We’ll Always Have Paris
The realities of marriage are complicated, frustrating, and trying. It’s riddled with endless responsibilities, compromises, and financial frustrations. You and your spouse fall into a dangerous rut of routines, absorbed with work, paying bills, household chores, parenting, etc. You forget to connect. You forget to appreciate each other. You are too tired to have deep and meaningful conversations. You sit in silence staring at a flat screen until you drag yourself to bed. You forget what it was that drew you together. You begin to wonder about the direction your life is taking and whether the marriage you find yourself in, is working for you.
Anyone who is married, or has been in a long-term relationship, has definitely had these moments of doubt. We have all questioned our happiness within our marriage, with our partner, and with ourselves. Do we like who we have become? Is the marriage fulfilling? Do I like my spouse? The questions are scary to ask. But they are so very important because without these thoughts, these deep reflections, we forget to invest, to give, to share, to love, and to dream. We forget to connect. It’s not enough that one spouse tries. Both have to try reconnecting and building upon the foundation established. Both must work toward the same goals within the marriage. And that is not easy for some to do. Sometimes what is easiest, is to walk away.
Ten years into our relationship, I hit a moment where I began to wonder if struggling within my marriage was the best decision for me. I began to doubt my husband. I began to question my options. What could I do about the unhappiness and restlessness I was feeling? Was it selfish of me to break apart the foundation we established so that I could find happiness? We have a son together. What was the best situation for him? I felt alone. I felt trapped. I felt scared.
And then I was diagnosed with breast cancer; and a brutal lesson that surviving cancer taught me, was that life is fleeting. Nothing you have is concrete, not your health, your happiness, or your relationships. Everything is fleeting. What matters – what truly matters – is investing in the time you do have. Investing in the present. Being in the moment. I struggle with this. As a Mommy, I often get caught up in routines. It’s easy to do when trying to keep your little one on track with the day. I’m also a little obsessive-compulsive, so stepping out of my comfort zone of structure and order is very difficult for me. I really struggle with it. But when I thought I was going to lose my life, I realized I was investing my time and energy into things that should not have mattered so much. I was giving too much of myself to my surroundings instead of giving myself to the people that inhabited my surroundings. To the people I loved. And at that moment, I realized that I was just as much to blame for the void in our marriage as my husband was. I wasn’t investing. I wasn’t connecting. I wasn’t sharing. I was ashamed.
My husband and I are so lucky. We share a deep love. We have a beautiful child. We have people who care about us, and have helped us in our darkest moments. We survived my two cancers. We survived the rockiest moments in our marriage. But it doesn’t come easy. We battle through our personal demons and our moments of displeasure. We fight, we disagree, but we always remember to respect the love we share. And I think that is what surviving cancer reminded us both about – Love; Respect; and Honour.
I think of our time in Paris, and I remember the excitement we felt, the adventurous spirit we possessed, and the beautiful and romantic moments we shared. Paris brought out the best of ourselves and our marriage. It is the city of love. And remembering those feelings – that allure – is what I associate with our marriage. Marriage is love. And nothing about love is simple. Love is complicated. Love is frustrating. Love is trying. Love is also an incredible, rich, and diverse emotion that fulfills the heart and soul. Love is to give, to share, and to connect. Love is all around. For this, I am thankful.
We’ll Always Have Paris. Published by Crystal Joy Hall