When the one we love leaves us, it can feel utterly unfathomable.
Despite the awful shock that we have suffered, we can still have these intense feelings of love that hasn’t wavered, this fierce sense of loyalty that remains and to us, the deep-rooted bond we have developed can remain as present as it ever was.
But suddenly, we are faced with the fact that we are alone in feeling those sentiments and it can cut us to our very core.
When my husband told me he was leaving me it felt unreal. Unreal because my feelings were as strong as ever. Nothing had changed for me but unbeknownst to me, everything had changed for him. He had suddenly attached the feelings he felt for me to someone else. He was about to uproot me from everything I was rooted in and my mind simply couldn’t accept it. My marriage had been a happy one, it truly had (he had said so much even as he was leaving) and this added so much tormented confusion to what was happening.
This is where I began my quest to make sense of the nonsensical and to fathom the unfathomable. Believing that then and only then, would I be able to fix the mess that my marriage had suddenly become.
When I began this quest for understanding, I wanted to be alone all the time. To me this was essential as it was precious time to think. Me and my thoughts, we could find the answer. I began inspecting myself, my marriage, where had it gone wrong, where had I gone wrong. I believed that if I could just unlock this then I could convince him that I could change, that I could make right any wrongs that he perceived there to be which had taken him to someone else and that ultimately everything would be okay.
Then came the research. I must have spent thousands of hours scouring the internet, believing that somewhere amongst all the mountains of self help articles, psychology and couple’s websites, YouTube videos and forums for the heartbroken, lay the answers. I would be able to find out what he needed and why this had happened. I would be able to understand how I could get him back.
Then came the talking. I would talk and talk for hours about what had led us to this place. I would ask others to tell me what they thought was going on in his brain, what they thought was happening. I would try and convince others of the huge mistake he was making, almost as though he was sat right in front of me and I was actually convincing him.
Then I began my preparation. I would prepare exactly what I would say. I would make game plans, firmly believing that a moment would arise where I could turn all of this around. If I could just say and do the right thing at the right time, I could suddenly unlock the love within him and make everything right again. I would write so many letters and notes, containing all the magic words that I thought could break this awful curse and crack open his stone cold heart.
I never realised that all of my efforts in this desperate and obsessive race against time were actually putting so much extra strain on me at a time where I was so fragile and mentally exhausted. It was the biggest pressure I had ever experienced in my life, to be able to make things right. It was exhausting alongside the immense feelings of grief I was trying to ward off and the quite frankly, insane levels of shock I felt at learning of his affair.
Then suddenly someone said something to me that was like a rush of reality, like someone yanked me out of the swamp of self hate, self pressure and self analysis I had been sinking in for months. They said to me, “You are here doing all the mind work, all the analysis, under all this pressure. Where is he right now?”
Where was he?
He was on holiday in another country. He was living it up. He was with someone else.
It was like I had been mindlessly playing an endless tune on a piano and they had just walked up to me, pulled me away from it and abruptly struck a group of out of tune keys that had, mercifully, disrupted the relentless melody I had been trapped in.
Here I was, making myself ill, searching for answers, searching for a way out of my own personal hell and where was he?
Not with me. Not making himself sick with worry. Not taking any responsibility. Not analysing why he had done what he had. And definitely not doing any of the brain work.
I was doing it for both of us.
Understanding this brought an abrupt stop to so much that had been slowly draining me. I had been using up so much energy on my quest for knowledge, to find a solution to change my husband’s heart. It was precious energy that I now see should have been reserved for myself. Reserved for getting through those dark and anguish filled nights that seemed never ending. Reserved for letting my body rest after feeling the aching loss and stress of losing someone so suddenly. Reserved for letting the shattered pieces of my heart find a place to settle.
In the midst of shock it is natural to want to try to make sense of everything. When a person feels they are ready, having a fuller understanding (if possible) of why a marriage/relationship ended can also offer some sense of closure. For me, I know that I was so early on in this horrible process and carrying the weight of so much grief, shock and fear, that my quest for answers became a bit unhealthy and was mentally and pyshically draining me on top of everything else. It was something I had to go through and another part of my journey through the valley but I am relieved that this particular part came to an end.
In splitting my mind in two I was denying myself the energy to just concentrate on my own hurt, healing and search for peace. Something that I now see I so rightfully deserved.