Mr. Lively’s thoughts on the conscious completion of our marriage

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This is tough to write.

I want people to know that I’m happy, that I’m not depressed, that I still love Jess, I look forward to still being close friends, I’m excited about our future lives, I cherish the past five years, and everything is okay.

Really, everything is okay.

I’ve been asked if I’m okay multiple times, usually accompanied by a very serious stare into my eyes a few inches from my face.

It all reminds me of something Jess learned from her yoga instructor (bear with me here) that we’ve enjoyed ever since. The idea of santosha, which reminds us to think in terms of ‘this AND that’ as opposed to ‘this OR that’.

It comes in handy a lot, and I think it very simply puts how I feel.

I cherish my time with Jess AND I’m excited about a future where we are close friends AND I loved being married AND I’m happy not being married right now.

Isn’t it great?

I like to think this also how Jess and I have spent our time together.

We couldn’t settle for being just one way. We wanted to be relaxed at home living a peaceful life AND do everything all at once.

We would go through periods of cozy hibernation (sometimes literally because of Chicago’s winters), only to burst out and make big sweeping changes because it felt right at that moment.

Three states, two dogs, multiple businesses, multiple jobs, many websites, a wedding in Paris, and so much more all of which felt like they happened at a moments notice.

A lot of times there would be some stress, but it was always the right move in the end.

I live a very fortunate life in so many ways, and the friendship that Jess and I will continue to share is certainly something I’m grateful for. Also, that we’ve been able to go through this in such a loving and supportive way.

I don’t think it would be honest if I didn’t acknowledge that we are both losing some things by our decision. Or that we haven’t wept, worried or stressed, we have.

We are losing time together, futures we planned, and we are splitting our dogs up.

This process has a lot emotions all at the same time, and that’s okay. We can be sad and excited, worried and confident, and we can continue to be loving.

Much like any other big decisions we’ve made, it’s not without difficulty, but just like every other time, it feels right, it’s from our values, and I believe once again, it will be the right move in the end.

P.S. I’m glad Jess is keeping the name Lively, because she’s lived it every day of her life.



You can listen to the podcast where I (Jess) share this news + my experience here.


This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. It is the first time that I heard someone talking so positively and in a mature way about the end of a relationship! Best luck to you both in that difficult AND inspiring AND challenging AND promising time 🙂

  2. Dear Jess and Mr. Lively, my first reaction was to be “so sorry that you’re love story has come to an end”. It’s always bittersweet when something you’ve once looked upon as being forever turns out to be not so. But I am so happy for you that you two found a way of holding your love for each other alive while finding and creating individual paths that feel more true to yourself than the one you’ve been on together. I wish you all the best for your new adventures and hope that you will find what has been missing so far. To love and friendship and living your life to the fullest with an open and loving heart! Yours, Franziska

  3. Elizabeth

    Wow Jess. I listen every week but this episode was so moving. Re-framing the whole process of divorce from one of vitriol and animosity to one of love, support and growing with change. I didn’t think it was possible but your frank and ‘intentional’ discussion has me reexamining my own preconceived notions about “uncoupling”. Thank you.

    1. It’s wonderful to hear that this episode resonated with you, Elizabeth. I know it is possibly pretty different than how many people experience or view this kind of choice, but we are deeply grateful that our experience has been as wonderful, all things considered, as it has been.

  4. jacquie

    Thank you for sharing with a group of strangers you don’t know. I imagine that isn’t easy but you are setting a great example for the rest of us (ending relationships or not). Also, I love the concept of santosha. It fits many situations in life.

  5. mrsdamn

    As with most news like this, I got a bit choked up and almost teary upon hearing this – despite not knowing you both personally. However, unlike most news like this, I feel so at peace for you both going forward – a little sad still, but at peace.

  6. Sally

    I’ve only been on the Lively Show bandwagon a couple of months but I am in awe of the grace and positivity both you and Jess have shown going through this together. Good luck to you both and your pooches! xxxx

  7. Kate Fergusson

    I admire your courage in sharing this with your audience. This listener appreciates the authenticity you bring to podcast community. I wish you and Mr. Lively the best of luck on this new chapter. Namaste! – Kate

  8. As I was reading this, I found myself thinking of a relationship with someone in my life whom at one point I was monogamously coupled with, and when we chose to end that particular iteration of our relationship, the line that I kept repeating over and over to concerned friends was, “I don’t think of it as a breakup, our relationship is just changing form.”

  9. AshleiJ

    Jess – I don’t even have all the words to describe how much your story has touched me. I’ve only been listening to your podcast for a few months and already feel emotionally connected to you. I had tears just listening to the quiver in your voice during this episode. Thank you for being authentic, vulnerable, brave, and inspirational. You are a true example of following you intuition and values. Thank you for being you. I am so grateful to have your work come in to my life and I wish you all the best going forward. Know that you are touching lives, making a difference and have so many people supporting you – even if they don’t know you!

  10. ijulee

    I really appreciate both Jess and Mr Lively sharing this part of journey with us. Wow moment. Thanks so much. : )

  11. Wow Jess … I’m so glad you shared your story with us on the podcast, and that Mr. Lively shared this on here. Brought a tear to my eye. As someone who’s not at all in a situation like this, I was still able to take something really valuable out of it. I’m in a fresh marriage and we’re extremely happy right now, but I can’t deny that in the back of my mind I’ve always been a little worried that things will change and we’ll grow as people and one day we won’t fit together anymore. But listening to today’s episode made me realize that if that DOES end up happening for me and my husband, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing and it can actually be a wonderful thing. And, just because we might end up not together one day, it doesn’t mean I will ever have to regret that we chose to spend these years together. You and Mr. Lively are a beautiful testament to marriage and to what a relationship can be. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  12. Maureen

    Jess, I have to admit that when I began listening to this episode, I was sad for you and Mr. Lively, but my mind was opened as I listened to your story, Katherine Woodward Thomas’ story, and your conversation. I am getting married next November, and one of my biggest fears going into the marriage is divorce. I have watched the fallout and repercussions of my grandparents’ ugly divorce, and it honestly terrifies me. However, after hearing your story, I can now dive head first into my marriage, knowing that whatever happens, happens, and that something like divorce will not be the end of the world for me. Most people might not think that this episode would resonate as much with someone who is about to start their journey as part of a marriage, but it has given me a new perspective on how to live in my marriage, with no regrets and without holding back what I want/need and what my future husband wants/needs. Thank you so much for sharing your story Jess!

  13. I am so moved by this post, and your podcast where you shared your process literally moved me to tears. It was such a beautiful, heartfelt interview. I just had to reach out and thank you for your honesty and authenticity. I have ordered the book in the hopes of it leading to a conscious “re-coupleing” in my marriage. Thanks for everything you do.

  14. Wow! How did I miss this? I saw today’s post and had to backtrack to get the details. How powerful that you are sharing this and giving it a voice. Props to you both. Xo!

  15. I just want to say I continue to be impressed by the way you guys handled everything… and I continue to share the message that the “Jess Lively” program promotes.

    Keep up the good work Jess. You are doing humanity a favor by doing the work you do.


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