It was a snipe hunt.
I didn’t realize it at the time.
In fact, I didn’t even realize he was searching for something.
I just saw them as simple transactions.
$40 for a shirt here.
$200 for a new phone there.
But he wasn’t looking for a new wardrobe or a new phone.
What he was looking for didn’t exist, at least not in material form.
But he didn’t realize that either.
He was on a snipe hunt for happiness.
I’m often questioned about my assertion that they were not obvious signs of my ex husband’s deceptions. There weren’t in the moment. But time has a way of revealing connections and indications, of washing away the clutter and revealing the patterns beneath.
And this is one of those cases.
My ex never expressed discontentment. He never claimed unhappiness or a lack of self-worth. Yet, when I look back, I can see that his patterns slowly changed over time. There was an insatiability that developed, an ever-growing need to fill a void. An endless search, each purchase seeming to send a message of position and power. It was subtle, at least until the end, but there was an energy to it. A drive. A need to be filled.
It was a snipe hunt for happiness. He was looking outside for something that can only come from within. He was distracted by the mythical beast he sought, ignoring the calls for help from within. He gathered possessions like a magpie enamoured of shiny objects, as though the gilded gadgets would reflect light back into his soul.
And that was a sign. Not only of his unhappiness, but also of his approach. He was a man who looked for the easy road. He would rather move houses to gain a greener pasture than water the one where he stood. He would rather discard a wife and a life where he made mistakes than to work to correct his errors and omissions. He was a man afraid of looking inward, preferring instead to focus on an imaginary hunt. He believed that solutions could be found if he only searched hard enough.
It was a sign. His snipe hunt for happiness.
And, like all snipe hunts, it was all pretend.
In this case, an act of a man desperate to find peace.
And he looked everywhere but where it could actually be found.
We can learn from him.
We all have a tendency to engage in snipe hunts for happiness – material goods, dating to distraction, food and alcohol. Learn your patterns. What are the early signs of your own snipe hunt for contentment? For peace? Recognize that you are searching for something that cannot be found in the outside world.
And look within.
25 thoughts on “Snipe Hunt”
God, this sounds exactly like my (soon-to-be-ex-) husband. Only his snipe is another woman. Uggggh. What fools.
Mine went there too. Once someone looks for happiness outside, it can lead them to hunt for anything.
Great post. Narcissistic issues, I presume? As well as financial infidelity, too. Very tough and complex.
I, too, didn’t see the signs of change.
1. He wanted some new clothes. Thought the ones he had “were out of date.” This is coming from a man that hadn’t bought a pair of socks for himself in over 15+ years.
2. He hated the underwear I bought him that early summer. I guess they were too baggy? huh?
3. He bought really colorful tshirts (orange, turquoise, yellow). This is a man who wears tshirts to work each day and only cared that they were clean.
4. He went “shopping” for a bicycle in August or early September. Come to find out his OW was an avid cyclist. He never bought one. I also found out that this was the excuse to meet with the OW to kiss her for the first time.
Looking back, those were some of the signs. Looking back, I get whiplash.
No more looking back for me (at least, I’m trying). I need to look forward and look at the man who is my husband today.
Whiplash. Yup. Well said:)
Reblogged this on The Opposite Side of the Street and commented:
I realllllllllly relate to this in terms of Peter and his quest to find “what he wants out of life.” Problem is, the snipe he’s chasing is Lila. Or rather, he thinks it’s Lila. Instead of doing the actual work to look inside himself and find what he wants, to get away from her and take real, genuine time to even consider whether his marriage and his family are part of what might bring him true happiness, he’s instead investing *everything* in the idea that Lila *is* that happiness. As much as I want to believe in true love and finding that kind of connection in another person, even I know that you shouldn’t throw away your wife, your son, your family, and your career to be with a woman who won’t do the same (other than drop her husband) for you. So good luck with that, Peter. Hope you find all the snipe you’ve been dreaming about for so long.
Beautifully said. Thank you.
I feel the exact same way about my husbands drug/alcohol use…for a long time he has trying to use them to fill a void in him and it’s only been making things worse. :/
Another common snipe hunt unfortunately and one my ex used as well.
My (ex) husband had a ‘shopaholic’ mentality that became more and more difficult the last year or two before he left me. At the time, I never saw it as a sign of anything sinister. However, indeed it was.
Reblogged this on The Blog of a Life Coach and commented:
Find happiness within – then you may share “your happy self” with others 🙂
Remember the best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others.
Material things never replace the reward of a soul mate who travels on the same path as you. Compatibility, trust and respect paves the road long term.
You could be describing my life, my head and heart hurts.
Yes! That describes my (soon to be) ex husband to a tee! Deep down I knew it – we’d even talked about it when we first started getting serious. After a while he would tell me how happy he was with me and that we had the perfect life. Unfortunately, that probably was a sign – and he ended up seeking happiness with another woman with whom he’s about to pursue a relationship. He’s on a quest – but one I don’t understand and one where he’s looking in all the wrong places.
Thanks for the post – it puts things so well!
Glad it resonated:) Thanks for reading!
So, so, so, so, so, SO true. Add tattoos (that don’t even have any sentimental attachment), spankin’ new white undershirts and CK briefs to the list for my ex-husband. Hundreds of dollars worth of books, a startling increase in the Jameson’s intake, and military-style clothes for the ex-fiancé . . . (I guess the Russian hat should have been a real red flag, since the chick on the side is Russian . . .)
Why do we not ever listen to our gut? (I think we’re too afraid of what it’s saying . . . )
So true about afraid of what the gut is saying!!!
Tattoos are a great addition to the list – mine was talking about getting a devil and angel on his shoulders. Wonder if he ever went through with it…
So how do you find the happiness within?
No single answer. I’ve written a lot about this, but all starts with shifting the energy away from him and what happened and towards you.