There is no clear-cut break when it comes to feelings. You often cannot control your emotions because when you are faced with a new situation, nothing you experienced before helps you handle the new one. This is especially true with relationships and breakups.
When I told my friend that I had stayed friends with all my exes and that I couldn’t understand why this particular breakup –my latest– had hit so hard, that with my new ex it was going to be challenging if not impossible to remain friends, he told me: “Yes, but you were not dating, you were married for a long time.” It was then that I understood the difficulty of this one.
My ex-husband, as we parted, told me; “Maybe, I was braver than you to take this step for both,” and he was absolutely right. He was braver and although I didn’t like the timing and how he did it, I must concede that it was the perfect move. We HAD to part. The word divorce was screaming at us every day and grew louder and more deafening as time went by. Although we never quarreled, which was nice, we got to that scary dead end where you feel lonely even when you are living with someone. In fact, I had been flying solo for a few years already. We had settled and that is not a reason to stay in a dead-end relationship.
After the divorce I became somewhat of a nomad, crashing in friend’s houses for a few months at a time, and I had mixed feelings. I started to do what I always declare we mustn’t do, I blamed him for my situation. This attitude only kept me stuck, just like when I was drinking during my years of alcoholism: it was someone else’s fault that I was addicted. Luckily, twenty plus years ago, I realized it was my life, my choices and it was in my hands to quit drinking and move on. I realized that I needed to do the same with this divorce, which considering what’s out there, was extremely amicable. However, I had to accept that it was a huge blow to my ego. I mean, he left me, not the other way around. Sometimes I wish I had been the one to take that step.
Now, finally, at long last, I sent my latest text to him. Wishing him a happy birthday and from the bottom of my heart, I wished him the best in his new relationship. I’m personally not at that point yet where I’m ready to take on another relationship. Thinking back, I never was. We married under the pressure of papers for him to become a legal citizen in the U.S. That was one reason, the strongest, that took me to city hall.
I may not be ready for a relationship, but I am ready for this new life. I realize how lucky I’ve been and am to be able to enjoy a break and travel, spend time with friends and family as well as venturing into new territories.
There was no clear-cut break and my memories will linger in my mind, as they do now, to the hilarious moments we shared. Those now outweigh the sad ones, the routine and lackluster monotony of a marriage that had died long before my ex had the courage to do that which I did not dare: call out the fact that we were no longer in love.