Does Your Relationship Spark Joy?

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Hot as hell and I’m walking by a couple on the sidewalk in New York City. They have a new baby. And I remember this feeling. He’s silent, standing with the stroller. His face is annoyed — like his woman could just disappear from earth and it wouldn’t matter to him. She’s saying something. She’s trying to suppress tears, frustration and still seem calm and attune to the hot wiggling baby in her arms. It’s not supposed to be this hard, she’s thinking. There’s supposed to be joy packed into this thing called love somehow, somewhere.

Babies are such powerful highlighters of the cracks and strained corners of relationships, even healthy, solid relationships, but especially bad ones. The look on her face is a pain that I feel right down to my core. I lived that “not right” relationship. And I see many different versions of “not right” every day.

The right relationship isn’t this hard. It isn’t supposed to be a thousand bricks of stress that sit on your shoulders pressing upon you as you try to tip-toe around cracks in fear. Every communication shouldn’t turn into a fight. You are taking in little bits of happiness where you can, but you are starving for joy. Your opinion really does matter. You are stronger and smarter than you realize.

Leaving a toxic relationship is hard. I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but it is not your responsibility to force this to work; and frankly, a relationship cannot work without two people working on it together. Just remember: the world is big and beautiful, and there is so much joy waiting for everyone here. signature

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