When you think Life Is Falling Apart, Take a Deep Look Inside
After my previous separation (prior to divorce), I really wanted to take the time and get to know myself and my needs, in an effort not to repeat the same patterns of the past. I never really knew if I liked me for who I really was, who was I, why do I continue letting myself down and why do I continue to pacify people, even on days when I don't want to be around them? Most days, my ex-husband and I, didn't even like each other. We rarely spent time together, communication, ha, what was that? When I knew the relationship was at the end of its course, I began looking in the mirror. What have I been doing wrong? I must take the blame too; I am 50% of this so-called relationship, then I realized, it wasn’t a partnership.
I was the breadwinner 97% of the relationship, the brains, the reliable one, continually making the decisions, the responsible one caring for my kids, the house, preparing meals, handling the finances. It becomes lonely and cumbersome after years. I knew I was a good mother, a hard worker, a wonderful grandmother, a good wife, I was attentive. Yes, I had health issues arise, they did bring me down, my outlook and attitude remained positive. They took a physical and mental toll on me, I always remained optimistic. I tried not to complain, and I hid the pain.
I am giving, I am a caretaker by nature, I am a bit "wanty" when it comes to affection, I am a communicator, I wanted a partner. (You can see my “The Love Languages” blog for more information if you are interested in getting to know yourself better)
Honestly at no fault of my ex’s, he just could not reciprocate the same wants, needs. I could not fulfill his and he could not fulfill mine. I've been lied to, as I am sure we have all been. I had been cheated on. I am guilty of having an emotional affair, which he held against me for years, some say that is worse than a physical affair.
I then came to understand that my expectations of this marriage had always been built on a foundation of nothing more than hope. Hoping “not another failure” or “not someone else walking out”, not a true love. The cycle of dependence, but much like the abandoned child in me, I was always holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Yet grasping to the ropes of an unhealthy relationship, anticipating that it would grow into an actual marriage, if I just tried hard enough. This is what I thought about all relationships that had failed, I was the one that just needed to try harder, I was the person letting everyone down, this was my history and my pattern.
I didn’t require real love. I needed friendship, partnership, someone that could depend on me and I could depend on them. Then I came to realization that not everyone wants the same things. Not everyone loves equally, though I did love him in different ways. Not everyone likes equally. He didn’t like me for some reason. He often called me disrespectful names, even in front of others, he criticized everything I did, he blamed me if the meteorologist was wrong about the weather. He had me convinced I was crazy. I came to not like him either. I didn’t like his cockiness, his verbal and mental abuse (I had been there before), his disrespectful comments and ways, his entire attitude.
Instead of communicating more or reciprocating my efforts or even, he refused all recommendations. He became someone I didn’t know at all. He was taunting.
He then extended out the process of leaving before ending it all. He chose not to hold on to something that wasn't satisfying his needs nor that his wants any longer. I can't say it didn't hurt nor devastate me, because he was the only person that I felt would not leave me, even though our relationship was always rocky for the most part of almost 15 years, there was a sense of stability. I was lost in fact as to how I would financially manage, how I would cope with living with a chronic progressive illness, and if I would ever love someone and they would ever love me. Would I ever have everything I had dreamed of, worked for, and longed for?
It's strange how we come to expect and accept things from people, even when we know they are unacceptable and unhealthy to our mental health. I also never thought he would cheat. I thought I knew his patterns, his moods were consistent, his schedule, then they weren’t.
He failed miserable during the course by which he took in his departure. There were better ways to handle it, you can’t redo the past, you can only move forward!
I remember him saying “I’ll be back in 6 months”. I kept asking, “if you plan to be back in 6 months, then why are you leaving?”. I later found out that he signed a 9-month lease. I reminded him once the legalities were taken care of, once he left, that was it. No more. I am not subjecting myself to that life any longer.
“I was a high-functioning depressive, seemingly pulled together and buttoned down. But inside deep, I was numb and mute. Now on the other side of divorce, I know that was me fragmented and doing my best to cope. But my body knew.”
— Liza Caldwell
During that time to myself, I decided, I don't want a relationship, I want God, I want Jesus. That is who my relationship should be with. Maybe I just need people to talk to? I was spending time at church. I learned to love myself and be happy with this smart mouth, overthinking brain, my chaotic thoughts, my OCD, the little me that sometimes couldn't sleep for days and then slept for 24 hours. I wanted to change my weight, I wanted to feel better both emotionally and physically. I enjoyed living alone. I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I could eat what I wanted, go to bed when I wanted. If I had a flare day, who cares, I didn't have to let anyone down or anyone know, it was all me. I liked not putting that burden on someone else. I spent days at a time never leaving my house, not even going to the grocery store.
The most profound thing I learned was God prepares us, He prepares us to go through deep waters and when we lose things, we in turn gain so much more. We often do not know why things happen at the time they are happening. There is always a reason for it. I just told myself to “be still” and I trusted God during the process.
Life throws curve balls, we get hurt, we must not give up. We must practice self-care, self-love, and if you are in a toxic relationship, know you are stronger than what you think you are. You are brave.
In my life, I have encountered so many more obstacles, from childhood to adulthood. I’ve talked in previous blogs about my struggles and overcoming them. I am a warrior, capable, I can stand with my head held high and know that at the end of the day, I did my best...
“Above all be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
— Nora Ephron
There are more matters ongoing with this topic that I cannot speak of, this is just the beginning to my next phase in life. My next chapter. I am blogging a bit backwards in some ways, because of course everyone knows by now, I am happily with Ed.
But will I ever really have my happily ever after?
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