I stopped talking about my unhappiness in the relationship with most of my friends after about a dozen years. They were sick of hearing me kvetch. Heck, I was sick of hearing me kvetch. I had decided to stay until my kids were launched. Goshdarnit, I needed to buck up!
So 18 months ago, I finally cut the ties, kicked him out, and began to build a new life for myself.
It's been mostly absolutely marvelous. The words release and relief come to mind. More joy.
I have been surprised and pleased by the attention I have received in the online dating world (you can read about that here).
A few of my friends have literally jumped up and down with glee or let out a huge sigh of “Finally!”.
But that does not mean it is easy to break up a couple whose lives are intertwined and a family unit that is used to being together, even with the fighting and tension that sometimes accompanied us.
It isn’t easy to see your former partner with someone new and to know your now young adult children are developing new relationships with that new person and their kids.
It isn’t easy to not see my step-grandkids every month.
It isn’t easy to not be able to talk with my X about things like making travel plans, or Trump’s sinister plans, or whether its a good time to sell my house, the house that was the family home.
Everyday when I write my gratitudes, I almost always am grateful that I am no longer in that relationship. I am also grateful, despite the impossible, awful, terrible and unacceptable relationship we had, for the good stuff we shared for all those years.
So, if you have a friend who is happily single after a long relationship, know that we still are going through the loss. Know that our cells in our being are still adjusting to being without our long term partner. Know that it takes time, just like any ending, to heal and find our way as a single person in the world. Know that in the joy and release, lies pain and sadness. The heart is fragile and strong.