Choosing to Stay Married

If your marriage is broken, fix it
I had always dreamed of getting married and having my own family.. So it still surprises the heck out of me that I’m getting a divorce!! I never, EVER would have imagined it.

Melissa Scheichl Love Coach Wedding Photo
It’s funny because I remember going out for dinner with a group of my best girlfriends and listening to everyone complaining about their husbands and thinking to myself how lucky I was that I didn’t feel that way about mine! I got home to find my hubby on the couch watching tv and told him about our friends complaining about their marriages and how surprised I was. I told him that I thought our marriage was great and that he was my best friend. I asked him if I was being naive and if he felt differently about us. He said no- he felt the same way.

Wedding Day Melissa Scheichl
And then it all fell apart…

How can you go from thinking you have it all to losing everything???

Apparently, it can happen in the blink of an eye.Or so it seemed…

It had been five years of turmoil- fighting to leave my marriage and then fighting to save it. It was a roller coaster and truth be told it was hell. And our children have been deeply hurt by all of this which is the part that really kills me.

Family Photo - Melissa Scheichl (Pearson)

So what went wrong???

Well as you know, my new website is called choosing health… And it refers not just to physical health but mental health, relationship health…. Life health… as well.

What I have learned is that life is about choices. 

We drive the bus of our lives and we choose the pit stops and the road trips. Sure there are bumps in the road that are unavoidable. Flat tires… A deer in the headlights. Events that happen TO us that we certainly DIDN’T choose… Yet we still have choices.

Choices how to react. How to respond. How to interpret what is happening and how to perceive its effect on us.

We choose. Every situation. Every interaction.

Now one could argue that in the heat of a moment we don’t choose – we react on a primitive level and we respond in ways we aren’t proud of. With anger. With fear. And yes that is very true.

Sometimes our behaviours and beliefs are unconscious to us as well. We simply aren’t aware of what we are choosing.
And this is another very important thing to realize. WE CHOOSE. And sometimes we make the WRONG CHOICES. We are human and imperfect. But what I’m talking about is the choices we make after that. You see choosing isn’t a one time thing. It happens over and over and over again. You choose every day. You are always able to choose.

So when you do make a bad choice – you acknowledge it- you get clear about what led you to make that choice and you learn from it. You choose to be accountable for your actions and to grow. And then you choose differently.  If you reacted from a place of hurt and from a primitive, childish place in the heat of a moment, you get conscious about it and you choose to come from a place in line with your values. You choose differently.

It is a practice. You will do this over and over again. And as with anything in life- the more conscious you get about it- the more mindful and reflective you are about the choices you make- the better you will get.

So back to marriage… And relationships in general. It’s all about CHOOSING. One of my favourite quotes:

 “the best way to stay married is to choose to stay married”.

So here is what I have learned – the hard way! – If you want to stay married:

Choose how you show up for your partner. Choose how you respond to them. Choose to work on the relationship.

Choose understanding over being right.

Choose to work on yourself to be the best person you can be in that partnership. Choose to do the work.

Choose to support your partner to be the best that they can be and to understand that they have the right to make their own choices- even if they aren’t the ones you would have chosen. Choose to give your partner the freedom to be who they choose to be.

Choose compassion. Choose empathy. Choose forgiveness.

Choose communication.

Choose love – an unconditional love that does not require your partner to be something else. All it asks is that they choose to do the work too.

Marriage is about each person’s relationship with themselves and the relationship they share with each other. All three must be healthy. Choose to take accountability for your health. To support your partner with theirs and to work together to choose to do the work to fix the relationship.

Choose your partner. With all of their imperfections and idiosyncrasies.

If I was at a table with my friends today and they were complaining about their husbands, I would listen and laugh – that’s what friends are for. And then joking aside, I would tell them what I have learned. That relationships are hard and the ones we fight with the most are the ones we love. Injuries happen- feelings get hurt. Resentment builds.

Choose to do your part to be happy and healthy as an individual. Choose to respect your partner’s journey and to support them. Choose to work together to do the hard work of marriage.
That being said, there are some relationships that you will choose to end. When the other person is not willing to do the work. As sad as it is- you cannot do it alone. So what do you choose then?

Again, you look to your values. You choose grace. You choose to love them and wish them the best. You choose to honour yourself and do what you need to do to be healthy and happy. You choose health. Your relationship with that person will never end. Relationships are not things. So you continue to choose good choices for supporting the other person. For taking care of yourself. For the relationship.

If you are struggling in your relationship, let’s chat.

With love,
Melissa

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