Happiness is of your own making, but lots of people would rather stay in a miserable state (whatever it is for them) than make their way toward happiness.
I’m positive I’ve been that person, but then I chose to change my life rather than live a life of what would have almost certainly become one of misery.
As I’ve gotten out, I’ll admit that I struggle to understand people who stay in it any longer than they ‘have’ to. And for that reason, and more, I share a little of my story with you today.
Five years into our marriage, my husband and I were faced with a tough decision about our marriage.
We’d realised that we were no longer on the same path in life, and were at a point where we had to decide what to do about it.
For my part, it had been a long time coming. I knew I wasn’t happy, and at the same time as I was trying to figure out if we could salvage our marriage, I’d had started planning my exit, in case the worst came to the worst.
It wasn’t possible, as sometimes happens.
When we sat down to talk about it, and put all of our cards on the table, it was over in one conversation.
It was very final, but freeing. We mostly laughed through it, and reminisced about the good times. But there were other moments, of anger and hurt.
Admitting- once and for all- what we each wanted, and hearing that the other didn’t want the same things, was heartbreaking. But with those admissions, we both knew there was nothing we could do but go our separate ways.
And so, we each set about regaining our happiness, separately. More heartbreak ensued, but it was worth every second of agony.
What followed were many days and nights of wondering if I’d done the right thing. Could I have avoided this? Did I leave any stone unturned? But I knew, I’d done everything I possibly could do, and yet, here I was alone again.
What I’ve also realised since our divorce, is that unlike a lot of couples who dissolve their marriage because of hatred, cheating etc, we still loved each other. We just couldn’t be together, and be individually happy.
Becoming happy is worth whatever sacrifice you need to make. The alternative is not worth living with, or in. So much has happened in my life since then, and I wouldn’t give any of it up for the opportunity of saying, “yes, married for 10 years now.” That’s just not worth it.
But I’m worth making the hard choices for.
Something in me recognised that staying wasn’t actually an option for me, and that I needed to get myself out of the situation, and on to something bigger and brighter. Having spoken with lots of people since my split, I know that many can’t see the light that I did. They ask me how I’m so positive and happy, considering all that I’ve gone through. I tell them, “I don’t see the alternative, I’ve plenty to be happy and positive about, so I embrace it.” I also tell them that I’ve figured out the secret from my own life, mistakes and decisions. They shake their head at me, while I’m shaking my head (and mentally shaking my fists) at them. It’s a mutual disunderstanding, I guess.
I can look back and imagine what life would have been like for my husband and me if we’d stayed together, and it would have been horrendous for us. We were already growing to resent each other for various reasons, one of which being that I’d realised I was being held back, at the same time as I was supporting him in getting where he wanted to go. I also felt a huge lack of respect coming my way, even though love was present.
Therefore, it was inevitable. I can only think that if it had happened sooner, our individual happiness would have arrived sooner because we could have gotten on to the healing part much earlier. But, as my ex would say, “it is what it is,” and thus, it happened, and the healing occurred, when it should have- no later, no earlier.
Perhaps it sounds, in this brief blog, that it was easy for us, but it wasn’t. Six years later, I can tell you this story, and it’s only a summary. At the time, I was rendered speechless about the whole topic. Shellshocked. Ashamed. Coming to terms with our decision.
Some of my family members still don’t know the main events, and some only recently learned when I felt ready to talk. Everything comes out in the fullness of time.
Now that I’m on this side of happiness, and looking back on what was both a beautiful but sad time of my life, I implore you to make the tough decisions for yourself. If you find yourself in a marriage or other relationship which you know won’t garner what you want, and you can’t repair it and make equal compromises: be brave, make the tough decision and get moving.
It’s cosy and warm here in happiness, so come and join me.
Know someone who’s struggling to make a difficult decision? Send them this blog, but leave a ♥ before you do!
To read more about my road to recovery from the ending of my marriage, click here.