Each day Lisa woke up to a 5:30am alarm. She always began her day with a to do list. Married for decades with no idea what to do with herself after she ran out of lists. She married her high school sweetheart right after college. They agreed she’d stay home after the boys were born.
Her husband was a partner at one of the top law firms in the city demanding late nights at the office. Her week consisted of juggling numerous tasks from cleaning, groceries, PTA meetings and doctor’s appointments to whatever else needed done. She accommodated everyone’s schedule to make their lives easier.
Over the years, Lisa noticed she was slowly withering away. She lost her youth to time. Her happy place was replaced by contentment. The worst of it was the realization of how unfulfilled she felt as a woman. Ultimately, no longer recognizing the who she had become. It was devastating. The twins left a void after moving away. The love of her life was now a stranger. Resulting in her withdrawal from the marriage to pursue other interests that didn’t involve him. One night long after the silence of an empty nest had overwhelmed them both. He walked into the house with an unmistakable look of defeat. Eyes glued to the floor, almost in whisper he said “Lisa – I can’t do this anymore. I’m not happy. It’s not fair to continue to live this charade.” Words full of sadness and despair. Her response came with resignation, as if she had already made up her mind years ago. “We abandoned our marriage long before today. I loved you more than myself and that was my grandest mistake.” Lisa’s bags at the front door served as a final say in her married life. She invested all her energy and youth in raising a family. She became the ghost of a woman she once knew. The zest for life she’d been known for had vanished. Her suitcase contained what was left of her dignity. She took with her a favorite plant she kept on her kitchen window. It was symbolic of something she loved from her old life breathing a soul into this new beginning.. The deparure came with certainty that whatever came next could only be better because she was reclaiming her identity.
Women are natural caretakers and nurturers. We’re willing to give up careers, identities and our vitality to make others happy. But what happens when we overextend ourselves so much that we stop prioritizing our needs? A fault line on the ground’s surface has potential to create havoc to man. Our self-neglect can similarly bring disastrous results in relationships. How can we best avoid it?
1. Communicate with our partners.
2. Never stop appreciating the things you do for eachother.
3. Listen to one another even when it’s not what we want to hear. Engage your ears.
Relationships are work but a worthwhile labor of love. Both partners must give 100% placing effort into creating a symbiotic relationship that is supportive, loving and attentive.
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