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I am so very grateful for all the messages of love and support posted to my Facebook page after I wrote about the end of my marriage in a recent blog post. I also had phone calls and emails which I treasured.

Once the decision was made to end our marriage, I realised very quickly the ‘telling other people’ was a huge undertaking in itself. An emotional, sometimes surreal, and scary process. But it got easier with practice, especially as I felt stronger and back on solid ground again.

Finding the right words, as well as being as clear as we could on how we were feeling and what we needed, was such an important part of this journey.

You might know how much I believe in the power of language to create the stories of our lives. So even at one of the most stressful times in my life, I was mindful of the language I chose. One of the early ones I picked up on was the idea of the failed marriage.

Hold on a minute, that does not resonate with me at all! And it is not how I want our marriage to be categorized. I call ours a marriage success, not even proudly, just matter of factly.

Why is our relationship, that is ending, a marriage success? It’s very simple. We are all evolving and changing. Nothing stays the same forever.

We were together for 18 years, married for 15 years and had two wonderful daughters. We travelled the world and had magnificent experiences together. Neither of us has any regrets. 

And the next evolution of our marriage was to complete it.

Yet we are fed this idea that the success of a marriage is based on duration. That the length of the marriage is the most important indicator of its ‘success’.

Even the idea of a successful marriage seems odd to me at the moment. Especially when you read the dictionary definition of the word success.

Nevertheless, I claim the adjective to describe my marriage and I want my children to eventually know this. That there was so much love, and that love evolved.

That even when a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean it was a failure. That they are not failures as they move through the ups and downs of different relationships in their lives.

I certainly don’t want them feeling they come from a ‘broken home’. What the hell is that?!

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  • Yasmine says:

    Dear dear Robyn….can’t stop reading your story about your separation. It’s so true, my god! I have the same feeling from months, that our marriage is just dead in the way that I don’t love Raph like lovers do. It’s over. We did’nt grow in the same way, I’m 45 now and I’m not happy with this kind of relationship. Raph looks blind, the head in his butt…
    I don’t know how to tell him…each time I try, he told me about my bipolarity, it’s not an excuse ! He knows I’m not Happy anymore… But doesn’t matter for him, cause it’s only tantrums from me.
    I’m so lost my dear friend, so lost. I think about the kids, how they are going to face this and I change my mind cause I’m affraid of making them suffer….
    How ? How Robyn…I feel so alone with this…
    Love you and the girls

    • Robyn Patton says:

      Hi Yasmine, I’m sorry to hear about your pain and I completely understand. It’s a tough road to walk, and it’s even more challenging when we think about our kids. But I truly believe they are more resilient than we can ever imagine, and if we’re ok they’re ok.

      My best advice for anyone in your situation is not to go through it alone. Get support! Find a great therapist and work with her/him to navigate this whole process. I repeat – don’t do it alone! When we have excellent support and guidance we can tap into an inner strength and clarity that is needed to undertake whatever is right for us.

      My other suggestion is to set a firm intention on how you want this process to be. For me it was kind, loving and respectful. You might choose firm, loving and grounded. Or clear, loving and respectful. Every tricky conversation and encounter can be supported by your mindful intention.

      You might want to look at the work of Katherine Woodward Thomas I haven’t read her book, but have a poke around her website and see if you like what she has to say. This work is YOUR work…we can’t control other people but we can create our own experience. That was powerfully liberating for me.

      Sending you lots of love
      xxx Robyn

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