It’s been almost a year since my last blog. I’ve been in hiding. Or perhaps more in searching? Searching for answers, for my truths, for clues in my past and corrections for my future. Searching for myself.
Divorce is icky my friends. It’s messy and unmanageable at times.
On one hand I felt like a fraud for failing in my relationship after preaching that all can be saved in Confessions of an Ex Hot Mess, and on the other hand I felt profound pride in taking the route I did.
Regardless of my outlook, I felt heavily burdened with stress, guilt and uncertainty.
I needed to take time away to reassess, and to heal myself before I attempted to help others.
This relationship question intrigued me enough to get back in the blog game. To bare my soul again, in the most vulnerable time in my life. I think it’s an important conversation. I feel it goes with and against everything I thought I believed. And I hope it will serve you, if you’re struggling in your relationships, too.
How Did You Know it was Time to Leave?
I wish I had a simple answer that could give clarity to every reader, but the truth is, I didn’t necessarily know it was time. Love is complicated and messy. It’s blinding and baffling. I don’t endorse quitting relationships when they get tough, but I also don’t endorse being unhappy or settling in life, either.
Four years ago my best friend and sister held an intervention about my relationship. They begged me to leave, but I couldn’t see what they saw. I still don’t entirely. But after years of not feeling good enough in my marriage, I subconsciously began to disengage. I am not blaming my ex, or blaming myself. We are both perfect beings whose insecurities wreaked havoc on our love life. No fault, no blame, no excuses.
I reached a point emotionally where I could forgive, but I could no longer trust. I couldn’t heal from OUR past, or move forward anymore with the relationship we had built.
When I had passed that threshold, I could not go back to the way things were. Some people mentioned I had to “earn my divorce” by going to couple's therapy, by exhausting other options before giving up. But my heart said “no, I have had enough and I am done.”
I began listening to music and feeling frustrated when the singer belted out lines like “I’m willing to stay, cause I’m sick for your love” and I felt torn between “divorce is failure” and “staying would be failing myself.”
FYI - I’m a recovering certainty junkie. I love knowing what tomorrow will look like, I love security. I love feeling safe. I had to give that up to see if I could survive on my own. I had never lived alone in my life, since the day I was born. Leaving was more than just starting over, it was embarking on an adventure I had never been brave enough to try before.
I left at the beginning of the year, and this was my first week where I didn’t feel some sort of “fight or flight survival mode” subconsciously throughout my day. This has been a difficult choice. I have to live with the guilt of abandoning someone I will always care about. I have felt uncomfortable constantly living alone, and not having someone there to hold me when I was scared. Everything has been new, and overwhelming.
How Were You Not Afraid to Leave?
As you can tell from my story, I was terrified to leave. But fear will always be there, it will always try to stop us from doing anything out of the norm. We must feel the fear and do it anyways, if it truly is what we desire in our lives. Nothing worth having will ever come easy, especially not our happiness.
The best defence for fear is faith: trust in yourself, your ability to do tough shit, and in the fact that life has a better plan for you than you could ever create for yourself. You are exactly where you need to be or else you’d be somewhere else. You’re feeling discomfort in your relationship because you have outgrown it. Now is the time to assess what can be done and if it is possible to heal the relationship.
If yes, roll up them sleeves and get to work.
If no, take the time to thoroughly consider your options.
Leaving your spouse will not guarantee happiness, but neither will staying. You need to weigh out those options for yourself. Please know that leaving will NOT lead to instant gratification. For me, it has taken the better part of nine months to find comfort again. After moving into a new town, new job, and new life.
But I will say this: I have not regretted leaving, even once.
Yes, I feel deep remorse for hurting someone I loved, fear about my future, discomfort from starting over again, etc. - but no regret.
Because I know, at the core of my decision was pure, unbridled self-love.
I knew what I deserved. I knew what I truly wanted in life. And I was willing to risk it all to go out there and find it for myself. Even if I didn’t know how (or even IF) it was all going to work out. I bet on myself unapologetically and took a chance.
My best words of wisdom are this: you do NOT need to have all the answers right now.
Take your time. Invest in some relationship books. Go to counselling. Talk it out. Communicate with your partner. Lean on people you trust to guide you. Trust in yourself that you will come out on top no matter what avenue you choose.
Take it one day at a time. One hour at a time. One moment at a time, if you must.
The answers will come to you when you are ready. And in the meantime, trust your gut and listen to your heart. They will act as your inner guidance system.
We get one chance at this life. Whatever you choose, go for it and do your best. Take the high road and be the best you that you can be each day. During a separation, a relationship revitalization, or any other day of your wonderful life.
Here are a couple videos from my absolute favourite YouTube channel The School of Life, that helped me at the beginning to understand a few things about relationships, who we fall in love with and why. It was the first stepping stone for me, and perhaps it will help you as well.
Let me know what you think, ok?
Love & Light,