It was August 18, 2017, when I decided that I was leaving my husband, for the second and final time. I hadn’t dated since high school and even then, I wouldn’t even call it that. To start ‘dating’ again at 30 – was both exciting yet terrifying. It’s like being in a foreign country and not knowing the language. But first, let’s first look at how I got to this point.
Rewind to the Fall of 2016 – I noticed that something was different. I would find myself soaring in every area of my life. My business was doing really well, I was working on some really great projects and I was happy – except when I would come home. When I would finish my ‘work day’ and head home, I felt drained. I felt exhausted and unhappy. This was a different feeling because it didn’t feel normal. Where was this coming from? Things were great, right? No – they, in fact, were not. I felt like, I would rather sleep out on the lawn then go inside, that’s how I felt.
My husband and I were together since I was 18 – 11 years, 4 of them we were married. We had a great love that everyone wanted. We spent a lot of time together, we moved to a new city together so I could go to school, we had an apartment, made decisions. had two amazing dogs, got married, then bought a house, everything seemed to go the way that it was supposed to. From the outside, we were happy and perfect. On the inside, everything seemed to be so routine, there was little to no excitement and I was feeling stuck. Being self-employed isn’t for everyone and it can be hard on a couple but I can honestly say that my husband was supportive of my dream, but I wasn’t receiving his support in the way that led me to believe that.
When you’re 18, your outlook on life is blurry. I didn’t date a lot and to be honest, I didn’t really care to be in a relationship at that time in my life. Sure I had boyfriends here and there but they didn’t last long as I wasn’t the type of girl to just ‘give it up’ to anyone. I also hung out with the wrong crowd, perhaps a way of rebelling to my parents to escape my home life. In my teens, I partied a lot and hung out with people who were older than me and who probably weren’t the best for me. I was attracted to the typical stereotype of ‘bad boys’ at the time. I had great friends, a good job and a supportive family, getting involved in a romantic relationship wasn’t high on my priority list but things seem to happen when you least expect them too. I was late to exploring my sexuality (well, later than those who I hung around with) as I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 18. It was a New Years’ Eve to a guy who I had been crushing on and was a good friend to me and he happened to be at the same party as me and after a few too many, I just made a decision that it was happening that night. We were drunk, I trusted him and have no regrets.
I met my (ex)-husband 4 months later through a friend and to be honest, I wasn’t interested. He seemed like a nice guy, good looking and eager to get to know me but I wasn’t in a hurry to jump into anything. Since we had mutual friends, we hung out a lot and eventually he asked me out, and when he kissed me for the first time, I was hooked. I fell in love with him right there. He was one of the good ones. He was one of the first guys to REALLY be interested in me, the real me. That intrigued me, and the idea of falling in love was so exciting to me. He paid attention to me as no one has before.
We dated for a few years before I decided that I wanted to move away and go to school and at one point I didn’t know if I wanted him to come with me or if I wanted to live ‘the college life’ solo but after some thought and quite a few tears, I wanted him there. But as I reflect on this now, maybe this was my way to escape him and live my truth, but being comfortable was the easier route. It’s not that I didn’t love him or want him there, I just felt like I needed to go away alone and live the experiences the way you were supposed to at a young age.
So we moved 12 hours North, away from all of our friends and family and into an apartment together. This would be the first time we were alone, living together in a completely different city – scary right? Sort of, but I think we were both more excited to start this new part of our lives together. At that time, we were already 4 years into our relationship. Things were exciting, he had a steady full-time job, I was working part-time and going to school full time and we were making new friends and things were great. As I was learning more about myself and paving a path to a great career, I was also painting this perfect picture of our lives together.
Relationships change over time and we become comfortable and often forget why we fell in love in the first place. Being comfortable is one thing, but you forget that you both enter a relationship to be together, to be there for one another and to grow together. Since I’ve entered back into the dating scene, I’ve learned a lot about myself, what I want and what I deserve. When you’re young, you don’t know who you are and are just excited that someone is paying attention to you. Don’t get this misunderstood, I don’t regret getting married. Our relationship was wonderful but we grew apart and we weren’t the ones for each other anymore.