Do the Easiest Thing, Decide Soon

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Have you been struggling for years in your marriage? I did.

To the world at large, we looked like the perfect family.

As one friend says it, “a Norman Rockwell painting”.

But behind closed doors we argued over everything. Sometimes even a compliment went south, no joke.

Thinking about it now, it all seems so crazy that two people who claimed to love each other felt so unloved by the other. But we did. Each for different reasons, I guess, insecurities, perceived failures, family wounds, who knows.

All I do know is that I spent more years in tears than laughter.

But I couldn’t leave. I knew, deep inside, that he loved me. And I loved him. We just didn’t seem to be able to find middle ground long enough to feel loved.

Sound familiar? When you just can’t seem to make it work, no matter how hard you try?

I accepted his harsh words as a pronouncement on who I was and lashed back. But they weren’t. They really had nothing to do with me. His ability to feel loved was contingent on me proving it to him all the time. And if you are there right now, then you know that is a never ending, 24/7 job.

I don’t have to tell you that it doesn’t work. You cannot love him into wholeness and joy.

You can’t fix him, and you can’t change him.

Nor can he do that for you. I didn’t know then what I know now, that marriage was NOT designed to heal another person into wholeness.

In fact, marriage more often does the opposite. It brings all our brokenness to the surface.

It is rather like standing outside a closed bakery shop window. You see all these delicious pastries. But the door is locked. You can’t get in; you can only stand outside and imagine what they would taste like.

That’s what we do in marriage. We stand outside and imagine how wonderful it would be if only … And that is what keeps us spinning; trying to make him happy, so he will then make us happy.

Meanwhile, all we really have to do is just decide.

Decide what we believe about us and about our marriage. Decide what we need, what we can or can’t live with, give or do.

The good news is, the sooner we decide, the sooner we stop crying, getting frustrated and angry or feeling hopeless.

Which means the sooner we can decide if our marriage is worth saving. Simple enough? Just decide.

“Sure,” you may be saying, “Sure, just decide. Easier said than done”.

And you would be right, it is, especially if don’t know where to start.

But if you join me Thursday, September 26th for a free masterclass, I will share with you three secrets toward making those decisions.

And then you will be that much closer to the big decision - whether you can stay married, in love; or not.

Kimberly Benjamin Houdebine