I look at him and smile with every inch of my heart knowing that I made the right decision! It wasn’t always like this though. There were days not so long ago when our relationship was beyond hurtful and toxic for the both of us.
Some time ago, my colleague (shout out to Tajma) introduced me to Jada Pickett’s - Red Table Talk, where they had an episode on Becoming Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I highly encourage every couple to listen to it together because it reminds us all why we started our marriage journey together. Why we chose the man/woman we did and why it’s so important to stick through the hard times together and when to know that enough is enough.
I’ve never been one to believe that you should stay in an unhappy, loveless marriage even when kids are involved. However, I do believe in trying your best to make it work, seeking help when needed, being willing to compromise and make sacrifices for the greater good of your family. If after all that, the marriage is still not working then maybe this relationship wasn’t for you.
Ask yourself these questions though: did I give it my best? Am I making the right choice? Is this the best decision for my life, my kids and my family? Leave anger and disappointment at the door and think hard on this before answering. Often we haven’t given it our best shot before walking away.
It’s hard to rationalize someone’s situation and give advice when you haven’t experienced first hand what they are going through. That’s one huge lesson I learned from my journey to becoming Mrs. Tesfaye. What people saw on the outside and what was happening in our home were two very different stories. No one could understand what I was going through because they weren’t going through the same struggle.We were always fighting, sleeping in separate rooms and wanted the marriage over. Our children were barely 5 and 1, and I was beyond ready to start a life without him in it. I was angry, bitter and disappointed all at once, yet if you asked me what exactly I was mad at, I couldn’t give you a clear response.
Something Jada Pickett said hit home for me! She asked her husband, what if it were just two of them on a deserted island what would they have? Her husband, Will Smith, answered “the island” thinking that would make her happy (them owning the island). He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t pleased with the answer. That’s precisely where Bini and I were. I wanted more so much more than the island. I wanted a life partner that was my best friend, lover and confidante not a security net. He thought by providing for me and the kids it was more than enough. He felt he was building everything for me when in fact it was to satisfy his own need for success. Looking back now, I can see that I also resented him for his success. His life hadn’t changed at all when we had Bella (our first child) while mine changed drastically. I had to stay home and raise our child, while he continued with his dreams and since we started our path to success together, I guess I felt left behind in a sense. In those moments we couldn’t be what the other person needed nor wanted. We were too focused on our personal needs.
It was after walking away from each other that we understood the real value of our relationship and that we were stronger united than apart.We both had to see life alone to understand what it meant being happy together.
If you asked me when we became Mr. and Mrs. Tesfaye, I’d have to tell you it was way after our separation. Anyone can have a wedding, have kids and live together; marriage though is a whole different ballgame. Being with that one person, believing in that person and building a future together takes perseverance, trust, and love! It’s something you create in time by making memories together, having an open line of communication and being free to talk about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, seeking each other, and most importantly, LETTING GO OF THE PAST HURT and moving forward. Trust me; this is easier said than done. I know because Bini and I had to live through the pain we caused each other to get to where we are today and honestly speaking, I wouldn’t change one bit of it! That pain helped shape us into the couple we are right now.
If you are reading this today and going through your own relationship struggles, know that although our journey might not be the same, I feel for you and I hope this blog helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel in some sense. Remember that it is easy to look at the other person's fault and place blame, but we have to take ownership of what we're doing as well. Only then can we truly change for the better and become the couple we want to see.