Man, I love, love , love working with couples. There is something so inspiring and beautiful about witnessing 2 people rediscover the love and care they had for each other that had gotten buried under years of resentment, hurt, anger and misunderstanding. The softening of their hearts toward each other has brought me to tears many a time.
The funny thing is, I never know going into my work with a couple if that will be the outcome. It’s amazing when it happens, and it does not always shake out like that. I tell partners who come to my office that I have no agenda about keeping them together. What I am more interested in is that they discover what is true for themselves individually and for the union as a whole.
For some folks, what is true is that it is time to part ways. One partner wants to work things out and the other is partner is paying lip service to it, but is really not invested. Sometimes there is too much damage done and repair is unlikely. More rare are the couples who mutually decide after some therapy that it’s time to call it quits- they have both outgrown the relationship and seek to go in different directions.
Whatever the reason, the relationship dissolves. Most married couples decide to get a divorce. Let’s face it, nobody ever gets married and hopes ” Gee, maybe one day we will end our marriage. Wouldn’t that be great?” It’s incredibly painful even if it is the right thing to do. And I believe that it can be the last act of love for the other person if done with that intention. Of course, it takes plenty of healing and wading through feelings to get to this place, but it is possible.
From this perspective, what divorce is really saying is ” I set you free. I set myself free. We are both liberated from the patterns and ways of relating that are harmful, hurtful and keep us stuck in this cycle of pain. In completing this cycle with each other, this version of our relationship falls into its proper place in history” .
There is such magic that happens from this place of surrender and letting go. I have seen this act of kindness allow people to move forward with different, better suited partners. I have seen couples begin to look at each other with fresh eyes and forgiveness and reconcile. I have seen neither partner get involved with anyone else, but they have been energetically untangled enough from each other to relocate, sell their house, or start a business,
This culture would have us believe that divorce has to be nasty and acrimonious. Or maybe your parents divorce was similar to the War Of The Roses. This does not have to be the case. It may seem easier in the short term to make the other person a monster. Then you can easily justify your decision. The harder, but ultimately more fulfilling path is to lovingly release your partner and the form that your relationship has taken for so many years. Maybe it will re-emerge in another shape, maybe not. But what I can promise you is that you will be dragging around a lot less baggage in whatever the next phase of your life holds.
Wits so much love,