The one about the evolution of a relationship... (a three-part story)

PART 1

 

“We broke up four days ago. We did not make it. Relationships are not easy after having a child and that’s something a lot of people don’t talk about it. I’ve realized I need to be in a relationship with someone who wants the same things as I do. Someone who is willing to work at it during the difficult times. It’s exhausting to feel like the only one putting in the work. We had talked about going to counselling, or at least I did, but he was adamant to not go. If you can identify having certain issues, but you don’t want to fix them, what does that say? For whatever reason, we’re not important enough for him to do the work, which sucks because we were together for five years.  If I can be honest, we had problems within the first week of our daughter being born. I remember lying in our bedroom with the baby, trying to figure out breastfeeding. I felt like shit. I still looked five months pregnant. He had gotten up and made himself bacon and eggs. I could smell coffee brewing in the kitchen and smiled thinking; “he’s actually going to bring me breakfast in bed.” But he didn’t even think about me at all. Tears streamed down my face as I struggled to get her to latch and I saw him walk by the bedroom and sit down in front of the TV to eat his breakfast alone without asking if I needed anything. I was so angry; I thought my head was going to fly off my shoulders. At that point, I scared to even take a fucking shit because in fear that my vag and asshole were going to rip open from the post labour stitches and he’s blissfully making himself bacon and eggs.

 

PART 2

 

“It took several months to work through my own feelings, put my ego aside and understand what happened wasn’t really about me - it was about him and where he was at. I've been a single mom for a year and I'm comfortable in this new role, but I was embarrassed about it. And with all the BLM stuff happening, maybe my ethnicity was a factor because I didn't want to be a stereotype. Nobody really knew about what was going on - I kept it really private except for my inner circle. I was busier at work than I had been in a very long time. I was on set every other day, shooting commercials and I had to memorize lines. It felt like I was living in this parallel universe or on a ferris wheel that you just want to shut down - like, get me off this thing. And then when things finally calmed down, I was able to digest, think and journal a lot. It was December 31 and my Instagram followers sensed there was some disruption in my life. I felt they should know why I was unravelling. I posted a 10 minute video on IGTV that mentioned the separation and my hopes and dreams for our next steps. In hindsight, speaking about how I envisioned our relationship 2.0 was probably manifesting it. I just wanted to leave all those negative, hard, hurtful and emotional feelings in 2019 so they wouldn’t carry into the new year!  And then after the holidays, my nanny reminded me of an old Oprah line: ‘people can’t meet you where you are, they can only meet you where they are at.’”

 

PART 3

 

My daughter really wanted to go to the CN Tower. I thought it would be a great activity for her dad to join us. I didn’t want him to miss out on a first experience, whether he thought it was important or not. I just knew how I would feel if I wasn't included in a moment like that. So, I thought here is an opportunity for personal growth and a way for us to hopefully share a beautiful experience together with our daughter. I invited him and as uncomfortable as it was, there was no arguing, there were no tears and there was no frustration. Instead, there were a lot of smiles and laughing. It was tough in the sense that this was supposed to be our life. But that was outweighed by my daughters squealing, giggling and the elated look on her face. That moment changed the trajectory of our dynamic, friendship and relationship. It was so positive that we now hang out a couple of times a month as a family. Our daughter is the glue that keeps us together and we both use her as a compass for anything that we do now. We just think about how it's going to affect her. My daughter had just turned two when we separated so she couldn’t process it. She's now starting to understand that our family dynamic is different than other families. She was throwing fits and wanting her dad here at bath time and bedtime, which made me really sad.  But now we are in a place where he can come over in the evening and help out. For her birthday, we celebrated at home because of Covid. He stayed after she went to sleep and we just talked. We enjoyed hanging out and it was hard, but I'd rather have that than a situation where we can’t stand each other and need a third party to do the kid exchange. It's not perfect - we argue from time-to-time. I see how it impacts my daughter. She picks up on that energy and she’s just way happier when things are in an uplifting space.”