Recently I’ve met with some women who are in the middle of being separated and/or divorced and a handful still lament that they love their STBX (soon-to-be-ex) or EX’s. I understand, for I still have a piece of my heart that loves my EX and I guess I always will.
Even though I don’t know if mine had an affair or not, he just walked away telling me that he didn’t want to do this anymore. No reasons other than that and he walked away. I admit that at first I was distraught to the point where I was telling friends that I still loved him so much and how could he have left me and not have wanted to work on the marriage. During that period of time, I wrote copiously in notebooks, searching to find how/when/why it all stopped for him. I hung on every word he said, studied every nuance in hopes that I would see a glimmer of recognition of the man I married, the one who had promised to love, to cherish until death do us part.
A few times, I think out of guilt as he knew I was desperately unhappy and seeking answers, I would glimpse a vulnerability in him. We would connect because he would see how this whole thing was tearing me apart. I would comfort him (in retrospect I am appalled) but that is my nature, to nurture when someone is unhappy, even if it’s the man I married who was dumping me. I know. It was a dysfunctional way to be. I was desperate to make things better for us all because I thought in giving out kindness, he would magically realize what he was giving up which was a wife and a family who loved him. But as time when on, I realized that these brief moments of torture were hurting me for somewhere along the line, he had disconnected with the family (I had thought it was work/stress related) and even though maybe he felt sorry for me, he wasn’t about to change his mind. To my credit, I always refrained from asking him to stay, probably because I knew in my heart that he was already long gone before he had made his big announcement. I will ever be grateful for that innate sense because it has helped my dignity.
So I get it that you still love him, even after his bad behavior and leaving. I’m years down the road from that fateful day that he declared it over and there remains a tiny part in my heart that holds sacred space for him. After all, we were married over 20 years and had kids together. A lifetime of memories, bad and good, but they have still molded me to be the woman I am today.
I am grateful for our time together. Yes, he has a small piece of my heart, but the rest of my heart is open and healed…and with time, yours will be too!
Tomorrow, let’s talk about How To Find Peace With The Love You Feel For Him.