Spending half your life with someone … and then losing them … is a big thing to get your head around.
So I suppose it isn’t surprising that it’s still on my mind four years later.
What I’ve realised during all my overthinking is how we both stuffed up.
And the biggest, most obvious thing I’ve learned is to not take love for granted.
Earlier in our relationship, I cockily believed my husband would never, ever leave me because he loved me so much.
But love is like a fire – it needs to be stoked to stay alight.
My husband and I rarely contacted each other by phone. We hardly ever went out as a couple. At night, he’d watch TV while I fiddled on the computer. He stayed up late, I got up early.
I stopped connecting with him on every level. We lost interest in each other. And the flame died.
He once used a scene from Avatar to describe our situation. Remember the part where Neytiri says to Jake: “I see you.”
In the spiritual sense “I see you” for the Na’vi means “understand” or “comprehend” you with an open heart and mind.
My ex said we didn’t “see” each other any more.
Our relationship started faltering so long ago that it’s hard to know when it crossed the line to totally screwed.
The cracks deepened when we had kids. We didn’t communicate well enough about the strain it was putting on us both, emotionally, mentally and physically.
I barely held myself, my family and a highly stressful career together.
It took me a long while to see all those broken pieces and understand why they no longer fitted back together.
What sorting out the mess has taught me is to approach life – and love – with more openness and joy.
I could have retreated and built higher walls around my heart, but I decided to break down the barriers instead.
I don’t define myself by my loss, I celebrate the things I’ve gained.
Finding someone you love – and who loves you back – is a rare and precious thing. It’s worth the effort it takes to nurture.
There are no guarantees in life, you never know what curve balls lie ahead, but I’m embracing the positive and (working on) walking away from the negative.
I smile big. I laugh loud. I love deep. I hug hard.
And I am finally finding me.
Song of the day: Roxy Music “Love is the drug”