Single Life

When Marriage Doesn’t Work Out

May 9, 2013

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Last week I went to New York.

While I was there I planned on drinking as many cocktails and eating as many cheeseburgers as physically possible – which I did – but there was also another reason for my trip. Something I haven’t spoken about here yet, not because I haven’t wanted to, but because it has been a very difficult and turbulent time.

Will and I decided to separate a few weeks ago. For a week or so he split his time between staying with family locally and London. My trip to New York was my time to gain some perspective, headspace and independence before coming home to work out what was going on. I half expected to jet out there a quivering and crying mess, spend my New York time questioning why I wasn’t at home and return back the same emotionally frail weeper.

But what actually happened is that I re-found my spark over there, the essence of who I am. I felt like I was 10 years younger, confident, happy. I gained the perspective I needed to evaluate where I was in my life and where I was going; my relationship, family and work. The distance helped me to see so clearly where we’d been going wrong and what we needed to do to put it right.

Will and I have now split up. Without going into the details, we are both very different people to the ones we were when we embarked on our relationship 10 years ago. We love each other dearly and are going to do our utmost to live separate lives in the best way possible for our two lovely children, but to be truly happy we need to be apart. We’re separating for no other reason than sometimes these things just don’t work out, not for want of trying or lack of hoping.

We are both sad but know this is the right thing to do and in time we’ll be a better family for this decision. As much as I have been grieving for our life that will never be, I can truly say that I have not felt this positive about the future in a long time, like a big weight has been lifted. Although this process will not be easy it is most definitely for the best.

So that’s me, that’s the reason for New York. I had a wonderful holiday and lost 5lbs. Who said splitting up was without advantage?!

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  • Reply Clemmie May 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Wow Alice I’m pretty shocked when I read that but so empowered by your honestly to bare all. Marriage is difficult, add a few kids to the mix and its amazing that any relationship survives. Hope you’re feeling happier with the new found you, 5lbs lighter too! X

  • Reply Mammasaurus May 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Much love heading your way, these things are never easy even when you know it’s for the best xx

  • Reply Butwhymummywhy May 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Oh Alice, I was so surprised to read this. All the love to you and hope this is the start of a happy chapter for you and your family. xx

  • Reply Emma Cantrell May 9, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Oh Alice. I’m so sorry I hear all you’ve been going through. You’re so brave bearing all like this, sending you so much love and understanding x

  • Reply Kat May 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Alice, I am sending love and strength your way. It takes courage and I wish you both the best in starting the new normal for your lives. Kat x

  • Reply Ailbhe May 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Alice, I’m so sorry to hear this, but glad that you’re happy. You’ve been so dignified in a situation it was easy not to be, and I hope that you’re being taken care of x

  • Reply Amy May 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    So sorry to hear this but so glad to hear how well you’re taking it. You are seriously awesome in every way.

  • Reply Emma May 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I have to say I’m shocked Alice but I can see from this post that you sound much stronger and in a better place. Good for you both for accepting what was not working as I am sure you, the kids and Will will be much happier in the long run. My parents took the cowardly way out a long time ago and stayed together ‘for the kids.’ That resulted in a very bad break up when we were all teenagers and has affected is all badly.
    Wishing you all the very best for the future & I look forward to still reading about your beautiful babies :) xx

  • Reply hrynne May 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Oh I’m so sorry. My stomach did a flip when I just read this on Twitter. So shocked. Take care x

  • Reply Steph (@imcountingufoz) May 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Sending you both loads of love, booze, hugs and strength xxx

  • Reply MrsB May 9, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Wowzer. Life is complicated and full of surprises indeed! Sending you all kinds of positive vibes for helping you to settle into your new life!

  • Reply lucy at dear beautiful May 9, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Oh Alice, I don’t really know what to say. But I’m thinking of you and sending lots of love your way. x

  • Reply Sue May 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Sending hugs, positive vibes and lots of strength to you xx

  • Reply Melaina25 May 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I’m sorry you’re going through such upheaval but you seem to have a really good outlook about it and NYC looked like fun from Instagram :)

  • Reply Alison, Not another mummy blog May 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Yet again you amaze me with your strength. I’m really so sorry for you that this has happened. It’s weird because as readers of your blog, we feel like we know you (some do in real life but most of us don’t really know you) and it feels to me like a real friend is going through this. I don’t have any advice for you but I’m going to just say chin up, carry on eating cheeseburgers and remember your online mates are here for you xx

  • Reply Hollie-Anne May 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Oh Alice, I’m so shocked its untrue. I gasped when I saw your Instagram pic and then read this. I can’t say I’ve ever been there but watching my mum go through divorce from my dad and seeing how super happy she is now and the strength she had whilst going through it means I have every faith you’ll be fine. I hope New York did you the world of good. Sending love xxxx

  • Reply Hello Bee May 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Alice, you’re incredibly brave. I think with this post alone and your refreshing, raw honesty you’ve probably single handedly helped thousands of other women struggling with similar decisions in the face of the ridiculous stigma that still exists around couples putting their hands up and saying “yknow what, we tried our absolute best but it’s not working”. It must have been extremely nerve wracking and difficult to write (and hit publish) on this post, but I hope you’ll receive nothing but support and love from everyone who cares about you and your entire family. You deserve only the best things from here and I have no doubt you’ll continue to blossom and flourish whatever happens as you are one of lifes shining stars. x

  • Reply Dot May 9, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Wow, that was a very brave post. I’m really pleased that you are feeling happier, sometimes the hardest things are the right ones xx

  • Reply Molly May 9, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    It’s a brave and empowering decision you’ve both made and – from what I can see – for all the right reasons. Sometimes things just don’t work and I’m sure that, in the long run, your kids will be happier as a result of their parents being happy. I hope you both get through this tough time as best you can, with the support of your friends and family. And I’m glad to hear you’re feeling so positive and bright about the future. x

  • Reply Deepa May 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    That sucks Alice but it’s so important to be real about these things and do what is the right thing, in the long run. Lots of hugs. x

  • Reply Capture by Lucy May 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I hope that all your loyal followers and friends can give you lots of strength and support over the coming days, weeks and years! I think it’s a very brave thing to do to know when to say it’s the end. I am glad your break has given you lots of new energy and we will all be here for you xx

  • Reply Ruth May 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Am so sad for you obviously, Alice, but reading this post I’m actually more excited for you than anything. You are so strong, and it sounds like you and Will have an incredible attitude about making things work as well as they possibly can from now on – both for yourselves and for your lovely children. Happy times are ahead lovely, and where better to start that next phase than in NYC?! xx

  • Reply Dawnie May 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Wow. It actually takes fuckloads more courage to walk away than to stick around. You’re an inspiration. Keep smiling xxx

  • Reply Chloe May 9, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I don’t really know what to say other than I’m another example of ‘parents who stayed together way too long for the kids’ sake’ and this really didn’t help matters at all. Wishing you all the best xx

  • Reply MamaMyselfandI May 9, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Alice – these things are not easy, but you’ve been through the worst – you made a decision and now it’s the beginning of a new chapter. Things can only get better and you appear to have the right attitude. All the best x

  • Reply Workingberlinmum May 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Oh wow, not really sure what to say other than that my parents ‘stayed together for the kids’ and I desperately wished (and still wish often) that they hadn’t. Wishing you a lot of positivity in working through the coming year with the change.

  • Reply Louise May 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Alice, was a complete shock to read this, and of course, you’re sad but it does sound like you’ve made the right decision for you. You sound revitalised and ready to take the world on, good luck!

  • Reply PhotoPuddle May 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am so shocked. I just hopped over here after seeing your Instagram pic to see what had been going on. I am so sorry to hear your marriage has not worked out but pleased to hear you are doing OK with everything. Sending you loads of love and hugs xxx

  • Reply Heather May 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm


  • Reply Lia May 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Lots & lots of love to you lovely. xxx

  • Reply caroline May 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Sorry to hear this. I had my suspicions when you hopped off to new york as I’ve done exactly the same myself: run to the arms of a good buddy over there to think through a break-up. hope everything will work out ticketyboo – I’ve got a feeling you’ll just make it happen. :) xxx

  • Reply this little house May 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    i’m so sorry to hear this alice, but i can without doubt feel your positivity through this post. although scary, change can be exactly what is needed and with it new found hope comes.
    i really admire that you are both looking at this from the point of view ‘what’s best for the family’. your little ones are lucky to have you both as parents.

  • Reply Lisa May 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Very shocked to read the title of this post..but your right, marriage doesn’t always work out and you’ve dug deep to finally find the reason for your recent unhappiness. But it takes a brave person to acknowledge it, and an even braver person to act upon it. Most people would have felt lonely in the big apple, but it’s put you on top of the world! Confirmation you’ve made the right decision, for you and your family.
    Have a big glass of champagne and more than a happier future.

  • Reply motherventing May 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Bruv, splitting up is shit. But if you can stay good friends with your ex – and it seems like you really will – then it’s better for everyone, kids especially. I’m sorry this has happened. However, I’m glad you are being positive. Much luff x

  • Reply Jade May 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Alice, you have two beautiful children who will give you the strength you need every single day to get through until you are living life again to your happiest without realising because that will be normal once again. Keep smiling & blogging :-)

  • Reply Ciara May 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Such a brave decision Alice. So many couples stay together for the wrong reasons. Know that you are doing the right thing for you and your family. x

  • Reply Bex @ the mummy adventure May 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Sounds like you are making the best decision although I am sure it can’t be easy. Stay strong and positive and I hope you find happiness x

  • Reply Pippa May 9, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Firstly, I think you’re fabulous. Secondly, one of the best things that ever happened to me was my ex having the courage to end what was a perfectly lovely but not quite right relationship. 11 yrs over, just like that. Heartbreaking but at the same time I was relieved (wow, have never really admitted that before !!!) and since the tears dried, I haven’t looked back and I have a feeling you will be the same. Loads of love and luck x x x

  • Reply Lauren May 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I read this earlier but wasn’t quite sure what to say in a comment.
    I’m so sorry to read that you have seperated, but I’m glad you are positive and that you are in a good place.

  • Reply Gallivantwithcake May 10, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Alice, this is such a tremendously brave post – so glad that NYC worked some magic for you but thinking of you at the moment xx

  • Reply Rachel May 10, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I’m sorry to hear about you and your husband splitting up. Sometimes a little space can give us the clarity needed to face a tough road. It’s good that things are amicable and you sound positive about what your future holds. xx

  • Reply Tracy dyson May 10, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Reading your blog, gives me hope for my own future and family! I too am going through terrible times in my marriage. Not knowing what’s best for everyone is soul destroying! I’m sure like you I will turn a corner and see light at the end of my own tunnel. Lovely blog, so enjoy reading it! Hope life is so much better for you all, your children will be your strength. Have a lovely weekend! X

  • Reply Celeste May 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this – even when it’s for the best, the huge range of emotions and heartache involved are really hard to deal with. My marriage ended when my girls were a similar age to your two. I think we’ve managed to find a routine that works for us and it sounds like you will too. Wishing you lots of luck and happiness x

  • Reply Mari May 10, 2013 at 9:16 am

    BIg hugs coming your way, it’s never easy and the road ahead most likely won’t be as simple as you may believe it to be but I wish you both happiness in your futures

  • Reply Primrose Hill May 10, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I’ve nothing original to add to the many comments you’ve already had. So sorry to hear the news, but it sounds like absolutely the right decision. Also, as a child of parents who divorced when I was young, and being married to a man whose parents divorced when he was in his teens, I’d say it’s much easier for the kids to deal with when they’re little. Hope you’re really okay xxx

  • Reply older mum in a muddle May 10, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I have only just started reading your lovely blog – you write beautifully – anyway, I just wanted to let you know my thoughts are with you – a really tough decision but sounds like this really is the right one for you. And so great that you were able to get away and gain perspective.

  • Reply Downs Side Up May 10, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Gosh sweetheart, what a shock. It sounds like you are dealing with this difficult time in the very best way possible. Much love to you all x

  • Reply Muddling Along May 10, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Sending love and lots of support brave lady – hope this is the start of a wonderful next phase of your lives

  • Reply Michelle Lee May 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Alice,
    Sorry to hear the news but on the flipside, I’m so glad that you’re feeling a weight has been lifted. Relationships are difficult and, without going into my own personal detail, I can whole-heartedly empathise your feelings of wishing what could’ve been but knowing that you feel… almost relieved now you can move on as two separate individuals who have grown apart.
    I’m sure that your children will continue to lead happy lives for the better.
    Much love to you,
    Michelle x

  • Reply Gill Crawshaw May 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Hi Alice, sad to read this. Hope you’re all OK (but sure you will be!) xx.

  • Reply louise May 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    So sad for you Alice. Reading your blog makes me understand how important your kids are and I admire you for making this decision if you know it isn’t right.Your kids wil respect that too when old enough to realise and understand how hard this marriage lark can be. Be brave, stick to the wine and don’t forget your lipgloss x

  • Reply ladylordy May 10, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Alice, I’ve been reading your blog for a while, since becoming a Mum myself, and I’m so sorry to read this news. But I think you are incredibly brave to do what you know in your heart is right for both you and your children. Children really do test the strength of any relationship and things are never the same once they come along. Best of luck and I’ll continue to follow your blog, hoping you’re getting on okay and wishing you all the best.

  • Reply Katie May 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I think it is very brave to admit when it is the end and I am sure that in time, you, Will, and your beautiful children will be happier as a result of this. You are a brave lady and just know that all your online friends are supporting you. I would still love to meet for that coffee. xx

    • Reply Andra May 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      It can only get better from here and I’m looking forward to reading how great things are getting for you xxx

  • Reply Grenglish May 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Sending you lots and lots of love. The way you are both dealing with this is truly inspiring. I think you are amazing, but you know that already x

  • Reply Lisa May 11, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Been reading your blog for a while now, our children are similar ages, first time I’ve been compelled to comment, I wish you the best of luck in this new chapter of your life xx

  • Reply Metropolitan Mum May 11, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I am so sorry to read that. It takes a lot of courage to go that step – and not drag on and on and on if there’s nothing left to drag. I have been exactly there a couple of years ago (mind you, minus two little kids!). It’s hard when you marry someone you grew up with together only to realise that you eventually grew apart.
    Lots of love,
    PS: Give me a shout when you are in London. Any time.

  • Reply Tanya (bump2basics) May 11, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Sending you lots of love Alice as you embark on what is next. You are fierce (like the Beyonce kind) and will land on your feet x

  • Reply littleeandbean May 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Your honesty and drive for clarity is inspiring. I’ve witnessed a lot of pain from people staying together when they didn’t have the courage to do what you guys have done. Hope the next few months are as painless as possible. Much love to you and your family xx

  • Reply BECKY May 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Just to echo everyone else I wish you all the best at what must be a difficult time. What’s good though is you seem positive about the future and that this is the right decision for you both and for your family. You are still young, your kids are still young, that you can go on to build happy lives apart with hopefully not too much fallout once a bit of time has passed. I’m another with parents who should have split when we were little *waves at others out there!* , and whilst my parents get on great now, it’s taken 11 years of mess and heartache and long-held resemtment all round to get to this point, not fun as a teenager/young adult when you’re very aware of what’s going on. I believe it’s better to have the courage to end things sooner. Onwards and upwards!

  • Reply Peggy May 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Oh Alice, there is obviously not much else to say that hasn’t been said already but I wanted to drop a little line just to say I read it and I am thinking of you. You seem very much at peace with the decision you have both made and that’s good to read. Take care of yourself and your babies xx

  • Reply Jen May 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    So sorry to hear this but you also seem really positive about the future which can only be a good thing. Take care x

  • Reply L May 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    As many others have said- that’s so brave of you and your frank words even more so. Wishing you all the best with your positive future. x
    P.S. The bag arrived safely and is now in Berlin with me. Thank you SO MUCH! :-)

  • Reply Mum2BabyInsomniac May 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Ah I’m so sorry to hear this. I do think, like others have said, that staying together for the sake of the kids does far more harm than good. Sending you lots of strength x

  • Reply Richmond Mummy May 12, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    God Alice, i’m so sorry to read that you and Will are splitting – but what a brave decision to make and I hope you’re okay, it certainly sounds like the NYC trip came at the right time and did you a world of good. Sending much love and hope to see you soon xxxx

  • Reply Abi Gray May 14, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I’m a bit late to the party on this one… I started reading your latest post and was like ‘what have I missed?’ I’m so sorry to hear your newss but as you said sometimes things just don’t work out. It must’ve been a hard decision what with young children and all but it’s good you both have the strength to know it’s for the best. All my love to you all xxx

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  • Reply Jaqui May 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I’m really sorry to read this news Alice but I’m so glad that you’re sounding positive and are excited about the future. I know break-ups, even in amicable circumstances, can be pretty horrible but you have a lot of support around you and obviously a huge amount of strength as this was an incredibly honest and brave post. I hope you’re OK and are remaining positive because I know however rubbish it may be at the moment, great things will happen to you xx

  • Reply Liz @ Baby wears Prada May 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Oh wow! Alice – just read this. I hope you’re doing well. Sending much love and hugs. Hopefully see you at Brit Mums soon for a cocktail/wine/gossip :) xx

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