I am extremely honored and proud to have someone contact me about my blog, asking for me to write more and for some personal advise. It makes me even more happy and pleased that there is a change that some of my writings and personal experiences have the potential to help someone else in their own lives. So i am happy to answer some of the questions that were asked and elaborate on some of my past that lead to where i am right now. This is going to be a long one, so bear with me and i hope you enjoy.
Maybe I should start by sharing the comment that i received, that prompted me to write the following blog.
I just came across your blog and it’s gotten a strange hold on me. I haven’t been able to stop reading! You’ve written some of these entries very well and intriguingly 🙂
I was wondering if you’d be willing to write some posts on your marriage and divorce…. I am not trying to be nosy or anything, I am actually interested in how a long term relationship (I think you had said 15 years in one of your articles) ended as I may be heading towards the same situation.
I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years, not as long as yours but long enough to fall in love and think about marriage and head towards that only to one day wonder if he is the one. Maybe we’re drifitng or maybe we’re going through a rough patch. I’m not sure. I just wanted to talk to someone who figured out what was right for her.
I specifically hoped you could shed light on that 15 year relationship had started, how it progressed to marriage – whether you ever doubted that it was the right thing to do, what changed during marriage that made you two realize it was time to go your separate ways… and kids – was that topic ever an issue?
If you don’t want to write a few posts about these things and publicize it, I completely understand. But maybe if instead you could email me back so we could talk that would be great.
I know I’m probably asking for a lot but it’s just that I’ve noticed through your writing that you’ve ended up in a very healthy place. And I desperately want that as well.
Heather, this is for you! 🙂 And thank you again. I hope you find some of the answers you are looking for in this. Please feel free to continue to ask me any questions you may have or ask for me to elaborate on anything. I am an open book.
I was 16 years old, a Sophomore in high school when i met him. We went to the movies together on a double date with my best friend. Our relationship grew from there. We were together basically since we were kids, we grew up together, we grew together, and eventually we grew apart together. We finished high school and moved away to college together, stayed in the same dorm together and then got an apartment together. We were always together. After we graduated college, he got a job as an aerospace engineer in Wichita, KS. Halfway across from the country from my family and all that i knew. But i saw it as an adventure. That was a step that would either make us or break us, we would either have only each other to rely and grow closer, or we would fall apart.
One thing my mom told me during my divorce – that struck a cord so deeply within (which i will get to a little later in the writing) was that ever since i was a little girl, i had always danced to the beat of my own drum… then when i was with him she said i begun to dance to his beat. Going through my divorce, she said it was good to see “Bobbi ” again and that i was now dancing to my own beat again. I had always been a free spirit, a free thinker, and independent person. Yet, i somehow seemed to have lost myself in the midst of that relationship. What my mom said to me was something i will never forget, and just even more reassurance that i made the right decision.
The first moment i ever remember questioning or asking myself whether this was the right step for me was when we were discussing moving to Kansas. It was an amazing opportunity for him, careerwise, and i would be just tagging along, there for the adventure…. During our discussions, he said he would go whether i decided to go our not. That was a huge blow to me and something i never forgot or got over. Needless to say, i still went along with the plan and moved.
At different points in our relationship we grew together, then would grow apart. Yet somehow, i always felt like something was missing. Something that i could not figure out or put my finger on. But looking back, what it was was that i had lost my sense of self. I had become his girlfriend, his wife, etc. and had lost the true sense of Bobbi and who she was.
When he proposed to me – after being together for seven years… my response to him was “ARE YOU SURE?” This is not the response of someone in love and excited about marrying and spending our lives together. Needless too say, i did say yes and we got married on our ten year anniversary from the time we started dating on the beach in Jamaica, barefoot. The wedding was perfect, just as i hoped it would be. Yet, we would never make it to our 4th wedding anniversary. As the years passed i continued to question. Was this right? Was this the best thing for me? Was this where i was suppose to be? Don’t get me wrong, He was an wonderful man. He would have done just about anything for me. We grew to become best friends. He was kind, understanding, successful, caring and loved me more than the world. Yet he was calm and safe, neutral, content with the average. He would attempt to pull me into that lull as well.
One of the most powerful things for me was the saying – When it’s right, you just know. It took me actually falling in love with someone right to understand that saying and what it truly meant. I always questioned. And what i learned was that all of that questioning meant – for me – that it was not the right thing. It was not the right place for me. It was not the right thing for me. Not that i regret it, i would never take it back. I learned so much from all of that. So much that made the person i am today. Your experiences, whether good or bad, experience the person you are to turn into… and i like this Bobbi quite a bit 🙂
I do not believe that there is only one right, perfect person out there for each of us. I am quite certain that there are more than one “right ones”. But i also think that there are just as many, if not more “wrong ones”. And now that i have met and fell in love with one of my “right ones” i know what it means to “JUST KNOW”. I just knew, and i still know – which is why i fight so hard through any hard or difficult times. I have never questioned with him like i did with my ex husband. I was always questioning. I think that is such a big hint and a big clue.
What it actually took for me – after years on uncertainty, questioning and just that feeling of missing something… was actually stopping and listening to myself. My body had begun to tell me what my heart and mind was in denial about. I started to go through a depression. I lost my appetite and all normal desire in all the everyday things i used to enjoy. I started losing weight, avoiding intimacy or contact, avoiding any sort of deep or meaningful conversation. I spent more time alone, in bed, sleeping… in avoidance mode. I started to feel this intense and consistent anxiety, for no particular reason that i could put my finger on (like the sort of anxious feeling before you give a speech or something like that…. all the time, all day long). Others started to notice my weight loss and expressed their concern to me. I begun seeing a therapist who helped me to realize all of these things that i was too afraid to admit to myself. I did a lot of soul searching, a lot of writing, a lot of talking and finally started to listen to myself – to all that my instinct and intuition and body was telling me. I decided on a trial separation – to get some time away, to myself and to figure out if that was right for me. I talked to my husband about this and while he was extremely upset about it, he was surprisingly understanding. He knew i was not happy. We went over our budgets to see what i could afford on my own and how to split up our finances. I rented an apartment that would do a short term 6 month lease.. this was in October 2008. My depression and anxiety continued and my doctor put me on some medication. I couldn’t eat or sleep and barely function. It was one of the hardest decisions i had ever had to make in my entire life. It took a lot of strength and courage to leave a “comfortable” situation because i knew i needed more.
We continued to talk during this separation. We would have “dates” and try to work on things and figure it out. Yet somehow i knew that this was the right decision for me, no matter how depressed i got, or how hard it was for me… i knew it was the right thing. And i was honest with him through the whole thing. I let him knew i wanted to file for divorce. He was crushed. He tried all he could think of to get me to come back home. I broke his heart, and that in turn broke mine all over again. I loved him and i never meant to or wanted to hurt him. But for once in my life i had to listen to myself and not do what everyone else wanted me to do. I have some of the worst memories stuck in my head of things he said to me – memories that i can’t get rid of no matter what of how much i hurt him. That hurts me. Yet it had to be done.
We worked together and sold our house, filed for divorce and split up our savings we had together. I started dating again. I found my smile again. I found myself again. I call that summer my summer of recovery and discovery. I recovered from my depression, my anxiety, my guilt and my divorce and discovered who Bobbi was again. It felt so good to be free and independent. To be the free spirit i am inherently. To not feel squashed and kept inside a box, but free to open my wings and soar. It was what i needed, what my soul needed.
I dated. I got my heart broken. I broke hearts. I had to relearn what i wanted in a relationship. I had fun. I let it all lose! That was the summer i met Eric. The summer i fell in love, truly in love, for the first time in my life. That was the summer i learned what it meant when someone says “you just know”. I finally knew and understood. And knew with even greater confidence that i did the right thing. When my divorce was final, after all the waiting periods – Eric and i celebrated!
My ex husband and i tried to stay in touch. He got laid off and moved away. Before he left, he came over and met Eric, said good bye to me and the kitties. It has been over 6 years now and i have not once doubted my decision. And at one point, he contacted me and thanked me for all i had done, and that all we went through showed him how to be a better person for himself and for his future partners. I only wish him happiness. I am so grateful that we worked together through it all and that there were no hard feelings or negativity surrounding it all.
And to answer some of your other questions… We never had children. We did have two cats though 🙂 I had never wanted children and knew this early on. I think he would have liked to have them someday but when the topic was brought up and we discussed it he choose to be with me over the possibility of kids in the future. Now maybe he can have some if he wishes :).
Infidelity – that was never an issue with us either. I knew he loved me and only me and i never worried he would stray. While i never did during our relationship, i had thoughts of it – because of my own unhappiness and lack of satisfaction in the relationship.
And Heather – please continue to ask me any other questions you have… and let me know how you are doing and what decisions you make in your own struggle.