Oftentimes, this is a hard one, but I can pretty much guarantee it’s where you’ll find the truth and answers you may desperately desire.
When making decisions, you have to sideline your heart for a time, and look at the straight facts. No matter what your heart wants, you can’t always will something into existence. Believe me, I’ve tried.
For my husband and I, the big thing that stood in the way of a successful marriage was our commitment to each other. We love each other like family. We recognize the good inside each other. But, unfortunately, our priorities in life differ. (Something we should’ve looked at before marriage, but that’s another subject.)
When we first married, we moved into a house his parents owned. I loved his sweet mother and looked forward to having a good relationship with his sister.
His father, who I’ve now determined is an oppressive, brain-washing, manipulative, borderline-schizophrenic narcissist if I’ve ever seen one, was a completely different story. I mean, factually, this guy is a smorgasbord of personality disorders. A therapist’s field day!
When my husband left for the police academy in the winter of 2015, his father began his siege to drive me away.
He was at our house (which he owned, mind you…) most everyday…. tinkering… messing around…
My husband and I had cattle, and some mornings, my father-in-law would get there before I woke up, so he could feed the cattle before I could get to them.
At first, I considered he might be attempting to help…until the day he told me I “just needed to get my ass back in the house” and be a good housewife. (I, of course, exhibited strong retaliation.)
He was DETERMINED to show his authority over me, but I wasn’t going to stand for it.
I have to admit, his absolute psychotic obsession for control combined with the time he had to devote to his scheme brought me to my knees. And that’s not something anyone has ever done to me before. (Nor will ever do again, I might add!)
My anxiety went through the roof, and I spiraled.
When I was at work and 5 pm drew near, I would have panic attacks to the point of being physically ill because I knew I had to go home where I was vulnerable to his whims.
When I heard is truck pull in the driveway, I locked the doors, turned off the lights, and hid. (And I know if he knew this, he would have no remorse. In fact, I think he would find joy in it.)
When my husband got out of the academy, I told him I was uncomfortable living there… but nothing changed. (Don’t judge him, please. He was stuck in the middle.)
Almost two years (and a LOT more details) later, I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I left.
Now, there is nothing wrong with my husband’s decisions. His priorities are just that – his priorities. But they weren’t mine.
My priority was seeing the facts and making myself and my health top priority.
After a two-year separation and a short stint of living together again (still in the same house), I voiced my opinion again about being uncomfortable in the current dwelling. My husband met me with reasons why he couldn’t move out. So, I did. Again. (Once more, please don’t judge him.)
Sometimes facts suck. But lying to ourselves and wishing things would change when we know they won’t sets us up for failure.
As crappy as those facts may be, they lead to answers… whether you want to accept those answers or not.
I’m not a person who gives up easily. But I’ve also learned you can’t win every fight. It’s truly sometimes better to cut your losses and move on no matter how much you care about a person or a situation.
In the crossroad I currently face in life, accepting the following facts has been my biggest challenge:
- First and foremost, I am my own advocate, and sometimes that means being “selfish.” Without taking care of me, I can’t help or take care of others.
- I love my husband, but I can’t forget his father’s actions no matter how much I want to. Not right now anyway.
- I can’t stand by and see people I love get hurt, but sometimes I have to if it’s out of my hands.
- I have the ability and right to cut negative people out of my life. (Unfortunately, that also meant distancing or cutting out people I love.)
- You can’t make a round peg fit in a square hole.
- Some people just don’t change. For anything.
- Loss is part of life. But I have the power to control how loss affects me.
- Sometimes… (and this is the suckiest one) love isn’t enough.
I’m still hurt, and I likely will be for a long time. But when I look at the facts, which haven’t changed, I know in my heart, I’ve made the best decisions for me given the factual circumstances.
It’s just so hard when the best decision for you means distancing or leaving behind those you love, but sometimes that has to happen.
At the end of the day, you can’t control others – good, bad, or otherwise. The only thing you can control is your path, your decisions, your little bubble. Look at the facts, and lay out your life based on what’s best for you and how you can (if you can) help those you care about.