I see my ex husband often – we still help each other. Even at our worst we were probably pretty good compared to the stories I hear about tragic, negative endings, with battles over money and pride.
We always had that big picture perspective that THIS WAS ABOUT OUR CHILDREN. The hurts were big, the rejection and guilt and heartache were intense but we always kept the kids at the top of our priority.
That bond runs deep and it occasionally evokes a curiosity “why did we not just stay the course and work it out”, and when things are really tough “wouldn’t it be so much easier to just get right back into that home and that life where we were all working together”.
It never lasts because I always remember the reasons AND I also understand that you don’t go back, you go forward ~ especially if you really did put in the time, love and effort in the first place.
I try to frame it positively and remember that it is good that I still love him and that he still loves me – we must have done something right. We must be pretty good people that could only go so far together. But THEN Why?
I was driving early one morning and musing as I often do and this came to me:
I wanted him to be happy and healthy.
HAPPY as in I wanted him to try harder to be positive about what we had vs complaining and feeling sorry for what we were lacking. I wanted him to embrace this beautiful little family we had and see that no matter how tired we were he had a choice every day. I wanted him to be my friend and see me as his friend AND understand that the only way we were going to make it was by healing our hardness and learning new ways to be in life. I wanted us to be grateful.
HEALTHY as in I wanted him to embrace the gift of life and take care of his body. I wanted him to want the same for me. I wanted us to grow and heal, and heal and grow. Not grow old and tired, bitter and angry. I wanted him to want to be healthy so that we could live long and strong to be an amazing example to our children.
The irony is this – he is happy now. He seems to be happier without the work of intimate relationships. He jokes a lot about living alone on the edge of a forest. He keeps his circle small with a handful of old lifelong friends and a focus on the kids. The very specific monetary things he was attached to and was miserable about – he let go of those things too. With regards to health he picked up his smoking habit, enjoys his beer as he always did less the nagging wife “but we cannot afford this”. He does not exercise or stretch or meditate and HE never will. The beautiful thing is…. it is none of my business and maybe it never was but THIS was how it had to BE.
We came together and created four beautiful children. We kicked and screamed, loved and laughed and it was almost NEVER easy. We missed the mark on communicating and keeping our connection. We let our stress spill onto each other and we hurt each other in ways that could not be erased. We tried for a long time until we no longer had the trust that a woman should have with her man AND a man should have with his woman. The trust we lost was trust to be held, loved, encouraged and nurtured.
Nobody was to blame. The more time that passes the more clearly I see where I could have loved better And so I will. I will love him forever as the father of my four children and will take the lessons forward in hopes that the dream that ended five years ago does not mean that my dream of good love that lasts won’t find its way. Life goes on.
Let go, be love💛