Love

I Manifested My Dream Partner — And Finally Left My Husband For Her

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couple in sunset by ocean

My newly minted husband and I breezed into the chapel foyer, hand in hand.

The first thought that floated into my consciousness as I clutched my bouquet was, “What in the hell did I just do?” The gravity of the situation weighed heavy on my lace-covered shoulders. Not the magical start most couples dream of.

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Fast forward twenty-some years, and for a second time, I found myself curled up on the floor of our walk-in closet, clutching a bottle of pills, wishing I could bring permanent relief to the deep sadness I couldn’t escape.

I weathered 25 years of that marriage like a retiree weathers the hot sun in Florida. The skin of my heart was leathery and lifeless; when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognize who I was anymore.

It was my three children who gave me a reason to pick myself up off the carpet and live to face another day. The last thing I wanted was to abandon them and leave a legacy of pain and loss. They are three beautiful beings that came out of our troubled marriage.

In retrospect, I realize my traditional straight marriage was destined to struggle. I made a conscious choice to marry so I could fit into a lifestyle I thought was expected. My unspoken desire to be in a same-sex relationship felt out of reach.

Hopelessly hidden in a doorless closet for more than four decades, escape seemed impossible. The longing to experience the feel of a woman’s skin under my fingertips was relentless. The desire to follow her body's contours and taste her mouth's soft sweetness played on repeat in my mind, agonizing me.

That life was not meant for me. I had chosen differently, and I would stay true to that choice for the sake of everyone but myself. My Croatian Grandmother would undoubtedly be proud of the martyr I’d become.

I’ve known I was gay since my early childhood, though I didn’t have the words to describe my same-sex attraction. I dared to share my secret with a friend in sixth grade, and it ended badly, so I learned to keep it to myself. I hadn’t heard the word lesbian and didn’t know any gay couples, which cemented in my mind that no road traveled in that direction.

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In college, I became aware of hidden trysts between women, but I was too fearful to entertain trying something like that.

Even then, I knew if I let the monster out, there would be no putting her back again. I was not someone who could experience something I’d longed for and then go back to life as usual, like a crack addict who knows that one hit will become a lifetime obsession.

I met her at work one day, and I was smitten. She was like a magnet, drawing me in.

When she mentioned she moved to the West Coast with her girlfriend, I felt instantly disappointed and heard myself thinking, “there go my chances.” I literally shook my head to clear my thoughts.

Why was I thinking this? Me, a married woman with three children?

We slowly became friends, and I pondered whether another life was possible. Was I strong enough to take a sledgehammer to the wall of the closet I was trapped in? Could I create an exit for myself and finally live a life I had dreamed of since childhood? I began to hope quietly, and that hope was intoxicating.

I began picturing what I wanted. I imagined what it would be like to hold her hand, touch her, kiss her.

I visualized proposing to her and what our wedding might look like. I envisioned waking up every day next to her in my bed. Like a cinematic love story, I saw it and wanted it. I later learned that my imaginings were part of a process called manifesting. Visualization is a powerful tool that can help us create that which we desire.

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It turns out I am very good at manifesting.

We built a friendship that was facilitated by our work relationship. As our friendship grew stronger, so did my desire.

It may sound trite, but it is true nonetheless; she was everything I wanted. Our similarities were uncanny, and our differences were like puzzle pieces that fit together. Later, we found out that our birth charts are almost identical.

As I envisioned my dream, I sensed strength bubbling up in me. I glimpsed an opening in the closet for the first time and dared to step toward it. I wasn’t sure how to survive divorce, but I felt emboldened to proceed.

I knew I needed to say goodbye to the life I chose before I could receive the life I longed for.

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Leaving my husband was difficult, but we’d lived a wholly disengaged existence for years.

It was a relationship of convenience and image for him, and he seemed surprised I was unwilling to continue our unspoken arrangement. I knew I could no longer stay in the familiar for the sake of being comfortable, and after a few months of working through the details, I was finally free.

The realization of my dream to be with a woman arrived quietly on a warm summer evening. We were sitting side by side on a futon in her cottage. I traced lines on her bare arm like a child traces cursive letters on a school worksheet. I relished the sensory experience, and she began to kiss the side of my face, tentatively, slowly.

Like a fullback busting through the line on their way to the endzone, I turned my head and planted a kiss on her lips. Though not lacking in passion or enthusiasm, my kiss was awkward, quick, and powerful. One might liken it to a headbutt only with lips. I would receive no romantic style points, and she noted to herself that I’d need some individual tutoring soon.

I had no idea how to be a lover or how to be loved. Like a gifted tutor, she taught me the way of love slowly and sensually. She allowed my reality to rise to meet my fantasy in the most beautiful ways. 

That night remains vivid in my memory. I didn’t release a monster but a beautiful, sensual lover who had long been chained in the dungeon of my soul. She danced into a field called freedom as her dirty and ragged clothing transformed into a shimmering white dress that flowed in the breeze behind her as she ran.

I fully believe I manifested this love we share. I cultivated the images I visualized by connecting them with emotion and desire. I sent the energy of what I longed for into the universe and purposed to make the choices required to accept what the universe gave back to me.

We have been together for more than a decade, and our love continues to grow more beautiful with each passing year. Dreams have been fulfilled, and our partnership has strengthened in both creativity and respect.

This life and this relationship have been a beautiful testament to our power to manifest what we desire.

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Kim Kelly she/her, calls the Pacific Northwest home when she isn’t traveling with her wife in their 21-foot teardrop trailer. She is a writer, speaker, and espresso enthusiast who writes about authenticity, retirement, relationships, and life on the road.

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