In the next few weeks, there will be a few major changes in my life. Gabriel's mom, my spouse for the last four years, is moving out of our apartment, and we will start the divorce process. Big news. Sad news. You may be asking at this point why I am choosing to blog about this in a public forum, and the answer is simple: writing not only helps me understand my own feelings, but this method also allows me to share my thoughts and wishes with many friends and family in a simple way.
For those that know us, you understand that we do not live in Camelot, nor have we ever pretended to be anything other than we were. We, like so many other couples, have had our ups and downs. This is not a sudden choice based off of a single act but the realization of what is best for our son and each other. I want Gabe's mom to be happy-- period. We will continue to be friends and parents to our precocious child. I will forever be grateful to her for showing me the Academic world in which I excel and for bringing our son into the world, who makes me smile every day.
You may have noticed that I refer to my spouse as Gabe's mom. This is intentional; I don't want to use the term "Ex-wife" in describing my future relationship with her. She is the mother of my son, and he loves her. It is important that he sees a high level respect from me, and I feel that overusing the term "Ex" dehumanizes the individual and leads to cutting comments and bad gossip. My son deserves better, and I want him to be nurtured in an environment free of aggression towards his parents.
For those wanting to reach out, I am offering a list of ways to ease this change for all of us.
Don't say "I told you so." Really. Not only is a statement like that distasteful in the first place, it is not the kind of energy that I want to be around or associate with. We all need to heal, and I ask for respect and love instead of spite and nay-saying. Positive thoughts and words will foster a healthier stage for all of us to deal with this major change.
Don't add any fuel to the fire. Don't ask for any specific details about my marriage from me or offer any gossip. It will not make me feel better, and I do not want to expose my shortcomings as entertainment. (See the previous paragraph about positive loving energy)
Don't point fingers or ask someone else to. Marriage, as with everything in life, is complicated. I wish there was a simple answer to explain it all to me, but there isn't. Rather than dwell on what went wrong in my relationship, I want to grow into a better person. The "blame game" is not productive and only leads to bitterness. Don't enable me to become stuck in a rut. I need to move on.
Call me. I know that I am horrible at answering my phone, and I will work on that. I haven't had any happy news for some time, and I felt that no one would want to listen to me, but I want to be a friend again.
Forgive me for hiding for so long. I have been a bad friend. I am sorry. Give me another shot at friendship. I miss you, and I could use your friendship again right now. (This applies to many, many people)
Message me. I am great at returning emails, and I am somewhat proficient at returning facebook messages. Keep in touch and let me know about happy things in your life. Sharing your happiness with me makes me smile, and I like to smile. Please don't hesitate in shining your sun in my direction.
Love my son. This is the most important thing that you can do. If you live near us, and you see him, give him a big hug and tell him what a wonderful child he is. If you live farther away, keep him in your thoughts/prayers/meditations. He will be the one to experience the most change, and while I know that he is excited to have two homes, I worry about him. I want him to have the best in life. I feel like I have failed him with this change, but I know that he is better off having parents who are friends rather than having parents that cannot talk to each other from years of fighting. He is a beautiful child, deserving of the purest love you can give.
Respect his mother. I do not want Gabe to be torn apart in the middle of this divorce. If you cannot be kind and respectful of his mom, then you do not need to be a part of his life or mine.
Find me a couple roommates! I will have a three bedroom apartment in Manhattan that will soon have two empty rooms. The rooms are cheaply priced, so that I can get the right people to live with me. If you are going to Columbia or just want to live in Morningside Heights, message me and we will talk. I want to make some new friends and get involved in my own life again, so help me create an awesome apartment.
Buy me a motorcycle. This is a long shot, but if you are sitting on some extra money and can't think of how to be supportive, I want to get back on a bike soon!
I am not expecting the next few moths to be easy, but I am full of hope in starting this new chapter of my life and excited about the diverse possibilities. Although this is not the reality that I had dreamed about, I know that we are taking the right steps to a happier life for all three of us.