Wow! I’m not sure if I’m going through some kind of pre midlife crisis (I’m 38) or what but this year has been a tough one. I won’t go into all the details now as you might have read some of my previous posts (go to My Journey for some of those) but I feel like I am on such a roller coaster ride of emotions this year. So much of what I’m going through is about trying to find my voice, trying to figure out who the hell I am and to really figure out what it is I want to do with my life besides the obvious things of being a mom and wife and truth be told, even these I’m questioning. Because, and herein lies the ‘problem’ is that all I feel like is that I’m a mom and a wife and quite honestly, I want to be more than that. I’m not quite sure what but that is something I’m working on.
Anyhow, the point I’m actually going for is that at the beginning of the year, I was not in a good way and something that came up for me was wanting to get away from it all. From my husband in particular because I was feeling tired. Tired of saying the same thing to him about what it was I was needing, tired of getting irritated over the same stuff, tired of the same patterns, tired of our stuff. I was just tired and felt like I needed a break from him. To get perspective. Re-evaluate. I knew I still loved him. I was pretty sure I still wanted to be with him. I was just feeling like I needed a break from ‘us’.
I have been thinking about marriage a lot lately (in fact I’ve been thinking about everything a lot lately) but in particular how we are so secretive about our marriages. How many times has it happened that the couple you looked up to as ‘the happy couple’ are getting a divorce and no one saw that one coming. Because there is some unwritten script which dictates what a marriage should look like and I don’t think there is allowance made for real honesty. Real honesty to say, ‘I need a break from you.’ or ‘you’re seriously pissing me off.’ ‘I’m not liking you very much at the moment’ and for this to be ok. It’s ok not to love your partner every day. It’s ok to want space from them. It doesn’t have to signify the end. It doesn’t need to be cause for divorce. It probably means some work is needed and some honest conversation but that’s also ok. I think a lot of the problem with our marriages is that we have an unrealistic expectation of what they’re meant to be like and because there is so much secrecy around them, we never know that others are feeling the same way. So when we feel like leaving, we’re not feeling the love, we’re feeling lonely, we freak out because that’s not how it’s meant to be right!!?? It must mean we don’t love them anymore. This must be the end. But love is constantly changing, metamorphosing. It is not a fixed constant and is certainly not static. Some days you can feel it more strongly than others. Some days you barely know it’s there.
Feelings are strange things. I am learning that they’re actually pretty sneaky. They can trick you. They disguise themselves as one thing but are actually something else completely. They’re pretty needy actually and want your full attention. If you give them that attention, then they’re actually pretty honest and upfront with you. When you ignore them, they can cause havoc and con you in so many ways. It was amazing that when I told my husband how I was feeling about needing space from him, all of a sudden I wasn’t actually feeling that way anymore because sometimes just voicing our feelings sets them free and allows them to transform into the true form that they were meant to be. Because by stifling them, they take on their own, often disfigured form, in our souls. By releasing that feeling, I allowed space for other feelings to come in. Feelings of love, appreciation and connection. Because that’s what I was actually wanting. To feel connected. To feel loved. To feel heard. I keep coming back to these things in some of my writings but that’s because these are the things I keep coming back to in my marriage. These are the things that come up for us. For me.
And so, 4 months down the line after feeling completely disconnected from my husband, I sit here today feeling complete love and gratitude for him. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons but here is just one and the one which prompted me to write today. Because I came home to a journal on my desk. Not especially pretty, not expensive, just a plain book. So what’s so special about that? Well, last night we were watching a You Tube clip by Robin Sharma about procrastinating and one of the things he says is to do a vision board in your journal. It is something we’ve been wanting to do for ages and so I said, ‘Ya, I must get myself a book to do that.’ And so I came home to see that my husband had got one for me with a little note inside which says ‘I love you.’ And what does that say to me? I know he loves me already but this says he’s heard me. He hears me.
Yes, he stuffs up, he makes mistakes as do I. But he also gets it right. Not because I’ve ‘trained’ him. Not because he’s just trying to please me. But because I feel like he’s really trying to get me, to listen to me and what I need from him. But let’s also give credit to where credit is due…to me 🙂 Because I tell him. I tell him what I’m feeling. I tell him when he’s pissing me off, when he’s doing it right, when he’s being an a-hole. I tell him what I’m feeling because I know that he knows that this marriage thing is a journey of two people trying to work it all out. Trying to wade through all our stuff so that we can find common ground and meet at the same destination of love and acceptance. Of ourselves and of each other. Honestly and openly. It still might not work but at least we’re doing that.
***This month of July is all about appreciation. Join us in our ‘Appreciate Your Partner 30 Day Challenge‘ and let’s see what it can do for our relationships. Are you with me?