My husband and I successfully restarted our lives together as co-parents by occupying separate residences a number of years ago. Some consider this a failure from a marital perspective and in some ways, they would be right. In other ways, they couldn’t be more wrong. By virtue of our lack of common postal code, we don’t fit a conventional model of matrimonial success.

I still feel like we won in the end.

We had a beautiful child. I can’t categorize anything that resulted in those amazing blue eyes as a failure. Our union resulted in something precious, something more valuable than any shared asset we decided how to divide when everything went sideways. I hope I fail a lot in life, if failure can bring majesty like my little person’s perfect fingers and toes. Our marriage was successful because it brought forth a new life that forever changed ours.

We gained perspective. Untying the knot gave us enough distance to be able to see and appreciate one another. Our marriage, even in its dissolution, taught us a lot about ourselves and each other. We transitioned together from teens to young adults to new parents. We grew, and in the space our separation created, were able to witness the other’s rising from the ashes. I can’t consider gaining that level of insight to be unsuccessful.

We became a team and that didn’t end with our marriage. We are raising a child together. Co-parenting from afar required improvement to our communication and problem solving skills. We learned not to sweat the small stuff and focus on what really matters: our child. Our commitment to each other as partners in parenting has never been stronger and I call that a win.

We promised to love each other forever and we still do. Not being together doesn’t mean we aren’t there for each other, that we don’t care about the struggles in the other’s lives or that we don’t feel for each other deeply. It’s not a romantic love, but it’s still valid, and it still counts. I can still bank on it when I need something, and so can he. Love was always the prize we were aiming for, we just didn’t plan for it to look like this.

We don’t live together and we didn’t get our happily ever after in the way that we imagined we would. I didn’t see this in my future through the film of my lacy white veil. I didn’t sign up for any of this and neither did he. Things didn’t turn out the way we planned at all. But it wasn’t a failure.

We created life, we can see each other more clearly and we are still on the same team. Divorce wasn’t the end, it was just a different beginning in our relationship. We planned to raise a family together and we are. We just have different postal codes, and that’s okay. We were never conventional to begin with, so I don’t know why we would expect our success to be. We won in the end – I don’t think we failed at all.


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1 Comment

  1. I have always disliked the term “failed marriage.” It takes more than not leaving to make a marriage a good one. And it takes awareness, patience, and effort to effectively co-parent after a divorce! Sounds like you are providing a healthy atmosphere for your child. Well done! This is no easy feat and, as you say, no failure!

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