So I’ve been having a hard time, lately. Not because anything is wrong, really, just because, change is hard. But I got a message from my “husband” earlier today asking me to peruse a blog post he had written on another site we used to run together. He gave me permission to copy and paste it here.
So…here it is.
The best thing we have done to strengthen our friendship and our family in 2019 has been to end our marriage. It hasn’t ended because of the difference in our religion. It hasn’t ending because of some argument or some indiscretion. It has ended because we are better as friends, best friends, than we ever were at being husband and wife. And we will never not be a part of each other’s lives. For several years we have been putting our marriage over the needs of Rebecca, Adam, and our children.
When I left the church, I had asked myself “If it wasn’t true, would you want to know?”; and when I stopped, stepped back from everything, and honestly answered that question—in gut wrenching brutal honesty—everything changed. It was that exact question at that exact time that was needed.
A couple months ago now, Rebecca blindsided me with a different question. She asked, out of the blue, “Am I a shitty wife?”
According to her, I just stood there frozen with a stupid look on my face. My thoughts were racing; “How could she be a shitty wife? I love her! She is my best friend and the mother of my children! She is an amazing woman that anyone would be lucky to have! Why am I standing here not answering the question!”
But for some reason that exact question at that exact time forced me once again to step back from everything, and honestly evaluate that question in gut-wrenching brutal honesty. It took a few days to really pick it apart. She wasn’t asking if she was a shitty person. She wasn’t asking if I loved her. What she was asking was about that specific role she has in my life, and in the reflection, about the specific inverse role I have in her life. And the answer was that we were not good in those roles for each other. And we hadn’t been for a long time.
So we had more very honest and raw conversations. And have had several very honest and raw conversations since then. There is no way that we could have become the people we are today without each other. The support that she has given me in my journey has been immeasurable. And she has become a strong and accomplished woman as I do my damnedest to keep up and support her in everything she sets out to do. We are each other’s best friends. We are the people that we can turn to and break down in tears and crumble to dust, only to be picked up and put back together better than we were before. And everyone should have that person.
But I was a shitty husband for her. And she was a shitty wife for me. And neither of us deserve to be with a shitty spouse for the rest of our lives. When faced with the decision between fighting for a marriage or fighting for the people in that marriage, the people in the marriage need to come out on top every single time.
I don’t know where life will lead us next, but we go there as better friends, still united by those chains that have always held us together, and freed from those chains with which we were holding each other back. It feels like the end of en era, but every end just marks a new beginning.