How Do You Know It's Time To Separate?
I remember when I was struggling with the question. How do I know if I should
separate? Should we get a divorce? I remember when I realized that this very
question was beginning to consume my mind. I had two little kids. How am I
supposed to just give up on my family I wondered. Eventually I asked my Dad,
who had been divorced from my mom for many years, how did he know. He answered
in a way I've never forgotten. He told me that I would know when the bad
memories began to wipe away the good ones. He said sometimes issues in a
marriage are like cancer. If it's an issue that is fundamental, it will
eventually just spread through the marriage like cancer can through a body.
Once that starts happening, it can be pretty hard to remember what the good
memories are, or why you even got married. I tucked that piece of advice away.
I tried to focus on the good memories so that the bad ones couldn't take over.
Somehow it just didn't work. One morning, I literally fell out of bed trying to
make sure my then husband didn't touch me. I realized then that we might be at
the point of no return. I began figuring out how I might make it on my own
financially. Once I had a plan, it seemed I never looked back. I realized that
if I wanted to salvage some kind of decent parenting relationship, that I was
going to have to separate and get some space before the bad memories turned us
into bitter, angry, vindictive people. So I did. It wasn't easy, and to this
day I occassionally wonder if I gave up too easily. I don't think so, and if
I'd pushed on, I would have likely wound up with an enemy instead of just an
ex-husband. I can live with it. After all, the bad memories outweighed the
good ones, but they didn't wipe the slate clean. We all survived, and I'm