With that said, it is not an easy journey, but one I am grateful to be on. I still worry on occasion that I am hurting him, even though I know this is the best thing for Stephen, myself and our children. Living my authentic truth is the best gift I can give to me and everyone I love. Each day that I do, I see the natural consequence of my choices and how it is beautifully affecting each one of us.
Also, because of the integration of the contact list with the system, first, you have to check permission to access Contacts through your app. If the contact list is currently not accessible, you have to request permission from the system to access Contacts and do Read and write operations through your app. For that, this library contains two Optional methods checkPermission and checkPermission.
I don’t believe “I thought I could change Stephen,” as it is said, many people go into relationships thinking. I thought I could change me into what he needed in a wife. Not consciously at the time, consciously I believed that he was a good person and my dissatisfaction in the relationship was because something was wrong with me, not him.
I was coming from an abusive childhood, so for me it didn’t register yet, that Stephen was unable to converse with me and didn’t seem to have any interest in doing so. What registered is that he did not call me names or hit me, was a gentle lover and genuinely cared for me, for those reasons I believed I was extremely lucky to be in a relationship with him. The absence of outward aggression in Stephen made him a Saint in my mind, reinforcing that anything wrong with our marriage must be my fault.
So I spent many years in therapy, reading books, anything that could help me fix me so that I could need less and appreciate this silent but safe man in my life. I loved Stephen; I could not have been more in love with him. I thought he was the most beautiful man in the world, still do.
I could tell you it is because Stephen didn’t know how to be present or have any interests, but it would be a lie. Because I know women who would be happy with what Stephen brings to the table and where he is in his own evolution. I wish I could have been me while allowing Stephen to be himself, but I was never able to do that without turning myself down.
I ignored that for years because I didn’t believe I deserved more. I believed I would be punished if I hurt Stephen in an effort to be happier, I was afraid to hurt my children any more than I may have already, I was afraid of the unknown. Somewhere on this journey I grew spiritually and became much more self-aware. As fate would have it, we were given an opportunity to live separately for 3 1/2 months. We were moving across the Pacific and Stephen needed to stay at his job for four more months than I did. I went ahead with our only child who was still at home. Separated, all of the anxiety, depression and confusion that seemed a normal part of my life by now, lifted. It became blatantly clear that my unhappiness was a result of me denying what I knew for years. It was because I had created the most inauthentic existence and I was dying a little each day as a result.
So, instead I am loving and celebrating Stephen for who he is and giving myself permission to no longer be married without judging myself negatively for it. I hope he finds and receives everything he needs to grow and expand into his full potential. I want to see him happy, and I hope that includes him finding a wonderful person to love and who loves him back the way he needs to be loved. What a beautiful thing for each of us to model to our children. It is never too late.
As the years went by and I realized that those were the activities and interests that actually nurtured my soul, I began to put pressure and express my disappointment that he didn’t participate in them. Part of my motivation was for my own pleasure, but the other was that I wanted to give my children a love of the outdoors, adventure and connecting with people, which were the things that brought me so much satisfaction in life. I wanted to introduce them to more of the world outside of our home. Because I loved Stephen, I eventually stopped expressing my disappointment. I knew what it was to feel like you were not enough, and I did not want to do that to him or convey that message to our children. I also didn’t want to feel like I was his victim, because of course I was not, so I quit asking and started taking the kids on outings by myself, as well as doing things alone.
I still longed to have a connection with my husband. I longed to have him interested in me and what fired me up in life. He loved me, he just didn’t need the things I needed. Connection for Stephen was just having me there. For a long time I thought I could stay married like that, but denying what I needed most, was chipping away at my spirit.
There is so much I can write about after 30 years of trying to grow a marriage that seemed incapable of growing, but I think the most valuable thing I can share is that, sometimes things are not meant to work. When we genuinely and earnestly give our effort to something we believe in and it does not ever bear fruit, or enough to compensate you for everything you are giving, it is of utmost importance to pay attention to that. It is not working for a reason. It is not meant to. So often we pretend that that is not the case because much is required if we acknowledge it, but it is truly our gift. It is life/god/the universe/natural consequence (what ever you believe) telling us, “hey, this is not your path, it is time to course-correct.”
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Giving this much energy towards trying to make something work, that was never meant to, took away from the rest of my life, including Motherhood. There were times throughout the 31 years that I was discouraged, and depressed. I know I missed things during that time; more than I would have liked to. I, by choice, was pretending to be less to keep my marriage and it meant I was less in every area of my life and in every way.
I lit up when he walked into the room, but he never noticed. He was simply unable and not interested in meeting me where I was. He was not interested in any of the activities or interests that I was drawn to. He engaged in a few of these things in the beginning, but over time he grew to resent participating in any of it or feeling like he had to. My first response to this was to convince myself I did not need those things to be happy.
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