What are you supposed to do when for years your marriage has been going nowhere? You’ve tried all you can, you’re exhausted and the thought of the next 5 years being like the last is just too much?
If you’re a regular reader you will know that I’m a strong believer in marriage and learning the skills needed to keep marriages strong and passionate.
I am also a believer in NOT staying in a marriage at any cost, sometimes a couples dynamic is just not the right fit and that’s important to know.
I’ve seen many people turn up in my session a shadow of who they really are. They are depressed, anxious not trusting their relationship, their partner or themselves.
So for these people is divorce right for them?
The question is this – does the divorce solve the real problem, or does it actually lead a person into more pain?
Look at what this lady discovered with me about that question.
She was sixty years old and was in her third marriage and it was failing.
She wanted to give up on her marriage and on love. She came in for sanity check as she battled with what to do.
I was not happy for her to give up on something so important as love, so we talked through what another divorce would gain her?
We also discussed why she thought divorce was the right solution for her, we looked at her other marriages and we discovered a trend in all the relationships that she had not considered before.
This was the start of a shift in her thinking and important for anyone in this place.
We looked at how she was setting up her relationships, her midset in the marriage and how she had become part of the process of those relationships going wrong?
She had assumed all these men were the problem, now I have no doubt they were not perfect, but there is no way they would be the only problem and she was perfect.
To be fair to her she didn’t think she was perfect, but she was not at all connected to the truth.
The result of this destructive thinking within her meant her expectations of him didn’t match the reality and she practised seeing this one perspective again and again, in fact her own thinking had made her ill.
You see she was so focused on what these men had done wrong, and how they had hurt her, she became blind to the pain and suffering she had inflicted on them without knowing.
She used this focus on his failings as a reason to protect herself from a man that obviously to me loved her. She was blind to this.
There is no question she was a lovely lady and had never meant to hurt these men and her husband, but this new perspective had opened her eyes to a new way of seeing her part in generating their problems.
By expanding her knowledge to see the marriage through the eyes of her husband she generated a new perspective that created two important qualities.
By being able to see the man’s world correctly, she was able to take responsibility for her part in seeing why the marriage had gone wrong and this created empathy for her husbands’ position.
Like I said she was a lovely lady.
She was quite shocked at how different his thinking would have been to hers and what had driven him differently to her. She learnt what his natural assumptions would have been to her behaviours and why he reacted to her the way he did.
This shifted in her thinking. This was so important because if she can see she’s part of the problem it means she can also become part of the solution.
For her this was a position of empowerment, it created more certainty that there was growth potential for them both, to really discover their truth.
Her new mission was to fully understand him and learn how to get the best out of him.
This is the sign of a great partner because anyone can focus on blame and what’s wrong, anyone can be negative and judgemental that’s easy, but it takes real courage to seek out the truth and take a long hard look at yourself.
So when you look at a divorce what you are really looking at is a “solution” to a problem.
In this ladies case, she could have divorced 1000 men and not one of those divorces would have created the solution to the real problem she faced.
Her problem was her inability to understand her husbands perspective and how to help him become successful with her.
This is why I encourage couples to explore their relationships before they blindly jump into more trouble like this lady did and was about to do again.
I know many people just want the pain and suffering to stop and I totally understand that concept.
BUT there is a far more important message to understand.
It’s far better to do what’s hard now so the rest of your life is easy than it is to take the easy route now and live a hard life blind to the real problem.
So what’s really needed to get to the truth and stop life-long suffering?
- This lady was open to seeing there was a new way she could see the story of their life together. This creates a fundamental shift in what she wants to do. Someone who will not shift the story will stay stuck in the story they have created. It’s critical to know in every situation there are many stories, ones that trap us and ones that free us.
- Being open to learn is a critical component of getting to the truth for anyone in this place. This lady grasped this opportunity with both hands. What she really wanted was love and so she learnt how it was really created.
- Putting aside the need to be right about the current perspective of the relationship and their partner. A persons perspective is only one way of seeing their problems and if they practised this for a while with the wrong knowledge they will struggle to see their problems in solvable terms as self-protection will be the only goal and will mask their truth – just like the lady in the story.
- Essentially someone must choose to reject their out-of-control reactive emotional patterns and discover how to take control of their life by becoming their own observer and choosing the emotions they want. This is the safe route to success.
This lady discovered that divorce was not the solution to her lack of knowledge about her husband and her relationship so she took it off the table as an option and decided to prioritise learning over running from the problem.
The key to this new understanding isn’t that they are fixed. The key is that they discover what their relationship is truly capable of with the right understanding on both sides?
If you would like to see your problems in solvable terms and gain clarity on the question of divorce like this lady please now apply for answers.