A New Dawn: Accepting Others Differently

iStock_000019146637SmallI shot straight up in bed. Unaware of it all, except for the strange reality that had settled over my home. My son stood outside my door calling for me, ready to start his day. I floated through the house, got him his breakfast and crumpled into my kitchen chair. The tears streamed down my face silently as I texted “Even though we’ve been living separate lives for years…now it is a reality.” The past couple months had been unequivocally the hardest, yet most emotionally rewarding of my life.  My Husband and I had faced the cruel truth, we were best friends who simply weren’t in love.

 Emotionally we are two people who aren’t even in the same book; we love and need love differently. We’ve spent our entire marriage trying to change the other, trying to change ourselves. Desperately trying for a deeper happiness that just wasn’t. Looking back there were many changes we should have made. A myriad of decisions that changed our fate. Yet, one overwhelming, undeniable truth remains irregardless of the decisions and the circumstances of life-  we both would have reacted in the same emotional fashion. Neither one of us can pinpoint the moment we fell out of love, but its been a gradual dissolution over the better part of our time together. Love was replaced with a dependency on the other to operate the family. We took pride in the fact that we were a great business team; the schedule became the focus and the promise of a financially secure life became the all consuming goal- the promise of “happiness”. 

We are the lucky ones, through this entire divorce process we have become an even better friend to the other. We don’t have to mourn the loss of the other. Rather we can celebrate the release of anger, frustration and an underlying feeling of inadequacy because we could never quite make the other person happy. Our children have become our focus, our lifelong bond to the other. They may not fully understand the why, but they do see our friendship, the way we treat one another now, and the respect we have for each other. The children are now noticeably happier and less stressed. It is easy in life to be blinded by the external, to create such a colorful exterior that it distracts from the internal truth. Be brave enough to accept yourself and those you love for the unseen. Do not demand that they change, but rather learn to love and appreciate them in a new light. Accept that life is uniquely beautiful, that even the most straightforward paths are not always the right option for your inner, personal happiness. Set aside fear, ask yourself the hard questions and do not settle for anything less than what is right for you.

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7 thoughts on “A New Dawn: Accepting Others Differently

  1. I wonder if one day I will see it this way too. Right now I feel numb and afraid. I love my wife but our marriage is ending. We have kids and I’m afraid of not seeing them as much. Will I one day look back and see this as the thing that needed to happen? That’s the question I ask myself each day even as I still hope for this to all just stop.

  2. I feel your pain..For years I was in a loveless and emotionless marriage where I did everything financially and taking care of our home and our new son. I knew I wanted a better life for my son and myself but feared the division of family for my child. With the help of a friend keeping me strong and seeing the reality of life I made the decision for divorce. I have to admit it was horrible and it was not civil but now both of us have gone our ways and found love elsewhere and my son is happier now than ever. I hate with a passion the time apart from my child but I know I made the best decision for him and myself and with that found what true happiness really is.

  3. I’m so very sorry that your situation is so sad. There are days that are tough, but we do have the luxury of supporting one another on those days. I think our major difference is that we did not have that deep bond necessary to fight for the marriage, so when it came time to face reality, we were able to continue as the friends that we had been all these years. Find comfort that with time I am sure things will become easier to handle. The new normal will eventually be comfortable. Best wishes!

  4. I am so glad that in the end your story worked out for the better. I am truly grateful for the friendship we are able to maintain and know that in the end it will provide a great example for our children that there are all different types of families.

  5. I was married for almost 25 years until the cancer took Laurie from us in 2005, and I am still in love with her, but I have many regrets. Much of the passion faded after we started having kids and settled into the business of raising them. We should have made more of an effort into keeping the passion alive. I will not make that same mistake if and when I ever remarry.

    Peace ~ Bear

  6. Bear,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and I am so very sorry for your loss of Laurie. Children certainly are a beautiful blessing, but yes, when you begin focusing on raising and providing for them it is easy to lose the passion and bond that started the marriage if you do not actively nurture it. I too have regrets and much like yourself am using them as lessons to be a better wife/partner/friend in the future. Life is about learning, growing and forgiveness. Make sure you forgive yourself, I know Laurie wouldn’t want you living in regret.
    Best Wishes,
    Nicole

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