Conversations with any of my friends inevitably turn to our relationships. With the isolation/lock down, we all have more time with our significant others or more time alone.
Approximately 10 years ago I blew up my marriage. I decided I was done, and I wanted out. My marriage had been based on my illusion of ‘how to do a marriage correctly.” It was a steady build, over years, on a faulty foundation. I eventually came to see that what I wanted wasn’t going to happen and I knew what I had was no longer sustainable. Reality could no longer be denied. Being alone and starting over was terrifying. I was in an emotional melt-down free-fall and I lived literally one minute at a time, putting one foot in front of the other doing everything in a state of anxiety. There was nothing to go back to, all doors were closed. There was only forward into a big, dark, scary unknown.
Yada, yada, yada, long story, some miraculous, ‘didn’t-see-that-coming,’ moments and my marriage is resurrected and recreated in a new configuration. He changed, I changed. We chose each other and began again. I do not regret the blowing up. It was necessary and we’re much better for it.
All this to say, I’ve experienced, at least a taste, of what you’re experiencing.
To my friends who are feeling less-than and like failures because they could no longer stay in their relationships, I ask;
Why is a long-term, both-parties-are-miserable, enduring marriage/relationship, deemed ‘successful,’ but a union that runs its course, serves its purpose, or becomes unsustainable and breaks up is viewed as a failure?
It worked until it didn't. What many things did the relationship teach you about yourself? How, honestly, does it feels to be out of that relationship? What DON’T you miss about the relationship? How expanded is your life now? What does your independence/self-reliance feel like when you stand up fully inside of it?
It will get better.
To my single friends I say; There is no template! Are you feeling bad because you aren't following the ‘rules’ or expectations of society, your culture, your parents/community? Do you really believe in or want what 'they' say you should want? Stop feeling bad about wanting something else! You are allowed to create the life you want to live simply by following what you like and don’t like. It requires bravery, of course. What’s worse, defying expectations and living your life, or compliance and living an inauthentic life?
“It’s nearly impossible to blaze one’s own path while following in someone else’s footsteps.” Glennon Doyle
To my friends who have done the huge work to free yourself from a painful or extinct relationship and you’ve built yourself again from the wreckage, I say; Please, please, please do not allow yourself to contract back into a smaller version of yourself in any new relationship. Stay expanded, stay whole. If ‘they’ can’t tolerate your bigness, your hard-won full self, that is their own fear. Don’t allow it space.
Doing for Others
To my friends who are doing what’s best for everyone at the expense of themselves, I say; do what is best for you, always. All ways. Doing What’s Best for You Really is What’s Best for Everyone!
What is better? Lying to please others or pleasing yourself and being disliked? Lying to please someone else is a betrayal of not only yourself but also of others.
“Uncomfortable truth or comfortable lies? Every truth is a kindness, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Every untruth is an unkindness, even if it makes others comfortable.” Elizabeth Gilbert
The Marriage of Content
To my friends who have weathered marital bumps (or catastrophes!) and wonder if you’ve settled, I say; Congratulations. You’ve done some hard work. You are brave and strong. But, rest assured, if there is something you are meant to be doing that you aren’t or if there is something you are to be or become, you will NOT be able to stay comfortable for long! Your contract with yourself will be fulfilled.
If you have peace and contentment in your relationship, be grateful for the absence of drama. Enjoy!
No matter your current circumstance, there are always choices. What can you do, each day, to make it as beautiful as possible?