I had come to terms with the fact that I was damaged goods and carrying far too much emotional baggage to even begin contemplating a healthy new relationship that wouldn't turn into repeat episodes of relationships past. If I really wanted to be happy and if I ever wanted to experience lasting love, I'd have to rebuild myself from the ground up. I needed to fix the cracks in my foundation, gut and re-build my interior while maintaining the basic structure of who I was. I needed to break down the walls that made me feel victimized, angry and full of mistrust in order to upgrade to a strong sense of identity, self-worth and a renewed vision for my life. I needed to create a spacious and brand new open-floor plan, sprawling with possibility. Plus, floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of ME fulfilling my wildest dreams, living adventurously, savoring each moment passionately, creating daily, inspiring, feeling inspired, loving and feeling loved. In this newly remodeled life, my failed marriage wouldn't define me. It would merely serve as a learning tool in this DIY process of building my dream life. It would help me assess where my own personal structure was weak, new support beams were needed and decorative touches could be added that would not only make me feel strong, grounded and nurtured; but also distinctly unique, beautiful and desirable. The notion of "flipping" Keex and putting her back on the market actually seemed exciting! I knew the rebuilding process would require time, sacrifice, re-prioritizing and tough decisions. But I was okay with the hard work ahead of me because my ultimate goals were lasting, healthy relationships with myself and my future life partner, abundance and a strong sense of self. I was in no rush for anyone to move in just yet.
This re-building process gave me lots of time for introspection, deep thought and self-assessment. I came up with so many theories and hypotheses about singlehood and marriage; both in general terms and about my own personal experiences. I'll admit that the notion of being in-love with someone for a lifetime still felt irresistibly romantic, desirable and comforting especially when my mind started to wander toward images of me in my my golden years -- single and childless. Oof! The thought of that feels gut-wrenchingly sad and pathetic. But, at the same time, the idea of "'til death do us part" didn't seem remotely plausible based on my own first valiant attempt. I mean, how do you really sustain a (happy & fulfilling) marriage without feeling like you're just "sticking it out" for the sake of not dying alone? How do you stay in synch with your partner and remain happy and in-love when time and life experiences inevitably change you? How do you manage the highs and lows of your individual-life stuff while balancing them with the highs and lows of your relationship-life stuff; and still come out a survivors? But not just any survivors. I'm talkin' about madly in-love survivors! How do you balance the physical and emotional needs of your partner without neglecting your own? How do you keep it fresh, exciting, new, passionate, sexy, sensual, adventurous and fun once the lust is gone? And we all know it does. That's why we call it the "honeymoon phase".
I've discovered absolutely no answers thus far! In fact, I've had as many great revelations and "AHA!" moments as I've had conflicting thoughts and opinions. But here's one thing I know for sure: Any successful relationship starts with personal strength.