I have wanted to write this post for a long time because this is a big part of how I came to be who I am today and I only hope that people can take from this and possibly apply it to something they are going through. The reason this post came to be is that I was writing an email to share this experience with a blog friend that is currently going through a tough time. Otherwise I would have had zero motivation to write it seeing as how I am now happily married.
Anyway...Once upon a time,
When I was 17 I started dating this guy I worked with. When I was 18, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. At 19, we broke up for a year and a half and eventually got back together. We were together for almost 7 years total and he finally proposed when I was 23. I graduated from college, he began paramendic school, we weren't living together, he never wanted to hang out with my new friends I had made through college/sorority, and we spent more time/holidays with his family than mine. I had always wanted to marry him, but now that I had a ring on my finger, we were drifting apart.
About 6 months later, I was heartbroken and devastated because I knew that I wasn't happy and if I wasn't happy now, our marriage would be a sham. He had picked a date that was 2.5 years from the date of our proposal which kind of made me feel like he had only proposed because he had already started to feel me slipping away. Anyway, I went away for a weekend to my dad's to think about everything and talk to my dad about it and on the drive home I was ill knowing I would be ending our relationship.
When I got home he came over and I was in tears before he walked through the door. I told him that I didn't think this was going to work and laid out all of the reasons why. He was stunned and asked me to reconsider, saying that he would change and make more of an effort. Against my better judgement, I agreed. Things didn't change and got even worse. A month later I knew it was over. I was becoming more aware of my actions and my unhappiness. Over the past 6 months I had been putting myself in questionable situations that no woman who is happy in her relationship would and it finally came to a head. A week later, we ended things for good. I was sad that it was over, but I felt more terrible for him. I knew the sacrifices he had made to buy my ring and felt responsible for breaking his heart and wondered if he would ever find love again. (I should really get over myself, LOL).
We tried to do the friend thing as we had done before during past breakups, but I think we both realized that in order to properly move on, we needed to sever our ties. My best friend of 7 years was gone in the blink of an eye. I did what most do, partied the loneliness away. I was out with my friends 4 nights a week racking up credit card debt with dinners/drinks and trips to Vegas and Hawaii; all of the things we never did together because he was fiscally responsible.
Eventually we started dating other people. Mine unfortunately turned out to be a rebound and his turned into a 3 year relationship who he moved in with not long after they started dating. Although I was happy for him, I was heartbroken mostly because as long as we were together, he had never taken that step with me. I know that he was scared of failing and having to move back home and that's why he wanted to wait, but in my eyes we had each other and we would figure it out and make it happen and I never felt that he had the faith I did that we would get through it.
We would myspace message or text every once in a while on birthdays and stuff, but his GF was a little more than psycho and wanted him to have nothing to do with me so we didn't talk much for a long time. His dream of becoming a firefighter, a journey he had started when we were together, had finally come true for him and I couldn't even celebrate with him and our friends. That made me sad, but I understood.
Not too long after that he broke up with his girlfriend and I started dating my now husband. He and I finally became friends on facebook because we were actually at a place in our lives where we could do that. We both bought houses within a month of each other and were genuinely happy for the other, and not too long after that, I got married. Even though I was extremely happy with the path my life had taken, I still carried around this guilt for breaking his heart all those years ago and I just wanted him to find someone and be as happy as I was so I could forgive myself. About a year ago he did. They are expecting a baby in April and I am so excited for him. He is so happy and successful and is going to be an amazing father and has found someone who makes him very happy.
The important thing to remember if you are dealing with a situation like this in your relationship/marriage is that you can't lie to yourself to save face for the rest of the world or be unhappy for someone else's happiness. It takes more strength and courage to do what I chose to do than to just be complacent and stay in a situation we know in our hearts isn't right. It will take a lot of time and growth and change to be whole again and forgive yourself for walking away, but it will be worth it in the end. I don't think he or I would have done half of the things we have accomplished today or be the people we are now if we stayed together. It's very cliche, but everything does happen for a reason and things to have to fall apart so something better can fall together.