OPINION | The story of the former

Publisher’s note: Wendy Guerra is a French-Cuban writer and a contributor to CNN en Español. Her articles have appeared in media around the world, such as El País, The New York Times, the Miami Herald, El Mundo and La Vanguardia. Among her most outstanding literary works are “Underwear” (2007), “I was never the first lady” (2008), “Posing naked in Havana” (2010) and “Everyone leaves” (2014). Her work has been published in 23 languages. The comments expressed in this column belong exclusively to the author. See more at cnne.com/opinion

(CNN Spanish) — There are many types of exes. Some can be fantastic, and others, your worst nightmare.

From my childhood I remember those end-of-the-year parties where, without any drama, everyone mixed in the same celebration to receive the new year together.

The father of your best friend brought his new girlfriend accompanied by his two sons to the house of the hostess, his ex-wife, who, in turn, was already forming a new family with the father of some twins who studied in our primary school .

This reached such a point that we had no idea who was married to whom, because, possibly next year, the roles would change again.

At the age of ten, in my home country, the fact that your parents had not divorced could be considered a real trauma. You felt like a “weirdo”, because, in your context, most of your little friends lived with biological parents, step-siblings, step-fathers and step-mothers.

When I went out to see the world, I understood that marriage belongs to that sacred pantheon, to that untouchable space, which, when it collapses, creates profound traumas, wounds that are difficult to heal that have repercussions, first on the family and then on society, but I also understood that a A failing marriage is too messy and shouldn’t last forever.

The separation process can be complex. For some, abandoning or being abandoned brings with it anger, unhappiness, resentment and detachment.

Standing in front of the mirror we discover in ourselves, ways of dressing, gestures and even gestures of our exes. We choose places, songs and movies thinking about what they would have wanted and not what we really wanted for ourselves.

Who was I before you? Where was I when I met you? And, above all, a terrible question that they ask you about to board a flight: Who to notify in case of…?

The images of “our happy years”, the photos and even the taste of some foods carry with them an emotional charge that can upset us or, if handled with maturity and height, free us, lead us to a better place in our lives. Knowing us deeply, exes can be our best friends, advise us and accompany us forever on a path of legitimacy and virtue.

Some exes can come and go, and that intermittence creates a feeling of emotional instability that often ends up in therapy. I know relationships that have not managed to solve themselves and, unfortunately, end up in front of a judge. It is common to hear disputes between exes over child custody. There are cases in which this situation, mishandled, leads to abuse, mental and physical violence, and in very extreme situations, in the so-called vicarious or substitute violence, which involves the children as punishment for the mother for having deserted the relationship. of couple

Divorce or separation generate true disorders in the sentimental life of any human being, and in certain cases, mutate into sharp events that affect emigration, the exacerbation of certain diseases and the reorganization, collapse or solution of the family economy. I have friends who pay or paid for years an alimony or pension to their ex-wives, and others who, once the divorce paper was signed, never saw each other again. How many times have you heard: how was I married (or) with that person? What was I thinking when I married him (or her)?

It all depends on the story. Between your version and the version of your ex there may be an abyss, the same story, which, narrated by your ex, becomes another argument.

What decides the nuance of a divorce? The capacity for discernment of a human being, respect for children, the temperament of couples, the experiences after the stage of falling in love and, above all, the quality of the time they spent together on that complex journey called coexistence.

There are different stories and plots:

– They met in adolescence, one of the two changed too much, or simply didn’t change at all, and it becomes difficult to transfer it to the next chapter.

– The children went to university and that is when the couple realizes that they no longer have anything in common.

– One of the two has reached maturity and decides to look for someone younger and live everything that “has been lost”.

– She or he needs to be alone, rediscover himself to know what his true path will be from now on.

Love reencounters during exiles are also very common and once this happens, we should know who is today that person to whom we return, the one we met decades ago, or that new being who arrives loaded with expectations in us, but also with concerns, defeats, and dissimilar experiences.

The question I ask myself today is the same one my mother asked herself when I was little and it takes us back to that particular moment when you decide to unite your life with someone else’s. What is more important to know: who are you marrying or who are you divorcing?

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