Saying goodbye is so extremely difficult, even if you are the one creating the action. Many say that when a marriage stays together for a lifetime, that is the way it’s suppose to be. It is truly amazing. And yes, I agree. However there are those times in which a relationship is best to dissolve. I never thought that I would say these words, yet without a doubt I believe this to be true.
I am not saying that with difficulties in a relationship one should flee and say I’ve had enough. That would be absurd. However there are instances when a relationship is damaging and destroying to someone. In this unhealthy instance, it is imperative to realize this fact and move to the next chapter. I know that this statement can and will be contested. However when one lives through an unhealthy relationship, I believe this to be best.
It had been twenty-five years that we had been a couple, and I finally realized that the patterns of anger would not change. It is not that we had not tried. It was not that there was not a love between us. It was that this relationship was unhealthy and emotionally abusive. And it was time to think of my emotional stability and health.
Leaving a relationship after all those years was incredibly exhausting. Just to make it through moments at times without thinking about him and wanting to call him was a great effort. My counselor helped me to achieve and make it through those times. Learning to increase my time without speaking to him was helpful. I remember her telling me that if I’m in the car and I want to call him just say to myself that I can make it to the next exit, then to another exit. This strategy of waiting definitely increased my ability to stay away. It may sound silly but after being with him from the age of thirteen, there was a definite need for him.
I never understood the hardship that was endured with a divorce, and I believe that someone who has not gone through this pain is at a disadvantage of that understanding capability. My only comparison is a death of a loved one, yet this person is still alive and can be reached. This awareness makes the end of the relationship strenuous because there is no definite completion. Not that this makes this situation harder, it is just similar in that one has to learn to live without that person.
For me this decision, though it was hard, was a breakthrough to a new beginning for me. At first I felt lost, and I didn’t know what to do with all of my time. Moving on as a single person was truly something I had not experienced since I was a teenager. But as time went on, living and moving to the next day was easier.
I met a few people who I dated for brief periods of time, but it was when I met my now husband that I knew he could be the one. One particular Valentines Day, I remember him travelling an hour and a half in the morning before his work time to surprise me on my lunch break. I went out to my car and saw it filled with balloons, a large soft pink teddy bear, beautiful roses, and a box of chocolate. I remember just laughing and being filled with such a joy that I hadn’t felt for years. My heart was so filled with love. He won me over. It was three years later that we married each other.
I had acquired a PTSD from my previous marriage that my new husband and I had to both learn how to deal with. Just a harsh or louder tone of voice would make me turn my emotions inward, and I would hold in all of my thoughts and feelings. Learning how to deal with situations productively for me was challenging. It was also a challenge for my husband who has always been patient and understanding.
Just the difference in monitoring and controlling my Bipolar has been a complete turn around. My ex-husband did not like my doctors, my medications, my challenges. This would cause incredible stress which magnified my difficulties. My husband now is such a supporter. He has done research, gone to counselling appointments with me, helps to monitor my moods, and is my biggest supporter.
I remember the fear that my parents had when I was with my ex-husband. They feared that I would not be cared for properly, if I had a decompensation in my mental status, due to anger or inability to understand on my ex-husbands part. I recall the relief for both of them felt, before their deaths, with the realization that I was now in a healthy, loving, caring relationship in which protection and understanding would be provided.
God has definitely rewarded me with a new beginning. Life is moving forward without fear! The dreadful fear that I lived with for years is gone. It is joyful and astonishing to know that now when I say something, though I cringe for the response, what I get is a rational reply. Sometimes I smile to myself because the change is just breathtaking.