When I decided to marry, it was a cerebral decision. My heart may have been involved, but, if so, it was at a level of sympathy, not empathy, not love.
The man I met was very sad and lonely. He put in a considerable amount of effort to chase me. I was unfamiliar with being chased and although flattering, it was excessive enough to feel ‘smothering’. I told him that I did not think I wanted to be in any relationship and went on about life.
Yet, he persisted. His advances were so intense that I mistook them for intense love, and, I believe in my soul, that he did also. I do believe he loved me, but in a possessive ‘I need to be completed’ way. I thought that I could mend whatever part of his heart was broken. So began the old tried, tested and wholly erroneous “I can fix you” theory. My intuition told me not to get involved, but acting on one’s intuition can take years, or a lifetime to take heed to.
Even so, I had a checklist I needed him to fit into, and at the time, he did. So it was. We married. Had five beautiful children, one ascended to heaven.
Throughout our marriage, I was evolving at what he considered an alarming rate. I was engaging in a variety of experiences and becoming a completely different version of the person he married while he remained the same. More than a few times was I called nuts for the things I found interest in, then dove into to learn about. Trying to discuss those things was not an option. I now understand how my growth was disturbing and alarming to someone who both wanted and expected a passive and static partner to tread life with. I was though, just being me, and, he was just being him. It was easier to maintain peace through suppressing myself than to argue.
Like my ‘clergy experience‘, I began to question a lot of things about our marriage. I realized we did not have a shared vision, path or partnership. This was in contrast to what I thought I understood before saying ‘Yes’. As a family, we were quite frankly, heading absolutely nowhere.
Most poignant in my discovery, was the realization that I was also deeply lonely in his presence. It was not a lonely that could be cured through sex. I tried that route for many years, but, it was medicine, not remedy.
Through counseling, all we discovered is that one of us was unwilling to remove their spots and one of was unwilling to remove their stripes. Counseling cannot and should not be undertaken for the purpose of changing the heart of who a person is.
If you are with someone who refuses to embrace your spots and stripes, in all their perfections and imperfections, in all the color renderings they are exposed to, then indeed, this cannot be true love.
What am I grateful for?
- Understanding that intentions alone can bear forth fruit in any circumstance.
- Accepting that one cannot give what they do not have nor lead where they do not go.
- Understanding the need to judge actions over words and that when they are incongruent, finding courage to believe what you are shown over what you hear.
- Accepting that what I had was not true love but maintaining hope that I will know and experience it in this lifetime.
- Recognizing the connection between the idea of a father (post) and the idea of a husband, in order to base future relationship decisions on realities and not ideals.