Christa Papettas Missaglia: “Choosing Happiness".

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My name is Christine.

I am a 48 year old mother of 4, a business owner and a wife.

I have struggled with depression, self-harming, I am a survivor of domestic violence, I have severe panic attacks and suffer from anxiety but I would have to say that the breakdown of marriage was one of the hardest most difficult things I have had to face alone. Not only was I losing my Husband but I was losing my Best Friend. I want to show people that no matter how difficult something might seem at the time, with hard work and persistence you can overcome some very difficult obstacles. You definitely hold your destiny in your own hands.

Divorce was never a word I would have thought I’d ever use during my marriage but life never really goes as we plan. Life changes, family dynamics change, you grow as people and along the way you get lost as individuals and as a couple. I knew our marriage was in trouble but no matter how many times I tried to address the situation my husband would always shut me down. You can only try so many times before you eventually just give up. My husband on the other couldn’t see anything wrong with our relationship and even if he did he never acknowledged it, communication was never one of his strong points. I am not saying that he is solely responsible for our marriage breaking down because I know that I also contributed too many of the issues we faced. I eventually become emotionally and physically drained, I was unable to sleep and I found it more and more difficult to get out of bed and face each day. I had to make a decision for my own happiness and health. I couldn’t continue with the way things were going and no matter what, at the end of the day we both deserved to be happy.

To me, Divorce was my only option and although we didn’t realise it at the time it would be a decision that would save our marriage. My husband moved out upon my request and without my knowledge sought counseling for himself. Something I believe changed him as a person and most importantly as a man. He learnt how to control his anger and be more open about discussing his emotions with me on a level we both had never experienced before. We started going to sessions together and although it was extremely draining emotionally and uncomfortable for me to discuss our issues in front of a stranger I knew that deep down in my heart I loved this man, he deserved a second chance and I would try anything to get back what we once had.

We started dating again, taking in turns at planning romantic evenings together and spending much need quality time together as a couple, something we had forgotten to do throughout the years. We worked hard at tasks given to us by our councilor and as a result we became better people, not only for each other but for our children. We would talk for hours, we’d laugh and we began to fall in love with each other all over again. I longed to see him again, I looked forward to nights when he’d come over and have dinner with us, as a family. He showed me how important I was to him, not by his words but by his actions. He was a better version of the man I had fallen in love with all those years ago.

Today, because of our hard work and commitment to each other I am the happiest I have ever been in our marriage. I can’t imagine my life without my husband by my side, sharing my daily triumphs and even my failures. He has seen me through some of my darkest days and has been there for me when it felt like no one else was. He is definitely my best friend and a man whom I look up to. His strength and courage as a person is constantly an inspiration to me. He makes me laugh like no else can and when he looks at me I always feel loved, but most importantly I feel appreciated as woman.

Marriage is by no means easy, it is probably one of the hardest yet most rewarding relationships you will ever experience in your life. It’s about sharing your life with one person wholeheartedly, remembering that no matter what troubles you face in life you face them together. It’s about opening the lines of communication where honesty can be expressed openly without judgement or fear of rejection. Marriage doesn’t work by itself it needs two people to make it work and the harder you work at it the more rewarding it becomes. Love only wins if you open your heart and let it in.