Ann Rouse had been with her husband for about 17 years, married for 13, when she unexpectedly found she was pregnant. That was the catalyst for their divorce.
I didn’t think I could have kids. We didn’t go as far as getting fertility coaching but one of my doctors had told me I couldn’t have kids so I didn’t pursue it. I thought if we were supposed to, then we’re supposed to and if we’re not, we’re not. I’d already pretty much decided our marriage was over. Then we had a reconciliation weekend and I got pregnant.
Then I struggled with does this mean I’m supposed to stay? We started talking about things and it was clear to me that I had to get out. I realized I was really unhappy for several years prior to my getting pregnant. I was a workaholic, staying away from home, involved in the union at work and I didn’t want to admit how unhappy I was. Getting pregnant made me realize, ‘This isn’t going to work. I’ve got to do something because I can’t be a bad mom.’
My parents were divorced when I was about six. I grew up in a pretty unhappy household and my siblings and I at one point made a vow that we would break the chain and stop raising unhappy kids. The thought of being like my mom and being miserable in a marriage and being a miserable, mean mother was more important to me than worrying about possibly raising a child on my own. I am so proud of myself for leaving the marriage because I have several friends who are as miserable as I was. They’re just too afraid to get out of the relationship. I’m so thankful I wasn’t too afraid to be alone.
I do believe in marriage and I do believe that children benefit from having both parents involved. However, I don’t believe in staying in a marriage ‘for the sake of the children’ and sometimes it really is better for the children for their parents to separate. I think Ann took a brave and courageous step to end her marriage when she became pregnant. The good news is her ex is an active co-parent and Ann says that’s one of her success stories. Come back tomorrow to find out how she’s managed that.