I lived more years with her than without. There was a time I didn’t have her in my life. Now I’m back to where I started.
Marriage is a process of dying to self. It won’t work if both partners are not willing to set aside certain personal preferences and predispositions for the sake of creating an intimate union with each other. It’s no wonder that many marriages don’t work out. Folks, especially religious ones, who look smugly on those who have separated are missing the log in their own eye. Anyone who cannot see divorce through the eyes of compassion are likely avoiding their own painful realities.
The word is deference. I adopted this word early on. It means humble submission and respect. At first marriage felt like it was leading me into a world full of grey where there was very little right or wrong. I later learned that I was color-blind.
Over the years of my marriage, I started to see how it was coloring my world, not making it monotone. When our first child was born, it felt like an invasion of our private time together. But as I submitted to the restrictions that came with being a parent, I saw life differently. I no longer focused on the loss of freedom. I could see the beauty of this woman and the tiny little humans that made their way into my life.
In this transition, I lost some of myself. There were things I enjoyed that I could no longer do. I couldn’t stay out as long as I wanted. I had to be home a certain time each night. I had to check in if I was going to be late. To each of these I chose to defer out of kindness and consideration of this new life.
Ultimately, I was gaining something, not losing.
Now that this partnership is gone, it’s back to just me again. It’s like I’m 22 and fresh out of college, but with the perspective of a 56 year old mind.
I have 30 years of being shaped intimately by the lives of three unique, special individuals. I get to go through another transition with the exact same regard.
Do I major on what I’ve lost or on what I am gaining and becoming?