When I’m in, I’m all the way in. Ride or die. There was nothing I wouldn’t do. Now I’m all the way out, I see I didn’t see all of you when I was all the way in. I missed the serious flaws that make it impossible for you to love the way I do. For you to be honest, even with yourself. I saw through in-love eyes the wounded child, I saw your powerful soul, the one you don’t give life to. It’s been a real learning experience to find out not everyone loves the way I do or even understands it the same. Trust and loyalty are apparently just words to some people. To me, they’re hard-wired with love and sacred.
I’m all the way out of love with my ex-husband now and “falling” out of love doesn’t describe the experience for me. I didn’t “fall” out of love. Dragged kicking and screaming is probably more accurate. Now I see it as an awakening rather than a falling. I hid your ugliness from my eyes, from my ears, from my mind – I even fooled my heart but my soul knew. It used to whisper to me, and I held my ears shut. Believing in the one you love, the one you’ve said vows of marriage with, beyond the point of reason – it’s called loyalty. Well, it is to me. I knew he was capable of being beautiful, and was sometimes, but he kept choosing ugliness for himself and you can’t make other people’s choices for them. No matter how entwined your lives, we’re still all ultimately on our own journeys.
Awakening; awakening to the truth about you and our relationship. I wouldn’t have left you, I’m too loyal – I’d have kept fighting for what we could have been if you’d made better choices. Now you broke our marriage, it’s given me the freedom to see a new path, see you and see the truth. Thank you for that.
Unconditional love, it’s not something everyone’s capable of, it would seem, and it certainly isn’t something you want to be giving if it’s not reciprocated. It only works when you’re both ride or die. I know what beauty that is, I had a front-row seat to my grandparent’s incredible love and marriage. I spent every school holiday as a child with them. Be careful the lessons you learnt as a child, make sure they match up with the ones of the person you’ve betrothed yourself too. If I’d known that before, I could have saved myself a lot of sacrifice and pain learning it the hard way.
It took time to fall out of love. The process began years earlier, from the mistreatment during our marriage. Like death by a thousand cuts. So, when the death blow came, it whipped the blindfold from my eyes so I could start blinking into the truth.
Freedom, it’s a new coat of many colours. It’s starting to feel really good on my skin. The endless possibilities, all that energy, magic and power I put into loving you, making your life better – I can now put into myself. I’m definitely far more deserving of it. I still believe in love, I love a lot – my family, my friends, Dolly Parton, nature, this beautiful planet and my darling dogs. Am I afraid to have romantic love in my life again? No, not at all. I know other good souls exist everywhere and when two connect it’s magical. For right now though, I know I need time for it to just be me, me and my dogs. Time to get more comfortable with just nurturing myself, in my own space.
When does kindness cross the line?
I’ve been trying to answer this one for myself and I don’t know the answer yet.
After my ex broke our marriage and hit me over the head with one devasting revelation after another. I stayed knocked down for a beat but that’s just not me. Even while I was in the early days of being deeply wounded and confused, I started to take steps to sorting out my own life – the life that would become my new single life.
I talked it out endlessly with my closest friends, I booked myself into a local therapist and went to counselling. Every session I dreaded; I see now she was trying to tell me the truth but I wasn’t quite ready for it. I’d leave every session feeling emotionally bruised. When you’re still in shock and in the process of falling out of love there’s a piece of your heart that still hopes all this is a bad dream and you’ll fix it. I suppose that’s what they call denial. Probably shouldn’t blame my heart, my heart I believe is smarter than that. Fear, it was fear – fear of change, not being able to see past what I thought my future would look like, fear of heartbreak, fear of being alone. That’s what was to blame. Fear will have you making some dumb-arse decisions.
Regardless of the fear, I can feel that and get on and do what I need to do anyway, so I started to make my plans for a single future. Disentangling yourself from a long-term marriage, there’s a lot of vines to cut down.
First, I thought about where I wanted to live. I liked the quirky small town where we lived, he said he hated it but seemed to really enjoy drinking every night at the local pubs with all his many drinking buddies. My closest friends there, the ones who really knew me, they had busy lives. My friends who are like sisters because we’ve known each other since Adam and the apple, they lived very far away. These were the two friends who knew the truth about what was going on in my life. I’m very private, I don’t tell everyone my business, so they were the only two who knew my marriage was imploding and how awful my husband was being. I decided it would be a good idea to move closer to them, a good six hours drive from where I lived then.
It wasn’t easy arranging house viewings from afar, but I did it and would go down for weekends where my friends and I would see twelve houses in a day. I got a short-list of possibilities, went through the pros and cons and eventually got it down to one. The house I’m living in now. I went about selling the marital home, sorting out finances, moving and I started the paperwork for divorce which is now finalised. This seems to all have come as a surprise to my ex, I don’t know why – he’s always known I’m a pragmatic, got my shit-together kinda girl. I’m also resilient and strong, more resilient than I even realised and that’s a treasured piece of new knowledge.
I wanted to manage an amicable separation and divorce if possible, it takes a lot of discipline and emotional strength, but I’ve done it. Ultimately this has made all the tough financial and legal conversations easier – not easy – but easier. My ex decided to move down to the new area I was moving to. He helped with the move and I said it was fine he could stay with me while he went overseas to visit his family and then got sorted with his own place. He found a new job and a new place in February – then the pandemic hit. He lost his job; we were in lockdown and since he’s also made matters worse by giving himself a significant injury playing sport whereby, he now can’t walk without crutches.
All this has added up to me having my ex as a house guest for months. I really want him out. I’ve carried his arse for years, now we’re divorced after he broke our marriage and my heart – how the hell is this still happening! Ok, I get I could in theory throw him out – jobless and incapacitated and probably already gone through his savings because he’s incredibly stupid with money and his family overseas are master manipulators at getting him to send it. I could, but after working so hard to keep this an amicable split for so long it feels like falling at the last hurdle. It’s also not very kind. He may have been a terrible husband but he’s a human being and in his heart not a bad person. He keeps out of my way and we bumble along politely under the one roof.
Inwardly, I’m screaming – get out! I want to get on with my own life now. This chasm shows how different we always were. I’m now in my own place, the kind of place I always liked but he didn’t – i.e. full of character and old. It’s on the coast because I love being near the sea and I have my support network of closest friends nearby. I’m good. He on the other hand is still on my coattails like the child he is. I’d never seen it when I was in love with him, just how childish and immature he is. That’s why I think our split could be good for him, he needs to learn to stand on his own feet and stop getting in his own way – he’s clearly scared to. I was scared too, but I can feel the fear and do it anyway so I’m now in a better place.
So, I’m choosing to be kind – it’s important to be kind, this is a big part of my belief system. Being kind to someone who has been so cruel to you isn’t easy, I’m not going to lie, but it’s not impossible either. But when is being kind to someone else stop being kind to yourself, what’s the timeline, how much longer can this drag on for …. these are my questions and I don’t know any answers yet … not into the new year I’m praying, let me have my life to myself for the new year … keep your fingers crossed for me please.