“My kids are now 21 and 18 and sometimes it still hurts when they get in the car with Dad and his new wife and drive away from me. We’ve been apart longer than we’ve been together, and I still don’t get used to it , even though I wanted to stop myself at the time.
I myself come from a family system in which a lot has happened. My parents came out of the war with their own ballast, and divorced when I was 21. From the age of 26 to the age of 41 I was with Joop, we had two children and I was looking for that safe base. I also projected many of those desires onto him. He is an honest and loyal man. It wasn’t until after the divorce that I realized that safety was an important reason why I chose him at the time. I myself have not known peace and security at home.”
“I really wanted everything to be right. A complete family, involved partners. I took care of everything and everyone, which made me feel like I was alone in everything. If there was something wrong with the children, I had to be there ten times at night I didn’t feel supported and seen in that and when I told him I wasn’t happy with certain things, he didn’t fight We had become too much brother and sister, I didn’t want that with my relationship He let it just go. I was in so much pain from that.”
Still a nasty divorce
“The first two years we were apart, we used the ‘bird nesting model’. Every other week one of us was in the house with the children. That was very nice. The pressure was off, we didn’t have to do anything more together, but we still did all kinds of things together, like vacations and family visits.Finally we had an equal structure and I felt that we all flourished.
After two years he ran into an old girlfriend and dropped the whole concept from his hands. He went for that relationship and had to get rid of me, so we still ended up in a nasty divorce. Suddenly I had to give him my children aged four and seven on weekends. Horrible.”
“Luckily that was only temporary, and we worked it out. His new wife did well and took our children to her heart. Now they are a new family and I watch from the sidelines. The harmony I so long for, is there. We still do things together, I drink wine with them and we eat together regularly, also with friends, and things are going well. I still love him because he is the father of my children, but also for who he is. We can have a great laugh together.”
Damage from our childhood
“I can still feel sad that we didn’t succeed. We both carry damage from our childhood and it cost us the relationship. Joop doesn’t want to talk about what went wrong with us, and I think that too bad He doesn’t want to look at the pain.
‘Have we nothing more to talk about then?’, I once asked during a discussion, but for the time being he won’t accept it. ‘It’s going well now and we’ll let it rest’, he says and I have to accept that. I can see he’s still angry.”
“Our broken family sometimes hurts me to this day. With holidays, with holidays with graduations: at those moments the heartbreak comes up in full swing. A new family has never happened for myself. I I fell in love with a man who didn’t choose me and I soon felt that the last man I loved wasn’t my husband.
A while ago we were all sitting at the table, my friend, Joop, all the children and I and then I saw: my ex-husband is actually a much nicer person than my current partner. Then I had to scratch my head for a while.”
In depth with a partner
“Now I’m done with soul searching. I’ve already worked and researched so much. My pain is that I wanted to go into depth with my partner, and find that warmth, and we didn’t enter into that together. His new partner suits him better in that case. I touched that pain again in subsequent relationships.”
“Now I especially want to be very loving with myself. I no longer want to get it from someone else, but find it in myself. Now I just want someone who speaks from his heart and thinks I’m a beautiful person. I would like to meet someone who has as much part in the relationship as myself, because I don’t want to drag such a man again.”
Relationship as a huge mirror
“I don’t just find the depth I’m looking for in a relationship on such a dating app, so I’m just letting life take its course for now. It’s very nice and special how Joop, his wife, the children and I are now working together being able to sit at the table, how warm and connected that feels, and I cherish that.
The lessons I learned from getting divorced is facing how wounded I was myself. A relationship is a huge mirror. I literally got sick of what I had to look at. If I had known then how much of my own pain lay under the rug, I don’t know if I would have dared.”
Marjanne and Joop are fictitious names. Their real names are known to the editors.
Wanted: Love Lessons
For the Love Lesson section on RTL News Lifestyle we are looking for beautiful, vulnerable, funny, inspiring and honest love lessons. An insight, a moment of reflection. Preferably with a hand in your own bosom. Did you eventually turn out to be the one with a fear of commitment? Should you never have emigrated for love or did a composite family turn out to be an illusion after all? Journalist Hanneke Mijnster would like to ask you all about it. Telling is allowed anonymously. Mail to: [email protected]
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