One day, I typed into the google search bar “How do I stop hating my husband?”
No joke, I put that question out to the google world. I was desperate to release my feelings of resentment, anger, and pain from the past. Something deep inside of me knew that I had to do better but I did not know how. I was on a fast track to divorce, or a lifeless marriage. I felt trapped and imprisoned in my own life.
It began with the birth of my second child. My husband was working a lot. I was home with two kids. He never got up in the middle of the night. I was nursing, so it did not make sense to him to have us both lose sleep. He got to go to the gym every morning, he came home to a cooked meal every night.
How many times did I stand there watching him eat, as I dealt with the babies, feeling ravenous, but unable to serve myself until the children were fed?
So it started as a feeling of abandonment. His life went on as usual, while mine had turned upside down. The kids hardly made a dent in his life, but they totaled mine. He wasn’t the doting husband or father I thought he would be. Nor was I the joyful emotionally connected mother and wife I hoped I would be…
I am a doer, a list maker, no matter what job you give me, I will do it to the best of my ability. I don’t ask anyone for help. I can handle anything.
Although these character traits allowed me to be extremely productive in life, they also turned out to be my greatest source of weakness and pain.
My life was about laundry, changing diapers, going to the grocery store, keeping the house clean, keeping my kids alive and well. Keeping every soccer ball, baseball and hockey puck in the air. It wasn’t about enjoying my children, or getting on the floor to play with them. I was always about doing the next chore. Every day was a ritual, a routine just like the day before.
I look back now and I cringe at the time I lost.
I rarely asked my husband for help. He made it clear that he had his hands full at work, and he did not have the bandwidth to take on more. I never wanted to be a burden on anyone.
The turning point in my marriage was May 2004. My 1 year old had a stomach bug. It was severe and he was not able to keep anything down for 3 days. The day before my 3 year old had the bug for 12 hours, and the night before, I was praying to the porcelain God myself.
It was 5 am, and I was exhausted from puking my brains out all night. But my concern was my 1 year old since he was still suffering after 3 days. For the first time in my life, I asked my husband to stay home for an hour to make sure I could get Andrew to eat. I told him if Andrew could not keep his breakfast down, we would need to take him to the ER.
My husband looked at me and said he had to go to spin class, but to call him if there was an issue.
I said nothing. Andrew ate like a hungry bear, and then his mouth opened like an erupting volcano of applesauce and oatmeal. Fear gripped my heart as his little body spewed it’s only source of nourishment.
I scooped him up, me dressed in sweats, and the boys dressed in Hannah Anderson pj’s, and we drove to a nearby hospital. Andrew bypassed everyone in the ER, and was instantly hooked up to an IV. The nurse looked at me with concern, put her hand on my shoulder, and asked “are you alone dear?”
With tears in my eyes I looked up and said “My husband had to go to a fucking spin class.”
That cool May morning, Andrew was admitted to the hospital for 3 days, and I emotionally vacated my marriage for 10 years.
Fast forward far too many years, a move to Texas, and a total disconnect on my part. My husband resurfaced as the wonderful man I had married. He had apologized for being so selfish in those early years. He admitted he got caught up in his work, and himself, and he did not quite know how to meet everyone’s needs. He tried his hardest to bring me back to him, but he did not realize how far gone I really was.
I am not sure I did either.
I had put up so many walls, that Donald Trump would have been proud. And I was not willing to take them down. Please note, this is a choice too many people make. We don’t forgive. Even though ALL of us make mistakes, and marriages will set the stage for many growing pains.
I festered with resentment and anger for so many years. But pain like that cannot survive inside of you, eventually I had to release it. So I did what any weak person does, I turned to indifference.
Trust me when I say that the opposite of love is NOT hate, it is indifference. I was shut down, empty, void of any feelings towards my husband, and this state would lead me to a dangerous place.
When we moved to Texas and my kids were in school full time, I decided to pursue a nutrition and health certification. I dove head first into learning. Eventually, my curious nature would lead me down an unconventional path. Suddenly, the topic of food and health, was not so much about calories, fat, protein, and carbs, as it was about how we are living as a society.
I became enlightened and more aware. My eyes opened to a new world of consciousness regarding a culture that was mindless, stressed, fearful, and living on auto-pilot. A culture that throws away all that is broken, instead of trying to fix it. I started recognizing a pervasive victim mentality that America had taken on.
We were victims of our genetics, of our upbringing, of our spouses, of our jobs, of our beliefs, of our addictions and our cravings. Anything that allowed us to point the finger outside of ourselves. No one wanted to look in the mirror because that mirror spoke the truth.
I was guilty of the victim mentality for food and health, and I was guilty of the victim mentality in my marriage. One thing you learn when you take good coaching courses, is that how we do one thing is how we do everything. If you are a victim in any aspect of your life, chances are you are a victim in many aspects of your life.
My weight and my health issues went away after a life time struggle as soon as I understood the food and health culture in which we all live.
I stopped being a victim of food, diets, cravings and exercise compulsion. I instead took personal responsibility for the fact that I had allowed myself to become part of a cultural problem. Year after year, I chose to diet. I chose convenience. I took the easy way out. When I got sick I went to the doctor looking for a pill to fix it. I succumbed to marketing health claims. I followed the rules even though they never worked. I fell for the meal replacements, and dieting programs. I chose temporary solutions because temporary solutions never required me to step up permanently.
I never sought knowledge outside the conventional box of thinking. I never questioned anything despite the fact that obesity, cancer, diabetes, autism, auto-immune disorders, cardiovascular disease and pharmaceutical drugs were like steel walls slowly closing in on all of us.
In my defense, I did not know there was something outside the box for which I thought and lived. This is the unfortunate reality for many. And this is the reason I do what I do. I am here to wake people up.
As Einstein says, and I learned first hand “You will never solve a problem with the same mind that created that problem.”
Everyone is trying to solve their weight, health and relationship issues with the same way of thinking that created those issues.
I think most people choose to live inside the box because although it may be miserable, it is familiar. We have become comfortable in apathy. What goes on beyond our cultural walls may be freedom, and may be life, but it requires us to step up and live like we mean it.
It requires us to face the unknown, our fears, and our own demons.
We are conformists by nature. We are fearful by nature. The lowest and most primitive form of our humanity is a focus on self preservation. Victim mentality is all about the ego and the protection of the self.
I made a choice to step outside the box in my mind. The path outside the box started with me questioning how we, as American’s interact with food and health. But as I followed the organic breadcrumbs down that path, I stepped into my own light, and that light was exceptionally bright because of it’s reflection in my mirror.
I realized that my power came from knowledge. My power came from understanding that I had to change my thinking before I could change my life. My power came from questioning everything about the world, and about myself.
Like I said, first rule of thumb about people. How we do one thing is how we do everything.
So when my marriage hit rock bottom, luckily I had already entered a semi-conscious state. And ultimately a conscious person questions everything, ESPECIALLY themselves.
I asked myself how the hell I got to this point? I took full inventory of my destructive behaviors and choices. I could have done things differently. I realized how my own personality and thoughts led me to what would have been a point of no return for most marriages.
I stopped thinking about how my husband hurt me. I wondered how much I had wrongly assumed. I wondered how often I jumped to conclusions without giving him the benefit of the doubt. I realized that I had chosen to focus on everything bad instead of everything good. I had chosen to make motherhood about chores, instead of joy.
I had allowed damaging thoughts and emotions invade me, and OWN me, for nearly 10 YEARS!
When you take responsibility for your life, you are able to respond to your life. When you play the victim and blame others or outside forces, there is not only no way to respond, there is no growth, and no emotional or spiritual evolution. This is where you are at, when you feel stuck and trapped. Your growth has stopped.
When I realized that my marriage was in a free fall, and I had to make a choice, I finally had the awareness and the strength to make not only the hard choice, but the right choice.
Being a coach, I can tell you that the majority of people will do ANYTHING BUT fix themselves. Changing your own thoughts, questioning your own behaviors, challenging your identity and beliefs is the highest form of human intelligence and evolution. It will always be the most challenging place to travel, and many will live a life of regret and misery, over going there.
I went there because I had chosen a path of health. I had woken up, and made an effort to live intentionally and outside of cultural norms. These choices gave me the courage to climb the mountain I needed to conquer, and that mountain was not so much my marriage, as it was myself.
I will not get into the details except to say that love is a verb and love is selfless. When you are willing to stare in the mirror day after day and ask yourself how I can be a better person and better spouse. When you are willing to literally cry, kick, scream and fight your way back to someone, you realize that is love.
Love isn’t the euphoria you feel when you first fall for someone, that is the easy part. Love is what you DO when life sucks, your marriage is filled with mistakes and pain, and the shit has hit the Big Ass Fan. I am very proud to say that my husband and I are capable of that type of love.
I smirk and snicker now when after a full days work my husband tells me to sit down as he does the dishes. And I say “no, honey, you have been so stressed, you go sit down.” We fight to help each other. Boy, how times have changed….
Googling “how do I stop hating my husband” is like asking “how do I lose weight.” It is the wrong question.
You cannot engage in the act of losing weight, and you cannot engage in the act of “not hating your husband.” They are both a negation of an experience.
Engage means to attract, to become part of. You can engage in love. You can engage in health. They come from the same exact place inside of us. That place is our highest self.
What you focus on grows. When I stopped focusing on diets and stupid calorie calculations, and started focusing on health- I lost weight and became healthy. When I stopped focusing on why I hated my husband and started focusing on why I fell in love with him in the first place, my love and marriage bloomed again.
Love is a choice. Health is a choice. Every thought in your head, every emotion in your body, every behavior you exhibit is YOUR choice. Taking responsibility for your life is your choice.
Who would have ever thought that learning about food and health, would save my marriage. From where I sit now, it makes perfect sense. When I learned how to eat, I learned how to live. As a mindful person, fully conscious, fully responsible, and fully aware of how my choices and behaviors affect my life, AND the world.
America’s obsession with diets, drugs, cures, diseases, genetics, convenience, fear, celebrity, and fast food is a reflection of lives lacking personal responsibility, and lives focused wholly on immediate gratification and the ego.
It is time for us to think and live differently. It is time to raise our consciousness about food, health, and ourselves. Only then will we upgrade our minds and lives to become all that we are meant to be.