Recently, my niece announced she is engaged to be married. I asked her mother, my sister-in-law, if we like him. She responded “well now I do. I wasn’t so sure when he first came around. But then I realized, Haley is being Haley, just as I know her. If she can be herself with him, I love him.”
I recalled a long time friend saying to me after my divorce “Ok, now you can be you again”. “Wait” I said, “I haven’t been myself”? “No, you slowly disappeared” “Why didn’t you say anything” “How could I say this to you”?
Even though I was sad and stressed my marriage was ending, nothing would ever be the same again, I was at peace inside because I had a true chance to be me again. This way of thinking brought and unexpected reaction from my children.
“Mom, why are you acting differently, what is up”? “Guys, this is me, you just haven’t see me in a long time”. I believe they actually found this to be a bit unsettling, but within a short time, they were enjoying the real me.
I remain fascinated with my sister-in-law’s observation – As my children grow into their adult lives I remind them to never stop being themselves. Being aware of who they are, are they changing because they are growing or because they are trying to adapt to make things better, in a way that they become unrecognizable?
In our post divorce lives – remember this is an opportunity to change the way we think of ourselves –can be ourselves.
Maybe in our married lives if we check in – and wonder – am I recognizable to my spouse as the person they married, are my family and long time friends noticing someone else? – Can we catch this? Does it help a marriage stay stronger?