What follows is more or less excerpted from an email I sent to family and some close friends last night:
While there was a precipitating crisis that caused us to make this decision, I'm not going to share the details here. The fact is that we have been allowing other things to take precedence over our relationship, and that, untended, it had long since withered, a sad truth in which we share blame. The specific event that opened our eyes to this realization was a symptom, not a cause.So there's that. I really am doing okay. When I was talking to KT on the phone last night, she said, "You sound angry and sad and a little scared, but not broken-hearted," and that's actually a pretty fair summation of things. I'm trying to focus on the silver linings and trust that sooner or later, the clouds will dissipate.
Our number one concern right now, of course, is Penny's and Alex's well-being. We want them to understand that they are in no way responsible for this separation, that we both still love them very much, and that we will both continue to be their parents, whatever else may happen. To this end, we are sharing custody and keeping this separation cordial. We don't want to tell them that everything is fine, because it clearly is not, but to let them know that they are as loved and supported as ever, which is 100% true.
In response to what I imagine will be some FAQs:
1) I'm doing okay. I'm not skipping through a field of wildflowers, but I'm not sobbing myself to sleep every night or going through life in a shell-shocked daze, either. I'm eating, I'm enjoying things, I'm making plans, I'm talking to my counselor.
2) The kids are doing pretty well so far. They're obviously still processing (I'm pretty sure Alex doesn't entirely understand what we've told him yet), but we took them for a quick tour of Matt's new apartment, and they seem pretty excited by the possibility of additional space to store their stuff! I know there are harder times ahead for them as reality sets in, but I've been assured by multiple sources that they will largely follow my lead and Matt's as we all adjust to this change, and so Matt and I are making every effort to give them positive examples to follow, and we're encouraging Penny to talk to us and to others about her feelings.
I've already heard from so many friends who have been nothing but supportive that I can only look at one message at a time or I'm in danger of bursting into tears. I want to thank you all for the offers of assistance and your words of sympathy and your thoughts and prayers. We're going to get through this and come out on the other side the stronger for it.
Life is full of changes. Maybe this will (eventually) be one of the good ones.