Some people think divorce is taking the easy way out.
Sometimes, I think it takes courage.
We met when I was nineteen. I had a decent office job, no plans to go back to college, and a confused future. He was twenty-four and hadn’t been confused about his future since he was ten. He knew what he wanted and always had a plan to get there. His friends were similar in the way of ambition, goal setting, and sticking to those things—none of which I really ever had. So, being around them was valuable. He and his best friend even convinced me to go back to college at twenty-three, and thankfully, I did. We were together for four years. He proposed. I said yes. We got married. Six months later I told him I didn’t love him anymore. He told me that I did love him, and that we were going to make the marriage work. Two months later, we were divorced.
I never had a lot in common with his friends. Hell, he and I never had much in common, but we did love each other. That is true. And we both saw positive internal growth developing because of each other, but I also believe we were mistaking that for real, solid love.
Mostly, our relationship was one of learning. I learned the true fundamentals of how to professionally succeed in life from someone who was born only to succeed. From me, he learned how to let go and not be afraid to love. He constantly thanked me for forgiving him because he knew he wasn’t easy to live with. And, being who I was, and am, I found it hard to disregard someone who was willing to better himself.
But, over time, this is also where reality took a front seat.
Through all of that learning and growing, I became confused and completely lost myself. I really did. I allowed his ideas of who I could, and should be, mold me into someone I didn’t recognize. Words and phrases rolled off my tongue that had no business living in my head anyway. I was just mimicking what I’d heard during our years together. I wasn’t a bad person by any means – just altered. After all of that growth, I was even less of a match for the man I’d been with for six years. I was 25 years old, still young, but finally filled with confidence.
As much as he’d always wanted to see that development, independence and strength in me, he was also seeing a loss of control. He’d managed to control most everything in his life, but I was no longer that nineteen-year-old girl who needed his help. Unfortunately, all of this really came to light after we were married. I was ready to bloom, but he only saw weeds. I felt trapped. And I knew I couldn’t stay.
Our marriage didn’t need to go on any longer, and I think he knows that, too. But, I would never take a minute of it back. I learned many wonderful things from him and had many new and exciting experiences. I became a greater version of me, and to him, I’ll always be grateful. But, I also learned a lot about myself after the divorce. I realized who I truly was, what I wanted, and what I – without the help of anyone on this planet – was capable of.
I learned that sometimes you’re in a relationship simply because it’s what you need at that time in your life. It isn’t always what you need forever.
So, yeah, I left after eight months. Some may call me selfish, but walking out that door led me down a path to a place of true happiness. That was the only place I’d ever wanted to be. And leaving was the only way I knew to get there.