Are you giving away your happiness for someone else?

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.

Categories: Uncategorized

About the Author: Angela Patnode

My passion, my calling, is for you to be totally you. Through private coaching, in-depth retreats, and online group coaching programs, I help you tap into your intuition and clarify your desires and vision, I guide you to take active steps toward making your desires a reality.

4 comments to “Are you giving away your happiness for someone else?

  1. Jamie

    Hi Angela,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I always look forward to reading your blog. I can relate to much of what you write but nothing has resonated with me like this weeks. Although I’m not the person you spoke of, I read it like you were talking directly to me. Thank you for reminding me of who I am and providing tools to help me walk my path. I know what I need to do and will start my baby steps to get there.

    1. Angela Patnode

      I’m so glad this post resonated for you Jamie. Like you said, take baby steps towards letting go. Each step releases your heart toward freedom.

  2. T.

    Hi Angela,

    Your blog entry today was of special interest to me. Everything you wrote felt so true, and luckily was also very compassionate. I consider myself to be in this situation, and it is very hard on me at times, frankly it tears me up but I keep working on it and hoping things will get better so that I don’t have to face the consequences of a break up. As you said, the mind can be fooled but the heart can not. When I dare to listen to it, the weight gets heavier as I see myself squander the responsibility for my own happiness. Even though I have investigated this, it remains inexplicable to me, but I am also very fearful of other people’s judgement were I to leave the relationship. Having a young child in this relationship doesn’t make things easier as you mentioned.
    For now I am taking your blog as a hug, as some understanding without judging and as support for whatever will unfold.

    Thank you

    1. Angela Patnode

      Thank you for sharing your story Tom. My sense is you’re speaking for many people in a similar situation. Sending you a big hug through cyberspace. One step at a time. You’ll know if or when you’re ready to let go (and if that’s the right path for you).

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