Why is it that so many of us choose to stay with our partner out of a sense of duty or obligation even when it’s riddled with toxicity, dysfunction or lack of an emotional connection? I’m guilty of this, there have been many times that I didn’t want anyone to know that my happily ever after’s were more like the hell of my own making so I sugarcoated the shit out of my situations and plastered a smile on my face.
But, unlike many of whom I’ve spoken to on this subject, it seems as though my ability to live in a chaotic environment has an expiration date of – five years. To be honest I have yoga pants that have lasted longer than most of my relationships.
Recently a beautiful soul reached out to me and expressed that she feels a sense of hopelessness in her forty-year marriage and thought that maybe it would be better for her to be put on medication to handle her depression and sadness due to her constant struggles in her marriage. “I’ve invested over forty years,” she said.
Invested. There’s that word again. Marriage isn’t an investment. It’s a union between two people who love one another, who encourage each other to be the best versions of themselves, to feel safe enough to be vulnerable and be our authentic self without the feelings of judgment.
You invest in land, stocks or your crystal collection. A loving relationship goes deeper than how much time one has served in a marriage. That’s another term I often hear – time served, if you start referring to your relationship as a jail sentence than there’s a need for some self-reflection.
When we live our life out of duty, or obligation, fear of judgment, we are not living authentically, we are not living ‘freely’ and we lose ourselves.
When I was married to the wasband the chaos under his roof was often times maddening that I went to many lengths just to numb myself from feeling pain, sadness, and fear. I self-medicated myself just to get through the day, to get through the toxic moments. It didn’t matter how well I performed in our marriage it seemed as if I could never met his approval.
How the fuck did you get here?
Many moments led to my decision to finally choose me instead of living in a loveless marriage. I stopped making excuses for my unhappiness. I realized that I deserved a life free of the bullshit, free of the tears, free of fear, free of the ongoing emotional abuse. Most of all, I had to not worry about what others were going to think. It was just time to become my hero in my story.
Since my divorce I’ve learned that it’s not selfish to invest in your mental well-being. It’s not selfish to want to set boundaries and it’s sure as hell not selfish to live an authentic life and stand behind your voice.
My wish is for you to realize that you can live a life free of the bullshit. Many of us feel that we failed not only ourselves but others around us if we choose to end a long term relationship but that’s so far from the truth. Look – you have been in a far longer relationship with yourself and it’s time you see that. It’s time to feel worthy again and start showing yourself what love and life is all about without the constraints of a toxic partner.