RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD – LIZZI LEWIS

Today my RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD guest is Lizzi Lewis.

LIZZI

Just shy of a year after telling Husby I couldn’t be married to him any longer, I stood with the decree absolute in my hands. Unassuming paper and complicated legalese confused me at first – was this really it?

It was really it, and after a *jumpyhappydance*, which was mostly just relief at the wait finally being over, I paused, paper in hand, in the hallway.

Fingertips to the smooth, plain, flimsy piece of print-out certifying…freedom? Failure? The culmination of the last piece of teamwork Husby and I effected (and the first successful piece in years)?

Yes to all.

Probably. Or maybe not…after all, how is one *meant* to feel, upon notification that all legal bonds have been officially recognized as broken, long, long after all emotional ones fell in tatters against the ever-retreating halves of our erstwhile partnership?

Elated? Hopeless? Liberated? Stamped forever with the seal of societal disapproval (however faint)?

Yes to all.

Our marriage ran the gamut from spending long hours snuggled together talking, to not being able to stand being in the same room; from delicious talks of baby names, to the loss and loneliness of miscarriage; from employment and professional plans, to everything unravelling into unemployability; from gazing into each other’s hungry eyes, to lying naked, our backs turned, both inconsolable and unwilling to even touch the other.

From plans of being old together, to “I love you, but not enough to want to be alive at the end of the day.”

From refuge to utter, utter rejection.

And so much pain, contained within those nearly-five years. Incredible, uncontainable, unmanageable pain, which rippled unstoppably through our too-flimsy foundations, tearing away the layers of fantasy and hope, leaving us both exposed as charlatans, to an extent (for our individual self-deceptions) and irrevocably incompatible.

How could I be pleased about a paper which decreed publicly, for all to know, we were Unable To Make It Work? Not with all the good will in the world (and there was precious little of that, by the end) could we have continued. One or both of us would have ended.

Circumstances; ill health (both mental and physical), unemployment, trying to make ends meet, distance, and the ever-present niggle that neither of us were up to spec as people in our own rights, and possibly had no business trying to make a go of a ‘we’, while the ‘me’ was still a work in progress, all combined to form the perfect storm.

The frustratingest thing we found was trying to lay blame. As the one who officially ended it, I was the one who had to find ways to point the finger. We were trying to work as a team. I tried to explain nicely to the courts that when one partner has repeatedly attempted suicide to escape the marriage, it is not a relationship compatible with his mental or physical health. When the other partner has fallen afoul of anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder, it is not a relationship compatible with hers.

Never try to explain nicely.

My next attempt screamed blame, not with vitriol, but with justification based on a legal framework of acceptable parameters. Cold, hard blame, and the impact of his actions and behaviours which made it impossible then, and ongoingly, to sustain a relationship.

Stark words which received a flurry of retaliatory remarks, and the need to bite my tongue and remind him this was means to an end. Stark words which, in the beginning, when we were still surrounded by light and the dazzlement of either of us having Found Someone, I could never have conceived.

People do change.

Bad stuff does just happen.

Sometimes there’s truly nothing left to try to fix, because you’ve tried to fix everything as it fell apart, and even if you both try, it’s like trying to nail smoke to a wall whilst breathing its poison.

Sometimes the end is too tired for elation and too relieved for mourning, but somehow encompasses all of those points and leaves you standing in a hallway, holding a piece of paper, wondering.

But sometimes, in spite of the hurt and the badness and all the unbearable pain, there is learning and life, and…yes, love (in the beginning, at least). The marriage was short, but my goodness, each of those years stands testament to courage, determination, resilience, and sheer bloody-minded insistence to NOT let go.

For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health.

We divorced.

Because we didn’t want it to be death which parted us.

So how do I feel?

A mess and a muddle.

A mixture of things.

Alive.


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Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever she can.

Lizzi is a founder member of #1000Speak, and hosts the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop each weekend.
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51 thoughts on “RELATIONSHIPS ARE HARD – LIZZI LEWIS

  1. Heartbreaking in a way, beautifully written… sad, yes – but you are alive and *to my knowledge* well, so that is something I am forever thankful for. I want to wrap my arms around you and give you oodles and gobs of love because I DO love you so very much! Writing this can’t have been easy, your courage inspires me every day ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful telling of the complexity of the thing. I ws the one, 36 years ago (half a life time now), who stubbornly refused to give up on “for better or worse” when worse was everything falling apart. When the time came I said, “No Contest” because what would have been the point of arguing the reasons? And so, a chapter ended, but it was just one chapter. The story (;) went on. reblogging

    Liked by 2 people

    • *sigh* We work and we work and we work because we think it’s the right thing, when somehow it’s the wrong thing all along, and what else were we MEANT to do? It’s so baffling and hurtful, but these chapters don’t have to define the rest of the story, as you say, and I am very glad yours went on and improved🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ack! No pedestals. I’m only to be trusted so far, G! But thank you – in this I’ve been as truthful as I think I need to be without giving lurid details which might be perceived as unnecessarily inflammatory, even though some of them pertain. The most important thing is, it’s done – it’s dusted – moving ON!🙂

      Like

    • Thank you so much🙂 *sigh* that moment will remain etched on my memory for many years to come. Well. Those moments, because it happened more than once, but each one felt like the most lonely moment anyone had ever felt in the history of being alone and abandoned and it being utterly, utterly awful. The truly devastating thing is I expect Husby felt exactly the same way.

      Like

  3. Enjoyed your story. Sometimes it isn’t right, no matter how much we want it to be. For your own sake and your ex’s I’m glad you divorced and are happier and maybe able to both find better fits for a marriage partner🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the relief and release for both of us was incredible. I know he’s FAR happier now, and pursuing things he long wanted to try. I’m doing the same, and I hope in future we both find people far more fitting🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the story, and thank you for your kind words in response🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You know I can relate to much of this. “A mess and a muddle” — that perfectly describes me much of the time🙂 I’ve been very impressed and excited by your recent happenings — while I’ve been basically frozen or taking the teeniest and weensiest baby steps towards goals I’m not even sure I have — you’ve been leaping and bounding into your new life. I admire that very much (and, if I’m honest — I’m also envious of your self determination and conviction about what you want — and your willingness to go for it).

    Liked by 1 person

    • My dear, dear friend *swamps you with huge hugs*

      When I think about our parallels and how similar our stories have been lately, I can’t help but think of the differences. Your situation was steeped in many more years of foundation and context, where mine never had the chance to establish any before things started going awfully, horribly wrong. I think in all honesty the forerunning opinion from almost everyone I know (including Exby) is that we should never have gotten married in the first place.

      So your baby steps, however small you feel they are, are HUGE, and right, because they’re at your pace and working in your context. I have the luxury of having dodged several bullets, am more flexible in terms of where to live and access training, and…so many other utterly uncontrollable factors where I’ve just been INCREDIBLY lucky.

      You’re braver than I am with the dating thing though, my dear.

      We both have self-determination and conviction, and I suspect we both know what we DON’T want, which is as important.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just when I think I can’t love you anymore that I already do…I DO!
    Do you know what I read in your words? Resilience, perseverance, gratitude, and strength. I know only good things lay ahead for you, Lizzi. Bravo for doing one of the bravest things a woman could ever do.
    Love you to the moon and back. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really? That’s SO ENCOURAGING because resilience, perseverence…I think even gratitude – those are some of the words I wanted to work towards in my ‘2016 of Becoming’, which I wrote about at the beginning of the year. That’s AWESOME, and thank you for saying you see those things. I think sometimes (often) I can’t see the wood for the trees.

      I think good things DEFINITELY lay ahead for me, and I’m making changes in that I’m actively pursuing things I want, and committing to DOING life in ways which work towards, rather than just waiting and seeing, or hoping without inputting.

      Love you HUGE, MM❤❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lizzi – So many things to say here…and maybe all summed up best by simply saying that I have seen so much change, so much growth, and so much YOU come out of all of this just in the short time and distant ways I’ve come to know you. This is so well done. Kudos.❤

    Hasty – You've done it again with a great series. Brilliant.❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • *happysighs* Well that’s about the best thing I could ever hope to hear, Lisa, because my ‘quest’ to Become the person I always wanted to be, has been ongoing since my teenage years, and say what you want about the absolute nightmare that was my marriage, it seems to have been character-building rather than destroying…so YAY.

      And thank you, thank you for thinking it well done🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. After the mess, the emotions, the blame, the misery, that you can find learning and growing from the divorce is positive. It reminds me of that song by Dave Mason “There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy, there’s only me and you and we just disagree.” Your instinct for self survival is strong and I wish you all good things in life. I imagine this will always pull at your heart strings and set your mind to a million and fifty wonderings and emotions, but, but, but you’re alive and ready for new things and new experiences and new life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like a great song, Val, and I think the lyrics sound very apt. I’ve definitely got a strong instinct for *something* and I hope survival is one of the things I keep getting right. I hope that from the point of having survived the marriage and its breakdown, I will go on to THRIVE, which would be absolutely wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The way you manage to arrange feelings, messes, muddles and other amorphous things into coherent thoughts, words and structures in inspiring. This is beautifully and thoughtfully written. As for the marriage “sometimes there’s truly nothing left to fix”. Recognizing this instead of succumbing to inertia and keeping on keeping on is a triumph, not a failure. Brave and beautiful as always, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • (I won’t tell you I was only able to admit it to myself after a couple of years of soul-destroying inertia…) But thank you, my lovely friend – there really wasn’t anything left to fix, but I’m glad that Husby and I got out of it relatively unscathed, and are now pursuing pathways into the future which fit each of us MUCH better than the shared one we were attempting to make work🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You write with such clarity, bravery, and conviction. I love everything about who you are from your journey. We all have a story to tell and I’m so glad you shared yours. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Divorce is the most horrible thing I’ve ever experienced. Twice. And it’s advertised on billboards and the yellowpages. It’s just what you do now.

    I hate divorce.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Lizzie I related to so much of this….I too went through a divorce (20 years ago, OK I’m old) and I felt like such a failure. I also knew that the path I was on in that marriage was misery and my life, my soul would waste away if I stayed. So I escaped like you it seems to save myself. It was the right choice. I’m glad you got out Lizzie. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you did the right thing, too, Bryce. I reckon there comes a point where the ‘marriage’ is a piece of paper, and all the relationship is gone. To keep two living people in a dead relationship is just cruelty, and I think when the options seem to be marriage or death (with preference to the latter), there HAS to be another way.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful 152 (All the D’s) #10Thankful | Considerings

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