Divorce and break ups are perceived negatively in many cultures and it is something people avoid like the plague. These days I can look at a couple and tell you fairly accurately how that relationship or marriage is going. I recognize the symptoms of cohabitation instead of partnership quickly and unfortunately there are many couples out there that don’t live up to their full potential for number of reasons.
I will share a story with you: Last week me and my daughter were at a restaurant and observed the following scenario: a husband and a wife were sitting across from each other at the table. The table was fairly small so they were in a very close proximity. There was a complete silence between the two of them. The wife was scrolling through her phone and giggling at whatever was happening on the screen. The husband was sitting with his head down playing with his hands until eventually he pulled out his phone as well. That lasted for over fifteen minutes and then we had to leave. Now think about the last time you did that same thing. Think back to the last time you were in the same room with your partner but felt alone. What things do you have in common these days? Do you enjoy doing the same activities? Do you have similar goals? Do you spend enough time together? Do you dream together? Do you help each other? Or do you feel like something is missing?
Whenever I finally decided to put an end to my own marriage I had known for couple of years that we just weren’t on the same page, but I was trying to make it work the best way I knew and that was to ignore the symptoms that were right in front of me. We had a daughter and I wasn’t going to destroy her world or bring the shame of being a divorcee. I was determined to carry on for as long as I could and divorce was not an option…until the day I found out that the person I had been trying so hard to keep around was secretly making advances towards other women. I have always said: cheating is not the cause but a symptom. That only showed how troubled our marriage actually was. It didn’t take me long to open both of my eyes and reflect on everything. While statistically our marriage may have been overall more successful than most, we were very different and at that point we were just cohabiting the same space. We didn’t share much but the physical pleasures and that was not enough to sustain a healthy relationship. After making one of the most difficult decisions of my life I found out the following: ending an unfulfilling marriage is not the end but the beginning. We live and we learn and that was a very valuable lesson. Leaving something that doesn’t allign with our dreams shouldn’t be an option but a must. We can’t cramp up and limit all of our potential, hopes, and life experiences because we had a detour even if it was a very long one. We are creatures of habit and we get comfortable, yet we need to move forward or we regress.
Divorce anf break ups can be very difficult things to go through but it can be a liberating experience that provides the path for something new and more exciting. This is your life and you get to choose how to shape it. Let go of that baggage and allow yourself to live again. Fear of the unknown is a scary thing but happiness may be right on the other side of the comfort zone.
P.S. This is not an encouragement to accept divorce and break ups as something that should be the first option. Marriage and relationships are constant work in progress and they require dedication, consistent communication, and joint work.