Have you ever looked at yourself? I mean REALLY looked at yourself to find out why you are the way you are? Why you do the things you do? How you got where you are in life? It's called self discovery. If you haven't done it yet, I suggest you do. When I was in my 20's I struggled a bit with myself. I didn't really know who I was, what I was doing, why I acted the way I did and how I had gotten where I had. But then I went through a process of self discovery, and it all made sense. It has been many years since I went through self discovery, so now I am satisfied with myself completely. I know who I am. I know why I do the things I do, why I act the way I do, and how I got to where I am.
I married my high school sweetheart. So did my sister. Do you think that's a coincidence? It certainly is not. And I know why we both did. My sister's marriage didn't last, but that was not her choice. If things had not gone down the way they did, she would probably still be married to him. I don't really want to get into all of the details and air the dirty laundry, let's just say her husband did something that is hard to forgive.
My mom stayed with my dad even though he was an "alcoholic" and emotionally and verbally abusive. We later found out he was not an alcoholic, but was instead bipolar. You can read my earlier post "a Bipolar Dad" to find out all about that situation. I wouldn't call my dad physically abusive because there may have been a push or shove here and there but nothing was physically "violent." But, he was definitely verbally abusive to all of us when he was drinking or on his depressive slide. Yet, my mom stayed. She never wavered. Even though things got tough or rough here and there, she stayed, she made it work.
So do you think it's an accident that my sister and I both married our very first boyfriends? No. We learned through watching. You just make it work, no matter what, you make it work. Interesting huh? I'm not saying that in retrospect, I shouldn't have married my husband, what I'm saying is that if I had been raised differently, like if my parents had gotten a divorce, I doubt I would have married my first ever boyfriend. It's strange to think about.
I believe everything goes back to how you were raised. But, I don't believe all actions can be BLAMED on how you are raised. For example, Jeffrey Dahmer had a very unstable upbringing. He decided to be a serial killer. Scott Peterson had a seemingly wonderful upbringing but if you dig deeper, he only acted perfectly because he was afraid of being abandoned. I am reading a book about him "Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson" by Keith Ablow. It's fascinating stuff. His mother's father was murdered and then she had a horrible upbringing. She passed this on to her son. It's as though this stuff breeds, you pass it on. You'd have to read it. Scott murdered Laci, and it is all because of how he was raised. I'm not saying he should be forgiven. He CHOSE to murder her. But it all goes back to his past. You aren't BORN a thief or a murderer. Things happen in your life to point you in that direction. The question is, are you strong enough to take the right path?
You can't blame your behavior on your upbringing because you can CHOOSE how to act once you are an adult. But you CAN UNDERSTAND why you think the way you do, BECAUSE of your upbringing. Does that make sense?
My husband and I have a pretty good marriage. We are friends. However, we don't have that much in common. We don't share a lot of interests. But, I didn't even really know who I was until I hit my 30's. Does anyone else feel that way? I thought I knew who I was in my 20's but I didn't. I had to go through self discovery to find out who I was. I lost my best friend (long story and another blog all together, I didn't lose her physically, but I lost her emotionally), and my sister lost her husband when I was in my mid-twenties. That divorce affected me a lot because I thought of him as my brother. And suddenly my best friend and my brother were gone. I felt like my world was falling apart. This was also a period of time when my marriage was strained. Marriage is hard. It is not easy. It takes work on both sides. It only works out 50% of the time. So if one person gives up, even just a little, it takes work to get things back on track, or they fall off the track for good.
I came through that period in my life but it was hard and it took a lot of self discovery for me to come out the other side. I never went to therapy but I feel like my self discoveries were my own little therapy sessions. It helped so much. I looked at my childhood and how I was raised. I came to understand why I made the decisions I did and a lot reflected on my parents. It just helped me to UNDERSTAND.
So yeah, are my husband and I supposed to be together? I think so. We have 3 wonderful kids and we have more good days than bad. Could I have been with someone else? Sure. I don't think there is only one person for everyone. I could have made different decisions in my life if I had been raised differently. I could have had 5 boyfriends after my first boyfriend and married my 6th. And would I be happy? Probably. I don't believe in ONE person for everyone, FATE and all that. I think things happen because of your OWN decisions. And where you end up after that, is up to you. You can choose to make things work or you can choose to take a different path. It is all up to you. But it's not fate. It's you. And this is...JUST ME...and I'm happy where I am today. Are you?