Today I choose love.
Today I choose happiness.
Today I choose forgiveness.
Today I choose kindness, mercy, and grace.
I realize that the tone of this post may be the complete opposite of what I wrote just a few days ago. That’s the hard part about this journey. When they say it’s a roller coaster, they mean it. For now I’m choosing to just hang on tight and see where it takes me.
The past 4 months have been a whirlwind. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been in this pit of despair for eternity and I’ll never get out, but when I really stop to think about it, time goes by so fast. The minutes and hours are slow but the days are quick. Some days I feel like I (we?) haven’t made any progress and then when I look back I see how far we have come.
Maybe it’s the anti-depressants kicking in but for the first time in a while I’m feeling hope. I haven’t felt much of anything in the past couple of weeks, to be honest. I thought if I shut myself down emotionally, I would safe-guard myself from anymore hurt and pain. I felt for sure the walls I built would protect me. And to an extent, they did; but at what price? The walls meant to keep out the bad were also not letting in the good. The happiness. The love, the joy, the hope. I’ve decided that’s not a price I’m willing to pay. It turns out that you really can’t control what happens to you in life. I naively thought that my childhood was bad enough. That I had paid my dues and now I would be rewarded with the easy, “normal” family life I always wanted. Boy, was I wrong. Life is anything but expected and I would be foolish to think even now that this was the worst of it. Things can always be worse. I now know that devastation can come from anywhere, anyone, and at any time. The only thing you can do is prepare yourself. For me, preparing myself means getting myself to a place where I am mentally and emotionally strong enough to handle whatever life throws at me. Knowing I alone am responsible for my happiness and that I am capable of making it through anything. Deciding what my limits are and not being afraid to walk away from something when it is no longer the right thing.
But, preparing myself also means letting go of the fear and anxiety about what the future holds. We could come out of this with a stronger, better, more intimate relationship than before. Or we could not. Whatever the outcome, I am no longer going to be a slave to my fears. Glennon from Momastery says sometimes the best thing we can do is choose the next right thing. So for me, in this moment, the next right thing is to choose love. I am choosing to love my husband. I am choosing to give him the benefit of the doubt and have faith that we can make it through this. In the midst of all the hurt and the pain, I still find myself desperately and madly in love with him.
I have been so focused on what he has done wrong in our relationship that I haven’t seen the mistakes I made. Yes, he broke the vow of fidelity. But what about the vows I broke? Somewhere along the way I stopped cherishing him. I stopped respecting him. I stopped honoring him as my partner, my equal. I felt entitled to call the shots in our relationship and I completely pushed his needs and feelings aside. Aren’t I just as guilty? When we talk about sins in the eyes of God, we say that no sin is worse than another. Shouldn’t all vows be equally important? I am in no way taking blame for my husband’s actions. He made his choices and I think the gravity of those choices are beginning to set in for him. I CAN, however, take responsibility for my part in the breakdown of our relationship. Marriage is about being a partnership, a team. I told him the other day that he abandoned our team a long time ago, but looking back…didn’t I?
The world would be a much better place if we could learn to forgive when it’s not deserved and love when it’s not reciprocated. Yes, our marriage has been damaged irreparably and I don’t think we will ever be the same. My hope is that we will be better. I am not weak for choosing love. I’m strong. I’m resilient. I’m brave. I’m choosing to see the best in him and forgiving the worst. When I think back to why I fell in love with him, I still get butterflies. I’m not sure what happened but somewhere along the way I chose to only see the negative and not the positive. I ignored the butterflies – but maybe it would be better to feel them. My husband is a kind, caring, and honest human being. He would do anything for anybody. He is funny and always finds a way to make me laugh when I need it most. He has the biggest heart and is selfless in so many ways. He is handsome and I am so physically attracted to him. When we first started dating our sexual chemistry was out of this world. Even now I am blown away by it. He is smart, resourceful, and driven. He succeeds at anything he puts his mind to and I am always impressed by his resolve and his tenacity. He’s the kind of man I want raising my future children. I know that they will be as hopelessly in love with him as I am, and I can’t wait. He is forgiving in ways I can’t even begin to compare to.
I know that I won’t feel this way every day. There are days I will succumb to the pain and anger and I will allow myself to feel those things because they are true and real and I deserve to feel them. But I can’t live my life in agony all the time. Sometimes you have to search to find joy, and today I’m tired of feeling hopeless. I want to be happy. I want to feel excited. I want to remember that tomorrow is not guaranteed and I don’t want to take the opportunities I have today for granted. I want to love and be loved. So I’m going to.