Back in 2004, I hit the “Easy” button.
I married a guy who had his act together, and we envisioned a life together with two kids, the house, annual vacations, and two steady jobs. It seemed natural and fairytale-like.
But, as is often the case in a marriage or long-term relationship, things started to become increasingly difficult. I became a stay-at-home, then work-from-home Mom, with hardly any chance to breathe, play, think, or – let’s be very honest, here – pee, shower or brush my teeth. IT. WAS. DIFFICULT. SHIT.
Boiling the biggest struggle down… I was raised to take the path of least resistance, even if it didn’t always feel like it was the right one. I told myself if it wasn’t easy, it must not be right. EASY = CORRECT.
And, so, in late 2012, I hit the next “Easy” button and left my marriage. I say easy, because I chose to not have any more difficult conversations about why I felt what I felt, about why I thought he didn’t care, about what could have happened to get us to that point, about why I was tired of giving up parts of myself, and about why I felt guilty asking him to give up parts of himself in order to reduce the turmoil in our relationship. I was just exhausted. And I believe, so was he. So, I chose to not fight the fight anymore, and I left.
A little over a year later, I was standing on my own two feet, moving forward with the path I had chosen, and a friend mentioned how she believed my marriage should have never ended. I cried, because I agreed with her. Despite all the turmoil, misunderstanding, and straight up different philosophies… I still liked him. Somewhere, deep down in my protected heart, I still actually loved him and believed in the fairytale.
And so, in December 2013, I took an axe and obliterated the “Easy” button from my life. I called the man that I had vowed my undying love to back in 2004 and told him I wanted to fix things… no matter what it took.
For the next several months, I lived at the intersection of gut-wrenching difficult and 100% uncertainty. I kept pressing on through moments when I didn’t know if I could go another minute staying strong enough and loving enough for both of us to heal, to moments of doubt where I wasn’t sure things could ever truly be repaired.
It was unfamiliar, unplanned, unchartered territory, and it was T-O-U-G-H! Childbirth was easier… by about 1,000%. Seriously.
There were no real rules or guidebooks for how to fix the mess, repair trust, and actually learn to unconditionally love my partner. So, I flew in the dark with duct-taped wings. But, I FLEW! And eventually, at one point, we began to fly together. We hit branches along the way, and the wind isn’t always at our backs. But, we are flying together.
At that crossroads back in 2013, and every moment since, I have chosen the “Totally Worth It” button. Nothing about it is easy. And it isn’t a quick tap of the button that will get you where you’re looking to go, either. It takes constant pressing, sometimes with blisters, and daily reminding and refocusing to keep the button in play. Easy? No. Totally worth every moment of the journey? Absolutely!
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