I committed to growing a human for nine months. You committed to being there for me for the same amount of time following the birth. It wasn’t her that you left. You continued to be an amazing dad. It was me you left. Me.
WHAT BROKE US?
I still lie awake now questioning why? You have given me vague answers over the last 6 years but I still don’t feel like you truly know ‘why?’ yourself. Our relationship couldn’t be physical anymore because I was in a pretty bad way after childbirth.
Did that break us?
Being a mom was hard and I struggled. You admitted recently that you thought I had PND. You never told me this at the time. Did that break us? I was difficult to live with. I had anxiety and OCD that really peaked after having our daughter. Did that break us? I gained weight and didn’t have time to lose it. Did that break us? We couldn’t go out all of the time on a whim with extra cash. Did that break us?
I gave you five years before we had our daughter. Five years without all of the above but those five years weren’t enough to keep you hanging on for me to find my old self again. A relationship requires a commitment to be there for one another through the good and the bad. Things got bad and you left.
YOU MADE ME
You made ‘me’ in every sense of the word. You made me face my demons. You made me see that I had to do this alone and I had no other choice but to find a strength I never knew I had. I got through the days. It was the night times that I crumbled. As she would wake again shouting for you and there was nobody there to share the load with, there was no you. I would lie awake. Alone. Crying into my pillow. I had never experienced heartbreak. It is such an appropriate word ‘break’. It was agonising. To see her face every day, the spitting image of yours. To pack her tiny clothes into an overnight bag because it was ‘your weekend’. You broke me. You completely and utterly destroyed me. But in doing so you made me build myself back up again.
Just as I had found my strength and got to grips with being alone. Just as I had got used to sleeping alone. You saw me. You saw that the old me was back. And so you came back.
I had to let down all of my walls that you made me build. I had to learn to trust you again. I had to believe that if things got tough you wouldn’t run. I had to rediscover my self-confidence and convince myself that although you left me you also came back to me. We worked. We worked hard on every aspect of our relationship. I didn’t do it for you. It wasn’t an overnight decision. But I saw her face. I saw you within her eyes. I did it for her.
Some months later you found a letter I had written to you. It was something I googled ‘How to deal with heartbreak’. It said to write down your feelings in a letter to the person who broke your heart. You were never meant to see it but the look on your face when I found you reading it will be forever ingrained in my mind. You were so shocked. Did you leave and think that life just carried on? You were so unaware of the disastrous mess you left in your wake. You honestly didn’t realise how you made me question every characteristic of my personality.
HAPPY EVER AFTER
Our story got its happy ending. Five years on. A marriage. Another baby. A new house. We made it!
I am thankful to our daughter because without her I don’t know where we would be today. We are the strongest and happiest we have ever been. I wake up every day and wonder how I got so lucky to have you. I adore you. I always did it just took you a while to feel the same back. I will always question why and every now and then I have moments when you look at me and my eyes are brimming with tears. It is these moments that I remember.
I WISH I COULD FORGET
I remember that it wasn’t an easy ride to get where we are. We earned the right to finally be happy. We had to work damn hard for this happiness. We still do. Because marriage is a constant work in progress. It is two people working to keep a promise. It’s then that I remember despite all of the pain and heartache love can conquer all. Love can make you forgive someone. Love, however, cannot make you forget.
So in the moments I sit and stare at you. In the moments my eyes fill up and you ask if I am okay. Know that I am and always will be okay because you leaving taught me that I will always be okay. It taught me that my love for you is fearless and never-ending. But it also taught me that you can never forget such pain. I am truly sorry that I remember that breaking agony so well and that the smallest of things can bring those memories back.
I forgave you the moment I decided to give us another chance but I can’t make myself forget.