The Finish Line …

I left my marriage of 13 years a year ago this month. Legally, I am separated and in the process of finalizing the divorce. Emotionally, the last 12 months have been an enormous journey that took me on a far different trajectory than I had ever envisioned.

In the recent week or two I have been thinking much, and even dreaming, about my ex. Finally I feel safe enough to think about her in a good way, to remember her good qualities. Good memories float to the surface without evoking regrets.

Many here are currently hesitant to divorce because they see the good qualities in their spouses. Like them, I recognized her good side. She is a good person, a good mother, a good cook, and loving in her own way. Yet those were not enough reasons for me to remain married to her. She probably thought of herself as the perfect wife. But to me, physical intimacy, affection, and touch, are fundamental aspects that define a marriage, and those were missing. Without them we were only roommates.

I love her and still care for her. Yet I cannot contemplate going back because I am convinced we cannot live with each other, not as husband and wife.

Three or four months ago I did not feel safe enough to think of her good qualities. My subconscious bombarded me with flashbacks of her unpleasant sides to shield me from regrets. Not that I have any now, especially that the finish line is within reach.

I slow down to take a breather, but there is no turning back. I can look back with objectivity, without judgment, and without feeling sore. A third of my life I spent with her. I cannot obliterate it from my memory.

Last September, fresh out of my marriage, I wrote that the good memories hurt more than the bad. Now there is no longer any pain.
SleeplessKnight SleeplessKnight
41-45, M
5 Responses Aug 18, 2014

I have always seen the good in my stbx, which was what made it so difficult to leave. I loved my husband and miss the man I married so much! In fact, on Friday night I was missing him so much, I got out a notepad and made a list of why I left. It pissed me off that I was treated like that, lol! Someone who loves you doesn't pull that $hit! And I didn't even scratch the surface. Part of me will always love the man I married, but I do not love or miss the man I left. Screw HIM!!

Glad you can have some fond memories and are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Everyone has their strengths and shortcomings. The important thing is to know when someone is incompatible with us - beyond repair. It sucks that it took us over a decade to figure that out, but better late than never. Glad you too are moving along.

I am so happy for you SleeplessKnight. It's been a long journey for you and it makes me happy to see that you are ready to move on. I needed to read this. I have been so hesitant to leave because of the good qualities he has. I'm actually moving forward one baby step at a time. You give me hope that better days are coming.

Thanks GEL. I wrote this in part because that seems to be the common seem that unites everyone. We didn't marry our exes because they're evil. We saw their good qualities right from the start and came to love them for it. Only after many years we realize that we're basically incompatible.

That's it exactly.....

This is the song I was telling you about. You may have already heard it by now. The Finish Line by Train.

Thanks. Very apt for what we're going through.

Yep....I thought so.

2 More Responses

You sound ready to move on. Those 13 years were a learning experience. Good luck on your journey.

Yes they were. Nothing to regret. Thanks for your wishes and all the best.

My missus and I had a lot of success during our time together.
Financial success. Social Success. Material success. Raised 2 kids successfully.
It most certainly wasn't all bad. And it did stagger on for 30 years - which under one school of thought is a success. (I don't go along with that school of thought)
But for all of the success as assessed in various aspects of our deal, it was a dysfunctional marriage pretty much from the get go at the intimacy level (20/20 rearview mirrors are great aren't they). The sex was great, at periods within the deal, but the intimacy was never really there. (Neither of us were blameless)
We get along pretty good these days after parting ways in 2009. She is an ok chick, as I am an ok bloke. But those characteristics did NOT make us good together, in any intimate sense. And that, ultimately killed it stone dead, although it took probably 5 years to actually bury it.
Tread your own path.

Yeah. I wouldn't say my ex and I are friendly now, but we are far more civilized in our interactions. My daughter still remembers (mentioned it last weekend) that when we lived together, she used to hide behind the couch when we argued. That statement alone gives me reassurance that I did the right thing.