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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Didn't Know I Had Choices

When my marriage really, really fell apart ... I felt completely paralyzed and trapped.  What I believed was not true: my partner was not faithful.  I was not a priority, he had been living a secret life for months.  I didn't know what was real, what was false.  I continued to have disclosures and realizatons ... each one devastating and further eroding the trust, when I thought that was "all."  I felt so very insulted.  I was insulted.

And I thought my world closed.  My vision diappeared and all the possibilities for the future with it.   My horizon was blocked and all I could see was a devastated landscape, brittle and fragile with no resources before me. 

With the help of a therapist and the support of my family, I slowly came to understand that I really did have choices.  I wasn't 'doomed' to continue the life I now lived, nor was condemned by the failures within my marriage.  I was more than my relationship with my spouse and while I couldn't control the decisions he made, I was completely in charge of me. 

I was free to make mistakes.  I was free to be kind, forgiving and seek reconciliation.  I was free to end it all immediately and walk away.  I had real choices - my future was not the result of another person's choices.  My first choice was instant - I wanted our marriage to survive and for our family to remain intact.  Knowing how to get from the point where seeing my spouse made me sick to my stomach, to actively loving him again was still a mystery.

I never wanted infidelity and abuse to be part of my life story.  But that was the reality in which I found myself.  What I would do with this truth and how I would move forward were my choices.  I could stick my head in the sand and continue to deny the facts or I could educate and equip myself to stop the painful cycles of our relationship.  I could do my part, I could still choose joy, health and sanity for me.