I Think I Need to Clarify

First of all, thank you all so much for your comments, emails, and Facebook messages. I really am overwhelmed by how many people care about what I’m going through. Even after me only updating sporadically here and not posting anymore at all on the bump boards/MM. Honestly… I can’t say how much it means to me to know that people are wishing good things for me and for Caroline. Even people we don’t know in real life at all.

But I need to expand a little on my last post, I think. Yes, we are getting divorced. The word itself still sounds ugly and horrible to me. But this decision is 100% mine and I am about 90% happy with it at this point. (Our counselor asked me what the other 10% was and I hesitated and finally said “guilt” and she looked at me like she knew that I was done.) It feels like… relief. And hope. And lots of sadness, too, but… mostly I am looking forward because I am tired of feeling like I am only going to live my life halfway happy.

The awful parts: how devastated he is. The guilt trips. The knowledge that I am denying him a full relationship with his child (he’s going to live across the country from us… how can they really ever be close?). The worry that I’m not doing what’s best for her… that I’m being selfish. Feeling like I could die when I see him hug her and cry…

The good parts: the relief of having made the decision. Knowing deep down that this is the right thing. Caring for her alone without feeling that awful, all-consuming resentment about the fact that she and I will always come in second or third after his career. Hoping that someday I will find someone who is able to give me what I need… that better times are coming. Taking charge of this life that seemed like it was completely derailed by those two lines and this beautiful child while his continued all but undisturbed.

I can’t stay with someone just because I feel bad for them. I can’t keep faking it. This is going to happen at some point and I may as well follow through before things are much more complicated… before we have a house, real jobs, money, more children. Do I split up our family now, or in ten years? The move to Denver that has been looming is really what forced the issue. It was like, do I move forward with this? Do I pack up my life and leave all my family and friends, find a job out there, have more children with him, buy a house with him? Or do I just… not?

I choose not.

I know this is the right thing. I know it because he hasn’t lived here for three weeks or more, and I feel… at peace. Relieved. Happy. Not that I don’t care about him or wish him well. He is a good person who deserves more than someone who is always looking over her shoulder for a different life.

Please don’t feel sorry for me. Well, if you want, you can feel sorry for the messiness and sadness and legalness of it all… because that part really is terrible. But I’m making the hard choice that I feel is the right one.

Thank you again for all of your support. Really. I am tearing up just typing this.

Photo by Kari Merkel

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  1. by Anonymous

    On September 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    im sick for you. i am having trouble with my husband as well. i wrote to you a while back, i am also a dentist with an infant. i told you to stick with it, and i am so glad you did- so now you can provide for caroline without worry. from just reading your posts i can tell you are a strong, motivated person and you will come out the other end of this happy, with a healthy well-adjusted child. marriage is hard, its harder with a child,and even harder with a career. hang in there, i am pulling for you and wishing you the best! stephanie

  2. by Desi

    On September 17, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I think you are so strong for going through with what you know is right. I dont' think I've ever commented before on your blog, but I just want you to know how strong I think you are and that I find it very inspiring.Also, I don't feel sorry for you. I'm very happy for you.

  3. by Bex

    On September 17, 2010 at 5:34 am

    I had a feeling, reading your post yesterday, that this is how it went. I had a feeling, because it's exactly how I feel right now. I love my partner, very much, but I haven't been in love with him for a long, long time now. Something just…died, during all the difficult months of adjusting to first the idea, then the reality, of a child.I've been pretty honest with him that I don't have feelings for him anymore. For a long time I was willing to do whatever it took, for Jack's sake, to try and love him again. But I think inside I know that I am done. And it is pretty terrifying.So I don't feel sorry for you, meaning I don't pity you, but I do feel sorry for what you're about to go through, because I can feel the road ahead closing in on me myself. How hard is it to leave someone who doesn't want you to leave? Especially when you're effectively taking his child away as well? My God the guilt of that alone is stopping me from just doing what I know in my heart I must do.And I mourn, so much, the perfect, simple little family I might have had. Because in the future, if I leave, even should I find someone I love dearly and have more children with him, there will always be this fracture, this "step" family, this sharing of my child. We won't just be a solid unit, free to go wherever we please, live wherever we want, without having to consult someone else who has as great of a stake in out lives as we do.So that's what I meant by this is hard. I hope I didn't depress you by writing all of this, I'm sure it's that you can think of right now.But you give me hope. That feeling of relief you describe, that feeling that now your life can move on into a better place, not a place of compromise and dreams given up – I want it. I want to feel that way, hopeful again, not like my life was decided for me by those two little lines.Okay, I'm writing a book here. I'll stop now. Just know that I'll be cheerleading you from here.

  4. by Mrs. V

    On September 17, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I admire your strength. It is amazing to see how strong you are, and I think that you ending things now was a very loving and compassionate thing to do, instead of letting it linger, and wishing things were different.You have inspired me time and time again to stand up for what I believe in and to do what I think is right. Congratulations to you, on the beginning of your new beginning! We're rooting for you!

  5. by Kylie Mc

    On September 17, 2010 at 8:59 am

    i feel so sad reading this. i think marriage is the hardest thing to maintain in life, esp when work and children come into the picture. we all dream of the fairytale, but the reality is much different. that being said, there is happiness, you just have to find what works best for you. thinking of you…

  6. by Ashley T

    On September 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I envy your courage and your willingness to do the thing you know it right even when it may be the hard thing.Good luck and congrats on your exciting new adventure. I think the world has a lot in store for you.

  7. by Kittybits

    On September 17, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I'm currently separated from my husband, and just about to pop (38w5d pregnant), and I wanted to offer some sort of…something, anything, to help you out. But I realize that you help me more than I could ever try to help you, so I will just say thank you for this blog and for being courageous enough to share with us, and offer my hope for the brand-new dream that you and Caroline are sharing.

  8. by Merks

    On September 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Love you.

  9. by Emily Hanley

    On September 17, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Julia,I've never commented on your blog before, but I've been reading it since the day the two lines appeared on the stick. :) I gasped out loud at work when I saw the big-D on your last post. But ya know, things didn't add up and you both had separate agendas despite both being really fantastic people. You're a great mom and you will be a great dentist. You'll also be a wonderful wife again in the future and I know you'll make the best of this. Wishing you nothing but love, luck and determination. :) ~Emily

  10. by Angela Darling

    On September 19, 2010 at 12:16 am

    As a child of divorced parents I can tell you that you just have to trust yourself that you are making the right decision. It's certainly not easy at the beginning of this process, but your child will be so glad later on that this has happened. It's hard to see your parents separated, but it is (without question) harder to see them trying to stay together when you can see how unhappy they are. (I hope that makes sense.) I wish you the very best. Stay the strong woman that you are. You certainly aren't alone in what you are going through. Thank you for having the guts to share it, because it's easy to see by the comments you are getting, that you are inspiring other women to stay strong as well. hugs n' squishes :)

  11. by jCam

    On September 19, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I know you said not to feel sorry for you, but I do feel sorry that you are having to go through this. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible. And I commend you for being so strong. You really sound like you have an amazing attitude about it all. ::hugs::

  12. by Alana

    On September 19, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I have been following the blog from the 5th post or so, but I am generally a lurker. I want to applaud you on your strength. I wish all the best for your family and for Tyler.

  13. by Alana

    On September 19, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Also, I don't think anyone feels sorry for you. We are women fortunate enough to live in a time where we are free to make the decision we feel is right and pursue a better life for our children and for ourselves.

  14. by lifeingreene

    On September 21, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    long time reader here just wanted to let you know that you're in my thoughts. my parents divorced when I was about Caroline's age and I know that I know that I respect my mother so much for making that decision to take her life into her own hands and be happy. You're setting a good example for the strong woman that you're raising. Best of luck to you.

  15. by D Team Auntie

    On September 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

    I have been following your blog for the past year, yet I've never sent you a message before. I started following your blog because I randomly came across it through another friends blog. At the time, I was thinking about pursuing dental school, and was and am inspired by the fact that you are doing it, with a baby! See, I have a two year old son, and last year, I filed for divorce from his father. The decision was mine, and from your brief post, it sounds like we are in pretty similar situations. I knew that it was over, and debating with ending it sooner versus continuing to try to work on it, and having to end it when things are much more complicated. I chose sooner. I just want to let you know, that it is hard – but if you feel in your bones that this is right, then it is. Don't worry about needing to explain it to anyone else, this is something only you can fully understand. People will see the true happiness begin to shine in you again, and they will understand as time passes. I am one year post-divorce, and can honestly say that I can't remember ever being this happy. There are moments when I want to through myself a pity party, and just sit and cry because it's hard, but I am so glad that I was strong enough to make the right decision for myself and for my son. I don't know you in real life – but I am proud of you for making this decision. This is your one life, you deserve to be 100% happy. I will be thinking of you. Please feel free to email me or find me on Facebook. -Kristina VanDijk