Building off of last week’s post, I wanted to add some more thoughts to this conversation on love and relationships.
Not just the love we share with others but the love we have for ourselves and the relationships we keep as a result of both.
Marissa and I just returned from a short getaway celebrating her birthday and our anniversary which will forever be within days of each other.
Some time back, our marriage was not in a good place. We reached that point that many relationships get to where the respect we had for one another was deteriorating and it took a hard stop of behaviors on both sides to be able to look at one another and determine which way to proceed.
Do we let this all come to an end or do we fix it?
We chose the latter.
And by doing so, many of the behaviors that led us down the alternative path had to change.
Since those changes took place, Marissa and I aren’t the same people; not as individuals, not as parents, not as a couple.
We also had to tear down some uncomfortable walls we had been building towards each other and start getting down to the “why” of them being built in the first place.
This took months of effort.
However, when we made that change, pieces started to fall into place that we hadn’t paid close attention to before.
Because we spent the time to work on those pieces together, with no timeline or preconceived notions, the puzzle of our marriage took on a different meaning.
Of course, when we can get away for a few days as we just did to reconnect, it’s more affirmation that everything we worked for was worth the effort we spent.
The highlight reel of our marriage is exactly that: you see the smiling faces and you feel the love in a picture but you don’t see the story that was written that got us there.
This post isn’t just about Marissa and I.
It’s about you.
If you’re in a marriage that’s had its share of twists and turns, perhaps this article already resonates with you.
However, there’s the relationship you have with yourself that’s also in the mix.
I believe how we treat ourselves has a correlation to how we treat others.
When we lose respect for ourselves, we risk that as well for the people closest to us.
It’s taken me a long time to understand the shift in priorities here.
Love starts with the self.
Want a better relationship? Take care of yourself.
Want better health? Take care of yourself.
This doesn’t mean self care at the expense of others. It’s self care to benefit others and, where possible, self care with the inclusion of others.
If love in your life isn’t where you want it to be, ask yourself where you are contributing to the roadblocks. Own up to your place in that conversation.
If your health is not where you want it to be, ask yourself where self care is not being prioritized in your life. Change the priorities. Ask for help, if need be. (This is why I remain a big advocate of therapy).
I spend a lot of time on this website and on social media in a constant conversation of self improvement: my own and, with hope, yours as well.
Life is more than dieting and exercise. Even though I’ve written tens of thousands of words on this site about both.
It is love, it is relationships, it is sacrifice, it is effort, it is imperfect, it is an adventure.
I share some of our story with you because Marissa and I chose an adventure together.
And it gets better every day.
Here’s to many days of love and wonder.