clarity but it was that actual moment, those dreams dancing so innocently before me that catapulted me forward.
"Are you clear on the decision you're making...? Then stay focused and keep your goal right here."