We've both known it as an inevitability, I think, but it's still so much harder than I ever thought this kind of thing would be.
When I met her ten years ago I was a few weeks out of conversion therapy and determined to make it work. We were married quickly (with the strong encouragement of our family and religious officials). At the time I felt like I'd beaten the thing, that I'd “won” or succeeded in changing myself, but it was hard. I loved her as a friend and as a person but as we know, you can't actually change something fundamental about yourself.
Two years in I had a complete breakdown and confessed everything to her. She (unsurprisingly) already knew, and after that the shape of our marriage changed. I wasn't ready to come out to family or be out in the open yet, but it felt good to have it off my shoulders. We decided to stay married at the time for a number of reasons, but opted to have an open marriage. We decided we'd cross the bridge of divorce when we came to it (especially since we knew our families would have questions), and if either of us wanted to leave we'd just say the word.
We spent six happy years together after that both doing our own thing but still happy in our marriage as unconventional as it was. But a few months ago, I met someone and I fell in love with him and I guess I knew it was time. Tonight I told her that I wanted a divorce. She's happy for me, and I'm happy too, but there's also a lot of sadness. I literally don't know what to do now, closing this strange but wonderful chapter of my life after eight years, and I have no idea why it hurts so much. I hope we can remain friends but I know it'll all be different now.
For those of you who have gone through amiable divorces, how did you deal with the feeling of loss and sadness? What helped you to remain friends? I know that it's probably not very likely I'll find someone who had the exact same arrangement, but I'm sure there are people who have gone through good divorces that were still bittersweet.