Most days I’m content in my new life. I feel very fortunate to have met and married someone who values and cherishes me. This marriage is new and a very small slice of my life. When you have been with someone since you were a very young woman and grew up with that other person and yes, probably outgrew them as well, it can feel very disjointed.
I still dream about my ex. And, I suppose that I probably will to the end of my days. My recent dreams seem to be processing that we are no longer together and that he feels bad about what he has done. Oftentimes, our kids are small in these dreams, when in reality they are grown and were young adults when the betrayal and subsequent divorce occurred. I don’t know why I dream of them as small.
A dream about my ex can linger with me for days, making me feel melancholy and nostalgic. I’ve come a long way since the early days, when even getting out of bed felt insurmountable and eating food made me nauseous.
When I awaken from one of these dreams, I am sometimes startled to be sleeping next to a man who is not my ex. Living with someone for over three decades can have that effect, I guess.
This is the path of grief. Of processing. Of moving on.
When my new husband talks about his wife (who is deceased), sometimes he will pause and ask me if it bothers me to talk about her. They were married for 48 years. They met when they were sixteen. It doesn’t bother me because I am proof that you can still “love” two people. It’s a different kind of love, but it is still love.
He has provided me space to talk about my life with my ex. He is not bothered by it as I continue to process all that happened at the end.
It was such an ugly ending to a mostly good marriage. And I think that’s part of my struggle.
It did not have to be so ugly.