The post that had to happen

This was actually meant to be my 100th post, but it’s the 101st. Or as Lydia from The Real Housewives of Melbourne would say, one hundred and one-th post.

But, instead of knocking the head off a bottle of champs, it’s bittersweet. More bitter than sweet.

I had a major hiatus in blogging over the past 12 months.

You may remember a couple of posts back, I wrote about conscious uncoupling (Gywneth really is the gift that keeps on giving), and that just because a relationship or a marriage has ended, does not mean it ‘failed’.

Did you read between the lines?

I was writing about my own marriage.

The Mister and I have decided to shake hands and call it a day.

Volatile words, seething undercurrents, apathy, resentment, suspicion and jealousy are things that can strip a relationship to shreds. They can be so visceral, so sticky and real, they can take on actual shape and texture.

But what if there is no major upset, no anger, no animosity, would you even know if there was a problem?

I mean, that’s what pain is, right? Without it, how would you know something was wrong?

One thing is for certain, we’re the sort of people who love like we mean it. We love hard.

And we love each other enough to know that we can’t be who we promised to be. Our marriage was not a failure, it simply ran it’s course.

‘But you guys were made for each other!’ continues to be the consensus (usually after a sharp inhalation that I’ve only experienced from watching American Horror Story). My father physically lost his balance when I told him, but let’s be honest, the jury is still out to whether or not it was actually the beer that caused it.

The actual split happened about a year ago. It’s taken this long for us to properly understand and process what was happening, or not happening, between us and to slowly let the truth off the chain. Letting family and friends know has been incredibly difficult as everyone – naturally – wants a reason to help them rationalise it.

When there isn’t one, it can feel like you’re not really taking it seriously, or that you’ve really given it much thought.

What I can say is that there wasn’t someone else, nor money issues or arguments – nothing that was this big red flag we always read about.

Only a feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

The nano-seconds between him asking me what was wrong and me producing the words that stripped him like razored whips was possibly the most hollow I have ever felt in my life.

I knew my life, his life, our life, was about to change forever.

At that moment, I wished there was someone else, or a secret million-dollar credit card debt, or an ugly argument, anything to explain why I was asking for an out.

Since that wretched day, we have taken the time to do this our way. Neither of us could afford to move out, and to be honest I don’t think either of us were really ready to, so we took turns sleeping in the ‘good room’ and the ‘other room’. The other room has a mattress that chiropractors have nightmares about, so we regularly swapped it out for the comfy good one. Hey, it worked for us.

We told people in a measured, quiet and controlled way. I’d like to say it got easier, but it didn’t.

I still don’t really know what I’m doing.

But life is so short. And, as a dear friend has had to remind me of a handful of times, we have a choice.

I couldn’t continue this way and not be resentful in 10 years’ time. Or 5 years. Or another month. I couldn’t do that to him and I couldn’t do it to me.

i still get that disgusting feeling of self-doubt. That panicked ‘Holy shit, what am I doing?’ and the evergreen ‘Did I just make the worst decision of my life?’. Often I am the deer in my own headlights, questioning everything I’m doing, saying and feeling.

Exhausting doesn’t begin to describe it. The fear was white-hot.

This isn’t to say it still doesn’t.

It still hurts, a lot.

Then, some days, it doesn’t.

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