1. Loving someone doesn’t build a relationship.
When I hurt him, I still loved him. When he hurt me, I still loved him.
When I was angrier than I have ever been, I still loved him. When he stopped working at our relationship, I still loved him, but that is not enough. When trust had been broken, when efforts stopped being made, when timing was off, it didn’t matter how much I loved him. Things between us were finished. Loving him could not carry the weight of all those missing pieces. Loving him couldn’t build a relationship.
2. Making a mistake doesn’t make you a bad person.
I was so sorry. I didn’t stop being sorry for a long time. When I stopped being sorry, I was sorry for stopping. I was sorry i couldn’t be sorry all the time. Sometimes, still, I beat myself up over it. I reason that he only made his mistakes because I made mine.
In those times I have to remember that I did what I could to salvage what I had broken and it didn’t work. I said I was sorry, and meant it, and it wasn’t enough for him- but it was enough for me. I chose to be done crying over spilled milk. I chose to forgive myself because that is the only forgiveness I needed. Whenever the guilt comes back, all I can do is remember that making a mistake didn’t make me a bad person.
3. Love is a choice, not a feeling.
When he fell out of love with me, it is because he chose to stop loving me. It is because he chose to put down the hammer and stop working at it. It is because he chose to walk away. There is no such thing as a soulmate- you choose who you love, and you choose when you stop loving them. there is no ‘the one’. There is only ‘the one I’ll fight to keep’.
4. You will not find happiness in the same place you lost it.
I really thought if I tried hard enough, I would hear him say he was sorry. I went back three, four, five times, picked fights at all hours, said the most hurtful things, said the kindest things, provoked and prodded and kicked and yelled and I still did not hear the things I wanted to.
I went back time and again looking for recovery in the same place that broke me, and it made things that much worse. I know now that I will not find happiness in the same place I lost it.
5. People change.
What it took for me to let go was ultimately just accepting that I was watering a dead flower. We were so different from the people we had fallen in love with, we had changed so much. I was picketing for a lost cause.
This is the lesson I will take with me to my grave: people change, people change, people change.