A husband was heard saying his wife is no longer the same person she was in the initial days of marriage. She was apparently very docile, was willing for him to take decisions and generally was busy taking care of the house. She did not mind entertaining, cooking for a large number of people, even taking the guests out for sightseeing. She would give a list of things for purchase to her husband, he would bring in all the stuff. Sometimes she would accompany the husband and do her shopping.
Gradually she started to explore her potential. She had settled down in the marriage, was able to manage the home and its chores, so she decided to do something for personal growth. She undertook a professional course and soon majored in it.
It was a high point in her life. Her husband totally supported her and encouraged her to set forth. They faced a lot of problems on the way, but soon she started to earn. This economic independence gave her self confidence and she started to take her own decisions. She was able to decline when she did not want any advice, she started to make choices.
She has grown as a person in her own right. How much her profession is responsible for this, cannot be said. But she seems to have found her niche and is happy with her choice. Her husband feels she has changed.
He does not resent that. He knows her growth is good, and it has enriched their marriage. But he misses his child bride, I guess. He sometimes wishes she remain the same person she was in the initial years of their marriage. He must have enjoyed doing things for her, taking care of her needs. He is very protective of her, and so her forays into the work world maybe disquieting for him. He is happy for her, but is feeling the pangs of empty nest syndrome.
She was totally dependent on him earlier. She did not think she need take a stand, she had total confidence in his decisions. But life changes. New experiences are happening, and since both are growing internally, more individuality is coming in. It has to happen.
He too is changing. He too has grown as a person. When his daughter started leaving home, he had felt disquiet. His wife had to remind him it was inevitable. She was finding her wings, she would fly away one day. All he could do was fill her with memories that would warm her heart when she feels lonely at some place. He found it difficult to adjust to this change. But he has.
He is a paradox of perceptions. He knows he cannot hang on to relationships, but when close relationship takes wings, he does feel the hurt. He wanted to keep his daughter and his wife safe with him. They are safe, he has given them that security. They are able to move ahead as individuals, because they know he is their anchor. Unless he internalizes this, he will suffer unnecessarily.
Three quarters part of him is happy at his wife and daughter’s successes in life, he is in fact very proud and encourages them even now. When his daughter visits him, he is happy. His face is beaming, and he keeps asking her how she is doing. She has to visit him at least once a day, otherwise he is moping. Since this is not always possible, she calls and chats with him. He is happy with that.
Coming to his wife, maybe he fears she will outgrow him. How can that happen? Surely this fear of his is doing her an injustice? He does not know much about her profession. He does try to contribute, but sometimes his contribution cannot be taken. He feels disappointed then. There is no way his wife can help him ease his disquiet, other than keep reassuring him. He has to accept that his wife and daughter have grown outwardly, but they still remain bound to him with an invisible thread. And that thread is his love. They have found a purpose for their lives. They need to explore this area, and face the obstacles as well as triumphs. Only then will they fulfill their potential and feel they are on their path to actualization. Just as he is fulfilling his potential, they too are.
In this growth process they need him very much. His love and sometimes his mere presence is enough for them to step forward. Once he accepts this totally, his disquiet will fade away. He knows change is inevitable, but personally he has not come to terms with it totally. In time he will. But a part of him will still fear for them.