Well, Here I Am…

One year ago, I became a member of EP. It was by no means the first step in my journey. Most of us don’t start here; this is the place we gather to make some decisions after we’ve tried everything we can think of to reconcile our sexless marriages. It is here we gain the courage to believe we are worthy of the kind of love we want and need in our lives.

The past weeks have been exhausting and exhilarating and emotional and filled with feelings. We told our kids of our separation 7 weeks ago, and today is the 2nd full day alone in my house. My H moved out on Tuesday, so here I am. Today I am working at home because I am completely exhausted – as though I’ve been running for so long and now I can finally rest. The last few weeks have brought some great lessons and out of this pain, my family has grown and become more connected than ever before. That’s unimaginable.

A few weeks after we told the kids, we had our family vacation at a rented beach house. It was a magical, wonderful time for all of us. We came home and settled in to getting our daughter back to college for her senior year and our son to college for his freshman year. This time brought some rich conversations and feelings to the surface. I’ve had a few melt downs in front of my kids (which they’ve never really seen) and discovered that they want to know me as a person. They want me to share my feelings and pain. As a mom, I’ve always thought my job was to protect my kids, but now they are grown and reaching out to me and letting me know they want to be here for me as I have been for them. Opening up and letting them see my vulnerabilities is an amazing experience.

My journey started in earnest 6 years ago this month. I told my H I could no longer live without physical/emotional intimacy. He finally began therapy; I continued mine and eventually we started couple’s therapy as well. I didn’t believe it would ever come to this. I really believed I could fix it if I just worked hard enough. I thought he’d be able to figure things out if he just tried hard enough. But that was not meant to be even though I wanted us to stay together. I just kept asking the universe for guidance and kept telling my truth. I learned to live each day without projecting or trying to control outcomes which are behaviors I had adopted to deal with the pain of my SM. I kept putting one foot in front of the other, and the only thing I knew was my H and I would come to the same conclusion at the same time if I was patient and believed. That’s exactly what happened. He and I both agreed (with the support of our therapists) that the next step was to separate. Last week was our last meeting with the couple’s therapist because now is a time to look forward and stop looking back.

We have agreed to have lunch once a week, talk when we want and have a big date night once a month. The night he left, I made dinner and we watched some of the Democratic National Convention (had watched the Republicans the week before – love political speeches!) and he said, “Well, I better go because I have to get unpacked and settle into my apartment. You know…you are my best friend and you saved my life.”

It is unfathomable to me that the break-up of a marriage could save someone’s life – that out of such pain could new life be born. But that is the phoenix rising from the ashes. If there’s anything I’ve learned and want to share with my fellow EP friends, it’s that this experience is filled with miracles if you can only open your eyes and see them. I couldn’t imagine how we could afford 2 households or how I could function in the world or how we could tell the kids or what we would tell our families and friends. But it has all fallen into place, and we are both grateful.

I have been guided every step of the way yet I am scared because I’ve not lived alone for 27 years. I know I can do it, but I don’t know how to be a single person in my community and will avoid public functions for awhile. Even going to the grocery store, I don’t know how to buy food for one person. I’m also making a major change to my business now so everything is in flux. “Nothing is sure except change.” I am the poster child for that phase!

I don’t know what the future holds. All I know is in order to have the kind of love I want and need in my life, I had to walk this path. I could not stay in a marriage where my most basic needs could not be fulfilled, and I couldn’t outsource because straddling that fence would compromise what I truly want – a complete, whole relationship. I am worthy of such, and now there is a chance it can come my way. I left no stone unturned, and my children know we did everything imaginable to preserve our marriage. Some days, I indulge in self-pity and can hear one of my wise EP friends saying, “The universe didn’t bring you all this way to drop you on your head.” I didn’t come all this way for no reason and neither did my loved ones. I know I will be given the strength to move forward focusing on the beauty and kindness that surrounds me each day. Faith is something I never really understood until now. I am living it. I am untethered and floating and waiting for a new place to land. Faith is knowing I will land safely.

What a journey. I can’t believe it. Here I am… I am free.
morningteatime morningteatime
56-60, F
11 Responses Sep 6, 2012

I'm proud of you.

You give me hope and inspire me to keep walking this journey! I don't know the outcome, I just know that I am strong enough to face whatever lies ahead of me. I hope my husband is willing to take the journey with me, but I am not going to project or try and control the outcome! I am just going to be true to myself! Thank you for sharing your journey with us! Wishing you all the happiness life has to offer!

Omg, what a truly wonderful, inspirational story!! I am SO happy for you! I wish you all the very best in your new world!!

Your story touched my heart. I am happy for you.

Wow, its so ironic that I came here and read your story. My husband and I separated last week after 19 years of marriage due to my husbands continous infidelity. I could no longer live in a relationship with a man who feels no need to respect me or the two kids we have. I am tired fighting a battle I can't win. I am emotionally and physically tired. I fee free, stressless, and that God is about to bless me abundantly. It was so difficult to tell our kids, but I want my kids to know what a healthy relationship looks like and not teach them to live in an unhappy relationship. We will have our rough times but we will be just fine. And you will too. Good luck!

It really does suck. I feel like I have a knife through my heart at all times. But you are brave, and strong. And better things are ahead! Best of luck to you. :)

Thank you.....

MTT, welcome to the other side. Sending you a big virtual hug.

Thanks I could use all the hugs I can get. This totally sucks.

Ought be required reading for newbies.<br />
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On a more personal level, I have gotten a real charge out of seeing your progression sister M.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Back at ya brother B. I wish we could have a long chat and a a pint or two! Now is when I really need these many shoulders to cry upon. So far, I'm finding adjusting very difficult.

be strong & don't look back...best of luck!

I am a mere four months ahead of you. You will be amazed and pleased with how well and how quickly you adjust. Best wishes!

Today I feel like I can't go forward and I can't go back. I want to be amazed, but today, I feel I'm too old to be doing this...at my age, people should be sailing off into the sunset together rather than running around desperately looking for companionship. I know it will get better but this is the hardest thing I've ever done. Thanks for your support.

At this age people should be free in spirit and mind-- and you are.
It is so clear that you are an inspiration to many of us. Hopefully you can find strength in that truth.

Life is simple but not easy.

Morningteatime.. In reading some of your posts you have made huge steps in taking care of yourself.. Bravo to the courage in finding the strength to do the terrifying..your actions are like a beacon for those of us still lost at sea .. Looking for the shoreline .. We see your strong light and are comforted.. Maybe we too will find land.. Bless you