“There is nothing more brave than loving someone and holding a space for them when they don’t appear to value it. The lessons are huge because our ego and society’s ego is determined to make us think this is weak. The strongest people I have ever come across are those on this forum and the terminally ill…. mind blowing strength. Your husband may not seem to value your previous life or even your grace, dignity and integrity but I have seen these qualities quoted as being the reason many walk-away partners look toward home. Keep doing what you’re doing and feel proud of your bravery x “
I have quoted myself here because I was quoted on a forum that I belong to by someone who told me that this passage brought them to tears. I was humbled and I wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all the people out there for whom this passage would also apply.
I remember watching a current affairs documentary about a man who had suffered a horrific injury. He was unable to walk & talk but was recovering very slowly with the help and the absolute devotion of his partner. Much fuss was made about how brave and selfless she was to be standing so strong in the face of such adversity. Not to take anything away from her but I found myself thinking, at least he wants you there.
What about those people that stand by partners who have cast them aside. Partners who tell them after decades of marriage that they never should have gotten married. Partners who destroy everything they have built in a quest to find their holy grail. Partners who carry a deep pain that only you can see because the masks they wear for everyone else are so convincing. Partners that you could let go of if you knew they were truly moving toward a better life.
Instead you stand off to the side, living in your new reality with an uncertain future and about as much grace as a new born giraffe. You learn to fix leaks, do a budget, make solo purchases, decorate or any number of tasks that were once undertaken by your partner and you get proud…really really proud. This journey becomes as much yours as it does your partners as the focus shifts from them to you.
If your partner turns toward home, the game changes again. You’ve been waiting to hear them say they love you and they want to come home. You know you’ve got lots of work to do but you think you might be up for it. They hesitate, they wobble and they make really shitty decisions that are really hard to understand given what they stand to lose. This is where reconciliation can fall apart before it gets started. And this is one area where I passionately support those who have come so far so that they can keep going through that dark period before the dawn.
I have come to understand that from your partners perspective, there are 3 very important reasons why this period is not straightforward:
- They are not feeling anything consistently or clearly, especially if another person is in involved. Even when they don’t appear to like the other person, there is guilt and addictive behaviours to break.
- They are not sure that they can be the person you need them to be. They know they have broken your heart once and do not want to do it again.
- They don’t know if you will be able to get over it. Ironically they need to learn to trust you again.
They will likely see the changes in you and see you now walking tall like a fully grown giraffe. The fact that you now do not NEED them will be both comforting and scary to them.
You need that ‘you’ that you grew into more than ever because it will take a while to learn to trust each other so in the mean time, you need to trust you. You need to trust that every step you take, you have your back and if the worst happens again, you know you will get through it because you have before.
Whatever stage you are currently at, know that I have your back and I know that even if you seriously screw some things up along the way, you will eventually also walk tall and proud. Stay true to your desire to love because it is the same love that you need to access for yourself.
Walk in faith, not in sight.