I was married in 2000 and I thought we would grow old together on our country porch, rocking side by side and watching our grandchildren frolic in the yard. Now that reality has smacked me, wait, no it literally punched me and what I thought would happen won’t be happening, I’ve become a totally different person than I once was.
In October 2016 as I heard my ex saying, “we are done” with no warning, no signs, no explanation I felt as if I were having an out-of-body experience. I realized that was my wake up call. Once I found out he had an affair I was devastated and continued to ask why, what did she have that I didn’t?
I put the entire situation in the back of my head. I was not in denial. I was ready to be done. Now as I sat and thought about my situation I realized I needed to find out what kind of person I was. Somehow through all the mess of what I thought was a wonderful marriage, I lost myself. I did that, not him. I became him…negative, condescending, not wanting to stray from home, and generally hating people. That’s not me and I knew that. I had to fight to get back to the person I once was.
Here are some things I learned to like about myself once he was gone:
1. No matter what hurtful words he said, I refuse to allow that to be my truth.
He said some hateful things to me. Things he knew would rock me to the core. I allowed that to consume me. I am NOT what he said. I know now his hurtful words were his way of having the last move, stabbing me in my heart. I deserved better than that and I am not that gullible person anymore who believed what he used to say about me.
2. I need to keep busy.
I think a lot of people are shocked reading my statuses on Facebook. I am not your typical 52-year-old granny. I drive race cars, sing, am a gym rat, sit on granddaughter’s bunk bed and watch Spongebob, eat ice cream for breakfast, Gigi and mom. I found that the more I was with my friends, I didn’t consume myself with thoughts of him. I laugh and I know that is exactly the therapy I needed. Even when I am having good days, friends are always welcome and needed.
3. As much as some of my friends wanted me to be with someone, I knew that was not what I needed.
I did not need another person in my life clouding my judgment and feelings. I needed to love who I was and the person I once was. I don’t need someone to make me happy, I need surroundings to make me happy. My solitude has given me a much better perspective on life. I have learned to respect myself and that was the greatest thing I could have ever done. I had once thought I needed a person in my life to complete me but I know now I don’t.
4. I could manage my money in spite of what he said.
I paid off my SUV and my credit cards and my credit score soared. I got a promotion at work. Three years after we split I bought a brand new house. I drive my builder insane because my ex was a builder and I know way too much. When I pull into the driveway of my new home each day I smile knowing I did this. Not my ex, not anyone but me. I saved money for my down payment and I bought my very own home. He still lives in his two-bedroom apartment with his cats and drives a company truck and his dream was to build a home.
5. I love having family around me.
To say the relationship with my kids was strained is not enough. It was bad. They were ashamed of who I was and I don’t blame them. My oldest daughter and two grandbabies moved into my home for a year while her husband was deployed. It broke my heart to move them back to VA a week ago. I didn’t like being around people when I was married. Now I can not imagine my life without my family. I have a huge house with lots of room and I do not mind having my house full of company.
6. I work out at the gym 6 days a week.
I set a goal and I do it. At five am every morning I am working out. I then go to work. It has become my lifestyle. I never had a motive to do so, now I do. I have had so many compliments that I do not look my age. I love that. I have worked hard for the person I have become, I deserve this.
When my marriage ended I was fearful of being alone. I was more alone being married. I am happy and I am finally at peace with myself. I have my freedom from constant approval. My life has changed but so have I. I had the attitude to change my status quo and I am proud of that accomplishment.