On occasion, I have epiphanies. I had one recently. To me, this is a natural progression of either the intellect, or spirit—but, however one wishes to see it.
Epiphanies occur when growth is knocking on one’s consciousness, but you must open the door, or you’ll miss it. This is becoming more and more evident to me that as I have these epiphanies, a gradual or sudden change pursues thereafter, mainly in my awareness.
This may seem trivial to some, or it can be substantial, depending upon the change, and the person. I imagine this happens to most people, if they are self-aware. I welcome this progression as enhancing my thoughts, emotions, and intellect, to a new level of awareness.
To get back to the point, the last major epiphany occurred during the last couple of years. Yes, there are levels, and the higher ones come less frequent; many little ones happen to us daily.
Anyway, I had been arguing a lot with my husband, whom I was sure was having an affair. I accused him of this in fact, so many times, it’s embarrassing to me at this point. But something was lacking terribly in our marriage. The romance had gone out of it, and there were no other similar interests as we once had.
If he was having an affair, there was not anything I could do about it. I had lost all my financial means during the 2008 economic downturn, having a bankruptcy tagged to me now. Nonetheless, the marriage issue was no longer the issue.
I had been analyzing myself deeply due to this lack of affection I was experiencing. I had been observing everything I would say, everything I would do, and in my mind I questioned myself like a therapist: ‘why did you say that?’ or ‘why did you do that?’ or ‘do you think maybe what you just said (or did) might be the reason for his negative responses?” or “Perhaps you have given him enough ammunition about your neuroses that he is unable to come nearer to you anymore…?”
In psychological terms this kind of self-analysis is a part of the strategies we teach students and people in therapy, to activate metacognitive strategies, hence, the journal, narratives about oneself, diaries, etc.
I went about on a discussion of the matter, to myself, of course–for months. I wanted to leave him, but my anxiety to leave and find myself homeless was much greater than my anxiety to live with a man who is legally bound to me, yet unmoved by my existence. In truth, I am much too old now for leaving. And for a while there, I was becoming despondent, and felt like I would not live very much longer.
Curiously, I seemed to be falling into love with my husband again, and more and more. However, I think it was a last ditch in my own mind, for I obsess over what I cannot have. It has to do with being neglected as a child, hence, the need for hoarding, in case I find myself once again, alone, and uncared for.
But our marriage is not at all what this write is about. It is about the epiphany that was brought about due to the distress encountered in ordeal about my marriage.
If I may make an observation here, distress or desperation sometimes can be a godsend, leading to an epiphany, if one has exercised metacognitive habits already. An epiphany may actually help get you out of a rut. And so it was for me, though it may sometimes be very painful, I became elevated by the epiphany, which made it all worth the pain.
Now, therefore, you ask: “What was that epiphany of which you speak,” because of yet, I’ve not actually told you anything about the actual epiphany.
Henceforth, I began to wonder about our relationship, especially wondering if all relationships go through a period, after having been married for so long, that a spouse just stops loving their significant other, or just loves differently; like loving their partner as they do a pet.
The spouse may still feel the lustful feelings occasionally, mostly from seeing others who are desirable to look at, or some funky show on television. But the spouses have been through so much together, that they feel bonded beyond the norm, such as a deep friendship, or as a parent and child.
Marriage has its own bonding phenomena, and it grows stronger the longer spouses are married. Further, the more obstacles over which they have survived, they become even more bonded.
But what really made me think about all this, is the fact that, many people I know who have been married for many years, fall into one of two categories: one, they live separate lives, in which case one may thrive, the other may die, or they may both thrive, having other interests–including affairs; or they may both be miserable and both die younger than expected.
Another occurrence may be that they could be separated for a long while, having many things happen to each in their own sphere, similarly to the first analysis, (affairs, ills, etc.), only perhaps in this case, it is a professional or venture event, and then, they come to value each other more deeply and become very close whether they are romantically involved or not, and remain together for the rest of their lives.
I believe my husband and I were experiencing a change in marriage, but did not know how to deal with it, and unfortunately it took its toll on my health. I have met so many who have been in various groups of ill progression due to marital confusion or disillusion. Most of the times, the women die off: sad, depressed, emotionally vacant, then ill, then death. Or if it is the man, it would be because the woman has found herself having been left to herself, and has evolved as an independent person, having a wonderful time with others, and now it is he who is left out: sad, depressed, emotionally vacant, then ill, then death. Either way, it is a sad scene.
I was heading that way, when this epiphany came. This is what it was. I have always believed in God, yet I felt God was distant to me in this situation. Finally, I began to wonder how God sometimes does not speak or make a sound, but may use circumstances to get at a weakness in someone. I believe this is what happened to me. I realized the weakness was my sense of victimization.
I realized that even though it was true, I was a child that was neglected, it was an experience that could be turned around for good. If I am left alone, I must learn to love myself. What better way to learn to love yourself than in a situation where you are alone, whether you are alone in reality, or emotionally. So I began to teach myself how to be alone. Now I am learning to cope with our differences, making ways for me to find other interests aside from venturing out and doing stupid things, like affairs and such.
When I sense that old feeling of abandonment, I read more and lie down, take care of myself, drink more water, or a cup of coffee (never did that before), and sometimes even treat myself to ice-cream, or a glass of wine, and read, or write. It has always been hard for me to reach out to anyone when I am in emotional pain. I purposely do so now, especially when I sense that old feeling of loss and abandonment.
I have come to accept those things I used to complain about, in my husband. He is who he is, and I have come to respect who he is, AS he is. Where I complained of his weaknesses, I have learned to strengthen my own in those areas, so that I can keep myself company in such areas, times, and situations. His strong points are still strong points, and so I am able to focus on those points, which makes me look at him more positively. I feel proud that I am part of him, and whether or not he feels the same, I do not care: I know I am a good part of him.
In that small change, I have begun to love him more, without being clingy, and this has changed me for the better: I am less sad and depressed, I am becoming emotionally independent, I am less ill, and I feel I may just live a long time, after all. Thanks to mind blowing epiphanies. I hope to have more, about which to write.