When recently sharing with close friends a dispute I had with my ex-wife, I came to think on who I am when I am single and unattached compared with the person I am when I am in a relationship. Clearly, we function somewhat differently by the very nature of the role and interdependency. However, I am now considering my decisions, thought-process and successful life-navigation in each scenario.
This contemplation stemmed from a ridiculous accusation that I am unable to take care of myself and since the divorce others must resolve problems trailing behind me. This claim was near-immediately dismissed because of the evidence to the contrary that came to mind. Without listing everything, let me summarize. Over the past five year post-divorce, I am now more accomplished and more effective in my career, spend more meaningful time with my daughters, manage my finances far more effectively, and I purchased a new home.
There is a certain ironic vindication best exemplified by the house because the only woman who assisted in any way was my realtor (and she was completely professional). However, there were some women who after visiting my new house seemed impressed and perplexed I was able to select so well without their help. Now, I’m not a mind-reader, so I can’t be sure…but I believe egos may have been bruised and suspicions laid that I didn’t act on my own.
There’s a play on the famous proverb which states “Behind every successful man is a very surprised mother-in-law.” However, in my case, I believe it would be better phrased to say “an ex in denial.”
All joking aside, this has led me to consider if I make better decisions when I am flying solo. Do I lose my good judgment when I’m romantically involved? Perhaps my teamwork skills are just poor. Perhaps I fear disappointing my partner. Or perhaps the women I select are…what word should I choose…stronger than I can handle. I suppose it’s possible I’m just not built to be married – I’ve never considered that before.
At any rate, my journey of self-discovery and life renovation continues.