Are you getting a divorce?
No. We will stay married. We love each other, and it feels right, at this very moment, to give that love space and light, nourishment and care!
Will you be moving back in with each other then?
No. We will continue to live under two roofs. We love each other, and want to be together. And in that togetherness it feels right, at this very moment, to stay särbo [a Swedish term, not to be confused with sambo which means co-living without being married. Särbo means living apart but being together.].
But why? If you love each other, and want to stay married, why don’t you move back in with each other? Because it feels best right now, to continue down the path we started on in the fall. Not to wear and tear on each other, every single day, but to let love, and longing, grow in peace. We see each other every week, we talk in one form or another every day, we help each other with all that we can do for one another and for the kids (both the younger and the older). And we let the longing for a hug, a kiss, a hot embrace, grow, expand, and rejoice ever more in the happiness at actually seeing each other.
But the kids? Do you truly have the kids best interest at heart?
Yes. All the time. In all we do. Being good parents – together, and separately – is something we’ve been very conscious about keeping top of mind these past months. To never let go of the fact that we are, indeed, parents. Together. Regardless of where our love relationship will go, how it might come to look in any given moment and what it might evolve into over time, we are parents, together. Guarding the relationship we have as parents, and because of that, the family relationship, is the most important we can do. That is the contract agreed upon when two adults form a family together. Holding the child/children’s best interest at heart – and at the same time never forgetting that children fare best with parents who thrive. In this way, we are doing our best for everyone!
Ok. But that almost seems a bit cold, almost as if you’ve rationally figured out what’s best for you at the moment?
Yes. Perhaps. But… at the same time, perhaps not? Both heart and brain have been of great service to us in this process. We love each other, that’s the very foundation. That has become very clear these past six months. And perhaps, for the very reason that we love each other, and at the same time, both of us feel the need for change as compared to “the old days, the old ways”, and as a result, living apart as särbo is our choice.
With open eyes, an open mind and an open heart.
With less expectations and more conversations and vulnerability.
Where we take walks together, every week, and talk. Open up about everything. Talk on heaven and hell. On dreams, love, wishes. On practical things such as dental retainers and computer games, on the wellbeing of our children, on what’s new at work. On quality management systems and holiday trips. As well as on fears, questions on things we hope we’ve misunderstood, expectations that pop up with an intent to disappoint.
Conversations that have already provided such gifts. Insights. Closeness. Warmth.
Conversations, where we help each other – both together and separately – to break patterns that no longer serve anyone. Patterns that are remnants of old experiences, patterns best put under a microscope, where it becomes obvious they no longer serve, in the form they have withstood the test of time. Worn down and applied in the wrong situations they simply make life harder.
In this särbo-relationship, living apart, I have a much stronger sensation of being close, than when we lived underneath one roof, and I sometimes experienced jarring feelings of being lonely. The connection between us, now, so much stronger. Stronger, and growing, enriched by small (and large) evidence of love and respect. A särbo-relationship, where it’s easier for us to give each other space for our different needs and desires. Where we can be there, for each other, and at the same time give ourselves place and space to land, to learn, to live.
For me, Living is at the center of my being. Not surviving, not existing. But truly Living. And as our ideas on what it means to Live, are (somewhat) different, this turns into less of a potential problem, and rather into a source of exciting new things, discoveries, insights, to bring to moments of Us; by us choosing each other, choosing living apart as särbo, choosing to say yes to the love that exists between us.
And I can see it. I can see how we give insights more space, sharing conclusions with each other, breaking patterns. Helping each other break patterns! Helping each other, with curiosity, openness and with great care: warm loving care and concern. The ability not to fall for the initial feeling, which – much like for Alice – opens the gateway straight down into Wonderland. The traps, hidden by trap doors, no longer as easy to fall into. More observing, of each other, and as a direct result, observing of the dymanics between us. And with the will to create a good rappore, much more outspoken than when everyday life grinds away at Us.
We are making an active choice to become särbo, living apart, because we love one another!