Life seemed pretty amazing for Lily a few years ago. She had a well-paid, fulfilling job, her kids were grown up and independent, and she finally felt great in her own skin after losing those stubborn 10 pounds she’d been carrying for years. As her 28th wedding anniversary approached, she was thinking of a unique and rare gift for her husband as a way to thank him for all the years of love and appreciation.
They’d been through some tough times and some incredibly loving moments. She loved him for being a great father to her kids, supportive partner, and a respectful member of the community.
As she rehearsed the speech in her head thinking of everything she was going to tell him, she tried hard not to notice the uncomfortable lace lingerie under a sexy dress she wore for the first time in ten years, just to surprise him.
They clinked glasses and after the first sip of their favorite wine, he had a thing to say. But even though her speech didn’t go as planned, she let him go first.
“I can’t live someone else’s life anymore. I want a divorce.”
For a moment she was confused, thinking that he was making a funny scene just to show her how much he cared for her. But as moments went by she realized the seriousness of the situation and sat there in disbelief.
This was the last thing on her mind, something she never thought she’d hear from him – her first love, her only lover, adored father and understanding partner.
But at that very real, painful moment, everything fell into water – her speech already forgotten, years of trust and respect disappeared into oblivion.
What could have she possibly done wrong? And now? Now when they finally had everything they’d ever wanted, when life seemed so perfect and worth living.
But of course, it wasn’t her it was him. He wanted more out of life. He longed for experiences he never had a chance to live – adventures and excitement, traveling the world, and being with a different woman. He just wasn’t ready to settle, wait for his retirement, and accept that this was all there is to life.
What she thought was entirely different.
He was the only one she ever thought of being with intimately, the father of her children, the man she married and promised to spend her life with. She never complained about having to give up her career to raise their kids, even though over the years she experienced moments of deep despair and discontentment, never allowing herself to fully understand her needs and go after her dreams.
Still, she had so many plans with him, to see the world, start a business, and write a book – when things fall into place and the time is just right.
Except, they never talked about this.
Two very different personalities, they both settled for a life they thought was right for the other. They barely communicated at times but somehow things always seemed to work out.
As they signed the papers and went separate ways, Lily became inconsolable. She never allowed herself to enjoy life fully. Every joyful moment would end in a negative thought because she believed she wasn’t worthy of it. Instead, she believed that if she kept thinking all the negative thoughts and focused on them, that they would never come true. On top of that, all the stress and suffering caused frequent anxiety attacks and restless nights.
Thinking that there was noting more to life, she continued to live in agony for the next few months. Nothing seemed right and even being with kids didn’t bring her joy. She was betrayed by the only one she ever trusted and she felt frightened and alone.
Dealing with the fact that her husband found someone else to spend his life with, hit her hard. And while she thought that the divorce was all her fault, because she couldn’t make the marriage last, she later on realized that it wasn’t.
As time went by and she reached out to get the guidance and support she needed, Lily learned that her life wasn’t over.
In fact, she became aware that she was more than capable of reinventing herself and creating a life she deserved.
It was time she took her life into her own hands and did everything she ever dreamed of.
She made a conscious decision to break out of a victim mentality, and start to understand her emotions and feelings.
After months of suffering, grief and loneliness, Lily finally decided to give herself a chance and get to know herself better. One thing that kept her going was writing. Even though she sometimes had to drag herself out of bed to write, she never missed a day. Journaling helped her to remember who she was before the marriage and who she wanted to become. This meant spending time alone, writing and reflecting on her thoughts, and being good to herself physically and emotionally.
So, one day, she woke up and completely decluttered her house. Determined to change things around, she sat down and wrote all of her dreams and desires. She defined them to the tiniest detail to know exactly what she wanted out of life. She went back to being who she was before the marriage and erased all the things she deferred in favor of the relationship.
She took time to explore her interests.
The idea of becoming a dancer as she became a wife and mother seemed too ambitious to her husband at the time, so she went back to dancing.
This was her time to travel and explore the world, spend more quality time with her children and finally dedicate time to herself – to read, write and learn new skills.
And while she organized her life well and felt good most of the time, when things became hard, she turned to the support groups she joined initially. She never stoped talking to supportive friends and family and was not afraid to ask for help.
Lily decided to do all this for herself, without hating her husband and regretting all the beauty she had seen while being married to him.
Even though the divorce cost her nerves, money and precious time, and inevitably took away months of happiness and growth, it showed her a different path and taught her that she was capable of doing things she never thought possible.
By looking deep into her heart and soul she found who she’s always been. She found love, peace and understanding, but most of all, she gave herself permission to move on.
And while Lily learned a valuable lesson in the process, she realized that no matter what life throws at her, she will always emerge as a winner.