“Leaving because you want to doesn’t mean you pack your bags the moment there’s strife or struggle or uncertainty. It means that if you yearn to be free of a particular relationship and you feel that yearning lodged within you more firmly than any of the competing and contrary yearnings are lodged, your desire is not only valid, but probably the right thing to do. Even if someone you love is hurt by that.”–Cheryl Strayed

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post for a while now. It’s the reason for my long silence. If you’re reading this, then by now I’ve either told you, or you’ve figured it out.

This year, I got divorced.

For a long while, I thought that if I shamed myself, gave myself a strict talking-to, reasoned with myself, maybe I could change, could make it work, could make myself work harder.

I found that for me, that was a bit like kicking a lame person as motivation to get up and walk.  My heart was deflated. Our therapist said it’s called burn out. And that’s exactly what it felt like–I had nothing left to give.

This will not satisfy many people. They will think there is something more I could have done. That I should have stayed, period. If that is you, I don’t ask for your approval, only your gentleness–and the recognition that while every marriage is partly public and communal, there are parts that will always be unseen and unknowable to everyone outside the two partners. I ask for your love and support for Michael. I ask for you to hold off on blaming either of us, and to know that we have a lot of love for each other.

But while I still wrestle with deep regret and sorrow over my myriad mistakes in the process of leaving, I keep coming back to Glennon Doyle’s words:

Most of us fight like hell for our marriages until we realize that we can either save our marriages or save our souls.

As painful and shitty and sad as it is, I believe I chose the path that saves my soul.

And what’s more: I’m beginning to believe it’s worth saving.


One thought on “PSA

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  1. My dear one, I have suspected this for a while now, but chose only to pray and not pry. I think you’re tremendously brave for sharing about it on your blog … well, I think you’re tremendously brave in a thousand things, but yes, this too.

    20-year-old Jackie might have been like you describe, but not 35-year-old me. I’ve learned life is so much more complicated and there are so many shades of gray, and I choose only to love and support. I know we’ve never met in person, but I think you’re amazing, and if there is anything that I can do from up in Minnesota, I hope you know you need only ask.

    All my hugs aimed at you!!


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