Why my "ex" is my best friend
Many of you who know me personally know that my partner and I separated several months ago, but what you may not know is how much better our relationship is now.
When Ryan and I decided to separate, we knew that we had to put our family of four inside a bubble, where we would come to make decisions and talk about what was best for us, doing the best we could not to have outside influence over what "they" though was best.
It was rough, at first. That first night in my apartment, alone, with a mattress on the floor I lost it. I cried so hard and though what the hell am I doing, my family is at home right now snuggled in bed and here I am, sitting alone on a mattress with tears streaming down my face. I came so close to picking up the phone, phoning Ryan and admitting I had made a mistake and I wanted to come back home. But I didn't.
I knew deep down that I was suppose to go through this process and I would be ok. So I let myself feel the loss of a failed relationship, to really go through a grieving process of the should haves and could haves for our family, the idilic dream of mom and dad staying together forever, family trips, and family meals, snuggling in bed all together, and taking the boys to the park, together as a family. The thought that I had abandoned my children because I was the one to leave the home, and I would no longer be there every second of the day. All of these things I though were over for us and it would never be the same. And I was right, sort of!
Things aren't the same, they are better. When we let go of a relationship that wasn't fulfilling us we opened ourselves up for different opportunities, and new experiences. The stress of that relationship lifted and we were able to focus on happier and more fulfilling thoughts.
The one thing I didn't anticipate is that Ryan and I actually got along better, our communication and how we treated each other vastly changed, and we spend quality time talking about how to better show up for our kids. We talk about taking family trips in the future to places like Disney land, and both of us getting to experience their first time on those adventures together. We talk daily about how the kids are doing, what is working at bed time, meal time and how to move forward. We know that things will always shift and change and ready ourselves for those possibilities, especially once the boys are in activities!!
Through this process I have had many people tell me how lucky I am that Ryan isn't an A-hole, or that we can talk to each other so easily, but I tell them, it wasn't luck it was designed that way. Oprah states in her book The Path Made Clear, that "I don't believe in luck. For me, luck really means preparation meeting the moment of opportunity." My coach at the time really helped me to get clear on what I wanted and decide how to move forward, for me and my family. I knew three things; I wanted a great relationship with Ryan, I wanted my boys to thrive, and I wanted Ryan and myself to find partners that we loved deeply and wanted to share our lives with, we both deserve it, and it's possible! If you are unhappy it is your responsibility to do something about it, and we chose to do something about it.
We are not striving for perfection, but we are striving to show up better each day so that we can support each other and our children through all the ups and downs life brings forward for us. Sometimes that means saying you're sorry, admitting you're wrong and humbling yourself to say yeah I can do better, and I will.
There have been many people in my community that have come forward and expressed their discontent in their relationships and I tell them the same thing, this is what worked for me, but you need to decide for yourself what it is you want. My story is just that, mine. Yours is going to be different and that's great because you need to honour yourself and the needs of your family, and that looks different for everyone.
My wish for everyone is that they Love deeply everyday, whether that is Love for a partner, your children or yourself, we have so much Love to go around so get spreading it:) Haha