Tuesday, 23 February 2016

I Can Be Me

It's funny how you realize some of the things which make a relationship work, or fail, only long after the moment has passed. It's interesting how the very behaviours that drove you crazy in one relationship seem perfectly acceptable in another, how the response to a situation and how it affects you can be so different in circumstances which are so similar.

Of course I am, in this moment, looking at how my first marriage worked, and how my relationship with Katherine works. It's fascinating to self-observe, to look at how I am different, and how Katherine responds to who I am. This is not comparison of one versus the other, it is an examination of how one relationship can fail while another can work, even with so much in common.

In my marriage, right from the beginning, I was so desperate for my ex-wife's love and approval that I would contort my thought and actions into a pretzel in order to be onside with her, that I would say or do all kinds of things diametrically opposed to my own personality in order to gain her love. This lack of truth to self inevitably comes to an end; after about 10 years of this I simply could not do it any more. But by that time, the damage was done.

With Katherine, I still want her love and approval. But this time it's different. Right from the get go, Katherine has decided she will love me for who and what I am, not for who and what she would like me to be. I don't have to lie about who I really am; either she loves me the way I am, or not. I would be unhappy if she did not, but the damage of truth is far better than living a lie.

In an odd way, one of the best things Katherine does to support our relationship is in the way she expresses her anger. She gets mad at me sometimes; I admit it, I can drive almost anyone crazy some days, even a saint. But when she gets angry, there is no hint of judgement in it. She gets angry with things I do, not with who I am. And she doesn't hold a grudge. Once the moment is gone, there are no lingering hatreds, no hidden agendas.

With Katherine, I can be who I am. This on it's own makes me a better person. I am supported in being who I am, except when my behaviour makes life difficult. Even then, disapproval is not about me, it is about the thing I did. It is such a wonderful thing to be loved, and not to be judged; to be accepted for who and what I am, and not to be found wanting.

That's the real difference in my relationship with Katherine versus my marriage. With Katherine, I can be me.


  1. I think you are pretty wonderful my dear

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  3. It's like what we tell kids: the action is unacceptable, it doesn't mean you don't like the person. About your ex-wife, she may not have known the extent you were betraying yourself. You may have had confrontations and she may have nagged about things, and vice versa, but maybe she thought you were truthfully trying to accommodate her to make you both happy. Maybe she didn't know how much you went out of your way to try to please her, but how severely you were compromising yourself.

    Fixed the spellcheck errors on my last post.