Options. I made the conscious choice to stay in a marriage I wasn’t happy in, For years. I stayed out of my own fears. I didn’t want to follow in my parents footsteps nor did I wanted my children to have a divided family. I believed I wasn’t strong enough to leave and that I didn’t have a choice. I’ve since learned I have a say in my life, more than I ever believed. However we (all) tend use excuses because sometimes it is easier than implementing a change, or so we think.
The fear that held me back and holds so many of us back, is, our we good enough? I had so much doubt in myself that I didn’t think it was possible I could handle life on my own. I know that sounds silly, and if you say no it doesn’t, I’d have to say it indeed does. We have as much of a choice as we choose to take, hard or easy we have a choice.
I was capable of so much, I took care of everything and always faced it head on, yet somehow I still felt inadequate as a person. Truth be told I settled for my spouse. I didn’t think anyone would find me attractive or of value, obviously I didn’t value myself. I though so little of myself that not only did I settled but I set myself up for failure just by the way I felt about myself.
My ex wasn’t a great person and I knew that, however I really believed he wanted what I wanted out of life because he said he did. Everything he was I wasn’t, yet somehow I truly believed he wanted what I did, and that he would change especially because I love and cared for him.
I remember early on wishing for him to want to do one thing with me I liked. I craved his attention and companionship and yes in some ways his approval. One activity I loved was to workout, but he would show little effort to want to go. The few times he made the actual effort he would get angry at me. I was so focused on working out and often spent close to two hours taking care of my body. I don’t think he liked My working out, I just got that feeling from his actions and comments.
My goal was to have something we did as a couple in hopes that we could connect. I decided to get into bike riding for that same reason, plus he said he loved it. I just knew we could connect on that, boy was I excited, we would have something we both enjoyed we could do together. Again I was told I went to far and too fast and anger surfaced at my speed. The writing was plan as day on the wall yet I still chose to not read it, even with glasses on.
For the majority of our marriage we were in some type of counseling. I knew it was a great tool and was happy to admit any faults I had because my marriage mattered. We spend countless dollars on sessions. I was certain if we found the one professional that could reach him, it would all click and we’d live happily ever after. There is no happily ever after, not in they way I believed.
In fact I silently condemned others who walked away from their marriage. You see I was superior and my marriage would not fail because I cared. I wanted to prove to everyone but mostly to myself that I could beat the odds and yes that I was a good person.
The truth was I hoped he would change. I saw glimmers of goodness in him and yet, I was blamed for how our marriage was. It hurt, but I was ok taking responsibility. Why couldn’t it be me? Maybe something was really wrong with me and I was culpable? If fixing me changed our marriage for the better I’d do it, after all he said it was me.
Week after week I would go and try to explain how I felt and why. I couldn’t understand why it felt like I wasn’t being understood. In hindsight I realize it was because he didn’t want to understand or put the effort into the relationship or didn’t know how.
Looking back through the years I see so many missed opportunities, sadness and failure. I let someone dictate how I should feel and think. I chose to be a victim, weak and inferior. I allowed his projection of me to stick, owning who he said I was.
For years I felt so inadequate as a person. I truly believed something was wrong. I was dumbfounded at how meaningless my life seemed, I’d cry over how lonely I felt and how empty my life was. Marriage wasn’t suppose to feel like this.
The purpose of an anniversary is to celebrated your happiness for being together, being best friends and lovers. It means nothing if you spent your years in misery or any years for that fact.
After years of trying, being let down from all the disgusting things he did over and over, contemplated divorce but still not follow though, a pivotal turning point came when it seemed like the bottom was falling out on my life and overall existence.
He had been in and out of work, took up truck driving, our finances were exhausted, his credit was out of control. I had asked for help from the mortgage company as we hadn’t paid in months, and my youngest was emotionally unhealthy and we had no insurance.
I had to take care of everything and I do mean everything. My spouse liked to put his head in the (metaphoric) sand and act like all these things were not happening. I was alone emotionally, physically and every single fear I had been worried about happening or experiencing met me like thick heavy fog. I was happy when he wasn’t around and felt at ease, my quality of life overall was good in spite of having everything crumble.
I really intended on staying in my marriage but something changed like the flip of a switch. I had to get out.
I was tired of not living in a manner I wanted to, missing out on experiences and I kept what I wanted to do inside because I worried so much about how much he would spend. I let life pass me by.
I regret many things; ways I acted or behaved, my inability to calmly express myself early on, staying with a person who valued me less than I valued myself and giving so much time to something that was so broken. However on the flip side, I realize I’ve grown in deep meaningful ways,I like myself,my work and love being a mother to my daughters. I’ve learned to trust myself, like how I look and I am comfortable in my skin.
I know it will be hard but walking away was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
I took a stand for myself, took my life back and control over it. Rebuilding who I am and what I want out of my life and building on the happiness I feel is paramount. I regret not seeing who I was sooner and having trust in my abilities. If anything this all has taught me is yes I can and yes I will. I’m a as powerful as I believe I am, and to be successful you must fail. No one said life would be easy, we just assume it should be. In the end what one does in life will come back in one form or another. I plan to embrace my life in ways I never have because it is so precious and miraculous and I spent too much time not valuing it. I’ll be my own reward. I’ve made a powerful choice and I have control over who I am, I stand strong.