I have been very happily married, for almost five years, and I’m the mother of one with another on the way. My husband and I don’t have any major problems or issues, and we have a tight but comfortable lifestyle. So why, when I saw a photo on Facebook of my ex-boyfriend, did I actually feel a pain in my heart?
OK, so maybe stumbling across his account wasn’t my best move. The two of us had a very rocky relationship; it was toxic for both of us. So what’s with this sad emotion? It wasn’t a photo of the two of us together in the past, so I know I wasn’t reliving some bittersweet memory. It was just a photo of him, by himself, serving as a sort of updated photo to his account.
A blog that I recently read, entitled, 5 Reasons You’ll Never Get Closure with Your Ex, gave me some insight that helped me understand why from time to time I may feel this way. Of the five reasons that were given in the blog post, the one that really gave me an “ah ha” moment, was the last one.
Life is messy.
The blogger, Kiri, explains that, “Unlike a movie or book, where there is a clear beginning, middle, and end, there usually isn’t with life.” I think this relates to my situation and to others I’ve talked to about similar relationships and feelings, and how it’s all turned out. I think most of us expect our life to feel like a story, a book, a song, or a movie. I think that’s what I expected and maybe still do. And when things don’t end like they do on screen or in print, or even just as we imagined, we’re kind of left dangling wondering, “What if?” or “the End?!” Even the saddest songs imaginable will leave us thinking of the “maybe” and give us hope for years down the road.
Kiri also explains that, “love can be like the weather. Meteorologically, we understand hurricanes. Emotionally, we don’t. We will never get an answer to ‘why did this hurricane destroy my house?’ other than ‘You were in its path.’” I think that really brought it home for me.
The truth is, I can look back, I can see a picture of my ex, and I am allowed to be sad. That doesn’t mean I’m still pining for him and what-could’ve-been. It’s just sometimes going to happen, because anytime any amount of effort or love was put into something or someone, you can’t just erase all of the emotions that accompanied that part of life.
But I can also understand and see how blessed I am to have my husband, my children, my life now. I had a relationship built on sand, and a hurricane passed me over. It’s left me a little marred, but I survived. And I rebuilt on solid ground.