“Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don’t know the reasons you are separated or divorced – we all have unique circumstances that we have to deal with. However, I am confident that, regardless of whether your break-up was amicable or hostile, it was a very painful experience. And understandably so, because you devoted your best years to that relationship!
Not So Happily Ever After
Remember how vibrant and beautiful you were during the courtship? You got into the relationship with the highest expectations of all – to live happily ever after, enjoy each other’s company as life partners, lovers, best friends and confidants.
Then life happened and your passion faded. Being together became a boring routine or, at best, a partnership where the bedroom became a boardroom; intimacy got replaced by creative escape strategies such as frequent parties, weekends out with your girlfriends, vacations alone and office or even Internet affairs.
You were willing to try anything to numb yourself, to avoid the feelings of growing resentment, frustration and disappointment. You knew that something needed to change and you tried to restore your broken relationship the best way you knew how but it just didn’t work.
When you thought about your children and other family members that needed stability, comfort and a familiar routine at home, your heart ached. You may have asked yourself numerous times “Why is it happening to ME?” “Why now?” or “Why am I so unlucky in love?”
I can totally relate to the entire spectrum of emotions that one feels when going through a marital break-up because I experienced it myself. I had been married for over 20 years and the divorce was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I REALLY wanted my marriage to work, especially because I had a young child. For a long time I was living in denial and felt confused, anxious and afraid of change.
Acknowledgement and Acceptance
It took a while for me to recognize my fears and to finally find the courage to face the truth instead of avoiding my growing uneasiness and unhappiness. Yes, I finally dared to ACKNOWLEDGE how I really felt even though it was extremely hard to do.
Even more importantly, after a long inner struggle, I was able to ACCEPT my situation with all its awkwardness, uncertainty and financial consequences. I realized that by avoiding my reality, by living in denial for a long time, I was rejecting myself and not honoring my inner TRUTH.
Acceptance of my feelings was freeing me. Rejection of these feelings was freezing me.
It Takes Two to Tango
I also realized that it was not helpful to be a victim and put blame on my ex-husband for ruining my dream of forever after. Acceptance of reality implied acceptance of my responsibilities because it takes two to tango, right? When one partner in a relationship is unhappy, it is almost certain that the other partner is not happy either.
Being together and living together is a very delicate dance of give and take, compromising and holding your ground, yin and yang, feminine and masculine. It is a game that requires constant awareness of the way you communicate (or not!) your desires and expectations.
We all know that men and women communicate very differently. Women often expect men to just know what we need or want, to know what turns us on, to know what we like to hear (or don’t like to hear). Women have higher expectations from relationships than men do. And, as often happens, when you have high expectations, you are bound to get disappointed!
Most mothers love their children unconditionally, but loving your partner unconditionally is very rare. You may feel this boost of energy and unconditional love at the beginning of a love affair, but it does change with time, doesn’t it? It was certainly true in my case.
I am talking about the challenging aspects of relationships because acknowledging your role and responsibility in the relationship is a first step to accepting your reality and acceptance is a first step to healing.
I know that you want to have a healthy and happy life. But it is impossible to feel angry or hurt and simultaneously be healthy, let alone happy. Carrying anger, hate or resentment toward your ex is a very heavy burden to live with, regardless of who did what to whom and who is right.
Read more on this topic next week
To Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness,