This time last year I was recently single, about to start a new job and trying to find somewhere to live. It was a challenging time, both emotionally and logistically, so it’s with an overwhelming sense of exhaustion that I find myself in the same situation once again.
It’s been three months since I posted my blog ‘Second Chances’. I re-read it today and it made me a bit sad remembering how well-meant it was, and how hopeful I’d been.
It’s hard to be honest about what’s happened because I don’t want to appear to tear someone down for the sake of a story no-one will ever know the real truth of except for us. Ultimately, I was forced to admit that we are too different to ever be happy together. Could I have realised this before we spent another 5 months trying to make it work? Maybe. But I wasn’t ready then. When it ended last year I was fragile, in love and I felt like everything had ‘happened’ to me. It wasn’t what I wanted, and I was left with a deep sense of regret for what might have been. What if I’d understood him better? What if I’d had counselling to help me be a better girlfriend? What if I’d shown more forgiveness, more compassion, more love?
Relationships are tricky little buggers without the added emotional stronghold of having a child together. A couple without a child can end a relationship, shake hands and saunter off in opposite directions without so much as a backward glance. When you have a little person to consider, the world becomes a bit cloudy, and a lot of grey areas start to appear. What may have made you turn on your child-free heel and run (‘He stood me up, therefore he is an arsehole and henceforth he is dumped!’), suddenly isn’t a deal breaker, but something very minor in comparison to having the right beaker, or making sure that their sandals don’t rub. And I’ve found that with a little effort, grey areas can be turned into fog, then into a mild haze, until they almost disappear altogether.
But within the grey areas, there are some very definitive black and white lines. Some hardcore, deeply ingrained values that are part of who we are and what we stand for. Some peoples are out there for the world to see, and there is never any doubt about what they do or don’t find acceptable. For others, they are buried under layers of fog so thick it’s easy to forget about them, but deep down they’re there. I may be a bit foggy, but I know when my black and white lines have been crossed. And so does he.
It feels different this time. Maybe it’s because I feel like I made a choice. Or because I know without a shadow of a doubt that I gave it everything I could. I took all of my ‘What if’s?’ and made it my mission to be better. If I could have held our family together with determination alone I probably would have. Like a typical Taurus, I’ve been stubbornly striving away because I desperately wanted it to work. But I know when I’ve had enough.
It’s all a bit of an anti-climax really. We were meant to ride off into the sunset together after my grand gesture of support on my blog and our lovely family holiday, and now I feel like I should be embarrassed that it didn’t work out that way. But I’m not. I think I needed to know that I didn’t give up without a fight. I follow my heart, which may mean that I end up in these types of pickles from time to time, but it’s what gives me my black and white values of always being compassionate, seeing the best in people and believing in fairytales.
In a world that sometimes feels a bit grey, I’m glad that will never change.