Did you ever spend a Friday
evening at the symphony when your pick was watching the game at the sports bar?
Go to the 3 year old’s neice’s birthday party when you just wanted to take a
nap? Spend the weekend camping instead
of enjoying a movie marathon on the sofa?
Marriage is made of compromise,
and the longer the marriage the greater the number of compromises. The more we
practice anything, the easier it becomes. Before we know it, we might
not even notice we’re doing it.
A hallmark of a generous
spouse is one who derives joy from seeing the happiness of their partner. While
setting our desires aside for a time is laudible, a risk inherent in continuous
compromise is that we can lose sight of our own passions.
Some of us are clearer about
what we want or need than others. Some of us are better at asking for what we
want and need. If we aren’t clear or don’t ask, at some point our wants and
needs can become hidden even to ourselves.
Once your are separated from
your spouse, you might begin to observe the choices you have to spend your time
on the activities that celebrate the real you. But when you look in the
mirror, do you see the authentic you?
Do you still see what
inspired you before you got married? Can you remember who you were
before you were partnered with your spouse? What used to fill your heart
The answers to these
questions may emerge for you immediately. Or they may leave you
dumbfounded. Keep looking.
Did you used to love going
to the shooting range? Were you thrilled about planting a small garden? Did you love spending an entire weekend
reading? Did you long to return to
church? To take up the ukulele?
Blaming your former spouse
for what you notice gains nothing. Focus your attention on
looking beneath that mask you’ve been wearing, regardless of how it got there. You
are sure to delight in seeing what has been there all along.
Divorce is so full of loss.
Rediscovering yourself can fill you with glee instead of grief. All it takes is a peak under that mask.