It has been some time since I wrote something personal. Today we are going to cover lying…I see the eyebrows raise, and I see people saying, here we go…
I lost the love of my wife because I lied to her. I can dance around the issue all I like, but the crux of the breakdown of my marriage was a lack of trust. I was not a violent person, I have never taken narcotics, I don’t have a criminal record, yet, when it came to something as simple as being truthful with my wife, I failed. I have read, and seen, absolute horror stories of how different marriages have broken down, and it has taken me some time to really understand the impact lying had on mine. I have seen all the stages of mourning, and now on the other side can reveal just what the cost is of breaking that bond with the one you love.
Marriage was for me, a once in a lifetime event. I had found the love of my life, a women who gave me everything I ever wanted. After a thirteen month relationship we were engaged. A year later, we were married, home owners, and pregnant with our first child. Life was ticking along pretty well…
Jump forward a couple of years and we were pregnant with our second child, this is where life started to change. I changed, I started to not come home, I started to stay at work allot longer than I needed to. I made up excuses to not come home…I lied. This habit grew, why, well because I thought I was getting away with it. I thought I was smarter…how foolish was I. Not only to think that I was smarter, but to leave my wife fending for herself with two kids under two at home.
In time, my wife would admit that this is where the rot started, the loss of trust eroded what was a very strong love.
Our relationship slowly, but surely, decayed into a shadow of what it once was. How could something so great fail so quickly? Quite simply for a women at home with two young children, what she needed was me. She needed me to buttress her efforts, to support her, not to fix the problems, but to share them, and to take ownership of my role as a husband, a father, and a soul mate to her. With me not a home enough, this was something I was failing miserably at, and as time would tell, drive my wife to realising the only way out was to leave the marriage. In her words, she was screaming for help, crying out for emotional support, for time with me, and time to be herself. She had lost her ‘self’ in the whirlwind of marriage and motherhood, she had found depression, and it had well and truly found her.
My time to act was closing quickly. My anger growing daily at my wife’s reluctance to offer me affection in lieu of how hard I was working to provide a more than reasonable lifestyle for my family. My own selfishness now well entrenched, and colouring my ability to see her for all that she was, and for what she was trying to be. I continued to embellish the hours my job required, I continued to lie. Financial strains began to creep in; carelessness, selfishness, and a general reluctance to offer unconditional love fuelled a tail spin of love into despair.
It is here that I need to pause and explain my mindset. I do need to be very clear that we both openly agree that we could have done more, and that both of us are responsible for the demise of our marriage. My mindset though reveals a very lopsided affair, with me, the main offender. I cannot stress the importance of taking the time to reconcile your past actions. These may include emails, conversations, arguments, and all manner of communications including perceived behaviours. Women are very perceptive to their surroundings, and in my opinion much more than men. This is a core difference men need to understand and accept when considering how women are affected by what we say and do. I have found throughout my life, that in general it is rarely the message, it is all about the delivery. Context is a killer if you get it wrong, and emotions rank much higher for women than men when determining their daily wellbeing. My mindset was that I was working so dam hard to provide for my family, so why couldn’t you play the game the way I see it should be run. Another core problem, just because it is, does not make it so. Just because we have a perceived way our lives should run, or should look from the outside, this does not negate the responsibility we have to challenge the way things are done. If we didn’t then nothing would ever change. Challenging traditional social models where men earn, and women nest, is for some people where they both want to be, and really if that is what both people want then who are we to judge it in any other way. I argue, that the most important part here, is that both parties have equal opportunities to achieve the lifestyle they want. To be held back by pre-determined social class, gender, or group membership is simply archaic in my view. A true partner would offer judgement free support, and this is generally where we fall over. There’s that smell of selfishness again…
When you reach the stage of questioning your own part in the demise of your marriage or relationship, be willing to question your own worldview, your own values, and how others may perceive what message you deliver. Open your mind and heart, at this point you probably feel like you have lost everything anyway, so what do you have to lose if not gaining some clarity and closure if you are able to enlighten yourself just a little.
In the end, my wife told me that she did not know who the person was that I had become. That I had lied so much that she could not tell the truth from the bullshit. I had pushed her beyond her limits and now it was broken. It had taken around two years to completely drive her to this position; this reinforces the idea that women do not make decisions like this on a whim. Even today, almost five years after separating, she still finds it hard to trust me. The importance of maintaining truthfulness in your relationship is paramount. Without trust, one cannot allow themselves to fall into a sea of vulnerability and selflessness. Material things are all fixable, and all transitionary in our lives. Trust with the one you love, is in most cases a ‘one-shot’ affair. Make those changes to your life now, do not wait for that phone call, email, or sms saying goodbye.