As I reflect back on my very long journey to leaving my ex for good, one moment stands out in my mind lately. I met an old friend for dinner one evening. She was going through a difficult divorce and as I listened to her talk about her experience, I admired the strength it took for her to walk away and never look back.
I also remember feeling very jealous.
Why was she strong enough to leave and I wasn’t? I hated myself for my weakness.
I told her about the latest drama with my then husband; it was a particularly difficult time. She very calmly said to me, “You don’t have to live like this.” It was so simple but so true.
I thought about how having children complicated things and how I couldn’t support myself financially but these things were just excuses and stall tactics. I was scared and still hopeful that if I suffered through the difficult times, my marriage would eventually hit a smooth patch.
In time, I realized that the purpose of my life wasn’t to suffer.
I also realized that I was, in fact, strong enough to leave. My children gave me the courage to leave and never look back. My ex gave me the drive to start on a new career path and to succeed.
I think on this journey we all have our own pace and that we need to be kind to ourselves. Even taking small steps helped to build up my strength and resolve. When things seem difficult and overwhelming, I try to reflect back on my weaker moments to see just how far I’ve come.
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