Just move on.
Just move on. That’s what people say. It’s time. Move on. Two words. Easy to say, hard to do, impossible to explain. Like it’s just that easy? If I could just move on I would have by fucking now. So tell that to my fucking heart. The last year I have teetered back and forth on this seesaw of grief. I briefly felt like I was moving into that lucrative acceptance phase only to be suddenly cast back into any one of the stages of grief again at any given moment. What does it mean to move on? What happens when you can’t move on even though you want nothing more but to just be free of the pain? How long does it take? When does the pain end? When will it just get fucking easier? Why can’t I just move on? I don’t have the answers for you but I can tell you more about my experience. It’s hard still. I feel lonely lately. The holidays upcoming are overwhelming me with regret and grief. As the year continues to pass it feels even more real to me that there is no reconciliation coming and my marriage is in fact just over.
I have started to settle into my life and new single routine. The confusion and fog of grief has lifted. I am able to work longer periods of time without my mind drifting. Don’t get me wrong it still does, some days I still can’t focus on anything but the anger, pain, sadness, and grief that comes with divorce. But as those negative thoughts creep back in, I find I’m better able to shut them down, distract myself, and re-focus. When happy memories or good thoughts drift in, I replace them with negative ones. Like all the reasons I wanted to leave. I constantly remind myself that I did the best I could. I got us involved in counseling. I wanted nothing more then to communicate with him in a way he could understand me. I tried to reconnect with him for a year. I tried to change. I spent a over a year in therapy even after he walked out. I apologized a thousand times. So I can continue to blame myself until the end of time but I’m not the only one who made mistakes. A marriage is made of two people and if only one is trying, I think it’s probably still destined for failure. He never would meet me halfway and a relationship can’t be fixed by one person. I can’t change him. Hell I can barely change me. Also, I absolutely can’t force him to love me or want me.
A year later and seemingly no closer.
I know it’s been a year since he moved out, but somehow I still feel him here. This shit storm still feels like a bad dream. I wish I could wake up. I still feel like he may come home at anytime. I’m angry for what he did to me the last year, as if the initial separation wasn’t bad enough, he proceeded to leave me again repeatedly the next year. But honestly, I’m not surprised. He is who he is. I am who I am. Unfortunately those two people don’t work as a couple. But still, I feel like I should be moved on by now, further along in this process. Then I remind myself he didn’t have to come back and break my heart again in August. So I may actually have a right to be a little upset. I can’t move on when he pops up every couple months and wanting me back. So why can I just move on? Maybe because it hasn’t been that long for me. I will never understand why he did what he did in August. But it is over with him, that’s reality and it’s time to move on. That is always just easier said then done. Nothing will change the fact that I’m still disappointed with how things turned out. I thought we would be married forever. I guess that’s why I feel so unable to move on. How do you forget the future I planned for us? I keep wanting to go back and do it all over. But that’s not reality. Reality is that he made a choice and that choice is not me. So I don’t know where that leaves me anymore. I want back the good times. I want back the fun we had. The double dates and the times with friends. I want back my partner in life. I want back my marriage. I want it all back. But I also understand that we have the tendency to romanticize the past and it was not all champagne, roses, and unicorns. Love isn’t always rational though.
When do you stop fighting?
People make mistakes and marriage is hard. So why do some people fight for each other and some people just give the fuck up? I would apologize again to him but I’m not sure why anymore. I’m not the only one who fucked up. He made mistakes too. He fucked up by coming back in April and then coming back again in May. All I did was react to his shitty behavior once again. He could have not text or called me. Maybe not met me for drinks, def not gone home with me, not stayed the night, not fucked me. I’m honestly unsure how he thought I would react or what the appropriate response would have been to having my heart broken again by him. I imagine he could obviously tell that I still had feelings for him, that I still thought things might be different and thought we could still love each other. We talked out our issues, apologized, and made a plan to move forward together in reconciliation He legit asked if he should move back in. WTF??!?! I honestly just believe that he decided later it was easier to go back to her then to deal with the hard shit of fixing our damaged relationship. He didn’t want to work on him because he’s still in denial that he had anything to do with this, so being with me meant looking at what was really going on with him too. But the grass is really never that much greener so eventually he may have to look at his contribution to our failed marriage.
So I guess that’s how and why I have to keep moving forward. Nothing has changed except maybe me. I would hope by now after 158+ hours of therapy I’m at least a tiny bit different. But he isn’t miraculously different. He didn’t become a better partner overnight. He still has the same issues with anger management, jealousy, and family that he did before. Also, he cheated on someone that day. That’s pretty fucked. He is still just as unable as before to give me what I want and need. He has proved that repeatedly. That’s reason enough to move on.
But the truth is when you give everything you have to someone and then lose it all, you lose a part of your heart and soul that you may never get back. There is nothing to do or say to change it. But that doesn’t stop you from wanting to. Some people recognize their mistakes and want to fix them, some people will never recognize their mistakes and continue to live the same reality over and over. But still you lost your other half, the future you thought you had, the plans you made together. So your heart doesn’t just break, it breaks over and over and over again indefinitely. Uncertainty paralyzes. Hope is a distant memory or a friend who doesn’t call anymore. Everything you thought you knew changes and nothing will ever be the same again. But here’s hoping it could be better.
I still get jealous that he is with someone else. I’m angry that he decided a future with her was more important than fixing our marriage and having a future with me. I want to check his social media obsessively like I used to but I have stopped. It only hurts me. I could try forever to hurt him but in the end, I’m still the only one who gets hurt. I guess I still hope and wish I could see some sign that he missed me. Maybe that he was sorry and miserable. I know I probably shouldn’t hold my breathe. He’s moved on and I need to. He blocked all contact because he’s incapable of owning his part and my reactions to his behavior make him uncomfortable. He has given me the opportunity to be free. Truthfully, it is easier knowing I don’t have to try anymore. I know I can’t contact him. Plus, I have literally nothing left to say to him. I have said and done anything and everything I could think of the last year. Nothing has worked. It is just over.
Truth be told? I’m afraid. That’s the biggest reason I think I can’t move on. I feel guilty over my failed marriage. I’m still in love with that fucker a fucking year later. That’s the other reason I can’t. People say move on. Awesome thanks, how’s one supposed to do that? I have no fucking clue. But I am trying. I have been pushing so hard through the grief and I have made huge progress. As I push through this moving on process, a wave of grief and tears this week remind me that my grief just isn’t over yet. It’s my process and sometimes the harder I try to push through it the more I just succumb to it. I don’t know if I things would be different or if I could have been happy with him. I realize thought that I don’t have the luxury anymore to think that way. I have to focus on me. So I will.
The new happy.
Ultimately, I deserve happiness too. I deserve all the things I want and need. I deserve fulfillment. My marriage was only fulfilling him and I was left depleted. So now I’m focusing on fulfilling me before I move into another relationship. I am not ready. It is true what they say and you know how I feel about what “they” say. But it is true that time makes it better. It doesn’t go away but as the months roll by it does get easier. Days I make it through make it easier. Time goes on and it doesn’t hurt as much. I don’t feel the need to call or text or be crazy. Sometimes I still want to call and text him but the history of us stops me. There is literally nothing else to say or do. The good moments in my life start to outweigh the bad as the clock ticks on. I had a rough year. Maybe a rough few years. But time moves on and changes circumstances. So I will myself to move on. To just keep going. Keep trying. Keep loving. Divorce is not the end. Starting over is just an awesome chance to build the life you’ve always wanted.
Turn the page.
I guess I just want to be in the next chapter. It seems like The X and the Cheater moved on so easily with other women. It’s led me to believe that the problem is me. I’m not a bad person. Who I am is not who I’ve been. What I’ve done the last few months doesn’t define me. But I know I haven’t been my best self. Sometimes I don’t even want to hang out with me. I’m still healing. Most days I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m still trying to figure that out. After a year I know I am different. Life is different. I thought I would be somewhere else by now and I am. Time goes so quickly things change in an instant. I hope the next year I shed this grief and start focusing on me. Maybe someday I will stop living in the rear view mirror. I have hope that it won’t always be like this. Things change so quickly and this is just another season of life. Divorce is sad though so it may take some time to heal.
I know I won’t always be single. I’m not even alone now. I have so many family and friends. I can easily keep busy. I have been focused on these relationships. Connecting as I can with the people who didn’t leave me and who don’t think I’m too much to love. The amazing people in my life who aren’t scared of who I am but love me just as much through all this drama. Also? I’m enjoying this freedom. Spending time with friends and family makes it better. I won’t be alone forever. And if I am? Well I’m pretty kick ass to spend time with anyway.
Patience is a virtue.
Remind yourself to be patient and to offer yourself the grace you offer others. You don’t need to explain yourself. It’s not for anyone else to know or fix or understand. It’s an incredibly personal journey. You may get back to who you were or who you thought you were and you may become someone entirely new and different. All of it is okay. You are still healing. And that’s incredibly personal too. No one gets to tell you who to be, what to feel, how to grieve, how to heal, or how to move forward. It will happen. And when it does, it will be truly transforming and beautiful. Eventually when you look in the mirror, you will recognize your reflection again.
Transition and change are hard. You don’t have to be the same person today you were yesterday. Or even 5 minutes ago. Take those scars, that hurt, those tears, and transform. You deserve it. And I promise you, you have earned it. Surviving the grief of divorce, the loss and the heartbreak is a miracle. The future may still be unknown and that’s okay too. And the past? Leave it there, it’s over. There is peace in acceptance. Hope in the unknown. Happiness is in store. It will happen and it will be awesome. You will be you again.
Move on. It’s easier said then done. I thought I may die from a broken heart. But I’m still here. Anything and everything is still possible. Or at least I still hope so. Learning to move on is the best thing I’ve allowed myself to do the last year. Time and time again, I didn’t think I could or would make it. But I’m okay. I’m stronger than I ever knew or thought possible. Life didn’t end. The world has kept turning. Now that I’m starting to move on, it’s a beautiful place to be.
It isn’t always easy. It doesn’t have to be fast. Progress is progress. An inch or a mile. Just keeping working toward it. Eventually it won’t be so much work. Moving on is possible.
XOXO – J
Tell me about your experience with moving on?