I’ve borne witness to the hushed conversations and sympathetic glances surrounding a woman going through a divorce. I’ve heard the million I’m sorrys offered to her and seen the look on her face when she really doesn’t know how to respond. I’ve watched women transition from “married with kids” to “single mom”. I’ve also heard the judgmental comments. I’ve listened to other women go on about how they would never tear their families apart, regardless of their happiness. I’ve watched a hurting woman be twisted into a selfish woman in someone else’s mind. 

I didn’t fully comprehend what that meant until I became her, though. 

I left my husband for myself, but also for my children. 

You heard me right. I left my husband in part for the benefit of my children. He was/is not abusive. He is a pretty good dad. They would not have been in harm’s way physically had I stayed. But still, my choosing to divorce their father will benefit them in the long run. 

Although their dad isn’t an abusive person, he wasn’t a good partner for me. We weren’t good for each other. There were problems small and large that we couldn’t work out. The love we had was not a display of the kind of love I want my sons to go looking for one day. The husband he was is not the kind of husbands I want my sons to be one day. We didn’t work together, and that did and would continue to have an effect on our entire family. 

For a long time, I stayed and told myself it was for our sons. For a long time, I told myself that growing up in two homes, like I did, would be worse for them than growing up with their parents miserable but together. For a long time, I lied to myself. The boys started getting older, and my toddler was already showing signs of being affected by the fighting. The tension in the house was so thick at times you could slice it with a knife. I finally admitted to myself, my head hung in shame, that this was not beneficial to anyone. 

I was ashamed of my failed marriage. I was ashamed of the fact that ultimately I was the one to make the decision that would result in my children growing up in a “broken” home. I was heartbroken, scared, and so full of guilt. 

That changed when I realized that two homes doesn’t have to mean “broken”. I realized that sometimes God brings people together for a time, but not forever. I realized that just because our marriage was ending didn’t mean it didn’t serve its purpose. We brought two beautiful children into this world together, and our duty is now to them. 

In my leaving, I have given myself a chance to find happiness within myself and possibly one day with someone else. I have given my sons the chance to witness what a marriage should look like, hopefully both with me and their dad. I wish him nothing but the best and continue to pray that our relationship as co-parents will be the best it can possibly be for our children. Our marriage, on the other hand, was not. 

I left my husband for the benefit of everyone involved, including my children. I didn’t tear their family apart, I just changed the dynamics. I may have turned the page in our lives, but that doesn’t mean I ended the book; we’re just starting a new chapter.

You may also like: 

I Was Better Off Divorced

I’m Done Being a Victim of Divorce

What I Wish I Could Tell My Child Self About Divorce

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Shelbie Tanner

I’m a full time bookkeeper, but my favorite “job” is being Mama to my sons. I have a love for all things personalized, early morning cuddles, and way too many sweets. Writing is my favorite way to talk about how much I love motherhood and my hope is that the things I write will resonate with other moms.