The Death of My Marriage and the Birth of a New “Me”: Chapter 5

The beginning of the end of my marriage was actually magical. What’s unfortunate is HOW it led there but I’m an avid believer in things happening for a reason and am grateful that I was able to wake up at ALL. I know some people go through life half asleep (and there are a few that are going through life in a full coma), resisting growth at all costs. So I feel very fortunate to be affected the way that I was. You see, my mom had to be diagnosed with cancer twice before my perspective shifted and I realized that my time here on Earth was valuable and not to be fucked with.

The day my dad called to tell me that mom’s cancer metastasized to her liver, I lost my shit. The much dreaded news paralyzed me, bringing me to my knees. I can actually recall that moment very vividly, feeling anger flood over me, traveling straight to my heart, successfully taking it hostage. Suddenly, I had a hard time breathing and a harder time standing. I locked myself in the bathroom of my Spanish Harlem apartment, kneeling over the toilet, puking tears. It was like someone ripped my heart out of my chest and dangled it in front of me. It was a harsh realization and I was cornered with the inescapable truth that none of us are safe from death. That’s when it occurred to me that there was no where for me to run and I could no longer avoid the reality that my mom is sick and could possibly die. Not only can she (and will) die, but I had my first sober moment where I was acutely aware of myself one day ceasing to exist. I stayed in the bathroom, rolled up in a ball on the floor, sobbing in all my anguish until there was nothing left and I drifted into a state of melancholy.

After laying on the bathroom floor for god knows how long, something within me shifted and when I finally floated out of that bathroom, it was as if I had died and a new me was reborn . The days following the emotional outburst, I began to contemplate the meaning of life. What were the things that mattered to me? For the first time, I asked myself questions like “what brings me joy?” and “what do I want to get out of life while I’m here?”. I started having very vivid dreams in which I had conversations with my mom about death; with her telling me not to be afraid and that she will always be here with me. This gave me a sense of peace and inspired me to pursue activities that spoke to my heart, one of them being meditation. It was the only thing that kept me sane during this very delicate time and I began practicing it daily. I started reading self development books, listening to motivational podcasts and began to experiment with cooking, something I wanted to do for a very long time but was afraid to fuck up. I went out alone, spending lots of time by myself getting to know what I liked and didn’t like. I also did more of the things that scared me, always paying attention to whenever fear was present because that meant I should be doing more of that.

The moment I made the decision to follow my heart’s journey, things began to unfold for me. Positive things. And it was during that time that I crossed paths with someone who changed the trajectory of my marriage (and my life in general). We met in a meditation meetup group I attended one Friday evening as a part of my self-exploration venture. He was here from LA on a work trip and was exploring the city. After the meditation, he boldly approached me telling me his situation and if I didn’t mind, asked if he was able to accompany me on my train ride back so that he can feel “what it’s like to be a true New Yorker”. If this was me now, I’d quickly decline the request and tell him to go fuck himself. But back then, I was going through a gypsy like transformation and telling a stranger he can ride home with me on the 6 train was in line with my adventurous spirit.

We ended up at a local bar near my apartment and had a conversation about who we were, our intentions and his very unique relationship with his ex-wife (this would help me later on when I was in the process of getting a divorce myself). He shared very intimate details with me about his sex life, or rather the lack of, and being that I was always intrigued by things related to the concept of sex, my ears perked up as his story unfolded. It felt liberating to talk so candidly to someone I just met and to be able to use my own relationship as a guiding post (little did I know, my own relationship was slowly diminishing and I was living a fallacy). I spoke highly of my husband, using him as an example of the “perfect” human and shared my deep, deep, profound love for him. And when LA guy asked if I believed in soul mates and whether I had one, without any hesitation, I responded with a resounding “Oh YES! It is DEF my husband”. He told me about his (not his ex-wife) and we ended up bonding over the love we had for our significant others.

Two glasss of wine later, he asked if he can hold my hand because he was “feeling a connection”. I immediately (and naively) obliged. Not thinking much of the gesture, or that he was definitely, 100% laying it on really thick, I extended my arm over to him.

And the moment he took my arm in his, I felt a jolt of electricity spring through my body.

“Shit, what the fuck is THIS?!” I thought to myself. I’ve never ever felt this from anyone, not even my husband! Feeling embarrassed (and suddenly very aroused) I pulled my hand away from his and tried to change the subject. It was obvious he and I had chemistry and without any hesitation he proceeded to ask if he could kiss me. “Huh?!” I blurted out in disbelief, motioning with my right hand that he needed to press the breaks. “Where you not here when I said I was married?!” He quickly apologized and explained that he got caught up in the moment and figured he would take a chance and ask me because he’d regret it if he didn’t. That was my cue to get the check and we ended the night with him walking me to my apartment, kissing me on the cheek, and making tentative plans to hang out again, next time with my husband in tow.

To make a long story short, my husband DID end up meeting him and we all DID hang out but it was awkward as fuck because I had no idea how to manage my feelings for the two men I was interested. In the next couple of months to follow, LA dude and I became really good friends, talking and seeing each other on a daily basis (yes, there were benefits included). It was also the time my husband and I gave open relationships a try, which seemed to be doing wonders for us until I left to Bahamas for a yoga retreat a couple of months later. There, I had a few revelations, one of them being that I no longer wanted to be married. Another was that not only did I not want to be married, but that I wanted to be alone. I had this yearning to explore the world by myself, without a man in my life. A week after I returned from the trip, I told my husband that I wanted to get a divorce. The weeks that followed after were hard; they were filled with him pleading to give us another chance, suggesting things we can do to save us. But when I remained set in my decision, the desperation turned into anger. It was then that he left the apartment for a few days, not telling me where he was going. Finally, after the storm had passed and he came back, he told me that I was free to go. He had time to think and realized that he couldn’t hold me “hostage” if he loved me. And because he did (love me), he wanted me to follow my heart and if it meant getting a divorce, he’d “let me have it”. I remember thinking that this was the man I fell in love with.

It’s been about two and a half years now since we’ve split, but we’ve kept in touch throughout. I’ve hung out with him and his girlfriend even and have reached out on multiple occasions asking for advice on painting (he’s an artist), putting up shit in my apartment after moving out to live alone, and asking him for help with putting shit up after I moved out. I still love him very much but it’s a different kind of love now. He’s become like family, someone I know will always be there no matter what. ♥

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