Growing Apart

So I had a time in my childhood when several of my friends parents were getting divorced. I was old enough to know what was going on, but not quite old enough to understand it. My parents have always had an extremely unconventional marriage, they haven’t shared a bed since we moved into our house in Lexington,which was almost 15 years ago (unless they had to like in hotels or things like that)! I used to think that my mom was the one in charge of everything, just because she has a much stronger personality and is much more vocal and opinionated than my dad. (I voiced that opinion once and was told, by my mom, how very very wrong I was so I never brought it up again) But my parents still love each other very much (even though sometimes I;m not sure why/how) and I never doubted that once growing up. So I asked my mom, as I was surrounded by kids who’s families were splitting up, how come she and dad didn’t get a divorce? How come they swill love each other even though they’ve been together for so long? You see, to the child me, parents were getting divorced because they had been together for too long, and I had heard the phrase ‘We just grew apart’ so I associated that phrase with getting divorced as well. My mom answered my question with something that I will never forget. She told me that people end up getting divorced because they quit trying, and that’s how they grew apart. “Your dad is not the same man that I married 15 years ago,” she told me, “And I still love him. The key is to always talk to each other and include each other in your lives. You grow apart when you stop talking to each other and telling each other things like how your day was and new things you’ve learned and interesting thing you saw.” I doubt I remember it exactly how she said it, but that’s my take away from it.

And that answer has stuck with me all these years and it’s a principle that I apply to my marriage on a daily basis. People are constantly changing and evolving. When I married my husband, I was a quiet girl with very little self confidence. Now, 3 years later, I am a woman who is pushing herself to be more outgoing and who is working every day to improve her self confidence. 3 years ago I didn’t want to work, now I love working. 3 years ago I couldn’t imagine a life without the shadows of the awful relationship and abuse lurking in my mind, and now I can go days without even the slightest hint of a shadow! 3 years ago I was mildly concerned about health and how my choices now affect my future, but now I am working very hard to make sure that I make the best choices for the health of present and future Cindy.

The point is that your spouse will be a different person on your 25th anniversary, and so will you. The key is to make sure that you stay connected to them through all the changes and make sure that they know who you are too, whatever changes you’re going through. You don’t get married so you can stay exactly the same with someone, you get married so you can grow old together! To do that you have to GROW!

You will never grow apart if you grow and change together, that is what true love is all about. True love isn’t found, it’s made through love and hard work.

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