Breaking up with someone at any age is hard enough, when it happens in your 40’s and 50’s it can be devastating. It happened to me earlier this year and it knocked me sideways. I had thought that I was set, I had found my forever partner. Finally, it was going to be my happy ever after. When you’re in the U bend of life and find someone who you love and cherish, you would think ‘this is my last love’. Not so, in my case anyway.
We had a very soulful connection, I always said we were made from the same stardust. We both indicated through the few years that we were together that we were ‘soulmates’. I use that term loosely because I believe that one can have many soulmates, some better than others. I had found one of them and I was all in. It turned out that he actually wasn’t, and probably never fully was.
I didn’t understand where his love for me went. He wanted me in his life, loved me and then he didn’t. I did receive some reasons but they didn’t really add up in my mind. I was left feeling bemused, confused and devastated. I had put so much effort, energy, time, support and love into our relationship, and made massive changes in mine and my daughters life, in order for us to be together. When it ended I felt used up and discarded. I spent time soul searching and re-grouping and thankfully had many useful realisations.
One very important one;
Giving each other enough space in a relationship is a massive factor. Space to work things out, space to reawaken ourselves, space for creativity, space to explore. This is important and necessary. My ex didn’t seem to be able to carve this space out for himself whilst in our relationship, he needed to be single to enable this to happen.
New relationships in the U bend
It is difficult to navigate a new relationship in the U bend because there will be a lot of emotional shit to work through. It begs the question; does it have to be this hard?
Well, yes it does. We accumulate so much emotional damage through our decades that it needs to be spewed out. Being in a new relationship highlights it. This spewing can happen at any time but usually occurs soon after the honeymoon period, when being with your partner is like looking in a mirror. The emotional spewing might not last very long or it may be on and off for years. It takes a lot of hard graft, determination and belief in your love for each other to get through it.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it and I can’t quite believe that I’m going to have to do it all over again if I meet someone that I want to really be with. However, the eventual reward of all the hard work is getting to the sweet spot; a more gentle and deeper understanding of each other. An inner peace, trust and knowing that you’re happy together; a relaxation of body, mind and spirit. There will still be ups and downs and stresses of being in the U bend – life beyond the two of you still exists after all – but you’ve got to the place where the emotional spewing has mainly been worked through. You’ve both gone to your edges and found a way to fit together and you’ve learnt how to keep giving each other the space to go to those edges in all aspects of your lives.
My ex just wasn’t up for getting through the emotional spewing time, he gave up too soon. Seemingly he needed space to emotionally spew on his own. I gave him space but he didn’t come back.
I feel different about it all now. I now know that I deserve better, I deserve more, to adore and be adored in equal measure. I need a partner that has the energy and emotional intelligence to work through and go to the edges with me to get to that wonderful sweet spot. That easy place of ebb and flow, so finally I can get my ‘walking into the sunset’ moment, knowing one of the hardest periods is done and I never have to do that bit again.