As you may remember, I wrote my first "Midlife Isis" blog and promised a weekly installation detailing my separation from my husband of 13 years and our plan to raise our sons in a loving-but-non-nuclear family. That was three weeks and three rough drafts ago. Turns out, writing this is more difficult than I expected.
The decision to transform our family was the biggest and most difficult decision of our lifetime. First and foremost, we had to answer the question: Can our kids be happy without having both parents under one roof? Or will this, inevitably, screw them up?
Like numerous friends, I grew up in a family with unhappy parents who made the decision to muddle through their bad marriage until the kids turned 18. In the meantime, they faked it, and consequently, I saw them at their worst.
And yet, I know now -- as an adult facing many of the same issues that they did -- that my parents did the best they could and were following a model that was thought to be the best choice. The "staying together until the kids are 18" concept was common during past decades -- particularly the â€˜80s -- but because of my experiences, I can't do it. There are so many reasons for this.
I want my sons to someday live with partners they are truly in love with. I don't want to model a relationship for them -- even with their father -- that is anything less than that. Sure, their father and I love each other, like family members do, but we are not "in love." And we are too young to give up passion, even for the sake of our kids. However, our society -- even the supposedly progressive community in which I live -- suggests that I'm being selfish.
But despite judgments, we soldier on and return to the afore-proposed question: Can our kids be happy living in two households?
Deep thought, conversation, reading, soul searching and weeping -- so much weeping -- helped me come to the conclusion that yes, my sons can be happy living in a non-nuclear family. …Read more...