While having lunch with my mum the other day, she told me about a friend of hers who recently divorced her husband. She said the man she divorced was not the man she married.
I had to think about that for a minute. The man she divorced was not the man she married.
At first, it didn’t make any sense.
Then it made perfect sense.
The man she divorced was not the man she married.
I thought of my own first marriage. The man I divorced was not the man I married either. And perhaps the woman he divorced was not the woman he married.
Or so I thought.
Perhaps the person we divorce is indeed the person we marry – only we don’t know it at the time. Courtship is often experienced through rose coloured glasses. We don’t look at the warts, because we are too busy looking at the rainbows and unicorns. And that’s okay. But we should just know that sometimes, underneath the glossy veneer, can be a different part of a person’s character that we may not like. Or be willing to accept.
I have heard it said that for the first three years of a relationship, we are on our best behaviour. It is only after the three year mark that we are ready to peel away our shiny layer and reveal who we truly are. The walls can fully come down because we trust the other person enough to think they will accept us. And sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t. Depending on what we have to reveal.
Or perhaps it’s a testament to how people change. Grow. Or not grow. Evolve.
And perhaps marriages that last involve people who change less.
But if, at the end of the day, the person we divorce is indeed not the person we married, we can only take comfort in the fact that we are all human – and change is the one constant that we all face in our lives.
Our jobs change. Our situations change. Our attitudes change. How people affect us changes us. The people in our lives change.
And it’s how we reflect that change and deal with it that matters the most. Do we let it negatively affect us. Do we turn to bad habits to help deal with the change.
I heard the story of one woman who left her husband toting her seven children and their cat. She left in the middle of the day while he was at work. There is no doubt in my mind that the man she left was not the man she married.
So how do we manage change, if we want to save a marriage. Do we embrace the change? Do we roll with the change? Do we ask our partners in marriage to help us shoulder and weather the change? So that we grow together. Change together. For the better.
It certainly helps if we find a partner who is positive and supportive. And who turns to the other for help. Because change can be a slippery slope if not addressed. And it can slide into a cesspool from which recovery is near impossible.
If I could do it all again, am not sure if there was anything I could change.
But for everyone else’s sake who may be noticing some changes in their relationships that is not good change, it may not be too late.
Try hard. Work harder. Love hardest.
And hopefully the person you choose to make your life partner will always be just that.