I struggled with being my word and keeping the traditional “till death do us part” from my marriage vows when I learned of my husband’s infidelity. I had meant my vows when I said them fourteen years prior; but in the face of feelings of betrayal, anger and loss I couldn’t keep them.
My husband had already chosen for himself and did not want to stay married; but I hung in there, thinking that I needed to keep my word, even if he hadn’t. Integrity was everything to me. I realized after some time (and a wonderful counselor!) that keeping my word was more important to me than staying married, and I chose to honor my word instead. I would remain in open communication throughout the dissolution of our marriage and I would forgive it and let go. This didn’t happen overnight, mind you. It took about six months for the marriage to come to an amicable completion and another five years before I really knew I had forgiven him.
John Mayer sings, “Say what you need to say” in a song featured in the 2007 movie, The Bucket List. The movie followed the lives of two men who had each been given a grim health prognosis and how they chose to spend their time following the news. One of the men was estranged from his daughter and had never met his granddaughter; he stopped himself from saying I’m sorry and I love you by staying out of communication.
Tim McGraw’s lyrics from Live Like You Were Dying, inspire the listener to do the same – get out there and live life and tell people how you feel. Nike has the brand Just Do It … and life, in my opinion, should have the brand Just Say It. Communicate. Speak your truth. Be your word. And if you can’t be your word, at the very least honor it.
Communication Changes Everything
My Ex reached out with a text that read, “Next time you’re in town I’d like to meet for coffee. I have something to tell you.” We met at a coffee shop and after the usual catch-up and chatter about nothing, he said, “I’m so sorry. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t deserve that.” He said it. Out loud. To me. The words I would have given my left arm to hear in the middle of it, I had finally heard five years later. Those words brought tremendous peace and closure to what had happened between us and I was so grateful that he was able to just say it.
Try it for yourself. Is there a relationship you are keeping yourself out of because you are walking on the proverbial eggshells about something you need to say that you’re not saying? Would you have to give up being right, justified, angry, hurt or vulnerable in order to get in communication? What would it take for you to just say it?
“You better know that in the end
it’s better to say too much
then never say what you need to say again” - Say, John Mayer
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive by Elizabeth Viszt
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