Being recently divorced, it’s a struggle to write an article for the wedding issue. I feel like I don’t know much about the topic of marriage, but I do know a lot about being in an unhealthy and toxic relationship. It is dangerous, and breaks you down to the worst version of yourself.
My problem started with the engagement. I said “yes” because I didn’t know how to say no. I knew in my gut I wasn’t ready for marriage. I also knew my now-ex-husband was not the right person for me. Something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, I chalked it up to nervous jitters and said “ok” to everything everyone else wanted and expected. I thought I could make it work, and if not, there’s always a way to undo it.
I also never even wanted a wedding ceremony. I knew it would stress me out and cost more than I could afford. I did not want to deal with the stress of my own divorced parent’s issues on the day of the wedding, but I agreed to a ceremony because my fiancé and my mother both thought I should have one. I didn’t trust my own gut and I didn’t do what I wanted. I was stressed out, spent more money than I had, and wasn’t happy about any of it.
Because I didn’t listen to my own truth, my own gut, I was resentful. I lost myself and felt trapped, alone and scared. When there are lies upon lies, there cannot be trust. And without trust, there cannot be love.
The life lesson in all of it is, “TRUST YOUR GUT.” Learn to really love yourself BY yourself.
The idea of a lover, a companion, a partner for life is wonderful. However, forcing something you know isn’t right can not work – and it’s not worth it. I overlooked red flags. I believed the lies because I wanted it to be right. I accommodated beyond my comfort level. I was afraid to take a stand on what was unacceptable.
I wish I had the guts and sense of self-worth to do what I knew in my heart was right for me years ago.
The wedding itself can be a fun celebration, but none of it is worth it if you don’t know, love and honor yourself first. When you do, you don’t accept unacceptable treatment. And you know the cause of unacceptable treatment isn’t YOU – it’s them.
The flowers, the dress, the rings, the decorations, the band or DJ will all work to create the fantasy of “happily ever after.” But if you are not happy and do not truly love yourself now (without depending on validation from someone else) you won’t be happy “ever after” either.
by Heather Quintana, Certified Health Coach