It was nine years ago that I walked out of my home and told my husband that I was leaving. It was around 5:00 PM on a Sunday in November, so it was cold and getting dark. I remember sitting at the bottom of the steps waiting for him to get home from running an errand. My bag was already packed and in my car.
When he came home, I said the two words that changed everything in both our lives from that point forward: “I’m leaving.”
There is no class on how to release a marriage with dignity for both people, so most of us, myself included, don’t do it very gracefully. We blow-up in anger because we are afraid to feel the raw hurt. We blame our partners in order to mentally justify our decision. And because we’ve been socialized to believe that we have to hate our partners in order to leave them, we look for all the reasons to hate, rather than looking for the reasons to love.
Looking back from my current vantage point as a coach who helps women navigate the jarring terrain of separation and divorce, I have a few pieces of sound advice for my former self.