Several weeks ago, my longtime friend of like 20 years (No, that wasn’t the day we were born) looked across the table and asked me point blank, “Do you think I made the wrong decision to divorce my husband?”
She and I have very similar wounded and broken stories, and we are both on this beautiful journey to healing and personal freedom, but unfortunately, her marriage ended very differently than mine.
I immediately responded, “No, I don’t think you made the wrong decision at all. I think you trusted yourself, and did the best thing for you.”
I know the message I repeat here is fight for love, fight for your marriage, but I never have talked about what fighting looks like. After lunch, I thought a lot about our conversation. I lingered on how messy love can be, and I wished it was as black and white as I used to think it was. I’ve seen enough in my life to know, not every love story is going to be like mine, and not every broken love story can be fixed. E.M. Forester writes in his novel, A Room with a View,
“Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along. Man has to pick up the use of his functions as he goes along — especially the function of Love.”
There’s no secret formula that can guarantee a happily ever after, we’re all figuring it out as we go. So, what do I mean when I say fight for love? For me, fighting simply means, staying and loving until the end.
It may mean you’re not the one who files for divorce. Maybe staying and loving means you’re not the one who moves out. Maybe loving means giving your lost spouse time to find his way again or maybe it means letting him go and having what he thinks he wants. In this dance called life we must listen and trust ourselves. We aren’t always prepared for the explosions that happen, but if we trust the voice we hear inside and know in the end it will be ok, then we can figure out how to stay and love.
Staying and loving until the end means choosing to show love and be loving even when the other person is unloveable and does not return your love, and then, if or when the end comes, you can accept it’s over and walk away, and you will always be able to look back and say, “I loved until the end.” I heard Tony Robbins say, “Love as passionately at the end of a relationship as you did at the beginning, and more than likely there never will be an end.”
So, to my friend I want to say,
You fought for your marriage. You stayed and loved until the end. That night when you were standing in your living room, and you gave your ultimatum, when you said, ‘I’m here and I’m willing to make this work, but if you walk out the door, I won’t be here when you get back.’ That was you staying. That was you fighting. Even though he was too broken to stay, you did. Even though he didn’t know how to love, you did.
The beautiful thing about Love is He is infinite, and He does not end with our broken love story. As the saying goes, “every end is a new beginning.”
So, be brave — stay and love until the end.