Bonjour Tristesse

Just like a wave

I am not sure where this sudden wave of sadness came from. It feels different to the sadness I felt over the last months. Different to the frustration and the anger that comes with a relationship that takes a different turn than what you had in mind for yourself and your family.

The last two years have been busy. Apart from setting up life in a new country, I have been busy with:

  • listening to what I need and want
  • learning how to communicate it
  • getting the father of my children to listen
  • tearing my hair out to make him actually understand
  • turning all this into change in our relationship and
  • creating a situation where separation wouldn’t mean the end of being a family

There was one thing I didn’t do: grieve. I didn’t grieve the loss of my marriage and the loss of an idea of a future together with the person I thought would be by my side until the end. I feel robbed of this future, because despite the fact that I was the one who said ‘I want out,’ I feel that I was pushed to make that decision thanks to someone else’s negligence.

Lockdown and isolation surely play a role in all of this, but I also know how important it is to stay with this feeling for a little while and not to dismiss it too quickly. Self-compassion isn’t my greatest strength, and I almost feel nauseous at the thought of feeling sorry for myself. But for once, I am.

I didn’t deserve to be manipulated, forgotten, or parked like a toy that might be taken out again – or not.

I am feeling lonely and left behind right now. And a little pissed off at the thought that someone else is going to reap the fruits of my hard work. I have put up with a lot of shit over the last decade. And someone else will get the improved version of my previous partner because of it.

It makes me angry to think that the FoMC (father of my children) limits the age of his potential future partner at four years less than my current age. Which means that even if I met someone like him again, they wouldn’t even want to date me. Swipe left. Game over before it even begins. How is that fair?

We have come to a new normal in our relationship, and for the first time in a long time, there’s nothing to be worked on. No elephants in the room, no unspoken feelings or resentments, nothing left unsaid. The question ‘what happens next?’ has popped up a couple of times, and whereas some weeks ago, I’d happily agreed to one of us moving out soon, I am not so sure anymore.

To jump to the conclusion to give this another (last!) wholehearted try would be too quick. Only because I am sad doesn’t mean I need to decide anything right now. The thought alone of putting more work into our relationship exhausts me. And we would have to. Codependency takes ages to untangle, especially if you have lived in it for more than a decade. And I am not even sure how to bring back sexual attraction. Because while my libido is doing fine (thanks for asking), I also found myself just not attracted to the FoMC anymore.

You don’t have to be Freud to figure out that physical distance is a way for me to enforce my boundaries and to keep someone literally at arm’s length. Especially someone who I perceive as overbearing and all-encompassing. Oooohhh yeah, definitely more work.

For now, I will concentrate on myself and just practice to ‘sit with it.’ I want to NOT jump to the next solution, conclusion or thing that has to be done. For now, I am just going to let the waves of sadness roll over me and through me. History has told me that answers come when you stop asking. Let’s try this.

2 Comments Write a comment

  1. This is a tough period, particularly as it’s lockdown, but you’re right to sit with things. It reminds me of Tara Brach’s RAIN acronyn my therapist introduced me to. ‘To recognize what is going on. Allow the experience to be there, just as it is. Investigate with kindness. Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with the experience’.

    It sounds like you’re there with that already. It makes me so angry that you’ve been neglected and disrespected and for a decade. You deserve more. Your ex’s view of wanting a subsequent younger partner is just to hurt you. You look young, and are young. It’s an immature jibe in retaliation of your rejection of him. Does he not realise he gave you no choice. I feel like you’re a sunflower, slowly opening up to the sun, about to bloom. Good times are ahead. Hold onto that x


    • @Honest Mum: Thank you for your heartfelt comment! I certainly did sit with it and it washed over and through me as promised (from my own therapist. Thank God for therapists! ;-)).
      Just to clarify, I haven’t been neglected for ten years. The really tough period lasted maybe two years, and the rest has been good – sometimes really amazing. The father of my children is an amazing man, otherwise I wouldn’t have stuck around to try and work it out and work through it. He has his own baggage to carry and a lot of what has happened is down to lack of awareness. We both are in a position right now where we regret not to having had the insight back then that we have now. It would have been easier.
      Good times ahead, yes, I feel that and I try to hold on to that. Thank you for reminding me xxx


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