I was in a long and what I felt was healthy relationship for seven years. We went through college together. Then we moved to a different state. We made a home for ourselves with our dog. We had a routine. We talked about marriage and having kids – when the right time would be and how should we do it. After a year of planning, we eloped, just us in a small bed-and-breakfast town. I was content.
Not even a year into our marriage – which never felt real – we decided we were going to move again. I ended up getting a job first in our destination state. We had plans for him to keep looking, but in the meantime I moved first. I was scared and excited because I'd never been on my own.
I arrived alone and loved all of it. I felt strong and independent. I made friends and had a community. But I started to feel different about my husband; I didn't enjoy his company as much.
I did the next big relationship-killing move – I cheated, with nobody special. I gave into my fears and ruined the trust. I struggled to tell him until one day I came clean. Once I did, I felt I couldn't keep him – so I left him. I wronged him and I needed to be away from him. We got a divorce right before our first anniversary.
A year later, I still question everything, and I compare my new encounters with him constantly. I don't know why I fell out of love, I don't know why I ended it so fast without trying. I’m looking for answers (from the Love Letters podcast and anywhere I can find them).
You might find some answers in therapy. If you haven't tried sitting down with a professional, consider it.
It sounds like your relationship was beautiful when it was isolated from anything new. The minute you had some space from it, you wanted your own experiences.
I don't know why you didn't take a beat to work on things – to see if the love might come back. That's the thing with marriage sometimes; you can fall out of love and then fall back in. You might assume you'll never be smitten again, and then, boom, all of a sudden, you are. If you're listening to the podcast, there's an episode where two married psychiatrists say that most people change a few times over the course of a marriage. That means you're bound to have new experiences with the same person over time.
But ... you didn't leave because you were bored. You left (I think) because you wanted to have a journey by yourself, something you missed when you were younger. The second you learned you could make it on your own, you wanted to explore.
Keep in mind, you haven’t mentioned any regret. You don't say you're longing to be with your ex-husband, only that you want to make sense of your decisions. Maybe this is about forgiving yourself for knowing you can be happy without him. It’s OK if you are.
Readers? What answers does the letter writer need?