Saturday, July 3, 2010

We can only change ourself

A friend told me that she knew on her way home from her honeymoon that it had been a big mistake. But, she couldn't face her family, friends, ward members and clergy - much less her new husband - to be honest with herself and get an annulment.

The marriage was a disaster, even though they had a large family together. She blamed him (and rightfully so) but years later after finally divorcing him she had an aha experience. She said, "I always blamed him and hated him for the things he had done that were so wrong, but suddenly I had a realization that he was being who he was and I was wrong to expect him to be anyone else." Who he was did need changing, but it's not something a wife can do.

She felt that if she had been truthful with herself and followed the promptings to get out right away, things would have been better. By lying to herself for the sake of appearances, she endured a very difficult 20+ years with a husband who was not capable of changing in the ways that were necessary for a healthy and happy marriage. So what good was that? She tried to change herself so he would not need to behave the way he did (since he blamed her for his behavior).

Once she decided to stay with him, she did everything in her power to make it work but the one thing she couldn't do was make him be something he was not or something he did not want to become. Finally she lost herself and it took many years after the divorce to discover who she is.

I think we need to be true to ourselves. Unfortunately, being real sometimes results in those we love not loving us any more. Sometimes they can't get over what they think we should be.


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