Upgrading the fantasy of my husband to reality is humbling.
“I adored my husband. He was my knight in shining armor: the one who protected and spoiled me the way my father never did. I hoisted him onto a pedestal, ignoring his human qualities on full display. Until life, through series of unexpected events, revealed my husband as a traumatized messy human just like me. As my husband was toppling from the pedestal, what I thought was my love for him evaporated. It took me years to make sense of the feeling of betrayal I experienced when reality caught up to my fantasy.
When we connect with someone, we tend to project on them our dreams and wishes, objectifying them as deliverers of our bliss, essentially stuffing them into a box of our own fantasy of “happily ever after.”
I was shocked when my husband broke out of the box into which I’ve reduced him. Today, I reframe the whole experience as a gift. It is precisely my husband’s human limitation, which felt so frightening at first, that forced me to grow up and take radical responsibility for my own wellbeing and life path.
Upgrading the fantasy of my husband to reality is still going on, ten years later. There are many layers to the process and it is humbling. Although I know now that I am the only one responsible for my physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, I sometimes fall into old patterns of expecting something from my husband that could change the way I feel about myself or the way I experience my life. The fact is, if I do not take measures to “make myself happy,” no one can.”
Above is an excerpt from my latest article for elephant journal “The Wisdom of Learning to Love your Partner instead of Searching for Someone “Easier” to Love.”
I invite you to read the whole article following the link and if you feel inspired, please “heart” it or leave a comment, which would make the article more visible to other readers.
A few years ago I could see no wisdom in learning to love the man to whom I was married for decades. I thought there was nothing else left to experience through him and all I wanted was to run away. Finding someone new to love and change my whole storyline felt like the only option that I could get excited about.
I’m grateful for life’s infinite surprises and plot twists.
What’s been your experience?