I Wanted My Divorce But I Still Miss My Ex-Husband
Every. Single. Day.
When my ex-husband came to me and talked about moving out, I knew it was for the best. It was clear we’d fallen out of love. He had a physical affair with another woman after we hadn’t had sex for six months. I wasn’t even jealous, but couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing my kids or finding a new life for myself. He and the kids had been my world for so long, nothing else sounded, or felt, like it would fit — so I stayed.
After trying to get that feeling back, I had an emotional affair with someone I’d met a really long time ago. When my husband found our text messages, instead of feeling guilt or regret I felt better that I was able to get some sort of revenge. I also felt smug because I didn’t actually “do” anything like he did, and I told him as much — over and over. Never once did I say I was sorry.
That’s when things spiraled. My daughter came to me one day and said, “Mommy, I feel like daddy loves you, but you don’t love daddy.”
How did things get so messed up?
He was able to make it right before it got worse. He knew ending our marriage was the best thing for him and the best thing for me. He wanted someone who loved and desired him. I wanted to be with someone I loved and desired.
Of course there’s a whole bunch of stuff that happened in between that sparked this decision, but what I’m saying is: He was able to do something for us and our family that I could not do — he made sure we parted ways before we hated each other and things got ugly.
And it was what I wanted. The fact he took the initiative took guilt and blame off me, and that made me feel better. It was a mutual decision, yes. But it wasn’t one I was able to face until he made the first move.
Looking back now, I know I was immature. I was hiding behind my shame and didn’t want to look like the bad guy. I also didn’t want to face everything being divorced meant: split custody with my kids, making it on my own financially, dating again, and doing work on myself because I knew I needed to do lots of it.
We now have a great co-parenting relationship. I respect him and his girlfriend very much. He is a hard worker. I admire him. I’m not in love with him any longer, but I do love him. And, I miss him every single day.
We had a great partnership when it was great. He was my rock, my best friend, and the one person I could go to that made me feel safe, always.
When that changed while we were married, I fell into a depression that I tried to ignore with everything I had in me. Who was I without him?
I still have those thoughts. I’ve moved on, my career is flourishing and I am financially independent. I’ve fallen in love again with a man my kids not only accept, but also love.
But, I was with my ex-husband for almost two decades. He was my person. Those feelings don’t just go away. Even if you think they do, they end up creeping back. They find their way to you in a song, an old Christmas ornament, when an inside joke you used to share comes on the television.
I know you aren’t supposed to miss you ex-spouse, but I do very much. I’ve wondered if it’s because I haven’t fully healed, or maybe not enough time has gone by since our divorce four years ago. But I’ve come to realize you can miss someone and not want them in your life the way they once were. That doesn’t make it any less painful, though.
It would be so much easier if I couldn’t stand him. Or if I didn’t feel the need to ask his opinion about the strange sound the boiler is making, or tell him over and over again how sorry I am for the way I handled things when he saw those text messages.
Life would be better if I didn’t miss him, but I do … very much. And I wonder if I am going to have to spend the rest of my life feeling this or if I’ll be lucky and it will fade away.