by Eric Payne
Recently my wife told me I’m not the man she fell in love with. I don’t believe there’s a man I know, happily married, divorced or otherwise who has lived with a woman for more than a few years and hasn’t heard these words.
This particular set of words can cut like a knife and may not bode well for the near and/or long-term future of a relationship. In spite of this I can honestly say I wasn’t exactly fazed by the comment. Not because I don’t care. But because she is right.
My wife fell in love with me more than a decade ago. And at the time the man she fell in love with:
- wasn’t 100% committed in mind and spirit to her.
- wasn’t anything close to father material for her five year-old son (now our 15 year-old son).
- scoffed at the idea of marriage.
- scoffed even more at the idea of bringing a child into the world.
- knew the world didn’t revolve around him but didn’t exactly understand or attempt to practice selflessness.
- thought he was invincible.
- thought that he could do very little wrong.
- dealt with criticism, constructive or otherwise, by dismissing it.
I’m sure there are at least a dozen more traits I can add to this list. Things that may have appeared to be all that and a bag of chips on the outside, were a bit sketchy on the inside. Like fine wine, time and experience age people, both men and women, for the better. Sometimes when you’re around something for so long you are able to see it for what it truly is.
The shine may not appear to be what you once thought it was or it very well may be gone altogether. But you could be looking at it through your own pair of dusty lenses. Seeing and understanding the full truth of a person sometimes does dampen the oohs and the ahhs that that other person may have created inside you years ago. Or it might just make that person even more beautiful in your eyes.
Clearly when a woman says, “You’re not the man I fell in love with,” she isn’t implying any of the above. And the man who chooses to defend his “I’m The Man status” usually opens the door for a nasty discussion showcasing all that is wrong with him. Whatever the reason for the statement, whatever the outcome for better rather than worse, one thing is certain: The Man You Fell In Love With, more times than not, is a ghost of the past. He disappeared into the ether the moment after you Fell In and your relationship became REAL! Leave him in the past where he belongs.
Besides, how does a statement like this, no matter how heartfelt, accomplish anything productive when neither party involved still exists in the past? Is it even feasible for a man to reach back into his past and consult with his former self?
BMWK fam in 2011 maybe we might be better served if we make the effort to love, check and challenge our mates in the present in order to love the one we are with? Who knows how far this may take us on our journey with our spouses?
Author of the now infamous, My Wife Is NOT My Friend (on Facebook), Eric talks about being a father and a husband on his blog, Makes Me Wanna Holler ““ Man, Dad, Husband. You can follow him on Twitter or find him chopping it up on his Facebook Page. He is the author of I See Through Eyes, a book of poetry and short stories. In his “spare time” Eric reviews autos and writes relationship articles for Atlanta-based J’Adore Magazine.
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