Saying that marriage is hard is an understatement. Nic and I got along so well when we were dating and everything was so easy. We barely fought in the three years that we dated, we always had a good time together and there was a lot of love between us. There was no doubt in my mind when I said “I do” that he was my forever and ever.
Five years later and two kids thrown into the mix really shook things up in our marriage. Of course we had to throw in a cross country move and a complete overhaul of our lifestyle just to make it more interesting.
I don’t write a lot about my marriage on this blog because I do feel that it’s something sacred that I have to protect. But if I’m truly honest, I don’t write much about my marriage because this past year has been the hardest year of my marriage so far. We were always able to put up a happy front when we were with others, but we had a couple of long stints in this past year that truly tested our commitment to one another.
There was a point in this past year after reading, learning and growing more within that I realized that I could have any life I wanted. If I wanted a happy life I could make that happen right now. If I wanted a miserable life that could also be mine. Of course I want the happy life, but making it happen is a lot easier said than done, but with every piece of me I was going to try. I started to let things go, worry less, enjoy the present moment more and when I was alone or with the kids everything seemed to be moving in the right direction.
When I was with Nic, however it felt like my marriage was holding me back from obtaining this utopian life I desired. Everything annoyed me. I annoyed him. We hardly wanted to look at each other let alone talk to each other. When we did talk to one another it always felt like one of us was attacking the other and so we were both always on the defensive.
This wasn’t what I signed up for. Why was everything else in my life going so well, and my marriage so out of whack? Did I make a mistake? Is he not the one? Why can’t he just do what I say?
A Change in Perspective
As I began to ask myself all of these questions about why my marriage wasn’t turning out the way I had hoped, there was one question that I hadn’t even considered. In the same way that I had asked myself whether I wanted a happy life or a miserable one (and the choice was mine), I finally realized that I could ask the same of my marriage. Did I want a happy marriage or a miserable one? Of course I wanted a happy one, but was I willing to do what it takes to obtain it?
When I finally came to the realization that the result of my marriage was all in my perspective of it and the decisions I made surrounding it, I was ready to give it my all. In the same way that I started to let things go, worry less and enjoy the present moment in my life, I started doing those things within my marriage and the bond between us slowly healed and is beginning to be stronger than ever.
Old Habits Die Hard
Women have been suppressed for so many lifetimes that I feel like many of us now feel like it’s our right to suppress men. Besides, they should be able to handle it if they’re real men, right?
Although I hate to admit it, this is exactly how I treated Nic. I am an alpha female in every sense of the word. This was how I protected myself. How I got what I wanted in life. I came to the realization that I needed to retire from this role, especially when I had someone that was so loving, caring, patient and understanding. I had to finally take my guard down.
Like anything, change isn’t easy, but for my marriage I am doing it. Some may feel like this giving in, not standing “my ground”, not holding him accountable for his mistakes makes me passive and gives him the opportunity to take advantage of every situation, but this simply is not the case. These are the lies that we’ve been fed to believe.
Sometimes we need to hit a breaking point in order to change the course of our lives. The same can be said about our marriages. When we hit that point we have two options. Recommit or let go.
Since recommitting and supporting this recommitment through my actions I’ve realized that so many of the little nit-picky things that could have torn us apart were exaggerated to seem so much more important than they actually were. I understand that some of us have real problems like abuse, however if you’re simply like me, a control freak who can’t seem to control your marriage, maybe the best thing for you to do is let it be and let yourself enjoy it. You will feel liberated.
Marriage is hard, but it’s only as hard as you allow it to be. Just like life. So do you want a happy one or a miserable one?