It has been six months since leaving my husband. Six months since I left him for another man. Six months that I have been experiencing the utmost happiness, while also experiencing the most gut wrenching guilt. Six months that I have been paying for my choice through reduced access to my most amazing children ever. Six months where I have stayed silent on this topic because of the guilt and fear of being judged for what I did.
I’m not staying silent anymore.
When I married I meant what I said in my vows, and never intended for it to be my “starter marriage” like some do. It was a forever thing. Or so I thought…
Unfortunately, some small differences grew to be bigger ones over the years. And for a while I was sitting alone at night working out a budget for “if we did split.” Could we afford the house and cars and daycare and child expenses, and everything else? I loved my house and my neighbourhood, and I knew if I was the one to leave I would have to give that all up. We have children, and I had no idea how this would affect them — I had no idea how to co-parent, or how to share time, or any of those things. But, as those lonely nights became more — with him downstairs and me upstairs — I didn’t know how much longer I could do it for.
Instead of facing my unhappiness and voicing my concerns I put on a happy face, sent loving text messages every day, and slept around in secret. It didn’t make me feel good, the guilt was killing me. But, knowing that I could feel attractive and wanted again made me keep going back for more. Until eventually everything changed overnight. Someone who I had been attracted to for awhile showed interest. And, after the first kiss, I knew that I couldn’t stay married any longer. One night, as my husband and I were sitting down to watch a movie, I blurted out that I had been cheating. I left that night and moved out soon after.
I never wanted to cause as much hurt as I did that night — he hadn’t done anything to deserve that, but I didn’t know how else to handle the situation. It was selfish, and, for that, I live with the guilt of it. My children suffered through three moves in six months — switching school, varying schedules, and parents with ever changing temperaments. I can’t watch a movie with a mom and kids in it and not cry anymore, no matter if it is a happy or sad movie. The nights my kids aren’t with me I miss them every single minute. Being a “part-time” parent was never my wish. My kids can drive me crazy but I still want to be there for all of the insane and hair pulling moments. I want to be there to kiss them when they are hurt, and to tell them to go to sleep a million times each evening.
But I wake up now every morning happy — despite my home wrecker label. The kids are adjusting, and opening up to me about their feelings. And I see a light at the end of the tunnel. If I could do it all over again I would try to do it differently, but I would still do it. Because, despite all the problems, and my guilt, I am happier, and that makes me a better mom and a better partner.
Who else has found happiness in leaving their partner?