“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.” Robert Tew
Everyone makes mistakes…
But we all deserve another chance…
It feels noble to “try,” doesn’t it?
And when something’s not working, we tell ourselves we just need to try harder.
It’s the upright, generous, and honorable thing to do…to keep trying when challenges come.
We all love a good hero’s journey story. We love to hear about insurmountable challenges and how the protagonist has faced their fears, overcome their challenges, and walked away victorious.
Who doesn’t want that to be the story they tell of their life and marriage?
The problem with this narrative is that the only definition we have for success in marriage is remaining together forever.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re happy together…
- It doesn’t matter if you helped one another through some challenging experiences…
- It doesn’t matter if you grew into who you are today as a result of having taken the risk to love another imperfect human being.
A marriage is either successful (ie: together) or unsuccessful (ie: no longer together). That’s why when a marriage ends, we will oftentimes use the word “failure” to describe how we’re feeling about it.
But what if a marriage can be successful AND not last forever?
What if we focus on the good and beautiful that was created during that time together AND know that what worked for that time no longer works today.
What if we were two people who loved one another as best we could, until continuing to love each other and be in a relationship meant no longer loving and honoring ourselves?
- Sometimes the women in my programs want to try again.
- Sometimes they want to get equipped with some real relationship tools to see if the marriage can evolve to a place that feels good for both parties.
- Sometimes they want to know they’ve given it their absolute best before walking away.
And sometimes they don’t.
In my own first marriage 15 years ago, I had gotten to a place where I had given up trying harder, and the disconnection between us had become too wide to bridge. So by the time we ended up in our therapist’s office, I had already mentally and emotionally left the marriage.
I choose to believe that it takes courage to try again (and again and again).
I also choose to believe that it takes courage to walk away from what is known and familiar in order to create a life and love based only in hope and possibility.
You don’t have to want to try again (at least not with me…)
You won’t be shunned, shamed or made to feel guilty…But you also don’t have to remain stuck.
We get to make the decisions that honor us, and we get to choose the narrative we tell about that decision.