I spent more than half a decade just hurting the woman I loved without even realizing it at the time. I thought that I was doing her a favor and making her happy by staying in a relationship with her. However, I wasn’t really all-in. I was still with her but I wasn’t making a conscious choice to be with her – and that was hurting her more than just me choosing to leave her completely. I genuinely wanted to be with her though.
I really wanted to be the guy who would spend the rest of her days with her. She was one hell of a woman. She was bright, brilliant, humorous, sensual, and just downright attractive. She always made it easy for me to be attracted to her. She was so quick-witted and she was really good at making me laugh even when I least expected it.
She had a very exotic kind of beauty that she was always proud of – and her confidence was so convincing and infectious. I always found happiness whenever I was with her. I always enjoyed being able to wake up next to her every morning. I was genuinely in love with her. I was crazy about her, even.
But then, we slowly started to discover the vulnerability of our own relationship. We began to understand that love alone would never be enough to sustain a relationship. We were ignorant. We thought that we were doing all the right things just because we were still in love with one another but we weren’t really getting over the humps that we needed to overcome.
We weren’t really doing much in terms of alleviating the pressure in our relationship. And not before long, we began to drift apart. We were slowly getting away from what bound us together in the first place. And sure enough, I began to daydream about a life outside of our relationship.
I started to fantasize about being with other women; about being a man who was detached from her. I constantly found myself wondering whether the “right” woman was out there waiting for me to find her. And this was the path that we stayed on for the better part of a decade.
I never really made a conscious choice to be with her anymore. I wasn’t choosing to love her despite the fact that we still stayed together. A few months passed and I didn’t really think much of it. I thought that I was doing the right thing. I just passively assumed that things would eventually fall into place.
I just thought that the problems we had would end up fixing themselves. I thought that I was being noble by choosing to stay in the relationship without really choosing to LOVE her the way that she needed me to. I assumed that my presence would suffice.
I thought that my existence in her life would be enough. I stayed with her even though I chose her less and less as time went on. I stayed with her. And even though I thought I was doing the right thing, the both of us ended up suffering for it.
If I had really chosen to love her, then I would have been taking notice of every single blessing that she was bringing into my life. I would have been more appreciative of her entire existence. I would have been more grateful for her beauty and her joy. I would have been more thankful for her companionship and her relief.
However, I failed to notice any of those things. I failed to value her in the way that she deserved. I took her for granted. I failed to show her any signs of gratitude or appreciation. I failed to let her know that she was enough for me. It was just impossible for me to embrace the woman that she was to me because I wasn’t emotionally present in the relationship anymore.
I had stopped investing myself in her and in us. And as a result, I didn’t really pay any attention to the things that I needed to be paying attention to anymore.
Instead, I was too focused on the negative stuff. I chose to focus on all the ways that she was irritating me. I kept dwelling on the ways that I was inconveniencing myself just because I thought it would make her happier for me to stay with her. I was too focused on the wrong things that it took me so long to realize that I was the one who was wrong.
So, trust me when I say that love is a choice. It’s not something that is built “naturally” or “innately.” It’s really something that you choose to build every single day. And if you don’t choose to build on your relationship, you might as well get out of it.