A while ago I read something in a magazine that really made me see my relationships in a totally different way.
A woman had written into an advice column saying that she suspected her husband of having an affair. She was really distressed about it, saying how it felt like they’d been drifting apart, that he was spending more and more time at work and she was getting worried and suspicious.
The advice that followed was totally not what I was expecting but it was excellent!
The advice columnist said something along the lines of this…
“Whether he’s having an affair or not is kind of irrelevant.”
My initial reaction to reading that was: What?! Surely that’s the whole point?
“The fact that you’re suspicious in the first place indicates that something clearly isn’t right.
There’s obviously a disconnect somewhere and the truth is, you can’t control how he behaves or feels. So getting stressed out about what he may or may not be doing or feeling is pointless.
The only person you can control is you. We can’t be good partners or love someone unconditionally unless we’re good to, and love ourselves first.
I would encourage you to stop worrying about what he’s doing and focus on you first.
What makes you happy? What do you love to do that you don’t do enough of? What brings out the most authentic and best version of you?
When you can make yourself whole and complete amazing things will happen.
1- You will become the best version of you, which is not only an amazing place for you to be, it’s also amazing for others to be around. By giving to yourself and finding your own joy, you’ll become more of the person your husband fell in love with in the first place.
2- Maybe he sees the new, happier you and decides to reconnect and work on making your relationship amazing.
3- Maybe he decides it is time to part ways (or maybe you do), but now you’re happier and have the inner peace that comes with knowing that you’re ok, that you can handle anything because you have the tools to be happy and fulfilled and that your relationships need to be aligned with that.”
This perspective kind of blew my mind. I remember reading it way before I ever really started on my personal development journey. I just loved it and it’s stuck with me ever since.
It made so much sense to me and really hit home because I have very close relationships with my friends, family and my husband. One of my biggest fears has always been around those relationships ending in some way.
But then I learned about codependence.
Codependence is not a healthy way to be in a relationship. Being together because you feel you need to be, or you have to be, or that life would crumble and fall apart without the other person puts so much pressure on you, the other person and the relationship.
When you’re in a healthy relationship you’re there because you choose to be, because you can each individually bring something awesome to it.
When you know that you will be ok with or without the other person, everything will change for the better because you will be doing things from a true place of love and not from a place of fear, insecurity or obligation.
People come in and out of our lives all the time. When you put someone on a pedestal or hold on super tight to the relationship you end up suffocating it.
Since starting my personal development journey I’m always looking for ways to learn and grow as a person. I still have super close relationships that I hope last for a very long time, but I know now that if they did end, I would be alright, because true lasting happiness has to come from within first. You can’t rely on external stuff for that, it’s unsustainable because you can’t control it and is usually full of ups and downs.
Don’t get me wrong, human beings need connection and relationships to survive. But when we believe that we have to be someone other than our true selves in order to have those connections, or that we’d be nothing without the other person, we’re not behaving authentically. We’re behaving in a slightly manipulative way that comes from fear and insecurity of not being good enough.
The more we can take the time to work on being the best versions of our authentic selves by spending time getting to know who we are, what’s important to us, what we like, what we dislike, what excites us, what frustrates us and what brings us joy. The more love and compassion we can show ourselves to boost our self-esteem and see ourselves as equal to the people in our lives, rather than dependant on them. The more we can do all that, the more powerful and strong our relationships will be, not only with other people but with ourselves too and that’s a far more sustainable place to find happiness.
Where might you be putting too much attachment onto other people or things? Who or what do you rely on for your happiness? What needs to happen for you to feel happy, whole and complete?