Sunday, January 9, 2011

Like two drops of water

An awful lot of people I know are getting divorced. The ones who are not, already did and the ones who are still together are not truly happy. The ones who are divorced spend time looking for that one person that would complete them. Some of them have found love; others are still looking.

I am still married but sometimes I wonder until when. I wonder if there is an expiration date for commitment. I have learned that divorce knows no rules - it's not a matter of age or maturity because when I think of all the failed marriages I know of, there are different ages, reasons and situations that contributed to the separation. At the end of the day, the result is the same, a broken family. Once it's all over, there are two people who decided to end something and start all over again. "All over again"...that sounds so hard, especially when you are of a certain age, when you are facing your own "middle life crisis" and you question what you have accomplished and what you have yet to conquer. When it comes to relationships, I used to think the secret for a fulfilling relationship was that "opposites attract" but the older I get I realize that a lasting relationship, is based more on your similarities than in your differences.

I have noticed there is a new trend of emotional and spiritual growth and people are looking to find more meaning in their relationships and are searching for their soul mates, their other half but I don't remember ever taking on that quest when I was younger. I was just looking to find the one guy who had all the qualities I didn't have so he could complete me and we could be a good team together. I found my guy. He is everything I am not. I am everything he is not. Here is the pickle, the older we get, the more those differences that seemed to unite us have now become the very essence of the distance between us. This past year has been a year of growth for me, when I am questioning everything, including my set of values. I have always believed that love was not a feeling but a decision. I decide who I love and I stick to it - here is what I believe: emotions come and go but commitment is the glue that makes a relationship last. Well, that worked for many years until my world was turned upside down and I came to realize there is got to be something else, something more.

Recently, a friend of mine who experienced a painful divorce many years ago, was talking to a friend of his (who is also going through a divorce!) and he was describing his newest relationship. He said that his girlfriend (who is also divorced, of course) and him were "male and female versions of each other" - I listened and watched. I watched my friend and his girlfriend looking at each other in a way I never see two adults do these days. They moved at the same time, they finished each other sentences, they seemed at ease, at peace, they were whole, they were complete. Good for them. I believe in second chances...and a third and a fourth. In a perfect world, you would get it right the first time around but we don't live in a perfect world and making mistakes is the way we humans learn our lessons. But then, what to do? Do you get divorced now or later or NOT? Well, again, I am making a decision but this time, it's also a decision shared with the man who has helped me build this family, our family. I have decided to make a compromise with the adult who now shares my life. I know he will never be the male version of me (ever!), but I choose to try for as long as it is possible, to build him up, to back him up, to help him out and in one word, to accept him for who he is and celebrate what he has brought into my life. I have also decided the best thing I can do for my kids is to love their father and teach them to love him with his qualities and shortcomings because we are not perfect - nobody is.

It's a win-win for everyone because in the end, we are all just looking for love and to be loved. It's really our choice if we go for a second chance or if we give each other another one in the same relationship we once felt was the right match. We can only hope we are not making a mistake but if we do, we just have to try again. We are bound to get it right eventually and when we do, it will feel like we were meant for each other, even if we weren't.

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