Rizzo and Zach

left-right: Rizzo Smith, Zach Albert

Rizzo and Zach

Bellingham, WA

Married couple Rizzo Smith and Zach Albert decided to divorce a few weeks after quarantine began.

Rizzo: After having my doubts about our relationship for a while before the pandemic, I realized that it would be better to walk away with love, rather than waiting until we hated each other to divorce, and being socially isolated together made the need to be honest feel much more urgent. The stay-at-home order has certainly forced more self-reflection than there might have been otherwise. And also more cooperation.

There has been a lot of reflection on our mortality, and balancing how we can take our of ourselves and each other. Life is precious, and we need to accept and work with the love we feel for each other, even if it's not what we had planned or expected. Our love isn't romantic anymore, but that makes it more important than ever.

Zach: I was devastated when I was asked to move out, and when I was told that our relationship wasn't working anymore. I hit emotional rock bottom. I am so lucky to have family and friends that I could reach out to for support, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. The thing about being in that place though, about hitting emotional rock bottom, is that you have bedrock underneath your feet, as long as you let the pain be informative and sit with it. That pain can really help you know where you have been, where you are, and where you want to go. Apart from familial and platonic support, I had resources to help me re-contextualize the trauma of the separation into the growth that I didn't know I needed.

I'm honestly in a better place now that I've gone through it, it doesn't matter if that doesn't make sense to other people, but it is my constant goal to use this liminal space I'm in to not only change my life, but to help others do the same. I can't help being radically honest with other people now, because I'm finally being radically honest with myself, and it feels amazing.

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