The only kind of love that will fix you is self-love. It’s been a whirlwind over the last few days but I’m grateful for that storm because it made me really start analyzing things in my life a little deeper. For as much progress as I’ve made, I was given a hard lesson in how much more I have to learn. I’ve taken a few days off of posting to absorb this information and decide how things were going to move forward.
The bottom line is that change is delicate work and it is hard work and sometimes when change is in process, your relationships go through something. The other person often has to learn a new behavior or the dynamic shifts in other ways. Over the last few months, the changes I’ve been going through have yielded positive results overall, but my relationships have been challenged in new ways. The people closest to me are seeing new sides of me and seeing me face fears and progress in my life and it’s uncomfortable for some of them. I believe I have reached another level so to speak, a level where I have to reacclimate and learn again so I can get to the next level. People around me are learning that they need to adapt as well—and some it would seem may not be willing to come along for the ride.
As I’ve been learning to ease through this transition I am contemplating my relationship with myself as well. That relationship means more to me than few others. I spent so many years worried about others and what they thought of me, of ways to make others happy, and how I could make others like me. Years of this didn’t serve me. They left me stressed out and often holding the remnants of other people’s dreams while they moved on to other things. It took me over 35 years to figure out that I didn’t want to continue down that path. That I was tired of trying to get results out of people. That my time here was a gift and I was worthy of making it what I wanted—not just what others wanted.
I’ve been open discussing my relationship with my husband here before, and I have not hidden that we have had our share of issues. Earlier this week, my husband informed me that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be with me anymore. I was taken aback at first and really sad (and I still am) but I thought and thought about it. This is a man that I have been with for 19 years, we have shared countless memories together (good and bad), we have a beautiful son together, a home. And while thinking about these things, it hit me like a flash that if all of these things that I have fought to provide are not enough then there is nothing else I can do. More accurately, if those are the things that HE no longer wants, then I can’t force him to want to live that life. There are just some things in this world that time changes and our interests and goals are one of them. When paths no longer align, it causes more damage to fight to stay than it does to walk away.
Most importantly, as people change so do we, so it’s important to not get so tied up in pouring energy into someone else because that person needs to harness that energy themselves. Our relationship to ourselves is the most important one we can have because we live with ourselves for our entire lives. I understood how important it was to make our own lives enriching and joyful independent of being with someone else. I also understood that steering someone toward your personal goal is not the same as working on it together. You have to make allowances for what the other person wants as well. And that is ok—we are all allowed to have goals and visions of what we want. I spent 19 years working toward what we had agreed upon as a goal as a couple as well as things I wanted for us. And I thought that was safe—I thought that was what we wanted. Clearly something has changed along the way. Maybe it was me wanting more for us and pushing as hard as I did. Maybe it was a man realizing that he thought he wanted these things as a child and now he no longer does. Maybe it’s time to learn who we are independent of each other. Well, that has to happen anyway, but still.
The last few days have made me face some demons because I know I am not innocent in all of this–I won’t put all of this on my husband. With the exception I feel this came at a time I never anticipated and it could have been broached better—but this is something we did together. For as much as we started it, we are responsible for its falling apart. We are also responsible for what happens next. He hasn’t told me that we are definitively over, he needs time and I will respect that. I will be taking this time to reconcile with myself. I will improve my relationship with myself and we will see what happens next.
I believe in sharing vulnerability with honesty and humility. I believe that people can learn from each other’s mistakes and this is part of one of mine. I hope that I am able to learn enough about myself in this process that no matter what the final outcome I will be ok—and I hope the same for him. I know this isn’t the end of my world—it’s not technically the end of anything yet—but I also know that this has to be the end of some habits I’ve had for years, habits that have held me back in a lot of ways, not just in relationships. This has to be the end of waffling between things I used to do and things I want to do. The end of childish habits and engrained trauma responses. I know I need to be better and this is the motivation to drop any guards and jump all in. No more half-lived pushing, but organized progress and purposeful steps. That is where the opportunity lies—and who knows what comes next. I welcome this new phase because no matter what comes of my relationship, this is a chance to connect with myself again. And regardless of circumstance, we all need that every now and then.