In my meditation, I saw an image of a woman crying, and I heard the word, 'Pain'. I understand this message as a reminder that emotional distress can cause anguish and make our lives miserable.

I remember back when I was terribly sad, realizing that my marriage was unsustainable as it was. I felt deep pain at the thought that I had tried unsuccessfully for 26 years to make my husband happy. It seems like that had been my mission from the start of our relationship. I suppose the notion of pleasing your man was thoroughly ingrained in me from cultural conditioning and my old-fashioned upbringing.

My husband was clinically depressed, but he refused to get any therapy. He didn't believe in talk therapy with a professional, and he didn't want to take any medication. So, it was basically up to me to try to pull him out of his depression.

I took the notion of making my hubby happy to a whole new level. I left all decisions up to him because I didn't want to argue and create an atmosphere of disharmony. My attitude got me into some real sticky messes and had me behaving in ways I never would have if I had listened to my heart and set healthy boundaries.

After 26 years of doing everything I could to cheer my husband up, I finally got tired. I was exhausted and depressed myself. That's when I started seeing a therapist. According to her, I was living with a narcissist, who was never going to change because he didn't see a need to. He didn't want to go to marriage counseling because he didn't see a problem with our relationship.

For years, I had thought that it was my duty as a good wife to make my husband happy. When I realized that wasn't possible, and that only he could make himself happy, I was in emotional pain. I thought I had wasted 26 years of my life living with him.

But, I couldn't go on living in anguish, crying my eyes out every day. I finally understood that it's not my karma or fate to have to endure a painful relationship. And I eventually took that first step to leave my marriage and change my life. I have never once regretted making that decision 13 years ago.

Here, I am reminded of a quote that I love: "We are always just one decision away from a totally different life."

© Erika Marie Rose and Good Vibes, 2019