Every morning I wake up in a king-sized bed, next to a man that says he loves me on a daily basis, in a lovely house, with 2 amazing kids, and I think: how blessed am I? What a charmed life I lead.
Sometimes…sometimes a recurring thought creeps into my brain space: What am I doing here?
I’m not sure when this voice took up residence in my consciousness, but it’s there. She has a small space–a quiet neighbor that doesn’t always voice her opinion. But she does, at times.
She’s there–questioning whether I should be in this marriage or not. Questioning whether I am the culprit that can’t be made happy, or if there is something truly missing…or lost along the way. The relationship is void of drug abuse, physical abuse, money problems or infidelity. There’s no sensational story to our downward spiral–just the nearly unnoticeable erosion that comes from unrequited emotions and diverging life paths.
And I think I’m the sole member of this union that vehemently vacillates in this matter.
It’s not uncommon to spend my days dreaming about living alone with my children, cuddled together in a small house in a small town somewhere. Or, if I really let my possibilities expand–living in a small beach town somewhere with my two tow-headed children, smelling salty water every day and living a life with love and purpose, far away from the cold, the daily grind of accumulation, and the constant worry of what others think (Note: nobody is thinking anything about you. Don’t flatter yourself).
Is that normal? Do all married persons waste precious brain space on these thoughts? I recently pondered this question with my mother (an amazing soul-mate, confidant, and cherished being). In her words, “If a married person tells you they’ve never thought about divorce–they’re lying.”
And I get it. Marriage is hard. Isn’t that what we all hear? Isn’t that the mantra? The societal drum of domestication pounds that through to us: marriage is hard, so you must work at it, and then it will be better. Nay–it will be more tolerable.
Is that what we are shooting for? An existence with another soul that we can tolerate the most? Someone that can see us at our worst and still stand by our side, when even they probably would love to run screaming away from us?
So here are we: two sapless souls, traversing on the same trajectory because neither one of us has the courage to stand and deliver our own truth. What’s truth? That maybe relationships do have an expiration date and ours has surpassed it’s sour date. That perhaps we did come together (pun intended) for a reason, created two wonder-filled souls, and can stop trying so hard to write the rest of the story. Maybe there aren’t any additional pages in this book. Maybe the next chapter isn’t part of the pages of this fairy tale, but another volume all-together, with the aforementioned two amazing souls as the leading characters, rather than our own tattered and tired novel that goes no where.
But how to know? We need to know, don’t we. We want to be sure that leaving is going to be better than staying. We are more comfortable with the known uncomfortableness than the (real or imagined) uneasiness and regret that may await us.
And on that note – isn’t happiness within us? So maybe there isn’t a need to do anything. If happiness is an internal thermostat we should be able to set for ourselves, then external influences shouldn’t affect us, right? Right–but that happiness I referred to– that comes if an only if we can be truthful with ourselves and our mates. Say how you feel, what you need, what you want, and what your goals are. If those truths are denied, then I suppose you really do have the answer, and the vacillation can vanish.
I don’t have answers. Maybe I never will. And I’m not sure if courage looks like staying and working on a relationship, or rather if bravery takes the form of choosing to leave–amicably releasing each other with love, armed with the knowledge that you both will be better for parting ways.