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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

The Nature of Change

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“Why can’t you fly?” the caterpillar’s partner screams at them. The caterpillar is confused. After all, their partner knew they couldn’t fly from the very beginning of the relationship.

“Did you see Kelly’s wings? They’re so strong and beautiful. I wish you had wings like that,” the partner mentions to the caterpillar. The caterpillar curls into itself, feeling ashamed for what it lacks.

“I bought this for you,” the caterpillar’s partner says in a hopeful voice, presenting a self-help book on metamorphosis. “I’ll be sure to read this,” the caterpillar responds, while inwardly grumbling that they have no interest or need in the book.

“I just don’t get it,” the caterpillar’s partner whines to the couple’s therapist. “Everything would be fine with us if they would just get wings.” The caterpillar begins to grow resentful and feel unappreciated.

“I know you want me to fly,” the caterpillar says softly to their partner. “I’m trying. I really am.” The partner responds, “If you loved me, you would fly.” The caterpillar begins to wonder if they do love their partner. Maybe that’s the problem.

In the dark hours of the night, the caterpillar is thinking, “I’m not good enough for them; they don’t love me as I am.” Down the hall, the partner writes in their journal, “I’m not good enough; they won’t change for me.”

One day, the caterpillar makes a difficult decision. “I’m leaving,” they tell their partner. “I’m not what you want me to be and I believe you’ll be happier without me.”

At some point later, the partner comes across a picture of their ex. “Why couldn’t they change for me,” they lament. “I must not be lovable.” All because the caterpillar wasn’t able to change until they were ready.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Nature of Change

  1. This is so true that it hurts. My wife became so infuriated with me during some dark days and trials I was going through that she gave up on me and our marriage and sought escape in an emotional affair for 2 years.

    I feel to this day that she is not satisfied with who I am as an individual (even I know I am not where I would like to be, but am working to be a better version of me), but she keeps me at a distance emotionally, spiritually and physically waiting for me to turn from a caterpillar into a butterfly. All the while, I wonder why she stays, if she even truly chooses me (haven’t heard an “I love you” or felt desired or pursued in years and years now), which just breaks my heart daily.

    I am a caterpillar who desires love even if he remains a caterpillar and never finds his wings. I wish my wife, the butterfly, could just love me flaws and all, knowing that my love for her was always there even when I was battling through the worst days of my life and all I wanted her to do was to love and support me.

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