“I met my ex husband at 20 years old. I look back now and seriously question what I thought I knew about choosing a lifelong partner. When I met him, he was a decent, kind man. He had great parents and was hardworking. I learned over those 18 years what I needed from a partner and wasn’t getting. That’s what I knew about love.
I first met my ex at a local bar with my friends, on a Monday night. We were dancing and immediately became inseparable. We were both in multi-level marketing businesses and traveled to the U.S. and parts of Canada. We built friends in business and built friendships everywhere. I was married for almost 13 years, but lived common law for almost 5 more on top of that. I watched his niece and nephew grow up and become mine. I was close to his brother’s wife. Life was a dream. I never thought I’d be almost 40 with a divorce looming over my head. But when I give my heart to someone, I give it.
I used to tell my ex all the time, ‘You ever cheat on me, it will be the last time. Don’t think I’d ever take you back.’ I’d said it to him because my biological father was a serial philanderer. I promised myself when I was young that I would never allow another man to do it to me. Little did I know, after almost 18 years together, another woman would be ending my marriage.
My ex continually says that wasn’t the it. At the time, we had just finished adopting my nephew and had a 15-month-old daughter. I was mentally exhausted. To me, there was no indication of him leaving until her. After all, we had just taken out loans for heating. I’d just started school and we had bought a new car together. Life was kicking into gear. I didn’t see it coming. When he left that night, my ex said to me, ‘I’m not happy anymore. You’re not giving me enough.’ You know, ladies and gents, what that means.
When he walked away it damned near killed me. The minute I knew who he was leaving for, in all his lies, I was in the toilet vomiting. The pain in my soul was unlike any other. My life partner had just betrayed me in the most ultimate way and so did the girl that had been visiting me. I knew her. I was disgusted and ultimately sick from it. There are no ways to describe the pain I felt.
I recognize that I certainly wasn’t easy in my marriage, but what I knew was I had taken a oath to honor my husband. I knew that, morally, cheating was something I would never do. I was left with 3 kids trying to figure out how I was going to do this while he was out joyriding in my car, with the other woman.
Questions hit me like crazy. Why wasn’t I enough? What did I do to deserve it? Why did God do this, and why at this time in my life? My ex’s words to me were, ‘I guess you were loyal to me, but I wasn’t loyal to you. I started loving my ex 5 years ago.’ It all hit me like a ton of bricks.
Only 3 years prior, we had begun the process to adopt my nephew and had had a new baby after struggling with fertility issues. I never thought he would give up on me and leave. But, according to him, I was worthless, fat, and he had ‘supported my a** for 18 years.’ (I have worked ever since I was 16 years old.) My soul hurt. It was the most painful experience in my life. Watching my eldest son’s world crumble to the ground and knowing I could do nothing to stop it from happening was awful. I watched the father of my children die in front of me, not a physical death but an emotional death. It was a death for me, a mourning process.
This man was not the same man I married, or maybe I didn’t know the true man himself. Maybe he was an illusion of who I thought he was and who everyone else who knew him thought he was. Two weeks after, he told me he was moving in with her. I knew in that moment I would never want him back again. I knew that once a man had sex with another person, while he was with me, I would never allow him back into my life. That August, after separating, I was sure I didn’t love him anymore. A chapter closed.
Yet, I was so devastated with everything. Since I was a child, I dreamed of having one love for the rest of my life. I wanted to grow old with the person I married and if that meant counselling to look at myself, I would. I wanted to be that woman who could say she had 50 years married or more. OH BOY, WAS I EVER WRONG. I had picked the wrong man to love me. And that’s where I’ll leave that part of my story. In the past.
So now, months later, here I was starting the divorce process and waiting for the rest of the mess. Waiting for the day I no longer had to be legally attached to my ex, to begin. I’m here to tell you there is love while waiting for divorce, there is love in the middle of divorce. There is love in the hardest situations.
Just in the middle of my separation mess, I fell in love with my knight in shining armour. I fell for him at a volatile time. A time where I’d been separating from my ex and my life was in shambles. Never did I ever think I’d find this amazing love. In the chaos of my marriage ending, I never thought I’d fall in love with my best friend’s brother. But it happened.
She and I were good friends from working in health care. She had become family in this small town we live in. She was the one to let me cry on her shoulder when life got hard. During my marriage, her brother would bring his daughter over for visits at his sister’s house. We would just say hello and her brother was somewhere in the background. On several occasions, she tried to fix her brother up with other friends. At one point, after my separation, she had tried to put us together at a Mother’s Day dance and I wasn’t quite ready to be with anyone. My separation was still too raw. Somehow, him and I danced together that night, not knowing we would eventually find chemistry.
It happened one night. I asked him out. For the first time in my life, I asked a guy out! Usually it was the other way. It was almost 6 months after my split and I wanted to be around somebody, to go out and have a little fun. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. If anything, just a bit of friendship. My loved ones thought it happened too fast. I was so tired of hearing, ‘Well, don’t you think it’s too soon?’ After many deaths and never getting the opportunity to say goodbye, I’ve learned that when love hits you, sometimes you just gotta take it. Because the kind of love I’m describing may never ever find you again. The love that made me forget the damage.
The moment I knew he was my soulmate, we were at my mom’s house with just our kids and his sister on an apple picking trip (as friends). My mom owns a 109-year-old home. I fell in love with him that weekend while on the trip. When that goat tried to eat his lollipop at the orchard, I fell love with him staring at the sky, at the antiques, and the old house. Everything felt perfect and I fell. hard.
That night, my daughter, who wasn’t 2-years-old yet, was still sleeping beside me at night. My late step father said to me, ‘You need to get that baby out of your bed!’ I laughed and said, ‘Who’s gonna sleep with me?’ As a joke, he nodded at my now love, as if to say HIM. My stepdad passed from cancer last year. During that trip, I knew I’d found that goose bumpy love I wanted. My partner gave me butterflies. At the most painful time in my life, divine intervention put us together. I was given this man and this family that showed me what love meant.
We explore together, sit in boats, dance, watch movies. We hike together, pick fruit together, and we snuggle in each others arm. But the most important thing we do, is we laugh…I came out of my shell, and we laugh so much it hurts. My new love kisses like a dream and wraps his arms around me like no other. I feel safe to express myself. It’s like I am cocooned. I think everyone should have the opportunity to feel that kind of love and safety. I give you hope to know it’s there. Whether people think it happened too quickly, this is my story. With my painful end to my marriage came this amazing, astonishing love.
Currently, I’m seeing a therapist who is helping me love and trust again after being betrayed. Being with my new partner made me believe in love again. I say to you all, don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s ‘too soon.’ This love is was what I needed and wanted, and nobody else in the world can understand something like that but you – the one going through it. This was divine intervention and I feel it in my soul.
Since being with my partner, I have discovered not everybody wants to be alone all the time. I am a social person. I can handle being alone, but not with grace. The statement that everyone needs to learn to be alone…Well, I was alone with 3 kids. And alone is not necessarily for everyone. Alone, for me, is okay in increments. Too much of alone and it puts me in a stoop. I need to be with people. If you don’t like to be alone, its okay to find people to be around and it’s okay to love yourself in that way, or whatever way you feel you need.
Today, I have healed enough. I can enjoy a good book and crochet a blanket. I have remembered the feeling of listening to music with soul and getting goose bumps on my skin. I enjoy new crafts and love to cook and bake new things (which my beau loves). I am starting a process to learn guitar and collaborate with other songwriters. I am trying to show the world about my music and who I am. I found myself again. Maybe my songs may never go anywhere, but I am writing. And that’s the most important thing. I have come out of that hole I was in. I was so blocked creatively that for a long time, I forgot what it felt like to sing without pain. For a long time, I couldn’t enjoy music and singing. I was blocked from the world.
My message to you all is that love can happen at any time, when you least expect it, with the most unexpected person. I am blessed and I want to give hope to other people going through the dreaded divorce. There is a love out there that suits you. But your eyes need to be opened for it and ready to receive it. Don’t be afraid of love coming your way. Embrace it. It maybe the most enlightening love and it maybe the most healing for you. Just take it, and run with it. Take love, people. Give love. This world needs love.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brittany W. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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