For years they knew each other. Then the shock: Nothing was the same anymore. How could this happen? Is that any way to be wrong?
He’s come home. One day, initially how many days in the past thirty years. They have a workshop, a beautiful house and three adult sons together
Familiar everyday life, familiar world and above all – familiar partner. They had been young together, had known each other since school. They were envied by friends for their close bond. Now they had arrived together in the middle of their lives.
The inner gaze is already turning to age. Often she dreamed of starting something new with him again. Perhaps in a place where they can practice their common hobby – sailing – more often. To write a new chapter in life one last time.
They liked the same things, thought the same thoughts
For other people they were a unity. It was not only the sailing that connected them. Often the other one had expressed the thought of the other one first. They have accompanied each other through all phases of their lives: high school graduation, birth of children, death of parents, financial hardship and professional success. They have also survived health problems together.
A few years ago he had had a mild stroke.
They have both learned from this experience. Since then, they haven’t overextended themselves. Have started working less. Together we took things a little easier. There were still many wishes for the last years.
The sentence that makes everything come apart at the seams. A world is shattering.
“I’ve fallen in love and I’m moving out,” he said. Just like that.
Completely without volume, without vehemence, without drama and above all – without regret in the
At first she believed in a strange joke. Then she looked
face and saw something she didn’t know. A look, an alien
He had never looked at her like that before.
She thought she was facing a stranger. He was serious – at least she could see that. While she began to tremble, he remained calm. He seemed almost relaxed when he packed his suitcases with determination.
Actions followed immediately. He moved out.
He went to his girlfriend’s with a suitcase, that very evening. As she found out a little later, she is 28 years younger. So very young, very fertile and – pregnant in the fourth month. From him – her husband.
They did everything together. For decades trusted side by side. Now
have a new family. He started something new and she? She
never even noticed.
Thought he was meeting up with friends, playing cards
or shooting club
At first she felt nothing but complete bewilderment and especially: Emptiness! Much nothing that gave way to a desperate pain in every moment. Soon nothing remained of the emptiness and nothingness – except despair and pain.
How could she be so wrong? How could she not notice? Had she lived next door to him for years and not really known him? Again and again these questions – coupled with memories – were hammering in her head. Was she so wrong about him? What else was true?
Prejudices structure our world
Distrust of a stranger is a prejudice. So does trusting a trusted friend. In fact, we know nothing of what surrounds us. We know neither the strange nor the familiar. It gets worse: we don’t even know ourselves. The biggest part of us is hidden from us: our subconscious!
We need prejudices to be able to move in the world: I am me, and I know me. A baker sells bread rolls. The driver will not change to the left while I pass him on the motorway. You take care of a child and it will thank you. A stranger could be dangerous. A husband is familiar. Parents mean well. Work is paid. Our world is full of expectations and prejudices.
Prejudice has a price: the probability of error
Every disappointment is the result of a false expectation, says a Jewish proverb. What can we do? How can we protect ourselves from disappointment? The bad news is we can’t. We need our expectations and – we can adapt them to the world – but not the world to our expectations. Without expectations we cannot move. We couldn’t leave the house if we couldn’t expect the world out there to be the same as yesterday.
We need our prejudices to live. With them we structure our world in order to be able to move in it. Nevertheless, the world remains a universe in itself, which can change completely from one moment to the next.
Social psychologists speak of the “fragility of reality” – i.e. reality is not certain. She’s fragile. A new context
, a new reality – a different reality
– is formed from their shards.
Thus a wife becomes an abandoned wife. People must remain flexible in order to be able to move. Only the moment is certain. He’s not changing.
You’re safe in every moment.
Don’t get hung up on anything in the world. From the mind come things and to the mind they return, it says in Buddhism. Every human being is a universe of his or her own – of hormones, bacteria, substances, thoughts, feelings and impressions. How should one know such a universe? More than that – being able to predict its constellation?
Impossible! Clouds are a fixed image in that one moment when we look at the sky. It is the same with people – at every moment they are a picture composed of their components. They can disintegrate from one moment to the next and come together in a completely new constellation.
But the image that you see in the sky at the moment is safe. You can count on that. An image you have of a human being is like the clouds. It’s safe – for this one moment. Every moment is worth trusting him.
In the end we don’t really know ourselves
To know another person – his future behaviour – that is impossible. Even more – knowing oneself is often an unattained wish. How often in our lives are we surprised by ourselves? What do we know about ourselves? We don’t know where we come from, we don’t know why we are here and we don’t know where we are going.
We can believe, but we cannot know. We are mini-universes in an unmanageable ignorance and environment – in a much larger universe. We seek closeness, we cannot be without it. Spiritual scientists speak of “anthroposophical constants” – of human needs that everyone has.
The need for social proximity is part of this. So in the end, we can’t pick and choose. Our common needs, the “anthroposophical constants” are our lowest common denominator.
We can’t help it. We must trust and accept the probability of error.
No one wants to be alone in the great infinity. Out there is a counterpart of us – there the cosmos – here the one within us. So let’s get dressed. And glide hand in hand through the ignorance of our origin and our destination.
This gives us security. We are not alone in the infinite vastness of the world and the universe. We trust or distrust on the basis of an assumption. Often we are not mistaken either.
We’re going with you. We string together safe moments. Every new attempt to trust is worth it. This is how we navigate each other through the universe, on the way to our destination.