Does a marriage need to last forever for it to be a success?

My wife and I have separated. Because of how intense the feelings are on her side, we don’t see each other — at all. We went from daily contact to nothing– overnight. We are now confidently headed toward divorce. Although we are peaceful about it, we are definitely sad too. We have been best friends for a decade. To shut it off so immediately is remarkably shocking.

One of my vows to her was that we would be together for the rest of the intersection of our lives. I wrote it purely in mathematical symbols. This vow didn’t turn out so well.

Another, much deeper vow, was that I would do what it took to make her thrive. She vowed the same. I believe that all the rest of our vows rested on this one concept. I believe that we are keeping this vow even now.

Through the years we were mostly happy almost all the time. We were really good for each other. We were still figuring out who the other person was, and who we were ourselves. I had no idea who I was. We got each other to this point. Now that we can see each other so completely, we know we are incompatible. Our next chapter of life should not be done together.

I believe we succeeded in helping each other grow. We also have an amazing child who is literally the best kid ever. We also succeeded in navigating the most difficult aspects of human relationships with total honesty. I believe it would be dishonest for us to say *or do* whatever it took to keep the relationship going. What is the purpose of marriage anyway, if not to thive? The honest thing for us now is to see that we cannot both thrive together. We can both thrive apart.

Marriage need not last forever to be a success.