It was a foreign concept to me. I had been raised by two parents who were passionate about one another. They argued hard, and they loved harder. No matter what was going on in our family or between them, there was never any question that they were a couple; a team. My dad was never one for public displays of affection but in our home they were all hands on deck. They hugged, snuggled, squeezed and my father often watched tv with his head in my mother's lap. Their old double bed sagged in the middle from where they slept in one another's arms. I wanted that unconditional, stand by you, you're the only one for me, you rock my world kind of marriage.
I could go on in great lengths about the turmoil and pain I went through arriving at the decision to finally end my marriage(s). No doubt it was difficult, just as it was in telling my parents and close friends. But I would be deceiving myself if I didn't admit that the greatest pain of all was that which I caused my children. My choices turned their world upside down and disrupted the security and harmony that I had worked so hard to create in our home.
There is no making it up to them. What is done - is done. However I made it my mission to create a new kind of security for them; the comfort and stability that comes from knowing that you come from unconditional, omnipresent love that will never die. I am proud that their fathers and I made a conscious effort to be, and continue to be, solid, unwavering parents to them.
Here is the single most important key to creating a loving, extended tribe:And so be it. I hope I have taught my girls that we are singularly responsible for the life we create for ourselves; but also that our lives intersect with many and they too deserve consideration and empathy.
Our love for our kids is greater than any other abiding emotion we may have. Bigger than our anger, resentment, jealousy, or any other residual toxins that can remain from a broken relationship.