When I began working with “Thomas”, he was trying to determine if there was any hope for his marriage that had been on the ropes for years. They were separated and ready to file papers, but he was still holding on and wasn’t sure why.
One week later, his wife told him that she was done and the marriage was over. As you can imagine, the finality of that sent him reeling…thinking he had just wasted the last twenty years with a woman who didn’t love him anymore.
After the shock wore off (literally only a few days later), he was able to access that deeper wisdom within. The wisdom that told him he knew this was coming, and also told him it was not a waste of the last 20 years:
They had three amazing children together and being a Dad and partner has forever changed him. He’s not the same man he was when they married. She is not the same woman she was when they married. He has a successful business that she helped him grow, and she has a flourishing career. He helped her step into that, but what he needs now in a relationship is something that she simply cannot be.
The hurt and the pain he felt inside this marriage, the lack of connection, all of the experiences along the way were not for nothing and were not a waste.
All love matters, even when it ends.
It matters because it existed.
There’s something in the Chaos Theory known as The Butterfly Effect. This theory is based in fractal mathematics and shows how the simple act of a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico can create a hurricane in China. The idea is that even small actions lead to drastic changes in the environment.
The same holds true in our lives and certainly in our relationships.
The effect of this relationship will be felt and experienced in subtle (and not so subtle ways) for the rest of your days. It will have an impact.
Just because a marriage doesn’t last forever does not mean it was a waste of time.
Just because she cannot be who you need at age 40 (like she was for you at age 20) does not mean there’s anything wrong with either of you. Just because you cannot be who she needs now, does not mean there is anything wrong with either of you.
Just because your marriage may end does NOT mean that it has no value. That relationship – no matter how long it was and no matter how much pain was caused – helped you evolve into the man you are today.
You are forever changed because of this relationship.
You get to decide if that change is to your benefit or to your disadvantage…
How you choose to think about it will determine your future. Choose intentionally.
What will you choose?