I met someone recently who told me this through tears, “When my husband asked me to marry him, I knew the answer was no, but we were in a restaurant, and I didn’t want to make a scene or let him down.”
It’s now 8 years later. They’re still married.
She’s not happy. In fact, she wakes up with a feeling of sadness about her life.
It’s not just the marriage, but the work too.
Life is complicated. There’s no one shot answer to make it all well.
She stays in the marriage. There’s love and support there and a level of comfort that makes it hard to leave. Yet there’s no intimacy. That’s the sadness.
Intuition continues to speak to her to tell her it’s not her path, but it’s complicated to change…
I went through the same thing. My intuition told me early on a relationship wasn’t right, but I stayed because it had other pieces I liked and wanted. My intuition didn’t let me stay though – it started screaming at me through anxiety 2 years later.
The relationship ended, and so did the anxiety.
It wasn’t easy. It was complicated. But I have peace.
That’s the trade off.
I’ve done it and I see others doing it so often – staying in relationships, jobs, or situations where they are truly not happy, even miserable, but stay for the sake of the other person, or the company, or their children. That’s at least one of the reasons – not all.
You may not want to hurt them, or risk their reaction, or disappoint them, so you stay. You stay and find dread, sadness, and misery, yet moments of joy and love too. That keeps you staying and giving up your own true happiness.
My heart goes out to you if you’re in this situation.
This journey is really and truly your journey. You get to decide whether you stay or go, and you’ll only go when you’re ready. As I said, it’s complicated (and perhaps kids involved which makes it really complicated), and there may be some realizations and “bottom of the barrel” experiences to have before you’re ready to walk away or let go.
Based on my own experience, here’s what I recommend if this is you:
- Find the strength in yourself to seek counseling or guidance, so you have some support during this time. Know that you’re not alone.
- Stay away from the “pros and cons” of a relationship because that’s purely intellectual. Go to your heart/body. Your body has the answer. When you imagine being in this same situation a year from now, what’s the physical sensation you have in your body? Is there a clear no or yes?
- Be kind with yourself in this journey. There’s no right or wrong time frame to when you start living your life for yourself in balance with others.
- Give yourself small gifts along the way; a candle here, a book there, a dinner out with friends, a walk in nature.
- Take small steps. Speak small amounts of truth as you’re ready, take small trips away, write in your journal or talk with friends about what you’re experiencing. It’s all part of letting go.
This path is your path dear friend. It’s your decision whether you make your own happiness a priority, or continue to give it away to someone or something else. I’m for you and with you wherever you are on the path.