Today I'm going to write about something that is very personal, and also very common. As you all know, I was married in September of 2014, which I shared with all of you on my social media accounts. It was, at the time, a very happy day for me, albeit stressful leading up to the wedding day.
I had just turned 30, and was marrying a man who I loved very much. We'd been together 4 years prior and it seemed the natural next step in our relationship. It was also something that was 'expected' from our families (mine mostly, being the only daughter of a traditional Greek family). I stood by my husband through many ups and downs, and my own wants and needs took a backseat. I was happy to give up a lot of my own dreams, and a big part of myself, if it meant being a good wife and keeping my husband happy and fulfilled.
During this journey though, I lost myself along the way. Our marriage deteriorated very quickly when I started asking for something back. We are raised to believe true love is selfless, and as women, we are more than willing to be the selfless ones, but if you have a partner who does not reciprocate or give as selflessly as you, it can become very draining. There are many different reasons a marriage, or relationship, may end.
My husband and I decided to end our marriage at the beginning of the summer after many months of arguing, unhappiness and stress. I am not one to walk away so easily, and understand that every relationship goes through difficulties. Believe me, this was not a decision that we took lightly. I believe own the beauty of marriage and the sacred oath two people take that binds them for life. But you have to analyse the reasons a relationship is not working and weight the options. If one or both people are suffering and unhappy, then it's best to end it. If it is a difficult period, something which is temporary and with a little bit of kindness and patience, something that can be worked through, then the couple should seek counselling to save something so sacred, especially when children are involved.
I have been on my own now for 4 months, and have found myself again, rekindled old friendships and interests and am really and truly happy. Of course, I did seek the help of a professional to help me cope with and analyse my mixed emotions. I have the support of my close friends and family (my mother of course is my biggest supporter). I am still working through a lot of my issues, which are much older than my failed relationship, but I feel I am on my new journey towards enlightenment, enrichment and a life well lived, blessed with more love and hopefully a family of my own too.
My ex and I are respectful to each other, and to what we shared, because of course there was love there for us to have married. But I have learnt that love is not enough. There are much more complex ingredients to a healthy and balanced, and loving relationship.
If I can offer any of you advice, where you have been in the same position, or to avoid ending up in this position, it is to find a way to communicate with your partner, that you both fully understand each other and express how you feel at all times. Don't keep anything bottled up, because every little drop in the bucket adds to the bucket which will one day overflow and you cannot separate the drops again.
Love yourself, respect yourself, and keep those around you who bring out the BEST in you. Don't settle for less than you deserve, and know that you always deserve more than you think.
Leaving you with love and light