So, while planning for 2019 and the future of Miles for Wishes continues, a different page is turned on my little journey today.

This is not a day I ever thought was going to happen and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad. Today, a judge sat in a courtroom will officially declare me divorced.

Look, I know it’s not the biggest or most unique news – mine is one of 1000’s of divorces per year (although, apparently the number is falling from the all-time high in the early 90’s, so a positive for society at large).

I often get asked if I’m happy about it, if I’m going to celebrate or feel some kind of closure. It’s an odd question in a way, because this isn’t something I can be happy about and I certainly won’t be celebrating (that just feels crass).

So how do I feel? Honestly, I’m not sure…it just feels kind of hollow. But then this isn’t a surprise, it’s been three years so we’ve known this day was coming, we both wanted to do it and make that clean break.

I’m positive about the future!

Today, I can with all honesty say I am the happiest and healthiest – both physically and mentally – I’ve ever been.

That is definitely not a reflection on our relationship or the ending of the marriage. That is absolutely about me, how I felt and how I managed that.

For a while, I’d put so much of myself in to my job, pushing myself in a career that became everything. I left the house around 6am and got home just before the kids would go to bed, some days I worked through the evening – my contribution to the relationship became the money I brought home and not the happy, smiley, stupid dad and partner I should have been.

I let stress, depression, anxiety, self-doubt and jealousy rule my mind. When things started to go wrong I just worked harder and longer. I made a vague attempt to take some of the stress out of my life by changing jobs, from a private to a public sector role, thinking that would help. Obviously it didn’t because the job was only half of the issue – I wasn’t prepared or able to address everything else.

I know, with absolute clarity, when the penny dropped – the moment I knew something had to change.

My wife had taken the children out for the morning, something not that common but not uncommon. When they got back I tried to talk to my eldest daughter and she stood away from me and just scratched her arm – scratching is one of the things she does when she’s anxious. The clear reluctance to want to engage with me was a hammer to my heart.

Some people won’t agree with me and I know everyone will have their opinions about divorce – but I needed to leave. It’s so fucking selfish but I couldn’t find away to fix myself and my marriage at the same time.

I am happier because I’ve found a way to help myself – to use exercise to manage my mental health, to give myself a passion that isn’t work and to do things I’ve dreamed about but never thought possible.

Soaking in the sunset from the summit of Snowdon, July 2018

I am happier because the relationship I have with my girls is better – they get the best of me now. Ok, it’s condensed in to 2 or 3 days a week and there are lots of little and big things I will miss, but I am learning to live with that. I’ve talked about my feelings of guilt and fear in another blog and I am not sure they will go away – I’m just using those feelings to make sure I have the best times with them, even if it’s the awkward, rushed 2 hours after school on a Wednesday. 

I’m positive about the past

I have a lot of amazing, happy memories from my relationship with my now ex-wife. I spent a lot of happy years with someone I loved very much and whatever happens, that won’t change. Together we created to beautiful, intelligent and funny little people who are loved today as much as they were when they were born. I’ll happily share those memories with my girls as they grow up. Those two children are, and will always be the priority, a reason for me a reason to be well and the reason to be the best person I can be.

The end of a relationship, whether it’s a marriage or not, is hard. There are days when you want to cry, get angry, place blame and make the other person feel the same hurt you do. But, the simple truth is that hurting someone else won’t make you feel better, it won’t solve the issue and it only serves to make that divide between the two of you even wider. I think the breakdown of my marriage is a very different story to others I’ve heard, there was no rage, no fighting and no lawyers. We’ve gone through this process ourselves, putting the children first and I’ve happily compromised to ensure they can move on with a home of their own.

Breaking up is hard enough – why make it harder?

Divorce doesn’t have to be the end, it can be the start of something amazing you just have to be open to the possibilities.

I’m not scarred by divorce.

I still believe in love and will always wear my heart on my sleeve.

…and yes, I’d probably do it again someday if and when I meet the right person.

Remember whose opinion matters

Two things I’ve learnt and the only real advice I can offer;

  • listen only to what your heart tells you, do what you think is the right thing to do. Of course you should listen and take advice but always make your own judgments based on a long term view.
  • Ultimately, none of this social media stuff really matters – it won’t last and it won’t be remembered. Remember why you’re here – posting with the sole aim of getting likes and follows or pedaling products you’re not invested – that’s not a life. Be real, be honest and be you!
    Create a life with a legacy, something that lasts – this journey isn’t my legacy because the only thing that will last beyond me is my children. So teaching and inspiring them to live a good life is all that really counts.

I’m not posting this for sympathy or for likes, I don’t need either and I’m cool with the few that I get. I’m not going to put myself up on a pedestal either, saying that mine is a perfect example of how to get divorced. I guess I just want someone else to know, it doesn’t have to be ugly. You have a choice and you can make it a battle, a game of one-up-manship or you can talk and compromise.  

Cycling, like life, has its ups and downs…

Life, a bit like cycling, has its ups and down and its twists and turns, there are the inevitable bumps in the road and sometimes if we are not careful, we crash. The only thing that really matters is how you ride – so like I ride my bike, I live my life with a simple mission. To be a good person, to live with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

thnks fr th mmrs x

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