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“In the end, your family tree is a diagram of a thousand choices, all made in your favor.”
Robert Brault

I am so enjoying watching the colors of the leaves on my trees change.

Parenting is hardly an exact science. In fact, it is really the biggest conceivable game of roulette because virtually every decision a parent makes is fraught with uncertainty. The outcome is often unpredictable and we frequently don’t learn the consequences of our choices for many years.

I haven’t written much about the changes that have taken place in my life over the course of the past several months, although all of my friends and many of my colleagues are aware that I bought another home. And that I am living in it with my two sons, but not with my husband. He continues residing, along with our two dogs, Buddy and Sophie, in the home my parents built and in which I was raised.

The change came quickly — I began shopping for a home in June and purchased my current residence in July after it had been on the market just two days. I knew immediately that it was the home I wanted to buy. We moved on Labor Day weekend and have spent the past two months getting settled in.

The change came after many years of dreaming and planning, however.

And that is my confession: I thought I was doing the right thing for my children by continuing to reside with their father. I now realize that I was wrong. I should have taken them with me and established a new home for the three of us many years ago. If I had done so, they would not have had to endure some of the challenges and disappointments that they have experienced. But I felt that I was putting their needs ahead of my own by remaining in the marriage.

I now know that my children were victims of my good intentions. All of the choices I have made since the moment I learned I was carrying each of them have been choices made in their favor, on their behalf, with their very best interests at the forefront of my deliberative process. But they would have been better off had I chosen to be happy myself. I have now seen that much of their happiness flows from my own.

There are as many reasons why marriages do not last as there are marriages, and I have no plan to chronicle private details about the 24 years I spent with their father. What I will say is this: I believe that not everyone is meant to be or should be married, but many of us grew up believing that marriage and children were our inevitable destiny. I do not believe that marriage is conducive to my personality and habits. As I told one friend, “I don’t play well with others when it comes to my house and the way I want it maintained.” I am a very fastidious, orderly, organized person. I can’t stand clutter or chaos. I could never again cohabit with someone who is not as adamant about cleanliness as I am.

I would never presume to speak for or on behalf of BigBob. But I am happier than I have been in . . . oh, about 24 years. My boys tell me that they are much happier now and they certainly appear to be. They are flourishing in their new home with me, while maintaining, on their own terms, their relationships with their father. They bring Sophie over to our new home for what I refer to as “custodial visits,” and see Buddy when they go back to my other house where they still have their rooms.

I don’t believe in regret, so this will likely be the only “confessional” I will write. As time passes, the twinges of guilt are less frequent. The “V-8 moments” when I recall an incident or situation and know now what I didn’t know then, i.e., that it would have been an ideal time to move, are gradually becoming less intrusive and painful. My boys are confident in the fact that both of their parents love them unconditionally, but are flawed beings lacking prescience. And I am confident that all three of us are doing just fine — and will continue to thrive.

is a weekly writing exercise hosted by Sprite’s Keeper and is a weekly writing exercise hosted by Fresh Mommy.


14 Comments

  1. Elizabeth

    Makes me think of “hindsight is 20/20”. Love you. 🙂

  2. Being a parent really is difficult. Every time, you have to make a difficult decision for you children and setting aside you happiness. 🙁 But that’s how life as it is. Decision, whether difficult or not, we should live life to the fullest. 😉
    .-= Sam´s last undefined . . . If you register your site for free at =-.

  3. Wow, this is quite the confession. Of course, only knowing you through the blogosphere, I would not have suspected, but your tone is definitely happy and firm. I’m very happy for you that you’ve made such a big step, a step so many never make even if it is the best choice. Mazel Tov on your new home and your new life!
    You’re linked!
    .-= Sprite’s Keeper´s last blog . . . Spin Cycle: I confess, but only because I bruise easily. =-.

  4. I must say being a parent is the most tiring, hardest, crazy, rewarding and best job any person could ever do! Every age group represents its problems and difficulties but as a parent you try your best and do what you think is right – if your kids grow up to be well balanced loving human beings than you’ve done a good job!

  5. Anonymous

    My parents recently went through a divorce after about 24 or 25 years of marriage. It didn’t really effect me a whole lot since I had already moved out of the house, but I do worry about the effect it will have on my little sister. She is only 9 years old and, honestly, not the brightest kid her age. I worry that she might not understand it properly and that it could effect her negatively.

    I hope that my worries are unfounded, and they probably are, but it worries me nonetheless. I’m glad your sons aren’t having too many difficulties with your separation. It can be a very hard time for the whole family, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be TOO hard.

  6. Divorce is never easy on anyone especially children. My children were very young when their mom left us. They are older now but still have some issues that may never be solved.

  7. Anonymous

    I must say being a parent is the most tiring, hardest, crazy, rewarding and best job any person could ever do! Every age group represents its problems and difficulties but as a parent you try your best and do what you think is right – if your kids grow up to be well balanced loving human beings than you’ve done a good job!

  8. My mom has been married and divored 3 times. She has three children by all three marriages. It can be very hard.

  9. Joe Thompson

    Glad things are working out well for you after the move, I had to go through the same things in my family and I can attest that many times the children will be happier after the divorce, if it leads to a more relaxed and loving environment.

  10. Anonymous

    Marriage is supposed to last. As long as a divorce isn’t due to infidelity, or abuse, its
    sad that it can break up. Children can and do handle diversity better than we give them credit for. They learn from hardships and challenges too, just as we do. Life is easier after a move, but in the long run what does it teach them about handling the next difficult time?

  11. That was a really brave thing you did! I honestly wish my sister would do the same thing. Choose happiness! Love and light.

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