Sometimes you get into a relationship that ends for whatever reason even though you know deep down it’s meant to be. That happened to me—my boyfriend dumped me… and then he became my husband.
We started dating very young. Having a relationship during your senior year of high school is almost always a temporary thing. Rarely do couples continue dating much past that time period of their life. However, we were still going strong years after graduation. As we all get older, we become different people, which is where we found ourselves. Space was necessary to explore our new interests and hobbies and become who we wanted to be without another person to think about and consider.
We were broke. Being in a long-term relationship often segues into living together. We bought a house, we were working on degrees, and to be honest, we were finding it hard to make ends meet. The tension was consistent in our day to day interactions. Time to reconcile these issues was critical to the well-being of our relationship but isn’t something that we had.
Depression and anxiety don’t mesh well. Due to our financial state and the feeling of “growing apart,” as well as other crappy life stuff, one of us was battling depression and the other anxiety. Having two in a bad place while in a relationship doesn’t lend itself well to love and happiness. What we needed was room to work on ourselves, but we didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to do so.
We didn’t want to settle. Along the way, we were starting to feel like we were together just because we were supposed to be. We’d been together so long, it just felt like nothing else was an option. No relationship should find itself in that spot. Our desire was to be able to want to be together, not feel like we had to be together.
We were just existing rather than thriving. Our lives started to resemble that of roommates. We slept in the same bed, but that’s about all that was taking place there. Our days went on, but we spent most of our time fighting or having nothing to talk about. Relationships are nothing if there’s no joy, and that was non-existent for us.
He broke my heart. Already in a fragile place, I honestly didn’t expect the breakup. Angry, confused, frustrated, stressed—every emotion in the book resonated within me. I moved back into my parents’ house and tried to make sense of it all. I did my best to try to push him to the back of my mind but I couldn’t. We had a house together and needed to sort all of that out, plus we had animals that we adopted during our relationship. Details weren’t going to resolve themselves. Creating a breakup plan was painful but necessary for moving on.
We became stronger. Over time, we found ourselves able to breathe. Our stressors were dwindling, our emotional issues were beginning to subside, financial issues were less pressing. We were better people than we had been just a short time ago. This was evident in many areas of our lives, not just in our individual selves. We were performing better at work, getting better grades in our classes, enjoying closer relationships with our families. All around, we were just happier.
We started to miss who we’d been together. After a few rough months, we found ourselves calling each other just to talk. We went to dinner a few times, then we discovered a concert coming up that we both wanted to go to so we went together. We missed each other, the companionship we’d shared. Being completely out of each other’s lives didn’t feel right. We liked who we were becoming but missed being together.
We gave it another try. We hung out for months and then we decided to just try again. We were doing some updates on our joint house to get it ready to sell while we were apart, so I spent some nights at his place and he spent some at mine. We went slowly at the beginning, still allowing each other the space that we needed. But overall, we were much better together than we had been before. Many of the problems that we were previously facing had reconciled themselves and we were almost starting anew.
We made it permanent. On a whim, we got married six months after getting back together. The reality is that breaking up was actually a blessing and not a negative for us. We needed that to be able to be who we are today. Our individual selves in their current state are better versions than what they were. Now, we’re parents and own our dream home together—oh, and we’re coming up on eleven years of marriage. Our breakup really did happen for a reason.
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