I've been married for fifteen years, and have two wonderful sons. Our marriage is falling apart, and all I can do is think about is how I feel like I will die if I stay in this quicksand one day longer. What doesn't make sense is that when we first got together, we were so in love. I remember how the world looked to me then, and how the tangerine, lavender, and terracotta colors of the sunset seemed so vibrant. We were that disgustingly-in-love couple that would make other 'in love' couples jealous. That was then. Now we are both so hostile toward one another, the best we seem to be able to muster is a don't-rock-the-boat, strained civility. My energy is a flat tire. It feels that all I can do to survive is avoid the potential emotional landmines in this relationship. I was so much happier when I was alone. I want my life back the way it was before I met him. I was ok back then, maybe not fabulous, but good. Now I am lucky to get a glimpse of 'ok'.
What should I do?
Better off alone Bernadine
I think there are many people out there that can relate to your plight. I am sure that your situation has many layers of complexity, but consider that some simple Goddess arithmetic might clear up some of your confusion.
In other words (or numbers)...
- Your husband=1
- You and your husband fall in love (in the honeymoon stage, your energy, from the Goddess perspective, in more than doubled, it is made exponential), 1+1=11
- You and your husband enter the autonomy stage (this is the stage where you are painfully aware of your differences, defending your positions, canceling each other out), 1-1=0
- You and your husband survive the autonomy stage, and gratefully realize how lucky you are to have each other (back to the honeymoon), 1+1=11
- And on into infinity' ..
Remember, that when the two "1"s come together, you become greater than the sum of your parts. Instead of thinking like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire (you know, the whole'You complete me' song and dance), you know that you are already complete. And two complete "1"s coming together makes for an exponentially loving, powerful, magical, and transcendental experience' 11 times more than you could create on your own.
During the autonomy stage of your relationship, when you and your husband are discovering a new sense of yourselves apart from the other, you run the risk of invalidating the other's point of view while defending your own, turning against each other (thus, 1-1=0). When this happens, you both feel empty, drained, vacant, lifeless, ' not dissimilar to road kill (ew, gross' but it's true!) At this point it is common for one or both people to declare, 'I'd be better off alone!' And it makes sense that you would feel that way, because a 1 (or even a 1/2) is more substantial than a 0! However, as you can see from the love equation above, when you survive this stage in the cycle, you will be rewarded with a second, third, and maybe even forth honeymoon!
The following are ways to survive the autonomy stage so that you can revel in the honeymoon stage that is your just deserts:
1. Recognize when you have entered in to the autonomy stage by declaring it, 'We are in the autonomy stage!" Recognize that this is normal and that you have a wonderful opportunity to discover new dimensions of your individuality, your partner, and your relationship.
2. Ask yourselves, 'What cherished belief(s) must we release in order to expand into the larger space this relationship is demanding of us (i.e. selfishness, neediness, fear of commitment, the past, fear of being hurt, romantic ideals, etc' )?'
3. Ask yourselves, 'What quality(s) must we embody to more gracefully emerge into this expanded territory that our relationship requires of us (i.e. trust, confidence, vision, compassion, authenticity, self-love, generosity, etc' )?
'We are committed to being the greatest space of amazing grace and love that is possible for us. We know that change is always taking place, and as soon as we get cozy in one pocket of love, it will be time to break through into a larger space. May we always be that disgustingly-in-love couple even when we are autonomizing! May we always see the validity of each other's point of view, even when it is in drastic contrast to our own. May there be enough space in our relationship to embrace all of the places where we are different from each other, so that we can learn and grow from each other's opposite qualities, and revel in all the ways that we are in similar. May our relationship be used as a beacon of light to uplift and inspire all people, everywhere in their relationships. May we always be grateful for the exponential and immeasurable gift of being able to share our lives in the unfolding of God/Goddess's perfect plan. Thy will be done. It is done, and so it is. Amen.'
Kelly is the author of Discover Your Inner Goddess Queen,an Inspirational Journey from Drama Queen to Goddess Queen, as well as "I Had the Strangest Dream! The 21st Century Dreamer's Dictionary" (Warner Books).
Kelly's vision is a world where all people are living as Goddess Queens and Divine Kings in their everyday lives. Do you have relationship questions? Ask Kelly how to turn your relationship drama to phenomena.
For interviews, speaking engagements, private sessions, or information about how you can create your own Goddess Queen Gathering, ask Kelly or check out her Goddess Queen Unlimited Website