I’ve been divorced for 11 years and I ran into my ex-husband at the True Value yesterday. Hadn’t seen him for 4 years and I wanted him to look like 10 miles of bad road. I really wanted to see that without me he had gone down the tubes. But he looked just like he always did; happy, handsome and with his new boyfriend, 12 years his younger. I felt guilty because I wanted his hot boyfriend. Of course I was flustered and wanted to appear confident and happy. I said hi, bought my WD40 and left.
My ex used to take lots of business trips. He was always a bit distant when he got home for a day or two. Found out he was exploring his sexuality on those trips. 11 years ago he sat me down and told me he was leaving me because he was bisexual, which really meant gay.
I took it completely personal. I wasn’t good enough to keep him interested. Got upset too many times over little things and drove him away- way away. So far away he didn’t even want to be around women.
I was at home taking care of our two kids, completely dependent on him; the poster child for Betty Crocker. Talk about having to start over; on me, on work, on friends, on my kids, on my recently discovered multiple personalities- they were a handful. My new psychologist became my best friend and my chief financial outlet. Who knew all the great new things I would discover; psychiatrists, mood medications, a drinking habit and AA, and a new-found ability to write. I did write a book; How to Survive a Panic Attack.
This is an advice column in case you didn’t know. Here it is: It’s not personal. It never is. He showed up exactly as he needed to show up for me to discover me. His being gay wasn’t personal to me. Had nothing to do with me. Had he not left I never would have had to look inside and really get to know me. Was it worth it? Yes. I hated every minute of those first 2 years after he left. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
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