When a relationship ends, one half of the couple is often blindsided.
The other person has known for a long time that they want to get out. They’ve spent many months angsting over it and confiding to people how unhappy they are.
But the one person they haven’t discussed it with is the most important person: their partner.
It’s a pretty scary thing to bring up … So they don’t. It’s a bit daft, really, because how can their partner help fix the problems when they don’t know what they are?
The more they ponder how unhappy they are, the more they tell other people about it and the longer they don’t mention it to their partner, the chances of sorting it out become slimmer.
I was knocked for a six when my husband announced he was leaving. Looking back, the signs of his unhappiness were there in flashing neon, but I blithely put it down to work stress and medical issues.
He never, ever talked about how close he was to walking away until it was too late.
I can remember suggesting – when the eldest was in year six – that we live in a village in the French countryside for a few months. He had long service leave coming up and I thought it would be a chance for us to relax and reboot together before the high school years kicked in.
He recoiled in horror.
I didn’t understand why he was so viscerally opposed to the idea – it sounded pretty dreamy to me – until after we broke up. I can see now that – in his mind – things had gone past the point of no return.
The idea of spending three months with me was inconceivable.
After we broke up, I was offered a job in Hong Kong. I asked if he’d consider coming with me to try and fix things. I thought having some time away together might help.
Again, he recoiled in horror.
Four years later, I understand the horror. He’d gone past the point of wanting to fix things. He’d moved on.
I’ve caught up with him on the road of no return and taken strides ahead towards new horizons.
The wonderful part is that I can see there ARE new horizons. Near the end of our marriage I’d given up a bit on life. It was just something to pass the time while I parented my kids to adulthood.
It feels great to be writing new chapters again.
Like this meme says …
My advice to anyone emerging from a break-up: turn the page.
Don’t bookmark your life and close it.
Sure, the plot didn’t go the way you expected, but you can write a new ending you want to read.
As Elvis Costello warbled … you own the film rights – work on the sequel.
Song of the day: Elvis Costello “Every day I write the book”
PS DD gave me the book in the main pic as a pressie before he deserted me at Sydney Airport – cool, huh?