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Divorce in Colombia

Personal update | When love doesn’t turn out as hoped…

by Sabine
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And then suddenly this blog. One that is inevitable. Which I don’t really want to write at all. But do it anyway. Weeks after signing the divorce papers, that’s it. And making this to many unespected news public. That news I kept quiet for months. Jimmy and I are separated. The word is out. Why? What happened? Am I going back to The Netherlands now? In this personal article, I answer the most frequently asked questions about the end of this love story in Colombia.

Moving abroad for love

After 1.5 years of relationship, I left for Colombia at the end of 2014. Jimmy and I were madly in love and there was only one thing I wanted: to build a new life with him. Besides, I always wanted to leave The Netherlands. I am quite adventurous and always follow my gut feeling. And this time was no different. I also totally support the TED talk I gave: follow your own path and create your own life.

After 2 years of living in Colombia, Jimmy asked me to marry him in New York. We got married in Colombia and we held our wedding in The Netherlands.

My life in Colombia has always been fantastic. Even though Jimmy had and has an enormously busy job and we saw each other very little, my life in Colombia is more enjoyable than it was in The Netherlands.

Until things did go awry and suddenly a new twist came into our lives.


What happened?

I understand that you would really like to hear the whole story, but I am going to keep this private. What I can tell you is that, above all, we both wanted to choose for ourselves. In my case, after a while it became increasingly difficult to always be alone inside a relationship. I was losing connection with Jimmy more and more. It felt like I was alone within a marriage. Fortunately, I am a very independent and self-reliant person and can be well alone. But the thought of it being like this for the rest of my life didn’t make me happy.

Always I stood by him as the wife of an anesthesiologist, but the thought of living more or less alone for the rest of my life while married began breaking me up. I realized more and more that my needs were changing and no longer matched Jimmy’s needs. And so did he feel it too. He too has new plans that do not fit with how I want to live life.

We could fight for our marriage, but that would mean one of us having to give up a lot and neither of us wanted that. Nor will it work in the long run if one of the two is unhappy because he/she “has to” do something he/she doesn’t really want.

Although we still loved each other, we decided that there was only one solution, and that was both going our separate ways. And no, it’s not easy to have to let go of someone you love. Someone with whom you shared such wonderful years. Wonderful memories have been made. We still speak to each other regularly and the feeling that there is someone I can rely on is very nice.

I am super proud of Jimmy. What he accomplished. How he fills out his life. And how he, too, dares to choose for himself. I sincerely hope we remain good friends.

Of course, other things happened that led to the decision to separate; I will keep these private. Nor will I answer questions about this.


Do you regret emigrating to Colombia for love?

I always find the question of whether I regret something such a rotten question. Why regret something you did? That you regret something you didn’t do seems more logical to me. In any case: no I don’t regret this at all. In fact, emigrating to Colombia was the best decision ever. I always say that everything always works out. There is a solution for everything. And that is no different now.


Are you going back to The Netherlands now?

No. This wasn’t even a question for me. I have a good life in Colombia and don’t want to go back to The Netherlands at all. Besides, I also have everything here. My business, my friends, my life. So I will stay in Colombia.


Where are you going to live now?

After our divorce, I lived in Sopó for 2 more years. No longer in the countryside above the horse barn, but in the village itself. Since the beginning of 2022, I have been living in Bogotá again.


How are things going between Jimmy and you?

There is no argument and we will do everything we can to keep good contact. We still talk frequently and we want to be there for each other. Now, years after our separation, we are still good friends.


Do you still believe in love?

Yes definitely! I did learn to have fewer expectations. No one can predict the future and anything can happen. And that’s okay. I live my life as much as possible in the moment; the future comes naturally. Therefore, I enjoy what and who comes on my way now and how it turns out we’ll see. As mentioned, I do a lot by feeling and that’s no different in love.


Are you happy?

Absolutely! I am enjoying my life here in Colombia. This was an unpleasant event, but one that we both learned a lot from and simply needed to both stay close to ourselves. There were some awkward moments over the past few months, but overall, I got through it all and I have peace with it. I am a positive person and can often see the positive side of an unpleasant event. My life goes on as usual, only different from what I thought 5 years ago. That I personally grow from this and can be myself I see as a positive thing. Everything always works out.


Can I sustain myself in Colombia?

As you probably know, I like a challenge, but this is not really a challenge for me anymore. I have lived in Colombia for more than 8 years and am well integrated. I have my own business, my own income and my own friends. In addition, I have been living alone practically all this time. Jimmy was there too, of course, but physically very little. So I am used to some things. Am I not getting anywhere? Then I ask someone. So I can live in Colombia on my own just fine, I am independent and self-sufficient. And if there are difficult moments, there is always a solution.


I still believe in love, even though my marriage to Jimmy didn’t work out. Colombia is and remains my country, in which I enjoy life and love.

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