My time with Patrice has given me the opportunity to feel genuine love. To share. To honour boundaries. To be real. To trust feelings. To be open. To appreciate the humanness of two souls who came together and, I hope, gave and will continue to give enrichment to both our lives. From the very beginning we recognised that there were many differences between us - but through those differences we somehow found a middle ground where we both thrived.
Was it too much to expect it could last for ever? Well, perhaps. And perhaps I have had my rose tinted glasses on for much of the time - or perhaps not. I don't know. And you know what? It doesn't matter.
I do know that right from the start we have both been honest with each other, even though sometimes the honesty has not been easy. We have always said that we hoped we would both grow from this experience together. For me I know I have learned through this relationship that there are indeed 'good men' in this world - something that, perhaps, only now I can fully appreciate. Perhaps the scars from my ex had indeed run deeper than I had chosen to acknowledge - even to myself. For that was a relationship that (for me at least) seemed to be perfect, but turned out to be just a sham. Abandoned, betrayed and ashamed, there were many times I thought I'd never be able to pull through. But I did. And with Patrice I found the courage to once again open my heart - to him and to myself.
But unlike the sudden finish of my marriage, this is a new kind of ending. Because this is a mutual (if painful) acknowledgement that our relationship has run it's course. We've come to the place where over recent weeks there has been more angst than peace, and more heaviness than light. Life is worth more than that - for both of us. So it's time to be honest and face the tough reality that it's time to move on. And so we're talking. We're crying. We're sharing. And we're working through the next steps. We'll support each other, and we will both find a better world.
It isn't easy. But it's honest. And it's real. And I know that I'll carry with me all the happy memories of the good times we've had together for the rest of my life. In the words of Edith Piaf "Je ne regrette rien"
Thank you, Patrice, with all of my heart.