It’s been four months since Andy, my husband, and I separated and I feel it’s time to share this powerfully transformative experience. We are both still moving through a process of acceptance, of adaptation and grief, we’re not there yet, but we were able to make this profound change in our lives with love in our hearts whilst we supported and cared for each other throughout. I have to tell you, Andy is an exceptional human being whose big heart has shone like a beacon for me, always.
Andy and I met and recognised each other on a soul level when we were both twenty-one. It was instant attraction, knowing we were going to grow old together. We were so close, we had no children and made everything in life something we did together. For years, we were on the spiritual journey together, but as we got older, I became more and more focused on my energetic path and he, less and less so, until he hardly did anything spiritual anymore. Three years ago, we retired, each with a completely different plan in mind for retirement. For some years, it was obvious that we were moving onto different paths, taking different journeys, but also, we were no longer matching each other’s energy or needs. I was finally growing up and stepping into my personal power, finally ready to step out on my own two feet for the first time in life and Andy, my nurturer, provider and loving protector, was beginning to find himself out of a job.
We were in the process of change and dialogue for several years. Sometimes strained, sometimes difficult, triggered conversations, but mostly there was love present and an attempt to understand each other. Finally, the time came in our sixtieth year, having been together thirty-nine years, and I had to call it, knowing without question it was what was needed. It was so hard because I felt the weight of responsibility and the guilt of being the one who called for it whilst he didn’t want us to go our separate ways. I held onto the deep feeling that, one day, we would both look back from a future we don’t yet know and see that it has been the best thing for us both. I truly believe that will prove to be true.
Then came the day the words were finally said. There had been many previous conversations but never the finality of saying “this is it”. We sat down together and I quietly explained what was in my heart. I put everything together and talked about where I was coming from and the reasons that nothing we had done or could do was going to work. I called it. Then, I looked at him and waited for his response. He told me he understood and could see where I was coming from and if that’s what I needed us to do, then he would support me. He is, without doubt the most wonderful man with a heart of gold, because deep down inside, he was crying for us.
That was the start. There were many months of selling our house, selling off or dividing our possessions, finding and purchasing a new home each. We supported each other, did everything together. We went house hunting with each other, helping each other find the best place. It was six months of transition. The decision was made but we were still putting all the pieces in place and Andy supported the process hugely, focusing on the practicalities as his way of coping, putting his emotions aside.
But the day we both drove off in separate cars from our joint home to two new houses, one each, we both cried tears of loss and heartache as we drove to our new lives apart.
Now, settling in, although seventy-seven miles apart, we continue to visit each other, we have remained the best of friends. And I know how hard he is finding it, how lonely he feels. How much he feels the loss of our retirement dream. How much he feels the loss of us, the loss of me. I wish I could take that away for him. I trust that in time he will find the life he deserves and the freedom to live it, as I am.