I spent 5 years hurting a good woman by staying with her but never fully choosing her.
I did want to be with this one. I really wanted to choose her. She was an exquisite woman, brilliant and funny and sexy and sensual. She could make my whole body laugh with her quick, dark wit and short-circuit my brain with her exotic beauty. Waking up every morning with her snuggled in my arms was my happy place. I loved her wildly.
Unfortunately, as happens with many young couples, our ignorance of how to do love well quickly created stressful challenges in our relationship. Before long, once my early morning blissful reverie gave way to the strained, immature ways of our everyday life together, I would often wonder if there was another woman out there who was easier to love, and who could love me better.
As the months passed and that thought reverberated more and more through my head, I chose her less and less. Every day, for five years, I chose her a little less.
I stayed with her. I just stopped choosing her. We both suffered.
Choosing her would have meant focusing every day on the gifts she was bringing into my life that I could be grateful for: her laughter, beauty, sensuality, playfulness, companionship, and so … much … more.
Sadly, I often found it nearly impossible to embrace – or even see – what was so wildly wonderful about her.
I was too focused on the anger, insecurities, demands, and other aspects of her strong personality that grated on me. The more I focused on her worst, the more I saw of it, and the more I mirrored it back to her by offering my own worst behavior. Naturally, this only magnified the strain on our relationship … which still made me choose her even less.
Thus did our nasty death spiral play itself out over five years.
She fought hard to make me choose her. That’s a fool’s task.
To be fair, she didn’t fully choose me, either. The rage-fueled invective she often hurled at me was evidence enough of that.
I realize now, however, that she was often angry because she didn’t feel safe with me. She felt me not choosing her every day, in my words and my actions, and she was afraid I would abandon her.
Actually, I did abandon her.
By not fully choosing her every day for five years, by focusing on what bothered me rather than what I adored about her, I deserted her.
Like a precious fragrant flower I brought proudly into my home but then failed to water, I left her alone in countless ways to wither in the dry hot heat of our intimate relationship.
I’ll never not choose another woman I love again.
It’s torture for everyone.
If you’re in relationship, I invite you to ask yourself this question: “Why am I choosing my partner today?”
If you can’t find a satisfying answer, dig deeper and find one. It could be as simple as noticing that in your deepest heart’s truth, “I just do.”
If you can’t find it today, ask yourself again tomorrow. We all have disconnected days.
But if too many days go by and you just can’t connect with why you’re choosing your partner, and your relationship is rife with stress, let them go. Create the opening for another human being to show up and see them with fresh eyes and a yearning heart that will enthusiastically choose them every day.
Your loved one deserves to be enthusiastically chosen. Every day.
You do, too.
Choose Her Every Day (Or Leave Her)
The Book … Now Available Here
P.S. Are you ready to be fully chosen (or choose wisely)? Then you must experience “Love, Sex, Relationship Magic,” in which Bryan gives you his best insights and tools – that he teaches his private coaching clients, and uses in his own relationship – that can help you (finally!) create the exquisite relationship you ache for (and totally deserve).
“I have never heard anyone break down intimate relationships the way you do. It makes so much sense why so many relationships don’t survive without this knowledge.” ~ Jenny J.
* the beautiful artwork at top is by the brilliant Robyn Chance. For the full-size image (and ordering info), go here.
That painting is beautiful! It really speaks to how we love – I love that she isn’t “handing” him her heart, but rather he is honoring it within her. Also, I just got out of a relationship like this. It was devastating. He would tell me he loved me, that he saw me as the one he wanted to end up with, to marry, but he just put in less and less effort. He waffled between telling me he wanted me and only me, to actively making sure our relationship was non-monogamous, taking a “break”, dating other women and treating me poorly. I stayed, because I wanted to “prove” I was good enough for him to love me fully. But… he couldn’t. He can’t. He’s not in a place where he is able to do that, even if in his head he “wants” to. I still feel like I was used, and kept at arms length (after he originally talked ME into being exclusive with him.). All the fault finding, blaming, finger pointing and gaslighting (the “if you were you best self more, we would work” or “the way you think doesn’t make sense and makes me question our relationship” or, at the end, in response to me saying that I was feeling scared and unsafe and I just wanted him to put more effort in, “I don’t feel any love from you like I used to, so that makes me try less, not more” and “I just don’t want to feel all the pressure you put on me – all these boyfriend girlfriend expectations. I hate when people put expectations on me.”) I loved him. I still do. It’s torture to feel like you’re always missing someone who is supposedly with you. It’s only been a few weeks since I told him I couldn’t do it (or “be friends” like he wanted – as he said that that just couldn’t stand to not have me in his life, and yet, had no time for me), but in a way it was a relief, because for months it’s felt like he was already gone. It’s no way to have to love. And the thing it, I didn’t have to – I chose to, because I LOVED. And now I just feel empty.
Hi Meaghan. Yeah. I get it. I was that guy. I’m working on helping men break through that stuff. We have no idea what it is we’re really looking for. We’re clueless. Of course, women generally have no idea what they’re looking for, either (they also have no idea what men are looking for, for that matter, too!). We’re all pretty clueless. But I’m working on it … I’m doing a 3-month program starting in June that might interest you, as it covers a lot of this stuff. I haven’t announced it yet, but I’ll email you a little sneak preview 🙂 Love, Bryan
This is exactly my story. Reading this feels like remembering everything I’ve experienced in the past. Everything in this article Brought me into tears. Goosebumps, déjàvu and flashbacks. Good thing I left this guy already and happily living my life for 2 years now.
Whoa… Sounds like we lived the same story…
I just learned about you from a recent podcast you were on. You speak with such honesty, awareness and vulnerability. I love this article and feel that I’m at the end of a relationship that is exactly like the one you described. The feelings of safety and security have been lost and because of that, all my insecurities have been pushing him further away. I’ve twisted like a pretzel and tried my best to make things work out and tried to get him to put both feet in our boat, instead of just one. Anyways, I’m letting go, which will be the best for both of us, I know.
I wanted to say that my friend, who got married for the first time, at 58, went through his first year of marriage constantly focusing on what his new wife was or wasn’t doing. She left, for a month, then he woke up, and made a decision to appreciate her and never ever speak negatively about her to anyone. It was literally an overnight situation. He changed and they are happily married, 4 years later. Soo, I agree with everything you wrote in this article. It does take some inner shift and awareness, to change, but it’s possible and it’s truly, the ONLY way to have a happy and healthy relationship.
Thank you so much
Hi Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m sorry for your current struggles, as I know the scenario all too well. I’m working on helping men break through that stuff. We have no idea what it is we’re really looking for – I’m talking about women, too. I would say actually that women know better what they’re looking for; but just don’t know how to powerfully ask for it. We’re all pretty clueless. But I’m working on it … I’m doing a 3-month program starting in June that might interest you, as it covers a lot of this stuff. I haven’t announced it yet, but I’ll email you a little sneak preview 🙂 Love, Bryan
Nice writing Bryan. I really felt your vulnerability and authenticity coming through. Intention is everything, the path of the householder. With intention, I am inspired to choose love everyday with my budding romance from your words, thank you!
getting to read this now-I see why getting attracted to these guys in the 1st place-happens bcs he is intelligent. even as friends with this sort of guy-i experience his dance of an excuse-telling me that: “i’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a relationship with you”
then in the same paragraph “it’s complicated-though not due to race” turn’s out that he actuals of being in significance with someone else. the take of risk to tell him that I even liked him-came up from hearing by eavesdrop of comment that he got a note
from ok cupid (I thought that I was reading him from that mention-that he was single). so when I go to the group that we have in
common-I am uncomfortable. ‘cloud with silver lining possible out of this, that can be fixed of this is putting out a request of behavior to show up in the group per all of us in agreement to-per the group’s facilitator-which he’s not. if that isn’t a go-then I won’t necessarily stay in the group-and wouldn’t look for dance of an excuse guy-to reach out to me on his on-even if he says in a recent email: “i’m counting on you to be my friend” arggh! I ilke intelligent guys-of which he is, I also am discovering that they still? come up short in being completely transparent with how they feltsense of ‘ships (even by being friends-not just through this recent experience-but as well by now what results a pattern-I see that I go through this) this is more important a state of rejection-to recalibrate myself powerfully attractive than just by what I look like-not so necessarily attractive physically to men-especially to these smart guys:) can you address where and how to more beholden being available to men (and if you know where they are by the group-do tell!:) who do feltsense greater than what they hide behind their intelligence? thanks bryan!!
Janne, I understand a lot of what you’re writing, but I don’t understand your question. Can you clarify, please?
Bryan, Jane is asking how to appear to men of her availability to them & also if you know if any groups she could join to meet available men
I wish I can pour it all out right here and now, but then I can’t … This article is an eye opener… …. Thank You!!!!!!!
You’re welcome 🙂
The rship I have with myself has been to fix all my broken, traumatized parts and this means constantly looking at all the hurt places. I then in turn did this with my partner, kept telling him about all his broken parts and what needed to be fixed and how to fix it. He quickly started taking it personally that there was something wrong with him then that turned to frustration and it all snow balled into a mess. I realized I needed to balance it out more with acknowledging his whole parts too and telling him how I loved that about him and not just all the broken parts and I need to do that with myself as well.
Yeah for sure … we’re only always ever talking about ourselves. Thanks Love 🙂
Thank you, Bryan, for expressing these difficult truths with such depth, honesty, and vulnerability, and pointing the way back toward that choice, a willful act that puts the Other’s needs on equal footing to My needs… for the benefit of the We of the relationship.
Hi Lion Goodman. That’s one of my favorite names, ever. You’re welcome : )
because we’ve hung out and laughed for 25 great years.. because we’ve never had a fight and any issues that might make ripples are dealt with immediately.. because i know she is the foundation that holds me up and gives me a strong place to stand.. because she has chosen to be with me as i am and has never asked me to change.. because from her comes such true love and understanding.. this is why i choose her every day and will until the last beat of my heart
That’s absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing, Blair.
well your words choose wisely are totally selfish on your part. you are the kind of guy,that once the chaise is over you become board and start the disconnect. I feel sorry for her that you wasted 5 yrs, you didn’t even have the balls to walk. if you look at a relationship as a ‘CHOOSE WISELY’ you will never find anyone, she is good to be rid of you.
That’s a pretty harsh judgment, Julieann, when you know essentially nothing about me. Why does this blog make you so angry?
I don’t think you’re understanding what he is saying…
I was in a relationship for 5 years and I don’t think we chose each other, we simply liked the company. So we separated.
After being apart for 1 year and a half. We realised its not enough to just love or need a person. We need to make that choice, to be present everyday.
We’re getting married in 8 weeks and it has been best and easiest choice I have ever made.
Chaise? Board? If you’re not capable of properly responding to his article, you should probably keep your comments to yourself
Yessss!!!! My thoughts exactly. …
It’s chase and bored. I under stood perfectly. Not that I agree but that is what she meant. A lot of men chase women and when she is caught if no stimulated the way he “thinks he need to be he gets bored and mentally, emotionally and the physically leaves.
Well said and beautifully written. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your perspective on how to apprriciate your partner. It sounds like you have learned a lot about yourself throughout this process and I do hope you reach a wide audience. Divorce rates are rising, and your article challanged the heart of this matter. Choosing and appriciating who we are with ultimately becomes the main spring of our own happiness.
Relationships are never easy and it is relapse process.
We project a lot about our own identity onto others.
Men are not the only ones with this problem, but are forgiven for it moreso than females. Why is that? If your article titled “choose him or leave him” and was written by a woman it would certainly get more harsh criticism, even from other women.
In my line of work I see a lot of women not appreciating a good man, they use men for money and their social status all the time.
Its not always so simple to choose, we have to focus on choosing to love ourselves first, and sometimes it takes not choosing someone to be liberated again.
Bryan, great post! I admire your taking responsibility and reaching for depth… I am looking forward to seeing more men and women having the courage to be honest with themselves, with their lover, and to look at commitment as a daily ritual. Consciously choosing your partner every moment of every day is an antidote to routine or habit, it reliefs expectations and demands, because it’s a two-way street: You are choosing and you are being chosen. In the beginning of our relationships we do a great sales job of showing our best, and when things get “serious”, we relax thinking that the deal is sealed and will hold on a mutual promise…
Any way, thank you for your courage!
Woooooow what a wonderful picture and such a truely writen text!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I also know this struggle to well.
the love is so often forgotten and the play of hurting seems to be the easy thing tot do. But that’s horrible. Pain and love though are close lovers too right?
I’m really wanting someone who dare to choose for me. But I guess I’m afraid of choosing myself, as you said… so the travelling isn’t over yet!
Thank you for your honest words. Like and love to hear someone is taking things truely and not for granded.
How wonderful you learned such a valuable lesson in your experience… so many don’t. I came across a wonderful essay once about autonomy and how you can never make anyone love you and that it is meaningful to tell your partner you love them everyday because you could change your mind at any given moment. Any of us could. Reading that essay was like someone finally turned the lights on and it totally changed my perspective on relationships. So anyway, thank you for putting that beautiful post out there 🙂 Not so sure about that artwork tho….. reminds me of bad 80’s romance novels, lol.
Hi Mickie … thank you. Yes I have found that in life nothing is stable. Nothing. In fact, just today, in a cozy little cabin in Idaho, I’m finishing writing my 2nd book which takes that on … it’s called “Tell The Truth, Let The Peace Fall Where It May” … (join my email list if you want to know when it’s out! and I’ll send you a sneak preview, too … promise no 80’s romance novel imagery 😉
I wish my ex could read this. I love him. He loves me. He just won’t choose…
I’m very sorry to hear of your struggle. It’s not easy, I know. Sending you love and “iii warm wishes” for your journey. Love, Bryan
Thank you. I needed to read that. I needed that to understand maybe there isn’t anything I can do differently or say to make it better. Thank you for helping me see maybe this isn’t how is should or has to be.
Hi restlessowl 🙂 you’re welcome. I trust this will serve you well.
I wish I had seen this 5 years ago.
I wish I had been able to WRITE it 5 years ago!!! : )
” Conscious ” relationships ?!
The end of your article sounds to me how much this trend of loving will never achieve the kind of family feeling possible that occurs when invested in a long-term lifelong partnership.
Till death do us part. That is why I stay. That is why I commit. It would be easy to walk. Sometimes it is not easy to stay. My partner has assurance that I will be there the next day. I commit. I give. I love deeply. I put my partner first. I stay for keeps. Even when the road is long. Even when my partner is ugly. I choose to love and choose stay and choose to work on me.
This sounds exactly like my relationship, exactly! and its been five years since I have been in active therapy and learned so much and have tried and tried to explain, guide, show book after book and so on…..I am stuck, hurt and feel undernourished, not chosen, abandoned and suffering for connection and intimacy. To be seen and heard, but feel were on a differing level of development, and he just doesn’t get it… ::sigh::
I spent 2 years of my life being “unchosen” for lack of a better word. I hope that all, men and women alike, read this article and really begin to regard their S.O. in a way that makes them feel as though they are the “one”. Life is taken for granted and so are the people in our lives. It’s impossible to grasp the pain you endure when you love someone with all of you just to get a negligible percentage in return because of the stagnancy achieved. I hope this article reaches and humbles all people that encounter it. Seems a little too convenient that I came across it, especially considering my fork in the road. Thank you, Bryan. It’s refreshing to know that people like YOU do exist!
I feel like we will never know… never know for sure if we are made for one another, if we are soul mates. I was married for 3 years thinking he was the one and only. I fought for him to stay because I believe in commitment and in forever after, for better or for worse. But he left anyway because he was unhappy. When he left, I felt a sudden relief and started building a better life for me my 3 year old daughter at the time. I charged forward and never looked back. But he did. He tried to return after half a year… proof that he didn’t ask “why am I choosing my partner today?” each day when we were struggling. But it was too late and I had given my heart to someone else. I trusted again even though my heart had been previously torn apart. I opened my arms to love and embraced it all over again. I’ve been with my current boyfriend for a little over 2 years now. Do we have our bad times? Yes. Do we have our good times? Definitely. Is he the one? I dont know, but I’ll find out when I’m 90. For now, I am living with the purpose of loving him forever.
Bryan – well said.
A quick question – what about a males POV. Having that love/friendship/relationship – always pouring love, smiles, playfulness and much much more over 7 years. Only to be pushed away time and time again. . . . That feeling of wanting to spend every minute with this person – its special; its comfortable … Being in a “friendship” for this long has only confirmed to me as to HOW much she really means (she knows this) – Why is it that when I tend to show affections/put effort into “focusing”, letting her know how I feel – she strays away and pushes away/ space. . . ? This is the COMPLETE opposite corner from this article – but in a weird way, relates. Why do women push us away when we choose to focus/go after what makes us happy? Its a never ending game that I wish ended in high school…. (Im 27 now) – Shes the world. she makes it go round. I only wish she wouldnt push away…. Thoughts?
Make her an ultimatum. Step up. I know you can find a million reasons not to force anything upon her, but in the end it’d mean you’re just too afraid of moving on from her if shit hits the fan. So force her hand. If she doesn’t want to be with you, leave her and pursue other things, other goals. She will not come to you by herself. You are doing yourself a lot of harm by waiting for this. Meanwhile, she’s having fun taking her sweet time to choose. Females are the more selective gender after all. She knows you will ALWAYS be an option and you are assuring her of it every step. You’re not making her feel the risk of losing you. There isn’t any, you’re too loyal for no reason!
Find new and better goals, like science or cultural studies. Do things for YOURSELF, not her. When you do, not only will you gain independence of her and confidence, but she will want you if she has the slightest of interest in you. She will want you bad. So either force her hand ( I’m not talking about violence here, just force her to choose ) or simply distance yourself from her enough while focusing on other things that she will come to you. You also need to be ready to be rejected. If she rejects you at first, insist. If it’s hopeless, back off and end it there and move on.
I heavily suggest you look up things like MGTOW, which is Men Going Their Own Way. I don’t 100% agree with their views, but they give a brutally honest explanation about the motivations of most women. I believe it could give you a new healthy perspective. Just don’t take it all as the truth. After all, going your own way is making your own choices based on your calling and desires, not anyone else’s. If you can’t go your own way and must have a lead, then at least find someone worthy of leading you, not this woman who I feel is just using you.
Thank you. This might have just saved our marriage.
I agree with your article, but I also think it might be simplified too much. I agree with choosing to love, but having the awareness of why a person feels how they feel can help tremendously. I also think that pornography has larger impact on relationships than people might believe; physically and emotionally.
There are two types of feelings that people crave. We crave novelty, excitement and adventure, and at the same time we crave security and predictability. Stephen Mitchell, author of Can Love Last? The Fate of Romance Over Time, said this after studying relationships over 30 years. His assessment was well-thought and gave me some insight. It taught me that passion can last, but you have to grow it and tend to it like a living, breathing garden. It’s fickle and ebbs and flows. I fear that people get too caught up in one or the other and look for excitement outside of the relationship; betraying their partner and destroying the trust. Or the person turns their energy into something else such as porn, and they accept that relationships have to be mundane and tiring. Unfortunately, putting their energy into porn makes them feel resentful towards their partners for not being as sexually adventurous or physically fit.
Porn is a terrible thing. It truly is. I watched it for years and my relationships suffered. It wasn’t until I stopped the porn, photography sites, and instagram pages of bikini clad women, that I realized how my brain had been desensitized. I felt closer to my wife, less aggressive, and generally more appreciative, and we had sex more frequently. The more attention I gave her, the more she responded. I chose to love her, but I also eliminated the negative, external stimuli that affected my perspective.
I still choose her everyday, but I also understand that she has the same ebbs and flows of security vs novelty. So sometimes I give her the space she needs and sometimes I smother her with love and attention.
Here is some data on porn: http://yourbrainonporn.com/erectile-dysfunction-and-porn
Also, I felt this article was relatable to yours. It about not taking your relationship for granted.
I couldn’t agree more.. Social media and porn are destroying relationships.. It’s devastating to a woman’s self esteem when a man would rather stay up and fantasize about other women, rather than be with his girlfriend/wife. I speak from personal experience, because I go to bed alone every night..
Great read. I notice that one of the traits you described the woman you wrote about was “exotic beauty” which led me to think that perhaps there was some kind of a cultural/ethnic difference? Of course, I realize that the description “exotic” doesn’t necessarily imply a racial/ethnic/cultural difference, but I was just curious, (and please forgive me if the question doesn’t seem entirely politically correct, but rest assured, I mean no offence) if there were indeed cultural/ethnic differences, did that perhaps cause any issues within the relationship that perhaps played a factor in why you stopped choosing her?
Never compromise, if you are with someone that is afraid of love or to love….leave!!! SO many people are afraid of the vulnerability that comes with love that they sabotage, that includes finding fault because it protects them from loosing “the control’ in the relationship.
Both men and women should do the inner work and take responsibility for their own love of self otherwise this gets projected onto your partner.
Choose yourself first then you can both show up in the relationship or choose to be with someone else that is “equally” invested in love. ..until then you will be looking for someone else to fill up your cup that was designed to be filled by you and you alone.
Choose yourself everyday and then you will know what you are actually looking for in a partner not a substitute for what you are avoiding to look at in yourself !
To Err is Human. To Forgive, Devine. But how do we forgive when the pressures pile on and the insecurities continue to push your loved one away? I find it difficult to muddle through the hurt and open up honestly to a partner that can’t even open up to himself about his own pain. What can two people with so much pain do to come together again?
You used the word “everyday” correctly 1 out of 8 times. I stopped reading after the 3rd misuse.
This is so completely, exactly what I’ve been going through. I have felt ignored and abandoned over the last several months by my boyfriend of four years. He says he wants to marry me, but do I want to marry someone who, at least twice a day I have to ask him, “Do you know what I just said? Can you repeat it back to me?” The only time he seems to listen and respond is when I become confrontational. Then, of course, all bets are off and the fighting begins. This has all culminated in an inevitable break. All I want is his attention but it seems no matter what tactics I try, he just can’t. I know he has a high-stress job, but I, too have a very demanding job and still make time to try to emotionally support and connect with him. Next week is my birthday and we had planned a trip together. I am still planning to go alone and while I am sad that he doesn’t want to be a part of it, I am trying to understand his reasoning. It hurts to feel so abandoned, but I realize that it’s really no different than when we were together.
Your post brought me back to the unraveling of my marriage now over 25 years ago. It was the same type of disintegration you described, and I’ve never seen it described so clearly. Over the years since my divorce I’ve looked for someone to try again, but it has never worked out. The sparkle dust has never come out even. Thanks for your post. It has given me a lot to think about.
Seems like this way of being is the new norm for men. That indecisiveness, non committal kind of man. It’s got to be a sign of our times somehow? I regularly talk with elderly married people, asking questions about their secret to a good marriage. Their connection to each other is always so evident, born in a day and time where mutual love and respect must’ve been more the norm.. I don’t understand how a man can be with a woman, lead her on, and then turn and say he’s not interested in relationship anymore? Isn’t it about sticking it thru the good and bad times? Isn’t it about persevering? No one seems to have that kind of fortitude. In such an immediate pleasure society, in such a throw away society, in such a disconnected society where neighbors can go years and not know each other, and it’s common place for families to be broken, this trend in relationships doesn’t really surprise me.. It does however sadden me
I Couldn’t agree more my friend
Nice read. I’m a one woman man. No point wasting time if it’s not right. Happyness comes from within.
A lot of people have issues and they should be open with them. Not every body has issues with being faithful, to some this is not a thought. Every body is different. Takes ages to really kno some body, and forever to endure the journey of love.
I wonder if this is what went through my ex boyfriend’s head when he decided to breakup with me. He was my first boyfriend and my first love, although a lot of people tell me that that couldn’t have been possible since our relationship only lasted for 4 months and for the fact that I’m 18, and him breaking up with me completely blind sided me. He told me that he couldn’t get past his fears to love me the way I deserved to be loved and to never blame myself since its his own problems that are getting in his way and that he still and always will love me, but I never truly understood what he meant by that sine he never told me what his fears were and it made me feel like he wasn’t telling me the truth. I promised him that I would never force him to do anything and I’m true to my word, but if was telling me the truth then what’s wrong with me being there as he faces his fears? Isn’t that what you do in a relationship? He wants me to be friends with him again and he wants me to get over the breakup quickly and pretend like it never happened, but there is too much for me to remember. Sorry, I got off track. Anyways, after I read this it made me think that maybe this was his reason all along. It’s not what I want to hear, but it makes more sense than the reason he gave me. Even though I will never know if this was the reason or not, I want to thank you for writing this so I can have a little more peace in mind while I’m healing from my first breakup.
You sound like a classic narcissist, and this is a common problem in the US today. I doubt if you really have it in you to love someone with maturity and empathy, but I do admire your courage in describing this because so many men don’t even acknowledge how they feel.
Your words really speak to me. My husband of 9 years and I split 2 years ago and I think we had both hit the point where we had stopped choosing each other. We had really regressed to childish behaviour and ways of acting. It was not healthy for us or for our sons to see.
These days I make a point to choose him as the father of my sons. This may sound silly but choosing him reminds me of the obligations I have to my children to me a good mother. It helps me be honest and open with my ex-husband and to consider his perspective on important things. It also helps me maintain emotional boundaries for myself and for him. The result is a relationship that makes co-parenting easier and keeps our interactions respectful and mindful. This is of particular importance has my ex-husband is an Army veteran and suffers from PTSD so our relationship as parents brings a very layered and traumatic element to the table so to speak.
I once loved this man enough to make children with him and along the way I forgot this. While the love has long gone the respect and consideration is there now and that means we can both enjoy our children free of hate, grudges and disrespect. We can both look each other in the eye and say yes we are doing a good job raising our sons even though we are not together.
Kids should always come first,I’m sure he wants you with all his heart but sometimes you just need to prove yourself before you cam move on with life.
I’m a young lady from SA, I’m currently dating this guy an I’m sooo much in love with him. He inspires me, motivates me, an he loves me but I don’t think he chooses me everyday. We always fighting an arguing, but still I can’t start my day without talking or even end the day without saying good night to him, that’s how much I love him……
Please advise me……
I wish my partner would also have the chance to read this. I’m sure it will help us a lot on deciding if we should hold on or let it go. :'(
i guess both of us are having the same struggle.
Thank you for the writing, Bryan.
I know some polyamorous women who would be offended at the notion that they should be chosen. Some women choose to have several lovers. Maybe she was just the wrong woman for you? It sounds like she was angry, insecure and demanding to me. Maybe that’s why you were “too focused on the anger, insecurities, demands, and other aspects of her strong personality that grated” as you put it? I used to be a one woman man and thought I would always be a one woman man. Until one summer 3 separate women wanted to be no-strings attached lovers in open relationships with me. What if the women in your life don’t want to be chosen 24/7, what if the women in your life choose freedom and polyamoury? What if the women do not want to be “fully chosen”?
There are an infinite number of ways humans can interact, I wouldn’t want to limit any of them with boxes or titles. I’m looking for the one I’ll spend my life with eventually but until that situation manifests I am happy to share time with the ones that want to share an evening with me in intimacy and honesty.
I just read one of your pieces on facebook that a friend had shared “Choose her Everyday” it brought tears to my eyes. I found myself wanting and reading more of your writings, as well as having a few “ahh huh” moments. I really enjoyed. Thanks
I really enjoyed reading this article. My partner and I went through this for a few years and it was really hard. I feel like you put words to the emotions I couldn’t explain. And I realize it doesn’t work…but I was the girl trying to get him to want and need me. I think some if it just takes maturity, and people reach it at different times. It can also sometimes just be a choice we choose not to or forget to make. I’ve been w my partner 6+ years and we’ve now been married almost a full year. I think we have finally reached the point where we give most of ourselves to the other and really want/need each other every day (well…maybe most days). We’re not perfect…but continuing to get better and grow
Bryan, this post was the complete past year of my life. I was stunned with tears reading it. This past year was hard for us we lost our son who was born prematurely. But going through all of those emotions and struggles, it didn’t bring us closer. While grieving over my son every day I had to fight the world to be good enough. To be seen by this man that I truly loved more than anybody ever before. He said it is like an addiction and wanted to marry me eventually but could not let go of this yearning for attention from other women. After over a year of breaking myself down I finally had to just let it all go. This is what he would try to tell me that he couldn’t choose me every day but loved me. He didn’t want to hurt me anymore but wouldn’t let me go. So I finally did. I wish that he could meet you to figure himself out. Not to do with anything about me just for him. Bc I know this will continue for him no matter who he is with. It is truly sad when a person is loved who cannot love back.
This is an awesome read that really depicts my current state. I have been with the same guy for a little over 5 years. We have a functioning relationship but I don’t think I am in love with him. I do love him, but I yearn for that kind of relationship where we “choose each other everyday.” But I am afraid. Of what I’m not sure. Loneliness maybe…..But I think I depend on him for a lot of my social life…..I need an impetus to let him go. The problem is there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the relationship other than what my feelings or instincts tell me about me and my innermost desires. I really pray for the courage to let go and move on.
Wow, I wish my boyfriend would read this. He tells me he loves me, he tells me all these beautiful things, but after 4 1/2 years of dating he still tells me that he’s not sure if he ever wants to marry me. I don’t feel secure, and we fight a lot. I love him to death, but… We’re obviously just not going anywhere. He says I need to change for him to want to be married to me. But, I am who I am. I need him to just take me or leave me (even though I don’t want him to leave me) but I feel I’ve been wasting my time and I don’t want to waste any more.
Your article was very painful to read as I am experiencing what you have just described. I have been with my partner (he is 5 years younger) for almost 18 months. The first year was amazing – match made in heaven; but for the last couple of months we have been struggling. Previously we talked about moving in and having children, but now I do not even hear: “I miss you”, “You look great”, not to mention “I love you”. Today I actually asked him, if he loves me and he said “yes”, but he is not choosing me everyday. I feel he does not respect my needs and is a workaholic. He recently changed jobs and is working like crazy. Worth mentioning is also a fact that I am going through a divorce now for which he has been waiting for the longest time (when we met I was already separated). In the past he wanted to see me everyday, would get mad, if I did not have time, but now… We just see each other twice a week. To me it seems he could not care less. If I will come over that is fine, but if not it is OK too. It is extremely hard for me. I don’t eat, sleep, or enjoy life anymore. I could write and write about this situation. I would love to be with him forever, but I am just not sure about his intentions which makes me insecure and scared to death. I will appreciate your thoughts.
I’m currently married to someone exactly like this! We will be celebrating our 3rd Anniversary next month, but our divorce will most likely be finalized before then. He lies, keeps secrets and makes decisions without me. I woke up one morning and he had packed his things and left me. Only to beg for me back into his life a week later. Last week he wrote me a letter on how many ways I have disappointed him in our marriage only to call me sobbing on the phone last night begging for me to stay. I’m getting whiplash from his promises and betrayals. I’ve fought tooth and nail for our marriage and for him. I’ve loved him unconditionally and faithfully only to be heartbroken over and over. I should leave, I should sign these divorce papers and cut him from my life for good, but I love him so desperately. I love him enough to deal with him breaking my heart on occasion, but he has to change. The lies have to stop. He has to choose me over himself daily, he has to shut out all the ways he feels I’m not a good enough wife to him when I’ve done nothing but honor him as a husband, he has to choose me over money and secrets. He could save our marriage, he could keep me in his life, he could stop this pain. But he has yet to choose me. He still has a chance to choose me, but he seems incapable. It will kill me to lose him, but I also have to choose me at some point.
I understand! … This is a tough situation and I’ve been through something similar myself. I coach couples going through exactly these kinds of challenges. It’s really powerful work. … If that’s something you’d like to explore, I ask all couples to fill out this couples coaching application first – http://goo.gl/forms/jDtiQfFwHi – if it speaks to you, and from your application I think we’d be a good fit to work together, we can set up an intro call to explore. Bryan
When my husband and I married, nearly 1 year ago, we promised to love, respect, support, challenge each other, to share our lives with one another, to make a home together (not always easy in commuting and long-distance relationship), and very importantly to choose each other:
Sarah, I choose you because home is wherever there is you.
Avec cette alliance, je m’engage à partager ma vie avec toi et à t’aimer, à te soutenir et à te proposer des défis que nous surmonterons ensemble.
I will keep choosing you and always come back home to you.
Andrey, I will hold our home in my heart, from Montreal to New York and everywhere else we may go.
Avec cette alliance, je te promets amour, soutien, respect et confiance.
Je m’engage à rêver avec toi et à bâtir notre vie ensemble.
I choose you today and every day.
These promises are still new in our lives, but they serve as a reminder of our commitment to stay together because we choose each other and will continue to be challenged to choose each other at many points in our lives.
I feel like this is my life. I don’t know how to let go or how to walk away though. I choose him every day….I am honest and try to allow myself to be vulnerable but after 4 years he is still walking all over me and doesn’t seem to support me with love or intimacy, besides sexual. I am angry often and lash out. I then internalize what is happening and feel it is my fault….that I am the one who needs to change…get my anger under control. I stay because I love him and I want him to better himself….but I feel that I cannot do it anymore however I don’t know how to stop.
I loved this:) Reading it is inspiring. I am a Nurse and too often the only thing I hear my patients ask for is time. Not money not anything else. The only things they seem to remember is the regret of the nasty things they have done to the ones they love, and the times they took the risks that forever changed them as a person. Too often I feel we focus on what we need. When if you are in a relationship it is about both. Meeting in the middle of each others comfort zones. The painting or picture is a alive. Which is how your spirit should be with whom you choose. I loved this. Thank you for writing it. Abbey
I am suffering right now with this conflict. I love my boyfriend but we have grown apart and no longer feel “in love”. he tries very hard to make me happy but for what ever reason all i find are faults in him. we are comfortable together and i do not know what to do. I love him and wish i could be the right person for him but i feel like now are lives are moving apart. if those feelings were once there is it worth it to hold on and work things out? can those feelings of love come back? or should i let him go? i feel like i am cruel to him and i don’t want to be but i just feel so disconnected. Thank you for your insight in this article. I can relate to it very closely.
Deeply resonating… thank you so much for sharing your reflections.
I’m dealing with this right now actually. My man and I have been together for 9 months and it started out beautiful. I’ve never felt for him the way I’ve felt for anyone else. I really used to think this was the real thing, but I’ve felt him start pulling away for the past few months. He even cheated on me once which I was willing to forgive because I couldn’t face the thought of losing him. Now every night he has to pick a fight, but then he’ll tell me he loves me and can’t wait to marry me. His actions show the opposite. When I used to need him he would always be there, now even when I need him most he has something else keeping him busy. I just feel like I’m slowly losing the bright wonderful parts of myself as I try to keep my emotions at bay.
I have been dating and living with my partner for close to 3 years. trying to understand, he still is on dating sites, so many discrepancies in what he shares and what he does. A lot of addictions, it makes me feel so sad, dishonored, i get often those weird gut feelings that things are not right. I brought up the subject to him many times. He is 62 things he does makes me feel so insecure. Some days i feel my best bet is to leave. overwhelmed. I ordered one of your training. Hoping it will clarify if things will ever change or I am beating myself up and things will remain the same with him.
Sorry pal, you’ve got it all wrong. Your initial impression was correct, and yet now as you reflect back and wonder what could have been, the feelings of nostalgia have ruined your perspective, causing you to write this misguided blog post. You must’ve been listening to too much Bruno Mars.
Your main conclusion was wrong. You say that the only reason she acted like that, was because she didn’t feel safe in the relationship, that you would abandon her. I assure you that those insecurities of her would come up regardless. You could’ve done all those great things and looked only at the good side, but inevitably, something, somewhere would have come up to trigger her jealousy and insecurity. There is no question. You can doubt it, and you will likely be wrong, from my personal experience. SHE needed to change and resolve her personal issues, but she was unwilling, and instead just blamed you and got mad at you for everything. You are free to try again the next time, but make sure you are comparing the same type of girl.
The girl was wrong for you (and probably wrong for anyone). Childish, insecure, bitchy. You are right to ask the question, “Why am I choosing her?” and it seems there wasn’t very much good reason, other than her looks. There are girls out there who will not go on rage induced fits towards you. Where you won’t have to work to choose her everyday, because you will naturally want to.
You probably don’t want to hear any of that though.
Bryan so glad that a friend found you site and linked you on her facebook page. I found myself in this exact situation with my partner of 3 years earlier this year. And we came to that moment where we either made the conscious effort to “choose” each other or walk away and let the other go. We chose each other! and our relationship has never been better. I look forward to each day and I chose him every day. The whole point is remembering/reminding yourself every day what you love about that person and keeping your focus on them. And in disagreement with J above it’s not selfish on either persons part, if you’re both doing it.
The painting is beautiful and I lost my soulmate in January of this year. I miss him every day, his love his big arms, his mind, our love. We remet in my moms garage and instantly fell in love. I moved to Virginia and we stayed together until the day he died. If you are worrying about being selfish or “not in love anymore” just lose them forever but in your heart then you will realize what true love you miss every second of the day. I loved your story and if you think it is sad it is what it is. Love to you my friend.
I believe it’s only right for both people in a relationship to love their partner everyday or let them be free to date other people. I’ve done that with all the women I’ve dated. The end result is I’ve been single my whole life. I wasn’t fully committed to love them in the way they deserved, so I just let them go.
Bringing me to the present moment, I feel a void in my heart from my single life. What then should people, like myself, do when they find themselves unable to fully love another person? I just thought of it….
*** Start with loving yourself !!! ***
YEESSSSSS! and NOOOOO up there to joe who doesn’t know a thing. i was the girl in an identical situation and if i ever felt any rage, THAT was the reason.
So you had no fault or responsibility in the situation? That is the _exact_ attitude which causes the problems. Keep dreaming.
While this resonates, she must also want to be chosen, and appreciate the fact that she does indeed continue to be chosen. To be taken for granted, ignored, or belittled, it is only natural to harbor some resentment.
Grown up people might like to work through this resentment; acknowledge it, and recognize that life isn’t always a bed of roses. None of us are perfect, and sometimes real relationships go through seriously dark periods.
To continue to idolize your partner or expect limerence every day is to reduce yourself from a human to a puppy dog.
LOL! This is so stupid. You are just playing to the fairy tale relationship that has sadly been instilled in most women through pop culture and romantic movies. Praying on women just to gain some sort of following is sick. This emasculates men and makes us out to be some sort of super human drone that is capable of catering to the modern womans increasingly outrageous emotional demand, whilst providing the usual expected securities. Women, if you don’t feel loved by a man who goes to work every day to pay for your house, car, food, kids, the occasional date and every other god damn thing you have. Than its YOU that is fucked up! Because thats how MEN show their love. Go get a pussy ass gay to be your friend if you want someone to talk to about your drama and petty emotions.
I still think deep down inside, most thin people look for other thin people….it’s all about looks to a lot of people, but they’ll deny it, but it’s true. This world will forever be shallow in the love department. But, when I see an interracial couple, or a beautiful woman, holding hands with her chubby husband…I think to myself…they looked past what’s on the outside & look within’ the other person. Kudos to those people! I’m in a wheelchair, & I have a military wife, & she doesn’t give one rat’s behind how I am…she loves me for who I am, not some guy with a big ego problem with a 6 pack on his chest.
Thank You for serving our country John. ????????
Reading this broke my heart a little because I’ve been struggling to come to terms with the break-up of my relationship a year ago. I just couldn’t understand how he could love me one day (and I won’t ever doubt that love – it was real) and leave me the next and go to someone else shortly after. I think, through reading this, I understand a little that he couldn’t “choose” me. Whilst that is a heartbreaking realisation on its own, I can only hope that this knowledge may give me a better understanding as time goes on and my heart begins to find some healing. Thank you Bryan (it’s a bittersweet “thank you” but heartfelt!) xx
Bryan, just a comment and it’s just my opinion. I can read you very well. You will probably make a small fortune selling your dribble to those who are vonerable to such stuff. I see a TV show in your future. Much like the other so called experts in relationships who dispense their personal opinions with no care for the people that believe in them. Sad that there are those who look to people like you and think because they have experienced some of the same failures in their lives that you and they are kindred spirits. For some reason you showed up on my FB account but you confirmed my feelings about your ilk.
What if the shoe is in the other foot? I’m afraid I’m the woman who isn’t choosing my man. I know you suggested to ask yourself the question, “Why am I choosing my partner today?” But how do you keep this mindset and really commit? I’ve been hurt in the past by other men who have treated me this way and now I’m doing the exact same thing to an honest, caring, and genuinely good guy. I know I love him more than anyone I have loved before, I just don’t know how to train my mind and my broken heart to always choose him without fear of feeling broken again by someone else. He is very patient with me because he loves me too but I don’t want to make him wait. It isn’t fair to him. But I’m done waiting too! How do you stop guarding your own heart after being hurt so many times in the past to give new love a chance? To choose him? Thank you for your inspiring blog. We need more love in the world and you, sir, are helping people do just that!
This is so relatable I feel like I was the girl in this story, but personally I failed to realize he didn’t choose me until the day he officially didn’t choose me. This opened up my eyes a bunch. This was such a great read.
Absolutely relate to what you’re saying Kiara!
Who did this painting? I’d like to buy a print or something!!
Please let me know if you discover the artist.
The artist is Robyn Chance … she’s amazing. http://www.robynchance.com
The artist is Robyn Chance … she’s amazing. http://www.robynchance.com
Your article really touched me &Im astounded at the amount of people working through the same thing.My ex of 5 years was so emotionally detached that he even bounced around between another woman & I the last 2 years of it because she was “easier to love” as you say. I was an outgoing, independant woman men were attracted to & it made him insecure. If things got rough or dull, he would go to her while claiming he knew I was “the one he wanted forever”, that he just wasn’t there yet & not to let go. He couldn’t go a day without texting or talking & would be back within a month. He destroyed both she and I emotionally. His insecurities & fears kept a wall up that could never let him fully commit & living in limbo most of the time. Finally the day came that I would ask myself if there was anything left that I could do to make things better, & I could honestly say No. He left the last time & I told him he’d never come back. He laughed at me. Today, I laugh & love & live in a committed, giving, new relationship of almost 3 years while the ex is still single &doing the same things to other women. While I understand what you are saying in your blog, I’m more apt to say my bf &I choose ” us” daily putting the focus on each of us equally &what we have together.
I just got out of a relationship exactly like this. I spent two years holding on. I should have known it wouldn’t work out. He was skeptical to commit at first. So I stopped talking to him and then he came around. Of course I let him in with open arms.
Two years later here I am single. The beginning was great! We couldn’t get enough of each other, but we didn’t overwhelm each other. After a few months I started to feel him drifting into a comfort zone and not trying to pursue me anymore. I told him how I felt and he just apologized and said he would work on it… We had that same conversation every month until we broke up.
It finally got to a point where we couldn’t even take trips together anymore. He wouldn’t come around for days and said “it’s fine we text during the day” or “it’s fine we talked on the phone every night” (we lived across the street from each other. He complained about walking over to my place all the time, even though you could see my place from his. The only reason I didn’t go to his as often is because his roommate was into drugs)
New Years? Yeah I spent it alone. We got hit with a giant ice storm that the news stations had warned us about for 2 days. I drove in hours before it to make it into town so he wouldn’t be there alone. Almost got killed by a truck hitting black ice. Got home to find out he was to busy playing video games to leave 3 hours earlier than he wanted and ended up missing his only opportunity to get into town for 6 days!! That’s the moment I knew we wouldn’t make it through the year.
I begged him for 6 more months to please love me again. Yet he still continued to play his video games, take his stress out on me, ditch me for his friends, and flat out put me down when I would tell him how I was feeling. The pain in my heart trying to hold on to someone who clearly didn’t think I was worthy of their time anymore is one of the worst feelings I have ever felt. It literally made me sick, everyday. He constantly got mad at me when I would get defensive around him, but there was no way for me to even talk to him anymore because I couldn’t get his attention.
A week after we broke up we talked on the phone after giving each other’s stuff back. Which consisted of putting it on the porch and just watching each other out the window. He proceeded to put all the blame on me. A week later I left to study abroad for the whole summer. I’ve found out through mutual friends who see him from time to time that he still thinks I am the only one at fault for our relationship not working.
I so wish he could read this article and comprehend it enough to realize all I did was beg for his love.
After being married for 14 years, my husband and I attended a week-long conference. On the very first day, we were asked if we could make a commitment – i.e. no matter what happened we would not leave our partner. We protested – how could we make such a commitment when we didn’t know what our partner might do in the future? Eventually, I came to realize the value of such a commitment,between two people who love each other but struggle, because it allows us to become completely vulnerable and honest with our partner. It is the commitment that allowed us to work through some serious issues. Before that, we thought once we worked through the serious issues we would arrive at a point of commitment. Nope. It doesn’t work that way. Without commitment one cannot truly work through the serious issues.
I think that one of the secrets is when the relationship no longer feels like work… I met my wife in high school and actually asked her to marry me.. she said yes but we had a very toxic relationship.. we loved each other so much that is was tearing us up.. we really didn’t know how to love back then… over 20 years later I was recovering from several surgeries from the military and she found me once again. this time around there is hardly any work… it just happens.. sure we disagree but it is mostly for selfless reasons.. I want her to have something and she wants me to have something and we cant get each other the thing we want because it conflicts.. things like that.. there are no insecurities.. no jealousy.. we know that we choose to be with each other and know with everything inside ourselves that in the entire world there is no one else out there that would make us feel the way we do right now.. I agree totally with what you said bryan. For us it took the entire span of the world and over 20 years for us to finally know what to do with our love.. I truly wish that it wouldn’t have taken so long.. we wasted so much precious time apart that we could have been together loving each other and being happy.. but it is our failed relationships that give us knowledge and train our hearts on what to do rather than what we do.. acting with our heart and brain not just our hearts. reacting with our brains and not our emotions.
This was pretty awesome. Have any other similar articles?
This article could also be written by a women.
Man I swear I was reading a paragraph out of a book about my current situation.we have been together 16 yrs and the last 4-5 yrs well they are ones id like to forget.mind you ive had 2 pregnancies in the last 5 years and those should be good memories and honestly they are the only good memories from this time frame.that puahing away effect sure does work.I wake up and ask myself why I stay.I ask myself if he loves me why does he treat me like the plague? Why do you talk down to someone your suppose to care about and love.I ask myself alot of questions.im really glad I found your article.if I cannot help my husband I can help myself from you have wrote.I plan on reading your other articles too.
I have been hurt extremely bad in the past and it left all sorts of damage to the way I am in my current relationship. I have came to realise I have a fear of rejection but I also realise I am angry at myself for staying in that situation. I knew it was bad for my wellbeing and I didn’ttake care of myself. This is my biggest regret, I forgive what happened but I will never forget how I disregarded myself for someone else’s approval. I agree with what your saying, it is cruel toplay with someone else’s heart and head but you yourself need to be strong enough to let go of what is not right. You can’t choose how someone’s mind works or what choices they make but you can choose to let that happen. Thank you for enlightening me 🙂
This is exactly what happened in my first marriage. I have been saying that I choose my new husband every day when I wake up. You are right on point.
I wonder what ever happened to humility. I read Bryan’s bio.
sheepeople sheepeople sheepeople wake up and get a life. There is a higher power and it ISN’T Braan Reeves. I DO appaude his life experiences but a Guru…Don’t think so. Dali, yes, Bryan no, sorry.
This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. I am going through the same thing now with the man I wish to spend the rest of my life with. He openly tells me that he can’t fully choose me. It’s saddening, disheartening, horrible. But then one day he changed. Out of the blue showed up with flowers, balling his eyes out because he heard the Bruno Mars song “When I Was Your Man” on the radio and realized he needed to change. That lasted a month or two and now we’re right back where we started out. I am way too giving to just give up on him. I love him. I hope he can choose me like I choose him.
This article made me cry simply because it’s the truth! I’ve been married to a man for 11 years who has never chosen me. I have three beautiful boys with him, and he still doesn’t choose me. Yet, my heart always chooses him, and I stay simply hoping that someday, he’ll choose me. As painful as it was to read this, I’m so thankful for the insight.
I feel for you, Chasity. I have no doubt that you love this man but common sense tells me that if, after 11 years and 3 children, he STILL doesn’t choose you, he’s NEVER going to. You need to choose yourself and get the heck out of this relationship that is slowly poisoning you! A happy and accepting relationship is out there for you but you won’t find it unless you leave this, unable to choose you, man and make yourself available for one who can.
Bryan, this was a fabulous article! I was with my husband for 41 years and just this last week, we finally got divorced after a 3-year separation. Your article finally helped me to crystallize something that I’d been feeling throughout those 4 decades but couldn’t seem to verbalize before now…that my husband simply stop choosing me a little bit less every day, and this is probably why I never felt safe with him and intuitively knew he was not trustworthy… The transition from him choosing me to not choosing me was so slow, the changes so incremental, that when he finally told me he “wanted out” to be with someone else, it was shocking. To have stayed in the relationship after that announcement was made – a place where I was apparently not loved, cherished or wanted – would have simply compounded the torture… The last 3 years of our separation have been a challenging yet amazing time of self-discovery for me. God has been by my side this entire time, giving me the strength to get through each day and to keep learning new things about myself. Thankfully, my broken heart is healing, I am moving past my husband’s impoverished attempts at “love” and today, I am strong, confident, happy and most important, open and receptive to whatever comes next! Thank you, Lord!
This was… sort of heartbreaking to read. But in a way that felt as though you’d said exactly what I needed to hear. I have chosen my husband every day of our 9 year marriage but I’m afraid time and again, he hasn’t chosen me. I just learned recently that up until about 2 years ago, our entire marriage was just a sham… he didn’t even want to be with me from the get-go. Yet, he could never fully walk away and yes, I was blind enough not to see it all. I honestly feel like I trapped and overwhelmed him with children and my love and all he’s done is try to figure out how to go. I’m ready for it now and I hope he can and it goes smoothly because there is only so much you can take of choosing someone who plays games about choosing you back. 🙁
I could have written this exact comment. I know exactly how you feel, and sadly I have no advice or insight. I’m just flailing here, myself. All I can offer is you aren’t alone and I am very sorry. Hugs.
Sounds like Bryan has spent most of his life with extreme low levels of testosterone.
Well written, you said what I usually can’t find words for. Thank you.
Great blog! Very eye opening. I would love to share it but won’t because the photo is too much.
Thanks! … It’s a shame there’s so much shame around our otherwise miraculous human bodies.
Bryan…thank you for sharing, I love your expression and honesty
Your article left me in tears….this was my relationship…this was how my boyfriend of two years treated me, sadly he won’t ever “get it”
I find myself extremely annoyed after reading this article. It’s not that you didn’t choose her everyday, it’s that you kept her in your back pocket in hopes that something better comes along, but if not, you still had plan b. I’m sorry, but the fact that you sit there and wrote how she is such an amazing and beautiful woman, but you neglected her is just ignorance on your part. Of course women want to feel secure in a relationship and you’re damn right we can feel when we’re not. It’s all about the chase for some men. What else is out there? Can I do better than her? What if I’m settling? Why don’t you open your damn eyes and see what you have right in front of you. Today’s society is intimidating enough for women and the least a boyfriend of five years can do is make his woman feel like she’s good enough, at least to him. I think majority of men have this mentality and it’s frustrating that we as women continue to let men walk all over us. Learn some respect and appreciate what you have. You may have felt that you could of done better, but from the sound of it, she didn’t hit a jackpot with you either…
Don’t be annoyed….appreciate the experience because that is where he found truth. Genuine lessons of the heart are stepping stones into ourselves. I applaud the brutal honesty he shares without blame or excuses. His growth and lesson is short and sweet. We know she will be fine, she sounds incredible. We don’t know about him, he’s looking for something deep but is it here or there?
Choosing her – could that also mean choosing her WITH all the things that bother you, that drive you crazy, that evoke the “dark sides” in you? I dont’t believe that just focusing on the things that you like about each other will really help. But staying together in the pain, in the dark hours, not running away because it gets exhausting – cause thats your on spots where you are hurt. They are there. And a partner will always evoke them in you. Love is always there. You dont need to look for it. It reveals itself in the “Yes” to everything – in yourself and in your partner. Then there is no difference between her laughter and her anger, her insecurities and her playfulness. Because if it all of that gets loved by you because that is her expressing who she is in that moment – then there is no problem. Then there is just love.
Thank you for sharing, Bryan. You’ve got a lot of courage.
The only words I can think of…..thank you. From the bottom of my heart.
I lost the love of my life because of this very thing. She only wants a friendship now and cannot see herself with me at all because of how bad I hurt her. I feel so hurt and lost because I didn’t take the opportunity to make things right. I am completely ashamed and embarrassed. My heart has bled barren and is now desolate. I am miserable.
Please don’t compare women to withering flowers that you have to water. She has a lot more agency than that
alot of women are like weeds not flowers they are infested by other women who gossip and take advantage of the man and listen to there girlfiends opinions that ruins relationship. just like weeds that grow uncontrollably that need to be contained with weed be gone or round up. lol these kinds of women grow in numbers everyday.
I love this and wish I could share it, but like others have said, the photo is too provocative. My parents and Grandparents, Pastor, and kids are on my FB. Maybe you can change it, because your words hit home and would be great for me to share.
Agreed. I want to share this but I’m not because of the pic.
Same…can’t share because of the pic.
It fascinates me to see resistance (aka fear) around this artwork.
It was created by a brilliant woman artist named, Robyn Chance.
I believe it is an exquisite representation of the dance of intimate relationship. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or hide from anyone. We’ve learned from a young age that sexuality is dirty and shameful, and then we wonder why we grow up to do intimate relationships so unskillfully.
It’s sad there’s so much shame around our wondrous human bodies.
Anyway, I respect your right to disagree. I personally have never seen this painting as anything other than beautiful and inspiring.
I left my husband of 13 years because he never chose me. Always letting me walk into a room alone, never holding my hand when i needed him, he left me alone to raise our children while i was in desperate need of a partner. The loneliness became unbearable, i did not feel loved or safe….and i left. I wish i could send this to him, but he would never understand. I’m glad you were able to see that you were not choosing her.
I believe this is the main reason most marriages fail….
Beautiful said by both of you. I, too, Chantal feel like this is my story, we lasted 13 years also. I used to dwell on how much time I wasted but now I am thankful for it. I now know what I want and what I expect, yep my boundaries back. I think that’s why we stay so long so unhappy because we give them up for others because only we can chose to let people treat us they way they do.
I love this and did share, only to have a friend refer to it as sexually explicit. So I did block it from her view only barring any further complaints. But well written and I also agree that we as a whole also need to work on unconditional acceptance as well. Thank you ❤️
What was sexially explicit about it?
The picture that pops up with it is probably what the friend was referring to.
I know many people think so, but In what way is it provocative? A couple making love and enjoying it – the action which is part of the reason most people on this planet exist. A bit strange to find it provocative, don’t you think?
Funny, in my relationship its been the opposite. I chose her every hour… she on the other hand chose to be with her friends, listen to her friends, travel with her friends, eat with her friends. I was just stuck with the bill. 15 years later… she says she is leaving in a month, and all she is interested in is the settlement.
Wow, so sorry! It’s difficult when you do the right thing; love unconditionally, forgive all the time and then get stuck with a huge bill (so to speak). But don’t worry, just let go and you’ll be amazed at how time surprises you.
Still find myself looking back sometimes…wondering how I did not see that he was not choosing me (but what I found out later, many others). All the love I gave, but we can’t force it on anyone. Wish he had let me go sooner…thank for the read. beautifully written.
This is the only insightful love advice I have ever read. You’re a good writer and you are quite awake. I work in content and there is so much shit out there, but this is quality content, a real story and brilliantly portrayed. Awesome.
Jesus Christ….cry me a river. The reason your relationship didn’t work out could be because you are too much of a damn weenie thinking like you do. You place all of the blame on yourself and although you probably deserve it, do you simply forget that there are two people in any relationship??? Because I don’t know better, I will have to assume that you are marketing yourself as a sensitive chump that attracts the type of women like the self-appointed victims that are posting here. Absolutely ridiculous.
If you are not man enough to hold a woman’s interest by being the type of real man who stands his ground, who always has something to teach his partner, who is self-sufficient in every way, she will look elsewhere. Just as any man who feels he is not needed will eventually feel the loneliness that many women on here claim, so too will the man look elsewhere.
Grow a pair and man the hell up. How’s that for some real content? My GOD!!!!
Oh, and I guess my main point before I got so upset with this guy, is that women are people too. What makes you think that the woman is the only flower needing sun and water? Are us men just the tools of the garden, to be used for the upkeep of the precious flowers? Hell no!!! This is a two way street. Maybe if some of you women starting being a little less nagging, take care of your own mind body and soul (Screw commas!!!), maybe you could build a strong relationship instead of helping to tear one down. You never know how much a little support towards a man’s dreams can reinforce his loyalty to you, but so very often you choose to tear him down. I doubt he does the same to you because I would venture to say that most men are dreamers whether deserved or not.
You know what??? Never mind. WOW!!! Cry yourselves to sleep, you damn babies.
My name is Pimp Johnny Mack, aka Don Juan, aka the Mexican Spartan
I completely agree with both of your post. Well said!!
Hell yes. Long story short women who love this article are needy, high maintenance, and overly sensitive. Maintain your own emotions if fucking right. A relationship for ANYBODY, male or female, should simply compliment their already existent independence that they had BEFORE they even met their current partner. This article makes it seem as though it is up to the man, period, to keep her happy so that she does not go and fuck somebody else. Who in 95 percent of cases just does the usual smooth talk and lying just to get a romping in with her in bed a few times and absolutely does not care for her at all! Again I could not agree more. Cry yourselves to sleep you high maintenance and whiny little babies. In the long run by not pulling your own shit together you are going to end up alone anyways. Which is your worst nightmare. This sort of fairy tale and fantasy bullshit NEVER lasts anyways even if a guy might pull it off for a short while. I will take it a step farther and say how fucking arrogant and selfish it actually is for somebody to think they need this kind of shit for one reason. There are bigger problems in the world and real issues that deserve far more attention than a needy fucking girlfriend or wife that needs to be treated like a spoiled 12 year old that needs constant attention. In other parts of the world people are fucking starving to death and don’t have clean water to drink. Meanwhile, in America, some spoiled little bitch who has all of her actual needs met is complaining because her man will not kiss her ass quite enough. Fucking ridiculous is an understatement people.
This article reads like a middle school fairy tale. The message of “all in, or all out” is good, but the reasoning and methodology to support it is naive and one sided.
I don’t know why people feel it necessary to tear down someone because they are sharing insight on their own past or mistakes they have made?? If Bryan’s or someone else’s experiences or insight doesn’t help you, then oh well!! Go read something else! No two person’s lives are the same but if you can help someone see or think about a different perspective, then why the hell not?? You weren’t in his relationship, nor do you know the struggle that he has overcome to reach the place he is today. Anyone can place the blame on others, but it takes a strong person to admit the errors they have made and make changes to better their future. Sounds like his pair are bigger than yours will ever be!!
Ann, wake up! – He is writing a blog, he has given readers ability to respond. This comes with the territory. The responses ARE giving a different perspective as you so advocated in defence of Bryan but, they may in fact help the writer to better channel his too. He definitely needs some perspective, as anyone with proper experience knows that a relationship needs mutual synergy not a one sided sacrifice. Any girl or man that demands this type of commitment is definitely struggling with insecurities of their own.
A “little support towards his dreams?” Yeah maybe, but when the loser needs constant support, both financially and mentally, which has been the case in my last 2 relationships, it’s time to kick him to the curb anyway! Really guys, why even pursue a woman if ya can’t stand on your own two feet? I don’t want to have to babysit your ass……I want an equal. Someone I can share with, not raise! You guys need to grow the hell up. Don’t call me, I’ll call you, NOT!
Someone’s bitter (and probably about to attack me for daring to say so) . . .
Ha ha. You hit the nail on the head with that last sentence.
Exactly what I am going through at the moment, except my husband and I have been together since we were 16 and it has been 35 years! Not easy hearing after 35 years that he never loved you!
Trying to get her back Bryan – the horse has bolted and she won’t be coming back if she has any sense….or maybe u r just looking for sympathy – either way it’s all about you isn’t it……
Love the one your with…..
Just a few thoughts on this article, which I will try to elaborate briefly.
First, choosing who to marry is probably one of the most important decision you have to make. You and the person you are ‘choosing’ to marry both have to share something deeper than attraction or lust, although I am not saying this is not important. It is- Intimacy is one of the greatest blessings of marriage but spiritual or emotional oneness always precede healthy intimacy. Shared values and vision for the future would give you a solid foundation for marriage. Here are some questions you can ask yourself before marrying the person: Is she/he someone I respect? Is she/he mature in her handling problems and conflicts? Does she/he easily give up when things don’t go her/his way? Don’t be ashamed to treat your future spouse as someone who is applying for a job position because they are! Marriage is hard work and you both have to be ready for that life-long commitment.
Which leads me to my second point, having a realistic view of marriage before taking that irrevocable step is also important. Knowing that you are both not perfect will help cushion disappointments in each other’s faults and failures when real life sets in after the honeymoon stage. Expecting that differences will surface because of your unique upbringing and personalities will help you become more accepting and understanding of each other.
Third, marriage is like a garden and you and your spouse like plants. You or your spouse will bloom or wither depending on how you take good care of each other. And you are right in saying that it is a decision. No one can take care of your own garden but yourself. Others may covet or may want to plunder or steal the fruits but they won’t care if the plant will wither and die because the care of your garden is ultimately not their responsibility. It is yours. So decide to take care of your garden today and protect it with all your might because eventually it will bear fruits that will benefit you, your children and the future generation.
Fourth, there is another force at work here far greater than you and me. Marriage is the only covenant on earth created by God Himself to reflect how He, through His son Jesus Christ, loves His church. Family is the only institution that can reflect that kind of love. A love that is ready to give up His life so that the other may live. If you are a recipient of that kind of love then you would know what I’m talking about. The differences and conflicts will always be there because we are imperfect beings. But we can have grace that would enable us to extend it to our spouse and our children. The truth is no marriage can survive without God’s grace and every marriage blooms with it. So if you are feeling discouraged today, receive God’s grace in your life and choose to give it to your spouse!
Very well said Autum
Autumn… you have summed it up perfectly! Xx
Ok, i am articles like this only make me doubt myself even further, question what more i am meant to do. After 13 years (7 years married) my wife and I have hit a point in time where we are seperated. I want to reconcile the marriage and deal with the issues we have allowed to take root in our marriage. We have endured allot over our time from a major motor vehicle accident leaving her with 3 fractured veterbate and on going chronic pain. The following 6 years where a challange with cocktails of medication from doctors and major weight gains, depression, through this period of time i was scared of coming home from work and finding her dead. Thankfully this didnt happen, she found a good doctor who refered her to a pain management clinic. Whilst she has pain everyday, she has learnt to manage it better and has fewer bad days, but by the end of the day she is stuffed. Which makes it very hard to be intimate with my partner making me fell like a charity case,
During this time i started investing in property which lead to a health profit which lead me to owning and operating a retail business, after 8 years the business was owing more money than either of us liked. I decided to close the business and have since started working 2 jobs and will have the debt paid off with in 12 months.
12 months ago the finacial pressure of the business had me at a point of break down and i was struggling to take care of myself little own my marriage, for the first time in our relationship i needed her to lean on. I felt there was no support but I try not to hold grudges.
On top of this we have a 3 and 5 year old to add to the mix.
But I am not sure what to do, I read articles like this and feel it is some what unbalanced in the fact it is the males roll to worship the female. I love my wife and support her everyday, nightly massages, cook dinner, bath and feed the kids at night, give her complements but she tells me i dont do enough to show i have truely choose her. I feel more like a better male at the moment grovelling and pleading rather than the alpha male i was.
I love her and want to spend the rest of my natural life with her, we still share many of the shame dream but i get told she feels like i havent choose her, i am to vested in everything else, but the everything else is based on providing for my family.
.What am i meant to do? How are women meant to treat there man in there life?
Love is an action not a feeling…the feeling is wonderful but the action is true…
Beautiful article Bryan! David Deida’s “The Way of the Superior Man” helps to answer some of the struggles we have as men in a world we share with everyone. It’s not about taking a role, it’s the support and time we give to the loved ones we choose to keep in our lives. To live a full life is to be whole! I found this to be very fitting:
Do not love half lovers
Do not entertain half friends
Do not indulge in works of the half talented
Do not live half a life and do not die half a death
If you choose silence, then be silent
When you speak, do so until you are finished
Do not silence yourself to say something
And do not speak to be silent
If you accept, then express it bluntly
Do not mask it
If you refuse then be clear about it for ambiguous refusal is but a weak acceptance
Do not accept half a solution
Do not believe half truths
Do not dream half a dream
Do not fantasize about half hopes
Half a drink will not quench your thirst
Half a meal will not satiate your hunger
Half the way will get you no where
Half an idea will bear you no results
Your other half is not the one you love
It is you in another time yet in the same space
It is you when you are not
Half a life is a life you didn’t live,
A word you have not said
A smile you postponed
A love you have not had
A friendship you did not know
To reach and not arrive
Work and not work
Attend only to be absent
What makes you a stranger to them closest to you and they strangers to you
The half is a mere moment of inability but you are able for you are not half a being
You are a whole that exists to live a life, not half a life
This is an interesting yet flawed article I had to comment on.
Love is a choice, attraction isn’t. While we can choose to love somebody, we cannot make ourselves being attracted to somebody. The term ‘choosing’ makes it sound as if you could choose romantic love, which simply isn’t true.
What the author doesn’t see is that SHE lowered HIS romantic interest level by not being able to control her ‘anger, insecurities, demands, and other aspects of her strong personality’ Was she maybe also stubborn, controlling, structured?. HE possibly lowered HER level of attraction by not being supportive or appearing to not being supportive enough. Once you are in the downward spiral of selfishness, and neither can see it and make adjustments to it, the game of romantic love is pretty much over.
Relationship problems start before the relationship starts. We are raised by parents who love us ‘unconditionally’. This feels great at the moment for us as the child, but parents often accept our shortcomings without making us aware and guiding us into correcting it, thereby making us fit for relationships in society. Acceptance creates rules we abide by, acceptance of bad behavior creates the rules we think are acceptable in society.
Parental love can do that (although I think in most cases parents are just selfish in not wanting to deal with confrontation), but it doesn’t work in romantic love. The problem of humanity is that there are too many Princes and Princesses. Romantic love needs the elements of affection, respect and humor, and you need to BE a grown-up King or Queen, a ruler of your own life, to understand this.
People also jump too quickly into relationships. Blinded by sexual and romantic attraction we ignore the red flags in the personality, which should have prompted us NOT to choose that person in the first place. Once we slide into the relationship and the bliss-stage dissipates, we wake-up to a reality we don’t like, deny our own responsibility and try to ‘arrange’ the situation and ‘make it work’. That’s like patching a house infested with termites, which we shouldn’t have bought in the first place.
Also we tend to dump our shortcomings on those we feel most close to and comfortable with. Like our parents used to, we expect our significant other to being able to deal with it all the time. Initially they are, BECAUSE they love us, but the build-up of negativity feeds resentment, lowers romantic interest and eventually kills all attraction.
To sum it up: the ‘choosing’ has to be mutual, and both need to understand that romantic love is conditional and it takes equal responsibility. The author should take partial blame of failure of course, but it takes two to tango. If she was that great and able of an adult relationship, he’d be still in love with her.
The ‘PS’ is the most important! LADIES! Don’t forget to Choose [to love] Yourself!
A tantric spider position featuring naked tits and minimal bodyfat on the foreground of a watercolor horizon- melts my heart.
The greatest thing I’ve read this year.
the greatest compliment I’ve gotten all year 🙂
Wow, this is spot on. You put together the exact words I was trying to figure out all these years. I always thought I am a very bad person for being insecure and angry at times, now it confirmed that it’s because I feel abandoned… and guess what, my partner sided on Marcus!! I’m done hurting…
Although I agree with your article comprehensively, it appears to be a single sided story. In a relationship, both people are complicit in how it shapes and meanders and evolves. I would like to know if and how she was not fully choosing him. Possibly by simply not speaking up and asking for him to choose her more or perhaps as the relationship evolved, she also made decisions not to choose him. I think the incisive perspective in the article lies in the ultimate truth that if both people in a relationship choose themselves, then, only then, can they be the best partner they can be.
This is what happens when we do not have enough self love. Deep down we do not accept or love ourselves, so we have to find an excuse to not deserving a good and loving relationship or partner. It is very easy to blame the partner, find lacking … whatever in them, or sides we dislike in them. After all nobody is perfect! And then it seems easier to just start over with a new and “fresh” partner, but you will just end up in the same spot! Your partner will not be good enough, you stop choosing them… Why? Because you are looking for a partner to give you that self love that you keep denying yourself… But the truth is no one can give you self love, only you can do that!! And if you refuse to give it to yourself you will just keep searching all your life to find it externally, that is that someone else will come and make you feel like you love your self… And you will just keep getting disappointed! You have to work on loving your self, and accepting who you are, where you are, at this very moment. It is impossible to reach all your goals at once anyway, and you are not a failure just because you have not reached your goals yet!! It is ok to be afraid of commitment, everybody are!! It is ok to be afraid of failure, or not being able to satisfy every need all the time, or not knowing what is expected and being afraid to not meet expectations… It is OK!! All you have to do is to be honest and talk about your fears. Once you realice your love also have them, you can both laugh about your selves, and you will both feel safe and know that whatever went wrong last time will never happen again, at least not in the same way, and this time you can handle it, because you are not afraid of communicating with the one you love. You can relax and be your self. Unless of corse you choose a partner who is immature, narcissist, or in other ways incapable or unwilling to communicate or solve and understand what is happening in your relationship. Now that is the one you need to walk away from!!!
There are a thousand reasons for not choosing the one you think you like, but most of them are all about fear, and lack of self love, they are not at all about lack of chemistry or because the partner fails to live up to expectations.
If you have expectations, tell your partner!! They are usually not psychic, and even if they are, they do not pick up on everything all the time, so you are the one responsible for having your expectations met, no one else!!! If you fail to communicate your expectations, you can only blame yourself….
We are never extaticly happy all the time, not with friends, not with family, that does not mean we have stopped loving them, or we no longer choose them, it just means that circumstances are boring at the time, or you did not sleep enough, or other issues, and it is ok. Tomorrow you will choose your partner to come with you to your favorite hobby, or place, because you just love to share it with them, and it is the person who understands it or makes it the most fun. And the day after you will bring your dad, or a friend to another hobby, because they are the one who understands and makes that most fun, and afterwards you go home and choose to make love to the one you love. No need to complicate it…
Well said. Thanks for sharing your thought, thought provoking and can save troubled individuals in a relationship.
So true & thanks for writing this, just what I needed to read as I struglle with self love.
In response to Glenn and the part of the story that stated “To be fair, she didn’t fully chose me, either”, I have been the woman in my last relationship who did not feel ‘chosen’ and so, did I bring my best self forward – heck no! But like you say Bryan, I did not feel loved, valued, chosen or safe. I kept trying to talk to him, to get counselling, I read books and wrote letters but he felt like he didn’t have to do anything (and/or did not want to) so eventually I told him I wanted to go (but stayed) and then we had an argument and he said I should go.
I feel like I’m in the exact same boat, together 8 years not feeling “chosen” for awhile now I don’t like the person I have become due to my insecurity.
Hi Kristina … thanks for sharing what’s up for you … I work with both individuals and couples to create massive positive change in their lives. I work with couples specifically aching to create an exquisite relationship together. If you want to explore the magic that’s possible for you, please email my assistant at info at bryanreeves dot com.
There is a big difference between loving someone and being in love with them. When you are in love with someone you automatically choose them. It does not become a thought of having to choose, it becomes a response to being in love. They are your first thought upon waking up and they are your last thought before sleeping at night, as well as being in your thoughts the whole day. They make you smile and all you want to do is make them smile too. In love is a beautiful place to be and it grows more beautiful by the day.
I think the definition of love is choosing to act in the best interests of your partner even when you don’t FEEL like you want to choose them. Life is never constant and feelings are fickle (love is NOT butterflies and warm fuzzies, or even thinking about someone constantly), in any relationship there are going to be days where it is easy to love each other, and then there are the days when it is really really hard, where you want to take out your frustrations in life to those closest to you, where you want to blame your partner for the little things that are wrong in your life so you don’t have to think about the big things, where it is easier to hide your thoughts and feelings rather than hash them out. Love is gritty and real and deep and wonderful, its the hardest work you will ever do, the greatest reward, and the best thing you can give. Maybe I just don’t have enough life experience as I’ve never had my heart broken or maybe I just chose wisely when my husband and I met at 17 and spent three years engaged long distance building trust and communication skills before marrying at 20, but I just don’t get how people can be in a long term relationship and not share themselves fully. I don’t get insecurity, jealousy, head games, lack of communication or resentfulness. Not every day is bliss for us, life gets tough sometimes, but every day I believe that I chose the best possible partner I could have in this life, and when life is tough it makes me see it even more. And I can say the most important aspect of our relationship is forgiveness. We both mess up in little ways all of the time, we both have character flaws that come out in our relationship at times, and the distribution of our lives is not always fair, but we are quick to forgive. I don’t even remember what the last fight we had was about, let alone holding on to it for next time. Bitterness is cancer to love. My husband always says “Forgiveness has to be the foundation of any relationship, and trust is the walls. A broken foundation can’t usually be fixed, but if the walls are broken in time and with work they can be rebuilt, and the house can be useful again. Why would you make trust, something that is so easily broken, the foundation? Each new crack that forms destabilizes the whole house. If forgiveness is the foundation there is something solid to stand on when you inevitably need to fix the walls.” I would choose my husband, even if I had my pick of rich/famous/sexy guys vying for my attention, because none of them could come close to the overall intimacy I already have. I would choose my husband even if he broke my trust in a big way, because I know and love his heart and his strengths and flaws, and I know he would choose to rebuild with me. I’d rather put in the work and pain to rebuild our house than start from scratch and build another with someone else. In short, I love my husband and choose to love him every day, and I know with all my heart he does the same for me 🙂
I have stopped choosing altogether. I realize that who I am is a recipe for disaster for anyone else to have in their life. I am a smart, kind caretaker who only chooses those who are so broken that all they can do is lash out. It is sort of like those people who try to rescue wild animals and get injured in the process. I don’t do it on purpose, I am a mix of caretaker, fixer, and empath which is horrible for dating. I am a great listener, a good and loyal friend. I have spent a full year accepting the fact that I will never find anyone who will honestly love me for who I am. So, all I can do now, is be happy for those who have found happiness.
Ashlyn, I invite you to consider that the best gift you could ever give yourself – or anyone else, for that matter – is to always first “choose yourself.” You’d be amazed what happens in your relationships, and particularly what kind of people you attract, when you choose to practice loving yourself deeply everyday. It can change everything for you. Wishing you well, Ashlyn. Bryan
Wow…. Reading this brought me to tears. I spent 7 years with a man I loved dearly but as you write I felt never truly committed to me.. Or as you say choose me. I can see more clearly after reading your beautiful article of what was going on between us. I would often feel like I was to much and I started suppressing my sensuality, my creativity and my passion not to over power him. He was often looking for other women even thought he loved having me at home it didn’t satisfy him. My heart was broken. Many times over. I came to a place of complete darkness and dispair as I felt completely taken for granted and never cherished for who I was. Thank You for sharing this honest and authentic story of your life. It helped me find a deeper understanding of my past.
I’m delighted this article helped you make sense of some things, Taina.
It’s amazing how I accidentally found myself on this site, it’s also a good thing I am curious, as I read what you posted I realised I am not alone and I am not crazy, I have a big heart and maybe I don’t know it’s overwhelming for others but I lived with a man that loved the idea of me but not me…I lived with a man that took so much from me I woke up today and I choose me, I choose my children…and I am now ready to live. Thank you for your story. I am stronger
Great reminder Bryan.
Wow! This brought me to tears. We just ended our relationship and every word you said was exactly what he meant when he shared his side. Heartbreaking yet I felt a relief hearing it from him and not just things keep running on my mind.
This article gave me a realization that I indeed deserve not just better things, but the best things that he can possibly hinder if we’ll continue the already rotten relationship. Thank you.
Thank u Bryan. I have been thinking after 12 years..thou he’s trying his best to please make me happy, I can’t seem to forget he wasn’t there when my poor beloved dad passed away 14 years ago. I love my dad very much & it was like end of the world when he left 2 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Thou HE claimed that he needed to accomapny his mom as his dad passed away 2 months before my dad, i see no excuse. He knew I was depressed yet he didnt even stay on the last night before dad got buried the next day…All these kept on flashing back each time he upset me with his insensitive words. My old mom said hes doing his best & that i m too sensitive…i dont know Bryan…
I don’t understand love, I thought I had found the most amazing man I had ever meet, then in a split second he broke me, physically & mentally but worst emotionally… I still love him & no one would ever love & care for him more then me but he didn’t see this I just hope he is happy in everything, I don’t think I’ll ever love again for it’s to painful, after coming out of a DV relationship before him I am to scared to love again….
All the while I was reading this all I could think was how I never had someone who chose me everyday and how even the thought of someone choosing me everyday makes me wanna conquer the world .
I am amazed at this article… It is as though it is written by me. I have done the same thing to perfectly exquisite woman over four years. I was always incapable of allowing her fully into my life; although there was always much love and passion which helped our longevity. Though she faught & faught to win me fully, she became tired & wore down. She finally said enough was enough and we parted about eight weeks ago. I am fortunate we remain friends and communicate often. I have already promised myself that I will never allow this to happen again.
When you really love someone, you do not think of choosing any more. You think before beginning to really love. Once you give yourself to your partner, you love on a daily basis with all your heart. Thinking to choose while loving will kill every relationship!
My experience is pretty much the opposite. If I really love someone, it actually REQUIRES me to actively choose them!
Love the powerful picture and what an incredible article, written from the inspiration of the Divine Masculine…this is more than the second post/event – today – that is crossing my path…Thank You!
I’ve observed this behaviour from all the men in my life – my ex husband, a fiance and a man I dated for 3 and a half years who regularly told me he loved me but could not would not commit to our relationship, and was too busy feeding his roving eye with all his favourite women so I decided to walk away from him even though it was very painful, I just know I deserve a better relationship with a better man. I would be interested to know if you were married to the woman you ultimately did NOT choose?
No I was not married to her .. something in me would never let me go down that path with her, but that was again more evidence that I wasn’t fully choosing her.
I have been married for 7 years, he has tired to leave a few times. I have been raising our twins and fighting breast cancer for the last two years. Again he wanted to leave….this time I let him go. I refuse to fight for my life and win, then go and beg someone to stay with me. I feel lost most days but I would rather feel lost then no chosen. Your essays reminded me of that in a moment I really needed to be reminded! I am broken and scared, but I choose me. Thank you for the reminder. I look forward to read more of your work.
My heart goes out to you. You are a brave woman. You continue to stand in your truth! Sending many prayers your way.
good for you. in the end this is about CHOOSING YOURSELF first.
This was very powerful for me. I sat reading and crying. And still crying. I have been struggling with a relationship gone bad for quite a while now and just found out that he is with someone else. I am finally realizing that the men I choose are so unaware of their behaviors, their feelings, and how they have hurt me that I keep feeling that I am to blame – for all of it. I keep choosing broken people who I can’t fix. Someone recently asked me if I go into a relationship with my gut or my heart, and time again, I realize it’s my heart – which gets me into trouble.When I look back I realize there were always signs that should have kept me away. It ends up hurting too much, and love shouldn’t hurt this much. I don’t know why this last relationship is hurting so much, but it seems to have tapped into an enormous amount of unresolved issues and pain. Maybe someday I will be able to thank him for putting me on a path of repair because I am currently at the lowest I have ever felt. Ending my 15 year marriage has not felt as bad as this. The rejection and the the hurt and the way I have been treated was such a blow to my heart because I never thought that someone I knew for over 20 years could do this to me; as a lover, but even more so as a friend. I have much work to do on myself. Obviously, I make poor choices. First job is to realize that I probably shouldn’t be involved with anyone until I learn to truly love myself. I am so glad I found you Bryan Reeves. I am looking for all the help I can get myself to a better place, and this will now be part of it.
My soon to be ex wife asked me to read this and it seriously looks like I wrote it. I took her for granted and she loved all of my faults and all she asked for me to do was try to change my ways. I never sat back and realized how good of a woman she really was until it was too late. It was easy for me to blame her for everything when in all actuality I had the problem and never gave her the best of me. Thank you Sherrie Lynn for asking me to read this, this really touched me and I am thankful for the time and love we shared together.
beautiful. I love to see that. Bryan
Can you be abandoned, split and he choose you all over again?
of course … we can always start afresh in every moment.
Been married for 16 years and I am still waiting for my husband to choose me. I honestly don’t think it will ever happen. It makes me sad to know that I will never be good enough for him. It is incredibly lonely being in a marriage without love. I consider him to be my best friend but he tells me that he only married me because he knew I would take care of him and he isn’t even attracted to me. I have given my life to him and I don’t know what else I can do to earn his love.
You have one life. Dont spend it being sad with someone who doesn’t love you or care for you. Its been 16 years, please enjoy the rest of your life! You only get one life, one chance, one shot.
You NEVER have to “earn” his love. Ever.
That’s what I said to my husband when he told me I have to earn his love. Because I loved him Unconditionally not despite of all. His short coming. I tried to earn it but I’m not good enough so sometimes you just have to let go and think of yourself and learn to love yourself again.
yeah. If someone says you must “earn their love” … smile and walk away immediately!
Gave this to my bf of for years to read, and he says to me that he thinks a woman wrote it. “Guys don’t think that way.”
Ha. Not only was this written by a Man .. it was written by a former Captain in the US Air Force, mountain biker and lifelong athlete … and heterosexual. Not that any of that really matters.
I saw this on a friends post and read it. It was like a lightbulb went off. I believe me and my bf of 1.5 yrs are guilty of this. He chose me at the beginning and as time has gone by it seems i dont matter to him he is just Here. I try to explain how I feel and it just ends with angry words and hurtful comments. I am hoping he will read this tonight and get a sense of how I feel and not take it in a negative but in a positive that I chose him and want to fix our relationship my love is unconditional but the relationship does have conditions and we both need to work together if we both chose each other. Thank you.
Quite the opposite for me it should be my ex wife reading this it is her and her actions that led to the demise of our marriage…
Such a powerful story. So true from any side I look at it. Its like looking in a mirror of my life for the last ten years. He did choose me in the beginning. I was the first one that made the choice though by giving up everything I new till then to be with him. Home, family and country. It was a give and take relationship. He would choose, I would choose. In the end though both of us stopped choosing each other. I can’t put the blame fully on him. I chose our children. I put them first and devoted myself to them. I thought though that it was how he wanted it. I never thought I neglected him. Life just took over. House, mortgage, work and family. It happens to all of us. I dreamt though of a time when our children would be older and we would be better able to devote ourselves to each other again. I kept telling myself, next year it will be better and so the story continued. Then everything came spirraling to a halt when after a natural disaster where we lived and all of us realising how close we had come to death, instead of drawing strength from eathother we drifted apart. At first I couldn’t understand why and then I found out that after 16 years of marriage he found someone else. I lost myself in the pain and the lies and the promises that it was over and it was just a one time fling. It wasn’t over, the affair continued for a year and in that year it was just lie after lie. I never felt so low in my life. Me who had the knowledge and the ability to have it all suddenly was left with nothing but a shell of a self. He chose me in the end and promised that he would never see the other person again so like a fool I had stayed. Choosing him and our family.
Then this oppurtunity comes up for a once in a lifetime job in another country for me. Great pay and benefits. A job where I could stand on my feet again. We were still working on getting our marriage back on track. Did I choose him or me now? I had to really look in the mirror to see the reflection of what I had become through all this pain to realise that it was time to choose me. Choose me above him and above our children. So I did it, I moved and after two months the children followed and we started a new life together in a new country. I am still waiting on his next move. I don’t know if he will decide to choose me in the end and follow all of us here to our new home or if he will choose to remain in the home he grew up. I’m giving it time but in the process I am learning to love me all over again. The new me.
You’re story moved me. Thanks for sharing. Wish you the best of luck. Hugs from California
Thank you Crystal. Hugs from California right back. So I guess it’s a “California Hug” which is warm and close and long enough to be a bit awkward and really healthy for our bodies 😉
I was wondering where on earth I could get a copy of the picture you have with this article??
http://www.RobynChance.com … she’s amazing. Just contact her through her website.
This is poignant and beautifully written, Bryan! “Choosing” is the operative word here. It’s what we need to do to live a full life. Otherwise, we’re denying ourselves and our partner for the sake of fear and pressure to live as “expected”. On a side note, the artwork accompanying this article evokes a sexual focus. It’s not offensive, but it doesn’t evoke the tone of your essay.
I actually LOVE this painting and feel it does represent the wild feminine radiance that gets unleashed in a feminine partner WHEN I ACTIVELY CHOOSE HER WITH ALL MY BEING!
Bryan Reeves that was beautifully written…it took me back to that moment in my life when I felt this. It was a little hard to read because it’s so honest and raw. I hope that it helps someone out there.
yeah, I understand. thank you Martha.
Hi Bryan thanks for sharing your story! I’ve been losing sleep over this lately because my “partner” is a narcissist and clearly only choosing me at the present moment because they have no other choice due to economic reasons. Prior to their funds running out they were looking for any reason at all to cast me aside. I think I’m just going to send my partner on a trip somewhere nice and move out of the apartment while they are away. Do you have any advice as to avoid people like this for a future? I seem to attract mentally unstable people for some reason… or am I the problem?
Mike, I would invite you to ask yourself WHY do you keep choosing narcissists?
I will tell why I used to have that pattern: because I didn’t value myself. Because I didn’t value myself and think myself worthy of receiving love, I would choose women who also wouldn’t value me after a short time. It’s as if I brought it out of them.
So what’s your reason?
I sent this to my husband today via text- as the story goes he chose me in the beginning and vice versa- following a tragedy in my life (murder of my mother in 2007) we got married. We had a lot of problems with his unwillingness to make a marital commitment to me, coming up with all kinds of reasons why we should wait. The pressure of our families ( as everyone had tied the knot but us in his family and mine a southern traditional family) and an inheritance brought the idea of marriage to the forefront. He had started therapy in 2007 following my mothers death and it seemed like we were the happiest we’d ever been- he didn’t get down on one knee or even picked out my ring, but I iverlooked it because he’s not a traditionalist and neither am I.
Our wedding anniversary is in 5 days and he will work through it and I’ll watch my wedding video and reflect of how happy we were at a time- he focuses on money a lot- essential but has consumed his every waking moment- I have been the one continuing to go to therapy, blaming myself for not making as much money, for choosing a profession that’s a dying one, and using the last several years to invest in my dream of running my business. There’s no real support on that end- he uses the same excuses for not emotionally support me as he did with getting married. Total, we have been together 14 years and this last year, I’ve been on the couch and he in the bed. He hasn’t chosen me in years and me, well I lost hope of him ever choosing me again. When I asked him if he read this, he simply said Yep and went on with his evening- I’ve been lonely, isolated and unhappy for so long and he knows but chooses himself-
I pray for the day a man chooses me-
That will love me and respect me for all that I am, but I’m still waiting.
It all starts with CHOOSING YOURSELF, Maddy. Start choosing yourself every day, and your husband will have to either meet you there or go away.
This is my situation right now im 21 so is my now ex bf . we went out for a year and abit & only just broke up 2/3 wks ago. We were madly in love always laughing joking around being cute, just having fun i loved him and still do , still shocked that he actually left me, since we broke up iv been crying nearly everyday . what makes it even worse is that he says he still loves me , were still talking via text but it just feels awkward & just not the same anymore . he knows dam well that im still inlove with him but when ever we talk its always about him and how he & his family are moving into there new house. I just feel like he doesnt really care for our relationship anymore. Iv got really bad depression, Anxiety & anger problem & it makes it hard for me to express myself especially when he sometimes talks to me like im juat a stranger . before all this happen i was so comfortable with him .ii always try my hardest to make him happy because when hes happy im happy & i love it when were both happy when he gets home from work he walks straight n the room & he’d just smile & stare at me for age’s & were both just happy to see eachother, i miss it !! But latley all he thinks about is all the negative stuff, how i get angry all the time and that im never happy with him, but thats so not true! Thats why im going to call him tonight , ask him where does he think this relo is going i cant do this anymore im hurting to much and i want him to know, im going to show him this story & see what happens from there . i probably know the answer already because its right here in your story . he just really needs to read this & hopefully he understands it and realizes that i didnt mean to treat him the way i did.
Anyways this story is really good :’)
Thank you Kim. Wishing you well on your journey. Love bryan
Thank you for the link with alternative artwork!! Just brilliant!!
Through this, I have found forgiveness both for my ex and myself. Even if we’ve both long since moved on I have been unable to let go of my anger. I was angry at him for how he handled the break up but I was also very angry at myself for what I thought was failing to keep him happy. But this puts so many things into perspective from both sides of the relationship that many of us have felt, but had yet to put it all together. So thank you for sharing your beautifully written tale. And hopefully many others find the peace of mind that may not have been found otherwise.
Thank you Ashley. I’m honored this article has served you well.
Wow, very powerful, yet so true
I want to send this to my guy and get clarity .. tho a part of me doesn’t want to lose him in strife or think that I pushed him away..Would rather have him fade our of my life and wake up one day to realize he distanced himself bc he’s with someone else.. I am extremely independent and love having a life a part from him. Tho its almost as I ancipate and dread that day coming..of him just leaving..it’s been 4 years out in limbo having what I like to call a non-open relationship tho its not really a relationship or even a partnership.. feels distance and cold and it’s hurts wondering if I’m just not it or if he’s scared to let me in from previous hurt.. somethings got to give. Always been willing to give my all .. just wonder if I am putting my energy into someone stagnant and blind-folding myself to seeing what lies beyond . . I’ll care about him regardless tho I know it’s time to make a decision..move on or find out where we both stand.
Kristine, I offer Relationship Clarity Sessions to couples struggling to know what is going on, or what they’re really doing together.
** Relationship Clarity Session – Get deep, empowering awareness around the actual relationship dynamics affecting you (using masculine-feminine dynamics and the 6 Human Needs map). Create a road map for transformation and get clarity on whether or not you even want to travel that road together. This single session is an empowering option for couples struggling to decide whether they want to stay together, who are confused and unclear about what to do. Don’t walk away without being deeply clear as to what you would actually be walking away from. Yes, it may be time to walk away … OR … this might be a most powerful opportunity for massive transformation in your relationship.
Let me know if that interests you. ( info @ bryanreeves . com )
I sent this to my ex boyfriend, except we’ve been choosing and unchoosing each other for over 12 years, I finally unchose myself for him….
Powerful. I’m going to work on unchoosing my ex, too.
hahaha yeah good idea!
Dude, I’m not sure you should be choosing a woman who is abusive, even if you do love her.
My partner and I have never had an issue like this, because neither of us has ever seen fit to allow bad habits, especially not ones like anger or ‘rage-fuelled invective’. Never be a dick to your partner. Never accept them being a dick to you. Apologise if you slip up, and then don’t slip up again.
Don’t choose to be with someone who is angry, insecure, and demanding. That’s unhealthy and will get you hurt.
That was definitely part of the lesson I (and clearly so many other people) had to learn, Yasmine.
Awesome and so true.
Unfortunately; it’s been 9. I needed to read this !!!
My Husband did this, I felt it for years. He chose himself, and someone else. Such a gut wrenching experience. Thank you for writing this.
I’m sorry that hurt so much Cicely.
A needy article for needy people. Remember to complement the person you want, not complete them. Sounds like all of you needed someone to make you happy and your own insecurities got in the way.
That’s a pretty harsh judgment. You’re not wrong … but why the “need” to put others down?
Needing to feel like your partner cares doesn’t make you needy, it makes you human.
the article is wise, the photo accompaniment is a little white washed and hetero normative body imaged focused and not representative of like;y most of the people reading it. Uplift the stellar content with an image to reflect the depth..
I hear you … but no photo I choose would truly be representative of everyone, not for this piece. I chose this painting because the artist is a BAD-ASS WOMAN artist – http://www.RobynChance.com – and I believe her painting here beautifully, artfully, reflects the “love and worship of feminine energy” that I so deeply want to learn. And yes, I’m also white and skinny, so there you go.
I think your words are beautiful. … relationships are hard. Thank you for the inspiration.
Great article. I find it interesting because something similar happened to me. However, I feel this article is rather descriptive. I am looking for answers, why do relationships end up like this? Why is it we start looking only at what’s wrong? Are we immature? Selfish? I could only read here that the ignorance of how to make love well was the cause, but there should be other causes, right? In your experience what are the other causes and how can we fight them?
This is my life I am that woman u speak of and it’s been 5 years. I need help I feel so empty and I rack with pain daily and he don’t even acknowledge my pain my hurt by tears, he just tell me I’m mean nasty a Negative Bitch and he a good man and I’m to dumb to see it. Oh its so much more.
I have a question: do you think that you stayed with her for 5 years because you were afraid to be alone, without a companion? I’m just wondering because I’m desperately trying to figure out my life, especially comig to terms with my own relationships; why I stayed, and potentially why I should go in my current one. I feel as though I’ve stuck around because I don’t want to be on my own, and I like the safety and security of relationships.
This piece got me thinking from a different perspective and I truly appreciate your words.
This was beautiful and very deep!
For me this hit the spot. It describes exactly how I felt when my ex un-chose me, but for some reason did not want to take the step to break up with me. I wish he had just broken it off, would have saved me a lot of pain. Thankfully it didn’t last five years.
This piece has moved me body and soul. Tomorro is a new day with my partner and I to seek each other, the good even though some parts may be bad. I have not felt hope like this in awhile. Thank you for this ❤️
This spoke directly to me. Thanks for sharing – beautiful piece.
Your post hit home for me…I was the woman. I knew I wasn’t being chosen and I begged him to choose me. You can’t make someone choose you if they don’t. He finally did leave me and I can only now say that I hope he is choosing the woman he chose instead of me everyday.
I actually came across this via a share on Facebook that my *husband* found, then posted to me. He added that someone finally wrote something that made sense to him. He said this was him, and us, for many years, and that he was sorry for his part. I cried, as I’ve spent years trying to get him to understand. I was moving forward with establishing a separation, but something was stopping me. God changed my heart and I began to let my husband back in. Things have been changing…slowly. I’m still protecting my heart.
The most interesting thing was that I noticed the date of the Facebook post he shared with me – November 4th. That date was our 31st anniversary.
Never say never. My heart is slowly opening back up…
Beautiful. Wishing you well on your journey together.
Thank you for this. I was in relationship limbo. I now realize more than ever that I must move on because I cannot ask him or make him choose me. I learned a lot from my relationship and grew into a more healthy adult. I wished things could have turned out differently but that’s life. You have opened up a whole new outlook on life for me. I am incredibly grateful.
This resonated with me so much today, as I, being the woman in this scenario, finally found the courage to sever the ties with the man I love 3 days ago, because I knew (actually felt with every fibre of my being) that he was not choosing me. So I chose me for me. And I know that one day I’ll stop loving him, and one day a new man will choose me, and it’ll be so worth the pain of today to feel that joy in the future. Thank you Bryan, for telling men how it is and for reminding us women that we matter.
I’m really thrilled to hear this blog served you, Lisa.
Thank You, with tears in my eyes, enlightened beyond words!
It’s my honor thank you 🙂
The pain in my heart.I walk away because our relationship leads nowhere…I must move on.
So. Much. This. I bet he didn’t leave her until he had met someone “better” too.
No. I left when I just couldn’t stand all the ugliness I was seeing (in both her and myself). I didn’t leave her for anyone else. But I also didn’t learn how to focus on the beauty until long after that relationship was over.
Reflection is everything.
Great article! I’ve just recently walked away from someone I love deeply who clearly wasn’t choosing me. Hurts like hell but not any more than staying and seeing how much I was continuously compared to his “what if” life he mentally had going. Thanks for sharing.
What about her? What’s her duty in all of this? Does she not have a responsibility for the relationship? Why does this sound like it’s all the man’s duty to rectify and choose her?
I’m not trying to speak for anyone but did want to answer this question from my perspective. In the article he mentions that they were both immature. But I think that her ugliness most likely stemmed from the feeling of insecurity she felt in the relationship. Women have a pretty good sense of these things. We pick up on someone pulling away pretty much the moment it begins to happen. Essentially she would throw tantrums and act immaturely BECAUSE she felt this was happening, this is pretty natural. and obviously her acting out this way made it even harder for him to really love her the way she needed to be loved, i.e. where there’s no space for questioning the relationship, or insecurity. And that will happen over time in any relationship that has not been defined either through words and action (both are necessary). I can’t tell if they were officially an item, but the simple fact that he says he didn’t choose her means that enough time passed where the woman realized “OK we’re no longer in a courting phase, it seems like we really like each other, and i’m asking him to make small commitments here and there and he doesn’t seem able to follow through” more time passes, more promises broken, she still loves him and doesn’t want to end things but there’s no foundation for the relationship. She feels any day he could decide he’s found a better scenario and leave her, and it brings out the absolute worst in her. This looks different for different women depending on their personalities.
I think one of the keys for a happy relationship and good relationship building is the man creating a foundation for the woman. Many women, once they feel secure, they can become the most loving, self-less, strong, and supportive partner (anyone who knows a good woman knows this). When they are insecure they may become emotionally unstable bring out the worst (manipulation, passive aggressiveness, anger). I saying this all from experience. I’ve grown up a lot and these days if I meet a man that can’t even provide that initial stability (consistency is key!) I know I cannot open up to this person. I know I have to move on bc it’s a slippery slope to insanity, haha. Anyway this was long, unedited.. kinda wrote this as a stream of consciousness type thing but I hope you got an answer (at least from a girl-who-didn’t-get-chosen’s perspective).
The most perfect article i needed on the most imperfect day..!! While reading it i just felt as if you knew what im going thruogh and as a frnd u r telling me all of that.. THANKS :’)
I recently just got out of a relationship that ended badly. I wasn’t choosing him because of my own inner demands and insecurities. Ultimately it killed our relationship. After reading this I gained some clarity on it because I’ve been struggling with letting it go.
So then, what happened? Did you two fix the relationship, or get divorced?
I keep trying to read Prince all of the comments but it is hard to figure out which direction to go the way the page is set up on my phone. A friend on my page on Facebook actually shared this article I’m not sure if it was an answer to my wheeling today as I lay in bed going through some emotions with someone I had been dating for 10 months that I just walked away without even saying it’s over. He didn’t try to stop me either as I packed my stuff at his place 2 days before Christmas. He wished me a safe drive back home that evening and Merry Christmas on Christmas morning. I haven’t heard not contacted him since. I do believe he may have someone else or more than one person. We live three and a half hours apart. It breaks my heart but maybe this article as an answer to enlighten me about our situation despite me not wanting to come to realization about it. It simply makes too much sense this article. I am here wishing my story didn’t have to end this way. It just sets me back to where I was before I met this person feeling like I had given up on love and was just going through the motions of life.
What I’ve learned is you need to find yourself before finding anyone else. make sure your heart and head is cleared and healed of all burdens that can weigh heavily. Then find a person who accepts you… really accepts you otherwise you torchere yourself trying to find somebody who loves you.
The reality of love is that it is the essence of who you are, and the real deal can’t be found in another until you realize it in yourself. You don’t really “find it” in the first place because you’ve never lost it, the self is simply just not awake to it yet.
Once you know love within, or as, your Self, the experience of love you think you have to “find with another” starts to look kind of silly compared to the magnitude and depth of the experience of what love actually is. You then become a conduit to bring that love out to the world around you through a heart that now knows no other way to be except open, since the pressure of love moving through it is always inside out.
These words summarize the message you will here from the all masters from any country…the Jnanis, the untethered souls, the self-realized, the enlightened, call them whatever you want, their message is the same, as they speak from a true connection to reality. If you are seeking the truth, it helps to find a guide who’s been there.
But what really matters is that you continue to question why you think what you do. “Self Searching” are the steps that take you to self realization. Don’t take anything for granted, the mind/ego is a sneaky rascal often hell bent in self preservation…. spoiler alert…. YOU are not your mind. Happy New Year!!!!
wow, this is so true, Bryan!!! Although, I think usually when this happens in a relationship, it starts out with one partner giving the other partner everything and not having it reciprocated. I was with a guy for four years. In the first couple months we were together I gave him everything of myself. Every day I chose him, and I thought he was doing the same thing. But, little by little, I started finding out that he wasn’t really choosing me. He was choosing himself. And, little by little I started not choosing him as a defense mechanism. I started putting up walls around my heart to keep from continuing to get hurt and choosing myself over him. After a year and a half of this, I broke up with him. But, then we got back together, which was completely dumb because there wasn’t any trust. Eventually, I realized that, no matter how much I chose him and loved him, he was probably never going to choose me over himself. So, I ended it.
By the way, have you ever read a novel called Prince Otto by Robert Louis Stevenson? If you haven’t, you would probably really enjoy it. The whole story is pretty much about a couple who have not been choosing each other learning how to do so again.
An exquisite piece of writing. Thank you for the honesty and the art.
This article was nothing. This was the TV guide of the internet this day. Well done. Atrocious writing.
Love the way that he did not decide to ” choose her ” and acts like a ffing selfish assehole but seems to place most of the blame on her,…………well done avoidant immature self centred selfish assehole , she deserved more, thank god he finally left . Poor her.
This was a beautiful mirror to my soul!!!
That was exactly my experience for seven years before I walked away, tired of not being chosen. What others who commented before me don’t realize is that blaming her was your rationalization at the time for the consequences of not choosing her. I understand the vicious circle of it all. I lived her side of the relationship. Even trying to get him to choose me. We lived together for 3 years and still I was afraid he’d abandon me. He already had. Thank you for validating my sanity.
Fiancé (or should i say ex) unfortunately related with this.. And we’re about to end things. It’s been 6 years and we were supposed to get married on December.. He’s calling it off because he thinks I deserve someone better. It hurts so much. He was supposed to be my first and last. Called it off because of the way he was broken with my words when we fought last month. He pretended to be ok with it until last Saturday he broke down in front of me.
So much for forever right?
M, you DO deserve better than to feel like second choice to his needs. I’ve been there and it’s harder than hell to get past it, but I was so much better off and I think you will be too. Please find yourself a good support system and focus fully on yourself and the things you want to accomplish. If it works out with him after he finds himself, that’s great, but please take this time to really enjoy life and what you want out of it. When you’re sad, find a hobby to keep yourself busy and talk to people about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to cry, it makes you feel better. And most of all, don’t give up because your happy ending is just around the corner.
Perfect. Beautifully written – simple, honest, truth. It is also incredibly timely, and I’ve just shared it with my husband. Thank you, and go you!
I loved reading this.. I cried reading this. I feel this in my relationship. I’m in live with a man, that loves me but, not in love with me. After a heart brake divorce,and had not been dating. I met this man thru a friend. He is a Widow, raising his 5 yr old son.Max ( son was 3yrs old) then. I completely feel in love with his son, we connected from day one.. Chris is a great friend, after several months, I realized I was having strong feelings.. We have this on/ off relationship, and now I have come back into their lives, hoping that this time it will work.. I know, its not healthy for Max.. But, Chris is a hard man, very confused.. I know he loves me, ( not in love with me).He is trying and I tell him, ” in time” .. I choose him… Because he looks strong and very Attractive.. We both love to Ride, motorcycles.. I’m being patient with him, and here for him.. I pray everyday, that this relationship will work out.. For the 3 of us..
Thank you for this article..
Do you work with woman also?
Hi Pam, yes I do. I work with couples AND individuals (men and women) … If you’d like to know more, please simply email [email protected] with the subject: “I’d like to know more about coaching with Bryan”
Maybe the girl was the problem and you weren’t . Too many times the women are too mean and overbearing and ruthless to expect a good man to deal. Be strong men.
To be honest this is so sad. I dont understand what boys these days want. If a woman gives them all they want they complain and even if she does not they still do. Like seriosuly what do u want from life? U guys make up ur minds. When girls Get into a repationship they give their all, they trust to the max. Theh love with every single piece of their hearts. But then guys dont appreciate this and after their ladies have given up on so many things for the sake of making their guy happier , guys leave them or cheat over them. Why cant men follow this ideology of just having one lady in their lives. Why are they thirsty and always seeking to hurt woman and have more than one lady in their lives. After shes given up everything FOR UUUU, u still choose to hurt her and give her hard time. Very sad truly sad. This post shows how men are players. And later u will come compaining that this new girl is annoying and giving u hard time and then u will start seeking new girls. What a kind of world we are leaving in!
Thank you for opening my eyes. I’m in the early stages of a relationship and realize I’ve not “chosen” this man and honestly would not choose him on a daily basis. I need to release him so he may find the woman who will choose him and that I may also find the man the I will consciously choose every day.
I look forward to reading more of your work!
A friend shared the above with me, it really hit home. I still do not know what to do and struggle daily in my marriage. It’s actually a living hell and getting worse. Your comment “I just do” sums up how I feel. Maybe if I read this enough it will sink in and I will let go….I don’t know when or how that will come about.
I guess the time-proven way to really do this is to marry the person, which is what my wife and I did 23 years ago. We chose each other for life and choose each other again, day after day. I never regret it for a moment, and never have. This is really the most loving way to approach sexual intimacy…and the safest. You have to make sure you truly know someone’s heart (your lover, in this case) before giving them both your body and your heart (or either). Anything else is Russian Roulette. The self-control and discipline is worth it. Think of how many worthless, regrettable sexual unions could have been avoided if only one hadn’t rushed into bed, behaving more like an impulse-driven animal than a rational being with Divine attributes. Sex is not love, not on its own, and should never be confused as such.
And the old adage still rings true (I see it nearly every day, examples of both wisdom and foolishness in this matter): “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
Now, humans are not bovines, nor are we “bought”, but sexual love outside of true marital commitment is a fool’s bargain…always has been, always will be (and it’s not just about pregnancy – you give a piece of your heart to everyone you have sex with, and every break up is another fracture in your heart and your soul). Men are notorious users (I know it well, I am one), and any man who demands (or pressures) a woman for sex without demonstrating his willingness to be a husband (even a father) is a Thief and a Pig, taking that which belongs to another man. Think about it, Ladies – this is what you truly want, and men value your sexual intimacy MUCH more if it isn’t handed out like common stock, as has regrettably become the fashion these days (in the US and Europe, at least, as well as most of SE Asia). Women who Give It Away simply aren’t considered marriage material by most men. As much of a double-standard as this may be (I won’t deny it – but there it is), that’s how it is – men consider women who put out easily to be just play things – anyone values something (and someone) MUCH more when they have to work hard for them! That’s just human nature. Shagging away like dogs is, well, animal nature. Choose your path, and your intimacy choices, wisely. Often, what is done cannot be undone, mistakes, heartbreak, and all.
This is perhaps twice as true for polyamorous relationships as it is for monogamous ones.
Interesting, can you tell me more about that?
Iv never once thought there was another for me. My woman has been there for me thick and thin. Supported me, loved me unconditionally, and never doubted me. My relationship is at an all time low, and after reading this article I realize that I have taken for granted and failed to pay attention to her by not putting her first, and choose her everyday. The scariest part about this was seeing the tweet. You cant make someone choose you, even if they do love you. April 21st will mark our 5 year anniversary and if by some miracle she does choose me. Ill never let go, ill choose her everyday for the rest of my life.
Kevin, thank you brother for sharing this. If you and your partner would like to experience “relationship coaching” … well, that’s my passion. Helping couples avoid the same mistakes I (and my partners) made in the past, simply out of sheer ignorance. I offer a one-time Relationship Clarity Session to help couples see the sabotaging dynamics negatively affecting their intimacy … and more importantly, what to do about it. Let me know if that interests you.
I wish my husband would of read this n learn frm it before i filed for divorce… He took me for granted.. Now its too late
I’m sorry to hear that. And I hear it from women in particular …. a lot, unfortunately.
My soon to be (official) ex asked me to read this many times but I refused, mainly because I knew it was already over and didn’t want to pile on to the already huge amount of guilt I was feeling by reading what I should’ve done. It wouldn’t have changed anything at the time, but it’s incredibly relevant for the next one I choose to love. Very powerful stuff. Thank you.
I, too, wish my ex had read this. But I thank you for writing it because it really helps me feel better about our split. It wasn’t that I was an unlovable person necessarily; but that it is a daily thing each partner in a relationship must do- choose each other. I tried for nearly 20 years to get him to see that all I wanted was for him to want me, but I finally gave up. I am in a new relationship and he and I read this article together and made a commitment to each other to not only notice when we aren’t choosing each other, but to call each other on it when we feel a disconnect.
That’s a beautiful way to approach it … call each other on it when you feel it slipping, as it almost inevitably will at times. life happens in rhythms and waves; may as well ride those wild waves with our eyes open!!!
When I read this , it made perfect sense. I was married and recently divorced 1 month before my 6th wedding anniversary. I adored him , gave hI’m everything I had to give and everything he could have wanted ,including his son . It was never enough . He cheated on me horribly I stood by broken , shattered , pretending I was ok, I was fine nothing happen. I never could let go he always came back . After the divorce he said “you gave up on me, you stopped wanting me” I have since stopped yes , but at that time I hadn’t he just wanted me.to try harder and I wasn’t willing ,because he was never willing to chose me !
I loved every bit of it. I can truly say I was living that nightmare but God woke him up right when I said enough & I was leaving him for good. I am happy so to say we where married a few months later & still together going on 5 yrs later. We have disagreements but we work it out & live on.
I still share this story to try & wake someone up
My relationship with my husband disintegrated when he started asking other people their opinion or sharing how he was feeling before he asked me.
That is such a key component. Asking people for their opinion is a waste of time because they only hear 1 side of any situation and of course they will side for their friend, family etc. They aren’t the ones in the relationship..
I would love to share this with my significant other, but I’m afraid he’ll take offense to it. For the last few months, I’ve felt like an “option”, not a choice. How would you recommend sharing it with him?
I would recommend prefacing it like this … (in your own words) …
“I love you. I love us. I want us to succeed. I don’t want you to feel burdened by our relationship, and I know you’re doing your best, but I feel like something is really off between us these last few months. I read this article, by a man, a former military captain, and I thought of our relationship. Again, I know you’re doing your best and I love you, and I would love to know what you think about this article.”
I really hope my boyfriend reads this. We’re going through a rough patch and the other night was my last straw when he put another woman before me. A girl he said he hasn’t spoken to for years, yet he cared more about what she’d think of him, than the woman he says he plans to marry… I hope he reads this and show his words through his actions before it’s too late.
Oh yeah. It must fucking suck when that happens. Karma.
I really hope he reads it, too!!
Rather than hope he reads this, SHOW it to him. Read it to him yourself, and take it to heart for yourself as well. Change the pronouns and read it again. One of the hardest things we have to do is accept our part in the break down. If we can willingly step outside of our pride and ego and learn to communicate clearly our feelings, thoughts, and hopes without blame, without shame, then we are on the road to true relationship.
This is one of things I had my [now] husband read. Just a few shorts months ago things just about fell apart with us. I did many months of deeply looking into myself to acknowledge my own contributions to our problems and searching ways to heal and improve myself so that I cold approach him about saving our disintegrating 12 year old relationship. I knew we could be saved if I CHOOSE HIM over my own petty ego and pride. We also have a child together. I loved him dearly, but we lost each other somehow and I knew I couldn’t get through to him until I’d ‘fixed’ myself and my perceptions, then I’d be able to guide him as well. By then, I strongly suspected he was messing around with someone online. On the night of certain discovery, I confronted him. And the next day he broke down. For 3 days I confronted him, and was able to break down his pride and ego and only then did we REALLY talk about our feelings for and caused by each other, our deep dark secrets and injuries that explained so much of how and why we reacted rather than responded to each other. WE dug down deep and uncovered some ugly stuff, WE began to heal ourselves and each other. I had him read this (and other things) and then explained to him how it made me feel. Sick and sad that I felt I had done to him what the man in the story did to his woman, that I was so deeply sorry. We cried together, held each other, and it all came down to he had begun to feel that I was done with him, that I no longer needed, wanted, or loved him – this made me cry all the more and hug even harder, because I’d thought the same about him.
We have saved each other, we are healing each other. But it takes the two of us. He has to be just as vigilant about US as I have been. We have set backs, but rather then stew on it for days, as soon as things cool down, we apologize and explain, and ask how we can make it better. The first step to healing two is for ONE to make that first move towards letting go of blame, ego, and pride. it’s hard to do, but once you let go, you’ll never want them back because the love and true connection that can follow is incredible.
Not every relationship, long or short term can be saved, but it’s worth the try.
I sent this to my husband and he pretty much told me I was dumb for sending it lol…guess i got my answer hey????
Wow, that is good stuff. Very deep!
There are so many variables in a relationship. To state that you must “choose” your partner daily is something that is not a realistic aspect of human nature. We wake up each day focused on ourselves. WHY? Because it is necessary for survival as a basic human. Everyone one has their own mind which creates an idea of how their life should be. Ideals are set for who they want to share their energy and time with. What often happens is people become separated from what will be valued long term vs short term. Also take into consideration how you feel about yourself. If you are unhappy with yourself. No one will make you become whole. You have to create genuine love of your darn self first 😉 Often relationships fail because we think the other person will complete us or they need to fill in the gaps that need to make us whole. WAKE UP. 🙂 It’s all in your mind. I may write my own book or blog one day. Simple joy in life is truly finding a companion to connect with on a deeper level. It allows for such a creative generous love in everything you both aspire for in life. Regardless of how your day goes. The feeling of a deep love from another often allows you a soft place to fall after a hard day. Be well. ~K
If I choose myself everyday I also then choose my beautiful partner
Choosing the one you love on a daily basis is essential to good relationship health
Great blog, choosing the other everyday is a bit of challenge for most people, but learning to love and choose self unconditionally enables us to be open to choosing and loving the other unconditionally. Often there are so many distractions in the way of seeing and loving self unconditionally that we project what you are feeling and seeing in self to the other thus creating irresponsible behavior that blames the other for all that’s wrong forgetting that they are only a mirror reflecting back who we are being. Having become aware of your truth about not choosing the other it brings you to a position were your journey is now in the correct perspective for who you will choose next. Truly inspiring thank you for sharing your experience.
Indeed, Martina … it serves us not to choose another person until we master the tragically untaught art of choosing our true selves first.
I agree with Martina, this is truly inspiring. Loyalty means so much more than just monogamy and abandonment does not just imply physically.
That poor girl is probly messed up in the head and won’t trust anyone the same way again.
She’s probly thinking she did something wrong
But all along it wasn’t her …it was HIM. Its not that she wasn’t enough BUT the fact that she was MORE than enough for him and he couldn’t handle it….He wasn’t ready to be a man yet, to be serious and to commit to her. I honestly hope someone do this to him than maybe he will know and understand how it feels.
You might rethink the vindictiveness angle and how it might apply in your own life. When someone steps up and owns their choices and consequences without blaming or shaming anyone; maybe we should just respect and honor it.
Except he’s NOT owning it and that’s the issue. This is the first Ive read of this Bryan guy and he sounds like a typical narcissist blamer. He has to play off his bs as some woke excuse when the truth is he fucked up being selfish and closed off and didnt appreciate what he had. Now he regrets it because he knows he’ll never find another girl like her, no one as good. He’s an idiot, its all his fault, not hers. But hes trying to skew it to make her share his blame, when its his alone. What an ass.
You obviously know nothing about my wife. … which is probably for the best.
Exactly Todd. Someone has to say it. I have knownmlots of people who makes others miserable because they are miserable and the simple fact is, did he read his own article or did someone eles write it and he bad mouths his wife below because he wants her to share the blame and still not looking at his own self. The lady if she could speak would say, his sentiments were not shared and she had no idea what was going on. She simply knew she had to fight it.
What an asshole. He kept her on the fence and when she, understandably, started getting angrier and angrier (she probably didnt even know why herself), then it was ‘us’ having problems, ‘us’ having issues, ‘us’ suffering. This narcissistic dick still seems unable to take responsibility for what hes done. Some poor girl suffered for 5 years and probably filled in the gap he left open with terrible things because, he just couldnt commit? And now he wants a fucking cookie for it? Have a nose bleed seat sir…
Bitter much? Relationships are two way streets, the majority of the fault usually lies with one person but no one person in a failed relationship is faultless. At any point if you are not being chosen then you are not getting what you need from that relationship, if you are not getting what you need, and you choose to stay then there is your fault. Not being strong enough to walk away is not something someone does to you. Emotional abuse, physical abuse and neglect these are examples of things that someone does to you that can leave a lasting scarring effect. Choosing to stay when you are not wanted, now that damage was most likely there long before she met this guy. And his acting like this was likely a byproduct of damage that was done long before she came along. The world is a difficult place, don’t judge a person’s life by the chapter that you walked in on. Remember that there is always more than you can see. If you want to know the whole story or understand something then take the time to get to know and understand that person and learn their whole life story, if they will let you. But to wish pain and heartache on someone who did nothing malicious but simply caused pain by not making a choice is just mean and unnecessary. It is very difficult to love someone with intensity and passion and realize that it is time to walk away. Did he cause pain? Yes. Was it intentional or malicious? Hell no, loving someone and having a healthy relationship don’t always go hand in hand and that is the responsibility of both parties. Our time in this world should be spent focusing on the positives and the ones we love, not wishing misery and pain on those we don’t know.
Great response. Much to think about.
Tim you sound amazing. Love your statement about “don’t judge …” as I am not my best in current chapter as result of past losses and a low time, and wish someone got that.
And I liked your mention of a man not purposefully screwing up, as was the case with a man years ago who I thought was the love of my life, who ended up crushing my soul, but really he just was stupid.
It all comes down to we all need mercy.
I very interestingly had read, honestly questioning the Author, who rather continued stating how he didn’t ‘choose’ her, except he honestly had, although Yes- His actions, or lacked thereof were resulting within her reactive sense, hence him assuming that she would feel of only being ‘Abandoned’. No, I do not buy it, rather it was fear of being confined, his negative ego consuming his daily errors, which she felt, compelled to remain there-present within his relationship, although that relationship sadly was solely and selfishly of his needs, respectively, hence the selected words being utlized within particular sentences, the Authors.
I can bet, she, like many accomplished her everything, to his truest mediocre attempts within their five years, although grew tiresomr of his lies ongoing, yet remaining to his heart awaiting that final curved upward hopeful change, but, only despaired instead- his ego playing foolish games.
To happily compliment her, as his heart still is inlove with her, not selectivity of, yet is fully. That moment still has him upset, which she cut the final cord between them- not him in doing.
He abandoned himself, rejected his own faithful happiness, taking her beauty inside shown outwardly for granted, yet he being caught in those lies, ways any couple would not survive, let alone most secure couples even to disapprove of, like an affair, addiction, self sabatoge to happiness.
The part though- He honestly shouldn’t couple counsel, frankly, despite his chosen life path choices, as he was taught to admire letting go, even when he should of continued, rather should still show her how his changes are, have been, which any time truest of hearts are Actually present…means, they endure no matter the time apart, emotional maturity growing, plus grown, although using, creating His career practice- Based upon their tears and years is not experience, yet a slap in the face to those betrayed, bias advice despite his lessons learned and is false relationship ways to adhere utlizing, which honestly..She should of helped those instead, respectively being.
The factor here- Yes, he ‘choose’ his mistakes of not applying himself, is insulting for any person, not female, nor male particular, rather he got caught, livid, plus inserting his own control using the public slander narcissistic techniques, plus sadly making money with this Article and his own mistakes are not fully admitting the remaining point of his own short comings, insecurities within today still tiwards that ‘one’ special and I strongly, in truth know She was the Only One for him, but, his commitment insecurities took over, along tied down, irresponsible upholding and vindictive comments I had read upon this articles other readers who also felt, equal, so he’s upset, broken today, which he feels that the pain, anguish inside to punish himself must continue, many he saves within his practice daily to “help them”, which he feels just in returning the unsaved, justice part he lost, by his hands, his choice …
No…you can counsel a million couples, individuals, although that impulsive reward felt daily by those, or your ‘new’ relationship you may approach, unslandered I do hope, yet that my dearest Writer, Author friend…. won’t touch the truth, rather just fills that void for a split moment. Not full-up, nor completely either, so healing is always had, yet you allowed her to free the moment you stopped trying, yet she grew done.
Good Luck. Healing wishes and people who have that outlook, never content, humblex, happy are never truly happiest, unless they have complete control over their lives, yet to let go of the controlling nature of others, with letting control of being Fully happiest finally- appreciating who and what they do have, in allowing to know, telling, sharing of vulnerability, within an adult emotionally mature mind and heart set, plus not sharing any of your personal details with Family/Friends, which jolts some later opinions of the partner.
People just require to loosen their control, being happy daily and what is meant to be, even later, will become to Be. Xx
Reading the story, I felt myself being the “not chosen” girl the Author talks about.
The way I feel now? I never imagined he was choosing me less everyday, even though he gave signs (now that I look back I can see them). This makes me feel stupid and naive, but I will never pity myself for this. I know I tried my best to make it work, but deep inside I also didn’t choose him. My biggest fear during those 5-6 years was to get pregnant of him, because I knew deep inside he wasn’t the right man for me and I would never wanted to have to share a child with him.
I agree with Melissa when she says the problem was within him and his insecurities didn’t let him live the relationship in the fullest way. I am with someone else now, a totally different person who is honest with me, everyday, and chooses me MORE everyday. He may no be perfect, but he doesn’t lie to me and he is scared to lose me. I deeply love him and I feel a different kind of happines with him..
The ironic part about this article?? I found it posted on the timeline of this man’s newly wedded wife. The caption reads “Want to be choosen.. Everyday ❤️” . Well, I hope this man changed, because now I understand I wasn’t the problem, HE was. I was truthful, he was NOT. So for the sake of this woman’s happiness I hope the has solved all his issues and his lies.. otherwise there it goes another unhappy couple. Like his unhappiness is not enough, he has to drag someone down with him.
This is me. I am the woman that was left behind. So let me say this. It hurts so much more to be the one who is not wanted. During the relationship it is very hard to see clearly. If your partner says and does the things you want, like take you to choose an engagement ring, then most likely you will be fooled. The signs are there, but they are very well disguised. So when someone starts feeling that he or she is getting distant, then they should ALWAYS share that with their partner right away. It shouldn’t be done after the fact. So it is OK for him to literary steal five years of someone’s life, but then she is somehow responsible for the break up too?! And yes, I am hurting. Hurting because I was lied to. But I also believe that Karma has a way of working itself out. I don’t wish anyone ill, I haven’t hurt anyone the way I was hurt. But what goes around eventually comes around. If someone has always had commitment issues, they should share this in the beginning. Otherwise they are lying even to themselves that this time around it will be different. Why in the world would you want to drag down an innocent person in your disillusion? I have steered from starting relationships with people that I have thought were not the right fit for me. So that I don’t have to hurt anyone. Then why would others be so immature to not do the same? The hurt ones are people, not toys that can be discarded when the player gets bored.
I feel no pity or understanding for people who behave this way and are just realizing it. Being introspective does not take way the abuse you put your victim under. This treatment is abuse whether you want to admit it or not.
The author is admitting his faults with an impressive amount of self-reflection and humility.
The hurling of insults towards the author is a bit irritating to me, mainly because I just got out of a relationship where I wasn’t being chosen. The second I realized it, I ended it on the spot. I would never let someone remain emotionally detached from me without asking questions and trying to communicate. Five years?! It can’t be ignored that she played a part in this unhealthy situation by choosing to stay in this pattern with him for way too long. It also should be said that this article was written in a humble perspective, which makes it difficult to know the degree of his ‘abandonment.’ I see traces of this in every marriage and relationship I know, from both parties.
Although, I wish my man would have been more honest with himself from the beginning, I also recognize my own responsibility to realize that something wasn’t right and act on it, no matter how I felt about him.
Relationships take time. Most of the time, relationships fail. Crushes usually last 6 months. Love usually fades after 2 years. If you beat two years, you have a chance. They say that conflict resolution skills are the number one predictor of love that lasts.
Sometimes we find ourselves at dead-end jobs or in dead-end relationships. Emotional Trust is the foundation of Romantic Relationships…. I mean if you feel like you might be in one, which is stronger than doubts, then you have to talk about it.
Many older people are very happy to date for years and are not looking for marriage. You just don’t want to hold a false carrot in front of somebody that they can never attain.
Bryan, this is a beautifully sincere account of your experience, and I thank you dearly for sharing it with all of us – so that we’re able to better understand the dynamics that sit within our own relationships. It resonates deeply.
Hoping all the very best for you & Silvy <3
Thank you Sereena 🙂
I can’t thank you enough for this Bryan. One of my dearest friends forwarded this onto me during a rough period in my relationship. As I sat at my favourite cafe, sipping on my morning brew, I decided to read it (I had been putting it off out of fear of it relating so closely to my situation). With each line my heart broke a little more and I realised I wasn’t being chosen and never had been. My partner is in the military and we have been together for over 7 years, on and off (this should have been sign enough). I have sent this to him as our last goodbye and pray he can love another truly, as I love him still. Thanks again from Oz.
I always come back to this to reference when I’m trying to explain to someone how I get through “rough patches” with my partner. There are some days which I have to consciously “choose” to show to love instead of negativity. There are instances when I hold a grudge because of something he did or said and I have to put forth the effort to just extinguish my negative attitude towards him by acting thoughtful, giving compliments, and focusing instead on all of the wonderful things about him (even if it is literal ‘acting’). Arguing or carrying a bad attitude can actually be stimulating for many people and if you let it go long enough its an addiction that you just can’t let go. Negative energy is so contagious. My mother always told me what you profess is what you possess and this definitely applies to how we treat or relate to our partners. It isn’t long (sometimes hours) when my conscious efforts bear fruitful and whatever was nagging at me is gone. Thank you for writing this as it reminds me to “choose to love him” even when all I wanna do is slam the door, walk away and never have to deal with anything again. I’m always glad I decided to stay. 🙂
You know Out in the real world there are broken past relationships. People struggling to stay together with nothing in common. Baby daddy’s running amuck. Alcohol, Drug and Sex Addictions running people’s lives .I don’t want no part of that crap. I have been in love with the same girl for ten years now! I didn’t even date anyone for the first five years. I’m not even dating anyone now! Unfortunately one of her guitar players introduced her to a hockey player. They dated and married many miles away from where I lived. So what’s a guy to do? I’m a God Fearing Man who wanted REAL LOVE, FAMILY, KIDS, COMMON GOALS, and a Godly Marriage on a Firm Foundation! I found that in someone. When I look into her eyes it’s like looking into my own soul! I swear I think God made her for me! I loved her first! I don’t want to sin! Every time I see her face it reminds me of the true love I have for her in my heart. Even NOW.. She makes me feel like Forrest Gump. I was all in! If I can’t give another woman ALL of my heart then why bother? God’s Word, despite today’s culture is STILL relative even TODAY. It does not change to fit the times! Carrie if you love me I am still yours! If you don’t then I’m still lost in the world. But not in the Spirit ..
I love ❤️ YOU Baby Bear..
This is the worst un-Christianlike advice that you could post for a man or a family in crisis! The is the exact opposite of what you should be telling us. In a time of weakness, I followed your advice against what God, the bible and Matthew tells us and after 17 years of marriage, I find myself alone, away from my soulmate and my daughter and my life because you tell me to let her go find another man an commit adultery. How dare you. You ahould be ashamed of yourself. I would urge other readers to pick of the bible and not pay attention to this nonsense!
You are blaming a guy who wrote an article on relationships for a choice you made. Sad. Take responsibility for your own actions and man up!
As an outsider looking in… It appears you left your soul mate for someone else. That someone else left you. You are now all alone.
Boohoo-cry me a river!!
Yes, disregard real life experience & pick up a 6000 year old book written by idiots in a desert.
I thought this was an AMAZING read, and really resonated with me. Thank you for writing it.
The Bible is not written by idiots. If more people would pick it up we wouldn’t find ourselves in these situations in the first place.
God gave us “free will” so how is this advice against God or the bible? The article is about confirming the choice YOU made everyday!! If you Can Not choose to confirm Your commitment to that person, why stay and hurt each other? God wants that for you or them?
Go hit yourself over your head with that fable/bible and wake the fuck up.
It was your choice, Nelson. You can’t blame someone else for your choice.
Wow! I don’t know what you were reading but what I read was positively meaningful!
There is no reference to marriage, only a relationship. Regardless of the form of relationship, if you don’t work on it daily and make yourself better for the other person who needs you, it will ultimately die and become what you both didn’t see coming. This article spoke the words that I’ve been trying to express to the man who lost me for these exact reasons. Although we were not married, our relationship created many challenges and eventually false expectations and securities that neither of us were able to overcome. Why? Because one of us chose something else every day.
One of the best articles I’ve read. Hit home for myself and current situation. Thank you. What a eye opener.
thank you Shannon 🙂
First you should learn basic English and how to write a sentence. Second, your Jesus isn’t there to offer you relationship advice, he’s there to show you how to treat people, the unfortunate, the sickly, the meek, not on how to keep your sexual relationship going. Third, why would you even WANT religion in your intimate relationship; next time ask Aphrodite for sexual advice. Fourth, don’t get mad at this trained professional just bcs you’re a fucking moron.
Nice language for a “trained professional”. It negates everything in your comment, but your comment pretty much negated itself. BTW-Jesus wants to show us how to act in ALL aspects of our lives, not just the ones in which we find involving Him comfortable and convenient. I hope you found my sentence structure acceptable…that’s a lie…actually, I don’t care.
Relationships are like farts, if you have to force it, it’s probably shit.
In other words, if someone is really right for you, it won’t be this hard. “Choosing” them shouldn’t be something you have to contentiously do, and if you have to dig for reasons to choose them, they’re probably the wrong fit.
I kind of find this “choosing article” as an excuse to justify his actions. The love was there, and that is hard to find. There were many things he truly connected with her on every level. But she felt him pulling away because he chose not to discuss why he was feeling that her “ugliness” was coming out. The “ugliness” that women start to display is based on feelings. Women feel when men start to pull away or that something is wrong. Most relationships fail because the other chose not to communicate their feelings, not because you all of a sudden didn’t choose her. You chose to walk away because you didn’t want to fight for what was there. You didn’t want to fight for love or for the relationship. Once again, excuses for not communicating your feelings.
Agree. Excuses. He was a coward unwilling to communicate his feelings. She did choose him. She stood by his side everyday.
I wonder if you’re speaking to what you actually experienced, more so than mine? (I was way more communicative of feelings than she was)
Based on your article Bryan….you really weren’t communicating properly. By not “choosing” her, you were speaking with your body language/actions, but not with your words. She obviously didn’t know or understand why you were pulling away, getting distant. So, her actions changed based on your behavior. You guys turned into roommates & strayed away from friends/lovers/partners in that relationship & yes…..I am speaking from my experience.
I never knew why my husband pulled away from me after we got together, he never said. He became distant & angry….but I never knew why (still don’t), even our sexual relationship was strained early on.
I could never put out enough to satisfy his “needs”, he always claimed we never did it enough & the only time it wasn’t frequent was middle to late pregnancies.
He started straying to others… a lot were through text/email & of course that was my fault, everything going “wrong” in his life, was my fault. He never explained why. His mouth said one thing, his body language told the truth. That’s what a lot of women go by is ….your body language. That always speaks volume.
Bryan, you were a coward. You wrote in your article that she could feel you pulling away. Women react to that. They know something is different. You were looking for something better in your heart. You had wandering eyes, and if not eyes, definitely wandering heart. You were feeling your own ego, wondering if you could do better and was too cowardly to express it probably because it would hurt her feelings. I hope you found what you were looking for. I deeply dislike people who are always looking for something and is never sastified with what they have. I had to do a deep study about that because I have known a lot of people like that. Always looking even when they have the best.
Janine, I’d like to offer some feedback: Harshness never works to bridge differences. Your comment occurs to me judgmental and arrogant, and, if I let it, would only inspire me to immediately not trust you as safe. Calling me a coward while saying you “don’t like people who …” is no more thoughtful (or helpful) than the insecure, adolescent men who sometimes show up here to call me names like “beta” and “cuck” (as boys tend to do because they’re afraid of women and know nothing of their true power). You’re allowed to have your own opinions and feelings about whatever I write here, but judging and quickly dismissing me doesn’t do you or anyone you any useful service.
uhh, your reacting …. If you reread and listen, he is saying the same thing as you…I dont see excuses, I see him admitting that he chose not to feel, not to communicate ect…and if one dosent chose to work (fight) for love …then let them go so they can find someone that will. …gezzz
So on point here. I’ve been married for forty years to the same man. This situation intensifies when you have empty nest syndrome and the two of you find yourselves searching for separate roads to venture off with new interests. Thank you for bringing this into light. Brilliant feature.
Can you get the book choose her every day ( or leave her)?
I have to somewhat disagree…insecurities that are outside the realm of norm, such as baseless accusations of infidelity or wanting to be, will eventually destroy a relationship no matter how wonderful the good qualities may be. Failing to cope with past parental abandonment, abandonment by a significant other, abuse, etc. isn’t the problem of the other spouse…that spouse can be supportive, accommodating, encouraging to a point…after which the the insecure spouse must realize they must take ownership of these feelings and their reactions, and, seek help from a counselor or equivalent.
Thanks to Dr Mack who fixed my marriage after divorce. At first when i saw comment about Dr Mack i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted Dr Mack and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 5 months and i have been crying and depressed without him, i asked Dr Mack that if he can help me in bring back my lover, He laughed and said once i have contacted him that I should consider my problem solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from my lover saying he is sorry for breaking up with me, I was so happy he was begging me on phone, he said he was ready to do anything that will make me happy in life, So i told him to come over which he did, As he was coming he came with a brand new car as gift i was so happy.Text him on:+16316206467 or Email___dr_mack@ yahoo .com ????
I was in a similar situation. In a 4 year relationship with a partner that had issues that came from outside the relationship but that would constantly be brought in. Only problem is that constant drug abuse, debts and the sharing of hard videos/pics were part of the problem too. I had been lied to and often accused of cheating/being disrespectful any time I spoke to someone that wasn’t him. I wasn’t even free to talk to friends about my relationship which was a central part of my life. In general I tried to be open with him about everything but would often have my past thrown back at me. I wanted to forgive him by trying to understand him but he would refuse to explain. He’d only get angry but expect me to know. Every activity had to involve drugs or else he couldn’t participate. Which makes me now question if I even knew him to begin with since he was never sober.
As time went by I found myself sacrificing all that made me “me”. I gave this person too much of my time, left my home, lost friends and in the end my job and was still called selfish. I tried to help him with his problems but he would keep me out and later accuse me of not helping. He always wanted me to show my cards first while he’d keep his close to his chest never taking risks. I became an angry person when I finally broke it off and if I could go back I would’ve ended it the first time he lied and left. When someone doesn’t think they are worth it they find someone who they think has value and as a result gives value to them. His high expectations of me and his lack of self worth turned me into a punching bag for all that he felt lacking and would belittle me in order to make himself feel better. His way of getting even. I never heard a sincere apology from him only a lot of kind gestures which were his excuses to later be horrible.
It’s very sad because ( you are right) no matter how much a partner tries to meet those needs it will never be enough and they need to learn to deal with their own issues. In the end I ended up losing everything including him while he only lost me. You can only choose a person so many times before all is ruined. Love shouldn’t be making the other feel small and a prisoner of their partners life and this is a lesson I’ll never forget.
I can see you definitely learned some important lessons from all this. However, I would strongly encourage you to REFRAME this thought: “In the end, I ended up losing everything including him while he only lost me.” … There are many unexamined conclusions in that sentence, that I’ll bet you’ll find untrue if you look a bit closer. … Wishing you well on your healing journey. : )
Guest….minus the drugs usage..your x-relationship sounds like the first 22 1/2 yrs of my current one.
My soon to be ex is an alcoholic and likely a narcissist. I too should have left when the first lie – that he was in secret contact with his ex gf- was revealed, but I didn’t. I was so “in love” with him that I married him. Shortly after that he choked me and threatened to kill me, because I asked him about texts he deleted on his phone to a friend who was a swinger- with whom he’d had sex with the previously mentioned ex gf- I stayed. Around a year after our wedding I discovered proof he had been cheating all along- having sex with a married couple he introduced to me snd I believed were my friends-and inviting his swinger (male) friend to join them. I left. I moved a thousand miles back home and I’m not going back. Thinking of reading this book because it was so OBVIOUS he wasn’t choosing me by the way he talked to me, how defensive and rage full he would get over simple questions, and his constant lies and cheating. He is currently trying to get me to reconcile, but bring away from him has allowed me to begin to understand the depth of his depravity and his inability to be honest. When I call him out his go to response is to throw a wrong relationship I had and ended and repented of, long before I even knew him in my face, to avoid discussing his infidelities or anything that makes him feel uncomfortable. I know I need to block him and go no contact but he makes me feel like I’m “not being supportive”, and I do care about him as a human, but I know our marriage is over because of his inability to be faithful and/or honest, and the fact that I’m not emotionally or physically safe with him.
SO TRUE phil……you described my marriage/relationship.
I would love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos I never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me. The girl I want to get marry to left me few weeks to our wedding for another man. When I called her she never picked my calls, She blocked me on her facebook and changed her facebook status from engage to Single, when I went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me. I lost my job as a result of this cos I couldn’t get myself anymore, my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life. I tried all I could do to have her back to all did not work out until I met a Man when I travel to East to execute some business that I have been developing some years back. I told him my problem and all I have passed through in getting her back and how I lost my job, he told me he gonna help me, I didn’t believe that in the first place. But he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets’ was amazed when I heard that from him…he said he will cast a spell for me and I will see the results in the next couple of days..then I travel back, the following day and i called him when I got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells, he said am gonna see positive results in the next 14 days that is Thursday. My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done. She said, she never knew what she was doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again. It was like am dreaming when I heard that from her and when we ended the call, I called the man and told him my girl friend called and he said I haven’t seen anything yet… he said I will also get my job back. And when its Sunday, they called me at my place of work that I should resume work on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit I have spent at home without working…My life is back into shape have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with a baby boy and I have my job back too. This man is really powerful…if we have up to 20 people like him in the world, the world would have been a better place…He has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now…Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help. You can mail him to erika_raven_temple@ religious. com, I can’t give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world…he said his email is okay and he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..Hope he helped u out too…good luck. His web site is ericaraventemple. webs. com
While I know that I haven’t been chosen by him in 22 1/2 yrs. It’s not so easy to leave when 1. you have children, 2. you’ve been a stay at home mom for majority of those years (it’ll be 25 yrs together this fall), so no income, up in age, etc. 3. just bought a house last year for our kids to have their first home.
While leaving is the answer & right thing to do, it’s not always the right thing. Some times…you have to create an alternate life & hopes that the destroyed trust, destroyed heart, can be rebuilt & you can spend the next 10-20-30 yrs in happiness finally.
Right now….I can’t choose him…..I did for 22 1/2 yrs. & it didn’t matter.
For the last 3 years, I chose myself & our kids (which is why we got the house).
When he can HONESTLY choose me, not blame me for his issues or the problems he caused, then maybe things can change…
This makes perfect sense. He isn’t making excuses. Him not choosing her would also mean he couldn’t care less to communicate his feelings of love lost. Duh.
Ummm, no, that’s not quite right.
Waooooo, really beautiful words, I am loving these cute words. Thanks for sharing these with us, that was a really beautiful blog post.
I wonder if my ex will ever admit to feeling the same way you did. I’ll never know since his go-to method after an argument is to ignore me (sometimes for well over a month while living under the same roof). He can’t sit down and talk things out. I just end up being gaslighted instead. Our therapist suggested he get individual counseling, but that never happened in the 4.5 yrs together. He would rather drown in his work than admit he has a problem. Fortunately, the heartache made me grow as a person. I became the change I wanted to see in our relationship. I let go of my own anger issues, insecurities, and even started helping him with his busy work schedule. We had everything in common, laughed our asses off, and had great sex on a regular basis, and he often spoke of a future with me in it. Still, he ran the second I questioned his appreciation for me.
I have finally walked the other direction, but I am still having a hard time not looking back at why it was so easy for him to let me go.
I strongly doubt it was as easy for him to let you go as he perhaps made it appear. And often, men do their grieving LONG after the triggering event.
Thank you so much for sharing yourself in this way. Your vulnerable perspective is so potent. As a woman who has been not chosen many times, it helps so much to understand the dynamic from your perspective. If only there were more men who could authentically atone in this way, there would be so much healing in our world.
You wrote in your article that she could feel you pulling away. Women react to that. They know something is different.
They sure seem to!
Blind sidded…34 years of marriage with the man of my dreams and its ok that out of nowhere he gets to choose? seems there should be some law against what he has dragged me through with the last 3 years of “indecisivness” leaving me broken hearted trying to understand what, when, who, how, why! As he built himself a little fortress on our adjoining property to live in and leaves me so he can find his happiness for two years. Last may I couldnt handle the pain of it all and went to file for divorce amd he calls to say, “ive thought about what you’ve said, and I want our marriage to work and get old sitting in our rocking chairs when we’re like 90.” Needless to say, without any warning once again he says, ” it’s not working out, I don’t feel I can make a commitment.” wow!!!!!!!! fooled me again, kinda shocked since I felt pretty committed as you were making love to me the other night….oh wait, maybe you were making your choice as you were having an orgasm wow! infuckingcredible! I AM SO CRUSHED RIGHT NOW. Nice choice husband. I trusted and believed in him and still can not connect. maybe the porn I found him choosing over me (and yes I was available sexually) is why he’s not choosing me. desensitization or what? well, this is a real world we live in when we don’t have to be held accountable for our choices because we all have the freedom to CHOOSE…. got that right. at the expense of others? naaaaaa choice is what makes you happy dear husband. How sad. thumbs up Todd
After reading the article my heart really felt good, then I moved onto the comments hoping to see others that I would relate to. Very interesting reading to say the least. First the article was a fine explanation of what not to do and what should be done. Don’t hide or turn your face to someone you love. Do chose them, always keeping your partner in the front of your heart and mind. I’ve had two marriages in which the 2nd being a repeat of the first, both used drugs, both horrid narcissists and neither ever chose me yet they did love me. I felt it every day. I needed to be chosen, I communicated it, begged for it, cried for it and I knew I needed it more than food or the air I breathed. It was a form of torture that can’t be seen. They never matured or woke up so they lost me, it all hurts very much. So I understand his article and how he woke up, matured and he saw the love and learned to appreciate it, chose it, chose her. Thank you for sharing the knowledge you learned no matter how long it took or the paths you had to take getting to today. Now the hateful people putting their negative and ugly comments, you need to work on yourself. Sorry if you have endured something awful, it really sucks, be a better more loving person every day, rise above those who have done you wrong. Last thing, I fell to this article not because of past abuse, pain or for repairing my prior relationships it’s because I’ve been dating someone for 8 months and he chooses me in every sense of the way. I’m so overwhelmed with how it feels that I’m out reading articles to confirm that it’s all real, that I’m not dreaming or missing some red flag. After knowing all these years what I needed and finally have a partner to give love fully to and have the love seen, have them choose me and the love I give is quite amazing. So thank you for your writings. I’ll be reading more from you.
Yes, Chrissy, I can confirm what you’re experiencing – BEING CHOSEN BY YOUR PARTNER – is a VERY REAL experience available to all (if they CHOOSE THEMSELVES first).
The best piece l have read since I got into a serious relationship and it comes at the right time
I’m glad to hear it Lucy 🙂
please help me i want my wife to love and cherish me ,she cheats on me i love her she has someone else help me am
I feel like this is really useful stuff but many men wouldn’t pick up a book to read or read an article about relationships. I’ve spoke to many men who just feel like it is what it is. However, it is great information. Thank you
I have read this post once before, many years ago, and have read it again today. The last time I found this post to be insightful and inspiring. Reading it again, I still found it to be real, raw, and worthy of providing reflection on you life and relationship. I am astounded though, reading some of the comments. The vitriole and judgment I find here are quite astonishing. I understand your pain, especially for women who have been hurt and who have been made to feel that they are misled when the relationship ended. I think though, that that is the nature of a lot of relationship. You hope that you get together with someone and this will be it and that it will last. But most times, we get into a relationship with all our woundings and unconcious patterns being projected and replayed in it. Most people don’t know better and haven’t done work to heal those parts of themselves. It is and will always be an ongoing process and we learn from the mistakes we make. Why are there so many judgment on Bryan when he was just expressing himself and the experience he had had. He was just a man trying to do better. How could he do better without insights and wisdom learned from the previous experience that have gone wrong. Why do we blame and judge rather than celebrate that someone has the courage to reflect on themselves and the roles that they played that have led to the end of a relationship and committing to doing better the next time around. I for one celebrate him for being willing to take a look at himself, own his mistake, and desire to do better the next time around. I think instead of judging him, maybe we could read the post with the intention to reflect on our relationship and use it to learn more about ourselves so that we can become a better partner the next time around. Thank you for sharing this, Bryan. I celebrate your courage for putting yourself out there with your faults and all.
WOW! This is incredible! Thank you for sharing your heart, I was so touched by your honesty & openess to share this!
Hope you have seen the ???? after the storm!
Such an aswosem article ….I have never before feeled…..thank you so much..
…And so the author chose a dog!