The reason for sharing this post today is because many individuals leave their marriage and regret it later when it’s far too late to get it back. The impact on themselves and their family is destructive.
They think what they feel at the point they decide to leave the marriage is what they will still feel later and this is their illusion.
When a person really takes the time to understand why their thinking is leading them to want to leave the relationship, they are very likely to discover far more than they were consciously aware of.
This couple were married for over 15 years and everyone thought they were a great couple. He knew the relationship wasn’t great, but was not aware of how bad it had become for her. She loved him as a friend, but she longed for that youthful spark again, the fun, the passion, the hope of new adventures and surprises. She was a good mum, but she wanted to feel like a woman again.
She didn’t want an affair, but she knew she wanted more from her life of love.
She had assumed the marriage was dead for both of them and so she took steps to distance herself emotionally from her husband. It took about two years, but she had detached enough to feel comfortable to share her true feelings about their marriage with him.
She told him the marriage was over and she could now see a future without him, inside she was excited at the prospect of a new life and waited for him to laugh and agree, but go their separate ways still good friends.
As you can see she expected him to be relieved at this news, but to her surprise he was shocked, upset, confused and angry.
What she thought would bring him relief, freedom and a possible new beginning actually brought him severe pain.
She didn’t want this after all she still loved him as a friend and after many conversations and still very confused they decided to seek help. She wanted a second opinion, if she was wrong about her husbands reaction, could her decision to leave the marriage be wrong too?
When they arrived in my session we looked at the history of the relationship, those connected to the couple, and key events.
As we explored the relationship and how the couple had reacted to each other in it we all agreed that the state of the relationship was probably where it should be based on how they had both shown up.
Like most couples, work and children had taken over and the relationship had severely suffered.
So we started to work on the critical parts of rebuilding their connection and the relationship was improving without question, however even though they both agreed they were in a much better place I could tell she was still holding back, so I called a session with her on her own.
We knew she had made a decision years before to leave the relationship and why, but it wasn’t clear to why she was still struggling to fully engage.
As we talked we discovered that the decision to leave the marriage was still alive in her, but she didn’t want to say in a session with her husband present. She agreed that she loved her husband, but she still didn’t feel “in love with him”.
My question was why with all the knowledge we had gathered so far and the with the clear knowledge of how easy it was to improve the relationship why did she think she was still so stuck?
What was keeping the decision to leave the marriage alive in her? She told me that she knew that the relationship could improve, but could it ever be as good as she wanted it to be?
These thoughts had lead her to the belief that no matter what we did in the session it would never work to her satisfaction? In her defence she had years of historic proof to back up those feelings. Of course with this belief, her investment in the relationship and sessions would be half-hearted as she protected herself from fully letting go and so it left her out of control of the end result.
Her belief was not only a powerful block, but it also created a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I said to her “IF” she changed her belief from “it was impossible to solve” to a more positive message how would that affect her decision to leave the relationship.
She replied “The decision to leave would then become far less powerful”
Now we knew the real power was in that belief.
By helping her understand that she had the power to safely influence the marriage to be the way she wanted it to be she gained the confidence she needed for her to reconnect.
She discovered that it was her that held the power to make the relationship the way she needed it to be. She was waiting for her partner to mind-read what she wanted and then give it to her.
What was also interesting, was when pushed how she wanted it to be it was not clear even to her. So we spent some time exploring what she meant by her future goals and helped her with the steps she could take to achieve those goals.
So you see with the right questions we can easily move someone to connect with their own truth and in this case to reclaim her relationship.