I cannot count the number of times I have commented on the winds of change and how it is inevitably going to happen.
It is the most normal thing in the world. You don’t usually hear someone complaining about their ex never changing from the day they met until the day they split. You hear people complain about the fact the ex changed and would not change back to that great person they were when they first met.
Change between couples is going to happen because we get older, experience things that change our perceptions, turn into moms and dads, get different jobs or further your education. All of these things bring new influences into our lives and force us to evolve on some level. This is true of love as well. The down side to this is, most of the time, the change is negative (speaking only for the divorced people – not all people change negative in their relationship).
So often I hear other people complain in the end their ex was lazy, didn’t wine/dine them, sex was boring, wouldn’t clean house and my favorite: they didn’t ‘listen’ anymore. How do I know this for sure? That was me until I got struck by a mental bolt of lightening and had an emergency broadcast from Mr. All-Of-The-Above during a heated argument.
Past to Present Recap
During a battle that raged on for several days, a blanket of numbness settled between me and the husband. He was finally wore down emotionally enough to stop yelling like a lunatic and I was numb enough not to feel provoked no matter what took place. He kept swearing, “You don’t love me. If you did, you wouldn’t want a divorce all the time.” I told him no matter how much he said it or how many times, it wouldn’t make it true and he was entitled to his opinion.
I was miserable to the point where I was working 17 hours a day, quiet all the time and I refused to ‘share’ my thoughts, but I knew I still loved him. I just didn’t like him anymore. For what? He wasn’t going to listen anyway. Stubborn, mean fool!
So then he says the next thing that always comes like clockwork. “If you love me, prove it. Tell me how you know you love me and not just who I used to be”.
Of course I am worn down by the same broken record. I will answer and he will argue it no matter what I say. So, I try to reassure him more out of lack of energy than anything and say, “I see the changes you have made. You aren’t nearly as volatile, angry or explosive as you used to be. I was in love with you then, so why is it so hard for you to understand I am capable of loving you now”? What he said next shocked me to the core.
Throwing a Fishing Line into an Abyss
He looks at me and says, “Because of the way you just answered me”. He explained even when things were awful between us and anyone in their right mind would have ran without ever coming back, I never said words to express how I loved him like I just had. I sat there just shocked.
I am not excusing his actions or rewriting the past, but in a fraction of time; I realized I was complaining about him changing when we both were victims of it. I say victim because that is the definition of the word. When someone falls prey to something they really didn’t invite or realize was happening to them.
In my minds eye, I truly believed I was reassuring him I did in fact love him still and thought it was a great analogy to show how it was still possible to love him in that moment.
I felt so stupid, I could have crawled under the table! When we were still individuals, I knew how to express love to another person in such a way, it would make another long for my company. I have always known I had an infectious personality and a crazy amount of charisma in social settings. I am a sensual woman. I knew how to speak to get what I want without lying, having sex to get what I want or hurting another persons feelings. I am not just bragging. I ‘was’ self aware of who and what I really was.
In that moment, I felt like I had baited my hook to catch a minnow in a lake only to realize I was using Kryptonite strong enough to catch a monster in an abyss of endless unknown creatures! How could I not see my own changes? I argued he never touched me like he did a new piece of tail, we lost our spark, didn’t listen to me and wasn’t who he used to be.
Well, guess what? Neither was I anymore. I had changed on a level that was automatic in response without even thinking about it.
That Explains a Lot
Did that stop me from wanting a divorce or blaming myself for everything?
No. Too little too late. Things were too far gone for repair. Not because it was easier to move on, but because the relationship wasn’t healthy nor had it been on any level since the beginning.
What it did do is make me hold myself accountable for my own actions and face the fact that I had changed right along with the relationship. Not in a good way either. My ‘charm’ I had once delivered on people because I liked people in general was gone. Not just from dealing with him either. It had flown the coop and somehow I replaced it with negativity toward all people including myself.
Self loathing and pessimism became so normal, I fell off a cliff when it dawned on me I really reacted to people this way now. I no longer knew who I was being as opposed to who I thought I was. That one realization set a chain reaction in motion that got (and still is) really confusing. Before it was over, he beat me to death with that; applied it to all situations no matter what happened. I questioned everything I did and said after that; picked apart any gut level feeling.
He was not the type of man you could confide in without him taking personal conversations and using it as a weapon when manipulation was needed to get me to bend or break on an issue.
Finding Yourself a Little at a Time
I realized I could not become a better person to myself or anyone else while we were still together. I didn’t like who I was with him, just as much as I no longer liked him.
You can love someone to the moon and back, but if you don’t like yourself and you don’t like them, it is over.
Self discovery in moments like these need to be labeled as enormous moments for emotional recovery. Recovering from what you turned into can and will be amazingly difficult and overwhelming at times. It is so much easier to stay in the belief the other person is at fault because they no longer act, speak or feel the way you once believed they did.
Do not make the mistake of realizing something like this and take on the past as one big ball of guilt where you are to blame for everything that ever happened. It does take two. When it is all over and done and there is just you remaining, seize these moments to grow spiritually and emotionally. Tear down your own defenses and point your finger right back at yourself. If not, you will carry this into the next relationship. You will then blame the new person for an action that reminds you of your ex.
Self responsibility for actions can be so easily translated into holding the weight of the world of guilt on your own shoulders. Be careful. Next time you take stock of your life remember to love yourself. If you can’t, try and remember a time you did and think about the mental state you were in. Have you changed? Are you sure? Your kids, family and friends could be the quickest way to find out. Ask them when they saw you as the happiest in your life. Your memory will do the rest.