I talk to a lot of people, all day, every day who are in various stages of endings. All of them relational. I am privy to the infinite details of where and how it all went wrong. And while I will admit it has made me a little jaded, I still believe that loving, committed, integrity based partnerships are possible. Crazy! I know. But if they weren’t possible then EVERYONE would need someone like me and a divorce attorney! And everyone doesn’t.
So I remain hopeful and this is what I attempt to bring to the aftermath of love gone wrong, hope. Hope that there will be love again, there will be peace, there will be less pain. Endings are painful. For me, most of the time, the ending is painful because I believe that it shouldn’t be occurring. That something else was supposed to happen. And it isn’t and I am all upset about it. I find the most peace and comfort in my life when I except reality as it is happening. This is not easy or pain free, but it is the best use of my time.
I help people do this too. When your marriage is imploding, or maybe exploding, it is very hard to see that all of this horrible stuff that you never wanted to have happen, is happening. It is easy and more comfortable to lose sight or not see that while this marriage was your everything, it didn’t necessarily make you happy.
My experience in this whole marital realm is that most people have many needs that go unmet. They stifle, still and push down things they need to keep the relationship going. And then much resentment is built up around needs going unmet. Both people are stymied because one person is afraid to ask for what they need, and the other person has no idea what the other person needs (or that they need anything at all) because the other person rarely speaks up.
Vicious circle and most of them end the same: Divorce.
Often I wish I could be involved about a decade earlier, that people would come to me when they first start stuffing it, when unhappiness is faint and distant. That is where I think I could do the most good, BEFORE it all goes to hell. But like most of us, the pain isn’t great enough then, so no one reaches out because they believe things will get better, things are just in a downturn, there is hope. And there is and sometimes that hope is enough to get the couple through. 53% of the time, it isn’t enough.
It is a very hard and harsh reality when you wake up one day and realize that your marriage is not what you thought it was or is. We find this out by affairs revealed, bank accounts drained, other families we didn’t know about. There are a myriad of ways in which we find out the person we love and dedicated our lives to isn’t at all who we thought they were. And neither were we...
Then there are the other kinds of revelations where you just wake up one day, usually after years of trying to keep thoughts like this away, and you realize you just don’t love them anymore. You aren’t sure where it went, but you very clearly know it just isn’t there for you any longer. The person you are married to is not awful, no one is cheating or bankrupting you, you just realize that you are not happy and you can’t run from that fact any longer.
I am not sure which is worse, someone else blowing up your marriage or you being the one to do it. Really, there is no easy way out. It is hard no matter what. I would advocate for the later rather than the former because affairs and infidelity just add so much fuel to the fire. So much added hurt and pain. If you are unhappy and want to sleep with others, by all means have at it. But please, for the love of all who love you, do it AFTER you tell your spouse you want out. I don’t mean this to be judgmental. Many people cheat, I only mean to say there is another path that is less painful for all.
Regardless of the manner in which your matrimonial situation ends, there is going to be hurt, pain, anguish, fear and a great deal of uncertainty. And that is hard to live with for a week, even harder to live through months and sometimes years.
This is where coaching heals. Helping you to come to terms with all that has happened. Helping you to move forward, take some control back over your life and its trajectory. Coaching helps you figure out how to get through and who you want to be when it is all over. While also helping you not behave in manners that can make everything worse, longer and more expensive.
I love my job. I love helping people navigate the stormy seas of divorce and endings. It is a hard time to be clear, but there are rich gems within the struggle that when used to your benefit, can make your life change from one you were surviving not thriving in, to one where you are content, happy and able to love who you are.
Endings are also beginnings, and sometimes it is very hard to see that from where you are standing...coaching helps to provide an aerial view and offer you perspectives that can not only save you money and time, but your sanity.