Marriages are beautiful. They come with no handbooks just like life. With its routine, it allows a sense of comfort, with its craziness it provides a sense of adventure. When trust, respect and love is mutual it makes life meaningful.
I saw such a marriage in my parents.
No, it wasn’t all hunky dory or perfect, but it came with a determination and knowledge that family came first. You don’t give up on each other no matter how hard things get.
In the past two years, I saw a few of my closest friends get married. And despite what the media tells you about people not having the patience to stay married, I see them grow together, nurture each other with companionship and space, disagreeing but staying together. They too like my parents have figured that you don’t give up that easy.
I went into my marriage with the same notions of trust, loyalty, respect, forgiveness and never giving up. But three years and I was neck deep, struggling to keep on going, fighting for air. Where had I gone wrong? What was it that I had not done for the man I had loved, what more could I put into the relationship, how could I just make it work?
It took me a while but then I figured i had missed one little word. I had, in the rush to write my fairytale come true, forgotten that love, trust and respect must be mutual.
What about you?
I had taken for granted the person that mattered most – Me.
It is a very difficult choice to make, as an individual and even more so as a mother. To stop everything you are doing for a moment, to pause and look at yourself.
To just sit and take a good look at oneself.
Am I where I want to be?
Am I okay?
Am I still in control of my life and choices?
Our thresholds become so much higher the day we become a mother. Every day we are tried and we are tested, and we don’t even realise how far we have pushed ourselves, how farther ahead we have gone. Sometime we don’t even know how much more we can take but we go on for the sake of our child. Refusing to give up, refusing to let go. Family comes first after all.
It should have been easy for me to let go of my marriage. He was a liar, a cheat, an adulterer, an alcoholic and an abusive man. Religion permitted me, law was on my side and so were the social systems. But no, I was not willing to let go. Day after day, I trudged along, took myself back to the house where I was suffocating, to the man who was sapping away every drop of energy I had within me. My son had to have a father.
I just could not get myself to accept that I was wrong. That the man I had loved so did not, had not ever loved or respected me the same way. It was easy for everyone but me to see. And you would think they would tell you so, your friends, your family, your well-wishers. But that’s where you will get it wrong darling.
No one will tell you.
Some will try to protect you from the truth, some will find pleasure in your pain, some will see how far you can go, maybe the next turn and things may after all work out for you. But no one will stand up in front of you, shake you up and tell you, “Give up, woman. It’s over. Let go. For your sake, for your child’s sake, let go.”
When I look back at my marriage, the most painful memory is not the day that my husband told me that he was sleeping with my cousin.
It is not when my best friend who had been to my wedding, honeymoon and every family trip I had made, quietly married a third person a few months after ruining my marriage.
It is not the day that I was flung on to the floor by a six footer or the night I was threatened to be killed and raped by the man who I had truly loved.
The most painful months of my life are those months where I tried to believe in an institution that was not true for me. It was those months when I tried to trust the man I so loved. Those evenings that I hoped that when he walked into the door my life would change; he would see me for who I was and the love I had poured out and do right by me and my son. It was the months that I waited and hoped against hope that my life was simply a bad dream that someone would shake me up from.
It is so easy to loose focus on what is important. When you let go of your sensibilities and chose others over you, who ever they may be — your partner, your loved ones, the institutions you become part of. Everything else, everyone else matters so much and you work so hard trying to keep the world happy, you are long lost.
Marriages are beautiful, relationships bring meaning to life.
Losing an argument, compromising and letting go of your ego is good, now and then. Letting your patience tried allows you to grow, and seeing another perspective broadens your understanding. But do it all the time, you will forget who you were. You will lose yourself and to find oneself is a task neither easy nor always possible.
FIND YOUR SPACE. KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES AND DON’T GIVE UP ON YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT… That’s the first rule to life and relationships.