For the last few years, there has been so much distance between us. He has been angry with the world; surly with me; and contemplating life on his own. I have been feeling lonely as our kids left home, hurt by Dan’s anger, and considering life on my own. But not without a profound sense of grief!
Dan has been my best friend for most of the last 30 years. My life has revolved around him and the kids for the last 22 years. He is the love of my life. To feel that I had lost all of that has been devastating. For the last few years, I have been drowning in a sea of despair; feeling lost and disconnected; feeling uprooted from my own life. I have been struggling to keep myself afloat; trying to find the courage to leave my marriage; trying to find an anchor around which to re-build my life.
Life can be treacherous at times. We can find ourselves playing out early life scenarios if we are not careful. Both Dan and I come from families that disintegrated when the kids “came of age”. My mother left us to live with a man in Barbados when my sister and I left high school. Dan’s dad left his family for a woman half his wife’s age when Dan’s older brothers finished high school. When I asked Dan last week why he has been so angry at me, he said, “Everything was changing; the kids were leaving home; our family was falling apart. It felt like it was the end of everything.” Perhaps, neither of us could imagine this stage of our lives together?
But something has shifted. I cannot explain it. It feels like some act of grace has been bestowed upon us. Somehow, Dan’s anger has melted away. Somehow, my fear of being alone has dissipated. Somehow, we started talking again; about our feelings; about downsizing our home; about fun things we can do now that the kids have moved out; about finding a new dream for the next stage of our lives. Somehow, we have made it through the transition; seen through the illusion of our own early-life beliefs; and found our way back to love.