Sunday, February 10, 2013

Our Daughters; Nick Molds My Perspective on Marriage and Lessons for My Daughter

Daughters, what will I pass on to mine?
I think about the past to be sure I got the lesson and I've let go of the things that do not serve me. Much to my surprise Nick has helped me on this path too, by forcing me to see how I had blurred the lines between the roles of a wife, a mom, a husband a son.  

I am determined be a Mom who can pass on what I've learned to my daughter, in a way that is honest as I can be and not through a lens colored with my pain, anger, fear, resentment and all their ugly buddies. I want what's comes out of my life, my mouth to be things that help her to make good life choices. I do not want to pass on my baggage to her.  Lord knows - being human - she's already packed a few on her own!. 

Evyn was scanning family photo's for me (including the one you see here) and honeymoon pictures. Her Dad and I were so happy.  I started thinking it must be weird for her to see those happy pictures, and understand how I got here. I wondered if she thought,  they were so happy and yet they ended up divorced, so whats the point, how could  it be any different for me?. Which got me reflecting on how, as a very young women, I fell in love with my husbands potential; his potential as a man and as a husband and not who he really was.  Seems for me "falling in love with potential" had been a recurring pattern.  For me, I was completely unaware that I was that girl who would fall in love with a man hoping he will change, expecting him to change and even trying to change him; devoting precious time and energy rescuing, reforming or transforming him to reach his potential. I did that by the way with no understanding that I wasn't doing what everyone does. All I saw was, none of us are perfect. Marriages grow. We got married in our 20's so I thought about his "potential" as something that was evolving. I thought he would naturally change when we got married, had kids. Don't we all??? Yes, most of us do. We grow up, we learn, we evolve.  Now I think, maybe, maybe not or maybe marrying potential just means a marriage where one person is not really good enough and the other will never be happy with what is and we all know what happens next. 

So after much thought and many years, here is what I think my lessons of my marriage has filtered down to that I want to pass on to my daughter; 

1. Don't mother the man by nurturing him to become what you want him to be; stop looking at a man and saying "Wow, he would look so good in those cloths; I'll buy them for him and make him wear them." Love the man for what he is now and not what you think he might one day be, for he may choose to never be that. Also consider that he might be hearing "Here honey when you put this on, then you'll be good enough".  

2. When entering a relationship or contract of any kind, ensure that both parties share the same morals, values and principles. Opposites in temperament and character attract, they can be very exciting and can even balance each other. On the other hand it's important to look closely to see if you are opposites in ways that will make it impossible for you to have a good life together. Opposites in morals, values and principals spell disaster and doom for any relationship - personal, romantic or business. When morals and values blatantly clash it's never good so don't be afraid to set up situations that create opportunities for you to learn the important stuff. 

3. You can see your future. Look at his relationships with his parents. Listen to what he says, how he feels, and most of all what he does, especially when it comes his mom. Chances are how he feels about his mom, how he treats her will be how he treats you. It may seem impossible in the glow of love, but it's true. There are a lot of things that happen, which could not of been predicted, this is not one of them. This is more like Hansel and Gretel's breadcrumbs.  

In the end my great life lessons are; pay attention, heed the signs and learn to distinguish the men from the boys.  For the later of those three, my son who needs a great deal of care helped me to awaken and realize that the energy and time to help a boy become a man should be reserved for the real boys in need of nurturing and development - my son my children and not husbands or boyfriends.

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