For the next nine months, she experienced all the shame and guilt that comes with breaking up a marriage. She cried. A lot. But she cried with intention. She was purposeful in staying with the pain, staying with herself. She explored and expressed them. She wrote letters and burned them. Her saving grace was a group of girlfriends- who gave support and never judgement. And there was a tiny note from her cousin that really changed things. The note said: I love you. I believe in you. You need to fall in love with you. Then everything will fall easily into place. Her cousin told her to read the note every day. It seemed like a silly idea but her cousin was being so sweet, she thought she might as well do that small thing.
Slowly and suddenly, she fell back in love- with herself. She found herself waking up and wanting to honor herself, to spend time herself. That shift changed everything. Her very first thought came like a message from on high- Your marriage can work. That wasn’t what she expected to hear. At all. The divorce papers were drawn and ready to sign. It had taken so much to leave, she never imagined going back. But from a loving, detached place, she decided to trust that message and call her husband for the first time in almost a year. He answered. And said yes to going slowly and trying to rebuild. She thought she had left because of him. Because he always said and did what he wanted. The only reason that stuff drove her crazy was because that is what she yearned for, but didn’t give herself. But this time, she would. She had reclaimed her voice and her joy. And she was bringing them into her marriage. She didn’t leave because she didn’t love him, she left because she had lost herself. As scary and painful as it was, the breakup was a huge gift. It brought her back to herself. Falling back in love with her husband was only possible because she fell in love with herself.