Embracing the Beauty of Impermanence: Rethinking the Notion of ‘Forever’ Following Divorce

Allan Johnson, PhD
14 min readJun 25

Welcome to part 3 of 10 of Untying the Knot: A Journey of Healing and Recovery During Gay Divorce. In this groundbreaking book, I embark on an unconventional adventure through the emotional landscape of divorce in the LGBTQ+ community. It explores attachment styles and how they shape relationships, offering guidance on healthy attachment and building resilience. It also addresses the process of rebuilding strength and confidence, providing practical tips and strategies for rediscovering one’s identity and embracing a future filled with hope and possibilities.

Photo by Cris Baron on Unsplash

In those dark first days of my separation, I felt it was best to just try to get through every single minute. At first, I would sit on my bed or on the floor for most of the day, trying to stay calm and pull myself together. But it wasn’t easy. Taking it one moment at a time seemed to stretch the day out into infinity, and some moments were better than others — emotions peaked and then subsided, but at least I knew that after the hard minutes there would inevitably be a few more minutes when I seemed to experience a sense of radiant calm. In the days and weeks that followed, those good minutes gradually turned into hours, then the good hours turned into days, and finally, a few months after the whole surprising challenge began, there were weeks when I felt confident and in control again, before the voice of doubt and sadness temporarily crept back in. But each time the depression and sense of failure came back it was shorter and less intense, a clear reminder to me that the healing process was underway and that what had felt like an insurmountable challenge not so long ago was now simply a fact of life that had less and less influence on the rhythm of my moods.

We have been conditioned to believe that the value of a relationship is measured by its longevity, that its success is determined solely by its ability to stand the test of time. Heteronormativity plays an important role in shaping societal expectations in this regard. Until recently our culture has privileged heterosexual relationships, often at the expense of the visibility and permissibility of queer relationships. In a relationship, we are told, time is supposed to stand still in a sense, as if the journey of a lifetime suddenly…

Allan Johnson, PhD

Academic | Writer | Mindfulness | Author of Alan Hollingurst and the Vitality of Influence (Palgrave) and Masculine Identity in Modernist Literature (Palgrave).