My husband and I met on a business trip in 2007, and from the moment we met we were so damned HOT. We'd make out constantly and send mushy love letters and call and text each other nonstop. We'd stay on the phone for hours and hours and hours and send gifts... and the sex was in-cred-i-ble. We had a long distance relationship for awhile before I decided to make the move halfway across the country to be with him. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I thought that we'd always find a way to be that couple who looked like they'd just started dating, even after years of marriage.
Despite our best laid plains, I was wrong as shit. Many "we need to talk" moments led me to my own startling realization that the crazy, blazing inferno that we once had, that had turned to a pile of barely glowing embers, was of my own doing.
When we first met, I was happy and free (as free as you can be as a single mom of two kids, anyway) and I had a career that was my own. I took care of myself and had my hair done regularly, toes and nails freshly painted, went on dates, made time with friends. I did what I wanted, with whom I wanted to do it with and I said what I wanted too, which made me a bit ballsy, decisive and untamed -- wildly attractive to my now-husband.
One of the things that made me so attractive to him back then was that I was witty and confident and I didn't take shit from people or care what they thought. I'm not that person anymore.
Maybe it was being a business owner, who worked from home like a crazy person and didn't have that face-to-face interaction every day with people, with actual adult conversation that made me less confident. Maybe it was the fucking countless hours of watching the Disney channel with two girls under five that's made me a great mom, but not a great sex kitten. Maybe it was never going out with friends and connecting with my inner girl, who just wanted to talk about hair and make-up and being a mom and how to have a sex life after kids that took my more ballsy edge off.
Maybe it was adding two kids to our already big, blended family or just being insanely busy all of the time, or not taking care of myself at the level I knew I should or not spending enough time with myself or feeling like I was "on" 24/7... whatever happened... I turned into a nagging, lifeless bitch without even knowing it. Not attractive to anyone, my husband and potential clients included.
It's amazing the spotlight that relationships (business or personal) will put on your weak spots. The weaknesses that are internal always manifest in ways that make you want to blame everyone around you. It was easy to blame my husband for not being the romantic sap that he used to be. It was hard to admit that I was not that fun-loving, ballsy sexpot that I once was.
It's no coincidence that my business wasn't doing so hot then either. I was working, working, working but nothing was happening to reflect that work. Nothing. No matter how many coaches I hired or courses I took or money I invested, results were sparse. My business was a spotlight on me, just like my relationship with my hubs.
All of this was a reflection of the inner me. People, whether a spouse or a client, can see right though you, no matter how well you think you hide it.
It takes guts to admit that and do something about it. But you must. If not, you'll always have a troubled relationship or a shitty biz or a not-so-fulfilled feeling about your life. You can blame your boss or your clients, husband or your kids but until you fix you, nothing will change no matter how many external shifts you make (divorce, job change, etc.).
It's easy to lose ourselves in the daily shit. It's easy to forget who we are beyond the job, family, business and miscellaneous mundane. So easy, in fact, that you might be like me and not even know that it's happening. I was so driven to succeed in business and be the best partner and the best mom and everything to everyone that I ended up sucking at everything because there was no fun, no joy, no me.
So how do you fix it? I started by doing things for myself again. Little things, at first, like painting my nails, listening to my favorite music and taking bubble baths. Then I started taking girls trips and having more fun every day, even if it meant dancing in my living room alone. Whatever lights you up, do more of that and stop being such a bitch.
Your partner and your clients will thank you.