Unchained by Sara Stansberry
It was great seeing you last night, I love it when we get together – with our busy lives, those opportunities are few and far between. You have come to me, as many do, to ask about my divorce, to see how I’m doing. You say it is something you’re considering for yourself. You say you and your spouse have ‘fallen out of love’ and are merely co-existing.
You can see I’m doing it, and doing it well – I’m happier, healthier than I’ve ever been. This is all true. But there are a few things I think you should know regarding what I’ve learned leading up to and because of my divorce. Some of this might seem harsh, but harshness is not my intention. My intention is to love you well and when you love someone, you tell them the truth.
I believe it is highly unlikely you have fallen out of love. It might feel that way but it is more probable that one (or both) of you have eroded the trust and respect in the partnership so badly that the feelings of love have vanished right along with them. I find it hard to believe that a rational person would consider breaking a family apart and reducing their assets by ½ because they just weren’t feeling it anymore.
It’s important that you get real with yourself about what these issues are; your part in causing them, and why you allowed them. This is important for your healing and your future. If you don’t, I promise, you will end up re-creating the same problems you’re facing today with someone else somewhere down the line. The packaging might look different, but the problems will be from the same root. There is a reason you are where you are – the more fully you seek to know and understand these reasons, the better off you’ll be; the happier you’ll be.
The grass is not greener. If the grass seems green, it is because of all the sh*t (mine and everyone else’s) I’ve had to spread around and water with my own tears. It is true, I have more time to myself now to discover my own interests and live my own life. This is good, but it does come with its own set of problems. Which is why it is so important to do your emotional work. You’ll need the stamina and wherewithal to deal with these new problems
I know we discussed your heart and your feelings of loneliness inside of your marriage. You wonder if you’ll ever experience that feeling of love again. It’s a scary thought that you might not, I know it is, I’ve been there. When you’re over 40 the dating pool looks more like a puddle. Especially if you’re not willing to settle (which you should not be). There is no sense in going from the frying pan into the fire.
I have learned, being alone is not the same as loneliness. And there is nothing quite as lonely as being in a lonely marriage. I know that loneliness deadens your soul.
Let’s talk for a minute about the erosion of trust and respect. Unfortunately, we do this to each other in many ways, but there are three ways that are essentially unrecoverable in marriage: Abuse, neglect and living in active addiction. If any (or all) of these things are happening right now in your marriage, it will essentially take an act of God (which can happen) to turn things around.
We’ll take a deeper look at this in part two..
Until then, make it great!