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Gail Minter

Having married too young and not really knowing who I was at the time – age 20 – I really hear the importance of maturity in relationship. There needs to be a willingness in both partners to allow for change in each other – and as others in the forum have said it does not always happen in sync unfortunately. And it has been a cause of friction in my experience if there is no acceptance of the changes or willingness to adapt. My marriage taught me to be independent and it is in my nature. So I really value space for myself in relationship and I have felt scared when I have felt hemmed in.
I feel that there will always be a mysterious unknown aspect in each of us however closely our lives may be enmeshed. And that could be a cause of interest rather than threat. I felt I learnt more about my husband in the last 2 years of difficulty than in all the previous time.
After 17 years together and with much heartache I left the marriage. The fact it was not for someone else was more hurtful to my husband than if I had. It has been the hardest thing I did in my life – it felt like choosing myself over another – there was a sense it was a bid for survival on a deep level. Since then I have had shorter term relationships with various lessons to be learnt. Lots to do with expectations not met and disappointment about that. “The way is easy for those with no preferences”! I still find it hard when someone repeatedly says they will do something and then does not. I am better than I used to be with these scenarios and do not expect people to do as they say as much.
In one relationship I felt attachment creeping in and clouding things. I think attachment might bring in the fulfilment of expectations more and the sense of entitlement.
The last 10 years I have been on my own and feel content with that. I do miss the companionship that comes in a relationship, someone to share things with and I know it is OK for that not to happen if it is in the Tao of my life. I am blessed with good friends and even when I do not see them very often I know they are there as I am for them. I do wonder if being on my own means I am in control and no one can upset the apple cart?! There are different challenges.
There was a couple I knew in their 70s and she said to me that she had been married 4 times to the same person in the sense they had to renegotiate and renew their marriage at different phases of their life – starting out, arrival of children, leaving of children and then retirement.
I have not had children – my husband did not want them and I did not have the urge. I feel I would not have been mature enough when I was younger and could have passed on my own wounding to them. And although I see my sisters and brother get much joy from their children I also see how much hard work it is and a path of learning in its own right. It is swings and roundabouts I guess.