“There wasn’t a simple answer to the most difficult question in my life. And there was no way to answer that question without either denying my needs or hurting my husband. There was no answer that friends and family could understand, much less approve of.” Sharon Pope, Soulful Truth Telling: Am I in the Wrong Marriage?
I was in a marriage with a nice, handsome, good man. He was responsible, took care of the finances, worked out four days a week religiously, ironed his clothes for the week every Sunday evening and packed his lunch for work each night before going to bed. He was kind and honest and I knew he would never hurt me.
Our relationship was low-drama, but also low-connection, low-intimacy, and low-affection. It was good enough.
We had the beautiful four-bedroom home in a suburban golf community.
We had nice cars, we took vacations, we had plenty of friends, and we had supportive families.
We had everything we were supposed to have, so why wasn’t I happy? Why wasn’t this enough?
I would notice other couples and how affectionate they were and how connected they appeared to be and I wanted that for myself. I began to ask my husband for affection, but honestly he didn’t know how to give it and I didn’t know how to receive it. So it was just awkward.
For several years I was able to convince myself that he had enough other good qualities and I should just live without affection, deep connection, and intimacy in my life. And that worked for a while. Until it didn’t.
After 11 years, my marriage ended.
That was my story when I faced the heart-wrenching, guilt-ridden question of, Why isn’t this enough?
Anyone else would look at our relationship and think we had the world by the tail.
So what was wrong with me?… Was I that demanding?…. Would I ever be content, or even happy?
I was married in my 20s and came to these conclusions in my 30s. Now several years outside of that relationship and finding a deeply connected and intimate love with someone else in my 40s, I have a new perspective on what occurred.
I married for safety. I forced a relationship with someone that wouldn’t hurt me so that I could stay safe and free of judgement, but not necessarily in love.
That wasn’t fair to either of us.
And I did that. I created that experience.
And if I did it, then it was up to me to fix it.
I couldn’t keep abandoning my own heart – pretending that the relationship we had enough, when I knew it clearly wasn’t.
And I couldn’t keep playing with his heart and allowing my own fear to hold him back in so many ways.
That was my story. And every time I tell my story, women flock to me in droves and say, “Your story is just like my story. I thought I was the only one feeling this way.”