When we got together Joel and I agreed that marriage ruined good relationships. We had each recently escaped bad marriages. I remember a particular road trip, drinking coffee and talking intensely, where we swore never to marry each other.
We’ve always done things our way and damn the consequences. We clove to each other when we were ordered to stay away because we were causing an “international scandal”. We gave birth to two beautiful boys, united in our passion for natural birth and breastfeeding. We shared dreams of possible futures. We agreed on a polyamorous lifestyle because how could you possibly go through life loving only one person? We eventually got married – our way, without regrets.
We are getting divorced now. Did you know that sometimes love, respect, and good communication is not enough to keep a marriage together? For the past few years we have worked to align our paths. Despite our best efforts, we can no longer justify staying together. We choose growth and happiness as individuals over marriage. We never promised each other forever, but after 16 years we’ve built up habits. We don’t even really have hard feelings. Our paths go in different directions.
Let me be clear though: we are not breaking up. Being poly means that we can let our relationships be what they truly are rather than what we think they should be. We are getting legally divorced because it’s important to me as part of being an individual. I don’t want to be a wife. We are currently not living together because we need some time to heal, but I don’t know what the future holds. Our lives are still very much entwined. He is my friend. Our relationship continues to evolve. We are becoming something else because we have the power and the bravery to stay open to each other through the pain.
I think we could both use a little extra love and support from those close to us. We are doing this our way so we don’t need people to give advice, cast blame, or talk shit. We’ve got this, but there isn’t an acceptable protocol for offering social support around the inevitable grief at the passing of a primary bond. Maybe just let us know that you are thinking of us. Have faith that we are looking out for each other and the family we created.
Even knowing I am making the right choices and we are working together to ease the transition, it hurts like fuck. I am tearing up my roots. I am moving forward with my life. I honor our past and the person Joel has become. I love him and I always will.