I’ve only been married for three years, but my husband and I have been together for nine. Those earlier years were tough. We were both young, but I was younger, and I was more selfish than him. Selfishness. That’s the thing that stole some of the joy from our relationship back then. Being selfish, I thought more about what I wanted and needed, not considering what he needed from me. We loved each other, but our relationship wasn’t as fulfilling as it could be at the time. Because we each did things in the relationship that the other didn’t like, but we didn’t try to fix it. We just let it be.
As shameful as it is to admit, I would text other guys when I was angry or upset with Jake, or even just because. He had his own way of dealing with that, which I didn’t like, and it probably fueled some of those texts. I didn’t feel very valued, and I don’t think he did either. I remember driving home after hanging out with some girlfriends one night when I thought to myself, “No wonder this relationship isn’t great. You’re not focused, you’re not engaged. You’re not giving it 100%.” I decided that night that I was going to change, and I did.
When Jake and I talk about that trial in our relationship, some seven or eight years ago, we both agree that it was the loneliest, saddest time of our lives. But the beautiful thing is that we can talk about it and look back on how far we’ve come. Our relationship is rewarding and fulfilling because we’re both putting forth equal effort at any given time.
The truth is that we often want to point fingers at our partners when we don’t feel happy in a relationship, when we should first point the finger at ourselves. What can I do differently to help the relationship? What am I doing that’s hurting the relationship? It’s impossible to have a happy relationship if you’re not giving it 100% of your effort. You have to be totally invested, all in, eyes focused on the prize. The moment you begin to let the world and any of its temptations in, you begin pushing your partner away.
Tend the garden that is your relationship because the grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where it receives
water and sunshine love.