i’m sure there’s a whole slew of people who remember my ex-husband and i as a couple. it’s very likely they can recall how our personalities meshed, what we looked like holding hands, and they can clearly envision our shared smirks and glances.
the weird thing is, i’ve kind of forgotten. i mean, of course i remember certain things about who we were and what people liked about us. i know we threw a great wedding – i can see it clearly. i also remember laughing a lot and being madly in love.
but i can’t quite see the smaller things. i can’t remember how he folded laundry or how he liked his coffee. i don’t remember our big conversations. we talked about music a lot but there must have been other topics that filled our space. for the life of me, i can’t see us taking a walk, driving a car and i don’t remember what it was like to kiss him.
i guess when people split up, there are new and different things that become the focus of the relationship. unfortunately for some – blame, guilt, hurt and deflection tend to take center stage. how someone kissed just doesn’t seem all that significant anymore.
but time passes and those new painful relationship traits become boring and quite frankly, a little bit exhausting. the fighting is over but so is the intense and irresistible love that originally brought you together – so all of a sudden, you’re standing in this wide open abyss with nothing to connect you back to the person you married. let me tell you, when i found myself in that situation, it was a hard and unsettling reality.
i tortured myself trying to recall some of our quirks and habits. i wanted to remember the tiny details and minutia of our relationship. i worried that there were only two choices for our present and future existence. undying passionate love or finger-pointing fuelled bickering.
these were not promising options.
thankfully, there is a content little place in between those two realities. it’s different for every couple, but for us it looks a little like a long lost friend, mixed with a wise-cracking relative, sprinkled with a cup full of pleasantries.
we aren’t together often, but when we are, there’s a history there, and a sense of nostalgia that can’t be imagined.
it’s not easy. a lot of the time it’s work. we don’t get each other the way we once did. and when you lose that feeling of being in love, you’re left with the stuff that came after the lust. mostly it’s the not so fun stuff. and if you aren’t fighting to stay in something or fighting to keep something, well, it just feels like fighting. but if you can try and let that go, and accept that there was a reason then and there is most certainly a reason now, it makes way for the new and updated version of who you are. together and apart.
the best thing i’ve been able to figure out is that leaning into the comfort and familiarity of what we once were – even if the details have disappeared – is life changing.
he is still the person i once married and i will always be the woman who loves his daughters the most. he misplaces his keys and i help him find them. we laugh about the same old stupid things.
we can remember that we started somewhere.
when we rest on that, we’re doing ok.
our vlog here: http://bit.ly/talkingwithmyex