We try hard to avoid it. We don’t want to be just another statistic. We don’t want our kids to come from a “broken” family. So, we stay. And we stay a little longer. Until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change. When I was married for 16 years, the first ten of them were great. I had so many other issues that I was working on healing within myself that I was just grateful that I had a man that loved me, was loyal to me and supported our beautiful family. Then, around year 10 I began to start to explore me. I began to no longer hold onto the stories that had defined me for so long. I began to grow more into my own person rather than dependent upon my then husband.
The thing that worked best in my marriage was me needing my ex-husband. I needed him to love me. I needed him to make me feel pretty. I needed him to tell me I was ok. I needed him to support me. I needed him to fix things for me. But, shit got real when I no longer needed him, but instead wanted to want him without unconsciously needing him. When we are with someone because we need them, it makes it easy to be with them because we are just so grateful they can fulfill voids within ourselves that we don’t question if it’s actually what we want. This is codependency at it’s finest. I choose you because I need to be enabled and you choose me because I need to keep you enabled. It’s a match!
From years 10-16, I had a ton of growth. I continued therapy and let go of so many of my old beliefs and patterns so that what used to work in our marriage no longer worked. My ex used to say he missed the 19 year-old girl he married. He said I changed. He was right. I changed for the better. I no longer wanted a co-dependent relationship. I wanted what I call today a “whole” relationship. A relationship in which both partners are not looking for the other person to make them happy. That is just way too much pressure for anyone. I wanted a relationship where I work on my sh*t and you work on your shit and together we work on our sh*t.
I eventually outgrew “us”. The same unhealthy patterns that used to bond us no longer worked. He wanted the old back and I wanted to try to create something new. It didn’t work. It was like a tug-of-war with us pulling in opposite directions constantly. Our hands just got beat up, scraped, and tired. So, after 15 years of marriage, we finally let go of that rope. We filed for divorce and were officially divorced 2 days after our 16 year anniversary.
It wasn’t an easy road making the decision for divorce. Quite honestly, it was hell. Nobody was able to tell me if I should stay or if I should go. I had to figure it out. I had to be the one to decide if my children’s lives would be ruined forever (or so I thought). There was no clear answer but I just had to take the step that felt the most aligned with who I was and what I wanted and that’s exactly what I did.
My marriage became like a murky pond. It was there but there was no life in it. It was heavy and sludgy. It was unhealthy. Nobody was thriving. But, it was still there. Many live this way forever and then pride themselves for being married 25 plus years. To me, this isn’t something to celebrate. If your marriage is dead, and you know when it feels dead, ask yourself why you are choosing to stay. If it is because of fear, then you know you don’t belong there anymore.
Close your eyes and picture two paths. Picture one in which you are still married and living life the way you have been and now picture another path and picture yourself divorced, living for yourself and your kids’ happiness. What lies on each path? Which one makes you feel freer inside? Which one makes you feel lighter? More alive? This is the path that’s meant for your highest good.
Sounds harsh doesn’t it? Well, if you are in this position, you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you do, well then you have your answer on what decision is meant for your highest good. You feel like it’s groundhog day. You wake up, know what to expect, nothing changes and you do the same thing day after day. You feel like you lost hope and are hardly dream for anything different anymore. You are alive and breathing, but you are not truly living. Your soul is tired. You gave up. This is a huge sign you don’t belong there anymore. What is your soul trying to tell you? How are you living out your purpose anymore?
You didn’t just wake up out of nowhere and say I say, “I want a divorce today.” This is something you have given a lot of thought to. You have sought out a coach or a therapist to work on you. You have been reading personal development books and articles, listening to podcasts, and maybe even attending seminars. You are growing and learning how to make yourself happy and first love yourself. You are going to take you wherever you go and in any relationship. You want to love you first and foremost before you can expect another to do the same. If you grow and work on you and the relationship still doesn’t add to your happiness, but instead fights against it, it is time to say good-bye.
You are ready to say F it and choose you. You don’t care anymore about judgments, what people say or doing the so-called “right” thing. You are ready to honor you and your soul’s purpose. You are ready to finally go after what you want, knowing that you have some work to do to get there but are ready to do it. You see the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s shining bright calling your name. You know it’s not about how many years you live, but more about the amount of life in your years and you are ready to stop playing it safe.
*If you want more support around this, please feel free to join my incredible facebook community, “Manifest Love through Self-Love”.
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