My husband of 28 years told me he no longer wished to be married to me. It’s not “you” it’s “me” were his exact words.
To say I was blindsided would be an understatement. I keep replaying his words in my mind and I just can’t make sense of it all.
We were happy – or so I thought. After 28 years together we had a beautiful life. Wonderful kids who were well on their way to adulthood and it was finally time for us to get back to – well us.
But apparently that was not in his plan.
He had been waiting to leave he told me. Not happy for years but didn’t want to shake up the kids and our family unit. Years? How is that even possible? I know I was focussed on my career and my children but he was a major priority in my life and I worked hard at our relationship. I know he was happy despite his words, however I couldn’t understand why he was trying to hurt me. He was so strong in his convictions and so matter of fact in his words that I knew there was more to his story.
The kids left for university and a week later he moved out.
Buried in grief, my friends and family tried to console me. “You’ll be better off”, “He must have a girlfriend – no one ever leaves unless they have someone else waiting” and “He was always an ass” were the kind, reassuring words I heard. But I didn’t feel that way. I felt betrayed and hurt and couldn’t find any logic to what was happening. I knew that in order for me to have a life after my divorce I would need some closure. I needed to understand what went wrong and how I missed the collapse of my relationship.
I urged him to go into therapy with me. He told me there was no point – he wasn’t coming back and the relationship was over. But I begged. I felt he owed it to me – so that I could grow from this experience and have an understanding of where I went wrong. I kept the focus on me and my needs and told him that this was an opportunity for me to understand myself better. Shockingly he agreed.
We went to a marriage therapist and it was a crazy process. I heard things about myself and our relationship that I couldn’t believe. I had never considered how my words and actions had affected him – to be honest I never really thought he cared about the little issues. His perceptions were so off but what I did learn was that perception is reality. Although I didn’t see it that way – he did. The truth was that we were so out of sync on so many issues that he was smart to have ended the marriage. I just couldn’t see it and was so focussed on my “family” that I never considered my own individual needs or my husbands in many situations. It was a tough process but one that I was grateful to have gone through as it did give me clarity and understanding.
In the end, we didn’t get back together. I am sad that we couldn’t salvage our relationship and wished that we had had better communication during our marriage. However the truth is that I probably would never have owned my part at that time.
So at 56, I am ready to create a new life for myself after my divorce. I am not sure how I am going to do this but if I have learnt anything from this process it is to take one day at a time! I will have a life after my divorce because I choose to. I am the master of my own destiny and I am not saying it will be easy – but I am determined to make it!