Its been a tough couple of months for me.
From building up a protective wall about me for the last few years, to feeling vaguely unhappy for the past few months, to deciding that the only way to make myself happy again was to leave my husband, to telling him, to telling the kids, to moving out, to realising that no situation was as black and white as I had thought it was going to be, its been a really tough journey. Through it all, I feel as though I am in a much better place now than I was 6 months ago. If you asked my husband he would probably disagree as 6 months ago we were all living in the same house and he thought that everything was OK, but for me personally I am happier now than I was then.
I’m a different person now than I was. I still don’t know exactly who I am or where I’m going but I know a lot more than I did.
I know that the decision I made was the right decision for me. I know also that it was the wrong decision for my husband and probably for my children. This is hard to accept for someone like me who wants everyone around her to be happy all the time, even if that is at the expense of my own happiness.
When I told my husband that I was leaving him I honestly thought that he would react in a totally different way than he has. I knew he would be upset but I didn’t realise how much it was going to totally shake his life. I thought that I would be able to walk away and move into my new house, and settle into a routine with the kids and not look back. It hasn’t been this easy. Good god it hasn’t been this easy.
We’ve talked more in the last 6 weeks than we have ever before I think, and been more honest with each other. I’ve been really honest with him, and told him that although I still care a lot about him and will ALWAYS care a lot about him and love him that I am not in love with him. I thought that when I moved out that I wouldnt want anything else to do with him, I was totally unprepared for how very much I still worried about him, care for him and want him to be happy. Knowing that I’ve made him so unhappy hurts me, its really unfair that in order to make me happy I’ve had to hurt him so much.
The first few weeks that we were apart I felt a huge amount of pressure from him and other people to decide what was going to happen with our future. Would I move back? Or not? People seemed to want a definite response from me, whether or not I was able to give one didn’t matter to them. This was really hard for me and I told my husband that if I was pushed on it that my decision would be to walk away and not come back. I felt cornered and trapped and under a lot of pressure.
But something has changed. We have had a horrible few weeks in terms of hurt and emotions and opening up old wounds that have not been looked at for years. We have talked, and cried and argued and said things that have really hurt each other. He has done things that I never ever thought he would do and reacted in ways that I never thought he could. I’ve been disappointed at some things he has said and at the same time really pleasantly suprised by some of his actions. Doing what he has done over the last couple of weeks has taken real courage, it makes me happy.
We agreed last week that we should be friends. When I say we agreed this what I mean is that I asked him to be my friend and not consider anything else right now and he agreed. I’m still not in love with him but I want to be his friend. I love that we can hang out together with the children, spend time together and not feel awkward or uncomfortable. That I can give him a hug goodbye and a kiss on the cheek without feeling that I’m leading him on or breaking his heart all over again or anything else. I’ve been very honest about where I am and how I’m feeling and I think he has been very honest back with me. I know that his hopes are all pinned on me falling back in love with him and us growing old together. I also know that I’ve told him that I can’t currently see my future at all, I have no idea how this will pan out – whether it will be with or without him. We have 16 years of history and 4 kids together. Thats a lot to lose but its also not a reason to stay together and be unhappy, or not be yourself which is what I have been guilty of. I’ve been guilty of not being honest with him, of hiding my real self from him (and from me) because this is the easiest way to make everyone else happy. It hasn’t mattered to me that I’ve not been true to myself, until it all snowballed and squashed me and left me with no alternative but to run.
I now need to concentrate on being me. I am really enjoying being me. I like me. I don’t like who I used to be, who I’ve taught myself to be, who I became. I like this version of me. I’m happy that I can finally look in the mirror and like who I see. I’m sad that I like this version of me only now that I’m on my own. I wish it could have been different to this point. But we are where we are and it is what it is and I do feel a lot more at peace with myself than I did 6 months ago.
I’m planning on enjoying the next 6 months, continuing the counselling with hubby (and maybe on my own) and understanding more about who I allowed myself to turn into, why I did it and how I can make sure I dont do it again. I can’t ever let myself get into the vulnerable position that I’ve been in before. I am looking forward to having the time to concentrate on me and learn more about what I want and need and also be friends with my husband without feeling any pressure to move back in with him and declare ourselves fixed.
I don’t blame him for where we are now. I blame us both. Certain things have happened over the 16 years that we’ve been together that have been crap, really awful. But what has happened after those things has been equally to blame for where we are now and the wall that I built up around myself and my pretence at being OK all the time when really I have been crying inside is a big part of what has gone wrong for us.
The first step is understanding what has caused us to be here. The next steps are working out if we can get over that and prevent it from happening again. The 2 possible outcomes are either that we stay friends and nothing more or that we are at some point in the future together as a couple again. I wouldn’t like to place money on it either way at the moment but I’m happy with where we are and what we are doing and that’s all I can ask for right now.