Building Something Better


Recently I’ve been communicating with my second ex-husband via emails. It’s helped me look at the past, myself and some fond and not so fond memories. We have reconnected in a bigger way recently because of my sister-in-law, his sister.

His sister and I have always been very close, even though I was divorced in 1986. She came to live with us when she was 11 years old–many, many years ago. Because of this, I played multiple roles in her life: mother, sister and friend. She was young, but so was I really–only in my 20’s. My relationship with her brother was volatile, but my relationship with her (and her younger brother, who also lived with us), was magical. To me, that was the relationship that was meant to blossom from my marriage.

She and her daughter hit a rough patch in their lives as of late. We talk a lot, as women do. She is now a grown woman–a wonderful woman actually, and her daughter is about her age when I first met her. So these conversations around what’s going on actually opened up dialogue with my ex.

It’s been so interesting and extremely cathartic! For both he and I actually. I did contact him myself a few years ago just to see what was up. He lost his third wife to cancer sadly a number of years ago.  We had a good talk then too, so I knew he would be receptive now.

During our married years, while we had many amazing moments, we also had moments of deep despair and fighting. This was the roller coaster we continually rode. He drank too much and I was very needy. We both had our demons, and were both young enough not to recognize them for what they were.

But life has played out for both of us, each of us marrying again. He lost his wife and I divorced my husband. We both had kids. I wanted children with him, but he didn’t at the time. It broke my heart. I loved him dearly, but somehow we could never seem to be on the same track at the same time.

I admired him, looked up to him, got so incredibly angry at him, found him attractive, was embarrassed by him, was proud of him and confused constantly by him. But ultimately the love I had for him could not outweigh the pain I felt because I knew it wasn’t returned.

In speaking with him now, so much is being revealed! We are being very honest and open about the past. It’s hard to speak and hear some of things, but it’s also very freeing. We’re not sure why we are doing it, but we both agree it feels good. We also both are sorry for the mean things we did and that happened, and are able to recall the good stuff. And we’re both old enough (I hope he is), to forgive ourselves.

Once again I am admiring him for the man he has become! For him to say he is sorry for the pain he caused me was something that meant so much. It was probably one of the most heartfelt things a man ever said to me. More than saying: I love you. It made me cry when I read it.

So where it will go from here, I have no idea. But I know I feel a peace I haven’t felt in a while. Sometimes I feel regret, but I know, as he said, you can’t go back. But hopefully we can go forward, and maybe take the good we had with us and build something better.

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