Since I last posted, my world has been turned upside down: I have asked my husband to leave and he moved out this weekend to stay with friends until his new flat is ready.
I have tried to let friends and family know before they read this here, and if I've forgotten you then I apologise. My dad heard the news in a less than ideal way and I hope that doesn't happen to anyone else.
We waited until this weekend to tell the children. It was important that they heard it as definite news and not frightening uncertainty. It was important that they were with me and at home in the days immediately following so that their shaken world seemed as stable as possible. There have been tears and many questions, not least why I have broken my promise to them that this would never happen.
It's a question I have had to ask myself, to look at hard, to face with open-eyed courage. I wonder now why I ever felt the need to say it to the children: perhaps I was bolstering my own belief that I could make it true. I truly thought that I could make my marriage work by sheer effort. I knew through years of evangelical Christian teaching that love is a decision, all relationships require effort and marriage is forever. I thought I could do it. This summer I realised that, although I could, I am still sure, have kept it together, the personal cost was becoming too great. Much in the last half-decade has brought about personal growth and a much stronger sense of who I am and I began to see that I could not be all that I am within this relationship. I know that there are those who think I have made a selfish choice, but I believe that I have chosen life, I have chosen a path that will enable me to me more who God created me to be and I think that is what God would want. I think the children will benefit from seeing me happier and more free and, perhaps one day, from seeing their parents in genuinely loving relationships.
Life is going to look very different. Making this choice, causing pain to people I love, has been almost unbearably hard but underneath the tiredness, sadness and fear, I cannot help but find excitement. Life is going to look very different, yes, but life is good, life is full of possibility, opportunity and love. The start of September always feels far more like a new year than January and on this "New Year's Day" I am looking forward to all that life will bring.
"Sometimes, though, it’s really important to ask whether or not what is happening is actually a problem." (August 30th: Handmade Homeschool)