This is a follow up to my previous article, “I Did NOT Marry The Girl Of My Dreams“. If you haven’t read it, go ahead.
I was out to lunch with a friend of mine who is living with his current girlfriend and he mentioned to me how he didn’t think they were going to make it to marriage because, “they weren’t on the same page.”
And since this is such a cliched phrase, I wanted to know more. So I asked him to describe in what ways he and his partner were “off”. He went on to describe that they just wanted different things. You see, she had been married before when she was younger and had missed out on a lot of the “young stupid stuff”. But my buddy had been single for a while and he’d already gotten a lot of that young and stupid stuff out of his system. And he was ready to settle down and start a family. And he wasn’t sure she was.
So, like any good friend will do, I told him he was being a dumbass and that it didn’t matter.
He was taken aback and I continued to press him. I asked him if he wanted to be with her. I asked if he could see his future with her. I wanted to know if he was happier with her than without her.
And he answered yes to all of these questions.
So I then asked him why he was letting his garbage get in the way of his happiness. So often we sabotage our happiness because we’re always expecting something to go wrong. It’s human nature. And when something doesn’t go wrong, our stupid human nature seems to manufacture something to worry about and something starts going wrong… at least in our heads it does.
I then shared with him how much of an idiot I’ve been in my marriage.
Point blank I told him that my wife and I have been on different pages more times than I can count. However, the one that stood out to me was four years ago. I was just starting a business. I had a successful consulting gig going where I was a solo entrepreneur and people paid me really good money to help solve their business problems. But I wanted more. And my wife, who had seen me go through other startups implored me to keep things simple. She pointed out that we were happy, we were making more money than we needed, I was home quite a bit, and I didn’t have that much stress.
But to me she just couldn’t see the vision I had. I wanted to build something huge. I wanted dozens of employees that looked to me for guidance and leadership. And she was NOT on the same page as me.
And right there I could have used that as an excuse to create a perceived divide between the two of us. I could have resented her for it. But my wife is awesome. And even though she didn’t agree with me, she supported me through my crazy decision.
Fast forward four years. I grew my company to over 60 employees. We won a bunch of awards. Everything I had planned came to fruition.
And I was miserable.
The last four years were the most stressful I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been betrayed, I’ve lost money, I’ve gone into debt, I’ve started taking medications, and I became less of a father and husband because of all of those factors.
Now, for the past 9 months, I have been working on fixing my stupid decision. I’ve started to scale down my company and bring it to something I can manage happily. I’ve begun spending more time with my wife and kids, and I’ve been able to get off of the medications and get back to a good balance.
But guess what. My wife was right. She was right about everything. And being the superstar she is. She has never said, “I told you so.”
No, she has supported me, comforted me, and been my sounding board through the whole ordeal. But at any point she had the right to throw her hands up and tell me it was my mess.
And so, I looked at my friend and said, “She wasn’t on the same page as me. And I wish to God I had been on the same page as her.” But the point is, it didn’t matter. What I thought I wanted and what I thought she wanted didn’t matter. What mattered was that she was the right person to go through this journey with. I knew she was the right one. And when the shit hit the fan, she proved it to me 100 times over. So, the fact that you and your girlfriend “aren’t on the same page” doesn’t really matter. Is she the right person to go through this journey with? If she is, then that’s all that matters. The rest will work itself out.
Funny enough, now that I’ve been through the washing machine of stress and anxiety, my new thing is that I keep telling my wife I want to move to the country, buy some land, start a farm, and live a simple life.
She’s told me that I’m ridiculous and that we’re not doing that. We’re once again absolutely NOT on the same page. But I just laugh and shake my head. Because deep down I know it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens over the next 4 years, she’ll be by my side. And with her there, everything else will work out.