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To the one who will love my husband next…

December 13, 2017 67 Comments

Earlier this year my husband of three years and best friend of twelve years, asked me for a divorce. You know him better as Fox: Panda’s partner in photography, travel and adventure.

Well… not anymore.

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Divorce is something I never expected because we had always been happily married and secure in our love… but as I found out, he didn’t feel the same way. Its been a few months now since he asked me and I begrudgingly agreed but I am learning that there are certain wounds that never heal, certain hurts that never leave you alone; like a broken bone that heals wrong and always twinges when it’s about to rain. Every time I reach to twirl my wedding ring around my finger, its absence sets off a wave of hurt and then there are the times where I want to tag him in something he would like on Instagram… its a physical pain that threatens to overwhelm. As you can imagine, the last few months have been excruciating but this post isn’t actually about all of that. My pain is my own to wade through and make sense of.  But as I come to terms with my new future, I wish Fox every happiness in the world including a happily ever after even though- I now know- it won’t be with me.

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  • Stewie Overseas December 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    This was so sad to read. I have a tear. I didn’t know this part of your story…

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Every story has a hidden chapter… I am glad I can share this chapter with the world now because it means that I am ready to move forward and progress 🙂

  • Jesska December 13, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Wow… That’s powerful.. Hope all of you end up where you want to be and with the right people

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      I really hope so too… but life has a funny way of working itself out even if its not how we thought things would be!

  • carolanneb December 13, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    You couldn’t have written this more beautifully! Sending love x

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Thank you for your kind words… I was nervous to publish but am so glad that I did!

  • Blonde On The Move December 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    What an incredibly brave and raw post. I am sending you lots of love and positive thoughts. You’re an incredibly strong and beautiful woman to have put Fox’s happiness ahead of your own. Xx

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Eve though I don’t feel very strong, I think in time I will be and this blog post is helping me heal. Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂

  • Zoya Kubra December 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I feel so sad but at the same time I admire you so much for your perspective on this…I know I wouldn’t have the heart to think so positively. Wishing lots of happiness and tranquility for you 💜

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you for your meaningful words Zoya… it has taken me a long time to get to this point and also, we don’t know what we are capable of until we go through it! 🙂

  • brilliantviewpoint December 13, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    My heart goes out to you. Breakups are very sad and it takes time for the heart to heal. I had another friend like you, who had been with her husband for 7 years, they got married and divorced after 2 years. This made me wonder if being married changed their relationship? If they had stayed “un married” would they have stayed together?

    I once read a story in a magazine that was about a married couple. They said before they got married, they BOTH were worried about losing their freedom. They wanted to maintain that feeling that they could leave whenever they wanted.

    So, they devised a plan. They each would pack a small suitcase with travel stuff and put it in the closet. That way, they BOTH would KNOW in their mind that if they felt so unhappy, they could leave at any time.

    Well, years went by and the couple had comfort knowing their little suitcase was in the closet. They never used it, but liked knowing it was there “just in case.”

    They grew older and the wife died. The husband was extremely sad, they had been married over 40 years. As he was cleaning things out, he found his wife’s little suitcase in the closet.

    He felt sad, but was curious too, so he opened it. When he did, he got a BIG surprise. Inside the suitcase there was NOTHING inside of it except a note that said, “I love you. I could never leave.”

    WOW… I always thought how powerful that was. It’s true, if we are married for a long time things change, we must always feel we can leave, but we don’t really want to.

    I hope this makes you smile and warms your heart. You and your next husband will each pack a suitcase in the closet and he will never want to leave. 🙂

    Merry Christmas. or Happy Holidays!

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      I have read your comment at least 8 times and I will definitely read it at least another 8 times. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to post such a heartfelt comment and what a beautiful message. I do firmly believe that my happiness is around the corner and I can’t wait to be with the one who keeps his suitcase empty 🙂

  • foodzesty December 13, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    This was beautifulllll…..I am so sorry your going through this pain, but I would like to wish from the bottom of my heart that 2018 gives you all that your heart desires…

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Oh thank you so much for your well wishes! It really means a lot to have such support 🙂

      • foodzesty December 15, 2017 at 9:53 pm

        Your welcome 🙂

  • stepbackandbreathe33 December 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I’m so sad for you and your ex, but this is such a beautiful post! You’ve clearly handled this with a lot of grace.

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you for saying that…. sometimes it is hard not to get caught up in the strong emotions and not see the bigger picture but I am glad that I have managed to stay clear headed 🙂

      • stepbackandbreathe33 December 15, 2017 at 10:45 pm

        You’re welcome 🙂 I really think you are doing a wonderful job!

  • KuwaitLifestyle(Ruwaishid) December 13, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    I’m really heart broken after reading this because I did encounter similar experience myself….jst remember no matter what, you are a Panda leader u inspire all of us by posting such unique travelling experiences, guiding and giving us knowledge in many ways as possible. Jst think this what you are going through it’s jst an experience which will make you expand beyond your limit…we fall to rise up, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, our loves and hugs are always with you.

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Your sweet comment is EVERYTHING. I really needed to hear those encouraging words… such support means the world when I am so far away from friends and family so thank you again 🙂

  • higgledypiggledymom December 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Feeling sad for you and for him. You have come to a fork in the road and each of you are taking a different path. Perhaps it will cross again and you’ll walk together for another while. Just knowing that although this is a very difficult time, you really do have many people thinking of you and sending big hugs. Comfort and Joy.

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      As always, your comments are heartfelt and meaningful. Thank you for saying that. I don’t know what life holds in store for my future but I do know that I am a strong person as a result of this experience 🙂

  • Marina December 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Bless you sweetie but STAY STRONG because you are an incredible woman, and your lived will continue to be filled with colour and joy!!! xxx

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you so much for saying that Marina! It means a lot!

  • scottishfamilyadventures December 13, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Wow what a brave post. I am so sorry that things haven’t fine as you expected they would. I understand that life probably seems very unfair and uncertain just now. You are one of the bravest women I know, however, if you fancy a trip away from all that is normal and familiar we are waiting for you in Vietnam. Breaking up ís shit but it gets easier xx

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks you for your sweet comment Fiona! Yes I know I always have a friendly face to welcome me no matter where you and your nomadic family relocate to… one of the many benefits of having blogger buddies 🙂

  • Sandy December 13, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I’m am so sorry to hear of the mutual decision to divorce. It will be hard but in the end, you will both see it was probably for the best. It takes a very strong woman to give her husband what he wants even though she may not feel 100% sure.

    Reading what you wrote brought tears to my eyes. Your love for him comes through in your words. There are not many marriages/relationships like that where one tends to know their partner extremely well and who cherishes that moments spent together. You are an incredible woman.

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      That comment made me feel emotional. At the end of the day love is about making the other person happy and having a relationship where one party is unhappy is not healthy for either person hence why it was easy to agree to the divorce even though I disagreed 🙂 Just reading your comment again… its beautiful.

  • josypheen December 14, 2017 at 12:53 am

    I am so sorry to hear this Panda.

    Goodness, this is such a sweet post though. I really hope he’ll see it and that you’ll both move on to be super happy.

    *sending virtual bear hugs*

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      I am accepting those lovely bear hugs and sending them back to you tighter than ever! Thank you so much for your lovely comments, they always bring a smile to my face!

  • Blackmuslimandtraveling December 14, 2017 at 5:56 am

    I didn’t expect to read something so raw from you. As I was reading, old feelings were coming back from my divorce that was finalized just last year. This whole traveling thing I’m doing was kind of inspired by this new freedom I had found. I wish our divorce was so peaceful, and I had all these beautiful things to say about him. Regardless of that, I know the pain that aches within you despite the smile you wear. Although I’ve since remarried, there’s a pain that doesn’t seem to quite go away although there is no longing for that person. Thank you for being so open and so honest. From experience, I know that time heals everything. 😘

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      When I published this, a friend told me that it would not just help me but also would help others because they could relate. I didn’t really believe that my words had the power to do that but reading your comment makes me realise that we as women are not so different after all even if we are different colours and nationalities. As always, your comments bring a smile to my face because I know they are heartfelt. The fact that you have remarried gives me hope for my own happiness 🙂

      • Blackmuslimandtraveling December 14, 2017 at 9:02 pm

        I’m still holding out for the day we meet up and hang out. I’ll bake you something, make you some chili, and talk about everything like we’ve known each other forever. 😘

        • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 9:04 pm

          Its not a dream… its a goal.

  • frannnelli December 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

    wow….I hope you feel better and thanks for sharing your story with the world…not an easy thing to do but I think it helps whenever I am going through something. I wish you all the love and happiness in the world Expat Panda *HUGS*

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you for those beautiful wishes… yes sharing in’t easy but it is helping me through the healing process 🙂

  • Louise December 14, 2017 at 11:07 am

    I’m sorry you are going through this. I feel heartbroken for you. But I totally admire how kind and accepting you are throughout this whole process. What a lovely letter you’ve written. He is lucky to have you as his ex-wife.

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Although it is over, we were lucky enough to have shared many beautiful years together which is why it is easy to be kind and accepting 🙂 Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂

  • thenaturalfashionista December 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    What a beautiful post! Love truly endures all things, including pain. God bless you.

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Love does truly endure all things…. thank you for saying that 🙂

  • heedmywordssite December 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Aneesa, I’m so sorry to hear the news. This is an incredibly beautiful yet heartbreaking post and your strength shines through with every word. I hope you both find true happiness along life’s path.


    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Sarah thank you for your beautiful words and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment here 🙂

  • Liz December 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Dear Aneesa: Every time I saw one of your fabulous postings on IG I wondered if there would ever be a time for us to meet. You always seem so busy, surrounded by friends or activities, never at home just hanging out or spending a quiet weekend. Deep down I thought I’d ask you that if we ever had a chance to meet: How could you be so positive and active ALL the time? Cause also deep down, I wish I could be like that. At the same time there was always something on my mind since I found your on IG… why does she not live with Fox? You might have explained that in one of your first postings but in all honesty, I rarely read blog articles, not that I’m not interested, I just don’t have enough time to get around to that. Last night I saw your pic, and my heart shrunk with what you said your posting was about. I can only imagine what you’ve been through all these months, I’m sure you had a chance to talk it over and analyze with him how you guys came to this point. Only the two of you know what kind of relationship or marriage you had and that’ll stay with you forever. We just are spectators of your amazing life and the places you visit. We have witnessed your happiness, today we read your pain. It takes a lot of love for someone to let a partner go “so easily”. I’d have written to him, instead you did to her and you did it with such peaceful and sweet words. I have read over and over about the importance of healthy attachment to things, to people and I still find the concept to be a very difficult (if not impossible) to grasp and truly understand. You are my inspiration today… you are letting go someone that you love so deeply so that he can be happy with someone else….. I hope one day I can reach this point: to know that everything and everyone can change in little time and that I will still be okay and survive. Sending you a big hug. You are so strong, kudos to you and your inner strength. With Love, Liz (happyexpat)

    • Expat Panda December 14, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Dear Liz,

      Your comment brought a tear to my eye. Not because it was sad but rather because it is exactly what I needed to hear. Yes I am a very positive person and I try to see the best in all situations even when I am crumbling apart. The reason I am so busy all the time is because I could not sit at home and wallow in my thoughts. So I have kept busy with my travels. and explorations. It has definitely helped me heal and allowed me not to lose focus of my life purpose and goals despite this setback I have encountered. I really do want to meet and I hope we can arrange something in the new year.

      Just so you know, this was an amazing comment and I appreciate the time you took to type it out. To know that I can inspire others makes every challenge and moment of despair 100% worth it.

  • Britta December 16, 2017 at 7:07 am

    I actually found myself wondering recently why I hadn’t heard about Fox in a while. I read most of your blog posts; though I don’t know you or Fox in person and haven’t even been following your blog for that long (at least compared to some other blogs that I frequent), it seemed odd to me that he hadn’t been mentioned recently. It crossed my mind that something might have happened.

    I’m so sorry for your heartbreak and pain, Panda, but you are a strong woman for writing this out and for moving into the future with your head held high. Sending love and good vibes. <3

    • Expat Panda December 23, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Thank you Britta, your kind words mean a lot to me (always). Writing this post has helped me move forward and for that, I am so grateful for this blog and the kindness I receive from people like you 🙂

  • Beverly Appalsamy December 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Dearest Panda . God give you strength and love through this time . Your pain makes me want to grow wings and fly across to give you all the hugs and love . This too shall pass. I don’t agree with divorce . But you deserve someone who wants to love you forever . I truly admire your dignity and grace . God will bless you the best partner for you .Much love Beverly

    • Expat Panda December 23, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Oh thank you so much for your kindness… I too don’t agree with divorce but sometimes its about more than what you want if you know what I mean. 🙂

  • Jolyn Young December 17, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Hi there. I was so sad when I saw the title of this blog in my inbox, then I read the whole blog and was sad again. I read through all the nice comments this morning, and I am glad to see your spirits were lifted by the responses received during such a painful time. I really agree with the lady who posted the suitcase story, and I’d like to add that it’s not your responsibility to make your husband happy. His happiness (or anyone’s) is his own responsibility. You’ll find a stayer next time, one who can battle through the bad times even if he’s not happy for a while (because that will happen to both spouses occasionally) just to be with you. That’s a lasting marriage 🙂

    • Expat Panda December 23, 2017 at 10:30 am

      I totally agree with you… I know I can’t be responsible for anyone else’s happiness and if the other person isn’t committed, there isn’t anything I can do. For now, I am just picking up the pieces and living life one day at a time! Thank you for such a heartfelt and uplifting comment 🙂

  • Marwa December 18, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    My dear Aneesa, I’m so sorry! I was surprised when I read the news on your Instagram post but such things happen I guess. Feelings change leading to people growing apart, it’s sad I know but that’s life, nothing stays the same! It takes courage to open up like that so I salute you. I know that wound may not heal properly but I can’t tell you this, when all the fog and mist is gone, a silver lining will present itself to you. I know that by experience, not like yours but other painful ones that DID HAVE a good side to them after all. I wish you all the best my dear and may all your dreams and hopes come true ❤️

    • Marwa December 18, 2017 at 6:36 pm

      I meant can* sorry 🙈

    • Expat Panda December 23, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Marwa your comment and friendship means the world to me… thank you so much for your kind words. I do see light at the end of the tunnel so I do agree with you about silver linings. Take care and will see you soon!

      • the_wanderlusting_hijabi December 23, 2017 at 4:54 pm

        Same here Aneesa, I’m glad that our ways crossed even if it was for a short period. You are most welcome, it’s the least I could do and I really wish you all the best in the years to come. Take car and I will be seeing you very soon indeed 😉 kisses and hugs from Cairo ❤️

  • Wayne Mark December 25, 2017 at 4:02 am

    i here

  • mccart December 25, 2017 at 4:03 am

    This is my testimony I really want to thank Dr Aluta for saving my marriage. My fiance really treat me bad and left home for almost 3 month.this got me sick and confuse of my life. then i told my friend about my wife characters then she told me to contact Dr Aluta that he will help me bring back my fiance and change her back to a good woman. i never believe in all this but i gave it a try. They casted a spell of return back of love on her, and my wife came back home for good and today we are happy again.if you going through any relationship stress or you want back your Ex or Divorce husband you can contact me on my facebook and i will forward you to this spell caster. or you reach the spell caster on his email on
    traditionalspellhospital@ gmail .com Thanks

  • chroniclesofgin December 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Beautiful words. Hope 2018 is your year.

    • Expat Panda January 23, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Thank you! So far, so good!

  • phillygirl77 December 29, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Hi my Bloggy Friend. I have to be honest, I read this post days ago but needed time to sit and respond. Not that I know you personally but we have journeyed together through our blogs. When I first saw the title, I thought, No Way. But then as I read I thought, WOW! I actually went back and read the post Fox wrote in your blog about what it’s like to married to a Blogger and I asked myself, were the signs written between those lines?
    This was very personal but as a fellow blogger I know that blogging is kind of therapeutic for us. I know how difficult it is to choose to follow your dreams not knowing what may happen along the way. Just like me last year when I left my husband behind and wasn’t sure if our marriage would last either. As a result he moved here with me this year, jobless and still not knowing what may happen. We dream chasers take chances because we know we only get one life and we must live it!
    I am sorry your marriage did not work out. I am a true believer that everyone deserves to be happy even if it means not with me. (remember the situation with my son, how he left me to go back to America with his dad because he wasn’t happy) The fact that you were able to write such kind words about Fox speaks volumes of your character and the next women will have difficulty coming behind you. None of this can take away your pain, but in time it will become easier.
    I hope that you and I can meet up one day and colab on a post together. Live your Life Panda and happy New Year to you!

    • Expat Panda January 23, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Girrrrl… don’t ask me why I only saw this comment NOW (it was marked as spam for some reason). Yes I feel like we have been parallel bloggers since I stories have never intersected but started at the same time. I do remember your struggles with your son and how difficult being away from your hubby was. I have no regrets about anything, I am glad we had the beautiful marriage we had; even though it didn’t result in a happy ending with him, I have faith that I will still be happy with my life choices for many years to come!I wouldn’t change any of my experiences for the world. Thank you for your comment and support… even though we haven’t met, its nice to know there is someone out there in the blogsphere, looking out for me 🙂

    • Expat Panda January 23, 2018 at 8:36 am

      And yes I would love to meet (inshallah) and collaborate one day 🙂

  • Julie December 30, 2017 at 11:34 am


  • Ala January 31, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    This is the third page of your blog I read and my heart is shattered… wow! You have a way in writing that makes the reader feel everything that’s going through your head. Much love

    • Expat Panda January 31, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      Thank you so much for your compliment 💜

  • […] a divorce after three years of marriage and 12 years of being with my ex-husband, Expat Fox. My earlier post outlined the first step of my letting go and now that its been a few more months on, I am able to […]

  • Sinegugu August 1, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Hey 🙂 It’s been so long but reading this post brought back memories of what an amazing person you (both of you) are. I think I’m old enough to engage in such a conversation now ( not that you ever saw our opinions as less than, because we were younger) , I admire how you wrote about fox and how reading this shows how much you want him to be happy.

    I’m so sorry to comment on a post so old but I had to remind you of what an amazing person you are!

    • expatpanda August 1, 2019 at 9:46 pm

      GOOGZ!! Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Regardless of your age, I’ve always valued your opinion 💚 Hope you are doing well and life is great for you!!

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