When I asked my husband to leave, I didn't know how it would feel down the road. I just knew that we had to separate at the time.
The first time something went down the wrong pipe and I coughed and coughed and it was hard to catch my breath, I realized that what was missing was someone who cared to whack me across the back and make sure I was o.k.
The first time I got scared in the middle of the night and wondered why someone was knocking on my door at 3 a.m., I realized that what i was missing was someone to put their arm around me and tell me it was just some idiot. Instead I lay for another 30 mins, eyes wide open, body tense, mind racing.
And the first time, I had to run an errand late at night and leave the kids alone, I realized that if something happened to me, the girls would be alone longer than they should be and very scared.
The first time I rushed out of my office/bedroom at 4 pm to pick up the girls, and left a ton of paperwork in piles on the floor, I realized that no one would come home in the interim, shake their head, and judge my mess. That was a completely liberating revelation, and I was smiling big time.