Here’s the deal: I am somewhat of a naive optimist. How is that still possible in 2015? I don’t know. It must be choice. I intrinsically choose to believe good will win out every time.
My spouse and I have been married for almost fourteen years. He has been on the job for four. This month our marriage relationship faced a COLOSSAL wake up call. It went down like this: My husband came home from his last day shift. “So I got asked out at work today,” he says with a giant grin on his face .I asked him, “Was she drunk/high? Missing teeth? A form-10?”“Nope, none of the above” he says. Being asked out on the job is nothing new under the sun. There is no shortage of ‘badge bunnies’ on the streets of Calgary. This time was different; this was a legit ask. She has a job—even runs marathons. She is cute and called my husband back five hours after he was done dealing with her concern. I can hear, “atta boy, nice work!” loudly as I write. Who doesn’t like to get asked out? Be reminded that you still got it! The CPS uniforms does a good job of making officers look even more attractive than they already are.
My husband, like many spouses, doesn’t wear his ring on the job, ‘I don’t want bad guys to know I have a family’ he says. Completely valid; I don’t want bad guys to know that we exist either. Three days have passed since “the ask”. He just called from the grocery store. He says that he is still thinking about it, about her. Could he pull it off? His ego is stroked. He called because he scared himself. He says, he doesn’t want there to be secrets. Secrets have power.” He was moments away from taking her up on her offer.
We have a good marriage—a great, strong marriage—but here’s the thing: the blinders are off for both of us. Life and relationships are work. HARD, REWARDING WORK. It seems to me that somewhere along the way in society we came up with this notion that life and relationships should all be sunshine and roses or the constant feeling of a “good shoot at the range.”
Over our fourteen years, we have lived in three different provinces, experienced a heartbreaking miscarriage, had three amazing (suck-the-energy-completely-out-of-you) kids, dealt with debilitating illness, loss of jobs, started new careers, given up dreams, battled debt and lived out four years of all that comes with being a CPS family. Your list of ‘stuff’ probably looks different. But, we all have ‘stuff’.
This is what I realized this week as my happy, somewhat naive bubble got a puncture wound. In the midst of living our life, we got a little worn down, a little too comfortable, and a lot more tired. We have literally worn out our couch. Netflix passes for date night 97% of the time.
What is the point in all of this? It doesn’t matter if you are married, divorced, in a relationship or single. If you are at a crossroads in your life where you are mostly disengaged, engaged in, or contemplating behaviour that, generally speaking, goes against the character of who you have been until this point, it is probably time to talk to someone. There is no shame in talking with someone who just so happens to have degrees and strategies to help us succeed in life. Strategies that help us be the best us, the person that we might be close to giving up on, the person that we are too weary to keep being.
Unless we decide to end it, as scary as taking the first step can be, it is NEVER too late to make a change, no matter how big or small. A little hope and asking for help can and will make all the difference in the world.
So where do we go from here?
We are choosing to see this moment as an opportunity to make some changes that until now we weren’t aware we needed. We are going to work hard to make sure our personal lives thrive. He's seeing a counselor this week. He scared himself (and me) this week.
So if you are having thoughts that prevent you from sleeping, if going home to your personal LIFE (the job is your job, what happens off duty is your real life), if you are contemplating behaviours, or are engaged in behaviours contrary to your character and beliefs, maybe it is time to have a conversation...
Psychological Services #: 403-428-8380
Wellness Assessment #: 403-428-4411
Beyond the Blue Peer Support for CPS families www.CalgaryBeyondTheBlue.com
Life is meant to be good, rich and full. My optimistic, somewhat naive self is learning I might just have to work hard to keep it that way.