“Nothing changes until you do.” Mike Robbins
Are you struggling with a decision on whether or not to leave your marriage?
You’re not alone.
Abbey called me and said she was ready to end the 23 year relationship she had with her husband. She said that now that her kids are grown and more independent, she’s really feeling the pain, emptiness and loneliness that has existed between her and her husband for a long time. They haven’t had fun together in years, she feels undermined by him and they’re barely speaking. He’s always angry or depressed and when he comes home at night, isn’t terribly interested in helping with the kids or what needs done around the home. She tells me they’ve never really been close or felt connected and now she’s just exhausted.
This marriage may be over. She may move on and feel comfortable living on her own. She will likely be able to manage being a single mom, because she handles virtually everything to do with the kids now anyway. She may even find someone in the future to love.
She can change her surroundings. She can change where she lives. She can change her name from a Mrs. to a Ms. and the faces surrounding her may change.
But who she is inside of that marriage is still who she’s going to be if she decides to leave that relationship.
And if there’s no real shift within herself, she’ll just keep re-creating the same experience over and over again.
Or, she’ll actively seek a much deeper connection and she’ll find that, but he won’t have any of the things she took for granted in her husband, like providing for the family and never lying or cheating on her.
You know that saying, nothing changes until you do?
You’re the only one that you can change.
And you’re the only one who can create the kind of life and loving relationships you desire for yourself, but it requires some shifts within you:
- It requires you to become the type of person that can both give and receive the kind of love you wish you had (if you want more passion in your life, are you living a passionate life?).
- It requires you to be willing to see what role you played in the creation of this painful experience (so that you don’t make those same mistakes again and again and again).
- It requires you to get clear about what it is that you want, that you don’t feel like you’re getting inside this relationship (if you don’t know what you’re seeking, how will you ever find it?).
Abbey’s future will look and feel dramatically different than her past, because she’s taken that step forward for herself and made that commitment.
If you’re not getting what you want in your marriage, to simply leave your marriage isn’t always the answer – and it’s certainly not the only answer – since you’ll be taking yourself with you when you go.