Living in a Shadow

A couple weeks ago my partner told me that she felt like she was living in my ex husbands shadow. We of course had a conversation about it at that time. I don’t really remember the full outcome. I’ve got a shit memory. But I do know that I even before she mentioned it I was trying to minimize things that might make her feel like that.

My therapist is not the greatest and he bugs the crap out of me when he interrupts me talking. He also says “I know you’ll go home and think about this.” A bunch. No. No I won’t think about it. I can barely remember what breakfast was.

That being said I still go. So when I went to therapy I mentioned what she said about living in my husband’s shadow. What he said stuck with me.

Almost all of us are living in someone’s shadow. Be it good or bad. The people who came before our current people influence our lives still.

People of our past may not fill us with sunshine and happy thoughts. But it’s not about what happened. It’s how we handle it now and how our current people handle it.

Sometimes a compromise is needed. “Please don’t do/say that. It causes flashbacks.” Other times it’s just a matter of letting it go completely. Knowing when to let go of the fight is something I’ve been learning to do. Somethings are worth fighting for or over. Others not so much.

All the arguing over living in someone’s shadow does is cause unneeded stress. So I don’t do it as much anymore. There are times when I feel like I am living in the shadow of my partner’s wife or ex girlfriends. Sure I’d like to say something because it bugs me. But I take a breath and I let it go.

We are always going to live in the shadows of people before us. In a relationship. At work. With our children. Anywhere really.

Then the people who come after us will live in our shadows. Because even though we live in someone’s shadow most of the time. We can still cast our own shadow. We can still stand out somewhere.


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One thought on “Living in a Shadow

  1. That’s such an important insight–that we are all living in the shadow of others, in both good ways and bad. I can see that in many of my relationships. My husband actually benefits from living in the shadow of my ex. My ex was self-centered and unkind, impulsive and unreliable. My husband is none of these things, but having lived with the pain my ex caused just makes me appreciate him more.


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