Something I’ve never admitted (even to myself) –
When my ex left, I was relieved.
Not right away. At first, I felt like I was breaking apart. Each breath singed my open and bleeding heart. I felt like I was gasping for air and grasping for a hold on reality. I was fractured and frightened.
But later? Once the wounds scabbed over a bit and I began to feel confident that I would survive?
I was relieved.
It wasn’t an emotion I expected to feel. In fact, I didn’t even accept as an emotion I did feel. On every conscious level, I loved and trusted that man with every fiber of my being.
But maybe on some deeper level, I was aware I was on a sinking ship.
A craft that I trusted to be whole and intact but instead had developed some fatal breach in its hull, obscured beneath the waters of awareness.
I lost everything. Yet in some ways I was relieved to be free of the life I had worked so hard for.
I loved him. Yet in some ways I was relieved he was gone from my life for good.
I faced immense pain and suffering. Yet in some ways I was relieved of the anxiety that had been growing beneath.
Maybe the relief was just my brain’s way of trying to wrest some control over the tsunami barreling down at me. Maybe the relief came from facing my biggest fear and still standing after the confrontation. Maybe I was relieved that the worst I could imagine was over and it could only get better from there. Perhaps it was the relief felt upon waking from a nightmare, the sweaty sheets revealing the anguish released during the night. Maybe it was like the relief felt after a good cry, emotions spent and endorphins moving in. Maybe it was the release of tension that I didn’t realize was building. Perhaps the relief came in an acceptance. A letting go after working so long to hold to him. Or maybe it was my intuition, discounted for so long, finally breaking through.
Who knows why I felt a release? I do know that I felt ashamed for feeling relieved. Guilty, as though I was somehow feeling something wrong.
The truth is that emotions are messy and complicated. What we dismiss as irrational is often anchored in some truth, even if we cannot tease out the connections.
Relief is more than something we feel upon release, it is also a special type of carving that removes the unwanted material to create a dimensional image upon a backdrop.
I think the relief I felt was the removal of the unwanted falsehoods, letting my life and my self stand out yet again.
7 thoughts on “Something I’ve Never Admitted (Even to Myself)”
I completely agree! It took a little while for me to get past the pain and grief of my ex-husband leaving me for another woman but once I came around I realized it was the best thing that happened to me. I was finally able to start living the life I had always wanted — one he was holding me back from.
Cheers to new beginnings and our new-found peace and happiness!
I was totally relieved….never thought it would be such an immense relief though. Amazing, right. I think it helps us ensure we made the right decision
I know that feeling very well.
I can relate. I was so tired of existing in the grey area. I was so relieved when it was all over.
when I figured out my ex was cheating, when I finally figured it out rather, I was so angry. But at the same time, I was completely and utterly relieved that I wasn’t just delusional and that he really was doing something horrible to me.
I didn’t cry and I didn’t try and get him back. I was relieved that I could move on with my life instead of focusing on him. I was relieved that my pain had an end in sight.
I cane across this article, in my search for some insight into how can I heal from this unwanted divorce. I am 45 years old, and now a single mother to a 5 year old girl. My world was obliterated the day the process server showed up to my job with my ex husbands petition for divorce. I was served in front of my entire staff. I was humiliated. I was and am still devastated by this blow. I have loved this man for 7 years. When he said year after year that he was unlike any man I ever knew, that he was forever, I believed him. I accepted what he said to me as truth. The fact is, he had the courage to do what I would have never done. He had the courage to leave this marriage. Our relationship was toxic, codependent and unhealthy. In the 7 years we spent together, we only experienced true happiness during the honeymoon phase of the first few months. I met him a year or so after his 1st marriage ended. He came into my life when I too was mending a broken heart. We were not whole when we met, and perhaps in our brokenness we saw each other as a beacon of light. Something so different than what we had before. Just the same, 2 halves do not make a whole relationship. We spent 7 years trying so hard to change each other. Make the other person what we hoped they would be. We saw the other persons “potential”, and never once thought to find happiness in who the other person was, as is. Instead we focused our attention on what the other person could be. We were critical of each other. And before we knew it, we were parents in our 40’s and that became the glue that bound us together. For a while anyway. The last 5 years of the 7 year relationship was nothing but resentment, contempt, bitterness and criticism. We tolerated each other, but coexisted more like distant roommates, than spouses or even friends. Intimacy was a rarity. Anger, mistrust and disrespect became our only remaining way to communicate. You see, despite all this, I still remained committed to the institution that was our marriage. I had no plan B. No exit strategy. Neil was my life and I remained committed to the marriage no matter what. My family was my everything, but it was broken for so long. He had had enough. A part of me is angry that he left me. He knew I have struggled with abandonment issues all my life and this has hit so hard. At the same time, I completely understand why this marriage needed to end. I didn’t respect him, and he didn’t respect me. We didn’t trust each other to have the other persons best interest at heart. We questioned each other’s motives. I did not feel safe with him, and I am certain he would say the same. So I am healing from so much more than just this marriage ending. I am healing from childhood scars that compelled me to stay in this relationship well past its expiration date. Neil I love you for being a friend to me, when I wasn’t always deserving I love for trying. I miss your arms around me. But I want to thank you for finally having the courage to do what I would have never done, and for saving us both from this brokenness we called a marriage. I will be OK. I have a beautiful daughter who I must teach that life really does go on, and more importantly, what a healthy relationship looks like.
Powerful. Thank you for sharing:)