I am not alone in knowing what it is like to be in a bad marriage. Said marriage lasted 16 years. Most likely 10 years too long. But I was young and tenacious. I also held the belief that divorce was the ultimate failure. I like to think I am older and wiser these days.
I also know what it is like to be in a long work situation, where things are constantly changing. Sometimes, the changes are difficult. Other times, change is much welcomed. The main constant would be the collaborative and diverse culture of my workplace. In addition, the challenges and continual opportunities to grow in knowledge, skills, and experience. Quality experience.
Fortunately, I have also known what it is like to start over. This can be the scariest decision of them all. Though worth it in every way possible. If you have never tried this, you might be due for some starting over.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. That would be the best description of my first marriage. Growth did not truly happen until those latter days when I started my plan to move on. For the most part, I was treated as a second-class citizen. No matter what accomplishment I made, it was reacted upon as another threat to our “family”. I fell for it several times. Until the day I realized that nothing was going to change. So I made the decision to do so.
We had just moved to Northern Colorado the year before and I had just landed the best job of my life. The husband decided to clear all the funds out of our account so that I would not have enough money to hire an attorney or move our kids out of the home. Fortunately, I had developed some strong resources. Nevertheless, I knew that it was going to be a long, difficult road.
Of course, my family back in California suggested I come “home”. But I felt home. Moreover, I had this great job, which also provided me with another “family”. So I took a risk. I stayed put, held onto my job and got the divorce.
Several years have passed and I am still enjoying my position as Executive Assistant to the VP of Supply Chain. We have had good times, bad times, tough times, and short times to take a few breaths.
Five years ago, I entered into my second marriage. A completely different vibe in and of itself. Because I learned to teach others how to treat me as well as treating others how I want to be treated. Mutual respect. Was it scary to do this? Hell yes. Has it been worth it? More than anything I could have imagined. I found a husband who loves a lot of the things I do, as well as enjoys his own things. We are both fiercely independent, yet enjoy quality time together.
My husband has never been married. Yet I had, and I was not too interested in beginning a new marriage at first. Fortunately for me, neither was he. But we finally came to the conclusion that we wanted to grow old together. Thus, I started over again with the title “wife”. I am grateful for this decision to this very day.
What would be the difference between these situations, Elysia? I am glad you asked!
- When growth is stunted or downright reversing for a long stretch of time – Let go.
- When you have exhausted all resources such as counseling and even prayer, and the behavior never changes – Let go.
- When the circumstance or relationship affects all your other relationships with loved ones negatively for a long stretch of time – Let go.
- When issues arise, yet progress is made and it sticks – Keep going.
- When the momentum and commitment are aligned with your personal values – Keep going.
- When you truly see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel – Keep going.
- When you are not in agreement but have full trust in the process – Keep going.
- When you have exhausted all of what should be and are ready for what actually is – Start over.
- When you can have an open mind and clear vision – Start over.
- When you fully trust your spiritual growth – Start over.
- When you know you have a true passion for experiencing the unknown – Start over.
An important tool for deciding which path to take is a simple list of Pros and Cons. I know this from experience. Making a decision based on emotion is never a good idea. So time for reflection and research has always been extremely helpful to me in my decisions.
Where are you today? What is the first step you need to take toward making a decision? When you do indeed make the decision, stick to it.
Stay Blissful My Friends – E