After talking with my former wife, I hung up, sat back in my chair and thought: “I know she really loves me!”
A wave of realization rolled over me. Although I already knew this, this sudden mind fart got me thinking. We love each other, however, although we were married for 20 years and after a long time, reconnected; lived together for about 5 years and again we are apart, we still see each other often.
It just wasn’t in the cards for us to be together forever. It’s obvious that we love each other and… we are not together. We had a friendly parting of the ways. We have had honest conversations about what cause the breakup. We both said, “I’m sorry” and have forgiven each other and realize that you can love someone and choose not be together.
When someone really loves you, they won’t try to change you, but they also won’t let you settle for anything less than you were created to be. If someone wants to be around you all the time, that’s not love – it’s infatuation. As love matures, two people will realize that they often need to do things separate to maintain their own identities.
During the time we do spend together, she will often ask about, and show sincere interest in, the high and low points of my work day. We show respect for each others views. I have found that it’s possible for you and your partner to be on completely opposite poles of the political spectrum and still remain friends. The key feature is not what your beliefs are, but how open you can be to accepting your partner’s perspective as valid.
We often spend time reliving our most enjoyable moments from the past, and do so in a positive and supportive way.
Ours is a love of deep friendship and support. I am a better person now than I was before I met her and so is she. Sometime along the way, she became my best friend. I am proof that you can love someone and choose not be with them. As a relationship coach, I know this is not common, but how my wife and I handled the end of our marriage some years ago was a contributing factor to having our divorce go smoothly and end up still being very special friends. We both communicated the truth about the marriage. We walked away knowing it was both of us who contributed to the downfall. It was a very powerful feeling.
Our relationship was complete! Notice that I did not say that the relationship was over. Relationships never end. You can be complete with a relationship but they never end. Death, divorce, or separation does not end a relationship, it only changes it. As long as you have memory, you will have a relationship.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~ Socrates
Why am I telling you all this? I want you to know that divorce or separation does not have to be a nasty break-up. It does not have to be a disaster. That would be called an unhealthy divorce. It can be a friendly parting of the ways. We both chose to be respectful of each other, not to get stuck in the blame game, and to take the high road and have a smooth split. Painful as it is, successful divorce can help both of you to begin new lives that offer a second chance at future successful relationships. You can choose to have a healthy divorce if you are willing to both move beyond your ego. How well you perform this task in large part will determine how your own personal future will turn out.
The changes brought on by divorce can be overwhelming. But now more than ever, it is important to take care of yourself. Must separation put an end to friendship? Certainly not. Although we are apart, we remain friends. Tap into your network of support, turning to family, friends and a professional coach for assistance and comfort.
No matter what happened to cause you to be apart… forgiveness and a mutual respect for one another can make things go much better.
BONUS Article: Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce is Wrong!!
After Divorce: 8 Tips for Reinventing Yourself
The Three Biggest Mistakes Newly Singles Make
Who Would You Have to Become?
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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