I am being very honest when I say that I was blindsided by my husband’s arrest in 2016. However, I also have to admit that we had a long and complicated history, and so there were things I knew about him that made the events of that spring more likely.
In the months following the arrest, I had to do a lot of soul searching about what I knew, what I missed, and how I missed it. And while for the most part my husband was leading a double life that he was very good at keeping secret, there were likely also things that I noticed that I didn’t want to confront, so I pretended not to see them.
‘Not’ knowing can be easier
Often in life there are things that we can feel but prefer not to see because fixing them would be hard. Like when you know you really need to leave your job because your crazy boss is expecting you to work 80 hours a week for 40 hours of pay, or when you are the boss and know that things really aren’t working out with your new employee but you can’t quite bring yourself to let them go.
It’s easier to tell yourself that things will be different. You’ll work less once this project finishes. Your new hire will catch on soon. Believe me – not confronting big issues is really tempting.
Unfortunately, it never works in the long run.
Things catch up to you, and often having waited longer makes them worse, not better.
My life was better before
My life was definitely easier when I had a partner in life and parenting. SO much easier. Especially since I had a stay-at-home spouse who did all of the work around the house, and took care of the vast majority of the parenting duties.
When we have a good thing going, we sometimes may overlook small issues in order to preserve the big things. However, those little cracks in the foundation sometimes cause the house to fall down, like they did in my case.
But even though in the short run things might be more difficult if you don’t turn your back on little issues, in the long run, you’ll be much better off. Sure, you could pass your days at that terrible job waiting to retire, but is that really how you want to spend your life? I get it, looking for a new job is hard and scary – and would take a lot of work – but if it could dramatically improve your life, isn’t that worth it?
Shine the light
If you notice something that doesn’t look or feel quite right, shine a light on it! If we deal with issues when they are small, often they can be fixed relatively easily. In some cases, you’ll need to shine a light on your own feelings. Pause, and think about what’s really going on. Ask yourself if there is another path that might be better. And if there is? Be brave, act, and take that path!
Good news, shining light doesn’t mean you have to tell someone your whole story and let them write an article about it. There are lots of nice, quiet ways to confront the truth.
If you need help shining your light, contact one of our coaches, and we’ll be happy to help you out.