Honest writing is authentic writing, no matter how hard. Sometimes I’ll write something down and get through the post only to delete it, fearing what people might think of me. I’ve been listening to Oprah’s super soul conversations on CD lately–(I know, are CD’s still a thing? Apparently so…) My bluetooth adapter decided to take a dive to the other side, and now I’m back on that 2003 CD lifestyle. Anyhow, Oprah. Good ol’ O. Oprah decided to blow my mind per usual within the first chapter of her audiobook. She was having a conversation about the book, “The Unteathered Soul” by Michael Singer, with who else but Michael Singer himself. I clearly need to read his book. It’s both Oprah and Chopra approved which basically makes it a bible. She was talking about separating the soul from the self. Separating the self from the spirit. Realizing your thoughts are separate from who you are. It was mind blowing. I could never explain it as clear as I heard it, but in that moment, I felt like I needed to be a little more me, more open book, and more soul bearing with intention. Give you all a little bit more of my true self.
With all of that said, I’ve written super briefly before about the challenges I’ve been having lately–pretty much only letting you know that I’ve been having problems, and then stating I’d come back to talk more in depth. And here I am. I am showing up today.
Marriage is a funny concept, isn’t it? I mean some even refer to it as the “institution of marriage” which in my opinion sounds downright awful. I never knew what they meant when they said, “Marriage is work.” Miles and I jumped into it, never really questioning the overall meaning or reasoning as to why people marry to begin with. It seemed like the logical next step for two people who had chosen one another, and at the time felt as though they’d be a fit forever. I vowed to grow with him, love him unconditionally, and to always, remember, no matter how far we may part from one another, I’d always find my way “home.” I meant what I said, but meaning what you say and practicing that meaning are two entirely different things.
We’ve never been perfect. Never have claimed to be, but serendipitously found one another in the most unconventional way, and here we are, two babies later, 5 years in, and struggling…
It really all comes down to communication. We were lacking in this department. We were talking, but not listening/not feeling heard. Both of us seemed to be deaf while the other spoke, waiting to respond, never fully absorbing what the other was saying. There was also the means of our communication. One of us shouting, the other clamming up, shutting down, and so began the downfall. Things were said hurtfully, and things weren’t said at all. We reached a peak. We decided we could split up and save our children from our faults, or we could try and change those faults. We both knew if we weren’t 100% committed to making it work, it wouldn’t work. So we took time to make sure it was what we both wanted. We came to the conclusion that this time around we would both be all in. This meant owning our personal faults, and it also meant putting our egos aside and getting professional help. We had been trying to make it work on our own, and clearly we were failing.
We had been to counseling briefly before. We went around the two year mark of our marriage. We were only half-committed though as we saw our problems seem to diminish as we went. They never actually diminished, they were simply stashed as life became busier. Things we “learned” were never put into practice. Resentment was built, and if there is anything I’ve learned this past year it’s that problems not addressed only fester within us, and they are a disease to our relationships and to ourselves. Part of the reason Miles and I had originally chose one another was because of our differences. We are complete opposites, and it truly felt like a compliment. I filled in the gaps where he lacked, and he filled in my short-comings. This is still true, but it seemed to fall on the back burner when our personal issues were bringing out uglier sides in both of us, sides neither of us liked seeing in ourselves or in each other. Our unaddressed issues became a viscous cycle. Different arguments, same underlying issue just rinsed out and repeated. We couldn’t compliment each others’ gaps because our own gaps were needing personal attention and they basically had become unattended wounds with a shitty band-aid job. We both decided along with couples therapy, we both would seek individual therapy.
I had already been in personal therapy, but hadn’t established myself back into a consistent schedule when we moved back down south which is no excuse because it was over a year ago. I won’t talk about Miles’ therapy on here because it isn’t my story to tell, but I will be doing a follow up post on why I go to therapy. After attending the 5 week program of couples therapy, we are both still consistently going to our individual therapy and still practicing what we learned in our group therapy. Really practicing this time. This past year has been really hard for me, personally speaking, in our partnership. Most of the year was filled with a feeling of emptiness, loneliness, and hurt. I had emotionally withdrawn from Miles, and I had nearly given up on us. Thankfully, Miles didn’t give up on me,or on us. Truly, if it wasn’t for his persistence , I don’t know that I would have stayed. It wasn’t him convincing me to stay, it was him carrying me in the good fight I wasn’t sure I had enough energy to take part in. I love him so much for that.
Where are we now? We are progressing. When I look back and reflect on this last year, sure, it feels rather tumultuous and frustrating, but as I look back on recent months and as I look into the future, I feel promise & positivity, I feel happiness, and I feel motivated, all of which trump the feelings I have of the past. One of the first things I heard in our couples class was, “Energy never disappears or disintegrates, it only changes it’s form.” This gave me an entirely new perspective on the energy between Miles and I, and it gave me hope that we could transform the energy between us into whatever we wanted it to be. I don’t know what the future holds, and even writing this out feels scary and exposing, but I know these types of real conversations are needed. No one has a perfect marriage. Marriage is work. The work is worth the reward though, and even in the dimmest of lights, the most hopeless of feelings, if both individuals are holding on, both putting forth time and work, and both choosing one another day in and day out, I truly believe in it. I believe in us. After all, even a dim light is considered shining.
I’m on my way “home.”
Here’s to Miles and I, our love, and our light that continues to get brighter.