Margret and Jeremy had been married for 30 years when everything fell apart. They had been madly in love for most of their marriage. But eventually, something seemed to change Jeremy in some way. Margret hoped the signs of him distancing himself were only a figment of her imagination. They had two children together, and the last thing she wanted was to uproot their lives even if they had both grown up and started families of their own.
Margret was lucky enough to work from home, but Jeremy had to go into an office. She put in a lot of effort each evening to prepare an amazing meal. She always chose recipes he preferred, even if she didn’t much like them. Jeremy started coming home later and later. Eventually, eating dinner together was a rare occasion. Margret didn’t want to nag him, so she did not question the late nights.
She cooked his favorite meal
One day, Margret decided she wanted to cook Jeremy’s favorite meal. That meant a trip to town because it required special ingredients. She hopped into the car and thought she might as well get her hair done while she was at it. She had not treated herself in a while. While in the store, she could not help but feel like everyone was staring at her. She knew they lived in a small town, and rumors spread easily. But, she wondered what could have caused her to be the center of everyone’s side glances.
Margret slaved away, roasting the most delectable cut of beef, excited to make Jeremy happy. She had everything laid out, and a bottle of red wine was corked and airing out. Jeremy arrived home, and when he saw the amazing spread she had prepared, his reaction was far from what Margret anticipated.
His face dropped, and he almost seemed to deflate. As if someone pulled the plug and let the air out. Margret asked him what was wrong, but that seemed to make matters worse. She went over to him and tried to put her arms around him. But, he took her hands in his and told her they needed to talk.
A shocking revelation
Jeremy sat her down on the sofa. He was still holding her hands, but he had a strange look on his face. After a few moments of excruciating silence, he finally opened up. He told her he was in love with another woman. She was a student and a few years younger than Margret. They had met when she applied for an internship at his work, and completely hit it off from the start.
Margret sat in silence while he explained how they had been secretly dating for over a year now. He did not know how to tell her. So, he just kept seeing the other woman, Julia, on the sidelines. Then, someone at his work spotted them together, and it wasn’t long until everyone was buzzing with gossip. He knew it was a matter of time till Margret found out, and he had to tell her first.
Margaret suddenly realized why everyone was staring at her in the store earlier that day. She felt humiliated and defeated. But she put up no argument and watched him pack his bags. Jeremy left the very next morning, which was almost too hard to deal with. But the worst part was that he looked excited to go. This caused Margret immense pain, and one could say that feeling abandoned was an understatement in her case.
She traveled the world
When the divorce became final, Margaret was devastated and did not know how she was going to cope with the emotions she was feeling. She had been happy in her marriage, even if Jeremy had not. So, the sudden change was more than she could bear. She had to find some way to fill the void within her, and that was when she decided to travel around the world.
Margaret had always loved to travel, and she was determined to use her newfound freedom to explore the world. She started off by taking a road trip through the United States. She visited cities along the east coast, and she marveled at the beauty of the landscapes. She also had the chance to meet new people and learn about different cultures. She began to feel better, and less like she was missing a part of herself. The healing process was slowly taking place.
Next, she decided to take a trip to Europe, and she spent months exploring a few of the countries there. She was amazed at the history and the architecture, and she tasted all kinds of delicious food. Furthermore, she had the chance to make new friends. Margret was feeling more and more with each new place she visited. The internal peace she so eagerly sought was beginning to shine on her horizon.
Then, in true “East, Pray, Love” style, she ended up going to India where she stayed at an ashram. There she had a spiritual break though, unlike anything she had experienced before. She came home feeling content with herself, knowing she is not the failure she believed herself to be.
Her ex came back
Then, one day, the unthinkable happened. Her ex-husband returned. Margret saw him through the window and stood still in disbelief. She watched Jeremy as he walked slowly up the path to her home. He looked ill and downtrodden, almost unrecognizable from the man she married many years ago. He had left her for another woman, his heart broken and hers shattered. She had thought that she would never see him again, but here he was, standing in front of her, seeking her forgiveness.
She took a deep breath before opening the door. He looked tired and sad, and she felt her heart soften towards him. She was still angry at what he had done, but she also couldn’t help but feel a little bit of sympathy for him. He had obviously gone through a lot since their separation.
He begged her to take him back, to give him another chance. He had realized his mistake, he said and wanted to make things right. He explained that the woman he had left her for had left him, and he was now alone. Margret felt her heart breaking for him. She had been through so much pain and heartache, but after all this time she still had a soft spot for him. Despite all of the hurt he had caused her, she still loved him.
A solemn vow
But, after all, that had happened, she could not allow him back into her life, at least not in the way he expected. If her time at the ashram had thought her anything, it was that she was perfectly capable of creating her own happiness. She had done the necessary self-work to realize this, but Jeremy was lost and confused. Just as she had been when left her.
She didn’t need a man, or woman for that matter, to feel content. And she knew without a doubt that she would never marry again. Seeing the pain on Jeremy’s face was not satisfactory for Margret. So, she promised they could remain friends. They lived a long and happy life being each other’s support system. Once lovers, now lifelong friends.