2 Steps Forward 2 Steps Back

by bye2mrwrong

About a year ago my ex-husband and I finally reached the decision that there is only one path left for us – divorce. I never really agreed completely with this path, I didn’t want it, couldn’t fathom it, but logically there was just no other way. I was constantly angry and took it out on him; he had closed up emotionally and would not talk to me at all about the breathings of his heart. Finger pointing, blaming and harsh words were the only things we were able to do at the time; and with his refusal to go to relationship therapy it left us no other choice.

At first I left the bed, then I left the house. But when circumstances led me to come back it was his turn. He left the house, and I was left empty in an apartment full of memories, full of US. At first it was hard. I sat around and moped. Felt sorry for myself. Anger and pity were two emotions perpetually in my bones. But with time something changed and with a push from my friends I started to go out, to have fun, to meet new people, I even fell in lust. It felt like I was moving forward, like I was letting go.

But skipping forward one year, I feel like I have recently taken a few steps back. Suddenly I am again very sad. My outlook on life is not a happy or chirpy one. I go through the motions. I fill up my day. I make sure that by night fall I’m so excruciatingly tired that I can think of nothing but sleep. And when it comes to love I have become skeptical, pessimistic, and cynic.

Knowing that a few months ago I was better, I can’t help but wonder what brought me back, and why I’m now stuck here. When I hear the usual clichés (e.g. things happen for a reason, or everything works out in the end), unlike before when I agreed with them, and believed them to be true, now I challenge them. I’m not sure I don’t believe them, but it feels like I’m playing devil’s advocate, pushing my friends to the corner to see if they can find a new cliché out.

On the day of my flight my ex finally apologized. An apology that at last, after all this time, felt truly authentic. An apology that came filled with tears of remorse and self-anger, filled with pain and regret. He apologized for the things he had done, for the lies he had lied, for the words he had thrown, for the pain he had caused, for the life he had ruined, for the promises he had broken, for the hopes he had shattered, for the path he had taken, and for the one he hadn’t. He apologized from the bottom of his heart.

His apology which had been long overdue, had brought me comfort, for the words he spoke were words that I had been patiently waiting for, words that I desperately needed to hear. But with that comfort came grief, remorse and regret. Could we have saved us? Should we have waited longer? Is there still a glimmer of hope? Is there a sliver of love?

It has been brought to my attention that this may be the reason I am now stuck. Why I have now spiraled backwards. Could it be that my ex purposely and cleverly chose the very last moment to deliver his final speech? Could it be that he wanted me to go feeling confused? That he wanted me to stay stuck in that moment of US, to always wonder if I had made a wrong choice? Could it be that he was so cunning and malicious?

It was me who chose for him to take me to the airport, it was I who wanted him to feel the pain of coming back home to an empty house. It was me who wanted him to realize how much he would miss me, how wrong he had been, and how colossal his mistake was. But it seems the joke’s on me and the tables have turned. Because it seems that now it’s me who can’t stop thinking of the life I left behind.

8 Responses to “2 Steps Forward 2 Steps Back”

  1. I totally hear you! I myself cannot seem to decide; one moment I’m reciting cliches left right and centre, the next I am debunking them.
    I think it must just be part of the process.
    I also think that I am particularly bad at living with my choices. I can have all the justifications in the world for making a choice but then once I’ve made it I am constantly wondering “what if…?”. You commented on one of my posts recently warning me not to rush to make a decision I’m not complete with. Problem is, I’m not sure we are ever 100% comfortable with decisions we make- especially when it comes to matters of the heart!
    But I’ll point you back to something else you said: “maybe you deserve something more, something better, a bit more attention and a whole lot of love”.
    You deserve that too. Do you really, truly believe that you would get that from your ex? Really?
    I think you know the answer. Trust your gut, you were both unhappy, you did your best to salvage the situation, and despite those best efforts, you both could not regain that joy you once had from being together.
    Who knows what the future holds? Not me. Do I believe there is something better? I’d like to think so, but I have my days when I wonder…
    At the very least, trust that the life you left behind belongs in your past, regardless of what the future may or may not bring.

    • So my own words come back to bite me in the ass 😉
      I am happy that I said those words of wisdom to you, and I’m even happier to have them thrown back at me. Youre right. I do deserve more. We all do. And on those days when the “what if” thoughts come back to haunt me, mostly when I’m driving alone in my car, or at night before I force myself to fall asleep, I remind myself thai I deserve more, that I deserve those things that he cannot give me, those things that will make me happy.
      But of-course sometimes we cant help but wonder if the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t, or worse better than no devil at all.
      Thanks Serene for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. I guess sometimes its easier for us to be objective and supportive of others; than we are of ourselves.

  2. I also refer you to your “things to remember” page. Particularly, points 2, 5 and 6 😉
    Hang in there.


  3. Yes, when you reconnect with someone, the feelings can come back and confusion sets in. In order to move forward you must decide (not him) that you will never be together. Once you close the door, you will be able to move forward with no regrets.

    • And this is the essence of your blog name: No I wont go back.
      In my head I have decided. I know why we dont belong together anymore. I know what I want, what i need, and what he cannot give me.
      But in my heart i am still struggling.

  4. Instead of thinking that you fell backward, maybe it’s more that you hadn’t gotten as far ahead as you thought. Nothing to be ashamed of. Grieving the loss of a relationship takes time and often we immerse ourselves in new activities thinking we’ve found truth, when really we’re just distracting ourselves.

    About a month after I had to move out of my house (a year after I found out about my wife’s affair), I got involved with someone. She’s great.. sweet, kind, compassionate. It felt really nice to be appreciated and not condemned or blamed. But after a few weeks I realized that the pain wasn’t gone, it was still in there. The new relationship just covered it up. The reality was that I wasn’t interested in this nice woman as much as I was interested in replacing my wife. And I was going to wind up hurting this innocent person. I decided to end the intimacy. I stayed friends with the woman, just no sex. And that took me right back into all the pain, the questions, the frustration, the boredom. But it also helped me accept that I wasn’t through this yet. I couldn’t force the pain to go away, and I needed to do a little more work on me.

    And now, another year later, I’m doing better. I still get angry, sad, frustrated sometimes. Something will trigger a memory, but I don’t spiral into obsession on those thoughts anymore. When they come, I don’t react to them like I used to. I feel them, acknowledge them and then let them pass. But I still often feel like I’m going through the motions most days. It’s hard for me to feel excitement and joy, but at least I’m not bursting with anger and resentment.

    All I can offer is to not beat yourself about this, and don’t let the emotional flare up scare you. You can’t change the fact that you married this man and allowed him so close to you that he hurt you. It’s done, he did it. This experience is yours forever, you’ll get hit with triggers at times when you least expect it. You can’t control the triggers, you can only control your reaction to them.

    So, bravo for dealing with that man head on and feeling it. Take the time you need, when you feel the pain, just feel it. Don’t try to figure it out. You know why it hurts so much. And for what it’s worth, I doubt if he’s smart enough to do this to you on purpose. He’s probably emotionally stunted and just reacting in ways he doesn’t understand. You’re miles ahead of him.

  5. Thanks Maurice for your thoughts. I do agree with you. Maybe I wasnt as far as I thought I was. Maybe the new “love” I felt was only rebound love, only lust, only needing to be needed.Its nice to know that it happens to all of us, and that in fact it is just a matter of time.

    Now that I’m surrounded by family almost 24/7 I must say the pain strikes less. Which is good in a way. On the other hand, I’m afraid that by distracting myself so much I dont get to cry it out enough, or deal with those emotions which need to be dealt with.


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