You were someone before you met "him", you had ideas, an identity that may or may not have been fully formed, but you WERE someone. You had a name, you had traits, characteristics, and you had feelings and opinions. Meeting him, being with him, as his "wife" carried certain responsibilities, but it did not erase the girl/woman who you were. She is still there. I found her after my divorce, I found her anew and familiar at the same time.
I look at my pictures from the duration of my marriage, and I honestly have a hard time recognizing myself. I look at this girl in her 20s and think, "damn she looks so eager and yet insecure". What's up with that? I look at my pictures now and sure, I have aged and I look older, but also look more confident. I don't know how to put my finger on it or describe it in an articulate way, but there is something different and I feel it and see it and it's very palpable. Some of us can pinpoint a beginning.
Some of us can pinpoint an end, whatever it may look like, being "divorced" or "remarried" or "moved on" or whatever. I am someone who is not quite sure if I can really identity if there was a "beginning" and if there will be an "end"; simply because our understanding of time is so limited. We think of time as linear, as if it progresses, and I honestly don't know if that is true. All I know is that I loved someone, deeply and truly, and he betrayed my trust, and maybe some part of me will love him till the day I die and some parts of me will move on and find love else where or be in relationships where love is not the primary ingredient or who knows the infinite possibilities that make a relationship work in a sustainable way when it is monogamous.
There is not a day that goes by where I do not think/remember him, and my separation (when the marriage emotionally ended) took place over several years ago, so why reassure ourselves with these false hopes that the "end" is in sight? What if there is no "end", what if we just learn to carry our grief and despair and yet remain hopeful for the future? What if we seek and long for a love that will be matched by the same vigor and passion and devotion that we put in?
Do not look for timelines. Do not mark beginnings and ends; what's the point? If you loved him, you loved him, and that's ok, it deserves acknowledgement and respect. I cannot predict that in 50 or 60 years from now, when I am on my deathbed, I will not think of him. By that time, I may be remarried, I may have kids and grandkids with someone I did not expect to end up with. I spent years loving someone and that means something to me, and that's all that matters. I planned our future together, and he chose to abandon it, and that's on him. Love is what we choose to make of it, from a sentimental feeling to a deeper ache and longing, and nothing he did will change the reality of my experience of love. I can choose to honor it, and hope and have faith that maybe, one day, it will grace me with its' presence again.
(originally posted by a member of our community.)