I’ve been married for 12 years. Recently though I found my Husband has been in contact with an old flame, exchanging sexual messages. I confronted him and he told me he’d stopped, which I later found was a lie. Now he wants to spend his spare time with his friends, saying that he needs his own space and to do his own things.
How am I expected to be happy with this going on?
If ever you don’t feel happy, the problem is not what is happening or what other people are doing to you.
The problem is… that your perspective on whatever you are thinking about is too narrow.
Everything in life exists for a reason. Understand and accept the reason and situations will stop causing you pain.
It is never the situations in your life that cause you pain. It is only the meaning you attach to them. Change the meaning and you change the way you feel about them.
However most people want to be right… more than they want to be happy.
They have some preset idea of how life has to be for them to be happy.
They have to have a certain amount of money… a certain relationship with a certain person… a certain house and so on. Yet they have never seriously sat down and asked why they need those things on a deeper level.
Books and courses on the topic of success are often bestsellers because they feed this illusion that life has a certain recipe and needs certain ingredients to make happiness.
People think ‘that’s it. I just need to understand what’s wrong with me. Then I’ll get the money, the recognition and the relationship. Then I’ll be happy’.
But they’re wrong.
They’re wrong because their thinking is flawed. Life isn’t a game where you collect certain things and then you win. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have. It is not things that generate emotions.
It is your thoughts about things that generate emotions.
Look at people who have fabulous wealth, fame, recognition and respect.
Their happiness levels are not proportionately greater. Many people believe being a Pop or Sports Star would make them happy. Yet many who live this life find it just as much of a struggle. Many others find after reaching the top of a ladder, that it just wasn’t worth the effort and feel cheated.
Yet for most people, the cultural myth continues.
Then anything in life which deviates from them gathering what they think they need, causes them pain.
If we had a broader perspective and recognised that when things aren’t going the way we planned them… perhaps it is for the best in the long run. Then events would not cause us pain and we would be open to Life’s guidance.
Life will always guide you along your path. When times seem tough, it is life showing you where your Human Operating System is mistaken. If you accept this and use the situations in your life to continually update your beliefs, and so get closer to the truth… life will get better and better. In the sense of being ever more enjoyable.
How does this relate to the specific question?
I’m not sure from your question whether you want to know how to be happy in this situation… or how to change things back to how you want them to be.
If you want to change things back to how they were. And how fits the picture of what you think it takes for you to be happy… you’re stuck on the emotional rollercoaster.
The only thing you have control of is yourself. You can’t control what other people do. To try will only make you frustrated, powerless, resentful and angry. Life will always happen to you rather than being directed by you.
At the moment the rollercoaster of emotions, I’m guessing you feel… is because this wave of events has happened to you.
People and life will treat you in whatever way you allow them to. Unless you set out the standards you deserve.
From what you’ve said, it seems as if your Husband has been the one setting the tone recently. So he has been the one making the choices and you have been reacting to those choices. Therefore your emotions have been out of your control.
The real issue is…
what do you want?
Do you want to hang around waiting for your Husband to make up his mind what he is going to do… or do you want to start determining what your relationship will look like?
What exactly do you want from a relationship?
How do you want to be treated in a relationship and do you have the courage to demand nothing less than that from your relationship… or walk away from it?
Often people reach a stage where their relationship is all but over. Yet they stay and put up with being treated in ways that are not worthy of them. All because they are afraid of the alternative. Afraid of being alone.
Scared that they won’t be able to get by on their own.
The issue is not about the relationship. Relationships reflect what you feel about yourself. If you know that you are good enough, strong enough and perfectly capable on your own with or without any particular relationship… the people you are in a relationship with, will know that they can only push and mistreat you so far before you walk away.
When people think they can do whatever they like and you’ll still be there… some will push the boundaries and see just how much they can get away with.
As their treatment of you gets worse… you start to feel worse about yourself… you start to cling more desperately to the relationship and your confidence and self-belief drip away from you and feed the other person.
They become stronger and more confident, whilst you become weaker and more insecure.