I met my ex-husband at an event we both attended in Dallas, TX and we started dating long distance. I lived in Salt Lake City, he lived in Denver, and the quick one hour flight made it easy to see each other at least every other weekend. I was in love! And he ticked all those little boxes that I had in my mind for my “perfect match.” You know, the perfect on paper guy that everyone else approves of and who will look amazing standing on that altar with you. Awe the fairy tale. I moved to Denver after we had dated for a year and a half and moved right in with him.
We got engaged at that same time. (I did insist if I was moving cities that I needed a grand gesture from him)
We had a year engagement and then got married. It was such a fun year! All the planning and dress shopping it was everything I imagined. I was completely swept up in the wedding planning phase. But, looking back if I’m honest with myself things started to fizzle once we were living together. There were little habits and personal differences that started getting under my skin. But those were such small things I thought they didn’t matter. (Spoiler alert it’s all those little things that matter the most)
Next, my ex-husband got an amazing offer to move to London for his job. The free bird that I am was 100% on board for this adventure from the get go. And moving to a new city, no biggie! We had a blast and traveled all over Europe together. We really were best friends! But the sex? Non-existent, and we had only been married for a year.
After about a year in London is when reality started to sink in. We were on completely different pages for where we wanted to go in life. He wanted babies and to create a happy little family. Which is awesome, but I didn’t. I had finally gotten the chance to individuate in London, away from my family and external influences and really discover who I was. I felt like a huge fraud and that I had tricked my ex into this relationship. Which isn’t true because I was representing my feelings as best I knew them at the time. But now I wanted more, I wanted something completely different.
The turning point for me was reading a book I had been given. The last chapter was called “A Different Way to Look at Relationships” and a question was asked, “Do you think it would be fun to be completely monogamous?” Immediately I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and my heart said a resounding NO. Then it asked “Would you like a series of relationships?”, “Would you like multiple relationships at the same time?”, “Would you like to be monogamous but open for certain instances?” My mind was blown, because I didn’t even know that these were options in life. I just thought there was this one path.
We decided to get divorced.
My friend said it best when she told me that it really is like a person dying. The relationship has become its own entity and it died. It was the hardest most excruciating decision I have ever made. It consumed my life trying to get to that decision. Luckily I was learning about new tools to use to express dark emotions like rage, anger, and grief. I mourned intensely and got through some deep mud.
Looking back on everything I do not regret any of it one bit. I had to go through all of this to learn and to grow into the person I am today. I think that my ex feels the same. We are still on good terms and I truly want him to be happy and find exactly what he is looking for.
Now I have a very different view on marriage and relationships. I don’t really care so much about getting married but more about conscious connection and deep love and presence.
We were together 5 years total – 2.5 dating and 2.5 married. And that’s my side of the story.
– Stella Blake, 33