Happy Halloween season! Hope your trunk or treat decorations worked out great and that you finally located the witch tights your daughter misplaced no less than 54 times in the last week.
Kids are fun.
Hope you figured out how to trick or treat – or not – in the time of Corona and also got creative about incorporating a parka into a mermaid ensemble – thanks Utah – and whew!
In the wake of your Halloween hangover… pull your tree stump a little closer and start roasting your marshmallow over the open fire.
It’s time for one last scary story this season.
And it sounds like this…
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful, smart and funny young woman who toiled for years to find and snag her handsome prince. After a whirlwind courtship filled with loveliness and promise, the two were wed in a touchingly intimate ceremony attended by their dearest friends and closest family members.
They rushed off into the night through a cascade of bubbles, trailed by streamers and old tin cans.
Neither could imagine a more perfect beginning to what was sure to be a wonderful life.
And it was.
Until it wasn’t.
There was confusion over who’s job it was to empty the dishwasher.
They didn’t agree on the best brand of bread.
The toilet backed up.
She didn’t fill the gas tank and he was stranded on his way to work.
He went fishing instead of cheering their son’s soccer game.
Date night didn’t happen.
Sex became a chore.
He called her names.
She held a grudge.
Then there was that flirtatious co-worker and the maxed out credit card.
He lost his job.
She lost her faith.
Some of their life together matched the dreams they promised each other on the day they wed.
But a lot of it didn’t.
She worried that they’d made a mistake.
That every day together was another mistake.
And sometimes she wondered if it would be a bigger mistake to bail.
She thought of how they might be damaging their kids.
She worried about the future.
She spent most days in a numb haze of survival instinct, not daring to look up and see how far they were from where she’d imagined they’d be.
She didn’t know what to do.
And asking him only caused another fight or led to stony silence.
So she alternated between doing nothing and doing everything, all the while worrying that this might be as good as it ever got.
The background music of her everyday looped something like this:
“Will he ever get past that thing I said at the block party?”
“Can I ever forgive him for walking out that weekend?”
“What if we never get out of debt?”
“We aren’t setting a good example for our kids.”
“I can’t handle his judgement.”
“I don’t want to be this lonely.”
“What if this agony never, ever ends?”
The days turned to weeks turned to months turned to years.
Life marched on – with graduations and reunions and mortgage payments and shared retirement plans.
The day to day plodded along in pretty much the same painful manner while the stakes of the decision to stay or go only climbed higher.
The friends. The investments. The milestones. The obligations.
They continued to grow a life together, but their love didn’t seem to grow along with it.
Instead, they cultivated insecurity and resentment. Judgement and fear.
No matter where she looked, she found reason to believe that she was stuck.
She didn’t want the hassle or expense of moving out.
She wasn’t willing to make her kids change schools.
She guilted herself, thinking maybe there was something else she could try.
But she was too tired and too wounded to follow through.
And she judged herself for that.
She lay awake night after night wondering how they’d gotten here and playing out scenario after scenario where there was no relief to be found.
She was trapped.
With no end in sight.
For as long as they both shall live.
I’ve thought so many of the things in the story above.
Accepted them as true.
Tearfully resigned myself to all of that being my lot in life.
I still do that sometimes.
And I’m guessing since you’re reading this… you do to.
If that’s the case, I want to offer you now the same brilliant wisdom that one of my very first coaches once offered me.
I told her my sad, scary story. Laid out all of the terrible the things I was certain were true about myself, my husband and my marriage.
She looked me dead in the face and, with the kindness and love of one million grandmothers, sorta shrugged and said,
“That might be true. But what if it’s not?”
Now I ask myself that same thing all of the time. When I notice a painful belief, I take a breath and channel my coach. I shrug if I can manage it and open my mind to consider,
“But what if it’s not?”
When I’m able to entertain that question, my narrative goes from a scary story to be shared round the campfire to a choose your own adventure where my marriage isn’t necessarily doomed and it’s possible that the two of us could, maybe, still come out on top.
Feels way better.
I ask you now to take a look at your most common beliefs about your marriage.
He doesn’t love me.
I can’t trust him.
He doesn’t prioritize our family.
Then consider asking yourself what my coach asked me, “Yes, love… that might be true. But what if it’s not?”
Add a little shrug.
Just to make the adventure a bit more sassy.
Even better, we could sort through this together.
Just click the link below to apply for my Defying Gravity program.
Everything is easier with a coach at your side. I know I can help you stop wondering if you married the wrong guy and create the connection you’ve been longing for.
All you’ve gotta do is click.
Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash