My ex and I were perfect for each other in our young twenties. In our late twenties, that compatibility started to fall apart.
His career path led him down a planned path to become an established downtown lawyer. He was a Suit climbing up the corporate ladder. He enjoyed working late, the corporate socializing, work parties, client lunches and everything else he need to do to make partner in his firm. As his salary grew so did his taste for fine wines, watches, sports cars and trading up houses.
I became a therapist, who deeply cared about people, their problems and the world we live in. I didn’t need materialistic things and definitely didn’t like going to parties. I would much rather spend my time reading, writing, travelling, and just being in nature than in a corporate social setting.
Over the years, I tried to fit myself into his world, but I just didn’t fit. I didn’t fit into the box of wife to a lawyer, mother to his children, host to his dinner parties. I tried to be everything my husband wanted me to be. I tried to conform and after some time lost sight of who I was. My purpose was to try and keep my husband happy. Until one day, he told me how unhappy he was in our marriage. The irony is that I didn’t realize how unhappy I was, until after he left me.
The truth is that we weren’t growing together as a couple. Every day we just grew more apart. I held off having kids, maybe because deep down I knew that I wasn’t happy in my marriage. But I didn’t have the strength or courage to look at my own happiness.
I am not going to lie – hearing your partner tell you that they aren’t sure if they love you anymore is devastating. The pain associated with his decision to leave was even more traumatic.
As a therapist, I spent many years dealing with that pain, and promising myself that I would not get stuck in the story of my heartbreak. It’s tricky because as a therapist, I knew the right things to say to other people, I knew the right next steps that people have to take to move forward in their lives. It shocked me how difficult it was for me to follow my own advice.
Many years later, I can truthfully say that I am not angry about my divorce. I have embraced my free-spirited nature and have watched my career escalate to heights I never knew possible. I am true to myself and have met a great partner who allows me to by myself and loves me just the way I am.
There are certain times that I feel a little pain when I think about my past life with my ex. Not because I love him still, but because the ending was so difficult for me to accept. But without that pain, I would not be the truly authentic independent women that I am today.