I, by no means, am a relationship expert. I have had my fair share of failed and shallow attempts at relationships. But, I do know this; over the years, of being in and out of a few relationships, and raising my children I have slowly gained a wealth of experience and continue to experience and live each day with the sound understanding that a relationship isn't easy...It's really damn hard. They are not all smiles, hugs, kisses and flowers each day. There will be days where you feel completely exhausted being around that one person you have devoted your life to...and you know what? That's okay. It doesn't mean that you don't love them any less. It doesn't mean that you don't want to be with them anymore. It just means you are human. I think, when we read content such as "live each day making others happy." We jump on that band wagon and have a tinge (or maybe a big heap) of guilt inside us saying "If you don't, you are selfish, you don't deserve that person." But, I think we entirely miss the point. I've entirely missed the point for YEARS. No Joke...
My partner in crime, Mr. L and I have been through a great deal of ups and downs, and to say we didn't still have those moments, I would be lying. I think most others would also be lying if those words were to leave their lips. When you put 2 humans together, with normal human behavior, and their own personality traits, there is bound to be a few bumps along the way. I choose to be with my partner. I choose to commit my life to standing next to him through the good times and through the bad times. I also choose that on a daily basis. He also chooses me on a daily basis. We are not together because of duty. He has chosen to share his amazing life with me and my 3 children. He has chosen to stay with me even though I am terribly flawed and when we met (and still sometimes am) cold and closed off. I know these things about my self and these are the things that we work on every time we get into small tiffs.
When we first started dating I wanted to give him all of the happiness I could. I wanted to make him utterly euphoric because I was making him happy. I wanted to know that even if I wasn't happy, he was happy because I was doing things he wanted me to do, and that made him happy. This went on for quite a while...and I think he attempted the same thing. We were two lost ships at sea attempting to find that lighthouse to guide us home through making the other person happy. I wasn't particularly happy at the point. I was weighed down by my past and fighting every day for my children. I focused so much on the things that I THOUGHT made him happy that I failed to realize that that was NOT.AT.ALL the things that he responded to. That, in turn he didn't receive the gifts of happiness I thought I was giving him, which in turn were crushing me. This back and forth game would go on and on and then we would get into explosive fights where he would tell me that he didn't want me to TRY to MAKE him happy, he just wanted ME to BE HAPPY. He wanted me to take time for myself and actually care about how I viewed myself. I didn't understand that. Every time he would say that, I would get furious with him for making me believe it was okay for people to be selfish. In turn I just got more angry. I didn't want to understand it for a long time and until quite recently I still wasn't grasping it. Go figure, it would take me 3 and half years to finally figure out what he was saying. I am a slow learner!!
But, I now understand what he meant. Our happiness does not come from another person. It doesn't come from anyone, but ourselves. We can't MAKE or force others to be happy. Regardless of it we brought them Chipotle and flowers every single day we still wouldn't make them happy. Why? Because it's not up to us. It's up to them. They have to CHOOSE. I have to choose to be happy for Mr. L and he chooses to be happy for me. Just as I choose every day to stay in a committed relationship with him, I also need to choose my own happiness. I need to choose to look at myself in the mirror every day and give myself ALL of the love that I want to give others. Most days, that is still a struggle, but I have seen more and more each day that if I don't give MYSELF the time, effort, love and respect that I show someone else, then why on earth would someone put their entire effort into loving me if I don't love myself? Thinking about being selfish used to send me into a panic. I would reel over the fact that someone called me selfish or eluded to the fact that I may be thinking in a selfish way. It hurt me so deeply, but more so, it hurt my ego. It hurt how I thought others viewed me. But, the older I get, I am coming to terms with that word. I would rather be a bit selfish to give myself self love and to recharge my spirit and mind with my small selfish acts daily like reading, writing, or doing art for MYSELF, so I can be the best wife and mother I can be for my partner and children. I also have seen that when Mr. L gets HIS time to be selfish we just function better. We are not called to the line of duty every time we wake up with one another. We choose that deep bonded commitment and we choose to trust one another that they are committed to being the best us we can be. My relationship with my partner isn't driven solely on who is making who happy...that is just no way to approach a healthy relationship. You will end up suffering silently.
Mr. L and I...We're not perfect, but he is an amazing man..and we compliment each other.