“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” Clint Eastwood
Donna has been with her husband for 30 years, married 28 years. He’s all she has ever known. They have two kids together, who are now grown and building lives of their own.
Donna has been struggling in her marriage for a while, feeling incredibly lonely, but she never seriously considered leaving or trying to make it better. After all, her parents have been married for 55 years and that’s what she had always envisioned for her own life as well. This was a pain she knew…
Until someone came along that showed her what she had been missing in her marriage…
Until then, she didn’t really know what intimacy meant…
Until then, she didn’t know you could connect with someone on such a deep level…
Until then, she didn’t know she could feel that kind of desire…or feel that desired by someone else.
Donna was ready to leave her marriage, pick-up her life and move across the country for this man, this love, that took her completely by surprise. But she, like the rest of the women in her shoes, had read everything that told her, this affair wasn’t real…it never lasts…you’ll regret your decision and end up alone.
So, she paused…just to get her mind out of the whirlwind…just long enough to be clear about what she really wanted and the cost of having this life she envisioned for herself.
But as she became increasingly available, he became increasingly absent. Ultimately, he broke her heart in two.
So Donna did what so many women do: she went back into her marriage and tried to return to that numb, lonely woman she was before she ever knew what she now knows about love and passion, connection and real intimacy.
But it’s like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole; it doesn’t work.
And she actually feels worse now than she did before – because she feels the absence of the kind of love and connection she’s longing for. It hurts. And she doesn’t know how she can possibly make this work.
So, Here’s the Question…
It begs the question…why would Donna leave her marriage for the possibility of the kind of love she’s always dreamed of when the man that awakened that desire within her was there, but not now that he’s gone?
That’s because she believed that what she felt was dependent upon him; without him, she would never feel those feelings again.
- That’s a lie; if Donna could feel those emotions and desires with one man, she can feel them again with someone else, because they’re hers.
She didn’t believe that she could ever find that kind of intimate, connected, loving relationship again.
- That’s a lie; she created that kind of love once – when she wasn’t even trying, when it was both inconvenient and terrifying for her, she created a love affair that whether right or wrong, felt really good, if even for a moment. Now she knows what she wants and she knows what’s possible.
She thought she could leave when she had the other man to run to because she wanted what felt like a guarantee, or at least a net she could fall into without ever feeling the pain of loneliness or the fear of being alone.
- That’s also a lie; there are no guarantees in love. There was no guarantee that her marriage would last until death do us part and there was no guarantee that she and this man would have lived happily ever after.
We’re all doing the best we can – and most of us are jumping into relationships with no tools or knowledge of how to make relationships work, last and feel good. So, we screw it up….a lot. We make up lies that we believe and look for the false sense of security in implied guarantees so we avoid the pain of heartbreak.
I get it.
Maybe better than anyone on this planet…I get it. Because I’ve been there myself.
I believed my own bullshit and hid from the truth…until the desire for the kind of love I wanted was stronger than the fear I felt of what I might have to walk through to get it.
I knew if I opened my heart, it could be broken again.
I knew if I leapt, there would be no net to catch me.
Even after I found the most amazing man I have ever known, I don’t delude myself into believing that our version of happily ever after is guaranteed.
We can stay safe and hidden, fearful and unhappy….
We can have the courage to do everything we know how to do to create a different kind of relationship with our husbands…one that really works and feels good…
Or we can get clear about what we want and how we want to feel – and stop believing our own bullshit.
Love comes with no warranty or guarantees; and I’m not sure I would want it any other way.
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