As an adult, I don’t think we ever stop learning. With every disappointment we encounter, we learn something new.
If we are smart we will actually apply some of this education to our own lives. Most of the time we do nothing. It is easier to stick with the status quo and stay with what feels familiar. What I have discovered is that it is never too late to make a change. Even though change can be uncomfortable, sometimes it is necessary for our sanity. Whether it is a job change, a move or as large as walking away from a long term relationship. There is no time like the present!
There is no reason any of us should have to feel stuck in a life that makes us miserable. We only have one life and this one life should meet our expectations if not exceed them. If I could go back in the past I would do so many things differently. But that doesn’t mean a thing since the past is in the past. What I can do, what we can all do, is look to the future and live the lives we were meant to live.
When I left my marriage of fifteen years I considered sticking around because it was predictable, safe, and most of all I had made the commitment. I felt like I would be considered a bad person maybe even even a Home Wrecker if I didn’t follow through with this arrangement. I thought I owed it to my husband to stay with him until the end because he nursed me back to health while I was sick.
I believe he also thought that was enough reason for me to stay. When I started talking about leaving he was in total disbelief. It caught him by surprise. Up until then, he hadn’t a clue. Because of his good deeds I think he assumed I was a sure thing and that he could always count on me to stick around. By then I believe he started to take me and our relationship for granted. What kind of person would walk out on a guy who did everything in his power to make sure I survived the worst of the worst? He must have thought his good deeds gave him a little extra leverage. What kind of monster would walk out on a man whose intentions were so good and so pure?
When I left him I became his enemy. I did him wrong but at the same time I was truer to myself than I had ever been. I followed my heart. It is not as if I didn’t agree with his assessment of me, I did. I believed he was right. What a terrible person I had become, I thought to myself. Those inner voices in my head were not too kind. Basically I endlessly beat myself up for what I had done. Other people deserved breaks. Yet, I did not.
I spent months blaming myself for my bad deeds. I didn’t take it into consideration that I had been unhappy for the longest time. I lived with a feeling of emptiness way before he became my caretaker and my life support. I stuffed everything under the rug because change scared me and of course there was that “commitment.” Looking back, maybe the thought of finding happiness scared me. I had lived one way for so long that I had became accustomed to my misery. For as long as I can remember I was so dead inside. My marriage left me depleted with a big fat void that I couldn’t have imagined could ever be filled.
If I would have stayed stuck on that thought I wouldn’t have been able to experience the great joy that now is my life. It took everything in my power to make this change. Now as I look back, I am so grateful that I had the strength and the self love to finally put myself first.