A New Normal

Hey friends!

I’m starting out todays post a little different than most. First of all, I know I haven’t blogged in this space since OCTOBER! And I missed you guys oh so much. I thought I would start off this post by apologizing for letting you guys all down by not keeping you more updated and by not blogging “like I’m supposed to” but instead I’m going to be painfully honest with you, like I always am in this space. I quit blogging in this space because I was going through a really painful separation and didn’t know who, if anyone, I could trust. I didn’t want to be vulnerable with you guys or with anyone. I feared over sharing a story that’s not exclusively mine. I feared the nasty comments that would follow just like I’ve experienced in real life when people hear about our situation. I feared all of this, but most of all, I didn’t want to be fake with any of you. This is a space that I’ve always prided myself for being open and honest in, even when it means being painfully honest. And quiet frankly, throughout the past six months I haven’t known how to do that. But I’m here, I’m showing up scared but I’m writing anyways.

I wanted to be able to address the elephant in the room, the one topic that people either fear bringing up with me or the hammer of judgement people want to lay on me as they remind I’m going to hell for this. There’s a really delicate balance for bloggers, speakers writers, etc. between over sharing and remaining authentic. So I’m going to struggle through this and try to be as authentic as possible without overstepping the boundary, especially for the sake of the other people involved.

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So first things first, the logistics of day to day life now.  Fred and I separated at the beginning of November. We now live right across the street from each other. This makes sharing the kids a lot easier. I typically have the kids Tuesday – Sunday during the day and then they spend the evening with their dad when he gets home from work. I know it’s a lot of back and forth for the kids so I’m thankful it’s just a short walk for the time being. We both are in relationships with other people and both partners are so kind and loving to the kids which I truly am thankful for. Fred and I are still on good terms with each other and are learning to co-parent well.

Second, what I wish other people knew about divorce and separation :

1.STOP.ASSUMING.EVERYTHING.IS.GREAT.BECAUSE.YOU.SAW.IT.ON.SOCIAL.MEDIA. For the love of God, Is that really what we’ve come to? We think that we can just watch our friends on social media from afar, never actually getting close enough or in their lives enough to know what happening as it’s occurring? And then when sh*t publicly hits the fan we suddenly want to grab coffee or make a phone call? I get it. I’m totally bad at keeping up with my friends too but we have got to do better than that.

2.  I also wish people knew that it takes two to tango. It takes two to make a marriage work and it takes two to break one. I spent the first few months of my separation taking the blame for everything, and those closest to me gladly kept placing that blame on me. I blamed myself for Donald Trumps presidency, global warming, the poverty in third world countries, school shootings, my marriage ending, everything. I’m exaggerating of course but you get the point now.  It wasn’t until after a lot of soul searching and discovery that I realized not everything in this relationship is my fault. Not everything about this relationship failing is my fault. ALOT of it is my fault. And I want to take complete ownership and responsibility for the things I did that led to my marriage ending. But I’m absolutely done with people who only want to take one side and refuse to see that a marriage is two broken people, not one broken person with one saint.

3. Stop assuming you need to take a side. I am here to tell you it is possible to love both Fred and Lizzy. It is possible to hear both sides. It is possible to know and understand that both sides hurt and both peoples feelings are valid. And it’s also possible that Fred nor I want anyone to take sides. I would say a good 75% of the pain that’s come out of this separation has had nothing to do with Fred or I, but with others responses to our decision and their need to ‘pick a side.’

4. You can be hurt and be saddened by your friend or loved ones divorce and it can effect you. But please don’t ever act as if it somehow hurts you more than it hurts those directly involved. In case your wondering who those directly involved are, that means Fred, Eowyn, Trinity, Jaden and myself. If you are not one of those aforementioned, then please, stop acting like this is your personal tragedy. Nobody wants to be told when they’re at the bottom of the pit how much your marriage ending hurts them and how mad they are at you for ruining your own life and marriage and now your ruining their life. Way to not be there bub.

5. I’m sure it differs from person to person, but what I’ve appreciated most is the friends who have been willing to sit with me, to listen to me vent when it was time, to let me cry on their couches, to welcome my kids into their home so I could have breathing room, and those who haven’t tried to snuff out my emotions but have accepted me where I’m at in all of my brokenness and just been present. Thank you so much to the handful of friends and neighbors who have pursued me relentlessly in this season to do nothing but love me where I’m at. I’m so grateful for you ladies!

Lastly, a super quick snippet of what I’ve learned through this season (I’ll probably unpack more of this in upcoming posts).

  • Invest in your marriage now or pay for a divorce later. You think you can’t afford that date night but what you really can’t afford is that divorce because you let the abyss between you and your partner grow so wide.
  • Talk openly with other couples and other people about sex. Yes! Married sex. What is it? What’s healthy? What’s not? Talk about it in great detail. This makes most church people super uncomfortable — they only like to talk about how evil sex is. But it’s not and it’s a huge area for brokenness and shame to fester if it’s not talked about.
  • A lot can happen really fast. Enjoy what your marriage/partnership/relationship is today. This isn’t so your constantly living in a state of fear, but stop assuming that the person next to you will always be there. They might not and your going to feel like sh*t knowing you took each other for granted.

And as I’m writing these points I’m recognizing this should be an entirely separate post, so I’ll share more on this in the upcoming months. For today though, I wanted to share a little bit more of the why I haven’t been active in this space and update everyone on our lives. Fred and I are both doing well and the kids have finally began to settle into this new world. I’m so grateful for this little internet community and always am delighted to hear from you guys and so flattered when yall mention having seen something on the blog! I’m going to be blogging a lot more in this space and revamping this entire site. If you haven’t already, I would love it if you helped me out by taking this survey here . This would help me be able to tell what kind of content you all would like to see in the months ahead. Thank you for reading, thank you to your commitment to this little online space and thanks for your constant support! Love you all.

XOXLizzy Jackson

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