They don’t say that bidding goodbye to people you love is hard without VALID REASON.
Saying goodbye to family and friends is one thing – mostly because you KNOW you’ll see them again soon, and they’ll probably be in your life for a really long time (you hope).
So, what about saying goodbye to someone you REALLY love.. As in the ‘thought you would spend the rest of your life with them’ kind of love?
What if, after 3 years, an engagement, and IVF consultation…. He tells you he doesn’t actually want marriage, or more kids… And that no matter how hard he tries, he can’t make himself want what you do? And by staying with you…. He feels selfish beyond belief, knowing he can’t give you the future you thought you were getting?
Oh wait… That’s me.
Many of you know Rodney and I. Whether you’ve met us in person in our incredible African home, or you’ve followed our journey online, or you’re a client of mine or part of my epic online community…… You’ll know we recently split up. SPLIT UP, as in ring off, moved across the world. (well… About to. Currently sitting in an airport lounge, about to board my flight to Bali).
If you don’t – here’s a quick run down.
He’s 21 years older than me, with three kids from two previous marriages, and an ex wife still very present in the space (not for him, more in a still-believes-she-can-control-things-kind-of-way). We got together three years ago, and have had a relationship with incredible passion, deep love, shell breaking, wall breaking & JUST as much ARGUING as the GOOD stuff. The three years I spent with him have signified many major transitions, shifts, and 'uplevels' for me - and the same for him.
About a year into our relationship, I moved to New Zealand for 8 months to work on myself. Being with him – well, actually, it was actually BEING IN LOVE – for the first time EVER, erupted ALL of these insecurities within me, that turned me into a depressed MESS. I was seeing a pshychologist every week, and was prescribed medication. I chose not to take it, because I knew that my problem was not chemical – it was deeply rooted in the way I saw myself.
We fought often, and HARD, both as stubborn all hell. One of the most important lessons this relationship taught me, is that soul mate relationships are NOT the roses & unicorns all over Hollywood movies. This is because soul mate relationships are NOT designed to keep you comfortable, to keep you normal, to keep you constant. NO.
Soul mate relationships are designed to PUSH you further than you've ever been, to CATAPULT you into your next level. They're not for comfort, they're for freakin' EVOLUTION. I know that now.
And so, after this diagnosis and a total 'What the actual F' moment, I moved into my Mom’s spare room, and begun -with total commitment – a journey that would form the basis of what I teach people today. The delayering of the person I’d become – who was FAR from the woman I truly wanted to be.
After 8 months, I returned back to the arms of the man who had taught me what it means to be IN love… And not just to love someone. When Rod & I got together, I fell HARD - and I mean HARD. This is a man I would do anything for, no matter what. I was deeply passionate about him and our relationship, about the fiery soul I could see underneath the layers he'd grown over the years.
After a while, I began to feel broody. By accident. I think that was natural for this to happen – many of my friends were happily married with at least one gorgeous baby to call their own. I say it was by accident, because I can’t say having kids was always really high on my list as a younger woman. Rod had told me when we first got together that it was something he didn't want again, and at that point - neither did I! But slowly, my body began to feel differently, against my logical mind. NOT at all to say that I wanted (or want) kids right this SECOND, or even any time soon, but I wanted to know that the option was there, should I choose it.
After months of throwing pros and cons back and forth, Rod and I began to discuss what having kids might look like for us. Marriage was – and is – really important to me too. Coming from divorced parents, it is something I hold highly in my values. Anyway – as I mentioned – Rod is 21 years older than me, with 3 kids already. Knowing he did not want any more children with his ex wife (she wanted more - he already knew they weren’t going to be together forever back then), he got a vasectomy right after his second daughter was born.
So, IVF was our only option. We went for a consultation in 2018, and got GREAT news (to me, anyway!) – The chances of a successful pregnancy were extremely high! WOOHOOO! Celebration, RIGHT??!?! I thought so too.
Suddenly, a NEW level of disconnection began to creep in. Not fighting like normal couples, but.... on a different level. The disrespect. The disloyalty. Look, I’ll be the FIRST person to admit my wrong doings, or my mistakes in any situation – I think it is extremely important, and a crucial part to evolution of our souls – but this was something else. One day, he was madly in love with me, hugging me all the time, kissing me, telling me how he thought the world of me. The next….. Well, it felt as if I didn’t even really exist. Like he was purposefully trying to block me out. The idea of COMMITMENT was terrifying him.
Christmas came around. This is the moment that many of you remember.
He PROPOSED TO ME.
My DREAMS came true that day. I thought, ‘MAN! This is it. He’s decided he can commit to me!’. Little did I know, we was actually just trying his absolute BEST to give me what I wanted, regardless of what he wanted.
I will go into this in more detail another day, but his previous relationships had been so focused on doing EVERYTHING for everyone else, that he so often got left behind. In his marriage, he was the driver, the bank, the grocery shopper, the school runner, the homework helper, the EVERYTHING. It had become his default mode, to just be whatever someone demanded from him. After going through that for 15 years, he became terrified of commitment. To him, because of his experiences, 'commitment' meant losing his identity. I know that this is just his side of the story, and I hold space for that - but this is what I've got to go on.
Unfortunately....... that spilled into our relationship.
Again – I never claim to be anything close to perfect – but I can only speak of my experience during this time.
Me, being a soul who reads energy like a damn book, I knew something was going on. I knew something wasn’t right. I could FEEL it. He would be closed during the day, but I would wake up in the middle of the night with him holding my face, gazing at me while I slept – or I would wake up with him stealing a soft kiss in the small hours, wrapped in the warmth of his arms. I cherish those moments now.
Whenever I’d ask if something was going on, he would deny it. He would say he was tired, or had a crap day, or he was just being a bit quiet. But again… That voice that we ALL have deep within us, would NOT turn off. LET THIS BE A LESSON TO YOU ALL. NEVER, NEVER IGNORE THE VOICE!
Within a few weeks, I went from being engaged, thinking I had the man of my dreams for the rest of my life (well, his life at least!), and kids were a thing in my future….. To having my heart broken in one smooth blow.
We’d had an argument, and he told me he couldn’t keep lying to me. That he loved me more than life itself, and could easily be selfish and continue to pretend he could give me what I wanted -but it was killing him. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t make himself want to get married again, or have more children. He felt as if he was constantly playing a game of tug of war in his heart. He felt horrible at the thought of robbing me of the opportunity to one day be the wife and mother that I wanted to be. He loved me more than anything and anyone he’d ever experienced, and didn’t want us to end, but knew the way he was treating me wasn’t fair. He couldn’t make himself commit, he couldn’t’ overcome the fear of what that had come to mean. But because he equally didn’t want to loose me, he’d begun treating me FAR less than I deserved, in the subconscious hope that he would sabotage our love… and I would leave. Aren't we an interesting species?!
I felt like I had died.
I fought hard, pretending I'd be okay with no kids/no marriage (what bullshit, LOL..), but when he saw right through that, I started wondering - is it me? Am I the one that isn't good enough? Does he not want marriage/kids with ME, because of Me? Did I make this happen? Was it something I did?!......
After a week of my heart feeling as if it was broken and shattered beyond repair… I began to understand. It clicked.
It wasn't me - that I wasn't good enough, or worthy enough.....
He wasn’t doing it for him.
He was doing it for me.
Staying with me would mean I would have to give up two things I truly desire in life - marriage and a family.
Staying with me, would mean I would feel unfulfilled, and could lead to resentment.
Staying with me, would mean he would constantly be overpowered by guilt every day, knowing I wasn't living an authentic life, true to what I dream of.
And THAT, friends....
You know that saying… If you love someone, let them go?
Well, there it is.
There is nothing that says love, like giving up the person you have given your heart to, because you know they deserve better. Saying goodbye to a love so passionate and deep, because you know you can't give the other what they desire or deserve.
As the dust began to settle, and I started to really listen to him and honour his feelings... I realised that I had just been witness (and a participant of) an experience often sung about in love songs, often viewed in movies...... An act of such selflessness, that it turned anger and pain into love and acceptance.
I will forever be grateful to him for his courage.
I will forever be grateful to him for his bravery.
I will forever be grateful to him, for his selflessness.
Love isn’t something that fades.
Once you’ve given it to another… It will always remain.
Thank you, and I love you.