This year I have put on a lot of weight. A LOT of weight. About 12 kilograms (26 lbs).
That’s what separation and divorce does to you.
Splitting a family up, selling a family home, working out who gets what – all of that is really stressful. In our case, we’re on fantastic terms and have remained close friends, but it has still been hard.
I’ve felt so guilty over it all.
How will our decision affect our kids?
Should we have stayed together for them?
Should we have remained unhappy?
Should I, as a mother, have sacrificed my happiness and my wellbeing for my children?
So I ate my way through my problems. A lot of people do that.
My weight is quickly coming back down to normal again now, but for a while I didn’t even want to be seen. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t want my friends to see me. I especially didn’t want my trainer at the gym to see me, as I’d stopped going, because I was so depressed.
I think we women in particular have a habit of blaming ourselves when things fall apart. I blamed myself for absolutely everything. I was so unhappy. I was so lonely. I sat through three years of counselling sessions prior to deciding to end things, yet still I blamed myself, and believed that everything was my fault.
Maybe if I just changed a little more…? Maybe if I just gave a little more…? Maybe somehow we could make things work if I tried harder…?
Yet sometimes our relationships change. People change.
I blamed myself for not being the same person I was when I was in my twenties, when I got married. That’s crazy talk, I know, but it’s what I did.
I blamed myself completely for our marriage failure, when in truth we just moved apart, in different directions. We didn’t hate each other. We didn’t throw plates and yell and scream and hurl abuse. We just grew apart.
It wasn’t anyone’s fault.
We became more different. We moved in different directions. We developed different interests, different views.
Life is about change and growth. I sometimes feel that traditional marriage is something that doesn’t belong in this era. It doesn’t work any more for the majority of people. Marriage assumes that two people will remain the same as they did when they first fell in love, yet that often doesn’t happen. It assumes that people are static. We’re not.
We evolve. We grow.
I still like and respect my ex-husband. I always will, I think, because he truly is an awesome person. Through the most challenging aspects of our separation we have remained strong supports for each other. I firmly believe that he will remain one of my best friends, for life. But we both needed to be free from each other. We needed to move on.
So I did beat myself up, but no longer. I’m not at fault.
Life is change, and I changed. So did he.
It’s time for me to forgive myself. And I do.
I forgive myself. It’s time for me to be free.