We spend much of our youth searching for someone to spend the rest of our lives with, not realizing that it means a VERY long time. 🙂 That’s right THE SAME MAN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!! That’s obviously a joke. My Mom and Dad have known one another since they were twelve so I have seen first hand what it is like to spend the rest of your life with someone. I don’t remember any time growing up where I felt like that might change. I admire them both for their commitment and vow they took so seriously, not many do.
When we meet our potential partner in our twenties or thirties we naturally want to take the next step towards marriage so we live with and spend every waking moment together, well not every waking moment, but you know what I mean. We live our lives side by side, some on top of one another and others quite far apart but nevertheless we spent most of our time together.
Then we enter middle age and our kids, if we had any, are growing and entering the same cycle that we have, hopefully with less mistakes and more life experience. We grow and unfold and change in all different directions. Some of us grow with our partners and others grow away from them. Ideally if we have a partner who is our best friend, we can at least maintain the friendship. I have never understood even in my teens why two people can’t remain friends just because as a couple they didn’t work out, with the exception of a wrong doing.
As we age and move into different chapters of our lives, things change, we change. Some of us are faced with moving forward in that next chapter independent of anyone else. I think it comes with age, the understanding that being independent is not the same as being alone. In the evolution of a growing relationship this change doesn’t have to be a negative one. It’s how you perceive it, that counts.
I am independent moving ahead in my life, but I am certainly not alone. What I have learned is that although my relationship has been redefined it is far from over and has an entire future ahead of it that is waiting for me to experience and embrace. So my fairy tale romance may not have turned out traditional like my parents, but it has evolved and reached levels most together couples have never come close to. I wouldn’t change that for anything!
Personal growth is a wonderful feeling when you can accept things and move forward without any resentment or regret. That is the part of being in your 40’s, for me, I love the most. As you age you accept changes you might not have in your earlier years. You smile more, trust your heart, love more deeply and accept the things you cannot change. Sinéad O’Connor’s song “Feels So Different” first three lines has stuck with me for year.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference” Reinhold Niebuhr