About two months ago, I wrote a post about breaking up with my boyfriend, Zach. I was terrified to make this piece of my life public because I honestly felt like a failure. The feedback I received was completely opposite- so many people, both women, and men reached out to say that they too have been in that awkward place in their relationship where they had some big decisions to make. The purpose of that post was successful and I am glad people connected with our story.
Since then, a lot has changed and I wanted to continue to share our journey. Zach and I are happily back together!!!! This has not been without its obstacles and tears, but we are making progress in the right direction.
Our biggest hurdle right now is learning to trust each other again. We created a vicious cycle of lies and letting each other down. I felt like Zach was picking his job over me so, in turn, I picked everything else over him. I would like to admit something huge here. When I say I picked everything else over him, I physically and emotionally did just that. I cheated. And then justified it so I didn’t have to tell him. This was a very dark place where I didn’t know the person looking back in the mirror. Once all of this came to the surface and the hard truths were revealed, we were able to start our next chapter.
I am sharing this because so many people have had questions about what happened, and so many people immediately wanted to blame Zach for our failures. Cheating is always a symptom of something deeper. In our situation, I didn’t feel my needs were being met in any capacity for so long that it didn’t matter anymore; we would eventually let it fizzle out at the end of our lease and part ways.
God had much bigger plans for us.
In order to hear His plan, we had to put our egos aside and listen. Some days are harder than others. We have sought extra help to make sure we are being fair to each other and able to have our conversations mediated. We have already learned so much! One of the first things we were given a lesson on was how to fight fair. What I have taken away from our sessions is that it is normal to fight. What we were missing was the fighting fair part. We both were so stubborn that we wouldn’t let the other person talk or be willing to hear what they were saying. Once we let our guard’s down, we could let the other in and HEAR them. We had to backtrack and practice some fundamental skills. And I know, it sounds so cheesy, but we now say things like, “what I heard was____. And that made me feel ____”.
Don’t knock it til you try it is all I am going to say. If your relationship means that much you will do anything to make it work. Some of the things we tried seem so silly, but are a huge reason I can write this part of our story, today!
Every time we face a hard moment, I feel like God is sitting in the room telling us to push forward. He is the glue holding us together and we verbalize that often.
Through all of this, I have also had to learn a lot of hard things about myself; the main one I would like to highlight is my selfishness. Selfishness helped lead me down the path I was on. To keep this relationship, I had to change. I had to stop justifying things I was doing, even the small stuff, and make my relationship a priority. No more half-ass attempts at being a girlfriend. The wake-up call hit and I realized change was my only option. A single, thirty-year-old, selfish brat with a deaf dog leads to ALONE AF FOREVER. No one wants that!
Zach and I will continue to grow from this experience. We are dealing with a lot of new and raw emotions. We are still having uncomfortable conversations, but also sharing new things with each other in hopes to strengthen our relationship.
I pray that anyone reading this on a similar journey sticks with it. Whatever you are going through know that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle and these moments are preparing you for something bigger.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5: 10
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